Friday, 12 March 2021

March 8, 2021

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Linda Woodhams!

220 years ago

In the Battle of Abukir, a British force under Sir Ralph Abercromby landed in Egypt with the aim of ending the French campaign in Egypt and Syria.

180 years ago

Born on this date
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
U.S. jurist. Mr. Holmes was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1902-1932. Many of Justice Holmes' opinions were dissents, but he remains one of the most frequently cited legal scholars in history. Justice Holmes rejected the idea of "natural law," or God as the source of law, in favour of the idea that law is whatever judges say it is. Justice Holmes, therefore, was and is popular among "progressives." He died on March 6, 1935, two days before his 94th birthday.

150 years ago

Canadian Prime Minister John A. Macdonald was invited to attend British negotiations that led to the signing of the Treaty of Washington, dealing with the Alabama Claims, the western boundary, and new reciprocity between the United States and United Kingdom.

110 years ago

Born on this date
Alan Hovhaness
. U.S. composer. Mr. Hovhnaness, born Alan Vaness Chakmakjian, was of Armenian ancestry, and many of his compositions reflected that, but he also borrowed from other cultures. He was one of the 20th century's most prolific composers, with 67 numbered symphonies among more than 500 surviving works, although he destroyed 500-1,000 of his early works from the 1930s and '40s, mainly in response to criticism from fellow composer Roger Sessions. Mr. Hovhaness died on June 21, 2000 at the age of 89.

100 years ago

Born on this date
Alan Hale, Jr.
. U.S. actor. Mr. Hale, born Alan Hale MacKahan, Jr. and son of the character actor Alan Hale, appeared in more than 200 movies and televiion programs, but was best known for playing the Skipper in the television comedy series Gilligan's Island (1964-1967). He died of thymus cancer on January 2, 1990 at the age of 68.

Died on this date
Eduardo Dato e Iradier, 64
. Prime Minister of Spain, 1913, 1915, 1917, 1920-1921. Mr. Dato, a Conservative, was first elected to the Spanish parliament in 1883. He held several cabinet posts in his career, including Mister of Foreign Affairs (March-November 1918), in addition to serving three terms as Prime Minister during the restoration of the monarchy. Mr. Dato held several other positions, including vice president of the International Permanent Court in The Hague. He was assassinated by Catalan anarchists Luis Nicolau, Pedro Mateu, and Ramón Casanellas, who rode a motorcycle and shot Mr. Dato as he was being driven home from the parliament building in Madrid. Mr. Dato was succeeded by acting Prime Minister Gabino Bugallal Araújo.

80 years ago

Died on this date
Sherwood Anderson, 64
. U.S. author. Mr. Anderson, a native of Camden, Ohio, wrote about Midwestern life in such works as the short story collection Winesburg, Ohio (1919) and the novel Dark Laughter (1925). He died of peritonitis while on a cruise after accidentally swallowing a toothpick.

London underwent its heaviest Nazi bombing in weeks, suffering great damage and many casualties. The Greek government spurned any armistice with the Axis. Turkish sources said that Turkey may not fight if Germany attacked Greece.

Yugoslavia was reported to have reached agreement with Germany on a non-aggression pact.

The United States Senate voted 60-31 to pass the Lend-Lease bill, after voting 56-33 to defeat the Walsh amendment to prohibit the transfer of any U.S. Navy ships without congressional authorization.

The worst snowstorm in the United States in six years swept the eastern states from Virginia north, depositing 11.6 inches of snow in New York in 24 hours and 17 inches in other areas.

American Federation of Labor President William Green appealed to AFL members to vote for the expulsion of three locals charged with undemocratic practices.

70 years ago

Former Nazi Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering, on trial at Nuremberg for war crimes, began his defense by claiming that he loved peace, befriended Jews, and regarded Allied airmen as brother fliers.

Dr. Chaim Weizmann, President of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, presented the Zionist case before the Anglo-American Commission of Inquiry, urging the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine.

Greek Foreign Minister Constantine Rendis asked the world powers to help Greece protect its frontiers against Bulgaria, Albania, and Italy.

The United States Army barred Communists and personnel judged "subversive or disaffected" from sensitive assignments, including radar, cryptography, and atomic research.

Politics and government
The U.S.S.R. rejected an American request that the Bulgarian cabinet include two ministers "who would really represent the opposition parties."

The government of Venezuela confiscated the fortune of Julio Medina Angarita for misusing public funds while his brother had been President.

In a letter to U.S.S.R. dictator Josef Stalin, the Uniate Church Assembly of the Western Ukraine announced its decision to abolish the 1596 Brest Union with the Vatican and return to the Russian Orthodox Church. The letter thanked Mr. Stalin for "reuniting" the Ukrainians.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University revealed the development of an infrared "eye" known as a super-conducting bolometer which could "see" 10-15 miles in the dark.

Economics and finance
The U.S. Office of Price Administration authorized increases in cotton textile prices, some as high as 15%.

The 65-day strike of 17,500 Westinghouse Electric workers in New York and New Jersey ended with an agreement on a pay raise of 18.2%.

70 years ago

Died on this date
Virgil Chapman, 55
. U.S. politician. Mr. Chapman, a Democrat, represented Kentucky's 7th District (1925-1929) and 6th District (1935-1949) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and represented Kentucky in the U.S. Senate from January 3, 1949 until his death in a car accident, a week before his 56th birthday. He was succeeded in both the House and Senate by Thomas R. Underwood.

Tibetans in India reported that the Tibetan dispute with China had been settled on a promise by the Communist Chinese government that it would respect Tibet's autonomy in domestic affairs while Chinese troops patrolled the country's borders.

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees compromised on the troops-to-Europe dispute by passing identical resolutions endorsing the principle of unlimited American troop presence in Europe but requesting President Harry Truman and the Joint Chiefs of Staff to consult with Congress if additional units were requested.

Kyle Rote, All-American halfback with Southern Methodist University, signed with the New York Giants.

60 years ago

Died on this date
Thomas Beecham, 81
. U.K. orchestra conductor. Sir Thomas may have been the first British conductor to achieve international success. He co-founded the London Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras, conducting the latter from 1946 until his death. Sir Thomas conducted the Seattle Symphony Orchestra in the early 1940s, and was also associated with the Liverpool Philharmonic and Hallé Orchestras. Sir Thomas was known for promoting the music of Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Sibelius, and others such as Berlioz and Delius, who were otherwise ignored in Britain. Sir Thomas died of a heart attack.

Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah met with U.S. President John F. Kennedy in Washington, where they issued a joint communiqué saying they "recognized the importance of the United Nations’ role in Africa."

Politics and government
U.S. President John F. Kennedy addressed various issues at a news conference in Washington.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara issued a directive whose purpose he said was "to assign space development programs and projects to the Department of the Air Force except under unusual circumstances." It was reported that the decision was made over the vigorous opposition of the Army and Navy. The directive gave the Army and Navy the right to "conduct preliminary research to develop new ways of using space technology to perform its assigned function."

The U.S. nuclear submarine Patrick Henry, armed with 16 Polaris missiles, arrived in Holy Loch, Scotland after establishing a world’s record by cruising submerged for 66 days and 22 hours, eclipsing the record of its sister submarine, the George Washington, by 12 hours. The Patrick Henry, which sailed from Charleston, South Carolina, was the first submarine to use the supply base at Holy Loch under a 1960 U.S.-British agreement. The submarine took on a fresh crew and supplies from the depot ship Proteus, moored at the base.

U.S. President John F. Kennedy urged Congress not to let the church-state issue kill his school aid program, and asked that the proposal of loans to private schools be covered in a separate bill. Roman Catholic spokesmen supported and Protestant and other spokesmen opposed aid to private schools at public hearings before Senate and House of Representatives sub-committees.

Sonny Liston (32-1) scored a technical knockout of Howard "Honeyboy" King (37-22-8) at 53 seconds of the 3rd round of a heavyweight bout at the Miami Beach Auditorium in Miami Beach, Florida.

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): My Sweet Lord--George Harrison (8th week at #1)

#1 single in Japan (Oricon Singles Chart): Shiretoko Ryojō--Tokiko Kato (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): My Sweet Lord--George Harrison (2nd week at #1)

Died on this date
Harold Lloyd, 77
. U.S. actor. Mr. Lloyd was, in the opinion of this blogger, the greatest of the comic legends of the silent era. His films included Safety Last! (1923); The Freshman (1925); and Speedy (1928). Mr. Lloyd's sound films were less frequent and less successful than his silents, but he was financially successful that he was able to retire and devote his later years to Freemasonry.

Halifax's Pier 21 closed, since passenger liners had given way to plane travel. More than a million immigrants arrived there from 1928-1971; on June 14, 2010, the House of Commons voted unanimously to designate Pier 21 as the country's national immigration museum.

The United States Congress posted a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators of the March 1 bombing of a restroom in the U.S. Capitol building, which had caused $300,000 in damage.

The four U.S. airmen who had been kidnapped by leftist Turkish guerrillas on March 4 were released unharmed and walked into their billets just before midnight.

The United States Army accused Captain Ernest Medina, commander of the infantry company which had attacked the South Vietnamese hamlet of My Lai on March 16, 1968 of premeditated murder of "an unknown number of unidentified Vietnamese persons, not less than 100" by gunfire, and of assault with a dangerous weapon, in announcing that the 34-year-old officer would stand court-martial. Capt. Medina, who was stationed at Fort McPherson, Georgia, said he was "innocent of the charges."

200,000 British postal workers went back to work, ending a seven-week strike.

At least 30 were people were killed when a landslide in Ecuador buried cars and buses on a highway between Quito and Quayaquil.

In what had been billed as "The Fight of the Century," Joe Frazier (27-0) gave Muhammad Ali (31-1) a severely swollen jaw when he knocked him down with a hard left hook in the 15th round as he won a unanimous decision at Madison Square Garden in New York to retain his world title and earn recognition as the undisputed champion. Mr. Ali had been stripped of the title in 1967 for refusing induction into the United States Army and had been fighting a court battle since then. Jimmy Ellis had won an elimination tournament in 1968 to become World Boxing Association champion, while Mr. Frazier had defeated Buster Mathis in 1968 to become recognized as world champion by the athletic commissions of New York and several other states. Mr. Frazier then defeated Mr. Ellis on a 5-round technical knockout on February 16, 1970 to earn WBA recognition as world champion, before Mr. Ali returned to the ring in the fall of 1970. Norman Mailer wrote a lengthy essay on the fight for Life magazine (later published as a paperback book), while Frank Sinatra took the photographs.

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand (RIANZ): Woman--John Lennon (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Switzerland: Life is for Living--Barclay James Harvest (2nd week at #1)

World events
80 of the 150 members of the Spanish Civil Guard who had seized the lower house of the Spanish parliament on February 23 in an attempted coup had been released from prison.

A train carrying tourists home from an Argentine beach collided with two derailed freight cars, killing 45 people and injuring 120.

Kerry Burtnyk, 22, became the youngest skip to win a Canadian men's championship when his Manitoba rink scored 3 points in the 10th and final end to defeat Al Hackner's Northern Ontario rink 5-4 in the Brier final at the Halifax Metro Centre.

Los Angeles 4 @ Winnipeg 1

Marcel Dionne scored his 50th goal of the season to help the Kings beat the Jets at Winnipeg Arena.

30 years ago

Politics and government
Newfoundland Premier Clyde Wells suggested giving Québec a limited constitutional veto, but not recognizing Québec as a distinct society, calling it a lesser status.

The British Columbia Supreme Court ruled in Delgamuukw et al v The Queen that according to treaties, the Gitksan did not have Aboriginal title to their land, but they did have the right to use it for subsistence. The case clarified the clause of the treaties setting aside Crown land for the use and benefit of First Nations people.

U.S. troops began arriving home from the Gulf War.

The number of deaths from a cholera epidemic that had struck Peru since January stood at 55,000.

Economics and finance
The United States Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate in February was 6.5%, the highest in four years. The number of payroll jobs had declined by 184,000 in February.

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Sweden (Topplistan): Spaceman--Babylon Zoo (7th week at #1)

#1 single in Ireland (IRMA): How Deep is Your Love--Take That (2nd week at #1)

At the movies
Fargo, one of the most overrated movies of the 1990s, opened in theatres.

Died on this date
Jack Churchill, 89
. U.K. military officer. Lieutenant-Colonel Churchill, no relation to Sir Winston, was nicknamed "Mad Jack," in part because he fought throughout the Second World War armed with a longbow, bagpipes, and a basket-hilted Scottish broadsword. During the Battle of France in 1940, Lt.-Col. Churchill became the only British soldier known to have killed an enemy with a longbow and arrow during World War II.

20 years ago

Politics and government
Bernard Landry, who did not face a leadership challenge for leadership of the Parti Quebecois, took office as Premier of Quebec, succeeding Lucien Bouchard.

Canada’s National Parole Board ruled that Karla Homolka was at risk to kill again and should serve her entire prison sentence for her role in the sex slayings of two Ontario teenage girls.

Three teenagers died while playing on an ice floe in Pouch Cove, Newfoundland. They were jumping from slab to slab when a wave swept two of them into the frigid water. A third fell in while attempting to rescue his friends, while a fourth teen escaped.

The wreck of Donald Campbell's speedboat Bluebird was raised from the bottom of Coniston Water in Cumbria, England, where Mr. Campbell had perished in an accident on January 4, 1967 while attempting to set a world water speed record. Mr. Campbell's remains were discovered several days after his boat was raised.

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