Sunday, 21 April 2019

April 14, 2019

1,950 years ago

Vitellius, commander of the Rhine armies, defeated Emperor Otho in the Battle of Bedriacum to take power over Rome.

390 years ago

Born on this date
Christiaan Huygens
. Dutch physicist, mathematician, astronomer and inventor. Mr. Huygens' achievements are too numerous to mention here, but they included the discovery of Saturn's moon Titan, and the invention of the pendulum clock. He has been called the first theoretical physicist and the founder of mathematical physics. Mr. Huygens died on July 8, 1695 at the age of 66.

380 years ago

Saxon and Imperial forces led by General Rodolfo Giovanni Marazzino were defeated by Swedish forces under the command of General Johan Banér in the Battle of Chemnitz in what is now eastern Germany. The Swedish victory prolonged the Thirty Years' War and allowed them to advance into Bohemia.

320 years ago

The Sikh religion was formalized as the Khalsa - the brotherhood of Warrior-Saints - by Guru Gobind Singh in northern India, in accordance with the Nanakshahi calendar.

310 years ago

Born on this date
Charles Collé
. French playwright and songwriter. Mr. Collé was best kown for his comedies, including La Vérité dans le vin (1747). The lyrics of his songs usually dealt with love and wine. Mr. Collé died on November 3, 1783 at the age of 74.

260 years ago

Died on this date
Georg Frideric Handel, 74
. German-born U.K. composer. Mr. Handel moved to England permanently in 1712. His compositions include Water Music (1713); Messiah (1742); and Royal Fireworks Music (1749).

250 years ago

Born on this date
Barthélemy Catherine Joubert
. French military officer. General Joubert served under Napoleon Bonaparte in the 1790s, and was killed in the Battle of Novi in Italy on August 15, 1799 at the age of 30.

200 years ago

Born on this date
H.E.G. Arey
. U.S. teacher and authoress. Harriett Ellen Grannis Arey, a native of Vermont, taught at girls' schools for many years, mainly in Cleveland. She was one of the founders and the first president of the Ohio Woman's State Press Association; her books included Household Songs, and Other Poems (1855) and Home and School Training (1884). Mrs. Arey died on April 26, 1901, 12 days after her 82nd birthday.

170 years ago

Hungary declared itself independent of Austria, with Lajos Kossuth as its leader.

150 years ago

The noon cannon on Parliament Hill was fired for the first time.

130 years ago

Born on this date
Arnold J. Toynbee
. U.K. historian. Professor Toynbee taught at the London School of Economics for many years. He was best known for his 12-volume A Study of History (1934-1961), in which he argued that civilizations "rose by responding successfully to challenges under the leadership of creative minorities composed of elite leaders." Prof. Toynbee was perhaps the world's most influential scholar in the 1940s and '50s, but his influence faded after 1960. He died on October 22, 1975 at the age of 86.

125 years ago

Died on this date
Zebulon Vance, 63
. U.S. politician. Mr. Vance was a member of the Whig Party until the mid-1850s and was with the American Party when he represented North Carolina's 8th District in the U.S. House of Representatives (1858-1861). When North Carolina seceded from the Union and joined the Confederacy, he became a colonel in the C.S. Army, and a a member of the Conservative Party of North Carolina, served as Governor of North Carolina (1862-1865). Mr. Vance joined the Democratic Party in 1872, serving another term as Governor (1877-1879) and representing the state in the U.S. Senate from 1879 until his death.

The first ever commercial motion picture house opened in New York City using ten Kinetoscopes (devices for peep-show viewing of films).

110 years ago

Born on this date
Jack Shaindlin
. Russian-born U.S. composer. Mr. Shaindlin moved to the United States in 1922, and composed scores for movies and television programs. He was the musical director of the March of Time newsreels. Mr. Shaindlin died on September 22, 1978 at the age of 69.

Died on this date
Miguel Ángel Juárez Celman, 64
. President of Argentina, 1886-1890. Mr. Juárez, a member of the National Autonomist Party who was propelled into politics by his relative General Julio Argentino Roca, served as President of the Senate in the late 1870s and Governor of Cordoba in the early 1880s before returning to the Senate in 1883. Mr. Juárez was President during the Pánico de 1890, and his authoritarian ways led to the creation of the opposition Civic Union Party, forcing his resignation following the Revolución del Parque.

A massacre was organized by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenian population of Cilicia.

Hudson's Bay Company and Canadian Pacific Railway financier Donald Smith, Lord Strathcona founded the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, the precursor of British Petroleum in London.

100 years ago

Born on this date
Shamshad Begum
. Indian singer. Miss Begum performed over 6,000 songs in various languages, but was best known for singing 1,287 songs in Hindi films. She died on April 23, 2013, nine days after her 94th birthday.

Died on this date
Auguste-Réal Angers, 81
. Canadian politician. Sir Auguste-Réal, a native of Quebec City and a Conservative, represented Montmorency in the Quebec Legislative Assembly from 1874-1880, serving as Solicitor General (1874-1876) and Attorney General (1876-1880). He represented Montmorency in the Canadian House of Commons from February-November 1880, and represented De la Vallière, Quebec in the Canadian Senate from 1892-1896, serving as Minister of Agriculture (1892-1895) in the cabinets of Prime Ministers John Thompson and Mackenzie Bowell, and as President of the Privy Council (1896) under Prime Minister Charles Tupper.

80 years ago

John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath was first published by Viking Press.

75 years ago

CBS received the 1944 award of the Socieda Gombasta Panamericana for its contributions to hemispheric solidarity through its Latin American network.

Mrs. Helen G. Carlisle filed suit for $300,000 in damages, accusing Warner Brothers Pictures of pirating the picture Princess O'Rourke (1943) from a novelette that she had written.

Only a 1,000-square-mile area at the southern end of the Crimean Peninsula was reported to still be in German hands. A Japanese force reached the Bishenpur-Silchar trail southwest of Imphal, threatening to cut the last land supply line to the capital of the Indian state of Manipur. Turkish Foreign Minister Numan Menemencioglu said, "We will, in the general direction of our foreign policy, aid the Allies to the limit of our material possibilities." U.S. Navy Secretary Frank Knox said that the court martial of Lieutenant General Walter Short and Admiral Husband Kimmel for their role in the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii would not be held at this time.

Politics and government
In forming a new government-in-exile, Greek Prime Minister Sofoklis Venizelos took the war, navy, air, and justice portfolios. Social-Democratic Party leader George Papandreou, who had escaped from German imprisonment in Athens, arrived in Cairo to serve in Mr. Venizelos' cabinet.

The Quebec Legislative Assembly passed Bill 17, creating the provincial utility company Hydro-Québec.

Economics and finance
U.S. Interior Secretary Harold Ickes proposed that government-owned war plants be turned over to veterans to be operated in competition with private industry after World War II.

A massive explosion in Bombay harbour killed 300 and caused economic damage valued then at 20 million pounds.

70 years ago

Chinese Communist and Nationalist forces halted fighting around Nanking as the Nationalist government considered a Communist demand for unopposed crossing of the Yangtze River.

Dutch and Indonesian representatives met under United Nations auspices in Batavia and began negotiations on Dutch withdrawal from Jakarta, capital of the Indonesian Republic.

The U.S. war crimes tribunal in Nuremberg handed down prison sentences of 4-25 years for 19 former German officials convicted of planning aggressive war and crimes against humanity. Included among the convicted were former Foreign Office Secretary Ernst von Weizsaecker; Deputy Chancellor Heinrich Lammers; SS intelligence chief Walter Schellenberg; and Nazi press chief Otto Dietrich. The sentencing ended the last trial scheduled for the tribunal.

The United Nations General Assembly approved a resolution for modification of the Security Council veto, urging the great powers not to use their veto in cases involving requests for UN membership, peaceful settlement of international disputes, and appointment of inquiry commissions.

Economics and finance
The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives completed action on a bill authorizing $5.4 billion in Marshall Plan expenditures for the next 15 months.

60 years ago

On television tonight
Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond, on ABC
Tonight's episode: The Navigator, starring Don Dubbins, Robert Ellenstein, and Don Womack

World events
Kenyan authorities freed Jomo Kenyatta and four other alleged Mau Mau leaders from prison, but placed them under forced residence in the Lodar area of Kenya's remote Northern Province.

French Prime Minister Michel Debre and Foreign Minister Couve de Murville concluded two days of talks in London with British leaders on policies to be followed in forthcoming East-West negotiations on Germany.

Politics and government
Arriving in Peking (Beijing) to attend the National People's Congress, Tibet's Panchen Lama declared that the "great Communist Party and the [Chinese] People's Liberation Army have the unanimous support of the people of Tibet."

Stanley Cup
Montreal 2 @ Toronto 3 (OT) (Montreal led best-of-seven series 2-1)

Dick Duff scored at 10:06 of the 1st overtime period to give the Maple Leafs their win over the Canadiens at Maple Leaf Gardens.

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Japan (Oricon Singles Chart): Yoake no Scat--Saori Yuki

#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Las Flechas Del Amor (Little Arrows)--Karina (5th week at #1)

Canada's Top 10 (RPM)
1 Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures)--The 5th Dimension (2nd week at #1)
2 Galveston--Glen Campbell
3 You've Made Me So Very Happy--Blood, Sweat & Tears
4 Rock Me--Steppenwolf
5 Don't Give in to Him--Gary Puckett and the Union Gap
6 Only the Strong Survive--Jerry Butler
7 Time of the Season--The Zombies
8 Hair--The Cowsills
9 Twenty-Five Miles--Edwin Starr
10 Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show--Neil Diamond

Singles entering the chart were Badge by Cream (#58); The River is Wide by the Grassroots (#62); Atlantis by Donovan (#66); Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine) by the Vogues (#77); Buying a Book by Joe Tex (#80); Twilight Woman by the 49th Parallel (#82); The Composer by Diana Ross and the Supremes (#83); (We've Got) Honey Love by Martha Reeves & the Vandellas (#86); Seattle by Perry Como (#88); Moody Manitoba Morning by the Five Bells (#89); Foolish Fool by Dee Dee Warwick (#94); Not Wrong Long by the Nazz (#95); What Can the Matter Be by the Poppy Family (#98); Stand! by Sly & the Family Stone (#99); and Happy Heart by Andy Williams (#100).

On television tonight
33⅓ Revolutions per Monkee, on NBC

Those who didn't want to watch the Academy Awards on ABC were given the opportunity to watch this special with the Monkees, taped in November 1968. The guests included Brian Auger, Julie Driscoll, Fats Domino, Little Richard, and Jerry Lee Lewis. By the time of the broadcast, Peter Tork had left the group.

The Academy Awards for 1968 were presented at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles (see video). The winners included: Picture--Oliver!; Director--Carol Reed (Oliver!); Actor--Cliff Robertson (Charly); Actress--Katharine Hepburn (The Lion in Winter) and Barbra Streisand (Funny Girl); Supporting Actor--Jack Albertson (The Subject was Roses); Supporting Actress--Ruth Gordon (Rosemary's Baby). Young Americans was named the Best Documentary Feature; on May 7, producers Robert Cohn and Alex Grasshoff were forced to return the award after the discovery that the film had first been shown in a theatre in October 1967, and was thus ineligible for a 1968 award. The Oscar was then given to Journey Into Self, the first runner-up.

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Laura O'Leary!

Died on this date
Matilde Muñoz Sampedro, 69
. Miss Muñoz appeared in various movies from the 1940s until her death, and was the sister, wife, mother, and grandmother of actors.

The United States launched Nimbus 3, a replacement for an identical weather satellite that had failed to achieve orbit in 1968. It carried seven meteorological research instruments plus a test involving a radioisotope power generator.

Politics and government
The Ninth Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, the first such congress since 1958, adopted a new constitution naming Defense Minister Lin Piao as the successor to Chairman Mao Tse-tung (Mao Zedong).

The United States Army took its first disciplinary action against an editor of one of the antiwar GI underground newspapers. In Georgia, the commanding general at Fort Gordon announced the undesirable discharge of Private First Class Dennis Davis, editor of The Last Harass.

The first mass trial of demonstrators at the previous year's Democratic National Convention ended in Chicago with a verdict of guilty of disorderly conduct for the 13 defendants.

A team of scientists headed by Dr. Gerald Edelman at Rockefeller University reported success for the first time in deciphering an antibody--one of the body's primary weapons against disease.

Two crowded buses crashed head-on in Sao Paulo, Brazil, killing 7 and injuring 26.

The Cleveland Indians sold outfielder Jimmie Hall to the New York Yankees. Mr. Hall batted .207 with 2 home runs and 16 runs batted in in 99 games in 1968--.198 with 1 homer and 8 RBIs in 53 games with the Indians after being acquired from the California Angels--and was 0 for 10 with 2 bases on balls and 1 run in 4 games with Cleveland in 1969.

Major league baseball came to Canada as the Montreal Expos played their first home game ever, defeating the defending National League champion St. Louis Cardinals 8-7 before 29,184 fans at Jarry Park. Left fielder Mack Jones hit the first Expos' home run at Jarry Park, added a 2-run triple to finish the game with 5 runs batted in, and was an instant hero; the left field bleachers became known as "Jonesville." Former Cardinal Larry Jaster was the starting pitcher for the Expos, but gave up 7 runs--2 earned--in the 4th inning as the Expos blew a 6-0 lead, while reliever Dan McGinn pitched 5 1/3 innings to get his first major league win, and singled home the winning run. Dal Maxvill hit a grand slam for the Cardinals.

Ken Holtzman pitched a 7-hitter and the Chicago Cubs scored all their runs in the first 2 innings as they shut out the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-0 before 3,114 fans at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Pete Ward's 2-run double climaxed a 4-run 8th inning for the Chicago White Sox as they came back from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the California Angels 4-3 before 6,167 fans at Anaheim Stadium.

John Kennedy made an error on a ground ball by Jerry Adair with 2 out in the top of the 8th inning, allowing Joe Foy to score, breaking a 1-1 tie as the Kansas City Royals edged the Seattle Pilots 2-1 before 3,611 fans at Sick's Stadium in Seattle in the first game played between the two first-year American League expansion teams. Roger Nelson allowed 6 hits and 1 earned run in 8 2/3 innings to win the pitchers' duel over Mike Marshall, who allowed 6 hits and 1 earned run in pitching a complete game. The Pilots loaded the bases with 2 out in the bottom of the 9th, but Dave Wickersham relieved Mr. Nelson and retired Mike Hegan on a foul popup to end the game.

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Rhodesia (Lyons Maid): Le Freak--Chic (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in Italy (Hit Parade Italia): Tragedy--Bee Gees (4th week at #1)

#1 single in Ireland: Bright Eyes--Art Garfunkel

#1 single in the U.K. (BMRB): Bright Eyes--Art Garfunkel

Netherlands Top 10 (De Nederlandse Top 40)
1 Lay Your Love on Me--Racey (2nd week at #1)
2 In the Navy--Village People
3 Lucky Number--Lene Lovich
4 Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)--The Jacksons
5 Fire!--Pointer Sisters
6 Stir it Up--Bob Marley & the Wailers
7 Hooray! Hooray! It's a Holi-Holiday--Boney M.
8 I Will Survive--Gloria Gaynor
9 Ruthless Queen--Kayak
10 Born to Be Alive--Patrick Hernandez

Singles entering the chart were Save Me by Clout (#26); Hallelujah by Milk & Honey #28); Por un Poco de Tu Amor by Julio Iglesias (#34); So Lonely by the Police (#35); and Jantje's S.O.S. by Arno & Gradje (#38).

U.S.A. Top 10 (Billboard)
1 What a Fool Believes--The Doobie Brothers
2 I Will Survive--Gloria Gaynor
3 Knock on Wood--Amii Stewart
4 Sultans of Swing--Dire Straits
5 Music Box Dancer--Frank Mills
6 Tragedy--Bee Gees
7 Reunited--Peaches & Herb
8 Heart of Glass--Blondie
9 Stumblin' In--Suzi Quatro & Chris Norman
10 Lady--Little River Band

Singles entering the chart were Little Bit of Soap by Nigel Olsson (#73); Deeper than the Night by Olivia Newton-John (#79); Gone Long Gone by Chicago (#84); Star Love by Cheryl Lynn (#85); One Chain (Don't Make No Prison) by Santana (#87); Dancin' Fool by Frank Zappa (#88); When You're in Love with a Beautiful Woman by Dr. Hook (#90); (Boogie Woogie) Dancin' Shoes by Claudja Barry (#91); One More Minute by Saint Tropez (#93); and Walk on By by AWB (#94).

U.S.A. Top 10 (Cash Box)
1 What a Fool Believes--The Doobie Brothers (2nd week at #1)
2 Music Box Dancer--Frank Mills
3 Knock on Wood--Amii Stewart
4 Tragedy--Bee Gees
5 Sultans of Swing--Dire Straits
6 Heart of Glass--Blondie
7 I Will Survive--Gloria Gaynor
8 Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?--Rod Stewart
9 Stumblin' In--Suzi Quatro & Chris Norman
10 Reunited--Peaches & Herb

Singles entering the chart were Deeper than the Night by Olivia Newton-John (#82); When You're in Love with a Beautiful Woman by Dr. Hook (#85); One Chain (Don't Make No Prison) by Santana (#86); Gone Long Gone by Chicago (#87); Dancer by Gino Soccio (#90); and Dancin' Fool by Frank Zappa (#96).

Canada's top 10 (RPM)
1 Tragedy--Bee Gees (4th week at #1)
2 I Just Fall in Love Again--Anne Murray
3 What a Fool Believes--The Doobie Brothers
4 I Will Survive--Gloria Gaynor
5 Shake Your Groove Thing--Peaches & Herb
6 Sultans of Swing--Dire Straits
7 Lady--Little River Band
8 Every Time I Think of You--The Babys
9 Knock on Wood--Amii Stewart
10 Forever in Blue Jeans--Neil Diamond

Singles entering the chart were I Only Want to Get Up and Dance by the Raes (#84); Rhumba Girl by Nicolette Larson (#90); Disco Nights (Rock Freak) by G.Q. (#91); Good Times Roll by the Cars (#93); Take it Back by the J. Geils Band (#94); Give Me an Inch by Ian Matthews (#95); Diamonds by Chris Rea (#96); The Last Time I Felt Like This by Johnny Mathis and Jane Olivor (#97); Saturday Night, Sunday Morning by Thelma Houston (#98); Away from You by the Cooper Brothers (#99); and I Never Said I Love You by Orsa Lia (#100).

A Chinese delegation flew to Hanoi in an attempt to settle issues that led to the border war with Vietnam.

A Pennsylvania State House subcommittee charged that "police lawlessness" in Philadelphia sometimes reached "homicidal" levels. The United States Civil Rights Commission set early hearings on police brutality.

Flash floods in the southeastern United States claimed 9 lives as river banks overflowed, forcing 5,000 to flee their homes in Alabama and Mississippi.

Stanley Cup
Preliminary Round
Vancouver 2 @ Philadelphia 7 (Philadelphia won best-of-three series 2-1)
Pittsburgh 4 @ Buffalo 3 (OT) (Pittsburgh won best-of-three series 2-1)

George Ferguson scored at 4:17 of the 3rd period to tie the score and 47 seconds into the 1st overtime period to win the game as the Penguins eliminated the Sabres at War Memorial Auditorium. Jim Hamilton scored the first 2 Pittsburgh goals. It was the last game as head coach of the Sabres for Billy Inglis, who had replaced the fired Marcel Pronovost in mid-season.

The Calgary Wranglers beat the Lethbridge Broncos 4-2 to even their playoff series at 2 games each.

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): Looking for Freedom--David Hasselhoff (3rd week at #1)

Nova Scotia singer Rita MacNeil made her U.S. concert debut at the 1,200-seat Berklee Performance Centre in Boston.

Economics and finance
U.S. President George Bush announced that he and Congressional leaders had reached an agreement on the framework for the federal budget for the fiscal year of 1990. Their budget projected a deficit of $99.4 billion, just under the mandated limit of $100 billion. There were $8.5 billion projected in increased revenues and $4.7 billion in defense cuts. Domestic spending and interest would be reduced by $9.1 billion. The question of where the $5.3 billion in new tax revenue would be found had yet to be worked out.

The United States Commerce Department reported that the U.S. merchandise trade deficit had risen sharply to $10.5 billion in February. The U.S. Labor Department reported that the producer price index had risen only 0.4% in March after rising a full percentage point in each of the prior two months.

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Finland (Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland): Jos sulla on toinen--Taikapeili (3rd week at #1)

The U.S. cable network Turner Classic Movies began broadcasting.

In a friendly fire incident during Operation Provide Comfort in northern Iraq, two U.S. Air Force aircraft mistakenly shot down two U.S. Army helicopters, killing 26 people.

Executives representing seven major tobacco companies testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce subcommittee on health and the environment. The executives encountered generally hostile questioning as they stated that they did not believe that cigarettes were addictive and said that they did not know if cigarettes caused or contributed to major illnesses. The executives acknowledged that their companies could control the nicotine content of cigarettes through the blending of different tobbacos, but said that the blending was done to enhance flavour, not to make cigarettes addictive. The executives denied assertions by committee members that the companies were targeting their advertising at young people.

Politics and government
South African President F.W. de Klerk and his leading challenger for the presidency, Nelson Mandela, engaged in a pre-election debate that was broadcast on television and radio.

20 years ago

Died on this date
Ellen Corby, 87
. U.S. actress. Mrs. Corby was a character actress in various movies and television programs, and was nominated for an Academy Award for her supporting performance in I Remember Mama (1948). She was best known for playing Grandma in the television series The Waltons (1972-1981), for which she won three Emmy Awards. Mrs. Corby suffered a stroke in November 1976; she recovered, but appeared only occasionally on the program after that, including several reunion made-for-television movies through 1997.

Bill Wendell, 75. U.S. television announcer. Mr. Wendell, born William Wenzel, was an announcer on various NBC comedy and game shows from the 1950s through 1995, most notably Late Night with David Letterman (1982-1993) and Late Show with David Letterman (1993-1995).

Anthony Newley, 67. U.K. actor, singer, and songwriter. Mr. Newley achieved success as a recording artist from 1959-1962, with his singles Why (1960) and Do You Mind? (1960) reaching #1 on the British charts. He wrote songs and musicals with Leslie Bricusse, most notably the musical Stop the World--I Want to Get Off (1961), which included the song What Kind of Fool am I?. Messrs. Bricusse and Newley were nominated for an Academy Award for their song score for Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971). Mr. Newley acted in various films, plays, and television programs from the late 1940s-late 1990s. He died after a long battle with cancer.

Yugoslavia claimed that at least 64 refugees had been killed that day on a roadway by NATO aircraft; NATO confirmed the next day that the civilians had been "mistakenly" killed in the belief that they were part of a military convoy.

Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji visited St. John's, Newfoundland, where the mayor flew the flag of Tibet from city hall.

The United States criticized Israel's ongoing construction of new settlements on the West Bank.

Pakistan tested an intermediate-range ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, three days after India had done the same. In accord with a February agreement, each country told the other in advance of the tests.

Politics and government
Former Vice President Dan Quayle announced that he would seek the 2000 Republican Party nomination for President of the United States. Speaking in his home town of Huntington, Indiana, Mr. Quayle urged a 30% tax cut for all, and stressed his foreign policy experience.

The six rivals of former foreign minister Abdelaziz Bouteflika for the presidency of Algeria pulled out of the contest, claiming the election was a fraud.

Anwar bin Ibrahim, former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, was convicted on four counts of corruption and was sentenced to six years in prison. Mr. Ibrahim, who had been charged with trying to prevent an investigation into his alleged adultery and sodomy, blamed the verdict on the regime of Prime Minister Daruk Seri bin Mohamad. Mr. Ibrahim's case had attracted international attention, and prompted widespread demonstrations in Malaysia.

Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel investigating the scandals of U.S. President Bill Clinton, advised Congress not to renew the 1978 law that had been the basis of his authority. Testifying before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, Mr. Starr defended his own investigation, but said that the independent counsel act did not give the attorney general enough flexibility in deciding when to appoint an outside counsel to investigate alleged wrongdoing by high-level officials.

A severe hailstorm struck Sydney, Australia, causing A$2.3 billion in insured damages, the most costly natural disaster in Australian history.

10 years ago

Died on this date
Maurice Druon, 90
. French author. Mr. Druon was known for Les Rois maudits (The Accursed Kings), a series of seven novels published from 1955-1977. He also served as France's Minister of Cultural Affirs (1973-1974) and as "Perpetual Secretary" (chairman) of the Académie française from 1985-1999. Mr. Druon died nine days before his 91st birthday.

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