Saturday, 12 December 2020

December 13, 2020

770 years ago

Died on this date
Frederick II, 55
. Holy Roman Emperor, 1220-1250. Frederick II was the son of Emperor Henry VI, and succeeded his father as King of Sicily at the age of 3 in 1198. He became King of Italy and King of Germany in 1212, but didn't become Holy Roman Emperor until 1220, succeeding Otto IV, whom he had defeated in battle. The Holy Roman Empire expanded, and acquired control of Jerusalem as a result of the Fifth and Sixth Crusades. Frederick II was King of Jerusalem from 12251228. He has been described as the first modern ruler and the first modern European, promoting literature, arts, and sciences, while enacting legal reforms such as formally outlawing trial by ordeal. Emperor Frederick had frequent conflicts with the papacy; he was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church four times, and Pope Gregory IX called him an "antichrist." Frederick II died after a long illness, 13 days before his 56th birthday; he was succeeded as Holy Roman Emperor by Henry VII.

475 years ago

The Roman Catholic Council of Trent began, in reaction to the Reformation.

460 years ago

Born on this date
Maximilien de Béthune, Duke of Sully
. Chief Minister of France, 1589-1611. The Duke of Sully served in the Protestant army as a teenager during the religious wars in the 1570s. As Chief Minister, Superintendent of Finances, and adviser to King Henri IV, he built a strong centralized administrative system in France using coercion and highly effective new administrative techniques, but was unpopular, and his power was weakened after the assassination of King Henri in 1610. The Duke of Sully resigned in 1611, and died on December 22, 1641, nine days after his 81st birthday.

300 years ago

Born on this date
Carlo Gozzi
. Italian playwright. Count Gozzi was a champion of Commedia dell'arte, and also wrote dramatic plays based on fairy tales. He died on April 4, 1806 at the age of 83.

240 years ago

Born on this date
Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner
. German chemist. Professor Döbereiner was known for his work that overshadowed the periodic law for the chemical elements. In 1823 he invented the first lighther, known as Döbereiner's lamp. Prof. Döbereiner died on March 24, 1849 at the age of 68.

160 years ago

Born on this date
Lucien Guitry
. French actor. Mr. Guitry was regardes as the greatest comedian of his time, in a stage career spanning more than 45 years. He died on June 1, 1925 at the age of 64.

150 years ago

Edward LeSaint. U.S. actor and director. Mr. LeSaint appeared--often uncredited--in more than 320 movies, and directed more than 130 from 1911 until his death on September 10, 1940 at the age of 69.

110 years ago

Born on this date
Sol Saks
. U.S. screenwriter and producer. Mr. Saks was a radio actor and writer in his younger days, but was best known for creating the television comedy series Bewitched (1964-1972). He wrote the screenplay for Cary Grant's last movie, Walk, Don't Run (1966). Mr. Saks died on April 16, 2011 at the age of 100.

100 years ago

Born on this date
George Shultz
. U.S. economist and politician. Dr. Shultz, whose doctorate was in industrial economics, is one of two people--Elliot Richardson was the other--to have held four cabinet posts in U.S. presidential administrations. He was Secretary of Labor (1969-1970); Director of the Office of Management and Budget (1970-1972); and Secretary of the Treasury (1972-1974) in the administration of President Richard Nixon, and Secretary of State (1982-1989) in the administration of President Ronald Reagan. Dr. Shultz emphasized professional rather than political credentials in hiring officials for the State Department, and was one of the most popular Secretaries of State with the bureaucracy. He was a director of the health technology company Theranos (2011-2015), which made false claims of revolutionary blood tests, and he defended the company in the ensuing scandal. Dr. Shultz has long been an advocate of globalism and other questionable causes.

90 years ago

Died on this date
Fritz Pregl, 61
. Austro-Hungarian chemist and physician. Dr. Pregl was awarded the 1923 Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his invention of the method of micro-analysis of organic substances."

Army 6 Navy 0 @ Franklin Field, Philadelphia

80 years ago

At the movies
Murder Over New York, starring Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan, opened in theatres.

The Devil Bat, starring Bela Lugosi and Suzanne Kaaren, opened in theatres.

Died on this date
George Regas, 50
. Greek-born U.S. actor. Mr. Regas played various ethnic roles in action and adventure movies. He died after an operation for a throat infection.

The United Kingdom claimed to have captured more than 20,000 Italian soldiers and two more generals in the Egyptian offensive, and stated that "the remnants of the beaten Italian Army" were falling back on Libya.

HMCS Royal Roads, along with the mansion Hatley Castle, was commissioned as a Canadian naval training centre, on the property owned by industrialist James Dunsmuir in Victoria. Earlier that year, the federal government had purchased Hatley Castle to be a wartime residence for the Royal family, but they decided to stay in Britain.

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Duke of Windsor conferred aboard the USS Tuscaloosa about U.S. naval bases in the West Indies. The Duke told newsmen: "We are ready to do what the President wants when he gives the word."

Politics and government
French head of government Marshal Philippe Petain dismissed Vice Prime Minister Pierre Laval and replaced him with Pierre Étienne Flandin, shifting government policy away from its strongly pro-German orientation.

Production of a light wave that did not vary by more than one fifty-billionth of an inch was reported by Jacob Wiens and Dr. Luis Alvarez. The light beam was generated from mercury made from gold in an atom-smashing cyclotron and was said to make the measurement of length more accurate.

A U.S. federal grand jury in Chicago indicted nine people associated with the Resources Corporation International of Chicago on charges of defrauding hundreds of investors of $7 million by the fraudulent sale of stock in a Mexican timber deal.

More than 200 Jewish refugees from Bulgaria on their way to Palestine were drowned when their ship, the 60-ton Salvator, sank in a storm on the Sea of Marmara.

A Northrop A-17 Nomad aircraft collided in-flight with a similar plane while on a search mission for an airman who had gone missing near Bracebridge, Ontario. The other plane was located shortly after the crash; both men on board were killed. The Nomad carrying 24-year-old pilot Peter Campbell and 27-year-old observer Theodore Bates was finally found by Ontario Provincial Police divers in July 2010 at the bottom of Lake Muskoka; the remains of the men were recovered by a Royal Canadian Navy team in October 2012 and honoured in an internment ceremony. Remains of the plane were recovered on October 28, 2014, to be restored at the Trenton Air Museum.

Ken Overlin (117-18-5) retained his New York State Athletic Commission world middleweight title with a 15-round split decision over Steve Belloise (31-4-1) at Madison Square Garden in New York. Mr. Overlin had won a majority decision over Mr. Belloise at the same venue six weeks earlier.

75 years ago

Died on this date
Henri-Fernand Dentz, 63
. French military officer and diplomat. General Dentz was Commander in Chief of the Army of the Levant and High Commissioner to the Levant during World War II under the Vichy regime. He was sentenced to death in 1945 for aiding the Axis powers, but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment by President Charles de Gaulle. General Dentz died three days before his 64th birthday.

Josef Kramer, 39. German war criminal. SS-Hauptsturmführer Kramer was commandant of the Bergen-Belsen comcentration camp, and was known as the "Beast of Belsen." He was hanged by English executioner Albert Pierrepoint at the jail in Hamelin, Germany.

Elisabeth Volkenrath, 26. Polish-born German war criminal. Mrs. Volkenrath was hanged at the jail in Hamelin for crimes committed at Ravensbrück, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps.

Irma Grese, 22. German war criminal. Miss Grese was hanged in the jail at Hamelin for crimes committed while she was an SS guard at Ravensbrück and Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps. She was the youngest woman executed under British law in the 20th century.

36 of those convicted the previous day at the Nazi war crimes trial in Nuremberg were sentenced to death, and 4 were given long prison terms by a U.S. military court. An Australian military court convicted 11 Japanese soldiers for crucifying three Australian airmen and one American. Three Japanese officers were sentenced to death by a U.S. military court at Kwajalein for killing American airmen.

The United Kingdom and France signed an agreement to withdraw their trooops from Lebanon and Syria and to collaborate in the Near East.

Economics and finance
The British House of Commons approved the Anglo-American loan agreement and Bretton Woods Monetary Stabilization Agreement.

The U.S. State Department was reported to have invited 14 countries to a preliminary meeting for the International Trade Conference to discuss reciprocal lowering of tariffs.

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Harlan Stone accepted custody, on behalf of the National Gallery of Art, 200 paintings brought to the United States from German museums.

Justice Ivan Rand of the Supreme Court of Canada got Ford Motor Company of Canada and 17,000 United Auto Workers, on strike since September 12, 1945, to agree to binding arbitration, and end their strike December 20, 1945.

The U.S. Public Health Service reported 49,694 new cases of influenza for the week ending December 8, 1945, compared with 13,220 the previous week.

70 years ago

Died on this date
Jose Fernandez Leite de Castro, 79
. Brazilian military officer. Brigadier General Leite de Castro was the leader of the revolt that overthrew President Washington Luis in 1930, and was Minister of War (1930-1932) during the period of the Provisional Governing Board of 1930 and at the beginning of the Provisional Government of President Getúlio Vargas.

Chinese Communist forces reportedly massed near Yonchon in central Korea for their next offensive, while the U.S. 8th Army concentrated its strength northwest of Seoul near the 38th Parallel. U.S. President Harry Truman called congressional leaders of the Democratic and Republican Parties to the White House to discuss the proclamation of a state of national emergency, and obtained the support for a "very rapid increase in our military strength."

The North Atlantic Council of Deputies approved the French plan for the creation of small West German units within a Western European defense force.

Singaporean security forces put down Muslim rioting after three days of violence which caused 17 deaths and 188 injuries. The unrest was caused by the annulment of a Muslim marriage by the Singapore Supreme Court.

The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission confirmed the discovery of a deposit of uranium-bearing ore near Grants, New Mexico, unofficially described as the nation's richest uranium strike.

Economics and finance
The U.S.A. and U.K. agreed to a suspension of Marshall Plan aid to Britain beginning in 1951, due to the economic recovery of the sterling area and the rapid decrease in the British dollar deficit.

A strike by 8,000 members of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen in Chicago tied up the city's switchyards. Assistant Army Secretary Karl Bendetsen charged that the strike, called to enforce wage demands, "direclty hurts the war effort in Korea."

60 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Norway (VG-lista): It's Now or Never--Elvis Presley (2nd week at #1)

On television tonight
Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond, hosted by John Newland, on ABC
Tonight's episode: Where Are They?, starring Philip Pine, Richard Devon, and Addison Richards

Alfred Hitchcock Presents, on NBC
Tonight's episode: The Man with Two Faces, starring Spring Byington, Steve Dunne, and Bethel Leslie

Thriller, hosted by Boris Karloff, on NBC
Tonight's episode: Knock Three-One-Two, starring Joe Maross, Beverley Garland, Charles Aidman, and Warren Oates

World events
Members of the Ethiopian Imperial Guard began a revolt against Emperor Haile Selassie, seizing control of Addis Ababa while the emperor was on a state visit to Brazil. The rebels proclaimed the emperor’s son, Crown Prince Asia-Wossen, as the new ruler, and said that the revolt would end "3,000 years of misrule."

Pro-western troops under the command of General Phoumi Nosavan attacked the Laotian capital of Vientiane. The pro-Communist government collapsed as Premier Quinim Polsena and his cabinet disappeared, four days after the neutralist government of Premier Souvanna Phouma had collapsed.

A Soviet note accused the United States of openly supporting "the rebel group of General Phoumi Nosavan, supplying it with arms, military equipment, ammunition and money" in the struggle over who would control Vientiane and form the government of Laos. A U.S. note in reply accused the U.S.S.R. and "its partners," particularly North Vietnam, of instigating the "fratricidal war in Laos;" charged that the conflict was the result of "Communist-fostered subversive activities, the guerrilla warfare of the Pathet Lao forces and now the Soviet airlift of weapons."

French President Charles de Gaulle concluded his four-day visit to Algeria, which had resulted in riots that killed 127 people, including more than 100 Muslims. Hundreds had been wounded and hundreds more arrested in the riots, which had been quelled by security police and French army troops. During his visit, Mr. De Gaulle had delivered a series of addresses to explain his plan for a national referendum on Algeria’s future status.

Pete Rademacher (10-3-1) won a 10-round decision over Willie Besmanoff (44-24-7) in a heavyweight bout at Cleveland Arena.

50 years ago

Politics and government
The Czechoslovakian Communist Party announced that it had ousted former Premier Oldrich Cernik, who had been abducted in Moscow following the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Mr. Cernik, 49, thus followed into disgrace his leader and close ally in the 1968 "Prague Spring" liberation movement, former First Secretary of the party Alexander Dubcek.

The British government, facing a growing electric power crisis, declared a state of emergency and banned the use of electric advertising signs and window displays.

Economics and finance
Food prices in Poland rose from 11%-92%.

New York Jets (4-9) 10 @ Miami (9-4) 16
Minnesota (11-2) 35 @ Boston (2-11) 14
Baltimore (10-2-1) 20 @ Buffalo (3-9-1) 14
Philadelphia (2-10-1) 6 @ Washington (5-8) 24
Pittsburgh (5-8) 16 @ Atlanta (4-7-2) 27
San Francisco (9-3-1) 38 @ New Orleans (2-10-1) 27
Green Bay (6-7) 17 @ Chicago (5-8) 35
New York Giants (9-4) 34 @ St. Louis (8-4-1) 17
Cincinnati (7-6) 30 @ Houston (3-9-1) 20
San Diego (4-6-3) 17 @ Denver (5-7-1) 17

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Italy (Hit Parade Italia): You and Me--Spargo (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in Flanders (Ultratop 50): Super Trouper--ABBA

#1 single in Ireland: Super Trouper--ABBA (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (New Musical Express): Super Trouper--ABBA (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (BMRB): Super Trouper--ABBA (3rd week at #1)

Netherlands Top 10 (De Nederlandse Top 40)
1 Super Trouper--ABBA (2nd week at #1)
2 Santa Maria--Roland Kaiser
3 Never Knew Love Like This Before--Stephanie Mills
4 The Tide is High--Blondie
5 My Number One--Luv'
6 Rovers Return--The Korgis
7 Passion--Rod Stewart
8 Woman in Love--Barbra Streisand
9 Lola (Live)--The Kinks
10 De Vogeltjesdans--De Electronica's

Singles entering the chart were Celebration by Kool & The Gang (#15); Runaway Boys by the Stray Cats (#30); Amigo by Black Slate (#32); De Do Do Do De Da Da Da by the Police (#33); Sometimes by Spargo (#34); Een barg die hé un krul in de steert by De Aal (#35); and Dromenland by Mieke (#37).

U.S.A. Top 10 (Billboard)
1 Lady--Kenny Rogers (5th week at #1)
2 More than I Can Say--Leo Sayer
3 Another One Bites the Dust--Queen
4 (Just Like) Starting Over--John Lennon
5 Master Blaster (Jammin')--Stevie Wonder
6 Love on the Rocks--Neil Diamond
7 Hungry Heart--Bruce Springsteen
8 Woman in Love--Barbra Streisand
9 Guilty--Barbra Streisand (Duet with Barry Gibb)
10 Hit Me with Your Best Shot--Pat Benatar

Singles entering the chart were Same Old Lang Syne by Dan Fogelberg (#75); I Ain't Gonna Stand for It by Stevie Wonder (#79); Fool that I Am by Rita Coolidge (#81); Breakfast in America by Supertramp (#82); Set the Night on Fire by Oak (#85); A Little in Love by Cliff Richard (#88); Ah! Leah! by Donnie Iris (#90); What Can You Get a Wookie for Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb?) by The Star Wars Intergalactic Droid Choir & Chorale (#91); and Spend the Night in Love by the Four Seasons (#96).

U.S.A. Top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Master Blaster (Jammin’)--Stevie Wonder (2nd week at #1)
2 Lady--Kenny Rogers
3 More Than I Can Say--Leo Sayer
4 Another One Bites the Dust--Queen
5 The Wanderer--Donna Summer
6 (Just Like) Starting Over--John Lennon
7 Woman in Love--Barbra Streisand
8 Love on the Rocks--Neil Diamond
9 Hit Me with Your Best Shot--Pat Benatar
10 I’m Coming Out--Diana Ross

Singles entering the chart were Same Old Lang Syne by Dan Fogelberg (#59); I Ain't Gonna Stand for It by Stevie Wonder (#79); Breakfast in America by Supertramp (#80); I Can't Stop the Feelin' by Pure Prairie League (#85); Fool that I Am by Rita Coolidge (#87); Ah! Leah! by Donnie Iris (#88); A Little in Love by Cliff Richard (#90); and Back in Black by AC/DC (#95).

U.S.A. Top 10 (Record World)
1 Lady--Kenny Rogers (4th week at #1)
2 Another One Bites the Dust--Queen
3 More than I Can Say--Leo Sayer
4 Love on the Rocks--Neil Diamond
5 The Wanderer--Donna Summer
6 (Just Like) Starting Over--John Lennon
7 Hit Me with Your Best Shot--Pat Benatar
8 Theme from The Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol' Boys)--Waylon
9 Guilty--Barbra Streisand (Duet with Barry Gibb)
10 Hungry Heart--Bruce Springsteen

Singles entering the chart were Same Old Lang Syne by Dan Fogelberg (#61); I Ain't Gonna Stand for It by Stevie Wonder (#73); I Can't Stop the Feelin' by Pure Prairie League (#86); Fashion by David Bowie (#89); Ah! Leah! by Donnie Iris (#92); Look Up by Patrice Rushen (#99); and Look Over and Over Again by Switch (#100).

#1 single in Canada (RPM): Dreamer--Supertramp (2nd week at #1)

Syrian jets attacked training camps for the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan.

It was announced that Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev, then on a state visit to India, had offered India large-scale aid, including help in mining coal; exploring for oil; refining oil; and building power plants. In exchange, India was to collaborate with the Soviets in manufacturing transport aircraft.

Politics and government
Jose Napoleon Duarte was named the first civilian President of El Salvador in 49 years, and the leader of a four-member junta. He vowed that people responsible for recent violence, which included the murders of four U.S. female Roman Catholic workers, would be dismissed from the government and arrested.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation began an investigation of what was called an unauthorized disclosure of cablegrams from U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union Thomas Watson to the U.S. State Department which indicated that Senator Charles Percy (Republican--Illinois), due to become chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January 1981, favoured a Palestinian state led by Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat.

In a report from Tokyo, it was claimed that Japanese divers had found the wreckage of Kublai Khan’s invasion fleet, which had been driven from Japan’s shores and sunk more than 700 years earlier by a violent storm--the original kamikaze ("divine wind"). More than 70 wooden hulls had been found submerged in mud to a depth of 6 feet in waters over 80 feet deep in an inlet off the coast of Nagasaki. Also found were a Mongol sword; stone implements used for pounding rice cakes; and a bronze statue of Buddha.

Edmonton 1 @ Montreal 4
New York Islanders 4 @ Calgary 4

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Ireland (IRMA): The Christmas No 1--Zig and Zag

World events
More than 5,000 people were at the Johannesburg airport to welcome African National Congress President Oliver Tambo back to South Africa after three decades in exile. ANC Deputy President Nelson Mandela, who had assumed de facto leadership of the ANC after Mr. Tambo had suffered a stroke in 1989, hailed his friend as "one of the greatest heroes of Africa."

The Goods and Services Tax bill was passed by the Canadian Senate after a two-month filibuster by Liberal senators. The 7% tax would take the place of the 13.5% manufacturers tax. Prime Minister Brian Mulroney had employed a rarely-used maneuver and appointed extra Progressive Conservatives to the Senate in order to obtain a majority to pass the bill, which would take effect on January 1, 1991 once it received royal assent.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms did not protect the right to promote hatred. All seven judges found that anti-hate laws were an infringement of the guarantee of "freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression" provided for in the Charter. But in three separate 4-3 decisions, the majority ruled that the infringement was justified as a legitimate limit on individual rights for the sake of a wider social goal. One of the cases, R v Keegstra, involved former Alberta school teacher James Keegstra, who had been convicted in 1985 of promoting hatred for telling his social studies students that Jews were conspiring to take over the world.

25 years ago

Died on this date
Ann Nolan Clark, 99
. U.S. teacher and authoress. Mrs. Clark taught literacy to Native American children in New Mexico for 25 years, beginning in the early 1920s. She wrote books of fiction and non-fiction; her children's novel Secret of the Andes won the 1953 Newbery Medal. Mrs. Clark died eight days after her 99th birthday.

The U.S. National Board of Review announced its awards for 1995. The winners included: Film: Sense and Sensibility; Foreign Film: Shanghai Triad; Director: Ang Lee (Sense and Sensibility); Actor: Nicolas Cage (Leaving Las Vegas); Actress: Emma Thompson (Sense and Sensibility and Carrington); Supporting Actor: Kevin Spacey (The Usual Suspects and Se7en); Supporting Actress: Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite). The awards were presented on February 26, 1996.

Hundreds of black and white youths in the Brixton area of London attacked police, ransacked shops, and burned cars after the death of a Negro man in police custody

Politics and government
Lucien Bouchard resigned his seat in the Canadian House of Commons and his Bloc Québecois leadership to run for the leadership of the Parti Québecois.

The new arena in Montreal was named Centre Molson.

20 years ago

Politics and government
In a televised address, U.S. Vice President and Democratic Party presidential candidate Al Gore conceded the election to Republican candidate George W. Bush, the day after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively put a stop to the recount of ballots in Florida, where the outcome would tip the balance of electoral votes. The final official result showed Mr. Gore with a slight lead in the popular vote with 51,003,894 to 50,495,211 for Mr. Bush.

The Israeli Knesset voted 67-35 to give preliminary approval to a bill that would allow former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to run for the office again. Ehud Barak had announced his resignation on December 9, necessitating the election of a new Prime Minister. However, membership in the Knesset would not be contested in the election. Mr. Netanyahu had resigned from the Knesset after losing the Prime Ministerial election in 1999, and the new Prime Minister had to be a present member of the Knesset. Mr. Netanyahu said he would run for Prime Minister only if the Knesset was also up for election.

10 years ago

Died on this date
James Dibble, 87
. Australian journalist. Mr. Dibble was a television newscaster, best known for his work with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, presenting the news in Sydney from 1956-1983. He died of cancer.

Richard Holbrooke, 69. U.S. diplomat. Mr. Holbrooke began working with the U.S. Foreign Service in 1962, and held posts such as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (1977-1981); U.S. Ambassador to Germany (1993-1994); Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs (1994-1996); U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (1999-2001); and U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan from January 2009 until his death from a dissected aorta. He was an adviser to the Democratic Party on foreign affairs.

Enrique Morente Cotelo, 67. Spanish singer and songwriter. Mr. Morente was a flamenco singer whose willingness to experiment with melodies and play with musicians of various styles attracted controversy and criticism. He died after an ulcer operation, 12 days before his 68th birthday.

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