Monday, 28 December 2020

December 28, 2020

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Heather Pick!

300 years ago

The British Lords of Trade proposed to deport the Acadians from Nova Scotia, although the expulsion did not commence until 35 years later (1755 - 1763).

225 years ago

Construction of Yonge Street began in York, Upper Canada (present-day Toronto).

150 years ago

Born on this date
Charles Bennett
. U.K. runner. Mr. Bennett, the "Shapwick Express," was the first British track athlete to win an Olympic gold medal, winning in the men's 1500-metre run and the 5000-metre team race at the 1900 Olympic Games in Paris, while taking a silver medal in the 4000-metre steeplechase. He die don March 9, 1949 at the age of 78.

130 years ago

A band of Sioux Indians led by Big Foot, who had fled to the badlands, were captured by the U.S. 7th Cavalry and brought to Wounded Knee creek in South Dakota.

125 years ago

At the movies
The Lumière brothers put on a first movie screening for their first paying audience at the Grand Cafe in Boulevard des Capucines in Paris, marking the debut of the cinema.

Wilhelm Röntgen published the paper Über eine neue Art von Strahlen (On a New Kind of Rays), detailing his discovery on November 8, 1895 of what became known as X-rays.

110 years ago

Born on this date
Billy Williams
. U.S. singer. Mr. Williams was lead singer of the gospel group the Charioteers (1930-1950), with time out for service in the U.S. Army during World War II. He then formed the Billy Williams Quartet, achieving a dozen charted singles from 1951-1959. His most successful recording was I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter (1957), which reached #3 on the Billboard singles chart and sold over a million copies. Mr. Williams suffered from diabetes in later years, and died of a heart attack on October 12, 1972 at the age of 61.

100 years ago

Born on this date
Steve Van Buren
. Honduran-born U.S. football player. Mr. Van Buren, the son of an American father and Honduran mother, was orphaned at the age of 10 and went to live with relatives in New Orleans. He was a halfback at Louisiana State University before playing with the Philadelphia Eagles (1944-1952), where he became the dominant running back of his era, rushing 1,320 times for 5,860 yards (4.4 per carry) and 69 touchdowns, adding 2 touchdowns on punt returns and 3 on kickoff returns. Mr. Van Buren earned First Team All-Pro honours from 1944-1949 and was a Second Team All-Pro in 1950, leading the NFL in rushing and rushing touchdowns four times (1945, 1947-1949), and helping the Eagles win National Football League championships in 1948 and 1949. Foot injuries slowed him down in 1950 and 1951, and a knee injury early in training camp in 1952 put him out of action for the entire season and ended his career. Mr. Van Buren was a scout with the Eagles after his playing career ended, and coached minor league professional football through the 1960s. He was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 1965, and died of pneumonia on August 23, 2012 at the age of 91.

Al Wistert. U.S. football player. Mr. Wistert was a tackle at the University of Michigan (1940-1942), earning All-American honours in his senior year. He played with the Philadelphia Pittsburgh "Combines," popularly known as the "Steagles" (1943) and Eagles (1944-1951) as a teammate of Mr. Van Buren. Mr. Wistert was a First Team All-Pro six times (1944-1949) and a Second Team All-Pro twice (1950-1951), helping the Eagles win their NFL championships in 1948 and 1949. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1968, and died on March 5, 2016 at the age of 95.

80 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Frenesi--Artie Shaw and his Orchestra (2nd week at #1)

Died on this date
Christian Deetjan, 77
. U.S. physician. Dr. Deetjan, a pioneer in X-ray treatment who had lost fingers and a forearm in 1930 as a result of his work, died in Baltimore from burns received during research.

It was reported that Germany had massed more than a division of troops in Romania within 13 miles of the Yugoslavian border. The Japanese government denied that one of its ships had shelled Nauru; Australian sources speculated that the ship concerned was a disguised German raider. A vote of confidence in the cabinet of Prime Minister Hussein Sirri Pasha by the Egyptian parliament barred the way to Egypt's active participation in the European war.

According to a preliminary audit by the United States Treasury, the United Kingdom would have no cash left to pay for U.S. arms and munitions by the early autumn of 1941. A Gallup Poll reported that 60% of American voters now favoured aiding Britain even at the risk of war, as compared with 36% in May 1940.

Edward Stettinius of the U.S. National Defense Advisory Commission reported that there were no serious shortages in aluminum supplies.

Universal military training was established in Ecuador, beginning in January 1941 with pre-military instruction in all schools, colleges, and universities.

World events
The Guatemalan government of President Jorge Ubico announced that 12 people who had tried to start a rebellion on December 24 at Fort Metamoros had been executed this day by firing squads.

The American Student Union in New York accused the U.S. administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt with attempting to sabotage progressive legislation and civil liberties under the guise of national defense.

University of California professors Joseph Kaplan and Dr. S.M. Ruben described a new device called a "cosmic Jacob's ladder" which provided them with evidence that the upper atmosphere contains helium.

A U.S. House of Representatives committee which had spent 17 months investigating the National Labor Relations Board urged its complete reorganization to eliminate those employees who had shown bias and a partisan attitude as well as those who had indicated opposition to "the American system of government."

Blue-Gray Game @ Montgomery, Alabama
North 14 South 12

75 years ago

At the movies
Scarlet Street, starring Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, and Dan Duryea, opened in theatres.

Died on this date
Theodore Dreiser, 74
. U.S. author. Mr. Dreiser was best known for his novels Sister Carrie (1900) and An American Tragedy (1925). In his later years he wrote non-fiction works praising the Soviet Union, and joined the Communist Party four months before his death.

Paul Joseph Hoffmann. German war criminal. Mr. Hoffmann was convicted for ordering the deaths of two million prisoners while he was commandant of the Majdanek concentration camp in Poland during World War II. He was hanged outside the camp crematorium.

More than 10,000 holdout Japanese troops surrendered to Chinese General Li Yen-nien in the Shantung area of China. A Canadian military court in Aurich, Germany found German SS Major-General and Hitler Youth Division Commander Kurt Meyer guilty of war crimes for the assassination of Canadian prisoners of war in Normandy after the D-Day invasion of June 6, 1944.

A United Nations interim committee narrowed the choice for the UN's permanent headquarters to Boston or New York.

A British-Dutch Conference on Indonesia ended in London with a statement that the situation there should be settled, but there was no agreement on how this should be done.

Lebanese Prime Minister Sami Soih said that the United Nations would be pressed to ask that British and French troops be removed from the country.

Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance.

U.S. President Harry Truman signed the liberalized GI Bill of Rights.

Economics and finance
The Panamanian Constitutional Congress voted a budget of more than $30 million, the highest in the country's history to date.

The U.S. Office of Price Administration raised the retail price ceiling 10c per ton on coal, coke, and other solid fuels as of January 2, 1946.

A U.S. federal district court in Chicago enjoining further monopoly restraint of competition and rate-fixing by Allied Van Lines.

General Motors officials walked out of U.S. President Truman's fact-finding board hearing, objecting to union demands that wages be related to prices and company profits.

U.S. Office of Price Administration Administrator Chester Bowles protested to the White House for a second time that certain officers in federal agencies discriminated against Negroes seeking employment.

70 years ago

Married on this date
U.S. actor Henry Fonda married Susan Blanchard, stepdaughter of lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II.

The U.S.A. told the U.S.S.R. in a note that it would not wai much longer for Soviet cooperation on a Japanese peace treaty and would not accept terms barring American troops from Japan.

U.S. President Harry Truman rejected former President Herbert Hoover's proposal to limit U.S. defenses to the Western Hemisphere as an attempt to revive isolationism.

Politics and government
U.S. Representative Adolph Sabath (Democrat--Illinois) completed a record 43 years, 9 months, and 25 days of continuous congressional service.

Time magazine's choice for Man of the Year was "The U.S. Fighting Man," the first time the magazine had cited a symbol instead of an individual.

The U.S. Army reported the successful use in Korea of iso-levomethadone, a synthetic drug which relieved pain as effectively as morphine and could easily be mass-produced.

Economics and finance
The People's Republic of China retaliated against the U.S. economic embargo by seizing all American assets in China, estimated by a U.S. Commerce Department official as less than $100 million.

The U.S. Federal Reserve Board ordered an increase in bank reserve requirements as an anti-inflation measure designed to withdraw $2 billion from circulation.

The U.S. government took complete control of natural rubber under a National Production Authority order making the General Services Administration the nation's sole importer and distributor of the product.

60 years ago

At the movies
Where the Boys Are, directed by Henry Levin, and starring Dolores Hart, George Hamilton, Yvette Mimieux, Jim Hutton, Barbara Nichols, Paula Prentiss, and Connie Francis, opened in theatres.

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): A Song of Joy--Miguel Rios (4th week at #1)

#1 single in Japan (Oricon Singles Chart): Kyōto no Koi--Yūko Nagisa (8th week at #1)

#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Te Quiero, Te Quiero--Nino Bravo (2nd week at #1)

World events
The military tribunal in Spain trying 16 Basque nationalists handed down harsh verdicts, including death sentences for six of the accused. Three of the six were sentenced to death by firing squad twice (wouldn’t once be enough?). Sentences for the others ranged from 12 to 70 years, but one of the female defendants was acquitted. The verdicts and sentences provoked protests and pleas for mercy from around the world, and Basque guerrillas threatened retaliation if the death sentences were carried out.

Three suspects in the October 17 murder of Quebec Labour Minister Pierre Laporte--Paul Rose, 27; his brother Jacques, 23; and Francis Simard, 23--were captured in a Quebec farmhouse, having earlier eluded police in Montreal. The three were associated with the Front de Liberation du Quebec (FLQ).

U.S. Defense Secretary Melvin Laird, in a year-end review, revealed that U.S. combat deaths in Vietnam had dropped to a five-year low. Almost-complete figures for 1970 showed 4,180 combat deaths, more than 10,000 fewer than in 1968, and less than half the number killed in 1969. U.S. wounded for 1970 numbered 30,425--slightly more than in 1966, but much below the numbers from 1967-1969. Mr. Laird said that U.S. air attacks had declined 36% from 1969 and 48% from 1968.

After almost four months of debate in the cabinet, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir announced that Israel would return to the Middle East peace talks under the auspices of United Nations mediator Gunnar Jarring.

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand (RIANZ): Shaddap You Face--Joe Dolce Music Theatre (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Switzerland: Angel of Mine--Frank Duval & Orchestra (3rd week at #1)

The day after leftist guerrillas had begun an offensive against government troops in northern El Salvador, the commander of the Salvadoran army reported that he had the situation in hand.

The government of Mexico announced its plans to cancel two fishing treaties between itself and the United States. The first was a 1976 agreement that gave the U.S. a quota for snapper and grouper caught in Mexican Gulf and Pacific waters, which would be terminated in one year. The second was a 1977 treaty that permitted Mexico a squid allocation of the eastern seaboard of the United States, which would be cancelled within six months of the delivery of the notice. This notice--which was delivered to the U.S. State Department on December 29--was seen as a blow to efforts to produce a treaty between the countries on the more important tuna fishing industry. Mexico and the U.S. had been engaged in a "tuna war" since a July embargo on tuna imports from Mexico was imposed by the U.S.A.

The U.S.S.R. delivered a formal protest to Iran asking for the Iranian government to make repairs to and to beef up security around the Soviet embassy in Tehran. The day before, Afghans living in Iran had broken into the embassy’s compound to protest on the first anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The formal protest message from the U.S.S.R. did not note that the protesters were Afghans.

Politics and government
John Agyekum Kufuor won a runoff election to become the new President of Ghana, ending Jerry Rawlings’ 19 years in power. Mr. Rawlings, who had twice seized power and led a harsh military regime before turning to democracy, was constitutionally barred from running again. Mr. Kufuor, the candidate of the New Patriotic Party, received 56.9% of the vote to 43.1% for National Democratic Congress candidate John Atta Mills.

An announcement issued by a group of researchers at the University of Utah reported that they had kept a calf alive for 32 weeks with a man-made heart, and requested permission to implant a similar device in a human being. A university panel was set up to review the possibility of the human implant. The artificial heart, it was thought, could be used to keep a heart patient alive long enough for surgeons to locate another human heart to be used in a transplant operation.

Britain’s Independent Broadcasting Authority announced that the contract for "breakfast television" had been awarded to the new company TV-am.

NFC Wild Card Playoff
Los Angeles 13 @ Dallas 34

AFC Wild Card Playoff
Houston 7 @ Oakland 27

30 years ago

Died on this date
Kiel Martin, 46
. U.S. actor. Mr. Martin, born Kiel Mueller, was best known for playing Detective J.D. LaRue in the television series Hill Street Blues (1981-1987). This blogger remembers him from The Edge of Night in the late 1970s. Mr. Martin died of lung cancer.

Economics and finance
The United States Commerce Department said that the index of leading economic indicators had declined 1.2% in November. The index had now dropped for five consecutive months, with a decline of three straight months generally regarded as indicating a recession.

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Finland (Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland): Gangsta's Paradise--Coolio featuring L.V. (9th week at #1)

#1 single in Denmark (Nielsen Music Control & IFPI): Gangsta's Paradise--Coolio featuring L.V. (8th week at #1)

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

Politics and government
Clyde Wells, Premier of Newfoundland since May 1989, announced his resignation as soon as a successor could be chosen.

Speedskater Susan Auch was named Canada's female Athlete of the Year by Canadian Press.

20 years ago

Passengers aboard a British Airways jumbo jet screamed in terror when a man burst into the cockpit and sent the plane into a steep dive during a night flight from London to Nairobi. Several passengers subdued and bound the 27-year-old Kenyan intruder as he attacked the pilot. The co-pilot regained control of the plane after a 3,000-foot descent.

Politics and government
U.S. President-elect George W. Bush named Donald Rumsfeld as his choice for Secretary of Defense. Mr. Rumsfeld had held the position in the administration of President Gerald Ford from 1975-1977.

The United States Census Bureau put the resident population of the United States on April 1, 2000 at 281,421,906, a 13.2% increase from 1990. On the basis of unadjusted state figures, as required by law, there would be eight states gaining seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, and 10 states losing seats. California, already the most populous state, had added 4,111,627 residents, more than any other state. Nevada had the highest rate of gain, 66.3%. North Dakota had the smallest total increase--3,400--and the lowest rate of increase--0.5%. The District of Columbia’s population declined 5.7%.

U.S. retail chain Montgomery Ward & Co., a century-old company, announced that it would cease to operate, closing 250 stores and ending employment for 28,000 workers.

10 years ago

Died on this date
Billy Taylor, 89
. U.S. musician. Dr. Taylor was a jazz pianist and composer who performed on his own and with others in a career spanning more than 60 years. He obtained a doctorate in music in 1975 and served as an ambassador for jazz, hosting radio and television programs, teaching young people, forming his own record label to document his music, and serving as artistic director for jazz at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Dr. Taylor received numerous awards, including a Grammy, an Emmy, and two Peabody Awards. He died of a heart attack.

Terry Rasmussen, 67. U.S. criminal. Mr. Rasmussen, who used several aliases, was a serial killer who murdered at least six people, and was suspected in a number of other murders from the late 1970s until 2002. He was convicted in 2003 of the 2002 murder of his wife, and given a sentence of 15 years to life in prison. Mr. Rasmussen died in High Desert State Prison in California five days after his 67th birthday, from a combination of lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pneumonia.

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