Sunday, 14 March 2021

March 12, 2021

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Yesenia Barajas!

210 years ago

The day after a successful rearguard action, French Marshal Michel Ney once again successfully delayed the pursuing Anglo-Portuguese force in the Battle of Redinha in Portugal.

200 years ago

Born on this date
John Abbott
. Prime Minister of Canada, 1891-1892. Sir John, a corporate lawyer from Montreal and a Conservative, was a member of Parliament from 1860-1874 and 1880-1887 and the government leader in the Senate from 1887 until his death. When Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald died in office on June 6, 1891, Mr. Abbott supported Justice Minister Sir John Thompson to succeed Mr. Macdonald, but Mr. Thompson was a Roman Catholic, and anti-Catholic sentiment led Mr. Abbott to reluctantly agree to assume the office of Prime Minister, becoming the first man to hold the position while sitting in the Senate. He resigned as Prime Minister because of ill health on December 5, 1892 and was replaced by Mr. Thompson. Sir John died on October 30, 1893 at the age of 72.

170 years ago

Former slave Henry Bibb published the first issue of Voice of the Fugitive, Canada's first Negro newspaper.

140 years ago

Born on this date
Väinö Tanner
. Prime Minister of Finland, 1926-1927. Mr. Tanner, born Väinö Thomasson, was a leading figure in the Suomen Sosialidemokraattisen Puolueen (Social Democratic Party). He was a Member of Parliament (1907-1911, 1914-1917, 1919-1927, 1930-1945, 1951-1954, 1958-1962); chairman of the SSP (1918-1926, 1957-1963), and acting President (1927) in relief of Lauri Relander, who was on sick leave. In addition to his one year as Prime Minister, Mr. Tanner was Minister of Finance (1937-1939, 1941-1944); Minister of Trade and Industry (1941-1942); and Minister of Foreign Affairs (1939-1940), holding the latter office during the Winter War against the U.S.S.R. He was one of the Finnish politicians convicted of responsibility for the Continuation War (1941-1944), and was in prison from 1946 until he was pardoned in 1949. Mr. Tanner died on April 19, 1966 at the age of 85.

120 years ago

U.S. industrialist Andrew Carnegie offered the city of New York $5.2 million for the construction of 65 branch libraries.

110 years ago

Born on this date
Gustavo Díaz Ordaz Bolaños
. 29th President of Mexico, 1964-1970. Mr. Díaz Ordaz, a member of the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (Institutional Revolutionary Party) (PRI), represented Puebla's 1st District in the Chamber of Deputies from 1943-1946, and represented Puebla in the Chamber of Senators from 1946-1952. He was Mexico's Secretary of the Interior from 1958-1963, and received almost 89% of the vote in the 1964 presidential election. Mr. Díaz Ordaz's presidency was best known for the violent suppression of student protests in Mexico City just prior to the Summer Olympic Games in October 1968. Mr. Díaz Ordaz passed the presidency on to Luis Echeverría in 1969 and retired from public life, with the brief exception of a few months as Ambassador to Spain in 1977, when he resigned after protests against his appointment. He died of colorectal cancer on July 15, 1979 at the age of 68.

100 years ago

Born on this date
Gordon MacRae
. U.S. actor and singer. Mr. MacRae was best known for his roles in the musical films On Moonlight Bay (1951); By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953); Oklahoma! (1955); and Carousel (1956). He suffered from cancer of the mouth and jaw, and died of pneumonia on January 24, 1986 at the age of 64.

Earl Nightingale. U.S. broadcaster. Mr. Nightingale joined the the U.S. Marines at the age of 17, and was one of 15 survivors aboard USS Arizona in the Japanes attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941. He read occultist Napoleon Hill's book Think and Grow Rich in 1950, and was inspired by Mr. Hill's quote “We become what we think about.” Mr. Nightingale became a motivational speaker whose record The Strangest Secret (1956) sold a million copies, becoming the first spoken word record to win a Gold Record award. Our Changing World, a five-minute weekday program, aired from 1959 to the 1980s, and became the most widely-syndicated radio program in history. Mr. Nightingale died of complications following heart surgery on March 25, 1989, 13 days after his 68th birthday.

Gianni Agnelli. Italian industrialist. Mr. Agnelli was the son of Edoardo Agnelli, principal family shareholder in the automotive firm Fiat. Gianni Agnelli was president of Fiat from 1966-2003, and raised Fiat into the biggest company in Italy and one of the most important in Europe, becoming Italy's richest man. He was a Senator for Life from 1991 until his death from prostate cancer on January 24, 2003 at the age of 81.

80 years ago

Speaking in Parliament, U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill thanked the United States for passing the Lend-Lease bill, while U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt formally asked Congress for $7 billion for Lend-Lease arms aid. The Diplomatisch-Politische Korrespondenz in Berlin denounced Lend-Lease as "flagrant meddling" in the European war.

U.S. Navy Secretary Frank Knox dedicated the Navy's largest air training base in Corpus Christi, Texas.

The Japanese newspaper Asahi said that Indochina and Thailand had pledged not to enter into any agreement with a third power inimical to Japanese interests.

Canadian Agriculture Minister Jimmy Gardiner cut wartime wheat quotas to 65% of 1940 acreage, with no price increase. There was a $4/acre subsidy for land diverted to summer fallow, and $2 for hay.

City College of New York President Harry Wright told 3,000 students that Communists could not be tolerated in the schools, and supported the Rapp-Coudert legislative investigation of subversive activities.

Politics and government
The U.S. Temporary National Economic Committee (TNEC) listed nearly 400 organizations that maintained staffs of lobbyists in Washington, and urged that they be periodically registered.

Chinese engineers left Chungking to survey a route for a 1,000-mile highway from Ningyuan, China to Sadiya, Assam, India.

75 years ago

At the movies
To Each His Own, starring Olivia DeHavilland and John Lund, opened in theatres.

Died on this date
Samuel Gompers, Jr., 78
. U.S. labour leader. Mr. Gompers, the son of the founder of the American Federation of Labor, was chief clerk of the United States Labor Department.

Károly Beregfy, 58; Gábor Vajna, 54; József Gera, 49. Hungarian politicians. Messrs. Beregfy, Vajna, and Gera were members of the fascist Arrow Cross Party – Hungarist Movement that governed Hungary from October 1944-March 1945, the last months of Hungary's involvement in World War II. They were hanged in Budapest with former Head of State Ferenc Szálasi after being convicted of crimes against the state.

Ferenc Szálasi, 49. Head of State of Hungary, 1944-1945. Mr. Szálasi was the leader of the fascist Arrow Cross Party – Hungarist Movement, and was "Leader of the Nation" from October 1944-March 1945. He was responsible for the murder of 10,000-15,000 Jews during his brief reign, and was hanged in Budapest after being convicted of crimes against the state.

Filming of Forever Amber began in Hollywood, with a record budget of $3 million.

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Tom Connally (Democrat--Texas) declared in a report to the Senate that the U.S.S.R. did not want war, but "those who want peace must not commit acts that tend to provoke war."

The U.S. House of Representatives passed and sent to the Senate a bill permitting President Harry Truman to send technical advisers and lease or give 271 naval vessels to China.

U.S. Army General Carl Spaatz revealed plans to equip the Army Air Forces almost exclusively with jet planes and to bring it to combat strength by the end of 1946.

Palestinian Arab leader Jamal el Husseini stated that "we are willing to shed our own blood" in order to gain British evacuation from Palestine.

The U.S. State Department revealed that it had sent the U.S.S.R. a second note inquiring about the southward and westward movement of Soviet troops in Iran.

Economics and finance
The Interntional Monetary Fund Membership Committee extended for six months the opportunity to the U.S.S.R. and eight other nations to ratify the Bretton Woods Agreement.

Herbert Lehman resigned as director-general of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration because of ill health.

The U.S. Office of Price Administration granted a 4½% price increase on steel castings and railroad specialties.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that the new government wage policy would permit a general increase of 12½% over wage rates of October 1945.

70 years ago

Popular culture
The syndicated cartoon panel Dennis the Menace by Hank Ketcham made its debut in 16 newspapers.

U.S. 8th Army commander General Matthew Ridgway stimulated rumours of an early truce in the Korean War when he told war correspondents that it would be a "tremendous victory" for the United Nations if the war ended on the 38th Parallel.

World events
A report from Berlin said that 14 Soviet officers in East Berlin had been hanged for plotting to assassinate U.S.S.R. dictator Josef Stalin.

Italy urged Yugoslavia to approve a waiver of the World War II peace treaty limit on Italian armament in view of the Eastern European threat.

Politics and government
The Inter-American Conference on Social Security opened in Buenos Aires and elected Eva Peron as chairman.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to review the 1950 perjury conviction of former U.S. State Department employee Alger Hiss.

Dr. Philip Levine, the blood research pioneer who first described the Rh factor, reported the discovery of a new blood factor, the "J" or "Jarrell" factor, in the blood of some cancer patients.

Roland LaStarza (44-1) won a 10-round unanimous decision over Keene Simmons (8-10-1) in a heavyweight bout at Rhode Island Auditorium in Providence.

60 years ago

Politics and government
After a five-day meeting in Tananarive, Malagasy Republic, 18 Congolese political leaders proclaimed a new confederation of states to replace the central government of the Republic of the Congo. Joseph Kasavubu, President of the central Congolsese government, was named President of the confederation. A communique said the confederal president would conduct its foreign affairs, a Council of States composed of Mr. Kasavubu and the heads of the member states would "determine the general and international policies," and an "executive body called the Coordinating Body between states will carry out the council’s decisions." Among the leaders in attendance were Mr. Kasavubu, Katangan President Moise Tshombe, and Albert Kalonji of South Kasai. Abset was Antoine Gisenga, Premier of the government in Stanleyville, who refused to attend and denounced the conference’s decisions. The conferees sent a series of messages to the United Nations demanding the curtailment of the UN Force in the Congo.

IIHF World Championship @ Geneva
Canada 5 U.S.S.R. 1

The Trail Smoke Eaters, representing Canada, became the last club team to win a world championship for Canada and the last Canadian representatives to win the title for 33 years.

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand (RIANZ): Burning Bridges--The Mike Curb Congregation

South Africa's Top 10 (Springbok Radio)
1 Knock Three Times--Dawn (4th week at #1)
2 Rose Garden--Lynn Anderson
3 No Matter What--Badfinger
4 My Sweet Lord--George Harrison
5 I Hear You Knocking--Dave Edmunds
6 A Summer Prayer for Peace--The Archies
7 Do It--Neil Diamond
8 Immigrant Song--Led Zeppelin
9 Look Out Here Comes Tomorrow--The Dealians
10 Mendocino--Michael Holm

Singles entering the chart were Have You Ever Seen the Rain by Creedence Clearwater Revival (#16); and You and the Looking Glass by Joe Dolan (#20).

Vancouver's Top 10 (CKLG)
1 Put Your Hand in the Hand--Ocean
2 Stay Awhile--The Bells
3 Have You Ever Seen the Rain/Hey Tonight--Creedence Clearwater Revival
4 She's a Lady--Tom Jones
5 Me and Bobby McGee--Janis Joplin
6 Watching Scotty Grow--Bobby Goldsboro
7 Rose Garden--Lynn Anderson
8 Doesn't Somebody Want to Be Wanted--The Partridge Family
9 Woodstock--Matthews' Southern Comfort
10 Help Me Make it Through the Night--Sammi Smith

Singles entering the chart were What is Life by George Harrison (#23); Another Day/Oh Woman, Oh Why by Paul McCartney (#27); Oye Como Va by Santana (#28); When You Dance I Can Really Love by Neil Young (#29); and You're All I Need to Get By by Aretha Franklin (#30).

Vancouver's Top 10 (CKVN)
1 Have You Ever Seen the Rain/Hey Tonight--Creedence Clearwater Revival (3rd week at #1)
2 Woodstock--Matthews' Southern Comfort
3 Me and Bobby McGee--Janis Joplin
4 Oh What a Feeling--Crowbar
5 She's a Lady--Tom Jones
6 What is Life--George Harrison
7 Put Your Hand in the Hand--Ocean
8 Chairman of the Board--Chairmen of the Board
9 Proud Mary--Ike & Tina Turner
10 Theme from Love Story--Henry Mancini, his Orchestra and Chorus

Singles entering the chart were Pushbike Song by the Mixtures (#25); You're All I Need to Get By by Aretha Franklin (#26); Love's Lines, Angles and Rhymes by the 5th Dimension (#27); No Love at All by B.J. Thomas (#28); A Country Boy Named Willy by Spring (#29); and Sugar Mountain/When You Dance I Can Really Love by Neil Young (#30).

Edmonton's Top 10 (CJCA)
1 Put Your Hand in the Hand--Ocean
2 Rose Garden--Lynn Anderson
3 Stay Awhile--The Bells
4 Have You Ever Seen the Rain--Creedence Clearwater Revival
5 What is Life--George Harrison
6 Amos Moses--Jerry Reed
7 Watching Scotty Grow--Bobby Goldsboro
8 Amazing Grace--Judy Collins
9 Children of the Sun--Mashmakhan
10 Like an Eagle--Miguel Rios

On television tonight
The Interns, on CBS
Tonight's episode: The Manly Art

World events
In what amounted to a coup d’etat by communique, the Turkish armed forces issued an ultimatum demanding a government strong enough to stop "anarchy," forcing Premier Suleyman Demirel to resign or face a military takeover. The army move came in the wake of months of unrest and violence.

U.S. Secretary of State William Rogers backed United Nations mediator Gunnar Jarring, who had proposed that Israel withdraw from all occupied territory in order to bring peace in the Middle East.

3,000 shipyard workers of all faiths marched silently through the streets of Belfast, Northern Ireland in sympathy for the families of three U.K. soldiers who had been murdered two days earlier.

The government of Québec announced that it would compensate those who were arrested during the October Crisis in 1970 and not charged, and that it would destroy files and fingerprints.

40 years ago

Hit parade
Edmonton's Top 14 (CHED)
1 Woman--John Lennon
2 Keep on Loving You--REO Speedwagon
3 The Best of Times--Styx
4 Rapture--Blondie
5 Turning Japanese--The Vapors
6 Shaddap You Face--Joe Dolce
7 Hey Nineteen--Steely Dan
8 I Love a Rainy Night--Eddie Rabbitt
9 Just Between You and Me--April Wine
10 A Little in Love--Cliff Richard
11 Every Woman in the World--Air Supply
12 Celebration--Kool & The Gang
13 Treat Me Right--Pat Benatar
14 The Tide is High--Blondie

The Soviet press agency Tass announced that the U.S.S.R. had launched a manned space capsule, Soyuz T-4. Cosmonauts Vladimir Kovalyonok (Commander) and Viktor Savinykh (Fligh Engineer) were to effect a linkup with the orbiting Salyut 6 space station.

Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau asked U.S. President Ronald Reagan to act to save fish stocks in the Atlantic Ocean, since Mr. Reagan had scrapped the Canadian treaty which had encompassed a plan to manage and share the fish stocks on the Georges Bank. Mr. Reagan was concluding his first visit to Canada since becoming President.

As a concession to three political dissidents who had hijacked a Pakistani jetliner to Kabul, Afghanistan on March 2, Pakistan agreed to free 55 more political prisoners.

30 years ago

Died on this date
Ragnar Granit, 90
. Finnish-born Swedish neuroscientist. Dr. Granit, Haldan Keffer Hartline, and George Wald were awarded the 1967 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries concerning the primary physiological and chemical visual processes in the eye."

James Baker, on his first visit to Israel as U.S. Secretary of State, met with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. Mr. Baker was seeking Israeli concessions, including giving up all or part of the occupied territories as part of a peace settlement with the Palestine Liberation Organization. Israel did not immediately reject Mr. Baker’s proposals. Mr. Baker also met separately with Palestinian leaders.

World events
Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic gave in to protesters and released the leader of the Serbian Renewal Movement (the main opposition party), and fired five senior editors of the state-run television network and the editor of the pro-Socialist newspaper.

South African President P.W. Botha introduced a five-piece package of legislation that would end all racial discrimination in land ownership and would allow South Africans to live where they chose. The five bills would overturn 189 laws that prohibited blacks from buying land.

25 years ago

The Helms-Burton Act, which included authorization of lawsuits against those holding former American territory in Cuba, was signed into law by U.S. President Bill Clinton.

Politics and government
Jean-Pierre Charbonneau (Parti Québécois--Borduas) was elected Speaker of the Quebec National Assembly. The deputy speakers were Raymond Brouillet (PQ--Chauveau) and Claude Pinard (PQ--Saint-Maurice). Mr. Charbonneau, elected unanimously by the 125 MNAs, replaced Roger Bertrand, appointed Minister of Revenue in January. The new speaker began his first session by asking that "decorum, the quality of debates and mutual respect henceforth characterize one of the oldest parliaments in the world."

Vancouver, British Columbia city council voteds to ban smoking in restaurants.

Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, formerly Chris Jackson, of the Denver Nuggets, was suspended without pay by the National Basketball Association after refusing to stand during the national anthem before games. A compromise was reached when he said he would stand and pray during the anthem; the American flag, he said, was a "symbol of tyranny and oppression" and thus his Muslim faith would not allow him to pay respect to it.

20 years ago

Died on this date
Robert Ludlum, 73
. U.S. author. Mr. Ludlum was a theatrical actor and producer before writing 27 thriller novels. He was best known for the Bourne Trilogy (1980-1990), featuring a spy named Jason Bourne. Mr. Ludlum died from the effects of severe burns received in a mysterious fire a month earlier.

Morton Downey, Jr., 68. American singer, songwriter, actor, and television host. Mr. Downey, the son of singer Morton Downey, was a disc jockey in the 1950s and '60s, who wrote songs and made several recordings. He was best known as a talk show host in the 1980s, initially on radio, and then on television. The Morton Downey Jr. Show (1987-1989) pioneered the format known as "trash TV," with the program characterized by shouting matches between host and guest and among guests. The novelty of the program quickly wore off, and increasing difficulties in attracting advertising and good time slots led to its cancellation. Mr. Downey was a longtime smoker, but became an anti-smoking activist after being diagnosed in 1996 with lung cancer, which combined with pneumonia to cause his death.

Politics and government
The Progressive Conservatives, led by Premier Ralph Klein, won a landslide victory in the Alberta provincial election, taking 74 of 83 seats in the legislature. The Liberals, led by Nancy MacBeth, won 7 seats, and the New Democrats, led by Raj Pannu, won 2.

Yoweri Museveni was re-elected President of Uganda with 69% of the vote. His leading opponent, Kizza Besigye, who received 28%, charged that there had been vote fraud.

The first case of foot-and-mouth disease was confirmed in central France. New cases were confirmed in Argentina, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Economics and finance
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 436.37 points, a 4.1% decline. The NASDAQ index, loaded with high-technology companies, fell 6.3%, for a cumulative decline of 61% from its March 2000 peak.

Four U.S. soldiers and an airman and a New Zealand army major were killed when an errant bomb from a U.S. fighter plane exploded over an observation post in Kuwait. Three Americans were seriously wounded and several Kuwaiti military personnel were also injured.

10 years ago

A reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant exploded and released radioactivity into the atmosphere, the day after the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.

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