Saturday, 23 February 2019

February 23, 2019

480 years ago

Born on this date
Salima Sultan Begum
. Empress of the Mughal Empire, 1561-1605. Salima was married to Mughal army commander-in-chief Bairam Khan from 1557-1561; shortly after his assassination she became the fourth wife of Emperor Akbar. She wielded considerable influence over him and his son Jahangir, and was known for her wisdom. Empress Salima died on January 2, 1613 at the age of 73.

280 years ago

Richard Palmer was identified at York Castle, by his former schoolteacher, as the English highwayman Dick Turpin.

140 years ago

Died on this date
Albrecht von Roon, 75
. 10th Minister President of Prussia, 1873. Generalfeldmarschall Roon was a career military officer who served as Prussian Minister of War from 1859-1873 and then succeeded Otto von Bismarck as Minister President in January 1873. Ill health forced Generalfeldmarschall Roon to resign later that year,and he handed the office back to Mr. Bismarck.

130 years ago

Born on this date
John Gilbert Winant
. U.S. politician and diplomat. Mr. Winant, a Republican, was Governor of New Hampshire from 1925-1927 and 1931-1935, and served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1941-1946. He committed suicide at the age of 58 on November 3, 1947, the day his book Letter from Grosvenor Square was published.

Victor Fleming. U.S. movie director. Mr. Fleming directed two of 1939's best movies, The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind, winning the Academy Award for Best Director for the latter. He died of a heart attack on January 6, 1949 at the age of 59.

Cyril Delevanti. U.K.-born U.S. actor. Mr. Delevanti was a character actor in numerous films and television programs from 1931-1974. He died of lung cancer on December 13, 1975 at the age of 86.

120 years ago

Stanley Cup
Ottawa's hockey club refused to go to Toronto to play in the second annual Stanley Cup game, so the Cup was awarded to the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association for the second time.

120 years ago

Born on this date
Erich Kästner
. German author. Mr. Kästner was known for his books for children, most notably Emil und die Detektive (Emil and the Detectives) (1929). He died of esophageal cancer on July 29, 1974 at the age of 75.

Norman Taurog. U.S. movie director. Mr. Taurog directed 180 movies from 1920-1968, including six films starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in the 1950s, and nine starring Elvis Presley in the 1960s. Mr. Taurog won an Academy Award for Best Director for Skippy (1931), and was nominated for an Oscar for Boys Town (1938). He retired when he began to go blind, and died on April 7, 1981 at the age of 82.

110 years ago


Canada entered the aviation age when the Silver Dart, the fifth plane of the Aerial Experiment Association, containing a powerful Curtiss engine and a new type of rubber sealant for the silk-covered wings, took off from the ice of Baddeck Bay, Nova Scotia with John A.D. McCurdy at the controls, and flew for nearly half a mile, making the first powered flight in the British Empire.

80 years ago

The Academy Awards for 1938 were presented at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. The winners included Picture--You Can't Take it with You; Director--Frank Capra (You Can't Take it with You); Actor--Spencer Tracy (Boys Town); Actress--Bette Davis (Jezebel); Supporting Actor--Walter Brennan (Kentucky); and Supporting Actress--Fay Bainter (Jezebel).

75 years ago

Died on this date
Leo Baekeland, 80
. Belgian-born U.S. chemist. Dr. Baekeland, who moved to the United States in 1889, has been called the "father of the plastics industry" for his 1907 invention of Bakelite, an inexpensive, nonflammable and versatile plastic. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage in a sanatorium in Beacon, New York, and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1978.

Reports from the front in Italy indicated that German forces were regrouping for another assault aimed at wiping out the Allied beachhead near Anzio. U.S.S.R. troops driving westward on Pskov fought their way into Dno. Greek guerrillas led by a British officer killed 400 German soldiers, blowing up a troop train in the vicinity of Mount Olympus. Under the pressure of several days of air and ground assaults by the Allies, Japanese forces retreated in northern Burma and on the Arakan front.

World events
Soviet dictator Josef Stalin dissolved the Republic of Chechnya, accusing the country of collaborating with Nazis. He began the forced deportation of the Chechen and Ingush people from the North Caucasus to Central Asia.

Politics and government
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Alben Barkley (Democrat--Kentucky) resigned his leadership in protest against President Franklin D. Roosevelt's veto of the tax bill.

New York Governor Thomas Dewey announced that he had asked his supporters not to enter his name in the Wisconsin Republican Party U.S. presidential primary.

The U.S. House of Representatives rejected a bill under which past expression of disloyalty to the United States would be grounds for withdrawal of citizenship of Japanese-Americans, and then passed a bill providing for expatriation of native-born citizens of foreign ancestry who refused to pledge allegiance to the United States.

The U.S. Army took over operation of the Los Angeles water and power system to end a strike of 3,000 employees over wage demands.

70 years ago

Saudi Arabia indicated willingness to accept any agreement with Israel negotiated by other Arab states.

The U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee passed a measure authorizing construction of a $161-million radar warning screen, to be linked with a similar facility in Canada.

Oregon State University dismissed chemist Ralph Spitzer and economist L.R. La Vallee, both members of the Progressive Party, from its faculty.

60 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Mariquilla--José Luís y su Guitarra (2nd week at #1)

U.S.A. Top 10 (Billboard)
1 Stagger Lee--Lloyd Price (3rd week at #1)
2 Donna--Ritchie Valens
3 16 Candles--The Crests
4 The All American Boy--Bill Parsons
5 Charlie Brown--The Coasters
6 I Cried a Tear--LaVerne Baker
7 Tall Paul--Annette with the Afterbeats
8 Petite Fleur (Little Flower)--Chris Barber's Jazz Band
9 Lonely Teardrops--Jackie Wilson
10 Peter Gunn--Ray Anthony and his Orchestra

Singles entering the chart were Never Be Anyone Else But You by Ricky Nelson (#65); Tomboy by Perry Como (#67); Hurtin' Inside by Brook Benton (#78); It Doesn't Matter Anymore by Buddy Holly (#82); I'm Never Gonna Tell by Jimmie Rodgers (#93); Bunny Hop by the Applejacks (#94); I've Got You Under My Skin by Louis Prima and Keely Smith (#95); Shirley by John Fred and the Playboys (#98); and Glad Rags by Tennessee Ernie Ford (#100). Hurtin' Inside was the A-side of It's Just a Matter of Time, charting at #24.

Vancouver's Top 10 (CKWX)
1 The All American Boy--Bill Parsons (3rd week at #1)
2 Goodbye Baby--Jack Scott
3 Petite Fleur (Little Flower)--Chris Barber's Jazz Band
4 Peter Gunn--Ray Anthony and his Orchestra
5 Smoke Gets in Your Eyes--The Platters
6 Gotta Travel On--Billy Grammer
7 The Lonely One--Duane Eddy and the Rebels
8 Stagger Lee--Lloyd Price
9 My Happiness--Connie Francis
10 The Children's Marching Song (Nick Nack Paddy Whack)--Cyril Stapleton and his Orchestra
--Mitch Miller and his Orchestra

Singles entering the chart were Telling Lies by Fats Domino (#42, charting with its other side, When the Saints Go Marching In); Tomboy by Perry Como (#44); Since I Don't Have You by the Skyliners (#46); Trade Winds/Hawaiian War Chant by Billy Vaughn and his Orchestra (#49); Wishful Thinking by Little Anthony and the Imperials (#54); I'm Never Gonna Tell by Jimmie Rodgers (#55); and Rummy Polka by the Matys Brothers (#59).

Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru confirmed reports of Communist Chinese occupation of sections of Uttar Pradesh State on the Tibetan border.

On the second day of his 10-day visit to the U.S.S.R., British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan met with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev at the Kremlin, where they expressed a willingness to expand Anglo-Soviet trade and cultural ties.

Central African Federation Prime Minister Roy Welensky ordered the mobilization of the Southern Rhodesia National Guard to prevent the spread of nationalist unrest into Rhodesia from Nyasaland.

Politics and government
The United Kingdom, Greece, and Turkey announced the final terms of the Zurich accord for the creation of a Cypriot republic by 1960. Archbishop Makarios said in London that the Cypriot republic would not join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, but would seek membership in the United Nations.

U.S. Senator William Proxmire (Democrat--Wisconsin) attacked the Senate Democratic Party leadership of Sen. Lyndon Johnson (Texas), charging that Sen. Johnson let rank-and-file Democratic Senators have "literally nothing to do with determining the legislative program and policies of this party."

Teamsters union President James Hoffa said that the union's executive board opposed enactment of anti-racketeering labour legislation.

50 years ago

Died on this date
Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, 67
. King of Saudi Arabia, 1953-1964. Saud acceded to the throne upon the death of his father Ibn Saud. He initiated modernizing economic and social reforms, and played an important role in foreign relations in the Middle East, but lost a power struggle with his brother Crown Prince Faisal and was forced to abdicate in favour of his brother. The former King Saud spent his last years in exile, dying in Greece.

Madhubala, 36. Indian actress. Madhubala, born Mumtaz Jehan Begum Dehlavi, was known for portrayals of tragic women in Hindi films in a career spanning 1942-1964, and was often compared to Marilyn Monroe. She died nine days after her 36th birthday, after a long battle with congenital heart and lung disease.

Viet Cong and Hanoi forces launched a major three-day offensive of coordinated shellings and ground assaults on Saigon and 115 other towns and military targets, with the heaviest fighting northwest of Saigon along traditional Communist infiltration routes leading to Cambodia.

Israeli planes bombed two targets in Syria, said to be bases of the Arab guerrilla organization Al-Fatah.

U.S. President Richard Nixon began an eight-day "working trip" to five European countries, aimed at "strengthening and revitalizing" the North Atlantic Alliance. Mr. Nixon was accompanied by 18 government officials, including Secretary of State William Rogers. Mr. Nixon arrived first in Brussels, where he was greeted by King Baudouin. Mr. Nixon said that the purpose of his tour was "to listen to and not lecture the allies." He met with NATO officials and addressed the Permanent Council. History, he said, was moving into an "era of negotiations," and that therefore, "we shall enter into negotiations with the U.S.S.R. on a wide range of issues."

Former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower underwent surgery for a gastrointestinal obstruction at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington.

The first scheduled hovercraft service in Canada began operating between Vancouver and Nanaimo, British Columbia.

Efren Torres (59-5-1) scored a technical knockout of Chartchai Chionoi (46-11-2) in the 8th round at El Toreo de Cuatro Caminos in Mexico City to win the World Boxing Council world flyweight championship. The fight was stopped by the ring doctor after Mr. Chionoi's left eye had become swollen shut. Mr. Torres' win came 13 months after losing a challenge to Mr. Chionoi by a 13-round TKO.

Lee Trevino won the Tucson Open, with a first-prize purse of $20,000.

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Sweden (Topplistan): Y.M.C.A.--Village People (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): Y.M.C.A.--Village People (11th week at #1)

#1 single in France (IFOP): Tragedy--Bee Gees (4th week at #1)

Died on this date
W. A. C. Bennett, 78
. Canadian politician. William Andrew Cecil Bennett, nicknamed "Wacky" because of his initials, was born in Hastings, New Brunswick, and eventually settled in Kelowna, British Columbia in 1927. He was initially a Conservative, and was first elected to the British Columbia Legislative Assembly in 1941, representing South Okanagan, as part of a Conservative-Liberal coalition. Mr. Bennett resigned his seat in an unsuccessful attempt to win a federal by-election, but regained his provincial seat in 1949, which he held until his retirement in 1973. Mr. Bennett failed to win the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party of B.C. in 1951, and left to sit as an independent before joining the Social Credit Party before the end of the year. He led Social Credit to a minority government in the 1952 provincial election, beginning his 20-year run as Premier of British Columbia, the longest reign in B.C. history. Social Credit won a majority of seats in the Legislative Assembly in the 1953 provincial election, and Mr. Bennett used the majority status to preside over an era of modernization and government expansion, including provincialization of transportation and utilities. He advocated that Canada be thought of in terms of regions rather than provinces, contributing to discussion of federal-provincial issues. After 20 years in office, B.C. voters apparently got tired of Mr. Bennett and his government, and the New Democratic Party, led by Dave Barrett, defeated Social Credit in the 1972 provincial election. Mr. Bennett served as Leader of the Opposition until retiring in June 1973, and a by-election three months later resulted in his son Bill winning the seat.

U.S. envoy to the United Nations Andrew Young urged an end to fighting in Indochina, asking that the Security Council call for a withdrawal of Chinese troops from Vietnam and of Vietnamese troops from Cambodia.

World events
Abdullah Ocalan, leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, a major group fighting for Kurdish independence in Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria, was charged with treason by Turkey, eight days after Turkish agents seized him in Nairobi after he left the Greek embassy there. Turks viewed Mr. Ocalan as responsible for the deaths of thousands during the Kurds' armed struggle.

Politics and government
Files of the White House's Office of Telecommunications from 1969-1974, released under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed a concerted campaign by the Nixon Administration to politically control public broadcasting.

Economics and finance
Consumer prices in the United States were reported to have risen .9% in January, averaging a 12% hike in the cost of living, indicating that federal wage-price guidelines were not succeeding in stemming the tide of inflation.

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Finland (Finnish Singles Chart): Like a Yo-Yo--Sabrina (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in Ireland (IRMA): Belfast Child--Simple Minds (2nd week at #1)

John O'Conor began recording the album Nocturnes of John Field at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Politics and government
The United States Senate Armed Services Committee voted 11-9 to reject former U.S. Senator John Tower (Republican--Texas), nominated by President George Bush, as U.S. Secretary of Defense. The voting took place strictly along party lines, with all the Democrats voting against Mr. Tower and all the Republicans in favour. Mr. Tower's opponents focused on reports of his history of drinking.

Representatives of seven Afghan rebel groups based in Pakistan elected an interim government-in-exile.

U.S. Representative Lee Hamilton (Democrat--Indiana) concluded two days of testimony as the first witness for the prosecution in the trial of former U.S. Marine Lieutenant Colonel and National Security Council member Oliver North on charges arising from the Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages scandal of the mid-1980s. Mr. Hamilton testified that officials in President Ronald Reagan's administration, including Mr. North, had told him in 1985 and 1986 that the Boland Amendment barring U.S. intelligence agencies from helping opposition Contras in Nicaragua had not been violated in any way. Adolfo Calero, a leader of the Contras, testified that Mr. North had given him $32 million in 1984 and 1985 while U.S. aid to the Contras was forbidden by law.

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Sweden (Topplistan): All for Love--Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting (10th week at #1)

Croats and Muslims in Bosnia signed a cease-fire, and the Croats agreed to pull back from Mostar, a Muslim city that they had brought under siege. Almost all Serb gun positions had been abandoned or been brought under control of United Nations monitors.

Politics and government
The lower house of the Russian Duma voted 253-67, with 28 abstentions, to grant amnesties to leaders of 1991 and 1993 plots against the government. President Boris Yeltsin had no authority to prevent the release of the plotters from prison. The amnesty was heavily supported by Communists and ultranationalists in parliament who opposed the President. One of the freed rebels, former Vice-President Aleksandr Rutskoi, said that he planned to run for President in 1996.

Bell Atlantic Corporation and Tele-Communications Inc. abandoned their effort to complete one of the biggest corporate mergers in history, the purchase by Bell of TCI and Liberty Media Corporation. The proposed merger, announced in October 1993 and valued then at $33 billion, could have prompted a revolution in technologies related to home entertainment. Since October, however, the value of the stock of both Bell and TCI had declined sharply, and the U.S. government's rollback of cable television rates threatened the profitability of TCI.

Myriam Bédard became the first Canadian woman to win two Winter Olympic gold medals as she won her second gold medal of the Winter Olympic Games at Lillehammer, Norway, in the 7.5-kilometre sprint biathlon; she had won the 15-kilometre individual event on February 18. They were the first Olympic biathlon golds won by a non-European. Bonnie Blair of the United States, who had already won the gold medal in the women's 500-metre speed skating competition, won the gold medal in the 1,500-metre final. The two gold medals gave her a career total of five, the greatest number for any U.S. female Olympic athlete ever.

20 years ago

Died on this date
Ruth Gipps, 78
. U.K. composer. Dr. Gipps was a child prodigy on the oboe and piano who performed her first composition at the age of 8, and at the age of 26 became the youngest woman in Britain to receive a doctorate in music. She wrote five symphonies, numerous chamber works, concertos, piano pieces, and vocal and choral music. Dr. Gipps was discriminated against because she was a woman, but some of her compositions have been rediscovered and recorded since her death, three days after her 78th birthday.

Negotiators for the Serbs and ethnic Albanians (including delegates from the Kosovo Liberation Army) reached a tentative agreement on the future of the province of Kosovo. The KLA wanted independence for the province (populated mostly by ethnic Albanians), which was opposed by Serbia's parent government of Yugoslavia. The plan conditionally granted some autonomy to Kosovo for three years, after which the North Atlantic Treaty Organization would assess the situation. Yugoslavia was resisting another element of the proposed agreement: that 30,000 NATO troops be deployed in the province.

Politics and government
Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley was re-elected with 73% of the vote. Mr. Daley defeated fellow Democrat and U.S. Congressman Bobby Rush. Mr. Rush, a Negro, contended that minority neighbourhoods had missed out on much of the city's recent prosperity, but Mr. Daley was endorsed by a number of black leaders.

Republican Johnny Isakson, a former state legislator, won a by-election for the U.S. House of Representatives seat that had been left vacant by the resignation of former Speaker Newt Gingrich. Mr. Isakson won Georgia's 6th District with 65% of the vote.

John William King, a self-described white supremacist, was convicted in Jasper County, Texas of the murder of James Byrd, Jr., a black man. Mr. Byrd had died after being seized and chained to the back of a truck, and then dragged for several miles on rural roads east of Jasper in June 1998. Two more men faced charges in connection with the killing.

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