Wednesday, 24 February 2021

February 24, 2021

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Kavis Reed!

310 years ago

Rinaldo by George Frideric Handel, the first Italian opera written for the London stage, received its première performance at the Queen's Theatre.

300 years ago

Born on this date
John McKinly
. U.K.-born U.S. politician. Dr. McKinly, a physician, emigrated to Delaware in 1742. He served in the militia during the French and Indian War, and represented New Castle County in the Assembly of the Delaware or Lower Counties (1771-1777). Dr. McKinly was elected by the Assembly as its first President, serving from February-September 1777, when he was captured by British forces. He was eventually taken to Flatbush, New York, and was returned to Delaware in August 1778 in exchange for Benjamin Franklin's son William, the Loyalist Governor of New Jersey. Dr. McKinly never sought political office again, and died on August 31, 1796 at the age of 75.

200 years ago


Mexico promulgated the Plan of Iguala, declaring its independence from Spain.

190 years ago

Born on this date
Leo von Caprivi, 67
. Chancellor of Germany, 1890-1894. General Caprivi served as Chief of the Imperial Admiralty from 1883-1888 despite being an Army officer, and was an effective administrator. He succeeded Otto von Bismarck as Chancellor, also serving as Minister President of Prussia (1890-1892. Gen. Caprivi pursued a "new course" in both domestic and foreign policy, achieving some social and economic reforms at home while pursuing friendly relations with the United Kingdom. He increasingly clashed with Kaiser Wilhelm II as well as Conservatives, National Liberals, and Progressives, and was eventually forced to resign. Gen. Caprivi died on February 6, 1899, 18 days before his 68th birthday.

The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, the first removal treaty in accordance with the Indian Removal Act, was proclaimed. The Choctaws in Mississippi ceded land east of the river in exchange for payment and land in the West.

140 years ago

China and Russia signed the Treaty of Saint Petersburg aka the Sino-Russian Ili Treaty, providing for the return to China of the eastern part of the Ili Basin region aka Zhetysu, which had been occupied by Russia since 1871 during the Dungan Revolt.

125 years ago

Born on this date
Richard Thorpe
. U.S. movie director. Mr. Thorpe, born Rollo Thorpe, directed more than 180 movies in a career running from the early 1920s through 1967. His films included Night Must Fall (1937); The Thin Man Goes Home (1945); and Jailhouse Rock (1957). Mr. Thorpe died on May 1, 1991 at the age of 95.

100 years ago


The Royal Navy battlecruiser HMS Indefatigable was commissioned. The ship saw action in World War I, and was sunk in the Battle of Jutland on May 31, 1916.

100 years ago

Born on this date
Abe Vigoda
. U.S. actor. Mr. Vigoda appeared in plays, films, radio and television programs in a career spanning more than 60 years; his best known movie role was as Salvatore Tessio in The Godfather (1972). Mr. Vigoda was best known for playing Detective Phil Fish in the television comedy series Barney Miller (1975-1977, 1982) and its spinoff series Fish (1977-1978). He died on January 26, 2016, 29 days before his 95th birthday.

80 years ago

German Fuehrer Adolf Hitler warned of a gigantic spring offensive against British shipping with newly-trained crews and new submarines. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill reportedly had rejected Japanese mediation in the European war. The Thailand-Indochina armistice was extended for 10 days at Japan's request, since no agreement could be reached within the original time limit, expiring February 25, 1941.

U.S. administration leaders in the Senate abandoned plans to limit debate to speed passage of Lend-Lease after isolationists threatened a filibuster. The U.S. Office of Production Management invoked mandatory priorities for the first time in placing aluminum and machine tools on the priority list in order to ensure an adequate supply for the defense program.

Politics and government
Earl Browder announced that Robert Minor would become general secretary of the Communist Party USA.

U.S. financial operator Robert Boltz received a 20-40 year prison term, six days after pleading guilty in Philadelphia to embezzlement and fraud.

Violinist Efrem Zimbalist was named the new director of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

75 years ago

The New York Herald Tribune reported the best-selling books as The King's General by Daphne du Maurier (fiction) and The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald (non-fiction).

Chinese Communists opened a seven-pronged drive in Manchuria to cut the Nationalists' communications between Sinmin and Mukden.

Politics and government
Colonel Juan Perón, founder of the political movement that became known as Peronism, was elected to his first term as President of Argentina, taking 52.84% of the vote to 42.87% for centrist-liberal candidate Jose Tamborini. The election took place without major incidents.

Herbert Brownell told U.S. Republican Party leaders that he would resign as the party's national chairman because the party's success in the November 1946 congressional elections was assured.

The Provisional Committee of the World Council of Churches concluded its four-day conference in Geneva by establishing the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) to stimulate a "vigorous expression" of Christian demands for justice and world order. The conference was attended by representatives of nearly 100 Protestant and Orthodox church organizations from 32 countries.

A committee of U.S., U.K., and French experts reported in Frankfurt, on the basis of a 10-day survey, that German workers were showing evidence of physical deterioration from lack of enough food.

Economics and finance
Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers in Japan General Douglas MacArthur limited Japan's 1946 exports to 25% of the 1934-1939 average.

The U.S. Labor Department named five representatives each from the Congress of Industrial Organizations and American Federation of Labor to a Labor Education Advisory Committee to help plan a long-range program for industrial peace.

70 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): Bewitched--Gordon Jenkins and his Orchestra; Doris Day (5th week at #1)

#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): The Tennessee Waltz--Patti Page (Best Seller--9th week at #1; Disc Jockey--8th week at #1; Jukebox--8th week at #1)

U.S.A. Top 10 (Cash Box)
1 My Heart Cries for You--Guy Mitchell (3rd week at #1)
--Dinah Shore
--Vic Damone
--Jimmy Wakely
2 Be My Love--Mario Lanza
3 If--Perry Como
4 The Tennessee Waltz--Patti Page
--Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians
--Les Paul and Mary Ford
--Jo Stafford
5 You’re Just in Love--Perry Como
6 Harbor Lights--Sammy Kaye and his "Swing and Sway" Orchestra
--Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians
--Ray Anthony and his Orchestra
--Bing Crosby
7 So Long (It’s Been Good to Know You)--Gordon Jenkins and his Orchestra and the Weavers
8 The Roving Kind--Guy Mitchell
--The Weavers
9 A Bushel and a Peck--Perry Como and Betty Hutton
--Margaret Whiting and Jimmy Wakely
10 Zing Zing--Zoom Zoom--Perry Como

Singles entering the chart were I Apologize by Billy Eckstine (#30); Sentimental Music, with versions by Patti Page and Bing Crosby (#31); Boutonniere by Mindy Carson (#34); and Down in Nashville, Tennessee by Dinah Shore (#35).

In a report to the United Nations Security Council, Commander-in-Chief of the United Nations Command General Douglas MacArthur said that at least 25,000 enemy guerrillas were operating behind UN lines in Korea.

An African economic study issued by the United Nations Economic Affairs Department said that improvement of the continent's food production was vital because 75% of Africa's population made a living in agriculture. The report recommended "heavy and sustained" foreign investments in Africa.

Economics and finance
Lawyers representing Ruhr industrialists, including former U.S. Secretary of War Robert Patterson, urged the Western Allies to refrain from dismembering West German coal and steel combines "so they can contribute to Europe's protection."

U.S. Office of Price Stabilization Director Dr. Michael DiSalle said in Cleveland that his month-old program of price controls had begun to slow the rate of increase in the cost of living.

60 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in the U.K. (New Musical Express): Are You Lonesome To-night?--Elvis Presley (5th week at #1)

On television tonight
The Twilight Zone, on CBS
Tonight’s episode: The Odyssey of Flight 33, starring John Anderson

World events
The regime of Antoine Gizenga--loyal to recently-deposed and murdered Congolese Premier Patrice Lumumba--that was recognized by more than 20 Communist and neutral nations as the legitimate government of Congo--seized control of Luluabourg, capital of the province of Kasai.

Economics and finance
The government of Cuba decreed a reorganization of administrative departments and the creation of a new Ministry of Industry. Major Ernesto "Che" Guevara, president of the National Bank of Cuba, was named director of the new ministry, charged with directing all industry and with carrying out an industrialization program from 1962-1966. The National Bank of Cuba was reorganized to conduct the country’s entire banking operations; a new Ministry of Foreign Trade was given direction of all imports and exports; and a Ministry of Interior Commerce was created to control distribution of products and prices and the management of all nationalized commercial firms.

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in the U.K. (New Musical Express): My Sweet Lord--George Harrison (5th week at #1)

Under the terms of a new immigration bill to become effective in 1972, Commonwealth citizens would lose the automatic right to remain in the United Kingdom and would face the same restrictions as any other people applying to live and work in Britain.

Politics and government
The All India Forward Bloc held an emergency central committee meeting, three days after the murder of its chairman, Hemantha Kumar Bose. P.K. Mookiah Thevar was appointed as the party's new chairman on February 28.

Raids by U.S. federal narcotics agents against drug wholesalers and distributors in six major cities, including New York, Chicago, and New Orleans, resulted in the arrests of 54 major dealers and the seizure of $13 million worth of drugs. The arrests followed a five-month investigation--code-named Flanker--described by U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell as "the largest federal crackdown ever on narcotics distribution by organized crime," in which 143 top echelon arrests were made.

Algerian President Houari Boumedienne announced that Algeria was taking a 51% interest in French oil firms and was nationalizing natural gas production, along with an extensive French-financed pipeline network.

40 years ago

World events
The attempted coup in Spain by 200 members of the Civil Guard collapsed 18 hours after it began. Much of the credit for the coup’s collapse was given to King Juan Carlos, who appeared on television after the station was liberated by loyal troops, denouncing the coup attempt and pledging his faith in democracy. The Civil Guard released the members of the Cortes whom they were holding, and then were imprisoned, while their leaders surrendered. The general in Valencia was relieved of his post, as was the army’s deputy chief of staff.

U.S. President Ronald Reagan reiterated his support for the junta in El Salvador, although he had no intention of involving the U.S. in the junta’s civil war against Marxist guerrillas.

Buckingham Palace announced the engagement of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.

Jean Harris was convicted in White Plains, New York of second-degree murder in the death of her lover of 14 years, Dr. Herman Tarnower, on March 10, 1980. Dr. Tarnower, creator of the famed Scarsdale Diet, had been shot numerous times; Mrs. Harris’s defense was that she had intended the gun to be used for her own suicide and that Dr. Tarnower had been killed in a struggle over possession of the gun. She was also convicted on two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

Pope John Paul II continued his visit to Tokyo with a meeting with Japanese Emperor Hirohito.

The 6.7 Ms Gulf of Corinth earthquake affected Central Greece with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe). 22 people were killed, 400 were injured, and damage totaled $812 million.

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand (RIANZ): Unchained Melody--The Righteous Brothers

#1 single in Switzerland: Sadeness Part I--Enigma (11th week at #1)

Austria's Top 10 (Ö3)
1 Unchained Melody--The Righteous Brothers (4th week at #1)
2 Hello Afrika--Dr. Alban featuring Leila K.
3 Keep on Running--Milli Vanilli
4 Fantasy--Black Box
5 Sadeness Part I--Enigma
6 Kränk di net--Jazz Gitti & her Disco Killers
7 To Love Somebody--Jimmy Somerville
8 Ice Ice Baby--Vanilla Ice
9 I'll Be Your Baby Tonight--Robert Palmer and UB40
10 Don't Worry--Kim Appleby

Singles entering the chart were In the Ghetto by Midwork (#28); and Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) by C&C Music Factory featuring Freedom Williams (#30).

Died on this date
John Daly, 77
. S.A.-born U.S. broadcaster. Mr. Daly, a native of Johannesburg who moved to Boston with his mother after his father died, was a news correspndent for NBC and CBS radio before moving to television, where he hosted the quiz show What's My Line? from 1950-1967. Mr. Daly died of cardiac arrest, four days after his 77th birthday.

George Gobel, 71. U.S. actor and comedian. Mr. Gobel starred in the television program The George Gobel Show (1954-1960), where his homespun style of humour made him an instant star. He made many guest appearances in television programs in later years.

Webb Pierce, 69. U.S. musician. Mr. Pierce was a guitarist, singer, and songwriter who was one of the major figures of the "honky-tonk" style of country music from 1951 to the mid-1960s. He had 51 singles that reached the top 10 of the Billboard country chart, reaching #1 13 times. Mr. Pierce's biggest hit was In the Jailhouse Now, which spent 21 weeks at number one. He became known in later years for his lavish lifestyle, which reportedly included heavy drinking. Mr. Pierce died of pancreatic cancer, 10 years before his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

200,000 allied troops participated in the ground offensive against Iraq, which began at about dawn. The attacks began across a 300-mile area west from the Persian Gulf. U.S. Marines and Army airborne and armoured units were joined by units from the U.K., France, Saudi Arabia, and other Arab countries. Some allied forces struck directly into Kuwait, but others crossed from Saudi Arabia into Iraq far to the west, beyond the Iraqi defensive lines. U.S. and U.K. armoured units moved first north, then northeast, and outflanked elite Iraqi Republican Guard forces dug in north of Kuwait. U.S. Marines and Arab forces striking directly into Kuwait achieved a quick breakthrough, and were joined in Kuwait by allied armoured forces entering from the west. Meanwhile, Canadian warplanes saw their first bombing missions since World War II.

Quebec 3 @ Edmonton 6

This blogger was in attendance at Edmonton Coliseum to see Guy Lafleur play with the Nordiques.

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (ARIA): Boombastic--Shaggy (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in Flanders (VRT): Spaceman--Babylon Zoo (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Wallonia (Ultratop 40): Gangsta's Paradise--Coolio featuring L.V. (13th week at #1)

#1 single in France (SNEP): Dieu m'a donné la foi--Ophélie Winter

#1 single in the Netherlands (De Nederlandse Top 40): 15 miljoen mensen--Fluitsma & Van Tijn (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (BMRB): Spaceman--Babylon Zoo (5th week at #1)

U.S.A. Top 10 (Billboard)
1 One Sweet Day--Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men (13th week at #1)
2 Not Gon' Cry--Mary J. Blige
3 Missing--Everything But the Girl
4 Nobody Knows--The Tony Rich Project
5 Sittin' Up in My Room--Brandy
6 Be My Lover--La Bouche
7 Jesus to a Child--George Michael
8 Exhale (Shoop Shoop)--Whitney Houston
9 One of Us--Joan Osborne
10 Hey Lover--LL Cool J

Singles entering the chart were Jesus to a Child; Lucky Love by Ace of Base (#66); and Take a Look by J'Son (#94).

U.S.A. Top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Missing--Everything But the Girl
2 One Sweet Day--Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men
3 Not Gon' Cry--Mary J. Blige
4 Sittin' Up in My Room--Brandy
5 Be My Lover--La Bouche
6 Nobody Knows--The Tony Rich Project
7 Exhale (Shoop Shoop)--Whitney Houston
8 Til I Hear it from You/Follow You Down--Gin Blossoms
9 Wonderwall--Oasis
10 Tonite's Tha Night--Kris Kross

Singles entering the chart were Lady by D'Angelo (#40); Can't Be Wasting My Time by Mona Lisa featuring Lost Boyz (#60); Down Low (Nobody Has to Know) by R. Kelly (featuring Ronald Isley and Ernie Isley) (#61); Only Love (The Ballad of Sleeping Beauty) by Sophie B. Hawkins (#62); Microphone Master by Das EFX featuring Mobb Deep (#84); and Insensitive by Jann Arden (#89).

Two Cuban fighter planes shot down two civilian aircraft from the United States, claiming that they had violated Cuban air space.

An indefinite nationwide strike began in Bangladesh in an attempt to oust Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and her unpopular Bangladesh Nationalist Party government.

20 years ago

Died on this date
Claude Shannon, 84
. U.S. mathematician, cryptographer, and engineer. Dr. Shannon was known as "the father of information theory." He founded digital circuit design theory in 1937, and worked with Bell Labs during World War II. Dr. Shannon invented numerous devices, and received numerous honours. He died of Alzheimer's disease.

13-month-old Erika Nordby wandered outside into sub-zero (C) temperatures wearing only a diaper. By the time her mother found her, Erika was frozen almost solid and her heart had stopped beating for nearly two hours. When she arrived at hospital, Erika’s body temperature was only 16 C (37 C is normal). Erika was revived in hospital, and staff speculated that she would suffer only minor damage to her fingers and toes. The incident inspired a song by Stompin' Tom Connors.

Colin Powell arrived in the Middle East to being his first trip as U.S. Secretary of State. He met separately in Cairo with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov. Both agreed with him that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to build weapons of mass destruction, but Mr. Mubarak contended that allied sanctions were harming only the Iraqi people, not Mr. Hussein. Mr. Powell and Mr. Ivanov explored differences on U.S. plans to build a missile shield, and on Russia’s conduct of her war against rebels in the province of Chechnya.

World events
Over 7,000 Madurese immigrants had fled the island of Borneo for Java after members of the indigenous Dayak tribe had killed 469 of the Madurese during a week of violence.

10 years ago

A six-member crew commanded by Steven Lindsey launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida to begin the 13-day mission STS-133, the 39th and final mission of the U.S. space shuttle Discovery.

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