Monday, 7 December 2020

December 8, 2020

360 years ago

A woman appeared on an English public stage for the first time, in the role of Desdemona in a production of William Shakespeare's play Othello by Thomas Killigrew's new King's Company at their Vere Street theatre in London. Margaret Hughes, 15, is generally credited with playing the role, although some historians credit Anne Marshall.

140 years ago

Politics and government
At an assembly of 10,000 Boers, Paul Kruger announced the fulfilment of the decision to restore the government and volksraad of the South African Republic.

130 years ago

Born on this date
Bohuslav Martinů
. Czech-born composer. Mr. Martinů was a violinist with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra who moved to Paris in 1923 to study composition. He moved to the United States in 1941, and back to Europe in 1953, dying in Switzerland. Mr. Martinů wrote 6 symphonies, 15 operas, 14 ballet scores, and numerous other orchestral, chamber, instrumental, and vocal works. He died on August 28, 1959 at the age of 68.

The Alberta Railway and Coal Company Railway opened its Lethbridge-Great Falls line for business.

120 years ago

Born on this date
Sun Li-jen
. Chinese military officer. General Sun, a graduate of Virginia Military Institute, was known as the "Rommel of the East" for his leadership of Nationalist Chinese forces in the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). He didn't have the full confidence of Nationalist leader Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and was relieved of command in the Chinese Civil War in 1946. Gen. Sun was named Commander in Chief in 1950, but was limited to ceremonial roles. He was charged with conspiracy in 1955 and was under virtual house arrest until his release in 1988. Gen. Sun died on November 19, 1990, 19 days before his 90th birthday.

90 years ago

On the radio
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring Richard Gordon and Leigh Lovell, on NBC
Tonight’s episode: Silver Blaze

80 years ago

On the radio

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, on NBC
Tonight’s episode: Black Peter

The German freighter Idarwald was reported captured by the British cruiser Diomede off the coast of Cuba inside the American neutrality zone. Admrial Domenico Cavagnari resigned as chief of staff of the Italian Navy, and was succeeded by Admiral Arturo Riccardi.

A letter from British Prime Minister Winston Churchill delivered to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt warned that the loss of British shipping in the Atlantic Ocean was reaching the crisis stage. He added that "the moment approaches when we shall no longer be able to pay cash" for military supplies and equipment.

U.S. Senator Elbert Thomas (Democrat--Utah) proposed that the United States cancel the United Kingdom's $5-billion war debt in exchange for U.S. control of all British colonies in the Western Hemisphere except Canada, to be effective until two years after the end of the European war.

Politics and government
The National Women's Party, meeting in Washington, adopted resolutions to fight legal discrimination against women and to conduct an extensive campaign to have the United States Congress pass an equal rights amendment to the Constitution.

The Labor Policies Advisory Committee of the U.S. National Defense Advisory Commission pledged labour's cooperation with the national defense program, and promised not to impede production before all conciliation facilities of the federal government had been exhausted.

NFL Championship
Chicago Bears 73 @ Washington 0

The Bears, who had lost 7-3 to the Redskins three weeks earlier, scored 11 touchdowns in the most lopsided game in NFL history. 36,034 attended the game at Griffith Stadium, almost all of whom went home disappointed.

75 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): It's Been a Long, Long Time--Bing Crosby with Les Paul and his Trio (Best Seller--1st week at #1; Juke Box--2nd week at #1); Chickery Chick--Sammy Kaye and his "Swing and Sway" Orchestra with Nancy Norman, Billy Williams and the Kaye Choir (Airplay--3rd week at #1); It's Been a Long, Long Time--Harry James and His Orchestra with Kitty Kallen; Bing Crosby with Les Paul and his Trio (Honor Roll of Hits--4th week at #1);

Allied Supreme Commander in the Pacific General Douglas MacArthur ordered the trial of Lieutenant General Masaharu Homma--who oversaw the "Bataan Death March--and the trials of four other Japanese commanders in the Philippines.

Peronistas fired into a mass meeting of the Democratic Union in Buenos Aires, killing 4 people and wounding 40.

United Auto Workers of America rejected U.S. President Harry Truman's appeal to end its 18-day strike against General Motors, and denounced his legislative proposals.

70 years ago

Two days after The Washington Post published music critic Paul Hume's negative review of Margaret Truman's recital at Constitution Hall, the paper refused to publish the scathing letter to Mr. Hume from Miss Truman's father, U.S. President Harry Truman. However, Mr. Hume had told Washington Daily News music critic Milton Berliner about the letter, and the Daily News published a story about it, which was printed throughout the country.

U.S. President Truman and U.K. Prime Minister Clement Attlee ended their five-day conference in Washington with a statement that there would be "no appeasement" of Communist China over Korea. Mr. Truman reportedly backed a plan advanced by Secretary of State Dean Acheson for a blockade of China in case the United Nations forces were driven out of Korea, but Mr. Attlee opposed this as both futile and dangerous.

Vietnam's Bao Dai government established its own national army.

Politics and government
New York Governor Thomas Dewey (Republican) urged the nation to close ranks in "the national emergency" and end attacks on the Far Eastern policies of President Truman's administration.

Economics and finance
The U.S. State Department banned all shipment of goods to the People's Republic of China.

General Motors and Ford Motor Company "regretfully" rejected the U.S. Economic Stabilization Administration's request to suspend recent price increases.

60 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in the U.K. (Record Retailer): It's Now or Never--Elvis Presley (6th week at #1)

On television tonight
The Untouchables, starring Robert Stack, on ABC
Tonight's episode: Kiss of Death Girl

Pete Rademacher (9-3-1) won a 10-round split decision over Kirk Barrow (17-4-1) in a heavyweight bout at the Spokane Coliseum in Spokane, Washington.

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Sweden (Kvällstoppen): Cracklin' Rosie--Neil Diamond

#1 single in Switzerland (Swiss Hitparade): San Bernadino--Christie

King Hussein of Jordan arrived in Washington to discuss the Middle East situation with U.S. President Richard Nixon.

The prosecution rested its case in the court-martial of U.S. Army Lieutenant William Calley accused of the murder of civilians in the South Vietnamese village of My Lai on March 16, 1968.

Politics and government
John Robarts, who had been Premier of Ontario since 1961, announced his resignation after the selection of a new leader for the Progressive Conservative Party and government.

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): Shaddap You Face--Joe Dolce Music Theatre (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in Japan (Oricon Singles Chart): Koibito yo--Mayumi Itsuwa (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Woman in Love--Barbra Streisand

#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): Woman in Love--Barbra Streisand

Died on this date
John Lennon, 40
. U.K. musician. Mr. Lennon, who had achieved worldwide fame in the 1960s as a member of the Beatles rock group before embarking on a separate career, was shot to death outside his New York City residence by ex-fan Mark Chapman. Mr. Lennon was just returning home from a recording session after conducting a radio interview earlier in the day. His and his wife Yoko Ono’s album Double Fantasy had been released three weeks earlier, and (Just Like) Starting Over, the first single from the album, was already in the top 10 in the Billboard Hot 100 and various other charts. Like many people, this blogger found out about Mr. Lennon's death while watching the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots play on Monday Night Football on ABC. Howard Cosell made the announcement.

Stevie Wonder performed at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum as part of his Hotter than July tour. He found out about John Lennon's death and had difficulty making it through the concert, and announced Mr. Lennon's death to the audience before it was over.

The U.S. administration of President Jimmy Carter announced that military reservists had been called up in the U.S.S.R., East Germany, and Czechoslovakia, increasing speculation on the possibility of intervention in Poland on the ploy of military maneuvers.

U.S.S.R. President Leonid Brezhnev arrived in India for a state visit and was greeted by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, her cabinet, and many diplomats. There were anti-Soviet demonstrations in New Delhi.

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey met to discuss a hunger strike in Northern Irish prisons. Seven male prisoners opposing British rule in Northern Ireland had been on a hunger strike for seven weeks, and for three weeks a similar strike had been carried on by three women in another prison. Another six inmates at the men’s prison had threatened to begin their own fast if they were not granted special political status instead of being treated as common criminals.

Chrysler Corporation told the U.S. government that it needed $350 million in additional federal loan guarantees in order to keep making vehicles. This was in addition to the $800 million previously guaranteed. U.S. Treasury Secretary William Miller suggested that the company should also try to raise its own additional capital funds.

New England (8-6) 13 @ Miami (7-7) 16 (OT)

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Australian Music Report): Unchained Melody--The Righteous Brothers (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in Italy (FIMI): I've Been Thinking About You--Londonbeat

#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): I've Been Thinking About You--Londonbeat

#1 single in Flanders (Ultratop 50): Show Me Heaven--Maria McKee (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in France (SNEP): Une femme avec une femme--Mecano (5th week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (CIN): Ice Ice Baby--Vanilla Ice (2nd week at #1)

Netherlands Top 10 (De Nederlandse Top 40)
1 Unchained Melody--The Righteous Brothers (2nd week at #1)
2 Sadeness Part I--Enigma
3 It Takes Two--Rod Stewart & Tina Turner
4 The Anniversary Waltz--Status Quo
5 Show Me Heaven--Maria McKee
6 Ice Ice Baby--Vanilla Ice
7 I'm Your Baby Tonight--Whitney Houston
8 I'll Be Your Baby Tonight--Robert Palmer and UB40
9 Doin' the Do--Betty Boo
10 Thunderstruck--AC/DC

Singles entering the chart were Pray by MC Hammer (#20); Love Rears its Ugly Head by Living Colour (#25); A Better Love by Londonbeat (#27); Justify My Love by Madonna (#28); Leven en Laten Leven by Corry Konings (#31); Don't Worry by Kim Appleby (#32); and A Little Time by the Beautiful South (#36).

U.S.A. Top 10 (Billboard)
1 Because I Love You (The Postman Song)--Stevie B
2 I'm Your Baby Tonight--Whitney Houston
3 From a Distance--Bette Midler
4 Something to Believe In--Poison
5 Love Takes Time--Mariah Carey
6 Groove is in the Heart--Deee-Lite
7 Impulsive--Wilson Phillips
8 The Way You Do the Things You Do--UB40
9 Tom's Diner--DNA featuring Suzanne Vega
10 Justify My Love--Madonna

Singles entering the chart were Play That Funky Music by Vanilla Ice (#66); Moneytalks by AC/DC (#76); Round and Round by Tevin Campbell (#78); Where Does My Heart Beat Now by Celine Dion (#80); Just a Little Bit Longer by Maxi Priest (#84); I Don't Know Anybody Else by Black Box (#86); Shelter Me by Cinderella (#89); Go for It! (Heart and Fire) by Joey B. Ellis and Tynetta Hare (#92); Love Me Just for Me by Special Generation (#95); and Show Me the Way by Styx (#96).

U.S.A. Top 10 (Cash Box)
1 I’m Your Baby Tonight--Whitney Houston (2nd week at #1)
2 Because I Love You (The Postman Song)--Stevie B
3 From a Distance--Bette Midler
4 Love Takes Time--Mariah Carey
5 Groove is in the Heart--Deee-Lite
6 The Way You Do the Things You Do--UB40
7 Something to Believe In--Poison
8 Impulsive--Wilson Phillips
9 More Than Words Can Say--Alias
10 High Enough--Damn Yankees

Singles entering the chart that week were Do the Bartman by the Simpsons (#44--album track); Play That Funky Music by Vanilla Ice (#62); Moneytalks by AC/DC (#67); Shelter Me by Cinderella (#69); House Full of Reasons by Jude Cole (#70); Around the Way Girl by L.L. Cool J (#74); Where Does My Heart Beat Now by Celine Dion (#78); The Swalk by Notorious (#80); and Crash (Have Some Fun) by TKA (with Michelle Visage) (#83).

Canada's Top 10 (RPM)
1 More than Words Can Say--Alias (3rd week at #1)
2 Stranded--Heart
3 Love Takes Time--Mariah Carey
4 Something to Believe In--Poison
5 Impulsive--Wilson Phillips
6 So Close--Daryl Hall John Oates
7 I’m Your Baby Tonight--Whitney Houston
8 From a Distance--Bette Midler
9 Miracle--Jon Bon Jovi
10 One and Only Man--Steve Winwood

Singles entering the chart were Wicked Game by Chris Isaak (#70); Wiggle It by 2 in a Room (#84); I Stand in Wonder by Rita Coolidge (#90); I Couldn't Help Myself by Sara Hickman (#93); Operator Central by Haywire (#94); Give it Up by Colin James and Bonnie Raitt (#95); Liberty by Kon Kan (#98); Feels Good by Tony! Toni! Tone! (#99); and World in My Eyes by Depeche Mode (#100).

The probe Galileo flew past Earth for the first time.

Army 30 Navy 20 @ Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Sweden (Topplistan): Gangsta's Paradise--Coolio feauring L.V. (7th week at #1)

#1 single in Ireland (IRMA): Father and Son--Boyzone (2nd week at #1)

Died on this date
Philip Lawrence, 48
. U.K. schoolteacher. Mr. Lawrence, a head teacher at St George's Roman Catholic School, Maida Vale, London, died after being stabbed outside the school while helping a 13-year-old pupil who was being assaulted by a gang.

The Grateful Dead announced that they were breaking up, four months after the death of lead guitarist Jerry Garcia.

Politics and government
The Canadian government of Prime Minister Jean Chretien agreed to British Columbia's demands, giving the province a constitutional veto, along with each of Québec, Ontario, Atlantic Canada, and the three remaining western provinces. The government also announced a $1.5-billion deal to privatize the country's air traffic control network, the first large-scale transfer of government services to the private sector.

Chinese authorities enthroned their choice as Panchem Lama, six days after Tibetan monks had begun a hunger strike to protest the detention of the Dalai Lama's candidate.

20 years ago

World events
Former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet was arrested and ordered to stand trial in Santiago on charges of kidnapping and murder. Gen. Pinochet had returned to Chile in March after more than a year under house arrest in Britain.

10 years ago

With the second launch of the Falcon 9 and the first launch of the Dragon, SpaceX became the first private company to successfully launch, orbit, and recover a spacecraft.

The Japanese solar-sail spacecraft IKAROS passed Venus at a distance of about 50,200 miles (80,800 kilometres).

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