Thursday, 24 December 2020

December 24, 2020

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Hilary Hahn!

1,380 years ago

John IV was consecrated as Roman Catholic Pope, following a vacancy of more than four months after the death of Severinus.

520 years ago

A joint Venetian–Spanish fleet captured the Castle of St. George on the island of Cephalonia.

220 years ago

World events
Five people were killed and 26 injured in the Plot of the rue Saint-Nicaise, aka Machine infernale, an unsuccessful assassination attempt in Paris against First Consul of France Napoleon Bonaparte.

175 years ago

Born on this date
George I
. King of the Hellenes, 1863-1913. King George was assassinated in Thessaloniki just 12 days short of marking 50 years on the throne. He was planning to abdicate in favour of his son Constantine after golden jubilee celebrations in October 1913. While on an afternoon walk near the White Tower on March 18, 1913 at the age of 67, King George was shot in the back by Alexandros Schinas, said to be a member of a Socialist organization. When arrested, Mr. Schinas claimed he had shot the monarch because King George had refused to give him money. Thessaloniki had been liberated from Turkish forces in November 1912 in the First Balkan War.

140 years ago

Born on this date
Johnny Gruelle
. U.S. author and illustrator. Mr. Gruelle was an editorial cartoonist with the Indianapolis Star and other newspapers, but was best known for creating the Raggedy Ann doll in 1915 and Raggedy Andy in 1917. He created the comic strip Brutus in 1929, writing and drawing the strip until his death from heart failure on January 9, 1938, 16 days after his 57th birthday.

120 years ago

Born on this date
Joey Smallwood
. Canadian journalist and politician. Mr. Smallwood, a native of Gambo, Newfoundand, worked as a newspaper and radio journalist in Newfoundland who opposed continued British rule of Newfoundland, and supported confederation with Canada. He led the Confederate Association that supported that option in two referenda, which resulted in a narrow and controversial vote in favour of joining Canada. Mr. Smallwood led the Newfoundland Liberal Party, and became Premier upon Confederation in 1949, representing varous ridings in the House of Assembly from 1949-1972. He pursued policies of industrial and educational modernization and usually led the Liberals to lopsided electoral victories, but was often accused of governing as a despot. The 1971 provincial election resulted in a hung parliament, and Mr. Smallwood was forced by hs own caucus to resign in January 1972, turning the government over to the Progressive Conservatives. He lost the Liberal Party leadership soon afterward and failed in an attempt to regain it in 1974. Mr. Smallwood then founded the Newfoundland Reform Liberal Party, and was one of four members elected to the House of Assembly in 1975. He resigned his seat in 1977, and died in St. John's on December 17, 1991, a week before his 91st birthday.

110 years ago

Born on this date
Ellen Braumüller
. German athlete. Miss Braumüller won a gold medal in the triathlon at the 1930 Women's World Games in Prague, and competed in relay, high jump, discus, and javelin at the 1932 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles, winning a silver medal in the javelin. She died on August 10, 1991 at the age of 80.

Fritz Leiber, Jr. U.S. author. Mr. Leiber, the son of actor Fritz Leiber, wrote fantasy, horror, and science fiction, and coined the term "sword and sorcery" fantasy to describe the kind of fiction he wrote. He wrote numerous short stories, novels, and novellas in a career spanning almost 60 years, and was perhaps best known for creating the characters Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. Mr. Leiber died of a stroke on September 5, 1992 at the age of 81.

100 years ago

Born on this date
Yevgeniya Rudneva
. U.S.S.R. military aviatrix. Senior Lieutenant Rudneva, a Ukrainian, served as a navigator in the Soviet Air Force during World War II, flying 645 bombing missions in a Polikarpov Po-2 biplane before she and pilot Panna Prokofyeva were killed when they were shot down over Crimea on April 9, 1944, when she was 23.

Italian singer Enrico Caruso gave his last public performance, at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

World events
Gabriele D'Annunzio surrendered the Italian Regency of Carnaro in the city of Fiume to Italian armed forces.

Politics and government
W.C. Nichol was commissioned as Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia.

80 years ago

British planes bombed the Libyan capital of Tripoli and reported sinking two Italian ships, weighing 3,000 and 6,000 tons. U.S. Senator Millard Tydings (Democrat--Maryland) urged the United States to ask the warring powers for a statement on the conditions under which they would be willing to end the European war.

The Japanese government formally announced the December 6 signing of a pact between Japan and Thailand in which both countries agreed to respect each other's territorial integrity and consult on all questions of common interest.

The government of Ecuador decreed that military and naval forces must learn English in connection with hemispheric defense measures.

A three-judge U.S. Federal Court in Tacoma, Washington ruled the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) to be an illegal combination in restraint of trade and in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

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 (6th week at #1)
--Bing Crosby with Les Paul and his Trio
--Charlie Spivak and his Orchestra
--Stan Kenton and his Orchestra
2 It Might as Well Be Spring--Paul Weston and his Orchestra with Margaret Whiting
--Dick Haymes
3 Chickery Chick--Sammy Kaye and his "Swing and Sway" Orchestra with Nancy Norman, Billy Williams and the Kaye Choir
--Evelyn Knight and the Jesters
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 Symphony--Freddy Martin and his Orchestra
--Benny Goodman and his Orchestra
--Bing Crosby
7 That's for Me--Dick Haymes
--Jo Stafford
8 Waitin' for the Train to Come In--Peggy Lee
--Harry James and his Orchestra
--Johnny Long and his Orchestra and Dick Robertson
9 Till the End of Time--Perry Como
--Dick Haymes
--Les Brown and his Orchestra
10 Tampico--Stan Kenton and his Orchestra

Singles entering the chart were the version of Symphony by Bing Crosby; Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! by Vaughn Monroe and his Orchestra (#18); and The Frim Fram Sauce by the King Cole Trio (#26).

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

Died on this date
Josephine Sabel, 79
. U.S. singer and comedienne. Mrs. Sabel was a vaudeville performer in the 1890s and 1900s, known as "The Queen of Song," popularizing such songs as A Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight, Somebody Loves Me, and Bicycle Built for Two.

The War Crimes Investigation Commission compiled a list of Japanese atrocities in Java during World War II, resulting in the arrests of 43 people.

U.S. State Secretary James Byrnes, U.K. Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, and U.S.S.R. Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, meeting in Moscow, agreed, subject to French and Chinese approval, on drawing up peace treaties with Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Finland.

Politics and government
New Zealand Prime Minister Peter Fraser told reporters in Washington that the United States should surrender ultimate authority over Japan to a commission representing all nations that fought in the Pacific theatre in World War II.

Economics and finance
The U.S. government reported that per capita income in the United States in 1944 reached a new high of $1,117.

U.S. Conciliation Director Edgar Warren invited representatives of General Electric, Westinghouse, and the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America to Washington for a post-Christmas conference to avert a threatened strike.

American Federation of Musicians President James Petrillo barred American radio stations from broadcasting musical progrms originating in any foreign country except Canada, beginning December 31, 1945.

Five of the nine children of George and Jenny Sodder were missing after their home in Fayetteville, West Virginia, burned down, and the five were never found.

70 years ago

Canadian pianist Glenn Gould made his Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio debut on Sunday Morning Recital.

Quebec ballad singer Félix Leclerc appeared at the Théâtre ABC in Paris, with the Compagnons de la chanson; booked to sing for three weeks, he was kept on for 14 months at the cabaret de Canetti Aux trois baudets, followed by two years touring in France, Europe and the Middle East.

United Nations forces completed their withdrawal from northeastern Korea by evacuating the port of Hungnam. Taiwan's National Assembly asked U.S.President Harry Truman to lift his ban on Nationalist Chinese operations against the Chinese mainland.

Politics and government
Bolivian President Mamerto Urriolagoitía delivered a Christmas address to the nation, promising free general elections in 1951, and urging all revolutionary parties to declare a truce.

Los Angeles 28 @ Cleveland 30

Lou Groza’s 16-yard field goal with 20 seconds remaining in regulation time gave the Browns the championship before 29,751 fans at Cleveland Stadium in their first year in the National Football League after winning the All-America Football Conference title in all four years of that league’s existence. The Rams were making their first appearance in the championship game since winning the title in 1945 in their last game as the Cleveland Rams.

60 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): Are You Lonesome To-night?/I Gotta Know--Elvis Presley

#1 single in Italy: Il cielo in una stanza--Mina (11th week at #1)

#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): Ein Schiff wird kommen--Lale Andersen (10th week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (Record Mirror): It’s Now or Never--Elvis Presley (8th week at #1)

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

Singles entering the chart were the versions of Wonderland by Night by Louis Prima and Anita Bryant; Calcutta by Lawrence Welk and his Orchestra (#67); I Count the Tears by the Drifters (#73); Calendar Girl by Neil Sedaka (#74); Christmas Auld Lang Syne by Bobby Darin (#75); Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, with versions by David Seville and the Chipmunks; the Melodeers; and Paul Anka (#76); You are the Only One by Ricky Nelson (#77); What Would I Do by Mickey & Sylvia (#82); My Last Date (With You) by Skeeter Davis (#88); We Have Love by Dinah Washington (#89); Pepe by Duane Eddy and the Rebels (#90); Dance by the Light of the Moon by the Olympics (#91); Wings of a Dove by Ferlin Husky (#95); The Puppet Song by Frankie Avalon (#96); Flamingo Express by the Royaltones (#97); and First Taste of Love by Ben E. King (#100).

Vancouver's Top 10 (CFUN)
1 Calendar Girl--Neil Sedaka
2 Lonely Teenager--Dion
3 Are You Lonesome To-night?--Elvis Presley
4 Rubber Ball--Bobby Vee
5 Lovey Dovey--Buddy Knox
6 Corinna, Corinna--Ray Peterson
7 Doll House--Donnie Brooks
8 Happy, Happy Birthday Baby--Wanda Jackson
9 Wonderland by Night--Bert Kaempfert and his Orchestra
10 Wings of a Dove--Ferlin Husky

Singles entering the chart were Try Me by Margie Rayburn (#38); Sad Mood by Sam Cooke (#40); (Ghost) Riders in the Sky by the Ramrods (#41); Theme from The Young Ones by Dave Appell and his Orchestra (#43); Dance by the Light of the Moon by the Olympics (#44); You're the One by the Spiders (#46); The Hoochi Coochi Coo by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters (#48); Walk Slow by Little Willie John (#49); and Cool Operator by Sandy Nelson (#50).

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

Singles entering the chart were Pepe by Duane Eddy and the Rebels (#28); Is There Something on Your Mind by Jack Scott (#34); Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear to Tread) by Brook Benton (#35); C'est Si Bon by Conway Twitty (#39); and We Have Love by Dinah Washington (#40).

50 years ago

Hit parade
Vancouver's Top 10 (CKLG)
1 My Sweet Lord/Isn't it a Pity--George Harrison (3rd week at #1)
2 Knock Three Times--Dawn
3 No Matter What--Badfinger
4 One Less Bell to Answer--The 5th Dimension
5 Be My Baby--Andy Kim
6 Immigrant Song--Led Zeppelin
7 Black Magic Woman--Santana
8 Does Anybody Really Know What Time it Is?--Chicago
9 The Tears of a Clown--Smokey Robinson & the Miracles
10 Lonely Days--The Bee Gees

Singles entering the chart were Amos Moses by Jerry Reed (#26); It's Impossible by Perry Como (#28); I Hear You Knocking by Dave Edmunds (#29); and Born to Wander by Rare Earth (#30).

Edmonton's Top 10 (CJCA)
1 My Sweet Lord--George Harrison
2 Knock Three Times--Dawn
3 Most of All--B.J. Thomas
4 I Think I Love You--The Partridge Family
5 Gypsy Woman--Brian Hyland
6 Sing High, Sing Low--Anne Murray
7 He Ain't Heavy...He's My Brother--Neil Diamond
8 Domino--Van Morrison
9 For the Good Times--Ray Price
10 No Matter What--Badfinger

40 years ago

Died on this date
Karl Dönitz, 89
. President of Germany, 1945. Großadmiral Dönitz began his career in the Imperial German Navy before World War I, and eventually became Commander-in-Chief of the Navy from 1943-1945. He was perhaps best known for commanding the U-boat fleet during World War II. When German Fuehrer Adolf Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945 and Josef Goebbels did likewise the following day, Großadmiral Dönitz became President, and he held the office until the government was dissolved by the Allies on May 23, 1945. Großadmiral Dönitz was convicted at Nuremberg of war crimes and spent 10 years in Spandau Prison. He lived in obscurity after his release.

World events
Jiang Qing, widow of Chairman Mao Zedong, and on trial as one of China’s "Gang of Four," reiterated her plea of innocence in the 1967 deaths by torture of two teachers, claiming that she had committed the alleged persecution of Communist Party officials during the Cultural Revolution on the orders of her husband. She then dared the court to sentence her to death in a public execution.

Witnesses reported the first of several sightings of unexplained lights near RAF Woodbridge, in Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England, an incident called "Britain's Roswell."

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Finland (Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland): Justify My Love--Madonna (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Germany (Media Control): Sadeness Part I--Enigma (7th week at #1)

The Montréal Expos traded left fielder Tim Raines to the Chicago White Sox for outfielder Ivan Calderon and pitcher Barry Jones. Mr. Raines, who had been with the Expos since 1979 and had won the National League batting title in 1986, batted .287 with 9 home runs, 62 runs batted in, and 49 stolen bases in 130 games with the Expos in 1990. Mr. Calderon hit .273 with 14 homers, 74 RBIs, and 32 stolen bases with the White Sox in 1990, while Mr. Jones was 11-4 with an earned run average of 2.31 and 1 save in 65 games--all in relief--with Chicago.

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand (RIANZ): One Sweet Day--Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men

#1 single in Austria (Ö3): Gangsta's Paradise--Coolio featuring L.V. (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Switzerland: Earth Song--Michael Jackson (2nd week at #1)

Died on this date
John Cooper, 77
. U.K. automobile executive. Mr. Cooper and his father Charles co-founded the Cooper Car Company in 1948. They designed a rear-engine chassis that revolutionized auto racing, and the Mini Cooper became popular in rally and road racing.

10 years ago

Died on this date
Elisabeth Beresford, 84
. French-born U.K. authoress. Miss Beresford, the daughter of science fiction author J.D. Beresford, wrote children's books, and was best known for five novels and a short story collection featuring characters known as the Wombles (1968-1976). She died of heart failure.

Eino Tamberg, 80. Estonian composer. Mr. Tamberg wrote four symphonies, the opera Cyrano de Bergerac (1974), and concertos for various instruments, most notably the Trumpet Concerto (1972).

Orestes Quércia, 72. Brazilian journalist and politician. Mr. Quércia was a newspaper and radio journalist before entering politics in the 1960s. A member of the Movimento Democrático Brasileiro (Brazilian Democratic Movement) (MDB), he was Councillor (1963-1967) and Mayor (1969-1973) of Campinas; State Deputy of São Paulo (1967-1969); Senator for São Paulo (1975-1983); Vice Governor of São Paulo (1983-1986); and Governor of São Paulo (1987-1991). Mr. Quércia was accused of corruption, but was never convicted. He failed to get elected after leaving office as Governor of São Paulo, despite numerous attempts through 2006. Mr. Quércia was going to campaign for nomination to the Senate in 2010, but he was struck by prostate cancer, which proved fatal.

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