Thursday, 17 December 2020

December 17, 2020

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Ken Thiessen and Christy Smith!

230 years ago

The Aztec calendar stone was discovered in Mexico City during repairs on the Mexico City Cathedral.

190 years ago

Died on this date
Simón Bolívar, 47
. Venezuelan general and politician. Captain General Bolívar, known as "El Libertador" ("The Liberator"), was one of the most important figures in the history of South America, fighting in 100 battles in the struggle for independence from Spanish rule. His offices included President of the Second (1813-1814) and Third (1817-1819) Republics of Venezuela; President of Peru (1824-1827); President of Bolivia (August-December 1825); and President of Gran Colombia (1819-1830), the last of which included present-day Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela, and parts of northern Peru and northwestern Brazil. Bolivia was named in his honour. Captain General Bolívar failed to prevent the collapse of the union of Gran Colombia and resigned as President on May 4, 1830. He was planning to live in exile in Europe, but died of tuberculosis before he could leave.

130 years ago

Born on this date
Joachim of Prussia
. German royal family member. Prince Joachim was the youngest son and sixth child of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Independence leaders in Ireland and Georgia considered him as a potential monarch in the late 1910s, but that never eventuated. Prince Joachim married Princess Marie-Auguste of Anhalt in 1916, but the couple divorced in 1920. He was reportedly suffering from severe depression at his status as a commoner after his father's abdication, and committed suicide by shooting himself in Potsdam on July 18, 1920 at the age of 29.

120 years ago

Born on this date
Katina Paxinou
. Greek-born U.S. actress. Miss Paxinou, born Ekaterini Konstantopoulou, began her stage career in Greece, and was a founding member of the National Theatre of Greece in 1932. She was in London at the outbreak of World War II, and emigrated to the United States in 1941. Miss Paxinou appeared in several movies, and won the Academy Award for her supporting performance in For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943). She returned to Greece in 1950 and resumed her stage career, and died after a long battle with cancer on February 22, 1973 at the age of 72.

110 years ago

Born on this date
Sy Oliver
. U.S. musician, composer, and bandleader. Mr. Oliver was a trumpeter and arranger with the band of Jimmie Lunceford in the mid-1930s, and joined Tommy Dorsey's orchestra in 1939 as an arranger. He led his own band in later years. Mr. Oliver co-wrote the song T'ain't What You Do (It's the Way that You Do It) He died on May 28, 1988 at the age of 77.

100 years ago

Born on this date
Kenneth Iverson
. Canadian computer scientist. Dr. Iverson, a native of Camrose, Alberta, taught at Harvard University (1955-1960) and then worked at International Business Machines (1960-1980), winning the Turing Award in 1979 "for his pioneering effort in programming languages and mathematical notation resulting in what the computing field now knows as APL; for his contributions to the implementation of interactive systems, to educational uses of APL, and to programming language theory and practice." He died on October 19, 2004 at the age of 83, three days after suffering a stroke.

90 years ago

Died on this date
Peter Warlock, 36
. U.K. composer and critic. Mr. Warlock, whose real name was Philip Heseltine, adopted the name Warlock because of his interest in the occult. He was a controversial and combative critic in the 1910s and '20s, championing the works of his friend Frederick Delius. Mr. Warlock wrote about 150 songs and numerous other choral works; his best-known instrumental work was his Capriol Suite (1926). He died from coal gas poisoning; an open verdict was returned, but it was likely that Mr. Warlock committed suicide.

80 years ago

HMCS Wetaskiwin was commissioned for the Royal Canadian Navy at Esquimalt, British Columbia.

The United States Justice Department refused to renew the temporary visitor's permit of Princess Stefanie Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillinghurst of Hungary and ordered her to leave the country by December 21.

Verne Marshall announced the formation of the No Foreign War Committee to counter the propaganda of the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies (CDAAA).

The world's larges industrial X-ray unit, with a potential of one million volts--more than twice the energy of previous machines--and capable of peering into metals and detecting their inner structure 40 times faster than hitherto possible, was demonstrated at the research laboratories of General Electric in Schenectady, New York.

Economics and finance
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt held a press conference where he described his plans to aid the United Kingdom. Outlining a program to be known as Lend-Lease, he said it was analogous to lending a neighbour whose house was burning your "garden hose."

75 years ago

Hit parade
U.S.A. Top 10 (Cash Box)
1 It's Been a Long Long Time--Harry James and his Orchestra (5th week at #1)
--Bing Crosby with Les Paul and his Trio
--Charlie Spivak and his Orchestra
--Stan Kenton and his Orchestra
2 Chickery Chick--Sammy Kaye and his "Swing and Sway" Orchestra with Nancy Norman, Billy Williams and the Kaye Choir
--Evelyn Knight and the Jesters
3 It Might as Well Be Spring--Paul Weston and his Orchestra with Margaret Whiting
--Dick Haymes
4 I Can't Begin to Tell You--Bing Crosby with Carmen Cavallaro
--Andy Russell
--Harry James and his Orchestra
5 I'll Buy that Dream--Helen Forrest and Dick Haymes
--Harry James and his Orchestra
--Hal McIntyre and his Orchestra
6 That's for Me--Dick Haymes
--Jo Stafford
7 Till the End of Time--Perry Como
--Dick Haymes
--Les Brown and his Orchestra
8 Waitin' for the Train to Come In--Peggy Lee
--Harry James and his Orchestra
--Johnny Long and his Orchestra and Dick Robertson
9 Symphony--Freddy Martin and his Orchestra
--Benny Goodman and his Orchestra
10 It's Only a Paper Moon--Benny Goodman and his Orchestra
--Ella Fitzgerald and the Delta Rhythm Boys

Singles entering the chart were In the Middle of May by Freddy Martin and his Orchestra (#30); At the Fat Man's by Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra (#35); Buzz Me by Ella Mae Morse (#37); and I'm Glad I Waited for You, with versions by Peggy Lee and Freddy Martin and his Orchestra (#46). In the Middle of May was the B-side of Symphony.

On the radio
The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, on MBS
Tonight's episode: The Second Generation

The prosecution at the Nazi war crimes trial in Nuremberg asked the tribunal to declare the entire Nazi leadership corps guilty of war crimes and its 500,000 members subject to punishment.

Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King said that Canada had protested against being excluded from peace talks.

The United States Senate passed the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency fund bill and the Wagner-Taft resolution urging free entry of Jews into Palestine and establishment of a Jewish Commonwealth.

Speaking in Washington, famed aviator Charles Lindbergh urged "a world organization backed by military power" and guided by "Christian ideals" to prevent the misuse of power as exemplified by Nazi Germany.

Politics and government
U.S. Army Major General Archer Lerch, newly-appointed military governor of Korea, declared that he would continue the U.S. program of establishing a free Korean government and then withdrawing troops.

The United States Army Air Force revealed details of its six-engine Consolidated-Vultee XB-36, which would weigh over 125 tons and have a 5,000-mile radius and a 3,650-horsepower engine.

U.S. President Harry Truman ordered the Fair Employment Practices Commission to investigate discrimination against displaced war workers seeking peacetime jobs, following a report by FEPC Chairman Malcolm Ross of widespread racial and religious discrimination.

Bo McMillin of Indiana University was selected by the New York World Telegram as U.S. college football coach of the year for 1945. The Hoosiers won the Big Ten conference championship with a record of 9-0-1, and finished fourth in the Associated Press poll for the national championship.

70 years ago

The North American F-86 Sabre jet fighter flew its first mission over Korea, downing a Soviet-made MiG-15 near Manchuria. U.S. and U.K. soldiers in Seoul protested mass executions of alleged Communist collaborators by the South Korean government.

Delegates from the 10,000-square-mile Pathan tribal area disputed by Pakistan and Afghanistan asked at a conference in New Delhi that the United Nations make the region a new nation, Pushtunistan.

Politics and government
Italian Communist Party (PCI) leader Palmiro Togliatti left Rome en route to Moscow for medical treatment after a brain operation. Luigi Longo announced in Rome that he had succeeded Mr. Togliatti as PCI leader.

The U.S. President's Water Resources Policy Commission warned that the nation was imperiled by water waste, and recommended that development of water resources be unified under a single agency.

Metropolitan Life Insurance Company reported that the U.S. death rate had dropped to a record low (9.6/1,000) in 1950, 1% below 1949's record.

American Conference playoff
New York 3 @ Cleveland 8

Lou Groza kicked a 28-yard field goal with 58 seconds remaining in regulation time to break a 3-3 tie, and Bill Willis tackled New York quarterback Chuck Conerly for a safety touch with 8 seconds remaining to clinch the victory for the Browns in a strong wind before 33,054 fans at Cleveland Stadium. The playoff was necessitated when the Browns and Giants tied for first place in the American Conference with records of 9-3.

National Conference playoff
Chicago Bears 14 @ Los Angeles 24

Bob Waterfield passed for 280 yards and 3 touchdowns--all to Tom Fears--to lead the Rams over the Bears before 83,501 fans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The teams had tied for first place in the National Conference with records of 10-2.

60 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): Save the Last Dance for Me--The Drifters (4th week at #1)

#1 single in Italy: Il cielo in una stanza--Mina (10th week at #1)

#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): Ein Schiff wird kommen--Lale Andersen (9th week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (Record Mirror): It’s Now or Never--Elvis Presley (7th week at #1)

U.S.A. Top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Are You Lonesome To-night?--Elvis Presley (4th week at #1)
2 Last Date--Floyd Cramer
3 Wonderland by Night--Bert Kaempfert and his Orchestra
4 He Will Break Your Heart--Jerry Butler
5 A Thousand Stars--Kathy Young with the Innocents
6 North to Alaska--Johnny Horton
7 Sailor (Your Home is the Sea)--Lolita
8 New Orleans--U.S. Bonds
9 Many Tears Ago--Connie Francis
10 You're Sixteen--Johnny Burnette

Singles entering the chart were The Hoochi Coochi Coo by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters (#64); Satisfied (Part 2) by Debbie Reynolds (#70, charting with the version by the Cashmeres); Baby Oh Baby by the Shells (#84); Your Other Love by the Flamingos (#88); There She Goes by Jerry Wallace (#91); Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee (#92); Mister Livingston by Larry Verne (#93); Once in Awhile by the Chimes (#96); Wabash Blues by the Viscounts (#97); A Perfect Love by Frankie Avalon (#98); Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White by Jerry Murad's Harmonicats (#100); I'm Hurtin' by Roy Orbison (also #100); and Talk to Me Baby by Annette with the Afterbeats (also #100).

Vancouver's Top 10 (CFUN)
1 Are You Lonesome To-night?--Elvis Presley (4th week at #1)
2 Lonely Teenager--Dion
3 Rubber Ball--Bobby Vee
4 Doll House--Donnie Brooks
5 Lovey Dovey--Buddy Knox
6 Happy, Happy Birthday Baby--Wanda Jackson
7 Wonderland by Night--Bert Kaempfert and his Orchestra
8 The Mansion You Stole--Johnny Horton
9 The Sock--The Valentines
10 You are the Only One--Ricky Nelson

Singles entering the chart were Calendar Girl by Neil Sedaka (#28); Your Other Love by the Flamingos (#36); Angel Baby by Rosie and the Originals (#39); What Would I Do by Mickey & Sylvia (#42); Oh, Lonesome Me by Bob Luman (#43); As You Desire Me by Tommy Edwards (#44); You'd Be Mine by the Diamonds (#47); Once in Awhile by the Chimes (#49); Gonzo by James Booker (#50).

Vancouver's Top 10 (CKWX)
1 Wonderland by Night--Bert Kaempfert and his Orchestra
--Anita Bryant
2 Are You Lonesome To-night?--Elvis Presley
3 Doll House--Donnie Brooks
4 North to Alaska--Johnny Horton
5 Lovey Dovey--Buddy Knox
6 Exodus--Ferrante and Teicher
7 The Sock--The Valentines
8 Rubber Ball--Bobby Vee
9 Lonely Teenager--Dion
10 Dear John--Pat Boone

Singles entering the chart were Calendar Girl by Neil Sedaka (#26); Wings of a Dove by Paul Clayton (#31); Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes by Ray Smith (#33); He Will Break Your Heart by Jerry Butler (#38); and Angel Baby by Rosie and the Originals (#39).

On television tonight
The Roaring 20's, on ABC
Tonight's episode: Layoff Charley

World events
As Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie returned home from a state visit to Brazil, troops loyal to him recaptured Addis Ababa from rebel members of the Imperial Guard and seized the leaders of the coup, who had proclaimed Crown Prince Asfa-Wossen as the new ruler. The emperor absolved his son of any guilt, saying that the Crown Prince had acted under duress.

While on a three-month tour of Communist countries, Major Ernesto "Che" Guevara, head of the Cuban National Bank, signed in East Berlin a five-year trade pact with East Germany.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that food stamp premiums were legal.

Economics and finance
Québec joined the Canadian National Hospital Insurance Plan, effective January 1, 1961, becoming the last province to agree to the National Health Act.

Charles O. Finley, an insurance executive from Gary, Indiana, received permission from baseball’s American League to buy the Kansas City Athletics.

A United States Air Force C-131 Convair transport plane hit a church steeple in Munich shortly after takeoff and crashed into a streetcar. The death toll of 53 included 20 on the plane and 33 on the ground.

Green Bay (8-4) 35 @ Los Angeles (4-7-1) 21

Denver (4-9-1) 10 @ Oakland (6-8) 48

50 years ago

Died on this date
Oliver Waterman Larkin, 74
. U.S. historian. Professor Larkin was an art historian at Smith College from 1924-1964, teaching briefly at Iowa State University (1925-1926). He won the Pulitzer Prize for History for Art and Life in America (1949), and wrote numerous articles and book reviews for magazines.

Soldiers in Gdynia, Poland fired at workers emerging from trains, killing dozens. Demonstrations had begun three days earlier against sudden major price increases in food, especially dairy products.

Shortly after being acquired by the Grey Cup champion Montreal Alouettes from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, fullback Bob Houmard was traded to the Edmonton Eskimos for the negotiation rights to Long Beach State University running back Leon Burns. Mr. Houmard rushed for 810 yards and 8 touchdowns with Winnipeg in 1970, catching 23 passes for 259 yards; his 48 points led the team in scoring. He was sent to Montreal for suspended running back Dennis Duncan, completing an earlier deal that had sent running back Dick Smith to Winnipeg late in the season.

40 years ago

The U.S. State Department announced that El Salvador would receive $20 million in economic aid, but no money for military aid.

Chrysler Corporation predicted that it would lose more than $200 million in the final quarter of 1980, bringing its deficit for the year to $1.7 billion. The prediction prompted Chrysler to increase its requests for federal loan guarantees to $400 million.

Edmonton 2 @ Washington 5

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Finland (Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland): Justify My Love--Madonna

#1 single in Germany (Media Control): Sadeness Part I--Enigma (6th week at #1)

The Goods and Services Tax became law in Canada when the bill received royal assent in the Senate chamber in a ceremony boycotted by Liberal Party senators and members of parliament. The 7% tax would take effect on January 1, 1991 and would replace the 13.5% manufacturers tax.

Politics and government
U.S. President George Bush nominated former Tennessee Governor Lamar Alexander to succeed Laura Cavazos as Secretary of Education. Ms. Cavazos had resigned on December 12.

Barrie Chivers of the New Democrats won an Alberta provincial by-election in the riding of Edmonton-Strathcona to replace fellow ND Gordon Wright, MLA, who had recently died of cancer.

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand (RIANZ): Gangsta's Paradise--Coolio featuring L.V. (8th week at #1)

#1 single in Austria (Ö3): Gangsta's Paradise--Coolio featuring L.V.

#1 single in Switzerland: Gangsta's Paradise--Coolio featuring L.V. (6th week at #1)

Politics and government
The Communist Party, led by Gennady Zyuganov, won the largest number of seats--157 of 450--in the Duma in the Russian general election. The Communist total was an increase of 115 from the most recent election in 1993. The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) was second with 64, a decrease of 13. The new Our Home--Russia Party, led by Viktor Chernomyrdin, was third with 55 seats in its first election.

Fanmi Lavalas candidate René Préval easily won the Haitian presidential election, taking more than 80% of the vote.

20 years ago

Russian President Vladimir Putin concluded his visit to Cuba, where he was unsuccessful in attempting to persuade Cuban dictator Fidel Castro to repay Cuba’s Cold War debt owed to Russia, even though Mr. Putin had reportedly offered to forgive 70% of the approximately $20 billion debt. Mr. Putin then flew to Canada for a three-day visit.

Politics and government
U.S. President-elect George W. Bush named Condoleezza Rice as his national security adviser, Karen Hughes as counsel to the president, and Alberto Gonzales as White House general counsel.

10 years ago

Died on this date
Walt Dropo, 87
. U.S. baseball player. Mr. Dropo, nicknamed "Moose," was a star in three sports at the University of Connecticut, and was the university's career scoring leader in basketball. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears of the National Football League in 1946 and the Providence Steamrollers of the Basketball Association of America in 1947, but decided to pursue a career in baseball, signing with the Boston Red Sox in 1947. Mr. Dropo was a first baseman with the Red Sox (1949-1952); Detroit Tigers (1952-1954); Chicago White Sox (1955-1958); Cincinnati Redlegs/Reds (1958-1959); and Baltimore Orioles (1959-1961), batting .270 with 152 home runs and 704 runs batted in in 1,288 games. After an unsuccessful "cup of coffee" in 1949, he had an outstanding season in 1950, batting .322 with 34 home runs and tying teammate Vern Stephens for the American Leage lead in runs batted in with 144 in 136 games, earning the AL Rookie of the Year award. Mr. Dropo broke his right wrist in 1951, and was never able to perform to the level of his 1950 numbers, but in July 1952, a month after being traded from the Red Sox to the Tigers, he tied the major league record of 12 consecutive hits. He worked in the fireworks business and insurance after his playing career.

Captain Beefheart, 69. U.S. musician. Captain Beefheart, born Don Glen Vliet and later known as Don Van Vliet, was a singer and songwriter who played several instruments and led the Magic Band, blending various genres including rock, blues, free jazz, and avant-garde music, recording 13 albums from 1964-1982. He achieved little commercial success, but influenced punk, new wave, and experimental musicians. Mr. Van Vliet abandoned music in the mid-1980s and pursued a career as an abstract painter, having his work exhibited in galleries and several books of his paintings published. He died after a long battle with multiple sclerosis, 29 days before his 70th birthday.

Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old fruit vendor frustrated with harassment by local officials, set himself on fire in Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia. He suffered burns over 90% of his body, and died on January 4, 2011. Mr. Bouazizi's act of defiance set off nationwide protests that brought down longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and soon spread to the rest of the Arab world.

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