Sunday, 20 December 2020

December 21, 2020

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Juliette Richard!

880 years ago

Forces of King Conrad III of Germany besieged Weinsberg.

400 years ago


Willia, Bradford and the Mayflower pilgrims arrived at the site of what would become Plymouth in Massachusetts.

200 years ago

Born on this date
William H. Osborn
. U.S. railroad executive. Mr. Osborn worked in the Philippines before he became a member of the board of directors of the Illinois Central Railroad in 1854, serving as its president from 1855-1865. He ran the Chicago, St. Louis and New Orleans Railroad from 1875-1882, making it profitable. Mr. Osborn retired from business in 1882 and spent his remaining years as a philanthropist and art patron and collector. He died on March 2, 1894 at the age of 73. Mr. Osborn was the father of paleontologist Henry Fairfield Osborn and art expert William Church Osborn.

170 years ago

Born on this date
Zdeněk Fibich
. Czech composer. Mr. Fibich was a pianist who wrote three symphonies, seven operas, melodramas, symphonic poems, chamber works, and a large cycle of piano works titled Moods, Impressions, and Reminiscences. He died on October 15, 1900 at the age of 49.

130 years ago

Born on this date
H.J. Muller
. U.S. geneticist and biologist. Dr. Muller was awarded the 1946 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for the discovery that mutations can be induced by x-rays." He spent his later years warning of the dangers of radiation from nuclear fallout. Dr. Muller died on April 5, 1967 at the age of 76.

Died on this date
Niels Gade, 73
. Danish musician, composer, and conductor. Mr. Gade began his career as a concert violinist with the Royal Danish Orchestra; he became assistant conductor of the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig, and succeeded Felix Mendelssohn as chief conductor in 1847. Mr. Gade soon returned to Copenhagen after war broke out between Prussia and Denmark, and directed the Copenhagen Musical Society for the rest of his life, also performing as an organist. His compositions included eight symphonies, cantatas, chamber music, organ and piano pieces, and a violin concerto.

120 years ago

Born on this date
Luis Arturo González López
. President of Guatemala, 1957. Mr. González was a judge on the Supreme Court (1945-1951), reportedly removed from the bench because of pressure from Communists. He was appointed Vice President to Carlos Castillo Armas in 1957, and became interim President on July 27, following the assassination of Presient Castillo. An election on October 20 resulted in a plurality for Miguel Ortiz Passarelli, but supporters of Miguel Ydígoras Fuentes rioted, leading to a declaration of martial law for 30 days. On October 24, Mr. González was deposed by a military coup. He died on November 11, 1965 at the age of 64.

110 years ago

Francis Fitzgerald and his Royal Northwest Mounted Police patrol of Constables George Kinney and Richard Taylor, and former constable Samuel Carter as guide, left Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories on their 500-mile mid-winter patrol to Dawson, Yukon Territory, to deliver mail and to confirm the presence of the Canadian police. They met unusually heavy snow cover and temperatures below -40. On January 18, 1911, they turned back for Fort McPherson, but lost their way and ran out of food after eating their dogs. By mid-February, the Lost Patrol members perished to a man; their bodies were recovered and buried in Fort McPherson on March 28, 1911.

Nelson, British Columbia halted the operation of its electric tramway.

344 miners were killed in an underground explosion at the Hulton Bank Colliery No. 3 Pit in Over Hulton, Westhoughton, England.

100 years ago

Born on this date
Adele Goldstine
. U.S. computer programmer. Mrs. Goldstine taught mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Electrical Engineering, and wrote the manual for the first electronic digital computer, ENIAC. She died in November 1964 at the age of 43 after a two-year battle with cancer.

Alicia Alonso. Cuban ballerina and choreographer. Miss Alonso began her public career as a ballerina at the age of 11, and continued dancing for more than 60 years, despite suffering a visual impairment at the age of 19. She founded the Alicia Alonso Ballet Company in 1948, and it became the Ballet Nacional de Cuba in 1955. Miss Alonso was the general director of the company; she was criticized by alumni for the authoritarian way in which she ran the company, but was praised for giving it an international reputation. She died on October 17, 2019 at the age of 98.

Died on this date
Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, 64
. Somali patriotic leader. Sayyid Hassan founded the Dervish movement, leading the fight for Somali independence from British rule from 1899 until his death from influenza.

80 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Frenesi--Artie Shaw and his Orchestra

Died on this date
F. Scott Fitzgerald, 44
. U.S. author. Mr. Fitzgerald’s novels, such as This Side of Paradise (1920), The Beautiful and Damned (1922), and The Great Gatsby (1925) are among the most famous works of fiction of the era known as "The Jazz Age." His other novels included Tender is the Night (1934) and the unfinished The Last Tycoon (published posthumously in 1941). In his later years, Mr. Fitzgerald went to Hollywood to attempt a career as a screenwriter, but the only screen credit he received was for Three Comrades (1938), and much of that was rewritten. His time in Hollywood inspired him to write a number of short stories, published from 1939-1941, featuring a screenwriter named Pat Hobby. Years of heavy drinking had weakened Mr. Fitzgerald's constitution, and he had two heart attacks in the later months of 1940, the second of which proved fatal.

Hal Kemp, 36. U.S. musician. Mr. Kemp was a saxophonist, clarinetist, and bandleader, whose hit singles included When I'm with You and There's a Small Hotel. He died two days after suffering injuries in a car accident.

A joint board of the United States Army and Navy endorsed a secret plan calling for a strong offensive in the European and Atlantic war and a defensive strategy in the Pacific if the U.S. entered the war. Regular U.S. Army strength passed 400,000 men for the first time since World War I. Former U.S. President Herbert Hoover, speaking in New York, urged "complete" national unity. Referring to William White and Charels Lindbergh, Mr. Hoover said, "It is a sign of a dangerously irresponsible mind in a nation when patriotic men are fiercely denounced as being tools of Great Britain or the tools of Germany." U.S. Office of Production Management Director William Knudsen said that the most important thing now was "the swiftest possible production of the means of defense."

75 years ago

Died on this date
George S. Patton, 60
. General Patton commanded the U.S. Seventh Army in the Mediterranean and European Theaters of World War II, but is best known for his leadership of the U.S. Third Army in France and Germany following the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944. He died in Germany 12 days after being paralyzed from the neck down in a car accident.

Divorced on this date
U.S. author Ernest Hemingway received a divorce in Havana from U.S. journalist Martha Gellhorn for abandonment.

The U.S. National Board of Review announced its awards for 1945. The winners were: English Language Film: The True Glory; Director: Jean Renoir (The Southerner); Actor: Ray Milland (The Lost Weekend); Actress: Joan Crawford (Mildred Pierce).

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission assigned channels to several licensees, including CBS and NBC in New York City and Radio Corporation of America in Camden, New Jersey.

The Inter-Allied Reparations Commission completed plans for payment of reparations by Germany, with the U.S. receiving 28% of German assets abroad and 11.8% of German assets at home. On the basis of reports from four psychiatrists, a U.S. district judge in Washington, D.C. ruled that poet Ezra Pound, who had delivered radio broadcasts on behalf of the Axis cause in Italy during World War II, was insane.

French Army Inspector General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny reported that the French postwar army would total 500,000 men.

Politics and government
Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers in Japan General Douglas MacArthur announced that further directives to the Japanese government would probably be limited to implementing reforms already ordered.

The United States Congress adjourned the first meeting of its 79th session, having enacted 640 laws.

The U.S. Office of Education and the Surplu Property Administration announced the completion of plans to supply schools and colleges with educational equipment from federal surplus property stocks.

United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America rejected a 10% wage increase offered by General Electric.

Associated Press named golfer Byron Nelson as the outstanding male athlete in the United States for 1945, and multi-sport star Babe Didrickson Zaharias as the outstanding female athlete.

70 years ago

Died on this date
Hattie Wyatt Caraway, 72
. U.S. politician. Mrs. Caraway, a Democrat, was appointed to the U.S. Senate in December 1931 by Arkansas Governor Harvey Parnell to fill the remainder of the term of her husband Thaddeus, who had died a month earlier. She won a special election in January 1932, and was re-elected in 1932 and 1938, serving until 1945. Mrs. Caraway was the first women to be elected to the Senate, the first to be elected to a full term, and the first to preside over the Senate, which she did briefly in May 1932 at the invitation of Vice President Charles Curtis. Mrs. Caraway supported President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal economic program and his foreign policy, but differed from him on racial issues and supported segregation. She died 11 months after suffering a stroke.

Konrad von Preysing, 70. German clergyman. Cardinal Graf von Preysing was ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood in 1912, and was named Bishop of Eichstätt in 1932. He was named Bishop of Berlin in 1935, and was an outspoken opponent of the Nazi regime, which never dared to arrest him. Cardinal Graf von Preysing was elevated to the cardinalate by Pope Pius XII in 1946, holding that and his other office until his death.

Aliya, 39. Queen consort Of Iraq, 1934-1939. Queen Aliya, a Saudi Arabian princess, married her first cousin King Ghazi I on January 25, 1934, and was Queen consort until his death in a car accident on April 4, 1939. She remained as queen mother during the reign of their son Faisal II until her death from cancer.

Married on this date
U.K. actors Stewart Granger and Jean Simmons were wed.

Politics and government
The South Korean government suspended executions of political prisoners, following protests by the United Nations Commission, church organizations, and U.S. and U.K. soldiers.

The U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment of Anna Rosenberg as Assistant Defense Secretary.

Alfred Bergdoll, son of World War I's most notorious draft-dodger, was sentenced to five years in prison for refusing to be drafted.

Economics and finance
The U.S.A. allocated $800,000 for technical aid to Brazil under the Point Four program.

The 22-month U.S. railroad dispute was settled after four days of White House bargaining when employers granted various wage increases and a cost-of-living escalator clause to the 300,000 workers involved.

60 years ago

Chicago Cubs’ owner Philip K. Wrigley announced that his team would no longer use a manager in 1961 but rather a college of coaches: Charlie Grimm, Lou Boudreau, Harry Craft, Bob Kennedy and Charlie Metro. The Cubs had finished in seventh place in the eight-team National League in 1960 with a record of 60-94, 35 games behind the pennant-winning Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1961 they finished seventh again with a 64-90 record, 29 games behind the first-place Cincinnati Reds.

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): A Song of Joy--Miguel Rios (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in Japan (Oricon Singles Chart): Kyōto no Koi--Yūko Nagisa (7th week at #1)

#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Te Quiero, Te Quiero--Nino Bravo

Popular culture
Elvis Presley met with U.S. President Richard Nixon at the White House, where the President made the king of rock and roll a deputy in the war against drugs.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that 18-year-old Americans had the right to vote in U.S. presidential elections.

The Grumman F-14 Tomcat multi-role combat aircraft, developed for the United States Navy's Naval Fighter Experimental (VFX) program, made its first flight.

A U.S. Coast Guard board of inquiry called for the court-martial of Rear Admiral William Ellis, First Coast Guard District commander and Captain Fletcher Brown, his chief of staff, for allowing Soviet sailors to board the Coast Guard cutter Vigilant and forcibly take Lithuanian sailor Simas Kudirka back to the Russian trawler Sovietskaya on November 23. The ships had been moored next to each other off Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, and Mr. Kudirka had jumped aboard the Vigilant in a desperate bid for U.S. asylum. U.S. Transportation Secretary John Volpe, criticizing the "serious error in judgement," ruled instead that the two Coast Guard officers were to be reprimanded and retired immediately. An official reprimand was also ordered for Ralph Eustis, skipper of the Vigilant, who was relieved of his command.

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand (RIANZ): Shaddap You Face--Joe Dolce Music Theatre

#1 single in Switzerland: Angel of Mine--Frank Duval & Orchestra (2nd week at #1)

All 68 people aboard a Colombian jetliner were killed when it crashed in a desert north of Bogota. The cause was reported to be an explosion in a rear washroom; an anonymous phone call shortly after the crash informed the airline that a bomb had been placed on board.

Syrian troops battled with Christian militia forces in Zahle, Lebanon. The Syrians’ demand that Lebanese gunmen responsible for killing five Syrian soldiers be turned over to them was ignored.

Politics and government
A referendum in the Spanish region of Galicia resulted in more than two-thirds voting in favour of making Galicia an autonomous region, although only 28% of eligible voters participated. The Statute of Autonomy went into effect on April 6, 1981.

Kansas City (8-8) 38 @ Baltimore (7-9) 28
Cleveland (11-5) 27 @ Cincinnati (6-10) 24
New England (10-6) 38 @ New Orleans (1-15) 27
Green Bay (5-10-1) 3 @ Detroit (9-7) 24
Washington (6-10) 31 @ St. Louis (5-11) 7
Minnesota (9-7) 16 @ Houston (11-5) 20
Philadelphia (12-4) 27 @ Dallas (12-4) 35
Denver (8-8) 25 @ Seattle (4-12) 17
New York Giants (4-12) 17 @ Oakland (11-5) 33
Buffalo (11-5) 18 @ San Francisco (6-10) 13
Atlanta (12-4) 17 @ Los Angeles (11-5) 20 (OT)

30 years ago

Died on this date
Kelly Johnson, 80
. U.S. aeronautical engineer. Mr. Johnson designed over 40 aircraft, including the the Lockheed U-2 and Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird.

Politics and government
Quebec reached a five-year agreement with the government of Canada to give the province greater control over immigration. Under the agreement, to take effect on April 1, 1991, the federal government guaranteed that Quebec would receive at least 25% and possibly as much as 30% of all immigrants to Canada. Currently, only 16% of immigrants to Canada settled in Quebec. Under the agreement, Quebec would have exclusive responsibility for selecting immigrants and control over language training services for non-French-speaking immigrants, as well as cultural and economic integration services, which were normally provided by the federal government. As a result, the federal government would provide Quebec with $332 million over five years. Federal Immigration Minister Barbara McDougall said that other provinces were negotiating with the federal government on immigration, and that more agreements were forthcoming.

The Croatian parliament adopted a new constitution for the republic that provided for a referendum on secession from Yugoslavia within 30 days of a two-thirds majority vote by parliament. The Yugoslav defense secretary, a Serb, warned that the military was prepared to counter the "highly aggressive anti-Yugoslav and anti-socialist forces" that were undermining national unity.

Frank Iacobucci, Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Canada since 1988, was appointed by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney to the Supreme Court of Canada, replacing the retired Bertha Wilson.

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Finland (Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland): Gangsta's Paradise--Coolio featuring L.V. (8th week at #1)

#1 single in Denmark (Nielsen Music Control & IFPI): Gangsta's Paradise--Coolio featuring L.V. (7th week at #1)

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

World events
The city of Bethlehem passed from Israeli to Palestinian control.

Justice Horace Krever ended public sessions of the Krever Commission into Canada's scandal of people contracting HIV from transufsions of tainted blood in the early 1980s. He sent out Section 13 notices to various agencies, including the Red Cross, containing over 300 allegations of misconduct.

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