Monday, 15 February 2021

February 16, 2021

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Anna!

630 years ago

Died on this date
John V, 58
. Emperor of the Byzantine Empire, 1341-1376; 1379-1390; 1390-1391. John V, of the house of Palaiologos, succeeded his father Andronikos III at the age of 8. He was deposed by his son Andronikos in 1376, but regained the throne. John V's grandson John VII briefly deposed him in 1390, but John V regained power again before dying, and being succeeded by his son Manuel.

550 years ago

Born on this date
. Emperor of the Vijayanagara Empire, 1509-1529. Krishnadevaraya succeeded his older half-brother Viranarasimha Raya as head of the Tuluva dynasty, and presided over the largest empire in India after the decline of the Delhi Sultanate. Krishnadevaraya achieved military success and was regarded as an able administrator, while his reign was regarded as a great age of art and literature. Emperor Krishnadevaraya died in 1529 at the age of 58, and was succeeded on the throne by his younger brother Achyuta Deva Raya.

375 years ago

Parliamentarian forces commanded by Sir Thomas Fairfax defeated Royalist forces led by Sir Ralph Hopton in the Battle of Torrington in Devon. It marked the end of Royalist resistance in the West Country in the first English Civil War.

225 years ago

Colombo fell to British forces, completing their invasion of Ceylon.

200 years ago

Born on this date
Heinrich Barth
. German explorer and scholar. Dr. Barth learned Arabic as a young man, which proved useful in leading expeditions to North Africa and the Near East from the mid-1840s through the early 1860s. He wrote the five-volume Reisen und Entdeckungen in Nord- und Centralafrika (Travels and Discoveries in North and Central Africa; 1857–1858), which is still used by historians. Dr. Barth died on November 25, 1865 at the age of 44.

140 years ago

Upon the receipt of a $1 million surety bond, Charles Tupper, Canadian Minister of Railways, signed papers to create the third incarnation of the Canadian Pacific Railway with the CP syndicate of George Stephen, Duncan McIntyre, J.J. Hill, J.S. Kennedy, the Kohn, Reinach and Co. of Paris, and the Morton Rose and Co. of London. George Stephen signed the charter and incorporated the Canadian Pacific Railway in Montreal.

130 years ago

Born on this date
Hans F.K. Günther
. German eugenicist. Dr. Günther was a professor at the Universities of Jena (1930-1935) and Berlin (1935-1940) and Albert Ludwigs University (1940-1945). He advocated Nordic superiority in books such as Rassenkunde des deutschen Volkes (Racial Science of the German People) (1922) and Kleine Rassenkunde des deutschen Volkes (A Short Ethnology of the German People) (1928), which greatly influenced Adolf Hitler. Dr. Günther joined the Nazi Party in 1932, and was the only leading racial theorist to join the party before the Nazis took power in 1933. He served three years in internment camps after World War II, but was ruled to be not an instigator of Nazi crimes. Dr. Günther maintained his racial views until his death on September 25, 1968 at the age of 77.

120 years ago

Born on this date
Chester Morris
. U.S. actor. Mr. Morris, the son of actor William Morris and comedienne Etta Hawkins, began his career on stage as a teenager in New York before moving to Hollywood in the late 1920s. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his starring performance in his first sound film, Alibi (1929). Mr. Morris was best known for starring as Boston Blackie in 14 movies (1941-1949) and a radio series (1944). He continued to appear in films and television programs until falling ill with stomach cancer in 1968. Mr. Morris died of an overdose of barbiturates on September 11, 1970 at the age of 69; his last movie, The Great White Hope, was released a month later.

Wayne King. U.S. musician. Mr. King played saxophone with Paul Whiteman's orchestra before founding his own orchestra in 1927, and recording hit singles such as Dream a Little Dream of Me (1931) and Maria Elena (1941). He died on July 16, 1985 at the age of 84.

100 years ago

Born on this date
. U.S. actress and dancer. Vera-Ellen Westmeier Rohe began as a dancer, and was one of the youngest Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall in New York. She was best known for appearing in musical films such as On the Town (1949); The Belle of New York (1952); and White Christmas (1954). Vera-Ellen appeared in various television programs until retiring from public life in the 1960s. She died of ovarian cancer on August 30, 1981 at the age of 60.

Hamilton 5 @ Montreal 10

Newsy Lalonde scored 5 goals to help the Canadiens defeat the Tigers at Mount Royal Arena.

90 years ago

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

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 6

The United Kingdom announced that a sea area of 50 x 80 miles north of Singapore had been mined as a precautionary measure.

Harry Hopkins, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt's personal envoy to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, returned to New York from the U.K. and declared that Britain needed American help "desperately," but "they don't need our men." The U.S. National Economy League, led by Ernest Angell, urged a 10% defense tax on all personal income.

Politics and government
It was announced in the French press that Admiral François Darlan now held the offices of Vice Premier; Foreign Minister; Interior Minister; Commander of the Fleet; and head of the Department of Information in the Vichy regime.

Economics and finance
Former U.S. President Herbert Hoover revealed that a plan to feed three million Belgians had been submitted to the British and German governments.

Printing unions in the United States urged Congress to limit commercial radio time to 25% of programs, charging that the switch from newspapers to radio by advertisers had resulted in the loss of 25,000 jobs in printing trades.

U.S. Indian Service physicians reported that the sight-destroying disease trachoma was a virus and could be successfully treated with sulfanilamide within three weeks.

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--4th week at #1; Airplay--5th week at #1; Juke Box--2nd week at #1); Symphony--Freddy Martin and his Orchestra with Clyde Rogers (Honor Roll of Hits--7th week at #1)

Died on this date
Ernst Berl, 68
. Austro-Hungarian born U.S. chemist. Mr. Berl developed a process for converting vegetation into coal and oil.

World events
The White House announced that U.S. President Harry Truman had been informed of the Soviet spy ring in Canada several months earlier.

The U.S.S.R. used its United Nations Security Council veto for the first time, rejecting a U.S. motion that the United Kingdom and France negotiate withdrawal from the Levant states.

The Argentine Foreign Office affirmed the government's loyalty to the American republics, calling U.S. accusations of collaboration with Germany during World War II "unjustified and inexact."

Politics and government
40 left-wing Korean parties formed the Korean Democratic People's Front in Seoul.

The United States Veterans Administration announced a two-year plan to build 183 hospitals with 151,500 beds in 39 states.

Economics and finance
In an anti-inflation move, the Japanese government limited incomes to 500 yen per month; cut bank withdrawals to 300 yen for heads of families; restricted food distribution; and called for conversion of currency into new bank notes.

U.K. Viceroy of India Viscout Archibald Wavell reduced the basic cereal ration from 16 to 12 ounces daily after declaring a 3-million ton food shortage.

Strikes of 67,000 Republic Steel and 75,000 Bethlehem Steel workers in the United States were settled by an agreement providing for an 18½c hourly wage increase.

70 years ago

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

Tonight's program included news about the debate in the U.S. Congress over the extent to which American troops should be in Europe.

Died on this date
Hans Böckler, 75
. German labour leader and politician. Mr. Böckler, a member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), was a city councillor in Cologne (1926-1928) and represented the city in the Reichstag (1928-1933). At the end of World War II in 1945, he was instrumental in reorganizing unions in the British zone of occupation. Mr. Böckler was elected president of the Gewerkschaftsbund in der britischen Besatzungszone in 1947, and president of the German Trade Union Confederation in 1949. He died of a heart attack.

Shortly before her 63rd birthday, German soprano Lotte Lehmann announced her retirement in New York after a 40-year career.

Politics and government
Bolivian President Mamerto Urriolagoitia swore in a new coalition cabinet in preparation for national elections on May 6.

New York City Council passed a bill barring racial discrimination in city-assisted housing projects.

The U.S. Wage Stabilization Board voted 6-3 to adopt a basic wage policy permitting pay scales to rise 10% above levels of January 15, 1950.

60 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand (Lever Hit Parade): Last Date--Floyd Cramer

#1 single in the U.K. (Record Retailer): Are You Lonesome To-night?--Elvis Presley (4th week at #1)

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

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Veronica Jones!

Died on this date
Dazzy Vance, 69
. U.S. baseball pitcher. Charles Arthur Vance had brief trials with the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Yankees in 1915 and 1918, but a chronically sore arm kept him in the minor leagues. In 1920, while pitching for the New Orleans Pelicans, Mr. Vance banged his arm on a table while playing poker, producing excruciating pain. The resulting emergency surgery removed the pain, and Mr. Vance made the major leagues to stay when he joined the Brooklyn Robins in 1922. He then led the National League in strikeouts from 1922-1928, while leading the league in wins twice (1924; 1925); shutouts four times (1922; 1925; 1928; 1930); earned run average three times (1924; 1928; 1930); and complete games twice (1924; 1927). Mr. Vance’s best season was probably 1924, when he was 28-6 with a 2.16 ERA, 30 complete games, and 262 strikeouts. His 2.61 ERA in 1930 was more than a run per game better than his closest NL competitor and more than 2 runs per game better than the National League average. His only World Series game was a relief appearance with the champion St. Louis Cardinals in 1934. Mr. Vance ended his major league career with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1935. He won 197 games and lost 140 in his 16-year career, with all his wins coming after reaching the age of 31. Mr. Vance died of a heart attack, 16 days before his 70th birthday.

The U.S.A. launched Explorer 9, a polka-dotted spherical satellite 12 feet in diameter, from a four-stage scout rocket fired from Wallops Island, Virginia. It was the first satellite successfully launched from Wallops Island, and the first to be placed into Earth orbit by a solid-fuel rocket. The radio transmitter on the balloon failed to function properly, but radar and visual contact enabled scientists to gather valuable data on the density of the atmosphere.

The DuSable Museum, the first museum dedicated to the study and conservation of Negro American history, culture, and art, was chartered in Chicago.

6 workmen were killed and 14 injured when a 35-ton crane fell 172 feet to the bottom of an Atlas missile pit under construction near Roswell, New Mexico, and exploded.

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Sweden (Kvällstoppen): My Sweet Lord--George Harrison (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Switzerland (Swiss Hitparade): My Sweet Lord--George Harrison (5th week at #1)

New fighting broke out and militants mounted barricades against riot police in Reggio Calabria when the Calabrian assembly voted to make the rival city of Catanzaro the capital of the southern Italian region. Catanzaro was half the size of Reggio.

A grand jury in Darlington, South Carolina indicted 22 whites on riot charges in connection with a protest in March 1970, when a mob overturned two school buses in nearby Lamar.

U.S. Air Force Colonel Gerald Kehrli, highest-ranking U.S. officer in Vietnam to face court-martial, was convicted on seven counts, sentenced to three years in prison, and fined $15,000 for smoking marijuana, giving some to four enlisted men, and asking a sergeant in his squad to get some for him.

Following a recess for tests by a psychiatric panel, U.S. Army Lieutenant William Calley, on trial for his role in the March 1968 massacre of civilians in the South Vietnamese hamlet of My Lai, was pronounced "normal in every respect."

Union leader Michel Chartrand and lawyer Robert Lemieux were released after being accused and detained for four months for belonging to the Front de liberation du Québec (FLQ). Judge Roger Ouimet, however, refused the bail applications of Pierre Vallières and Charles Gagnon.

Politics and government
Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, accused of silently mouthing an obscenity toward an opposition politician in the House of Commons, said that the term he had used was "fuddle duddle."

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): Duncan--Slim Dusty

#1 single in Japan (Oricon Singles Chart): Cherry Blossom--Seiko Matsuda (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): What's in a Kiss--Gilbert O'Sullivan

#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): Angel of Mine--Frank Duval & Orchestra (3rd week at #1)

Pope John Paul II arrived in Karachi, Pakistan, and conducted an outdoor mass. 20 minutes before he reached the stadium, a grenade exploded near a reviewing stand, killing the man--allegedly a Pakistani Muslim--and wounding three others.

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Australian Music Report): I've Been Thinking About You--Londonbeat

#1 single in Italy (FIMI): Sadeness Part I--Enigma (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Sadeness Part I--Enigma (4th week at #1)

#1 single in Flanders (Ultratop 50): Ice Ice Baby--Vanilla Ice (4th week at #1)

#1 single in France (SNEP): Sadeness Part I--Enigma (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (CIN): Do the Bartman--The Simpsons

Netherlands Top 10 (De Nederlandse Top 40)
1 Knockin' Boots--Candyman (2nd week at #1)
2 Crazy--Seal
3 Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)--C&C Music Factory
4 Innuendo--Queen
5 Wicked Game--Chris Isaak
6 Go for It! (Heart and Fire)--Joey B. Ellis and Tynetta Hare
7 Can't Help Myself--2 Brothers On The 4th Floor & Da Smooth Baron MC
8 Love Let Love--Tony Scott
9 Ice Ice Baby--Vanilla Ice
10 Liefde Voor Muziek--Raymond v/h Groenewoud

Singles entering the chart were The Grease Megamix by John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John (#26); Fantasy by Black Box (#29); Here Comes the Hammer by M.C. Hammer (#34); Play That Funky Music by Vanilla Ice (#36); (I Wanna Give You) Devotion by Nomad featuring MC Mikee Freedom (#37); and Amazonia by Rumba Tres (#40). The Grease Megamix was a medley of songs from the movie.

U.S.A. Top 10 (Billboard)
1 Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)--C+C Music Factory featuring Freedom Williams (2nd week at #1)
2 All the Man that I Need--Whitney Houston
3 One More Try--Timmy -T-
4 The First Time--Surface
5 Someday--Mariah Carey
6 Where Does My Heart Beat Now--Celine Dion
7 I'll Give All My Love to You--Keith Sweat
8 Disappear--INXS
9 Play That Funky Music--Vanilla Ice
10 Love Will Never Do (Without You)--Janet Jackson

Singles entering the chart were Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)/I Want You by Robert Palmer (#77); How to Dance by Bingo Boys featuring Princessa (#85); Cry for Help by Rick Astley (#86); Another Sleepless Night by Shawn Christopher (#93); Temple of Love by Harriet (#96); Still Got the Blues by Gary Moore (#97); and How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously? by Pet Shop Boys (#99).

U.S.A. Top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)--C+C Music Factory featuring Freedom Wiliams (2nd week at #1)
2 All the Man that I Need--Whitney Houston
3 The First Time--Surface
4 Sensitivity--Ralph Tresvant
5 Where Does My Heart Beat Now--Celine Dion
6 Someday--Mariah Carey
7 Disappear--INXS
8 One More Try--Timmy -T-
9 Play That Funky Music--Vanilla Ice
10 Love Will Never Do (Without You)--Janet Jackson

Singles entering the chart were State of the World by Janet Jackson (#53); Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)/I Want You by Robert Palmer (#58); Rico Suave by Gerardo (#85); Sadeness (Part 1) by Enigma (#86); How to Dance by Bingoboys featuring Princessa (#87); Funk Boutique by Cover Girls (#88); I'll Do 4 U by Father MC (#89); and Cry for Help by Rick Astley (#90).

Canada’s Top 10 (RPM)
1 Disappear--INXS
2 Love Will Never Do (Without You)--Janet Jackson
3 Til I am Myself Again--Blue Rodeo
4 Wicked Game--Chris Isaak
5 All the Man that I Need--Whitney Houston
6 All This Time--Sting
7 After the Rain--Nelson
8 I’m Not in Love--Will to Power
9 Show Me the Way--Styx
10 Waiting for Love--Alias

Singles entering the chart were Sadeness Part 1 by Enigma (#72); I'll Be Your Baby Tonight by Robert Palmer (#78); River of Love by David Foster (#85); Easy Come Easy Go by Winger (#86); Always Come Back to You by Natasha's Brother (#88); Silent Lucidity by Queensryche (#90); Ride the Wind by Poison (#92); Power of Love by Deee-Lite (#93); Friends Forever by Candi and the Backbeat (#95); Never Say Die by Jon Bon Jovi (#98); and Deeper Shade of Soul by Urban Dance Squad (#99). Always Come Back to You was from the movie The Nutcracker Prince (1990).

Died on this date
Enrique Bermúdez, 58
. Nicaraguan guerrilla leader. Lieutenant Colonel Bermúdez founded and led the Contras, the guerrilla force opposing the Marxist Sandanista government that ruled the country from 1979-1990. He was assassinated by persons unknown in the parking lot of the InterContinental Hotel in Managua after people he was secheduled to meet in the hotel failed to show up.

Edmonton 2 @ Toronto 3

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Sweden (Topplistan): Spaceman--Babylon Zoo (4th week at #1)

#1 single in Ireland (IRMA): Spaceman--Babylon Zoo (5th week at #1)

Died on this date
Pat Brown, 90
. U.S. politician. Mr. Brown, a Democrat, was Attorney General of California fro 1951-1959 and Governor of California from 1959-1967. He defeated U.S. Senator William Knowland (Republican) to win the 1958 gubernatorial election, and defeated former U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon in the 1962 election before losing to former movie actor Ronald Reagan in 1966. Mr. Brown's time as Governor was characterized by huge public works projects and a modernized educational system. Mr. Brown was the father of future California Governor Jerry Brown.

Brownie McGhee, 80. U.S. musician. Walter Brown McGhee was a blues singer and guitarist, and was best known for his collaborations with harmonicist Sonny Terry in a partnership that ran from the early 1940s to the 1980s.

Roger Bowen, 63. U.S. author and actor. Mr. Bowen wrote 11 novels, but was perhaps best known for playing Lieutenant Colonel Henry Blake in the movie MASH (1970); oddly, Mr. Bowen died of a heart attack the day after the death of McLean Stevenson, who played Col. Blake in the television series M*A*S*H (1972-1975).

Politics and government
The Italian parliament was dissolved after months of stalemate and a failed attempt at constitutional and electoral reform.

The Japanese government apologized to the 200 recipients of donated blood who had contracted HIV, opening the way to compensation.

Energy shortages forced thousands of coal miners in Ukraine to end their 15-day strike over wage arrears.

A Chicago-bound Amtrak train, the Capitol Limited, collided with a MARC commuter train bound for Washington, D.C. in Silver Spring, Maryland, killing 11 people.

20 years ago

Died on this date
William Masters, 85
. U.S. gynecologist. Dr. Masters and his second wife, Virginia Masters, were known for their research into human sexual response, and worked as a research team from 1957 until their divorce in the 1990s. Dr. Masters died of Parkinson's disease.

Howard W. Koch, 84. U.S. movie director and producer. Mr. Koch produced such movies as The Manchurian Candidate (1962); The Odd Couple (1968); and Airplane! (1980). He produced the Academy Awards ceremony on eight occasions, and served as President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1977-1979. Mr. Koch died of Alzheimer's disease.

U.S. and U.K. jets bombed nearly 20 radar sites near Baghdad; the attacks came as Iraq was working with Chinese technicians to improve its air defenses.

At least seven people were killed and 40 injured in a bomb attack on a bus carrying more than 250 Serbs to a religious pilgrimage in Kosovo.

U.S. President George W. Bush left the United States for the first time since his inauguration, visiting Mexico, where he met with newly-inaugurated Mexican President Vicente Fox in San Cristobal de los Ranchos. The two leaders discussed differences relating to trade, immigration, and drug trafficking. Mr. Bush indicated he was sympathetic to Mexico’s displeasure at having to annually demonstrate its commitment to anti-drug efforts in order to avoid economic sanctions.

An earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale struck El Salvador, killing at least 280 people, injuring more than 2,400, and leaving 123,000 homeless. It was the second earthquake to strike the country in four weeks and had a lower Richter scale value than the earlier quake, but caused more damage because of the location of the epicentre.

10 years ago

On television today
The game show Jeopardy! aired the last of three episodes pitting human players Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings against an IBM computer named "Watson." Watson locked up the first game and the match to win the grand prize of $1 million, which IBM divided between the charities World Vision International and World Community Grid.

Died on this date
Len Lesser, 88
. U.S. actor. Mr. Lesser was a character actor in plays, films, and television programs in a career spanning more than 50 years. He was best known for playing Uncle Leo in the television comedy series Seinfeld (1991-1998) and Garvin in the comedy series Everybody Loves Raymond (1996-2004). Mr. Lesser died of cancer-related pneumonia.

The U.S. bookstore chain Borders filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

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