Tuesday, 25 May 2021

May 24, 2021

670 years ago

Died on this date
Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn Othman, 53-54 (?)
. Sultan of Morocco, 1331-1348. Abu al-Hasan acceded to the throne upon the death of his father Abu Sa'id Uthman II. He captured Gibraltar from the Castilians in 1333, but an attempt to take Tarifa ended in defeat in 1340. Abu al-Hasan's attempts to further impose his authority over Arab tribes resulted in a revolt, and he was deposed by his eldest son Abu Inan Faris in 1348. Abu al-Hasan died in exile.

400 years ago

The Protestant Union, a coalition of Protestant German states formed on May 14, 1608, was formally dissolved.

160 years ago

Born on this date
Gerald Strickland
. Prime Minister of Malta, 1927-1932. Baron Strickland was Governor of Tasmania (1904-1909), Western Australia (1909-1913), and New South Wales (1913-1917) before returning to Malta. He became the leader of what became the Constitutional Party, and served as Prime Minister until the constitution was suspended as a result of conflict between the government and Roman Catholic ecclesiastical authorities. Baron Strickland died on August 22, 1940 at the age of 79.

Died on this date
James W. Jackson, 36-37
. C.S. secessionist. Mr. Jackson was the proprietor of the Marshall House inn in Alexandria, Virginia; he flew a variation of the Confederate flag from the roof of his inn, and it was easily visible to Union troops. He was bayoneted by Union Army Private Francis Brownell during the Union occupation of Alexandria, immediately after Mr. Jackson had fatally shot Union Colonel Elmer Ellsworth. Mr. Jackson became a martyr for the Confederate cause.

Elmer E. Ellsworth, 24. U.S. military officer. Colonel Ellsworth studied law under Abraham Lincoln, and worked on Mr. Lincoln's 1860 U.S. presidential campaign. He was a colonel of National Guard Cadets in Chicago in the late 1850s, and was given command of the 11th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment when the American Civil War began in 1861. Col. Ellsworth was leading an attempt to seize a Confederate flag from the roof of the Marshall House inn during the Union Army's occupation of Alexandria, Virginia when he was fatally shot by James W. Jackson. Col. Ellsworth was the first Union officer to die in the Civil War, and he lay in state in the White House.

Union troops occupied Alexandria, Virginia.

140 years ago

The excursion steamer Victoria, a flat-bottomed stern-wheeler, flipped over and sank in the Thames River near Riverside Park in London, Ontario, with the loss of 181 lives.

130 years ago

Born on this date
William F. Albright
. Chilean-born U.S. archaeologist. Dr. Albright, the son of Methodist missionaries, was a professor of Semitic Languages at Johns Hopkins University (1930-1958) and Director of the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem (1922–1929, 1933–1936). He founded the field of biblical archaeology, and did important work at sites in Israel such as Gibeah (Tell el-Fûl, 1922) and Tell Beit Mirsim (1926, 1928, 1930, 1932). Dr. Albright died on September 19, 1971 at the age of 80.

120 years ago

In Hamilton, Ontario, Clementina Fessenden, a schoolteacher and the mother of radio pioneer Reginald Fessenden, originated a public holiday called Victoria Day to honour the British Empire by celebrating the Queen’s birthday.

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 (9th week at #1)

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Bob Dylan!

The legendary singer-songwriter was born Robert Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota.

The British cruisers HMS Norfolk and Suffolk made contact with the German battleship Bismarck and cruiser Prinz Eugen in the Denmark Strait between Iceland and Greenland; in the ensuing Battle of the Denmark Strait, the British battle cruiser HMS Hood was sunk with the loss of 1,415 men, and only 3 survivors, while the German ships escaped. A German communique claimed that German troops had occupied the western part of Crete.

The Battle of Oahu, an exercise involving 35,000 U.S. troops and army bombers, ended in Hawaii after the enemy invaders were theoretically destroyed. U.S. Senator James Mead (Democrat--New York) urged that the United States negotiate with France for temporary bases on French islands in the Western Hemisphere, or seize them if necessary.

Politics and government
Sources in Ankara reported that Emir Abdul Illah, deposed regent of Iraq and uncle of King Feisal, had returned to Iraq under British protection, and was planning to establish a new government in opposition to Prime Minister Rashid Ali Ben Gailani.

Vatican officials said that German authorities had issued a decree banning all Roman Catholic periodicals and newspapers after June 1, 1941.

Congress of Industrial Organizations members of North American Aviation Inc. of Inglewood, California voted 5,829-210 to strike to back their wage demands; the company had over $120 million in defense contracts.

Track and field
Les Steers of Oregon set a world record in the high jump of 6' 10 7/8" in the Los Angeles Coliseum Relays.

75 years ago

At the movies
Dressed to Kill, the fourteenth and last movie starring Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Doctor Watson, opened in theatres in New York City.

The Arab Higher Commission in Jerusalem submitted three demands to the U.S.A. and U.K: 1) abrogation of the British mandate in Palestine and cessation of Jewish immigration; 2) establishment of an Arab Palestine; 3) withdrawal of all foreign troops.

U.S.S.R. Ambassador to Iran Ivan Sadchikov officially notified Iran that the Soviet Red Army had completed its withdrawal from Iran on May 6.

Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill accused Egypt of ingratitude, and urged that Egypt be held to the 1936 treaty permitting British troops in the country.

U.S. President Harry Truman threatened to call out the Army to operate the nation's railroads if striking members of the Railroad Trainmen and Locomotive Engineers Brotherhoods did not return to work by 4 P.M. on May 25. Skeleton crews maintained rail service at only 1% of the normal level, threatening many areas with a food shortage.

70 years ago

Died on this date
Thomas N. Heffron, 78
. U.S. movie director. Mr. Heffron directed 69 silent films from 1913-1923, including The Man from Mexico (1914); Are You a Mason? (1915); and The House of a Thousand Candles (1915).

Barbary Shore by Norman Mailer was published in New York by Rinehart.

Advancing South Korean troops crossed the 38th Parallel at Kaesong, while U.S. forces moved toward the Hwachon Reservoir on the central front.

Reinforcement of U.S. land forces in Western Europe began as 5,000 men of the Army's 4th Division embarked from New York for Bremerhaven, West Germany.

The Washington, D.C. Municipal Court of Appeals ruled that racial segregation in the city's restaurants was illegal.

The American Medical Association reported that the United States had a record 209,040 physicians in December 1950, up 2,208 over the same period in 1949.

The New York Giants called up center fielder Willie Mays from the Minneapolis Millers of the American Association. Mr. Mays was batting .477 with 8 home runs and 30 runs batted in in 35 games with the Millers in 1951.

50 years ago

Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion arrived in Ottawa to start a four-day visit to Canada.

U.S. Vice President Lyndon Johnson, who had been on a tour of Asian nations since May 9, returned home via Athens and Bermuda. In Bermuda he said that the outcome of the struggle against Communism "will depend on not only the determination and resolve of the free peoples of Asia, but upon the steps we take to help them preserve their liberties." Commenting on the Communist resolve to overwhelm southeast Asia, Mr. Johnson said, "Let me emphasize that new military strength and techniques appear to be essential if the peoples of Asia are to beat back these immediate assaults upon their independence and national integrity."

Freedom Riders are were arrested in Jackson, Mississippi after disembarking from their bus, for "disturbing the peace."

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): She's a Lady--Tom Jones (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Japan (Oricon Singles Chart): Mata Au Hi Made--Kiyohiko Ozaki (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Qué Será (Che Sará)--José Feliciano (2nd week at #1)

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand (RIANZ): Being with You--Smokey Robinson (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Switzerland: Stars on 45--Stars on 45

Died on this date
Roy Brown, 55 or 60
. U.S. singer. Mr. Brown was a blues and rhythm and blues singer who had 13 songs on the Billboard rhythm and blues chart from 1948-1951, reaching #1 with Long About Midnight (1947) and Hard Luck Blues (1950), but was best known for Good Rocking Tonight (1947), which has been called by many the first rock and roll record. Mr. Brown's career declined through the remainder of the 1950s except for a brief comeback in 1957, as his versions of Party Doll and Let the Four Winds Blow were hits. He worked as an encyclopedia salesman before experiencing a revival of interest in his music in the 1970s, and he enjoyed a successful performing career until his death from a heart attack, shortly before his induction into the Blues Hall of Fame.

Jaime Roldós Aguilera, 40. President of Ecuador, 1979-1981. Mr. Roldós, his wife Maria, Defense Minister Major General Marco Subia Martinez, and two military aides were killed in a plane crash near the Peruvian border. Mr. Roldós was the youngest president in the western hemisphere and had been elected by the largest majority in Ecuadorian history; he implemented human rights reforms during his presidency, leading to conspiracy theories regarding the plane crash.

Four leftist extremists hijacked a Turkish airliner, with 91 passengers and crew aboard, from the airport in Ankara and forced it to fly to Bulgaria. The hijackers threatened to kill five U.S. bankers aboard unless they were paid $100,000 and 47 prisoners in Turkish jails were released. When the plane landed at Burgas, Bulgaria, 17 passengers--all of them Turkish citizens--were released, and two others escaped.

Auto racing
Bobby Unser won the Indianapolis 500 for the third time, but runner-up Mario Andretti protested that Mr. Unser had illegally passed cars while coming out of the pit area under a yellow flag on lap 149.

30 years ago

Died on this date
Gene Clark, 46
. U.S. musician. Mr. Clark was a guitarist, singer, and songwriter, and was one of the founding members of the rock group the Byrds from 1964-1966. He then left the group and had a lengthy solo career, with little commercial success. In the late 1970s, he reunited with former Byrd bandmates Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman, and the trio had some success as McGuinn, Clark and Hillman. Mr. Clark abused drink and drugs for much of his life, and also had other health problems; he died of a bleeding ulcer, and also had throat cancer at the time of his death.

World events
Israel conducted Operation Solomon, evacuating Ethiopian Jews to Israel.

Economics and finance
U.S. President George Bush got the United States Senate to approve "fast track" talks for the North American Free Trade Accord; Mr. Bush was empowered to deal without amendments from Congress.

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Sweden (Topplistan): Children--Robert Miles (7th week at #1)

#1 single in Ireland (IRMA): Man Utd Man--Men Utd featuring the Absolutely's (3rd week at #1)

Died on this date
Joseph Mitchell, 87
. U.S. journalist. Mr. Mitchell had a career spanning more than 60 years, and was known for his character studies of people and events in New York City that appeared in The New Yorker.

Enrique Álvarez Félix, 62. Mexican actor. Mr. Álvarez, the son of actress María Félix, appeared in more than two dozen telenovelas and almost two dozen movies in a career spanning more than 40 years before his death from a heart attack.

Conrad Black's Hollinger Inc. raised its holdings in Southam Inc. to 41%, giving it effective control of the chain that published 20 Canadian newspapers.

Stanley Cup
Eastern Conference Finals
Pittsburgh 2 @ Florida 5 (Florida led best-of-seven series 2-1)

20 years ago

Politics and government
U.S. Senator James Jeffords (Vermont) left the Republican Party to sit as an independent, giving the Democratic Party control of the Senate.

23 people were killed and hundreds injured at a wedding party in Jerusalem when a dance floor collapsed.

10 years ago

Died on this date
Huguette Clark, 104
. U.S. heiress, painter, and philanthropist. Miss Clark, the daughter of U.S. Senator and industrialist William A. Clark, spent her early life in Paris before settling in New York City, living in an apartment that she expanded to two floors. She painted, collected antiquities, and donated to charities, while maintaining large estates in California and Connecticut. Miss Clark was operated on for cancerous facial lesions in 1991 and fully recovered, but chose to spend the rest of her life in hospital, never returning to any of her homes before her death, 16 days before her 105th birthday. Her story was told in the biography Empty Mansions (2013) by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Jr.

Hakim Ali Zardari, 80-81 (?). Pakistani politician. Mr. Zardari was a member of the National Democratic Party and then a founding member of the Pakistan Peoples Party in 1970. He was a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan (1972-1977, 1988-1990, 1993-1996) and was twice a federal cabinet minister, but was imprisoned during the tenures of Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and Pervaiz Musharraf. Mr. Zardari was twice convicted in connection with financial improprieties, but both convictions were overturned. He died of multiple organ failure.

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