Saturday, 19 December 2020

December 20, 2020

1,110 years ago

Died on this date
Alfonso III, 62 (?)
. King of León, Galicia and Asturias, 866-910. Alfonso III acceded to the throne upon the death of his father Ordoño I. He was relatively successful in consolidating his kingdom, and achieved military victories over Muslim forces, as well as success in putting down Basque and Galician rebellions. Alfonso III died of natural causes, and his kingdom was divided among his sons. His eldest son García, became king of León; the second son, Ordoño, reigned in Galicia; and Fruela received Asturias, with Oviedo as his capital.

725 years ago

Died on this date
Margaret of Provence, 74
. Queen of France, 1234-1270. Margaret was the eldest of four daughters of Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Provence. She was 13 when she married King Louis IX of France on May 27, 1234, and she was crowned the next day. Queen Margaret accompanied King Louis on the Seventh Crusade, and was responsible for negotiations for his ransom after he was kidnapped. She was often called on to mediate disputes, but her further apparent ambitions were thwarted. Margaret became queen dowager after Louis IX's death in 1270, and spent her last years doing religious work.

230 years ago

The first cotton mill in the United States began operating in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

200 years ago

Economics and finance
The Bank of Montreal was incorporated.

160 years ago

South Carolina became the first of eleven slave states to secede from the Union, leading to the eventual creation of the Confederate States of America and later the American Civil War.

130 years ago

Born on this date
Yvonne Arnaud
. French-born U.K. musician and actress. Miss Arnaud began her career as a concert pianist before moving to England in 1911 and appearing in musical theatre. She later appeared in dramatic plays, and more than a dozen movies, and resumed playing the piano before her death on September 20, 1958 at the age of 67.

Jaroslav Heyrovský. Czech chemist. Dr. Heyrovský was awarded the 1959 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for "for his discovery and development of the polarographic methods of analysis." He died on March 27, 1967 at the age of 76.

120 years ago

Born on this date
Lissy Arna
. German actress. Miss Arna, born Elisabeth Arndt, appeared in 61 films from 1915-1939. She died on January 22, 1964 at the age of 63.

80 years ago

Germany, Italy, and Japan established a military and economic commission to implement their alliance, as required by the Tripartite Pact, signed on September 27, 1940.

The Bulgarian Parliament passed a new law limiting the rights of Bulgaria's 50,000 Jews, banning Freemasons and other secret societies, and making anti-nationalist propaganda illegal.

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced the creation of the Office of Production Management for Defense, with William S. Knudsen as director and Sidney Hillman as associate director.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced that American families were shrinking, with the average family now having 3.8 members, down from 4.9 in 1890 and 4.1 in 1930.

Economics and finance
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced that exports and imports in the first nine months of 1940 totalled $4,901,400,000, about 29% above 1939, with exports exceeding imports by about $1 billion.

Connie Mack, who had recently completed his 40th season as manager of the Philadelphia Athletics, acquired financial control of the American League baseball club by buying stock held by Mrs. Ethel Shibe.

75 years ago

Moscow newspapers published articles demanding that Turkey relinquish a 180-mile strip of Black Sea coast below Batum, held by Russia from 1878-1921. Turkish leaders declared that they would fight if the U.S.S.R. tied to take the Dardanelles or the Kars Plateau by force.

U.S. President Harry Truman signed the United Nations participation bill as the Senate confirmed his nominations to the U.S. delegation in the UN Assembly.

Politics and government
The Austrian National Assembly elected Socialist Karl Renner as President of the Second Austrian Republic.

U.S. President Truman said that he knew nothing to support an ABC radio broadcast saying that Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers in Japan General Douglas MacArthur had threatened to resign if the U.S.S.R. was allowed any further participation in the occupation of Japan.

U.S. President Truman signed the Government Reorganization Act passed seven days earlier by Congress, commenting that it would not save 25% as the bill suggested.

A U.S. grand jury in Kings County, New York charged New York Mayor-elect Bill O'Dwyer with failure to indict and convict Albert Anastasia for the murder of a longshoreman when he had possessed evidence of Mr. Anastasia's guilt in 1940.

U.S. Senator Theodore G. Bilbo (Democrat--Mississippi) criticized former U.S. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt for her pro-Negro statements.

The Association of American Railroads was reported to have halted rail traffic to Buffalo after a blizzard deposited 73 inches of snow there; New York City received 8 1/2 inches.

Economics and finance
The Netherlands, Belgium, and Costa Rica approved the Bretton Woods agreement.

The U.S. Office of Price Administration ordered an end to tire rationing effective January 1, 1946.

Ford Motor Company and United Auto Workers came to an agreement to end the strike in Windsor, Ontario, in which 17,000 workers had been off the job since September 12, 1945; on December 13, 1945 both parties had agreed to binding arbitration under Justice Ivan Rand of the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Argentine government of President Juan Peron, in what was called in press dispatches a pre-election move, ordered a 10%-25% general wage increase and year-end bonus for lower-bracket workers.

70 years ago

Died on this date
Enrico Mizzi, 65
. Prime Minister of Malta, 1950. Mr. Mizzi was a member of the Comitato Patriottico when he was first elected to the Council of Government, representing Gozo, in 1915. He was a strong advocate of the Italian community in Malta, and became co-leader of the Partit Nazzjonalista (Nationalist Party), a union of nationalist parties formed in 1926. Mr. Mizzi held various ministerial positions from 1924-1933, but was deported to Uganda with 47 other suspected Italian sympathizers in 1940. They were allowed to return to Malta in 1945, and the Partit Nazzjonalista was revived. The Partit Nazzjonalista won a narrow plurality in the 1950 Maltese general election and formed a coalition with the Malta Workers Party. Mr. Mizzi was appointed Prime Minister in a hung parliament, but he died in office, and was succeeded as Prime Minister by Minister for Public Works and Reconstruction and Minister of Education George Borg Olivier.

The U.S. National Board of Review of Motion Pictures announced its awards for 1950. The winners were: Film: Sunset Boulevard; Foreign Film: The Titan: Story of Michelangelo; Director: John Huston (The Asphalt Jungle); Actor: Alec Guinness (Kind Hearts and Coronets); Actress: Gloria Swanson (Sunset Boulevard).

The Organization of American States Council in Washington accepted a U.S. proposal that 21 OAS foreign ministers meet to plan a stronger hemispheric defense program.

Jane's Fighting Ships reported that the U.S.S.R. had 350 submarines in active service, 120 more under construction, and 1,000 in the planning stage in a bid to win domination of the seas.

In a nationwide radio broadcast, former U.S. President Herbert Hoover urged the United States to limit its defenses to the Western Hemisphere and Pacific, claiming that to fight the Communists on the continents of Asia and Europe would be "sheer folly."

Commander-in-Chief of the United Nations Command General Douglas MacArthur's Tokyo headquarters abandoned its voluntary censorship system, making all war correspondence dealing with military affairs in Korea and Japan subject to military clearance.

A U.S. federal grand jury in Washington indicted U.S. Representative Walter Brehm (Republican--Ohio) on charges of taking $1,380 in campaign contributions from two women who formerly worked in his congressional office. Rep. Brehm declared his innocence.

The Columbia Broadcasting System asked 2,400 regular employees to sign loyalty statements.

Leaders of U.S. unions told President Harry Truman that they were willing to accept wage stabilization for the duration of the national emergency, provided wages were adjusted to the cost of living and other labour rights were guaranteed.

The Detroit Lions named backfield coach Buddy Parker as their head coach, succeeding Bo McMillin, who had resigned the previous day. Mr. Parker had recently completed his first season on the Lions' coaching staff, helping them to improve their record from 4-8 in 1949 to 6-6 in 1950.

60 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Norway (VG-lista): It's Now or Never--Elvis Presley (3rd week at #1)

On television tonight
Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond, hosted by John Newland, on ABC
Tonight's episode: Legacy of Love, starring Norma Crane, Charles Aidman, and Barbara Eiler

Alfred Hitchcock Presents, on NBC
Tonight's episode: The Baby-Blue Expression, starring Sarah Marshall, Peter Walker, and Richard Gaines

Thriller, hosted by Boris Karloff, on NBC
Tonight's episode: Man in the Middle, starring Mort Sahl, Sue Randall, and Werner Klemperer

The United States launched Discoverer 19 into polar orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The satellite was designed to measure radiation, and unlike other Discoverer satellites, was not supposed to return a capsule to Earth.

Israeli Ambassador to the United States Avraham Harman called on U.S. Secretary of State Christian Herter to deny reports that Israel, with French aid, was developing the capacity to produce atomic bombs. Amb. Harman confirmed that a nuclear reactor was being built in the Negev Desert with French aid, but that it was "exclusively for peaceful purposes."

The United Nations General Assembly voted 42-28 with 27 abstentions to defeat a resolution offered by India, Yugoslavia, and six Asian and African nations calling for the liberation of former Congolese Premier Patrice Lumumba and the neutralization of Colonel Joseph Mobutu’s armed forces. The Assembly voted 43-22 with 32 abstentions--one short of the required 2/3 majority--in favour of a U.S.-U.K. resolution recommending the convocation of the Congolese parliament through a conference of political leaders called by Congolese President Joseph Kasavubu and instructing UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold to continue his policies in the Congo. The Assembly agreed without opposition to maintain the Congo item on its agenda, and adjourned until March 7, 1961.

Economics and finance
Cuban dictator Fidel Castro announced in Havana that Communist countries would pay 4c per pound for Cuban sugar, well above world market price.

50 years ago

World events
Riots in Gdansk, Gdynia, Sopot, and other Polish cities that had begun a week earlier over food price hikes resulted in Communist Party leader Wladyslaw Gomulka being toppled from power after a 14-year reign. He was succeeded as party first secretary by Edward Gierek, party leader in the province of Silesia. 300 were reported to have been killed in the riots.

28 were killed and 27 injured in a hotel fire in Tucson, Arizona.

Buffalo (3-10-1) 7 @ Miami (10-4) 45
Los Angeles (9-4-1) 31 @ New York Giants (9-5) 3
Pittsburgh (5-9) 20 @ Philadelphia (3-10-1) 30
St. Louis (8-5-1) 27 @ Washington (6-8) 28
Boston (2-12) 7 @ Cincinnati (8-6) 45
Denver (5-8-1) 13 @ Cleveland (7-7) 27
Minnesota (12-2) 37 @ Atlanta (4-8-2) 7
Chicago (6-8) 24 @ New Orleans (2-11-1) 3
Green Bay (6-8) 0 @ Detroit (10-4) 20
Houston (3-10-1) 10 @ Dallas (10-4) 52
San Francisco (10-3-1) 38 @ Oakland (8-4-2) 7
Kansas City (7-5-2) 13 @ San Diego (5-6-3) 31

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Italy (Hit Parade Italia): You and Me--Spargo (4th week at #1)

#1 single in Flanders (Ultratop 50): Super Trouper--ABBA (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Ireland: There's No-one Quite Like Grandma--St Winifred's School Choir

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

#1 single in the U.K. (BMRB): Stop the Cavalry--Jona Lewie

Netherlands Top 10 (De Nederlandse Top 40)
1 Santa Maria--Roland Kaiser
2 Super Trouper--ABBA
3 Lola (Live)--The Kinks
4 Passion--Rod Stewart
5 My Number One--Luv'
6 Rovers Return--The Korgis
7 The Tide is High--Blondie
8 Never Knew Love Like This Before--Stephanie Mills
9 Baggy Trousers--Madness
10 Celebration--Kool & The Gang

Singles entering the chart were Stop the Cavalry by Jona Lewie (#30); Do You Feel My Love by Eddy Grant (#32); Flash by Queen (#36); Shine Up by Doris D and the Pins (#37); Lies by Status Quo (#38); and If You Feel the Funk by La Toya Jackson (#39).

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

Singles entering the chart were Seven Bridges Road by the Eagles (#64); Who's Making Love by the Blues Brothers (#76); Back in Black by AC/DC (#82); Full of Fire by Shalamar (#89); Skateaway by Dire Straits (#90); and Once a Night by Jackie English (#97).

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

Singles entering the chart were Who's Making Love by the Blues Brothers (#77); Got to Rock On by Kansas (#86); and What Can You Get a Wookie for Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb?) by The Star Wars Intergalactic Droid Choir & Chorale (#90).

U.S.A. Top 10 (Record World)
1 Lady--Kenny Rogers (5th 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 (Just Like) Starting Over--John Lennon
6 Guilty--Barbra Streisand (Duet with Barry Gibb)
7 Theme from The Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol' Boys)--Waylon
8 Hit Me with Your Best Shot--Pat Benatar
9 Every Woman in the World--Air Supply
10 Hungry Heart--Bruce Springsteen

Singles entering the chart were A Little in Love by Cliff Richard (#77); Fool that I Am by Rita Coolidge (#85); Who's Making Love by the Blues Brothers (#86); United Together by Aretha Franklin (#87); What Can You Get a Wookie for Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb?) by The Star Wars Intergalactic Droid Choir & Chorale (#89); and I'll Never Find Another (Find Another Like You) by the Manhattans (#99).

Canada's Top 10 (RPM)
1 (Just Like) Starting Over--John Lennon
2 Don't Stand So Close to Me--The Police
3 Woman in Love--Barbra Streisand
4 Lady--Kenny Rogers
5 I'm Alright--Kenny Loggins
6 Turning Japanese--The Vapors
7 Another One Bites the Dust--Queen
8 Dreamer--Supertramp
9 Dreaming--Cliff Richard
10 Hit Me with Your Best Shot--Pat Benatar

Singles entering the chart were De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da by the Police (#28); The Tide is High by Blondie (#31); Deep Inside My Heart by Randy Meisner (#33); Passion by Rod Stewart (#36); Guilty by Barbra Streisand (Duet with Barry Gibb) (#39); Teacher Teacher by Rockpile (#41); How Long by Lipps, Inc. (#42); Need Your Loving Tonight by Queen (#44); Tell it Like it Is by Heart (#46); and I Made it Through the Rain by Barry Manilow (#48).

On television today
The New York Jets defeated the Miami Dolphins 24-17 at the Orange Bowl in Miami in a National Football League game that NBC televised without announcers. Executive producer Don Ohlmeyer tried the "experiment" in part to boost ratings on a lacklustre game. The consensus of viewers and critics was that announcers are necessary on a broadcast despite how annoying they may sound.

New York Jets (4-12) 24 @ Miami (8-8) 17
Chicago (7-9) 14 @ Tampa Bay (5-10-1) 13

Montreal 3 @ Edmonton 4

Dave Hunter scored the winning goal for the Oilers with 2 seconds remaining in the game in the national telecast of Hockey Night in Canada.

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Ireland (IRMA): The Christmas No 1--Zig and Zag (2nd week at #1)

At the movies
The Godfather Part III, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and starring Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, and Andy Garcia, received its premiere screening in Beverly Hills, California.

Politics and government
The Bélanger-Campeau Committee, a special joint commission set up by Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa and Parti Quebecois leader Jacques Parizeau to study Quebec's relationship with Canada, finished hearings after receiving some 200 briefs and 600 submissions.

Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze astonished the 2,250-member Congress of People’s Deputies by announcing his resignation. He said he was tired of defending his policies against "conservative" Communist critics. Although Mr. Shevardnadze predicted that democracy and freedom were the way of the future, he said that dictatorship was on the horizon, but he added, "No one knows what this dictatorship will be like." President Mikhail Gorbachev, apparently taken by surprise, deplored the resignation as "unforgivable" at a time of crisis in the Soviet Union, and he denied that the country was on the brink of any form of dictatorship.

The new German Bundestag met in the old Reichstag in Berlin.

The United States joined in a unanimous vote for a United Nations Security Council resolution that called the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip "occupied territories" and deplored Israel’s treatment of Arab civilians there. Under the resolution, the UN Secretary-General would monitor the safety of Palestinians in the territories. The resolution also opposed Israel’s plan to resume the deportation of Arabs from the territories. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and other Israeli leaders denounced the resolution.

25 years ago

Died on this date
Madge Sinclair, 57
. Jamaican-born U.S. actress. Mrs. Sinclair moved to New York in 1966 to pursue an acting career. She appeared in several movies, including a voice role in The Lion King (1994), but was best known for her work in television. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for her lead performance in the miniseries Roots (1977), was nominated for Emmys three times for her supporting performances in Trapper John, M.D. (1980-1986), and finally won for her supporting performances in Gabriel's Fire (1990-1991). Mrs. Sinclair died after a 13-year battle with leukemia.

Burton Cummings recorded his album Up Close and Alone before a live audience at CBC's Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto; the album was released on March 27, 1996.

NATO began peacekeeping operations in Bosnia.

Aid workers with Medecins Sans Frontiers reported that 15,000 people in Burundi had been massacred in clashes between Hutus and Tutsis since January 1, 1995.

Lieutenant-General Jean Boyle was appointed Canada's new Chief of Defence Staff, taking over from General John de Chastelain effective January 1, 1996.

Canadian Fisheries Minister Brian Tobin announced a plan to trim the Atlantic fishery to a core of 13,250 licensed fishermen, down from the current 24,600.

The Canadian Tobacco Manufacturers Council said that it would voluntary restrict advertising in an effort to head off new government restrictions.

American Airlines Flight 965, a Boeing 757, crashed into a mountain 50 kilometres north of Cali, Colombia, killing 159.

20 years ago

Politics and government
U.S. President-elect George W. Bush named several of his choices for cabinet positions: Secretary of the Treasury--Paul O’Neill; Secretary of Housing and Urban Development--Melquiades Martinez; Secretary of Agriculture--Ann Veneman; Secretary of Commerce--Donald Evans.

The Chilean Supreme Court, in appeal, dismissed charges against former dictator General Augusto Pinochet in kidnapping and murder of political opponents, but ordered that Gen. Pinochet be interrogated, leaving the door open for another indictment.

10 years ago

Died on this date
James Mann, 90
. U.S. politician. Mr. Mann, a Democrat, represented Greenville County in the South Carolina House of Representatives (1949-1953) and represented South Carolina's 4th District in the U.S. House of Representatives (1969-1979).

Politics and government
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper made two more Senate appointments, giving his party its long-sought majority in the upper chamber.

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