Monday, 25 January 2021

January 26, 2021

490 years ago

The 6.4–7.1 Mw Lisbon earthquake killed about 30,000 people.

180 years ago

Captain James Bremer took formal possession of Hong Kong Island at what is now Possession Point, establishing British Hong Kong.

160 years ago

Louisiana became the sixth state to secede from the Union.

130 years ago

Born on this date
August Froehlich
. German clergyman. Rev. Froehlich was a Roman Catholic priest who spoke out publicly against treatment by the Nazi regime of Polish forced labourers. Rev. Froehlich was arrested in July 1941 and served time in three concentration camps before dying on June 22, 1942 at the age of 51.

Frank Costello. Italian-born U.S. gangster. Mr. Costello, known as the "Prime Minister of the Underworld," headed the Luciano crime family, one of the biggest in the United States. Mr. Costello became a celebrity in 1951 when he testified before the U.S. Senate hearings on organized crime headed by Senator Estes Kefauver. Mr. Costello agreed to testify, while his face not be shown on television. The camera showed close-ups of Mr. Costello's hands as he gave his testimony. He died on February 18, 1973, 23 days after his 82nd birthday.

Wilder Penfield. U.S.-born Canadian physician. Dr. Penfield, a native of Spokane, Washington, trained in the United States before moving to Montreal, where he became the city's first neurosurgeon. He was a pioneer in brain surgery, including mapping functions of various regions of the brain. Dr. Penfield died on April 5, 1976 at the age of 85.

Died on this date
Nicolaus Otto, 58
. German engineer. Mr. Otto developed the internal combustion engine in the 1860s and '70s, obtaining a patent, obtaining a patent in 1876.

110 years ago

Born on this date
Norbert Schultze
. German composer. Mr. Schultze wrote operas and film scores, but was best known for writing the music for the song Lili Marleen. He joined the Nazi Party in 1940 in order to avoid conscription, and composed the score for the film Kolberg (1945). Mr. Schultze died on October 14, 2002 at the age of 81.

100 years ago

Born on this date
Akio Morita
. Japanese industrialist. Mr. Morita and Masaru Ibuka co-founded Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation)--eventually known as Sony--in 1946. Mr. Morita suffered a stroke in 1993, retired in 1994, and died of pneumonia on October 3, 1999 at the age of 78.

Eddie Barclay. French musician and record producer. Mr. Barclay, born Édouard Ruault, was a jazz pianist in Paris nightclubs from the 1930s through the 1950s before founding Barclay Records, distributing works by artists such as Charles Aznavour and Jacques Brel. He also composed film scores, including Bob le flambeur (1955). Mr. Barclay was married nine times, and died on May 13, 2005 at the age of 84, after a period of declining health.

90 years ago

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

80 years ago

On the radio
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, on NBC
Tonight’s episode: The Hound of the Baskervilles, Part 3

Japanese Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka accused U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull of distorting the truth about the "Manchurian Affair," which he blamed on "Anglo-Saxon interference in the Far East."

Politics and government
The India League, meeting in London, delcared that British rule had "ruined" India.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoples sponsored meetings in 23 American states to protest employment discrimination against Negroes in defense plants.

75 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!--Vaughn Monroe and His Orchestra with Vaughn Monroe and the Norton Sisters (Best Seller--1st week at #1; Airplay--2nd week at #1); I Can't Begin to Tell You--Bing Crosby with Carmen Cavallaro (Juke Box--5th week at #1); Symphony--Freddy Martin and his Orchestra with Clyde Rogers (Honor Roll of Hits--4th week at #1)

U.S. Army Colonel William Councill shattered the transcontinental record by flying an Army Lockheed P-80 jet-propelled "Shooting Star" from Long Beach, California to La Guardia Airport in New York City in 4 hours 13 minutes 26 seconds.

Politics and government
Socialist Félix Gouin took office as President of the French provisional government, forming a cabinet of six Socialists; six Communists; six Popular Republican Movement members; and one independent.

The Iranian Majlis elected Ahmad Ghavam Saltaneh to a fourth term as Prime Minister. The vote was 52-51 in his favour.

The U.S.S.R. claimed that secret clauses of the 1945 Yalta agreement promised the Soviet Union permanent possession of the Kurile Islands, southern Sakhalin, and adjacent islands.

The important cosmic ray component meson was artificially isolated for the first time at the General Electric laboratories in Schenectady, New York.

Ford Motor Company and Chrysler Corporation settled with United Auto Workers for an hourly wage increase of 18½c.

The Congress of Industrial Organizations Packinghouse Workers voted to resume work in government-operated plants pending rulings by fact-finding boards.

Switzerland was hit by its third earthquake in 24 hours, causing damage in St. Moritz and and that Canton of Valais.

Horse racing
Honeymoon, owned by movie mogul Louis B. Mayer, won the $28,705 Santa Maria Stakes in California.

70 years ago

On the radio
Hear it Now, hosted by Edward R. Murrow, on CBS

Tonight's program included news about the debate over whether U.S. President Harry Truman had the right to send troops to Europe without the approval of Congress.

The U.S. 8th Army reoccupied Suwon, 16 miles south of Seoul, in a "limited objective" drive aimed at probing Chinese Communist positions.

World events
The French Interior Ministry directed police to shut down the Paris headquarters of three Communist-led international organizations: World Federation of Trade Unions; International Federation of Democratic Women; and World Federation of Democratic Youth.

Politics and government
Senator Joseph McCarthy (Republican--Wisconsin) replaced Sen. Margaret Chase Smith (Republican--Maine) on the investigating subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Executive Expenditures Committee.

La Prensa, the leading Buenos Aires newspaper critical of the Argentine regime of President Juan Peron, halted publication when the pro-government News Vendors Union refused to handle its deliveries.

Temple Beth Israel in Meridian, Mississippi became the first Jewish congregation to call a woman to exercise a rabbi's functions.

Economics and finance
U.S. Price Stabilization Agency Director Michael DiSalle and Wage Stabilization Board Chairman Cyrus Ching ordered a temporary freeze of most wages and prices in the U.S. economy.

Mel Ott and Jimmie Foxx were announced as the Baseball Writers Assocation of America's latest choices for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Mr. Ott played right field for the New York Giants (1926-1947), batting. 304 with 511 home runs and 1,860 runs batted in in 2,730 games, leading the National League in home runs six times; bases on balls six times; on base percentage four times; runs twice; slugging once; runs batted in once; and games played once. He played in three World Series, batting .295 with 4 homers and 10 RBIs in 10 W.S. games. Mr. Foxx began as a catcher, ended as a pitcher, but spent most of his career at first base with the Philadelphia Athletics (1925-1935); Boston Red Sox (1936-1942); Chicago Cubs (1943-1944); and Philadelphia Blue Jays (1945), batting .325 with 534 home runs and 1,932 runs batted in in 2,317 games, leading the American League in slugging five times; home runs four times; runs batted in three times; on base percentage three times; bases on balls twice; runs once; and games once, winning the Triple Crown in 1933. Mr. Foxx was a three-time Most Valuable Player, and played in three World Series, batting .344 with 4 homers and 11 RBIs in 18 games. He was 1-0 with an earned run average of 1.52 in 10 games as a pitcher.

60 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand (Lever Hit Parade): Poetry In Motion--Johnny Tillotson

#1 single in the U.K. (Record Retailer): Are You Lonesome To-night?--Elvis Presley

On television tonight
The Untouchables, starring Robert Stack, on ABC
Tonight's episode: The Organization

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Wayne Gretzky! "The Great One" was born in Brantford, Ontario.

As pirates led by former Portuguese army captain Hector Galvao held almost 1,000 passengers and crew aboard the Portuguese cruise ship Santa Maria hostage in the Atlantic Ocean, the United States Navy agreed to a request by Mr. Galvao for a conference aboard the Santa Maria, but the Navy asked that the ship put in at a Latin American port to discharge passengers. Mr. Galvao said that he would not dock anywhere until he received the status of a "belligerent."

Politics and government
John F. Kennedy appointed Dr. Janet G. Travell to be the first woman Physician to the President.

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Sweden (Kvällstoppen): Candida--Dawn (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Switzerland (Swiss Hitparade): My Sweet Lord--George Harrison (2nd week at #1)

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): (Just Like) Starting Over--John Lennon (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Japan (Oricon Singles Chart): Koi wa Do!--Toshihiko Tahara

#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Perdóname--Camilo Sesto

#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): Super Trouper--ABBA (3rd week at #1)

United Nations Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim urged the delegates to a 37-nation conference of Islamic countries in Taif, Saudi Arabia to help the UN mediate the war between Iran and Iraq.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that states were free to permit criminal trials to be televised. The justices felt that television did not violate a defendant’s right to a fair trial, even when the subject objected to the cameras. The ruling still left open the right of appeal on the grounds that the trial was unfair or the jurors biased by a particular type of news coverage. At the time of the decision, 27 states had permitted some form of televised court proceedings--21 of them in criminal trials--but 10 of the 21 required the consent of the defendant.

Former U.S. Representative Richard Kelly (Republican--Florida) was convicted of bribery, conspiracy, and interstate travel in aid of a racketeering enterprise, becoming the sixth member or former member of Congress to be convicted in the Abscam trials. Videotapes had shown Mr. Kelly taking $25,000 in cash and putting it in his pocket after promising to help two Arab sheiks immigrate to the United States. Abscam was a sting operation in which Federal Bureau of Investigation agents disguised themselves as Arabs in order to trap Congressmen by offering them bribes.

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Australian Music Report): Ice Ice Baby--Vanilla Ice (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in Italy (FIMI): Attenti al Lupo--Lucio Dalla (4th week at #1)

#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Sadeness Part I--Enigma

#1 single in Flanders (Ultratop 50): Ice Ice Baby--Vanilla Ice

#1 single in France (SNEP): Il faut laisser le temps au temps--Félix Gray & Didier Barbelivien (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (CIN): Innuendo--Queen

Netherlands Top 10 (De Nederlandse Top 40)
1 Ice Ice Baby--Vanilla Ice (6th week at #1)
2 Mary Had a Little Boy--Snap!
3 Maar Vanavond Heb Ik Hoofdpijn--Hanny
4 Don't Worry--Kim Appleby
5 Sadeness Part I--Enigma
6 To Love Somebody--Jimmy Somerville
7 Knockin' Boots--Candyman
8 All Together Now--The Farm
9 All the Man that I Need--Whitney Houston
10 Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)--C&C Music Factory

Singles entering the chart were Innuendo by Queen (#17); Can't Help Myself by 2 Brothers On The 4th Floor & Da Smooth Baron MC (#28); Coming Out of the Dark by Gloria Estefan (#29); Wij Weten Wel Hoe Laat Het Is by De Deurzakkers (#30); De Kreten-Kraker by Franky Boy (#35); and Where are You Baby? by Betty Boo (#36).

U.S.A. Top 10 (Billboard)
1 The First Time--Surface
2 Love Will Never Do (Without You)--Janet Jackson
3 Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)--C+C Music Factory featuring Freedom Williams
4 Sensitivity--Ralph Tresvant
5 High Enough--Damn Yankees
6 Justify My Love--Madonna
7 Play That Funky Music--Vanilla Ice
8 After the Rain--Nelson
9 I'm Not in Love--Will to Power
10 Just Another Dream--Cathy Dennis

Singles entering the chart were Coming Out of the Dark by Gloria Estefan (#55); Chasin' the Wind by Chicago (#82); and Night and Day by Bette Midler (#92).

U.S.A. Top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Love Will Never Do (Without You)--Janet Jackson
2 High Enough--Damn Yankees
3 The First Time--Surface
4 Sensitivity--Ralph Tresvant
5 Justify My Love--Madonna
6 Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)--C+C Music Factory featuring Freedom Williams
7 I’m Not in Love--Will to Power
8 After the Rain--Nelson
9 Play That Funky Music--Vanilla Ice
10 Tom’s Diner--D.N.A. featuring Suzanne Vega

Singles entering the chart were Coming Out of the Dark by Gloria Estefan (#49); Secret by Heart (#70) and Who Said I Would by Phil Collins (#87).

Canada's Top 10 (RPM)
1 You Gotta Love Someone--Elton John
2 Justify My Love--Madonna
3 Love Will Never Do (Without You)--Janet Jackson
4 Freedom--George Michael
5 Til I Am Myself Again--Blue Rodeo
6 Disappear--INXS
7 Because I Love You (The Postman Song)--Stevie B
8 One and Only Man--Steve Winwood
9 Hang in Long Enough--Phil Collins
10 After the Rain--Nelson

Singles entering the chart were I'll Be the One by Zappacosta (#71); Chasin' the Wind by Chicago (#74); A Lil' Ain't Enough by David Lee Roth (#77); Get Here by Oleta Adams (#78); Crazy in Love by Kenny Rogers (#81); Let Me Love You Too by Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers (#82); Angel from Montgomery by the Leslie Spit Treeo (#88); Waiting for That Day by George Michael (#89); Swear to Your Heart by Russell Hitchcock (#90); If You Need Somebody by Bad Company (#95); and Coming Out of the Dark by Gloria Estefan (#96).

World events
The dictatorial rule of Somali President Major General Mohamed Siad Barre, who had seized power in 1969, ended when he fled the capital of Mogadishu for the country's deep south. President Barre had recently ordered the massacre of thousands of members of the Hawadle people, a sub-clan of the Hawiye clan. United Somali Congress (USC) commander Ali Mahdi Muhammad became the new President of Somalia.

The Pentagon said that two dozen Iraqi aircraft had flown to Iran. Many more soon joined them, and Iran, which had declared its neutrality in the Gulf War, said the planes would be impounded until the end of the war.

A protest rally against the Gulf War was held at Sir Winston Churchill Square in downtown Edmonton. Federal New Democrat MP Svend Robinson addressed the rally as did local environmental activist Tooker Gomberg. For Mr. Gomberg, dislike of the United States apparently took precedence over care for the environment, since it was Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein who had recently dumped oil into the Persian Gulf. This blogger participated in a pro-war rally, climaxed by a march to the statue of Mr. Churchill.

Chicago 5 @ Toronto 1

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Sweden (Topplistan): Spaceman--Babylon Zoo

#1 single in Ireland (IRMA): Spaceman--Babylon Zoo (2nd week at #1)

Died on this date
Dave Schultz, 36
. U.S. wrestler. Mr. Schultz won a gold medal in the freestyle (under 74 kilograms) competition at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles, and numerous medals in other international competitions. While training for the 1996 Olympics, he was shot and killed by John Eleuthère du Pont, the owner of the facility in Pennsylvania where Mr. Schultz was training. Mr. du Pont had reportedly been exhibiting bizarre behaviour for some time before the killing, and he was convicted as guilty and mentally ill.

Politics and government
Brian Tobin was sworn in as Premier of Newfoundland, replacing the retiring Clyde Wells.

Lucien Bouchard became the fourth President of the Parti Québecois.

20 years ago

25,000 people were killed and a million left homeless when an earthquake measuring 7.7 or 7.9 on the Richter scale struck western India and parts of Pakistan.

Politics and government
Joseph Kabila, 29, was sworn in as President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, replacing his father Laurent, who had died nine days earlier after being shot by a bodyguard.

The Supreme Court of Canada upheld a federal law banning the possession of child pornography, and reinstated two charges, dismissed in 1999, against John Robin Sharpe of Vancouver. The Supreme Court overruled a lower court decision that had struck down the law on the basis of freedom of speech.

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