Wednesday, 23 December 2020

December 23, 2020

1,080 years ago

Died on this date
Ar-Radi, 31
. Caliph of the Abbasid Caliphate, 934-940. Ar-Radi, the son of Caliph al-Muqtadir, was imprisoned by his uncle al-Qahir from 932-934, but was raised to power when al-Qahir was deposed, and served as a largely figurehead ruler until his death, which marked the end of the caliph's political power. He was succeeded by his brother Al-Muttaqi.

790 years ago

Died on this date
Berengaria of Navarre, 59-65 (?)
. Queen consort of England, 1191-1199. Berengaria, the eldest daughter of King Sancho VI of Navarre, married King Richard I shortly after his coronation in 1191, and was crowned the day of their wedding. It's unknown if the marriage was ever consummated, as it was a political union, and King Richard spent less than six months of their marriage in England. After he died in 1199, Berengaria settled in Le Mans as queen dowager, serving as a benefactress of religious works.

330 years ago

Born on this date
. King of Manipur, 1709-1751. Meidingu Pamheiba, who took the name Gharib Nawaz after converting to Hinduism, succeeded his father Pitambar Charairongba. Pamheiba extended the boundaries of his kingdom, and conducted a successful invasion of Burma. He died in 1751 at the age of 60 and was succeeded by his grandson Guarisiam.

225 years ago

Died on this date
Henry Clinton, 65 (?)
. U.K. military officer and politician. General Sir Henry, a native of Newfoundland, was the son of New York Governor George Clinton, and obtained a captain's commission in the British Army in 1746. He served in the Seven Years' War, and sat in the House of Commons, first for Boroughbridge and subsequently for Newark-on-Trent, from 1772-1784. Gen. Sir Henry began serving during the American War of Independence in 1775, and succeeded Major General William Howe as Commander-in-Chief of North America (1778-1782). He was appointed Governor of Gibraltar in July 1794, but died before he was able to assume the office. Opinion on Gen. Sir Henry's competence as a commander remains divided.

120 years ago

Canadian physicist and inventor Reginald Fessenden, a wireless expert working for the U.S. Weather Service, broadcast the world's first voice communications by AM (amplitude modulation) radio wave for a distance of 1 mile between two 43-foot towers. He asked his assistant, "Is it snowing where you are, Mr. Thiessen?"

80 years ago

CBS President William Paley announced plans for a network, to begin operation about September 1, 1941, covering 18 of the 20 Latin American countries.

NBC, following the lead of CBS and MBS, dropped all music controlled by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Greek troops seized the Italian coastal base of Khimara, Albania.

U.S. Navy Rear Admiral William Leahy and his wife sailed from Norfolk, Virginia aboard the cruiser Tuscaloosa en route to Vichy, where Adm. Leahy would assume his new post as U.S. Ambassador to France. U.S. Senator Warren Austin (Republican--Vermont) told reporters in Washington that he favoured amending the Neutrality Act to restore "freedom of the seas to U.S. shipping."

Congress of Industrial Organizations President Philip Murray presented U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt with a plan for the mass production of 500 all-metal pursuit planes daily by using idle facilities of automobile plants.

Syliva Ageloff, a New York woman held in connection with the August 21, 1940 assassination of former Soviet Communist politician Leon Trotsky, was given her freedom.

75 years ago

Indonesians agreed to help British forces disarm the Japanese and get them to Javanese ports for evacuation.

U.S. Secretary of State James Byrnes, U.S. Ambassador to the U.S.S.R. Averell Harriman, and U.S. State Department official Charels Bohlen conferred in Moscow with Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and then with Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov and U.K. Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin.

U.S. Army General George Marshall conferred in China with Communist leaders Chou En-lai, Yeh Chieh-ying, and Tung Pih-wu.

Former U.S. Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles said that the United Nations Trusteeship Council should be given responsibility for establishing a Jewish Commonwealth in Palestine.

Clashes in Cuernavaca and nearby towns between supporters of former Mexican Foreign Minister Ezequiel Padilla and Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) presidential candidate Miguel Alemán Valdés resulted in three deaths and 86 injuries.

Pope Pius XII named 32 prelates from 19 countries as members of the College of Cardinals. Archbishop James McGuigan of Toronto became Canada's first non-French Cardinal.

70 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): Goodnight Irene--Gordon Jenkins and his Orchestra and the Weavers (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): The Thing--Phil Harris (Best Seller--4th week at #1; Disc Jockey--4th week at #1; Jukebox--1st week at #1)

U.S.A. Top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Harbor Lights--Sammy Kaye and his "Swing and Sway" Orchestra with Tony Alamo and the Kaydets (6th week at #1)
--Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians
--Ray Anthony and his Orchestra
--Bing Crosby
2 The Thing--Phil Harris
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 Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer--Gene Autry and the Pinafores
--Bing Crosby
--Spike Jones and his City Slickers
9 Oh, Babe!--Kay Starr
--Louis Prima and Keely Smith
10 Orange Colored Sky--Nat "King" Cole and Stan Kenton

Singles entering the chart that week were Lucky, Lucky, Lucky Me by Evelyn Knight (#28); Christmas in Killarney by Dennis Day (#33); and Let’s Do it Again by Frankie Carle and his Orchestra (#38).

Died on this date
Vincenzo Tommasini, 72
. Italian composer. Mr. Tommasini wrote several operas, and was a key figure in the revival of orchestral music in Italy in the 20th century.

Walton Walker, 61. U.S. military officer. General Walker joined the U.S. Army in 1912 and served in both World Wars. He was given command of the Eighth United States Army in Japan in 1948, and led that army in the early months of the Korean War, encountering much difficulty. Gen. Walker was killed when the jeep he was riding in was involved in a collision with a South Korean military vehicle that had veered out of its lane.

Italy signed an agreement to pay Yugoslavia $30 million for reparations and other war claims.

Politics and government
French representatives in Saigon signed a treaty recognizing Vietnam as a sovereign state within the French Union and granting the Bao Dai government control of its own domestic affairs and foreign trade.

Former Silver Shirt leader William Dudley Pelley won his final release from prison in Noblesville, Indiana when a court ruled that he did not have to serve an additional sentence in North Carolina.

Pope Pius XII confirmed that the tomb of St. Peter had been discovered beneath St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. In a worldwide Christmas radio broadcast, he also reminded capitalist leaders that they must satisfy the world's "thirst for social security."

60 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in the U.K. (New Musical Express): It's Now or Never--Elvis Presley (8th week at #1)

On television tonight
The Twilight Zone, on CBS
Tonight’s episode: Night of the Meek, starring Art Carney

United Arab Republic President Gamal Nasser warned that any attempt by Israel to build an atomic bomb would mean war with the U.A.R.

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in the U.K. (New Musical Express): When I'm Dead and Gone--McGuinness Flint

On television tonight
Rod Serling’s Night Gallery, on NBC
Tonight’s episode: Room with a View, starring Joseph Wiseman, Diane Keaton, and Angel Tompkins; The Little Black Bag, starring Burgess Meredith and Chill Wills; The Nature of the Enemy, starring Joseph Campanella

Died on this date
Charlie Ruggles, 84
. U.S. actor. Mr. Ruggles was a character actor in almost 100 movies in a 60-year career. He starred in the television series The Ruggles (1949-1952) and The World of Mr. Sweeney (1954-1955), and won a Tony Award for his featured performance in The Pleasure of His Company (1958). Mr. Ruggles died of cancer.

Aleksander Warma, 80. Prime Minister of Estonia in exile, 1963-1970. Mr. Warma held several administrative positions in the Estonian government before and after the 1940 takeover of Estonia by the U.S.S.R. He died in Stockholm.

Politics and government
Premier Jozef Cyrankiewicz replaced Marian Spychalski as President of Poland, while Pyotr Jaroszewicz succeeded Mr. Cyrankiewicz as Premier. Edward Gierek, who had become first secretary of the Communist party on December 20, announced a freeze on food prices for two years, and said that those prices that had already been increased would probably be kept at that level. Mr. Gierek also noted that a multi-million dollar fund had been set up to aid low-income families and others hurt by the recent dramatic rise in food prices, which had sparked riots in major cities. Premier Jaroszewicz promised to "strive for a full normalization with the [Roman Catholic] Church."

The North Tower of the World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York was topped out at 1,368 feet (417 metres), making it the tallest building in the world.

Law 70-001 went into effect in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, officially making the country a one-party state; the party was the Popular Movement of the Revolution (MPR), led by President Joseph Mobutu.

Two vessels collided in the Java sea, killing 27 oil workers en route to Jakarta for Christmas.

40 years ago

Hit Parade
Vancouver's Top 10 (CKLG)
1 (Just Like) Starting Over--John Lennon (3rd week at #1)
2 Hungry Heart--Bruce Springsteen
3 Passion--Rod Stewart
4 Wasn't That a Party--The Rovers
5 The Tide is High--Blondie
6 I Got You--Split Enz
7 More than I Can Say--Leo Sayer
8 De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da--The Police
9 Every Woman in the World--Air Supply
10 Looking for Clues--Robert Palmer

The only single entering the chart was I Love a Rainy Night by Eddie Rabbitt (#18).

World events
Jiang Qing, widow of Mao Zedong and on trial as one of China’s "Gang of Four," was charged with contempt of court after she shouted at a panel of judges and prosecutors, calling them "fascists" and Chinese Nationalist agents.

Economics and finance
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that consumer prices had risen 1% during November. According to the Labor Department, during November it took $25.62 to buy goods and services that could have been purchased for $10 in 1967.

Colorado 4 @ Winnipeg 5

Willy Lindstrom scored with 1:50 remaining in the game at Winnipeg Arena to end the Jets’ 30-game winless streak, which remains the NHL record. The Jets jumped to a 3-0 lead, with the third goal coming shorthanded by Doug Smail, but allowed the Rockies to score 2 goals in the last 15 seconds of the 2nd period. This was the first National Hockey League game I ever went to, and the last puck used is on display in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand (RIANZ): Ice Ice Baby--Vanilla Ice (4th week at #1)

#1 single in Switzerland: Sadeness Part I--Enigma (2nd week at #1)

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

Singles entering the chart were It Takes Two by Rod Stewart & Tina Turner (#19); and Freedom! '90 by George Michael (#27).

In a referendum, 88.5% of Slovenia's overall electorate voted for independence from Yugoslavia.

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (ARIA): Gangsta's Paradise--Coolio featuring L.V. (10th week at #1)

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

#1 single in Wallonia (Ultratop 40): Gangsta's Paradise--Coolio featuring L.V. (4th week at #1)

#1 single in France (SNEP): Gangsta's Paradise--Coolio featuring L.V. (4th week at #1)

#1 single in the Netherlands (De Nederlandse Top 40): Ademnood--Linda, Roos & Jessica (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (BMRB): Earth Song--Michael Jackson (3rd week at #1)

U.S.A. Top 10 (Billboard)
1 One Sweet Day--Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men (4th week at #1)
2 Exhale (Shoop Shoop)--Whitney Houston
3 Hey Lover--LL Cool J
4 Gangsta's Paradise--Coolio featuring L.V.
5 Fantasy--Mariah Carey
6 Diggin' on You--TLC
7 I Got Id/Long Road--Pearl Jam
8 Name--Goo Goo Dolls
9 You'll See--Madonna
10 Breakfast at Tiffany's--Deep Blue Something

Singles entering the chart were I Got Id/Long Road; Just Tah Let U Know by Eazy-E (#51); Gold by Prince (#88); It Matters to Me by Faith Hill (#96); Sometimes I Miss You So Much (Dedicated To The Christ Consciousness) by P.M. Dawn (#97).

U.S.A. Top 10 (Cash Box)
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 Diggin' on You--TLC
5 You'll See--Madonna
6 Name--Goo Goo Dolls
7 Fantasy--Mariah Carey
8 You Remind Me of Something--R. Kelly
9 Before You Walk Out of My Life/Like This and Like That--Monica
10 Beautiful Life--Ace of Base

Singles entering the chart were Free as a Bird by the Beatles (#39); No One Else by Total (#54); Get Together by Big Mountain (#57); and Incarcerated Scarfaces by Chef Raekwon (#70). Incarcerated Scarfaces was the B-side of Ice Cream; the songs charted together.

Died on this date
Patric Knowles, 84
. U.K.-born U.S. actor. Mr. Knowles, born Reginald Lawrence Knowles, appeared in movies such as The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936); The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938); and The Wolf Man (1941) in a career that spanned four decades.

A fire in Mandi Dabwali, Haryana, India killed 400-540 people, including 170 children, during a year-end party being held near the children's school.

20 years ago

Died on this date
Victor Borge, 91
. Danish-born U.S. musician and comedian. Mr. Borge, born Børge Rosenbaum, began his career as a concert pianist in his native Denmark. He was performing in Sweden when German forces occupied Denmark in 1940, and managed to escape to Finland and then to the United States. He was famous for mixing music and comedy into his performances, and continued performing until his death, 11 days before his 92nd birthday.

Billy Barty, 76. U.S. actor. Mr. Barty, born William Bertanzetti, stood 3' 9" and appeared in more than 200 movies and television programs in a career spanning almost three-quarters of a century. He was best known for comic roles, but was also adept in dramatic roles. Mr. Barty died of heart failure.

Politics and government
The Democratic Opposition of Serbia, an 18-party coalition, won more than 2/3 of the seats in parliamentary elections. The same coalition had backed Vojislav Kostunica, the successful candidate for President of Yugoslavia, against incumbent Slobodan Milosevic in September.

U.S. President Bill Clinton set forth principles for a Middle East peace plan that provided for Palestinian control over the Gaza Strip; Arab neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem; and 95% of the West Bank, with partial control of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. The principles were accepted by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, but not by the Palestinian Authority.

Thieves stole a Rembrandt self-portrait and two paintings by Renoir from the National Museum in Stockholm, later demanding U.S.$1 million each for their return.

A new Canadian federal law went into effect that required tobacco manufacturers to dedicate half of the front panels of cigarette packages to grisly photos of diseased organs.

10 years ago

Died on this date
K. Karunakaran, 92
. Indian politician. Kannoth "K." Karunakaran, a member of the Indian National Congress Party, held numerous offices in a political career spanning 50 years, including four terms as Chief Minister of Kerala from 1977-1995.

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