Monday, 17 May 2021

May 17, 2021

500 years ago

Died on this date
Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, 43
. Mr. Stafford was the son of Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, who was executed for rebelling against King Richard III in 1483. Edward was a nephew of King Edward IV and a first cousin once removed of King Henry VIII. Edward Stafford commanded soldiers in Henry VIII's invasion of France in 1513, but his Plantagenet blood and connections led to suspicions that he was plotting against the king. Lord Buckingham was imprisoned in the Tower of London, convicted of treason, and executed on Tower Hill.

200 years ago

Born on this date
Sebastian Kneipp
. German clergyman and naturopath. Rev. Kneipp was a Roman Catholic priest who was primarily known as one of the founders of naturopathinc medicine; he was particularly associated with the "Kneipp Cure" form of hydrotherapy. Rev. Kneipp died on June 17, 1897, a month after his 76th birthday.

180 years ago

32 people were killed in a rockslide from Citadel Rock onto Champlain Street/Cap Diamant area of Lower Québec City.

150 years ago

The town of St. Stephen, New Brunswick was incorporated.

The New Brunswick Legislative Assembly passed the Common Schools Act, modelled on Ontario's, setting up free schools through public funding and bringing in a non-denominational curriculum. The abolition of separate N.B. Roman Catholic schools caused much controversy.

130 years ago

Born on this date
Princess Alexandra, 2nd Duchess of Fife
. U.K. Royal Family member. Princess Alexandra, a granddaughter of King Edward VII, was the daughter of Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife, who had married Princess Louise of Wales, daughter of the future King Edward VII. Princess Alexandra married Prince Arthur of Connaught in 1913, and died on February 26, 1959 at the age of 67.

120 years ago

Born on this date
Werner Egk
. German composer. Mr. Egk, born Werner Mayer, was a classical pianist who wrote operas, ballets, instrumental, and vocal works in a career spanning more than 50 years. He never joined the Nazi Party and was cleared by denazification tribunals, but achieved success during the Nazi regime in Germany in the 1930s and '40s. Mr. Egk died on July 10, 1983 at the age of 82.

110 years ago

Born on this date
Lisa Fonssagrives
. Swedish-born model. Mrs. Fonssagrives was an aspiring ballerina who moved to Paris in 1936 and became a fashion model. She moved to the United States in 1939, and continued to appear on magazine covers through the 1950s, earning recognition as the world's first supermodel. Mrs. Fonssagrives died in New York on February 4, 1992 at the age of 80.

Maureen O'Sullivan. U.K.-born U.S. actress. Miss O'Sullivan moved to the United States at the age of 18, and became an actress with the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio. She was at her busiest from the early 1930s through the early '40s, and was best known for playing Jane in the Tarzan series of movies. Miss O'Sullivan was the mother of actress Mia Farrow, and they appeared together in Hannah and Her Sisters (1986). Miss O'Sullivan died on June 23, 1998 at the age of 87.

The University of Alberta awarded its first earned degrees.

100 years ago

Born on this date
Dennis Brain
. U.K. musician. Mr. Brain was a virtuoso horn player in a public career spanning almost 30 years, and was especially known for his recordings of Mozart's horn concerti. Mr. Brain was killed in a car accident at the age of 36 on September 1, 1957, while driving back to London after a performance in Edinburgh, and the day before a scheduled recording session.

Bob Merrill. U. S. songwriter. Mr. Merrill, born Henry Robert Merrill Levan, wrote 18 U.S. top 10 hits from 1949-1956, including If I Knew You Were Coming I'd Have Baked a Cake; How Much is that Doggie in the Window?; and Mambo Italiano. Barbra Streisand's signature song, People, was also written by Mr. Merrill. Mr. Merrill also achieved success on Broadway, writing the lyrics for Funny Girl (1964) and Carnival! (1961), among many others. He also wrote screenplays, including Mahogany (1975). Mr. Merrill was suffering from depression linked to various ailments when he committed suicide by shooting himself in his car on February 17, 1998 at the age of 76.

80 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Amapola (Pretty Little Poppy)--Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra with Bob Eberly and Helen O'Connell (8th week at #1)

Died on this date
Fernando Pinto Sepulveda
. Chilean politician. Mr. Pinto, leader of Chile's Radical Party, was killed when members of the pro-Nazi Chilean Vanguardia Popula Socialista broke up the Radical Party's national convention in Santiago.

HMCS Dauphin was commissioned at Esquimalt, British Columbia for service in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). Germany announced the recapture of Solum on the Egyptian-Libyan border. A communique from Chungking stated that Chinese troops had recaptured Tsaoyang--a strategic base in the northern part of the province of Hupeh--and Suchi in the province of Chekiang, while Japan claimed to have held Tsaoyang. Air warfare between British and German forces intensified in Iraq and Syria.

The Vichy French regime announced that it would defend Dakar, Senegal against all aggression, and denied that German Fuehrer Adolf Hitler had mentioned German occupation of Dakar in recent talks with Vichy French Vice Premier François Darlan. The U.S. Justice Department began a nationwide roundup of aliens illegally in the country. Four Democratic Party members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee urged the United States to take over French island possessions in the Western Hemisphere.

The Soviet news agency Tass announced the establishment of trade, diplomatic, and consular relations between the U.S.S.R. and Iraq.

British authorities in the Malay state of Selangor proclaimed a state of emergency after three rubber plantation strikers were killed in a clash with soldiers.

Horse racing
Whirlaway, with Eddie Arcaro aboard, won his second straight Triple Crown race, taking the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland in a time of 1:58 4/5. King Cole placed second. First prize money was $49,365.

75 years ago

Marshal Ion Antonescu--Romania's dictator during World War II--and 12 of his cabinet ministers were sentenced to death in Bucharest for war crimes.

The International Military Tribune in Tokyo dismissed defense motions challenging its authority to try civilians for war crimes during World War II.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 6 was adopted, listing dates when the Security Council would review new applicants for the UN. A Security Council subcommittee considered evidence submitted by the U.S.S.R. and Belgium that the Spanish regime of Generalissimo Francisco Franco was a fascist state and a menace to world peace.

U.S. President Harry Truman sent telegrams to the heads of Arab states assuring them that the United States would not take any independent action concerning the settlement of the Palestine question.

Politics and government
The Labour Party government of Prime Minister Willem Schermerhorn was defeated in the Dutch general election, yielding its position as the Netherlands' largest party to the Catholic People's Party. The Catholic People's Party led with 32 of 100 seats in the House of Representatives; the Labour Party was next with 29, followed by the Anti-Revolutionary Party (13); and Communist Party (10).

U.S. Navy scientists revealed the discovery of a 300-mile-wide layer of colloidal particles or minute marine life in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of lower California.

Economics and finance
The U.S.A. and U.K. agreed to export 10 million tons of cereals to famine-stricken nations through September 1946.

U.S. President Harry Truman seized control of the nation's railroads and directed the Office of Defense Transportation to operate them, 24 before a scheduled strike by the Locomotive Engineers and Railroad Trainmen Brotherhoods.

70 years ago

The United Nations General Assembly's Political and Security voted 45-0 to approve a worldwide embargo on the shipment of arms and certain potential war goods to Communist China.

Politics and government
U.S. screen actor Lloyd Gough refused to answer any questions about Communism before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities.

The French transport ship Adour exploded in the Indonesian port of Nhatrong, causing numerous deaths.

60 years ago

Died on this date
Otto Knabe, 76
. U.S. baseball player and manager. Mr. Knabe was a second baseman who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1905, 1916); Philadelphia Phillies (1907-1913); Baltimore Terrapins (1914-1915); and Chicago Cubs (1916), batting .247 with 8 home runs and 365 runs batted in in 1,285 games. He also managed the Federal League Terrapins in 1914-1915, compiling a record of 131-177-6-1. Mr. Knabe died from a stroke.

Politics and government
South Korean Prime Minister John M. Chang, deposed by a military coup the previous day, came out of hiding and announced the resignation of his government.

U.S. President John F. Kennedy laid a wreath at Canada's National War Memorial in Ottawa, and he and Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker spent some time in talks, with Mr. Kennedy unsuccessfully attempting to persuade Mr. Diefenbaker to bring Canada into the Organization of American States. That afternoon, Mr. Kennedy addressed a joint session of Parliament, noting "the lofty appearance of statesmanship on the faces of the members of the Senate who realize that they will never have to place their case before the public again." Mr. Kennedy appealed for Canada to join the OAS, saying, "your country and mine are partners in North American affairs. Can we not now become partners in inter-American affairs?" Such a public appeal by an American president against a policy of a Canadian prime minister was regarded as a diplomatic faux pas. The bad feelings between the leaders was exacerbated that night when, at a party at the residence of U.S. Ambassador to Canada Livingston Merchant, President Kennedy spent an inordinate amount of time chatting with Lester Pearson, leader of the Liberal Party and Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition in Canada, rather than with Prime Minister Diefenbaker. U.S. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy visited a Royal Canadian Mounted Police barracks, and was treated to a presentation of the RCMP musical ride.

Cuban dictator Fidel Castro proposed, in a speech, to exchange 1,214 rebels captured in April in the Bay of Pigs invasion for 500 U.S. tractors.

At a 14-nation conference in Geneva on the future of Laos, U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk said that to insure the neutralization of Laos, it would be necessary for the International Control Commission--Poland, India, Canada--to have adequate transport and communications equipment and to act by majority vote, not "paralyzed by a veto."

20 people burned to death near Carrizales, Venezuela when a truck filled with passengers overturned and burned.

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): She's a Lady--Tom Jones

#1 single in Japan (Oricon Singles Chart): Mata Au Hi Made--Kiyohiko Ozaki

#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Qué Será (Che Sará)--José Feliciano

The album Ram by Paul and Linda McCartney was released on Apple Records.

Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau began a 10-day visit to the U.S.S.R.

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand (RIANZ): Being with You--Smokey Robinson

#1 single in Switzerland: In the Air Tonight--Phil Collins (2nd week at #1)

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Katya Semenova!

Stanley Cup
New York Islanders 7 @ Minnesota 5 (New York led best-of-seven series 3-0)

Butch Goring scored 3 goals and Mike Bossy added 2 goals and 2 assists as the Islanders overcame a 3-1 first-period deficit to defeat the North Stars at Metropolitan Sports Center in Bloomington in the first Stanley Cup finals game played in Minnesota. Bob Nystrom and Bryan Trottier scored the other New York goals. Steve Payne led the North Stars with 2 goals and an assist. Other Minnesota goals were scored by Steve Christoff, Bobby Smith, and Dino Ciccarelli. Billy Smith gave up 5 goals in 28 shots to get the win for the Islanders, while Gilles Meloche, back in goal for the North Stars after being benched in favour of Don Beaupre in game 2, gave up 6 goals in 28 shots.

30 years ago

The Canadian Department of National Defence said that it was cancelling orders for $900 million worth of military equipment and cutting almost 1,000 jobs at Ottawa Northern Division Headquarters due to the easing of Cold War tensions.

Rogers Communications Inc. announced that it would acquire Skyline Cablevision Ltd. of Ottawa for $70 million, plus $5 million for a French language community channel.

Stanley Cup
Minnesota 1 @ Pittsburgh 4 (Best-of-seven series tied 1-1)

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Sweden (Topplistan): Children--Robert Miles (6th week at #1)

#1 single in Ireland (IRMA): Man Utd Man--Men Utd featuring the Absolutely's (2nd week at #1)

At the movies
Crash, directed by David Cronenberg and starring James Spader and Holly Hunter, received its world premiere screening at the Cannes Film Festival; audiences were scandalized by the portrayal of characters sexually aroused by traffic accidents. The movie was one of several in the mid-1990s that provided evidence that Canada was producing the world's most perverted "mainstream" films.

Died on this date
Willis Conover, 75
. U.S. music producer and broadcaster. Mr. Conover began his career as the publisher of the magazine Science Fantasy Correspondent before becoming a disc jockey and producer of jazz concerts. He was best known for hosting the Voice of America Jazz Hour on Voice of America for more than 40 years. The program was broadcast on shortwave internationally and were especially popular in Eastern Europe during the Cold War, as Mr. Conover's voice and deliberately slow delivery enabled his listeners to learn English as well as introducing them to jazz. Mr. Conover was a heavy smoker for most of his life, and died of lung cancer.

Johnny "Guitar" Watson, 61. U.S. musician. Mr. Watson was a blues, soul, and funk guitarist, singer, and songwriter in a career spanning more than 40 years. His biggest hit single was A Real Mother for Ya, which reached #41 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and #5 on the rhythm and blues chart in 1977. Mr. Watson died of a heart attack on stage while on tour in Yokohama, Japan.

Scott Brayton, 37. U.S. auto racing driver. Mr. Brayton drove in the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) circuit (1981-1995) and Indy Racing League (1996), participating in 147 races. He never won a race, but finished 6th in the Indianapolis 500 in 1989 and 1993. Mr. Brayton won the pole position for the 1995 Indianapolis 500, but finished 17th because of mechanical problems. He won the pole again for the 1996 Indianapolis 500, but in a practice run several days later, his car blew a tire and crashed into a wall at almost 230 miles per hour, killing him instantly.

Sri Lankan officials claimed that government troops were in control of the Jaffna peninsula, a former Tamil Tiger stronghold.

U.S. President Bill Clinton signed "Megan's Law," a measure requiring neighbourhood notification when sex offenders move in.

20 years ago

The rock group R.E.M. performed a free concert in downtown Toronto, attracting an estimated 20,000 people lining Yonge Street.

Died on this date
Frank G. Slaughter, 93
. U.S. surgeon and novelist. Dr. Slaughter was practicing at Riverside Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida when he began writing novels that drew on his medical experience. His novels, which sold 60 million copies, included That None Should Die; Surgeon, U.S.A.; and The Scarlet Cord. Several of Dr. Slaughter's novels were made into movies, including The Warrior (released on film as Seminole in 1953); Sangaree; and Doctors' Wives. Dr. Slaughter's last novel, No Greater Love, was published in 1985.

Economics and finance
Canadian ice wine finally became legal in the European Union; it had been kept out by the EU for 20 years by strict regulations governing wine production.

10 years ago

Died on this date
Harmon Killebrew, 74
. U.S. baseball player. Mr. Killebrew, nicknamed "The Killer," was a first baseman, third baseman, left fielder, and designated hitter with the Washington Nationals/Senators/Minnesota Twins (1954-1974) and Kansas City Royals (1975), batting .256 with 573 home runs and 1,584 runs batted in in 2,435 games. At the time of his retirement, he was fourth in major league career home runs, second to Babe Ruth in American League homers, and first in AL home runs by a righthanded batter. Mr. Killebrew led or tied for the AL lead in homers six times; in RBIs three times; and in slugging once. He worked as a broadcaster on games of the Twins (1976-1978, 1984-1988); Oakland Athletics (1979-1982); and California Angels (1983), and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984. Mr. Killebrew suffered from severe health and financial problems in the late 1980s and early '90s. He died of esophageal cancer.

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