Sunday, 7 February 2021

February 8, 2021

1,600 years ago

Politics and government
Constantius III was appointed co-Emperor of the Western Roman Empire by Emperor Honorius.

730 years ago

Born on this date
Afonso IV
. King of Portugal, 1325-1357. Afonso IV "the Brave" was the only legitimate son of King Denis and Elizabeth of Aragon, and acceded to the throne upon the death of his father. His reign was mostly peaceful, with the exception of a four-year war against Castile. The latter part of King Afonso's reign was characterized by political intrigue, much of it resulting from his son and heir Pedro's affair with Inês de Castro, his wife's lady-in-waiting. King Afonso IV died on May 28, 1357 at the age of 66, and was succeeded by his son Pedro I.

430 years ago

Born on this date
. Italian artist. Guercino, whose real name was Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, was a Baroque painter and draftsman who produced over 140 paintings and numerous drawings. He painted and drew landscapes, genre subjects, and caricatures. Guercino died on December 22, 1666 at the age of 75.

420 years ago

World events
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, led a rebellion against Queen Elizabeth I and the court faction led by Sir Robert Cecil in order to gain further influence at court. Lord Essex, the Earl of Southampton, and other followers surrendered that night.

390 years ago

King Charles I granted Cape Breton Island to Robert Gordon of Lochinvar and his son Robert.

Politics and government
King Louis XIII of France named Charles de Saint-Étienne de La Tour as Lieutenant General and Governor of Acadia.

325 years ago

Died on this date
Ivan V, 29
. Czar of Russia, 1682-1696. Ivan V, the youngest son of Czar Alexis I by his first wife Maria Miloslavskaya, and his younger half-brother Peter I were joint czars. Ivan was the monarch in name only, because he had serious physical and mental disabilities, which led to his death. His brother then became sole Czar, and became known as Peter the Great.

280 years ago

Born on this date
André Grétry
. Belgian-born French composer. Mr. Grétry moved to France in 1767 after years of study in Rome. He wrote 50 operas, and was known for his opéras comiques, many of them influenced by the great events he witnessed. Mr. Grétry died on September 24, 1813 at the age of 72.

160 years ago

Politics and government
42 delegates from South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida concluded their convention in Montgomery, Alabama by creating the Confederate States of America. A provisional constitution was adopted, similar to that of the United States of America, the Union from which they were attempting to secede. Jefferson Davis of Mississippi was elected provisional President of the C.S.A., with Alexander Stephens of Georgia as provisional Vice President.

100 years ago

Born on this date
Lana Turner
. U.S. actress. Miss Turner, born Julia Jean Turner, was a popular star of the 1940s and '50s in such movies as The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946); The Bad and the Beautiful (1952); Peyton Place (1957); and Imitation of Life (1959). Her tempestuous private life hit a low point in 1958 when her 14-year-old daughter Cheryl Crane killed Miss Turner's lover, mobster Johnny Stompanato, when Mr. Stompanato was apparently attacking Miss Turner. The killing was ruled a justifiable homicide. Miss Turner died on June 29, 1995 at the age of 74.

Barney Danson. Canadian politician. Mr. Danson served with the Canadian Army in World War II, rising to the rank of lieutenant and losing an eye in the Battle of Normandy. He worked in the insurance business after the war and then formed the Danson Corporation, a plastics company. A Liberal, Mr. Danson represented the Toronto-area riding of York North (1968-1979), and served as Minister of State for Urban Affairs (1974-1976) and Minister of National Defence (1976-1979) in the government of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. He was very popular with armed forces personnel and veterans, receiving numerous honours. Mr. Danson died on October 17, 2011 at the age of 90.

Nexhmije Hoxha. Yugoslavian-born Albanian politician. Mrs. Hoxha moved to Tirana with her parents in her youth, and joined the Albanian Communist Party (later known as the Party of Labour) in 1941. She met fellow Communist Enver Hoxha in 1942, and married him in 1945. Mrs. Hoxha worked closely with her husband, and became director of the Institute for Marxist-Leninist Studies in 1966. She defended her husband's record after his death in 1985, but fell into disfavour during the period of reforms in the early 1990s, and was in prison from 1993-1997 for embezzlement. Mrs. Hoxha died on February 26, 2020, 18 days after her 99th birthday.

Died on this date
George Formby Sr., 45
. U.K. entertainer. Mr. Formby, born James Lawler Booth, was one of Britain's most popular music hall and revue singers and comedians in the first two decades of the 20th century. He created numerous characters, one of which influenced Charlie Chaplin's character The Little Tramp. Mr. Formby long suffered from poor health, and he died from pulmonary tuberculosis. His son George Hoy Booth also performed under the name George Formby, and became more famous than his father.

Economics and finance
Quebec's caisses populaires (credit unions) set up a Propaganda Committee to promote their interests.

90 years ago

Politics and government
Three days of voting in the Guatemalan general election concluded as General Jorge Ubico Castañeda, the candidate of the Progressive Liberal Party and the only candidate on the ballot, was elected President. The PLP took all 69 seats in the Congress.

All three people aboard a Dominion Airlines Desoutter died when it crashed near Wairoa in northern Hawke’s Bay in the first fatal accident involving a scheduled passenger air service in New Zealand.

IIHF World Championships @ Krynica-Zdrój, Poland
Final round
Austria (2-3) 1 Sweden (1-3-1) 0
Poland (1-3-1) 0 Czechoslovakia (1-3-1) 0
Canada (4-0-1) 2 U.S.A. (4-1) 0

The University of Manitoba Grads, representing Canada, shut out the Americans to win Canada's fifth world championship. Austria edged Sweden to become European champions.

80 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Frenesi--Artie Shaw and his Orchestra (8th week at #1)

German and Bulgarian general staffs reached a secret agreement for permitting passage of German troops to attack Greece. The Greek government asked for British aid in the case of attack by German forces.

The United States House of Representatives passed the Lend-Lease bill by a vote of 260-165 after rejecting 13 additional amendments. A Gallup Poll reported that 54% of American voters questioned in a recent survey supported the Lend-Lease bill, with 22% opposed.

U.S. National Education Association President Dr. Donald DuShane proposed formation of a teachers' defense commission to prevent threatened attacks on public schools.

Malcolm MacDonald was appointed British High Commissioner to Canada.

Harry Hopkins, personal representative of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt to U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill, had his last meeting with Mr. Churchill at Chequers, the private prime ministerial retreat.

Politics and government
The French government reported that former Prime Minister Pierre Laval had rejected Prime Minister Marshal Philippe Petain's offer to be readmitted to the Vichy cabinet as a minister of state; Mr. Laval reportedly demanded the prime ministership with a cabinet of his own choosing.

Economics and finance
Brazilian President Getulio Vargas decreed that export permits would be required for Brazilian raw materials, chemical products, machinery, and tools to all countries outside the Americas.

The U.S. National Labor Relations Board ordered International Harvester Company to abolish company-dominated unions in its six Midwestern plants.

75 years ago

At the trial in Nuremberg of accused Nazi war criminals, Lieutenant General Roman Rudenko opened the Soviet prosecution against the 21 defendants by reading a 79-page document recounting German atrocities. U.S. President Harry Truman rejected the clemency appeal of convicted Japanese war criminal General Tomoyuki Yamashita. A joint U.S. Army-Navy report revealed that the bomb-carrying balloons released by Japan in World War II had cost about $18 million and caused 6 deaths in Oregon and a few small forest fires.

In a meeting of the United Nations Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Commission, former U.S. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt successfully opposed a Soviet proposal to restrict aid given to refugees who refused to return to their homelands.

Adolf Berle resigned as U.S. Ambassador to Brazil.

U.S. government scientists disclosed a process of "printing" wiring circuits on a ceramic plate, making possible the production of miniature radios and other electronic equipment.

Economics and finance
After its European tour, the United States House of Representatives committee headed by Rep. William Colmer (Democrat--Mississippi) reported that the U.S.S.R. had drawn Poland, the Baltic republics, and the Balkan states into its economic and political orbit to the point where trade with them was practically impossible.

U.S. President Truman asked for prompt congressional action on a two-year emergency housing plan calling for 2.7 million new homes.

The month-long strike of New York City communications workers against Western Union ended with an agreement to submit the wage dispute to arbitration.

70 years ago

Died on this date
Fritz Thyssen, 77
. German industrialist. Mr. Thyssen took over his father's mining and steel companies in 1926, forming United Steelworks (Vereinigte Stahlwerke AG) and becoming one of the most influential businessmen in Germany. He began supporting the Nazi Party in 1923, but didn't join the party in 1933, when he was elected to the Reichstag. Mr. Thyssen, a Roman Catholic, began criticizing Nazi persecution of Catholics in the late 1930s, and increasingly opposed the party. He opposed the German cause at the beginning of World War II, resulting in his expulsion from the Nazi Party and the Reichstag. Mr. Thyssen fled to France, but was caught up in the German invasion, and ended up spending most of the war in German custody, first in a sanatorium and then in two concentration camps. He was declared a lesser offender by a denazification tribunal in 1948, and paid 500,000 Deutschmarks in compensation to those who had been harmed by his actions. In 1950, Mr. Thyssen and his wife moved to Argentina, where he died.

U.S. tanks and artillery shelled Seoul in the U.S. "kill Communists" offensive.

Politics and government
The Convention People's Party, led by Kwame Nkrumah, won 34 of 38 elected seats in the Assembly in the Gold Coast general election. Mr. Nkrumah was elected in Accra Central despite being in prison at the time; he was soon released. Most seats in the Assembly were held by appointed members.

In New York City, U.S. Federal Judge Gregory Noonan sentenced former U.S. Commerce Department economist William Remington to five years in prison and a $2,000 fine, the day after being convicted of perjury for telling a grand jury in May 1950 that he had never been a member of the Communist Party.

Mrs. Dorothy Stevens, 23, recovered in a Chicago hospital after being found frozen in an alley with a body temperature of 64 F., the lowest for any recorded recovery.

Economics and finance
The British government raised the pay and allowances of the royal family by 10%, assuming about £40,000 in household expenses.

On the orders of U.S. President Harry Truman, the U.S. Army directed 120,000 striking railroad workers to return to work by February 10 or lose their jobs. President Truman's order also granted a temporary, immediate pay raise of 12½c for yard men and 5c per hour for road men.

Boston Red Sox' left fielder Ted Williams signed his 1951 contract with the team for about $125,000, making him the sport's highest-paid player. He batted .317 with 28 home runs and 97 runs batted in in 89 games in a 1950 season that was interrupted by a broken elbow suffered in the major league All-Star Game.

60 years ago

At a press conference, U.S. President John F. Kennedy, addressing the issue of a "missile gap" in favour of the U.S.S.R., said that administration "studies are not complete and therefore it would be premature to reach a judgement as to whether there is a gap or not a gap."

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): My Sweet Lord--George Harrison (4th week at #1)

#1 single in Japan (Oricon Singles Chart): Bōkyō--Shinichi Mori (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Te Quiero, Te Quiero--Nino Bravo (8th week at #1)

Operation Dewey Canyon II, an invasion of Laos by 21,000 South Vietnamese troops supported by heavy U.S. airpower and artillery fire, began. It was the first day of a 44-day assault on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong’s 300-mile infiltration network from Hanoi into South Vietnam and Cambodia.

World events
Cambodian Premier Lon Nol suffered a paralyzing stroke.

600 U.S. National Guardsmen were ordered into Wilmington, North Carolina to restore order after four days of racial violence in which two people had been shot to death.

Economics and finance
NASDAQ, the world's first electronic stock exchange, held its first trading day.

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand (RIANZ): Shaddap You Face--Joe Dolce Music Theatre (8th week at #1)

#1 single in Switzerland: (Just Like) Starting Over--John Lennon (4th week at #1)

A report from the Overseas Development Council announced that death rates in backward nations had been increasing. The chief factors cited were a slowdown in economic development and the advances in controlling diseases, which meant that the people were being attacked by diarrheal diseases, respiratory infections, and malnutrition.

A fire in a circus tent in Bangalore, India killed 66 people and injured 500.

21 people were crushed to death in a stampede after a soccer match at Karaiskakis Stadium in Athens.

Figure Skating
Scott Hamilton of Bowling Green, Ohio received two perfect 6.0 marks in winning his first U.S. men’s championship.

Calgary 10 @ Edmonton 4

30 years ago

U.S. Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney and General Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Saudi Arabia to review the progress of the war against Iraq.

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Finland (Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland): Spaceman--Babylon Zoo (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Denmark (Nielsen Music Control & IFPI): Spaceman--Babylon Zoo (2nd week at #1)

Died on this date
Del Ennis, 70
. U.S. baseball player. Mr. Ennis played right field and left field with the Philadelphia Phillies (1946-1956); St. Louis Cardinals (1957-1958); Cincinnati Reds (1959); and Chicago White Sox (1959), batting .284 with 288 home runs and 1,284 runs batted in in 1,903 games. He led the National League in runs batted in with 126 in 1950, when he played right field for the Phillies' "Whiz Kids" team that won the NL pennant.

In a ceremony at the Library of Congress, U.S. President Bill Clinton signed legislation revamping the telecommunications industry, saying it would "bring the future to our doorstep." Also that day, the U.S. Congress passed the Communications Decency Act, and attempt to regulate pornography on the Internet.

The American bookstore chain Borders announced that it would invest in a chain of bookstores in Canada; The Canadian government's Investment Review Division blocked the plan in May 2006 under the cultural exemption of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

20 years ago

Died on this date
Ivo Caprino, 80
. Norwegian director and screenwriter. Mr. Caprino was known for his stop-motion puppet films, especially Flåklypa Grand Prix (Pinchcliffe Grand Prix) (1975). He died of cancer, nine days before his 81st birthday.

Colombian President Andres Pastrana began two days of talks with Manuel Marulanda, leader of the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a rebel group that had been fighting the Colombian government since the 1960s.

Politics and government
Lorne Calvert was sworn in as Premier of Saskatchewan, replacing Roy Romanow as head of the province's New Democratic Party government.

Economics and finance
U.S. President George W. Bush submitted a proposal to Congress to lower federal taxes.

10 years ago

Died on this date
Tony Malinosky, 101
. U.S. baseball player. Mr. Malinosky was a third baseman and shortstop with the Brooklyn Dodgers (1937), batting .228 with no home runs and 3 runs batted in in 35 games. He played 599 games in 7 seasons in the minor leagues from 1932-1938.

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