Monday, 4 January 2021

January 4, 2021

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Angela Ieriti, Agness Nyambe, and Aydee Ramirez!

1,150 years ago

Æthelred of Wessex and his brother Alfred the Great were defeated by a Danish invasion army in the Battle of Reading.

140 years ago

Johannes Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture received its premiere performance in Breslau, Germany.

130 years ago

Born on this date
Edward Brooker
. N.Z.-born-Australian politician. Mr. Brooker moved to Australia at the age of 30, and joined the Australian Labour Party. He was elected to the Tasmanian House of Assembly in 1934, and held various cabinet posts. Mr. Brooker was interim Premier of Tasmania from December 1947-February 1948 while Premier Robert Cosgrove was under indictment for corruption. The charges were dropped, and Mr. Brooker returned the premiership to Mr. Cosgrove, accepting the positions of Treasurer and Minister for Transport. He died of a pulmonary edema on June 18, 1948 at the age of 57.

125 years ago

Born on this date
Everett Dirksen
. U.S. politician. Mr. Dirksen, a Republican, represented Illinois' 16th District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1933-1949, and represented Illinois in the Senate from 1951, serving as Senate Republican leader from 1957 until his death from lung cancer on September 7, 1969 at the age of 73 . Mr. Dirksen was known for his mellifluous voice (his spoken word recording Gallant Men reached #29 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart early in 1967 and won a Grammy Award), and a talent for compromise and conciliation.

Utah was admitted to the Union as the 45th state.

Politics and government
Seven ministers of Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie Bowell’s cabinet resigned in opposition to his leadership, after he tried to abolish the Manitoba Schools Act. Sir Mackenzie tried to resign, but when it was rumoured that the Governor General was considering calling on opposition leader Wilfrid Laurier to form a government, the Conservative Party group that Prime Minister Bowell called a "nest of traitors" agreed to back him until the end of the parliamentary session on April 27.

90 years ago

Died on this date
Louise, 63
. U.K. Princess Royal. Princess Louise was the third child and the eldest daughter of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, and a younger sister of King George V. She was married to Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife, from 1889 until his death in 1912.

Art Acord, 40. U.S. cowboy and actor. Mr. Acord won the World Steer Wrestling (Bulldogging) Championship at the Pendleton Round-Up in 1912 and 1916, and appeared as an actor and stuntman in more than 100 movies, mostly Westerns. His films included The Squaw Man (1914) and Cleopatra (1917). Heavy drinking led to a decline in Mr. Acord's career, and he committed suicide in Chihuahua, Mexico by taking poison.

80 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Frenesi--Artie Shaw and his Orchestra (3rd week at #1)

Died on this date
Henri Bergson, 81
. French philosopher. Professor Bergson was awarded the 1927 Nobel Prize in Literature "in recognition of his rich and vitalizing ideas and the brilliant skill with which they have been presented." He was an evolutionist who promoted the idea that the processes of immediate experience and intuition are more significant than abstract rationalism and science for understanding reality.

Charlie Chaplin declined the New York Film Critics Circle award as Best Actor for 1940 for The Great Dictator because he said the award implied that actors competed with each other.

Ecuadorians and Peruvians clashed at Carrol Viejo in a border dispute.

U.S. Senator Carter Glass (Democrat--Virginia) urged the United States Navy to act against Germany.

The Vichy regime decreed dominion status for Indochina.

Politics and government
Prime Minister Johann William Rangell formed a new cabinet in Finland.

The U.S. House of Repesentatives Committee on Un-American Activities asked Congress to bar foreign anti-American propaganda from benefit of reduced postage rates.

The Sino-Korean Peoples League in Los Angeles accused Japanese consulates of conscripting Japanese descendents on the Pacific coast and in Hawaii.

The Vichy regime in France appointed General Henri Dentz as High Commissioner for Syria.

American Federation of Labor metal unions adopted a no-strike policy to speed the national defense effort.

75 years ago

Died on this date
Theodore Schurch, 27
. U.K. traitor. Mr. Schurch was a driver with the Royal Army Corps who was captured by Axis forces at Tobruk in 1942, and began working as a spy for Italy and Germany. He was arrested in Rome in March 1945 and was convicted in September of nine counts under the Treachery Act 1940 and one count of desertion with intent to join the enemy. Mr. Schurch was hanged at Pentonville Prison in London, becoming the last personn to be executed in the United Kingdom for an offense other than murder.

The New York State Board of Censors banned Scarlet Street (1945) because of its story of illicit love.

At the Nazi war crimes trial in Nuremberg, the American prosecution began its presentation of evidence to prove that the German general staff and high command were criminal organizations that plotted war. At the trial in Manila of accused Japanese war criminals, Japanese Army Lieutenant Colonel Michio Kitayama testified that General Masaharu Homma had ordered the Bataan death march. In an Australian inquiry into the conduct of British General Henry Bennett, who had escaped from Singapore shortly after the city's surrender to Japanese forces in 1942, Justice George Ligertwood declared that Gen. Bennett was not justified in leaving his command when he did. At the hearings of the United States Senate committee on the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, former Navy Secretary Frank Knox's secret report was released, blaming General Walter Short and Admiral Husband Kimmel for lack of preparedness, but admitting that they did not have all available information on Japanese intentions.

The U.S. War Department said that because of overseas requirements and demobilization, the return of overseas soldiers to the United States over the next six months must be reduced.

Politics and government
Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers in Japan General Douglas MacArthur directed the Japanese government to remove from office all "active exponents" of military nationalism, bar them from coming elections, and abolish 27 nationalist societies.

Ignacio Quiroz, newly-elected Mayor of Leon, was dismissed by the Guanajuato state government, and a provisional governing board was apointed, pending investigation of the January 2 riots during Mr. Quidoz's inauguration, which had rsulted in 40 deaths and injuries to 300 people.

The Polish parliament voted to recognize Austria and Hungary.

Nobel Prize-winning scientist Frederic Joliot-Curie was appointed French high commissioner for atomic energy.

Economics and finance
The Polish parliament nationalized industry, banks, and public utilities, and ratified the Bretton Woods agreement.

A tornado in northeastern Texas killed 29 people, injured several hundred, and caused heavy property damage.

Sportswriters in Chicago selected Bob Waterfield of the Cleveland Rams as the National Football League's most valuable player for 1945. Mr. Waterfield had quarterbacked the Rams to the NFL championship in the team's last year in Cleveland before moving to Los Angeles.

The All-America Football Conference voted to begin the 1946 season with franchises in eight cities: New York; Brooklyn; Buffalo; Miami; Cleveland; Chicago; Los Angeles; and San Francisco.

70 years ago

At the movies
Halls of Montezuma, directed by Lewis Milestone, and starring Richard Widmark, Richard Boone, Jack Webb, and others, received its premiere screenings in New York and Los Angeles.

Chinese and North Korean troops captured Seoul for the second time since the beginning of the Korean War in June 1950.

World events
The International Relief Organization reported that 250,000 refugees from Bulgaria had entered Turkey since the border had been opened to them a month earlier.

A one-week meeting of Commonwealth Prime Ministers began in London; the purpose was discuss Commonwealth defense policy.

60 years ago

Died on this date
Erwin Schrödinger, 73
. Austrian physicist. Dr. Schrödinger was known for his work in quantum theory and for his "Schrödinger's cat" thought experiment. He and Paul Dirac shared the 1933 Nobel Prize in Physics "for the discovery of new productive forms of atomic theory." Dr. Schrödinger was also interested in other areas, such as colour theory and Hindu philosophy. He helped to establish an Institute for Advanced Studies in Dublin in 1948, acquiring Irish citizenship and teaching there until 1955. Dr. Schrödinger died in Vienna of tuberculosis.

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): I Think I Love You--The Partridge Family

#1 single in Japan (Oricon Singles Chart): Hashire Kōtarō--Salty Sugar

#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Te Quiero, Te Quiero--Nino Bravo (3rd week at #1)

The government of Canada withdrew troops from Montréal and other areas in Québec in the wake of the FLQ crisis. The Committee of Eight, chaired by sociologist Guy Rocher, met with the Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to ask him to withdraw the Emergency Powers Act (Turner Act).

The Quebec government of Premier Robert Bourassa awarded contracts totaling $47 million for two sections of the Trans-Canada Highway.

Leon Howard Sullivan became the first Negro director of the world's largest industrial corporation when he was elected to the board of directors of General Motors.

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand (RIANZ): Shaddap You Face--Joe Dolce Music Theatre (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in Switzerland: Angel of Mine--Frank Duval & Orchestra (4th week at #1)

AFC Divisional Playoff
Oakland 14 @ Cleveland 12

Mike Davis intercepted Brian Sipe's pass in the Oakland end zone with 41 seconds remaining in the game to preserve the Raiders' win over the Browns before 78,245 fans on a cold day at Cleveland Stadium.

NFC Divisional Playoff
Dallas 30 @ Atlanta 27

Trailing 24-10 in the 4th quarter, the Cowboys scored 20 points to beat the Falcons before 59,793 fans at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. The winning score came on a 23-yard touchdown pass from Danny White to Drew Pearson with 42 seconds remaining in regulation time.

30 years ago

Two days after Soviet forces had seized buildings in Latvia and Lithuania, the Soviet military chief of staff pledged that no more soldiers would be sent to the Baltic region.

The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to condemn Israel for its treatment of Palestinians in territories occupied by Israel. In the previous week, at least 10 Arabs had been killed and hundreds injured in violent clashes with Israelis.

Economics and finance
The United States Labor Department reported that unemployment in December had reached a three-year high of 6.1%, and that more than a million payroll jobs had been lost in the last half of 1990.

The Bank of New England Corporation announced that it had lost $450 million in the fourth quarter of 1990.

World Junior Championship
Gold Medal game
Canada 3 U.S.S.R. 2

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Finland (Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland): Gangsta's Paradise--Coolio featuring L.V. (10th week at #1)

#1 single in Denmark (Nielsen Music Control & IFPI): Gangsta's Paradise--Coolio featuring L.V. (9th week at #1)

Don Shula, the NFL's winningest coach, told a local television station on his 66th birthday that he had decided to retire from the Miami Dolphins. Mr. Shula left with a record of 347-173-6 with the Baltimore Colts (1964-1969) and Miami (1970-1995). His teams appeared in six Super Bowls in his 33-year coaching career, winning in 1973 and 1974.

20 years ago

Died on this date
Les Brown, 87
. U.S. musician. Mr. Brown was a jazz saxophonist and clarinetist who was best known as a bandleader, leading Les Brown and his Band of Renown from 1938 until his death, with a successful recording career that included their signature song, Sentimental Journey (1945), featuring a vocal by Doris Day. Mr. Brown and his Band of Renown performed with Bob Hope for many years, and were the house band for The Steve Allen Show (1959-1961) and The Dean Martin Show (1965-1972) on television. Mr. Brown died of lung cancer.

Economics and finance
The U.S. Federal Reserve Board reduced the discount rate--the rate of interest charged by the Federal Reserve Board to member banks--to 5.5%.

10 years ago

Died on this date
Salmaan Taseer, 66
. Pakistani politician. Mr. Taseer, a member of the Pakistan Peoples Party, represented Lahore in the Punjab Assembly (1988-1990), served in the caretaker cabinet of Prime Minister Mian Soomro (2008), and was appointed Governor of Punjab in May 2008. He opposed Pakistan's blasphemy law and called for the pardon of Christian woman Asia Bibi, who had been accused of blasphemy. Mr. Taseer's opposition to the blasphemy law led to his assassination by Malik Mumtaz Qadri, one of his bodyguards, who shot him 27 times near his home in Islamabad.

Gerry Rafferty, 63. U.K. musician. Mr. Rafferty, a native and resident of Paisley, Scotland, was a singer-songwriter and guitarist who first achieved commerical success with the band Stealers Wheel, who had a major hit single with Stuck in the Middle with You (1973). He became a solo artist a few years later, and his album City to City (1978) yielded five hit singles, with the first, Baker Street, spending five weeks at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart as his biggest hit. Mr. Rafferty's subsequent records failed to match his greatest success, and he preferred to stay out of the public eye. He died from the results of years of heavy drinking.

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