Tuesday, 15 December 2020

December 16, 2020

250 years ago

Born on this date
Ludwig van Beethoven
. German composer. Mr. Beethoven was one of the most famous names in music, the composer--despite increasing deafness--of nine symphonies, numerous sonatas (such as "Moonlight" and "Pathetique"), and other works too numerous to mention here. He died in Vienna on March 26, 1827 at the age of 56.

230 years ago

Born on this date
Leopold I
. King of the Belgians, 1831-1865. Leopold I was a German prince who declined the offer to become King of Greece, but became the first King of the Belgians following Belgian independence in 1830. He established the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to which all subsequent Belgian kings have belonged. King Leopold I died on December 10, 1865, six days short of his 75th birthday; he was succeeded by his son Leopold II.

170 years ago

New Zealandiana
The Charlotte Jane and the Randolph brought the first of the settlers of the Canterbury Association to Lyttelton.

140 years ago

The First Boer War between the Boer South African Republic and the British Empire began.

125 years ago

The Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps was organized in Halifax to interest young men in serving in a planned Canadian Navy.

120 years ago

Born on this date
V.S. Pritchett
. U.K. author. Sir Victor Sawdon Pritchett wrote fiction and non-fiction, but was mainly known for his short stories. He died on March 20, 1997 at the age of 96.

Lucille Lortel. U.S. actress and producer. Miss Lortel, born Lucille Wadler, appeared in numerous Broadway plays in New York in the 1920s and '30s before retiring from acting to become a producer of Broadway and Off-Broadway plays. She produced or co-produced almost 500 plays, five of which were nominated for Tony Awards. Miss Lortel died on April 4, 1999 at the age of 98.

110 years ago

A group of 800 farmers marched on Ottawa, to demand U.S. reciprocity and more preference for British goods.

100 years ago

An earthquake measuring 8.6 on the Richter scale struck Gansu province in China, killing approximately 200,000 people.

90 years ago

Died on this date
Herman Lamm, 40
. German-born U.S. criminal. Mr. Lamm was a member of the Prussian Army, but was forced out out of his regiment when he was caught cheating at cards, and emigrated to the United States in 1914. He became adept at bank robbery, pioneering the "Lamm Technique" of "casing" a bank well in advance of a robbery, which included developing a detailed floor plan and devising escape routes. Mr. Lamm conducted dozens of successful bank robberies over a period of more than 20 years, and his methods inspired other bank robbers such as John Dillinger. A botched escape from a bank robbery in Clinton, Indiana led to Mr. Lamm's death. He and his gang were cornered near Sidell, Illinois by about 200 police officers and armed citizens, and Mr. Lamm and fellow gang member G. W. "Dad" Landy, 71, shot themselves in the head rather than surrender. Getaway driver W.H. Hunter was shot by police and later died.

Bobby Jones, winner of the golf Grand Slam, received the first annual James E. Sullivan Award as the amateur athlete who "by performance, example and influence" did the most to "advance the cause of sportsmanship" in the United States.

80 years ago

Died on this date
Billy Hamilton, 74
. U.S. baseball player. "Sliding Billy" was an outfielder with the Kansas City Cowboys (1888-1889); Philadelphia Phillies (1890-1895); and Boston Beaneaters (1896-1901), batting .344 with 40 home runs and 742 runs batted in in 1,594 games. He led the National League in batting percentage in 1891 and 1893; in runs four times; in stolen bases five times; in bases and balls five times; and in on base percentage five times. Mr. Hamilton has been credited with 912-915 stolen bases--third on the career list--although stolen bases were calculated differently in his time. Mr. Hamilton was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1961.

British Royal Air Force bombers blasted military and civilian targets in Mannheim, Germany.

It was announced in Oslo that the Nobel Peace Prize would not be awarded for 1940.

Politics and government
Franklin D. Roosevelt was officially elected to an unprecedented third term as President of the United States when he received 449 of 531 votes cast by the members of the Electoral College, who voted in their respective state capitals. Republican Party candidate Wendell Willkie received the remaining 82 electoral votes.

Economics and finance
Arthur G. McKee and Company of Cleveland announced the receipt of a Brazilian contract to design and supervise the construction of a $36-million iron and steel plant near Rio de Janeiro.

U.S. Senator Gerald Nye (Republican--North Dakota) opposed immediate financial aid to the United Kingdom.

Scotland Yard claimed the discovery of a Communist plot to spread discontent among British workers by planting agents in underground air-raid shelters, where people gathered to avoid bombs dropped during the Nazi blitz.

U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation Director J. Edgar Hoover said that the 2,500-page FBI report on west coast Congress of Industrial Organizations leader Harry Bridges "confirms the belief that Bridges is a Communist," and urged that Mr. Bridges be deported back to Australia and that the Communist Party be outlawed.

American Federation of Labor President William Green declared that in a great emergency such as now faced, it became "our solemn duty to avoid strikes."

The American Federation of Musicians reached an agreement with CBS, NBC, and MBS, under which they were permitted to broadcast U.S. Army band music on condition that they would not dismiss their own studio musicians.

The U.S. Supreme Court sustained the licensing authority of the Federal Power Commission in the 15-year-old New River case, ruling that a river may be classified as navigable if it could be made so by "reasonable improvements."

World heavyweight champion Joe Louis (44-1) retained his title with a technical knockout over Al McCoy (68-18-5) at Boston Garden when referee Johnny Martin stopped the fight at the beginning of the 6th round because the challenger was suffering from a badly-swollen left eye.

75 years ago

Died on this date
Giovanni Agnelli, 79
. Italian automobile executive. Mr. Agnelli co-founded Fabbrica Italiana di Automobili Torino (FIAT) in 1899.

Fumimaro Konoe, 54. Prime Minister of Japan, 1937-1939, 1940-1941. Prince Konoe (also spelled Konoye) was Prime Minister during the war with China in the late 1930s, but resigned in January 1939 because he didn't want to be a "robot" of the Japanese military. He returned as Prime Minister in July 1940 as a result of Japanese Army dissatisfaction with the policies of Prime Minister Mitsumasa Yonai. Prince Konoe was Prime Minister in the months leading up to the December 7, 1941 attack by Japanese forces on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He attempted to avoid war, but resigned on October 16, 1941 when it became clear that his efforts were unsuccessful. Prince Konoe committed suicide with a potassium cyanide capsule after coming under suspicion as a war criminal.

The New York Herald Tribune reported that The Black Rose by Thomas B. Costain was the best-selling fiction book, while Up Front by Bill Mauldin was the best-selling non-fiction book.

U.S. Secretary of State James Byrnes, U.K. Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, and U.S.S.R. Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov held their first conference in Moscow.

World events
Moscow radio reports announced that a revolutionary "National Government of Iranian Azerbaijan" had been established in Tabriz.

Reports indicated that more than 100 people had been arrested in the Paraguayan capital of Asuncion to stem a revolt against the regime of President Higinio Moríñigo.

The United States Navy announced that Sinclair Oil Company had granted an 18% wage increase with a 40-hour work week to the Congress of Industrial Workers-affiliated United Oil Workers. The Navy also announced that it would return the company's 11 properties--seized October 5 under order from U.S. President Harry Truman--on December 17.

The American Chemical Society reported the discovery of a new sulfa drug--metachloride--which may surpass atabrine and quinine in treating malaria.

Washington 14 @ Cleveland 15

An unusual safety touch in the 1st quarter proved to be the difference as the Rams edged the Redskins before 32,178 fans in -8 F. weather at Cleveland Stadium. Washington quarterback Sammy Baugh attempted a pass from his end zone, but the strong wind blew the ball into the goal post, and the ball bounced back in to the end zone, giving Cleveland a safety touch according to rules in place at the time, and a 2-0 lead. Mr. Baugh left the game with injured ribs shortly after, and was replaced by Frank Filchock, who connected with Steve Bagarus for a 38-yard touchdown, converted by Joe Aguirre. The Rams came back with a 37-yard touchdown pass from Bob Waterfield to Jim Benton; Mr. Waterfield's convert attempt hit the crossbar and dropped over to give Cleveland a 9-7 halftime lead. Mr. Waterfield completed a 53-yard touchdown pass to Jim Gillette in the 3rd quarter, but missed the convert, leaving the Rams with a 15-7 lead. The Redskins came back with an 8-yard touchdown pass from Mr. Filchock to Bob Seymour, converted by Mr. Aguirre, bringing them to within a point before the end of the 3rd quarter. The 4th quarter was scoreless. It was the first National Football League championship for the Rams, and their only title as the Cleveland Rams; the team moved to Los Angeles on January 12, 1946.

70 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): Goodnight Irene--Gordon Jenkins and his Orchestra and the Weavers

#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): The Thing--Phil Harris (Best Seller--3rd week at #1; Disc Jockey--3rd week at #1); The Tennessee Waltz--Patti Page (Jukebox--1st week at #1)

U.S.A. Top 10 (Cash Box)
1 The Thing--Phil Harris
2 Harbor Lights--Sammy Kaye and his "Swing and Sway" Orchestra with Tony Alamo and the Kaydets
--Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians
--Ray Anthony and his Orchestra
--Bing Crosby
3 The Tennessee Waltz--Patti Page
--Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians
--Jo Stafford
4 Nevertheless (I’m in Love with You)--Paul Weston and his Orchestra
--The Mills Brothers
--Ralph Flanagan and his Orchestra
--Ray Anthony and his Orchestra
5 All My Love (Bolero)--Patti Page
--Percy Faith and his Orchestra
--Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians
--Bing Crosby
6 Thinking of You--Don Cherry
--Eddie Fisher
7 A Bushel and a Peck--Perry Como and Betty Hutton
--Margaret Whiting and Jimmy Wakely
8 Oh, Babe!--Kay Starr
--Louis Prima and Keely Smith
9 Patricia--Perry Como
10 I’ll Never Be Free--Kay Starr and Tennessee Ernie

Singles entering the chart were The Best Thing for You by Perry Como (#27); A Crosby Christmas (Parts 1 and 2) by Gary, Phillip, Dennis, Lindsay and Bing Crosby (#35); Can’t Seem to Laugh Anymore, with versions by the Orioles; and Bill Lawrence (#36); Sugar Sweet, with versions by Sammy Kaye and his "Swing and Sway" Orchestra; and Les Paul (#37); and My Heart Cries For You (#38), with versions by Guy Mitchell; Dinah Shore; Vic Damone; and Jimmy Wakely.

Married on this date
U.S. actress Shirley Temple married businessman Charles Black at his parents' home in Del Monte, California, and announced her retirement from film acting.

Chinese Communist spokesman Wu Hsiu-chuan rejected the United Nations General Assembly's request for a truce in the Korean War, demanding that "all foreign troops" to be first withdrawn from Korea and the U.S.A. lifted its protective blockade of Taiwan. Under strong Chinese Communist pressure, remaining U.S. forces in northeastern Korea fell back from the ruined inland city of Hamhung to the port of Hungnam.

The U.S.S.R. sent notes to the U.K. and France claiming that their sponsorship of German rearmament would violate non-aggression treaties with the Soviet Union.

Politics and government
In response to China's Second Phase Offensive, U.S. President Harry S. Truman declared a limited state of emergency in order to fight "Communist imperialism." He created an Office of Defense Mobilization, headed by General Electric President Charles E. Wilson, to coordinate "production, Manpower, stabilization and transport activities" of the government.

Economics and finance
The U.S. Economic Stabilization Agency rolled back new car prices to December 1 levels in the first price control order since the Office of Price Administration had ceased operations in 1946.

New York 1 @ Montreal 1

Jean Béliveau and Bernie Geoffrion both played their first National Hockey League game, with Mr. Geoffrion scoring his first career goal.

60 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in the U.K. (New Musical Express): It's Now or Never--Elvis Presley (7th week at #1)

On television tonight
The Twilight Zone, on CBS
Tonight’s episode: A Most Unusual Camera, starring Fred Clark and Jean Carson

After four days of fighting in Laos, the rightist forces of General Phoumi Nosavan occupied Vientiane and Captain Kong Le’s forces retreated to the north.

dis Addressing the meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Ministerial Council in Paris, U.S. Secretary of State Christian Herter said that the United States would be willing to commit to NATO five atomic submarines equipped with 80 Polaris missiles by the end of 1963. The offer was conditional on agreement by the NATO allies on a multilateral system of control of the weapons and on the purchase of 100 additional Polaris missiles by the European NATO states.

A United Air Lines DC-8 jetliner bound from Chicago to New York’s Idlewild Airport and a Trans World Airlines Super-Constellation bound from Toledo and Columbus to New York’s LaGuardia Airport collided over Staten Island in New York City. The final death toll was the greatest in aviation history to that time--all 84 on the jetliner, all 44 on the Super-Constellation, and 6 people on the ground, for a total of 134. Visibility was poor because of snow and rain as both planes approached New York. They collided over Miller Army Air Field on Staten Island at about 10:34 A.M., at an apparent altitude of 5,400 feet. The wreckage of the TWA plane fell at the edge of Miller Field, all 44 passengers and crew dead but with no casualties on the ground. The United jetliner continued for 8 miles in the air before crashing into a thickly-populated section of Brooklyn, hitting an empty church, setting 10 homes ablaze, and killing or fatally injuring 6 people on the ground. Only one of the 84 people on the jet was alive--an 11-year-old boy who died the next day.

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in the U.K. (New Musical Express): I Hear You Knocking--Dave Edmunds (3rd week at #1)

On television tonight
Rod Serling’s Night Gallery, on NBC
Tonight’s episode: The Dead Man, starring Carl Betz, Jeff Corey, and Louise Sorel; The Housekeeper, starring Larry Hagman, Jeanette Nolan, and Suzy Parker

This was the first episode of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery as a regular series; it had begun as a made-for-television movie broadcast on November 8, 1969. For the 1970-71 season, it was part of a rotating series of programs on NBC titled Four in One. The other three programs were The Psychiatrist; McCloud; and San Francisco International Airport.

At the movies
Love Story, directed by Arthur Hiller, and starring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal, received its premiere screening at Loew's State I Theatre in New York City.

U.S. Senator Sam Ervin (Democrat--North Carolina), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights, charged that Army intelligence agents had spied on top politicians and 800 civilians in Illinois.

40 years ago

Died on this date
Harland Sanders, 90
. U.S. businessman. "Colonel" Sanders, a native of Henryville, Indiana, moved to Kentucky in the early 1920s. He founded Kentucky Fried Chicken in 1952 and became the company's logo, wearing a white suit to go with his white hair and goatee, and string tie. Mr. Sanders was honoured as a Kentucky Colonel by Governor Ruby Laffoon in 1935. He sold most of the company in 1964, but retained the Canadian operations. Colonel Sanders lived in Mississauga, Ontario from 1965-1980, returning to Kentucky just before his death.

Politics and government
U.S. President-elect Ronald Reagan named two more cabinet appointees: U.S. Army General Alexander Haig (retired) as Secretary of State; and Raymond Donovan as Secretary of Labor.

At the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting in Denpasar, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia raised its crude oil prices by $2 per barrel, bringing the Saudis’ price to the $32 per barrel already charged by the other OPEC nations. Then the oil ministers from the 13 OPEC countries agreed to permit the price to rise as high as $40 per barrel, allowing many members of the group to raise their prices as much as $4 per barrel. It was calculated that this might raise the price of home heating oil in the U.S.A. by 7c per gallon.

Edmonton 3 @ Detroit 4

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand (RIANZ): Ice Ice Baby--Vanilla Ice (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in Switzerland: Sadeness Part I--Enigma

Austria's Top 10 (Ö3)
1 Sadeness Part I--Enigma (2nd week at #1)
2 I've Been Thinking About You--Londonbeat
3 Unchained Melody--The Righteous Brothers
4 Ice Ice Baby--Vanilla Ice
5 Crazy for You--David Hasselhoff
6 Keep on Running--Milli Vanilli
7 The Joker--Steve Miller Band
8 I'm Your Baby Tonight--Whitney Houston
9 The Anniversary Waltz (Part One)--Status Quo
10 The Invisible Man--Dance with a Stranger

Singles entering the chart were We are the Power by Will & the Power (#24); and Mary Had a Little Boy by Snap! (#29).

The U.S. National Board of Review announced its awards for 1990. The winners included: Film: Dances with Wolves; Foreign Film: Cyrano de Bergerac; Director: Kevin Costner (Dances with Wolves); Actor: Robert De Niro and Robin Williams (Awakenings); Supporting Actor: Joe Pesci (GoodFellas); Supporting Actress: Winona Ryder (Mermaids). The awards were presented on March 4, 1991.

Politics and government
The first conference of the African National Congress to take place in South Africa in 31 years concluded with a resolution warning that the ANC would consider suspending its talks with the South African government unless the government met certain key demands, including the return of all exiles and the repeal of repressive security laws. Delegates also agreed on their commitment to peaceful negotiations. The conference had been characterized by widespread and open criticism of the ANC’s senior leadership.

In Haiti’s first democratic election, nutty Roman Catholic priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected President with 67.5% of the vote. Rev. Aristide, who had been the target of three assassination attempts in recent years, had denounced the regime of former President Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier from his pulpit and during the campaign. Roger Lafontant, former head of the Tontons Macoute, Mr. Duvalier’s private militia, and who had been barred by election law technicalities from running for the presidency, pledged to remove Rev. Aristide from assuming the presidency.

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (ARIA): Gangsta's Paradise--Coolio featuring L.V. (9th week at #1)

#1 single in Flanders (VRT): Gangsta's Paradise--Coolio featuring L.V. (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Wallonia (Ultratop 40): Gangsta's Paradise--Coolio featuring L.V. (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in France (SNEP): Gangsta's Paradise--Coolio featuring L.V. (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in the Netherlands (De Nederlandse Top 40): Ademnood--Linda, Roos & Jessica (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (BMRB): Earth Song--Michael Jackson (2nd week at #1)

U.S.A. Top 10 (Billboard)
1 One Sweet Day--Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men (3rd week at #1)
2 Exhale (Shoop Shoop)--Whitney Houston
3 Hey Lover--LL Cool J
4 Fantasy--Mariah Carey
5 Gangsta's Paradise--Coolio featuring L.V.
6 You'll See--Madonna
7 Diggin' on You--TLC
8 You Remind Me of Something--R. Kelly
9 Name--Goo Goo Dolls
10 Runaway--Janet Jackson

Singles entering the chart were No One Else by Total (#45); Get Together by Big Mountain (#65); Nobody Knows by the Tony Rich Project (#79); Just a Girl by No Doubt (#84); and Beware of My Crew by L.B.C. Crew featuring Tray D & South Sentrell (#92). Beware of My Crew was from the movie A Thin Line Between Love and Hate (1996).

U.S.A. Top 10 (Cash Box)
1 One Sweet Day--Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men (2nd week at #1)
2 Exhale (Shoop Shoop)--Whitney Houston
3 Diggin' on You--TLC
4 Hey Lover--LL Cool J
5 You'll See--Madonna
6 Name--Goo Goo Dolls
7 Fantasy--Mariah Carey
8 You Remind Me of Something--R. Kelly
9 Gangsta's Paradise--Coolio featuring L.V.
10 Beautiful Life--Ace of Base

Singles entering the chart were Too Hot by Coolio (#39); Tonite's Tha Night by Kris Kross (#41); East 1999 by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (#48); Natural One by Folk Implosion (#52); Friends of P. by the Rentals (#74); Nobody Knows by the Tony Rich Project (#86); Hurricane by the Click (#89); and Don't Cry by Seal (#90).

Economics and finance
The European Union officially adopted the name "Euro" for its currency, which was scheduled to be introduced on January 1, 1999.

20 years ago

Politics and government
U.S. President-elect George W. Bush named U.S. Army General Colin Powell (retired) as his choice for Secretary of State. Upon confirmation by the Senate, Mr. Powell would become the first Negro to hold the position.

10 years ago

On television tonight
Larry King Live, on CNN

This was the last broadcast of the program after 25 years. Ryan Seacrest and Bill Maher acted as co-masters of ceremonies, and surprise appearances included those by U.S. President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton, and network news anchors Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric and Brian Williams.

Died on this date
Melvin E. Biddle, 87
. U.S. soldier. Corporal Biddle was a private first class on December 23, 1944, when he reconnoitered the German lines alone, killed three enemy snipers, and silenced four hostile machine gun emplacements near Soy, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge, earning the Medal of Honor. He spent 26 years with the Department of Veterans Affairs in Indiana, and died of congestive heart failure, 23 days after his 87th birthday.

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