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Friday, December 21, 2012
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Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy File multi-million lawsuit
As reported in the San Francisco / Los Angeles Daily Journal, he is “considered one of the best trial strategists in the state” who built a career out of representing the underdog against powerful interests. He is a fearless litigator
Burlingame, California firm of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, long time winning litigation firm have filed a multi-million claim "...against the HP Board of Directors for breach of their fiduciary duties and other misconduct related to the Autonomy acquisition. On November 20, 2012, HP announced that it was writing down $8.8 billion in shareholder value, claiming that this write-down was related to accounting improprieties at Autonomy. CPM’s lawsuit alleges that the purported accounting improprieties are a cover up to the real fraud at HP. The fact is that HP spent $11.7 billion purchasing outdated technology. On November 29, 2011, HP misrepresented to the market that it had used Autonomy’s technology to create a revolutionary new integrated Next Generation Information Platform. The truth however, is that HP did not have the integrated Next Generation Information Platform back then and does not have it now."
They claim in the suit ""Meg Whitman and the entire board were part of the largest fraud and cover up in Silicon Valley history and if the court finds that there was a breach of fiduciary duty based on fraud than the complaint requests that the directors that participated in the fraud be removed!"
"As recently as December 4, 2012, Defendant Meg Whitman emphatically stated at the HP Discover Frankfurt event that she remained ‘100 percent committed to Autonomy’s industry-leading technology and its employees.’ She also claimed that Autonomy’s “incredible” technology would be essential to HP’s future growth. These statements were made in the last few weeks. HP continues to misrepresent the truth about what is really happening at HP and what the real issues with the Autonomy acquisition are."
No response was received by Leasing News or appears in major media at press time.
Copy of Lawsuit (215 pages):
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By Robert Homans
The Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation (ELFF) held a briefing highlighted significant changes between 2007 and 2012, in the use of all types of financing to acquire equipment and software, especially the increased use of short-term credit to acquire equipment among businesses of all sizes, including both credit lines and credit cards, and the decreased volume of cash purchases.
Over this same period banks increased their share of the equipment finance market, but mostly at the expense of captives rather than at the expense of independent finance companies. At the same time credit conditions are improving and demand for credit is growing. Overlaying these trends is an economy that in 2012 is growing slowly, if at all, but is expected to accelerate in the latter half of 2013.
Finally, there is the dampening effect of the “fiscal cliff” on equipment acquisition decisions, which definitely affected the results.
Overall Economic Activity –-
The briefers believe that GDP would grow by approximately 2.4% in 2013, with accelerated growth (3%) in the 2nd half of 2013. The major factor contributing to increased growth is residential housing, which the briefers expected to add approximately 1% to annual GDP growth, and 20 – 30,000 jobs/month, over the next several years. Other factors expected to contribute to economic growth in 2013 include increased business investment and consumer spending.
The chart above illustrates the influence on residential investment on the growth in the overall economy, showing quarterly changes for the most recent 4 Quarters.
This table is yet another confirmation of the desire among businesses, over the past several years, to conserve cash.
One of the briefers commented that he expected the effect of no agreement on the budget, in terms of GDP growth, to be “more of a slope than a cliff.” The actual effect of the “Fiscal Cliff,” in terms of Dollars, is approximately 4% of GDP, or $600 Billion against a GDP of approximately $15 Trillion.
Use of Financing in Acquisition of Equipment & Software –-
In 2012 the rate of growth in the use of financing, including leasing, to acquire equipment and software, exceeded the overall rate of growth of equipment and software acquisition by a significant margin. The bar chart below shows that 2012 will see public and private investment in equipment and software grow by approximately 7.5%, compared to 2011. The use of all types of financing to acquire equipment and software grow by approximately 9.2% during the same period. 2012 will the first year where the use of all types of financing, including leasing, is expected to exceed levels achieved in 2008. However, the use of all types of financing to acquire equipment and software, as a percentage of total acquisitions, is still lower than it was in 2008, 56.5% in 2012 compared to 59.8% in 2008. This compares to 45.2% in 2009, at the depths of the Financial Crisis, and supports the contention of the briefers that credit conditions are improving.
In 2012 76% of all businesses used borrowed money on some basis, mostly by larger companies. In 2012 86% of all business with over $25 million in annual sales used borrowed money, compared to 46% of small businesses (less than $5 million in annual sales).
The data shows that small businesses are making increased use of short-term financing to acquire equipment, including both lines of credit and credit cards. The chart above shows that during 2007 small businesses used lines of credit to acquire equipment and software only 39% of the time, compared to 60% of the time in 2012 and of this, approximately half was through use of credit cards. During the same period, the use of short-term financing by large businesses (over $100 million in annual sales) more than doubled, with a significant portion through use of credit cards.
Throughout this same period both large and small businesses decreased cash purchases of equipment and software. The data shows this trend is especially true of businesses with annual revenues of between $25 and $100 million, where use of cash to acquire equipment and software decreased by approximately 2/3rds. This may be one illustration of the substantial cash build-up by private industry in the years since 2007 that has been amply reported elsewhere. (1)
The chart above shows that between 2007 and 2012 banks increased their share of total equipment finance volume, from 47% to 57%. This increase came mostly at the expense of manufacturers and, to a lesser extent, from independent finance companies. The explanation at the briefing centered on banks’ lower cost of funds and the relative success of larger companies, who are likely better credits, in accessing borrowed funds. An additional explanation may also include the divestment by automobile manufacturers of their finance arms in 2008 and 2009, with Ally Capital moving from being a captive (formerly GMAC) to an independent finance company, the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of CIT Group in 2009 and decreased activity by captives in general during this period.
According to the ELFF briefers credit conditions are improving, especially on commercial and industrial (“C&I”) loans. C&I loans are up 3% in the last 3 months and 13% year-over-year, however leasing volume during this period has decreased slightly. Part of the reason is illustrated in the table above, by increased use of short-term credit, both lines of credit and credit cards, to acquire equipment. Loan delinquencies are at a 3-year low.
The briefers said that, overall, businesses remain cautious about making future investments in plant and equipment, influenced partly by the uncertainty over the budget negotiations in Washington, DC, referred to as the “Fiscal Cliff.” Assuming that agreement is reached, the prediction at the briefing was that it would take at least 6 months for most businesses to act on planned investments that have been put on hold pending resolution of the negotiations, thus the positive effect of an agreement will likely not be felt until the 2nd Half of 2013.
Sectoral Trends –-
The briefers stated that investment in construction equipment is, by far, the strongest sector, and must of the acquisition of construction equipment is being driven by construction in residential housing. This is expected to continue into 2013 with expected increases of 15% or higher.
Overall predictions for 2013, as well as positive and negative factors effecting the predictions, for other equipment sectors that concern finance and leasing, are as follows:
Agricultural Equipment –
Overall – Negative Growth (0 to -10%)
Positive Factors - High commodity prices
Negative Factors –
Computers & Software –
Overall – Below Average Growth (1 – 3%)
Positive Factors - Obsolescence
Negative Factors -
Industrial Equipment –
Overall – Average Growth (3 – 6%)
Positive Factors - Obsolescence
Medical Equipment –
Overall – Slow to No Growth (-2% - 2%)
Positive Factors - Obsolescence
Transportation Equipment –
Average Growth (8-12%)
Positive Factors –Obsolescence
Another issue, raised in the briefing was the effect of the possible end of bonus depreciation. The person responding to this question said that he didn’t think that the end of bonus depreciation would have much, if any, effect on equipment purchase decisions most of which, he believed, were driven by other factors such as availability of credit, expansion needs, and other factors.
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(1) There is one item I would like to point out, concerning the bar chart showing equipment investment by sales volume and means of finance. You will notice that in 2007 the light orange portion of the bar is labeled "term loan," and in 2012 the same portion of the bar is labeled "secured." I also inquired where EFA's fit into this, whether they were included in leases or term loans/secured. The response I got from Mark Lauritano, one of the presenters, to both these questions:
"This chart is derived from the 2007 and 2012 surveys of businesses that acquired equipment. The labels for the finance methods reflect the respective questionnaires from the two studies, which ask responders for each equipment type to choose from a list of finance methods and indicate its share of the acquisition. In 2007 the questionnaire used the phrase “term loan” and in 2012 the list of finance methods utilized the phrase 'secured loan'.
"Equipment finance agreements were not one of the choices for responders. I suspect that if they utilized this particular finance method most responders would consider this a secured loan, but I have no way to verify this. Perhaps this finance vehicle will be added to future studies."
To contact the author – email@example.com
Bob is the co-author of “Global Leasing Toolkit for the World Bank.”
"David's sales experience and industry skills will translate into tremendous sales growth for our company. I'm extremely excited as these changes will ready CoActiv in our core markets as we enter the New Year," said Steve Grosso, CoActiv's President and Chief Operating Officer. University of Michigan, BA, Economics, Microbiology (1978 – 1982)
Patrick Neary has joined CoActiv Capital Partners, Inc. (CoActiv), a subsidiary of Element Financial Corporation, Horsham, Pennsylvania, as Senior Vice President and Business Unit Manager for the Office Products Group. Previously he was at De Lage Landen, joining as district manager (July, 1998-October, 1990), regional sales manager (October, 19990-June, 1996), director of sales, central region (January, 1996-September, 1998), senior director of sales, west region (September, 1998-August, 2001), VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES, us (August, 2001-December,2006), European sales direct (January, 2006-August, 2008), region vice president of sales, North America (January, 2009-November, 2012)
"Pat brings a wealth of experience and leadership to our Office Products Group," said Steve Grosso, CoActiv's President and Chief Operating Officer. "Having worked with him in the past, he is a known performer and will help us with our growth initiatives in the Office Products business." The University of Texas at Arlington, BS, Marketing (1982–1986)
Michael "Mike" Richardson was named vice-president-manager leasing department at First Utah Bank, Salt Lake City, Utah. He joined TAB Bank as director of merchant services (December, 2006-February, 2011), director of Lender solutions (February, 2011-March, 2012, director of third party originations (March, 2012-November, 2012).University of Utah, Bachelor of Science, Business Management (1997 – 2001) Activities and Societies: Elected to ASUU student assembly. Most Inspirational Player 2000 University of Utah Football; ASUU Assembly, ETA, University of Utah Football 97-01
Rick West has joined Oakmont Capital Services, West Chester, Pennsylvania as Business Development Officer. "Mr. West worked as a heavy truck salesman and sales manager for 14 years, and participated in all Sales and Product Programs put forth by Ford, Sterling, Freightliner and the Selectrucks system. He has worked closely with multiple finance companies to achieve the best possible financing for his clients.
"Mr. West’s success is rooted in his focus on excellent customer service. He has built strong customer loyalty by being available 7 days a week. He offers a tremendous depth of product knowledge and has gained the reputation of being the “go to person” for dealers and clients alike. Joe Leonard, Managing Partner at Oakmont Capital Services, states, 'Rick brings a wealth of experience in the heavy equipment industry to the OCS team. His strong network of relationships with sales managers within this industry offer tremendous potential benefit to our customers'.”
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Leasing Industry Help Wanted
Sales Makes it Happen
Sales Training Doesn't Work – And What To Do About It
For some time now I've known that sales training doesn't work. That isn't to say that sales training doesn't benefit some salespeople, sometimes, but it doesn't work for most organizations for a variety of reasons. There are, fortunately, steps managers can take to change this reality.
The number of reasons sales training doesn't work for most selling organizations are as numerous as they are complex. Besides important reasons like lack of executive sponsorship of the training, sales management's unwillingness or inability to reinforce and sustain the training, and the absence of a plan to incorporate new concepts and skills into a sales process that will be followed by all members of the sales team, the chief reason sales training doesn't work, in my opinion, is that few managers understand that sales training doesn't change behavior.
Thousands of training companies offer sales training for cold-calling, prospecting, planning account strategies, sales call planning, presenting to clients, negotiating and so on, and while many of these contain useful information, there isn't one sales training program I'm aware of that will, by itself, change any salesperson's behavior.
So, what is it that changes selling behaviors? The academic answer may be complex, but for us regular folks it's pretty simple – salespeople, like anyone, will change their behavior when they perceive that there is something substantial in it for them to change.
Changing behavior is a process, and like all processes, it must be managed. Behavior isn't changed in the same way you flip on a light switch. Salespeople almost never raise their hands to request sales training from their managers, and it's difficult to convince most salespeople that they need to change their selling behaviors.
An effective prescription for changing selling behaviors will include a consensus among senior manager of the relevance of the sales training to the most important strategic objectives of the business. Senior managers are much more likely to encourage and support a sales training initiative that promises to positively impact critical strategic objectives than sales training that delivers entertainment, and little else, to the sales team.
The next step, and this one is absolutely critical, is to communicate to the sales managers and the sales team the direct connection between the sales training and the strategic objectives of the business. Now, perhaps for the first time, the sales team can see the potential impact of their activities on important business objectives, instead of seeing only their effect on the top line and on their commission checks.
Once the sales team understands their role in helping the company achieve the strategic business objectives, they must clearly see how changing their selling behaviors will help them directly impact the objectives and how they will personally benefit from the change. Money is always an important factor, but so is personal development and growth as a sales professional.
The failure of sales training costs companies billions of dollars annually and wastes everyone's time, but it doesn't have to be that way. When sales training is an integral part of a well thought out plan for changing behaviors to meet strategic objectives, the sales training can work, selling behaviors can change, and the company, its managers and the sales team can win.
About the author: Steve Chriest is the founder of Selling UpTM (www.selling-up.com), a sales consulting firm specializing in sales improvement for organizations of all types and sizes in a variety of industries. He is also the author of Selling The E-Suite, The Proven System for Reaching and Selling Senior Executives and Five Minute Financial Analyst, Basic CREDIT & Analysis Tools for Non-Accountants. He was the CEO of a very successful leasing company and executive at a major company. You can reach Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sales Makes it Happen articles:
“The History of the CLP Handbook”
The crux of becoming a Certified Lease Professional is passing a test that takes from six to eight hours to complete, plus recertifying every four years. Recertification does not require an examination. There are mentors who help those who want to take the test, who do not charge for their time. There are “schools,” but the main means to pass the test is to read and study “The Certified Lease Professionals' Handbook.”
The book is considered by many the “bible” of the equipment leasing industry. While there have been many books on the subject, from James M. Johnson, Ph.D. & Barry S. Marks “Power Tools for Leasing,” David G. Mayer's “Leasing for Dummies, (now out of print)” to books written by the late Peter Nevitt, or collections from Ted Parker, CLP, Shawn Halladay, Sudhir Amembal, and the legal tome by the late Jeffrey Wong, Esq., the book used for study is considered the most thorough to pass the test.
The CLP program was started in 1984 by the members of the Broker's Committee of the Western Association of Equipment Lessors (“WAEL”). The original qualifications relied on a complex point system, which was subsequently changed to the current time-in-business standard.
At present, candidates wishing to sit for the Certification exam must have been in the equipment or commercial finance business for at least three years.
Originally, there were no study material for courses. Then in 1990 a group of CLPs and other professionals produced the Home Study Course. This large loose-leaf manual covered the thirteen subjects treated in the Certification exam.
The authors were Ted Parker, CLP, Ken Goodman, CLP, Hal Horowitz, CLP, Jim Swander, CLP, Ron Silver, CPA, Paul Menzel, CLP, Jon Haas, CLP and Don Zaretsky, CLP.
In 1995, the Board of Directors of the United Association of Equipment Leasing (“UAEL”) (formerly WAEL) asked Ray Williams, Ph.D., the then Executive Director of the association, to produce a textbook for the CLP program, due to an upsurge in interest in the program. Ray asked for my assistance, as I was then Chairman of the Education Committee and therefore nominally in charge of the CLP program.
Ray and I developed the First Edition of the Leasing Professionals' Handbook, using the Home Study Guide as base material. The format was trade paperback, smaller and handier than the loose-leaf binder that preceded it. We recruited additional authors, including Ken Greene, Esq., Oren Hall, Robert Herrick, Bob Rodi, CLP, and Matt Shieman. I authored a chapter and Ray was the overall editor, giving the book a consistent look and editorial style.
The book proved popular and was republished as a Second Edition with minor changes and corrections. Both editions retained the original format, covering the then thirteen subjects of the Certification exam.
The Exam now has 15 sections (1). Presently sections on Insurance, Agricultural Leasing and Advanced Pricing will be added to the exam because these topics were added to the current 4th Edition Handbook.
In 2000, the CLP Program was spun off by UAEL into a free-standing foundation, the CLP Foundation. The original three groups that supported the program changed with UAEL and the Eastern Association of Equipment Lessors (“EAEL”) merging. The National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers (“NAELB”) also continues to support the program. The Foundation today is comprised of individual CLP's, rather than of companies. It has its own officers and Board of Directors, and is administered by its Executive Director, Reid Raykovich, CLP.
The fourth edition has new chapters on Agriculture and Insurance with expanded sections on Lease Pricing and Asset Management - Collections. The History, Classification and Tax and Accounting chapters have also been updated to reflect the pending changes in the FASB and IASB Exposure Draft. Whether you’re a college student, entry level leasing associate, or an old pro, this book is an invaluable resource.
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Bob Teichman, CLP, Teichman Financial Training is also
Highest Texas ratios at banks
SNL defines the Texas ratio as the ratio of nonperforming assets plus loans 90 days or more past due, excluding delinquent government-guaranteed loans and OREO covered by loss-sharing agreements with the FDIC, to tangible equity and reserves.
Historically, banks operating with Texas ratios above 100% have tended to fail. Of the 195 banks and thrifts that had Texas ratios in excess of 100% as of Dec. 31, 2008, 135 had failed as of Dec. 13, 2012.
314 of the 7,192 active commercial and savings banks as of Dec. 14 operate with Texas ratios in excess of 100% at Sept. 30, compared to 332 at June 30, according to SNL Financial data. Most of these banks are small, and only 15 of the banks with Texas ratios greater than 100% as of Sept. 30 have more than $1 billion in assets.
The median Texas ratio for all commercial and savings banks was 14.73% at Sept. 30, down 80 basis points from June 30 and down 180 basis points from the year-ago quarter.
The largest bank with a Texas ratio above 100% was San Juan, Puerto Rico-based Doral Bank, with $7.70 billion in assets. Its Texas ratio stood at 132.16% at Sept. 30, down from 143.81% as of June 30.
University Place, Wash.-based Westside Community Bank had the highest Texas ratio amongst the operating commercial and savings banks: 966.67%, up from 617.58% in the second quarter. 26.19% of the company's total loans were past due or nonaccruing. The company's loans were mostly commercial and real estate loans. A group of investors have agreed to invest $5.7 million to acquire Westside Community in a deal announced Aug. 8, 2012. Westside Banking Co. is the bank's parent company.
Douglasville, Ga.-based Douglas County Bank had the second-highest Texas ratio on the list: 857.71%, up from 837.87% in the prior quarter. Douglasville, Ga.-based Thornton Holding Co. Inc. is the company's parent. Almost half of the bank's total loans are commercial real estate loans.
The largest quarter-over-quarter decline in the Texas ratio belonged to Chicago-based American Metro Bank, a subsidiary of American Metro Bancorp Inc. The bank's Texas ratio fell to 375.70% at Sept. 30, from 864.22% at June 30.
Four of the largest 30 banks with Texas ratios above 100% on the list are subsidiaries of Lansing, Mich.-based Capitol Bancorp Ltd.: Bank of Las Vegas, Sunrise Bank of Arizona, Pisgah Community Bank and Sunrise Bank. Capitol Bancorp has filed for bankruptcy.
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This Day in History
1620- According to Governor William Bradfords History of Plymouth Plantation, the Pilgrims, aboard the Mayflower, reached Plymouth, MA, “sounded ye harbor, and founde fill for shipping; and marched into ye land, & founde diverse cornfields, and ye best they could find, and yea season & their presente necessitie made them glad to accepte of it.... And after wards tooke better view of ye place, and resolved wher to pitch their dwelling; and them and their goods.” Plymouth Rock, the legendary place of landing since it first was “identified” in 1769, nearly 150 years after the landing, has been a historic shrine since. Contrary to common belief, the Pilgrims tried several locations first, including Provincetown Harbor, Mass, where the first social contract for a New England colony, was drafted and signed by 41 adult males. The Pilgrims did not settle there, but went on after a time to Plymouth. Physician Dr. Samuel Fuller was on board, in fact one of the signers of the Mayflower Compact. For some time he was the sole physician in Massachusetts. Ina letter dated June 28, 1630, written at Salem, MA, to Governor William Bradford of Plymouth, he described one of the customary treatments, in which he “let some twenty of these people blood.”
1790 -- Samuel Slater's thread-spinning factory goes into production, Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The beginning of the Industrial Revolution in America. The workers at his machines are 4 to 10 years old.
1829—Birthday of Laura Dewey Bridgman - struck deaf and blind at two, she was the first blind-deaf mute to be taught successfully. LDB eventually helped teach others with disabilities. She learned to read through a Braille-like system and "spoke" through tapping out an "alphabet." as taught her by Samuel Gridley Howe at the Perkins Institute for the Blind, Boston. Howe's methods of teaching her are still being studied today and his journals as well as Bridgman's are carefully read for their insight and aid for teaching all those with disabilities. The records kept by Howe and by Bridgman's teachers are invaluable to modern researchers investigating the education of the disabled, as they are the first detailed records of the education of a deaf-blind person." She lived her entire life at Perkins, dying at age 60.
1830—Birthday of early American author Mary Virginia Hawest Terhune. Her novels often centered around southern plantation life. Her first novel Alone (1854) sold more than 100,000 copies. She also wrote advice books, and popular biographies. She wrote syndicated columns on women's affairs for the Philadelphia North American (1900-10) and the Chicago Tribune (1911-17).
1850 -- Celia, a black slave is hung for killing her master. Her tragic story and the underlying cruelty and the societal-approved prerogative of the male to sexually satisfy himself with his property - slave or wife - was told in Meltan A. McLaurin's historically accurate book Celia, A Slave, New York: Avon Books, 1991. Robert Newsom, a widower, bought Celia when she was about 14, raping her for the first time on the way back to his Missouri plantation. He set her up in a cabin behind the main house and in time she bore two children. As the trial transcripts relate, in trying to resist her master's advances, she killed him with a stick. White women rallied to her side claiming that women had a right to resist rape whether they were slaves or not, but not surprising in the all-male judicial system upheld the male prerogative and the right of ownership prevailed in court. All appeals failed and she was hanged for murder. Melton A. McLaurin's book Celia, A Slave (New York: Avon Books, 1991) attracted a great deal of interest when it was first published because it was the first time anyone had attempted to reconstruct the life of an "ordinary" slave, a woman at that. All the real facts that are known about Celia are taken from the transcripts of her trial. At about 19, she began developing a mind of her own and even became involved with another slave, George.
1864-Sherman takes Savannah. Despite efforts by Confederate General William Hardee to defend the city of Savannah, GA, Southern troops were forced to pull out of the city, and on this date Union forces under William Tecumseh Sherman captured the town. By marching form Atlanta to the coast at Savannah, Sherman had cut the lower South off from the center. Contrary to Southern belief on history, it was the Confederate troops who upon leaving the city began the fires so Union troops would not food or supplies or goods held in stores or warehouses in the city. They also burned farms on their journey to also cut supplies from Union troops.
1892- Walter Charles Hagen, golfer born at Rochester, NY. Hagen won two US Opens, four British Opens and five PGA Championships. He was extraordinary in match play, including the Ryder Cup, because he was a master scrambler and absolutely unflappable. He was also a colorful showman who brought the game to the masses and helped to increase prize money. died at Traverse City, MI, October 5, 1969.
1892 - Portland, OR, was buried under a record 27.5 inches of snow.
1903 – American detective writer Lawrence Treat born, wrote under the name Lawrence Arthur Goldstone, often called the "father" of modern police procedural novel.
1909- Barney Ross, boxer born Barnet David Rosofsky at New York, NY. Ross was the first boxed to hold two titles simultaneously. He won the lightweight crown in 1932 and the welterweight crown in 1934. He also won a Silver Star during World War II as a Marine. died at Chicago, IL, January 18,1967.
1909 - Although called introductory high schools, the McKinley and Washington schools of Berkeley, California, were the first authorized, junior-high schools in the United States. They taught grades 7,8 and 9.
1912- Joshua (Josh) Gibson, Baseball Hall of Fame catcher born at Buena Vista, GA. Gibson is regarded as the greatest slugger to play in the Negro Leagues and perhaps the greatest ballplayer ever. Gibson starred with the Pittsburgh Crawford's. his long home runs are the stuff of legend. In 60 recorded at bats against big league pitching, Gibson batted .426. He died at 35 years old just three months before the integration of baseball in the major leagues. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972. Died at Pittsburgh, PA, January 20, 1947.
1913-The first crossword puzzle was compiled by Arthur Wynne and published in a supplement of New York World . He basically redesigned a Victorian-era game called The Magic Square as a feature for the Pulitzer newspaper.
1914 - Marie Dressler, Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand and Mack Swain appeared in the first feature-length comedy that was six reels long. Mack Sennett directed the film called, "Tillie's Punctured Romance".
1929- The first hospital insurance group plan was effected by Baylor University Hospital, Dallas, Texas. The plan was inaugurated by Dr. Justin Ford Kimball, executive vice president of Baylor University. The first group insured were the Dallas public school teachers, who paid 50 cents per month for 21 days of hospital treatment.
1929-an exceptional snowstorm swept across the southern Plains through Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. 26 inches fell at Hillsboro, TX and 18 inches fell at El Dorado, AR
1937- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was exhibited in Los Angeles, CA. It was an instant hit. Disney took a tremendous gamble with this 3-year artistic venture, as fantasies usually did not fare well at the box office. He had much of his own money tied up in the film, and Snow White had the potential of financially ruining him. The film was originally budgeted for $250,000, but ended up costing $1,480,000. The film utilized the talents of 570 artists and contained 250,000 drawings. Would adults sit through a cartoon that ran nearly an hour and a half? But the pre-release fears were unfounded. The public and most critics were enchanted and impressed with Disney's painstakingly crafted fairy tale. Never before had anyone so successfully produced a full-length animation film, and it was quickly dubbed into 10 languages. In England, children under 16 were not allowed to see the film unless accompanied by an adult, and it was under partial ban in South Africa and the Netherlands. The film ran for an unfrequented 5 weeks at New York's Radio City Music Hall and for 31 weeks in Paris. Snow White set new attendance records around the world, marking the dawn of a new age in animation. It became the first movie to earn $1 billion. In its nine theatrical releases it earned approximately $1 billion in 1994 US Dollars. The home video version of Snow White was officially released on October 28, 1994, after receiving about 27 million retail orders, making it the top-selling video up to that time.
1937---Birthday of Jane Fonda, considered a controversial figure because she visited Hanoi during the Viet Nam war. She won Academy Awards for her work in Klute (1971) and Coming Home (1978) and she was nominated three more times. She won the Emmy for The Dollmaker (1984). One of the nation's most distinguished actors, she may never be fully honored because of her anti-war activities during the Viet Nam war. She went to Hanoi and through radio broadcast begged America to stop the bombing. She has been called Hanoi Jane ever since by the right wing extremists who distorted her message and purpose. Her workout books and videos became very popular in the 1980s. She dropped out of films when she married Ted Turner, the TV mogul, in 1991 (divorced in 200). In 1994 she narrated A Century of Women, a TV series that celebrated women's achievements in the 20th century..
1938- Cootie Williams's Rug Cutters record “Delta Mood.”
1940- rock singer and composer Frank Zappa was born in Baltimore. The oldest of four children, Zappa and his family moved to California while he was still in his teens. After graduation in 1958, he played with various lounge bands and began composing songs, one of which, "Memories of El Monte," was recorded by the Penguins of "Earth Angel" fame. In 1964, Zappa took over a rhythm-and-blues band called the Soul Giants and turned them into the Mothers of Invention. Their irreverent blend of satire and rock 'n' roll was featured on half a dozen albums in the '60s. Zappa began a solo career in the '70s, and made a surrealistic film of rock 'n' roll life called "200 Motels." All told, he released more than 50 albums, including "Jazz From Hell," which won a Grammy Award for best rock instrumental in 1988. Zappa died of prostate cancer on December 4th, 1993.
1942-- soul singer Carla Thomas was born in Memphis, the daughter of veteran performer Rufus Thomas. She was the first Memphis soul artist to have a national pop hit, "Gee Whiz" in 1961. The success of that disc led to the formation of the Stax Records company. Thomas had another pop hit in 1966 with "BABY," and the following year recorded two duets with Otis Redding, "Tramp" and "Knock on Wood," both of which made the Billboard Top 30.
1943-Birthday of guitar player Wolfman Washington, New Orleans, LA
1944--CURREY, FRANCIS S. Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company K, 120th Infantry, 30th Infantry Division. Place and date: Malmedy, Belgium, 21 December 1944. Entered service at: Hurleyville, N.Y. Birth: Loch Sheldrake, N.Y. G.O. No.: 69, 17 August 1945. Citation: He was an automatic rifleman with the 3d Platoon defending a strong point near Malmedy, Belgium, on 21 December 1944, when the enemy launched a powerful attack. Overrunning tank destroyers and antitank guns located near the strong point, German tanks advanced to the 3d Platoon's position, and, after prolonged fighting, forced the withdrawal of this group to a nearby factory. Sgt. Currey found a bazooka in the building and crossed the street to secure rockets meanwhile enduring intense fire from enemy tanks and hostile infantrymen who had taken up a position at a house a short distance away. In the face of small-arms, machinegun, and artillery fire, he, with a companion, knocked out a tank with 1 shot. Moving to another position, he observed 3 Germans in the doorway of an enemy-held house. He killed or wounded all 3 with his automatic rifle. He emerged from cover and advanced alone to within 50 yards of the house, intent on wrecking it with rockets. Covered by friendly fire, he stood erect, and fired a shot which knocked down half of 1 wall. While in this forward position, he observed 5 Americans who had been pinned down for hours by fire from the house and 3 tanks. Realizing that they could not escape until the enemy tank and infantry guns had been silenced, Sgt. Currey crossed the street to a vehicle, where he procured an armful of antitank grenades. These he launched while under heavy enemy fire, driving the tank men from the vehicles into the house. He then climbed onto a half-track in full view of the Germans and fired a machinegun at the house. Once again changing his position, he manned another machinegun whose crew had been killed; under his covering fire the 5 soldiers were able to retire to safety. Deprived of tanks and with heavy infantry casualties, the enemy was forced to withdraw. Through his extensive knowledge of weapons and by his heroic and repeated braving of murderous enemy fire, Sgt. Currey was greatly responsible for inflicting heavy losses in men and material on the enemy, for rescuing 5 comrades, 2 of whom were wounded, and for stemming an attack which threatened to flank his battalion's position.
1945---BENJAMIN, GEORGE, JR. Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company A, 306th Infantry, 77th Infantry Division. Place and date: Leyte, Philippine Islands, 21 December 1944. Entered service at: Carney's Point, N.J. Birth: Philadelphia, Pa. G.O. No.: 49, 28 June 1945. Citation: He was a radio operator, advancing in the rear of his company as it engaged a well-defended Japanese strong point holding up the progress of the entire battalion. When a rifle platoon supporting a light tank hesitated in its advance, he voluntarily and with utter disregard for personal safety left his comparatively secure position and ran across bullet-whipped terrain to the tank, waving and shouting to the men of the platoon to follow. Carrying his bulky radio and armed only with a pistol, he fearlessly penetrated intense machinegun and rifle fire to the enemy position, where he killed 1 of the enemy in a foxhole and moved on to annihilate the crew of a light machinegun. Heedless of the terrific fire now concentrated on him, he continued to spearhead the assault, killing 2 more of the enemy and exhorting the other men to advance, until he fell mortally wounded. After being evacuated to an aid station, his first thought was still of the American advance. Overcoming great pain he called for the battalion operations officer to report the location of enemy weapons and valuable tactical information he had secured in his heroic charge. The unwavering courage, the unswerving devotion to the task at hand, the aggressive leadership of Pfc. Benjamin were a source of great and lasting inspiration to his comrades and were to a great extent responsible for the success of the battalion's mission.
1945 - The FCC assigned television channels to several licensees, including CBS and NBC in New York City and Radio Corp. of America in Camden, New Jersey.
1946- Louis Jordan's single, "Let the Good Times Roll," debuted on the Rhythm and Blues charts.
( lower half of: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/dec21.html )
1946-- guitarist Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys was born in Hawthorne, California. The three Wilson brothers - the others were Dennis and Brian - formed a group called Carl and the Passions with Mike Love and Al Jardine in 1961. The band's name was changed to the Beach Boys to take advantage of the surfing craze in southern California. Among their surfing hits for the Capitol label - "Surfin USA," "Surfer Girl" and "I Get Around." The Beach Boys turned in a more experimental direction in 1966, recording "Good Vibrations," a number-one song that took six months to produce and was at the time the most expensive single ever made. The Beach Boys continue to perform, primarily as a nostalgia act.
1947- Metronome All-Stars record “Metronome Riff.”
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Gene Autry
White Christmas - Bing Crosby
Nevertheless - Jack Denny
If You've Got the Money Honey I've Got the Time - Lefty Frizzell
1954-- Chris Evert, tennis champion, had 125 consecutive clay-court victories and has been called the world's best clay-court woman player of all time. She was ranked the world's best player 1974 to 1978 and in 1980 and 81. She was the U.S. singles champion 1975-78, 80, 82; Wimbledon champion 1974, 76, and 81, and won at least one Grand Slam singles title for 13 consecutive years. Between 1973 and 1979 Evert won a record 125 consecutive clay-court matches, and won the French Open on clay a record seven times.
The Chipmunk Song - The Chipmunks
Problems - The Everly Brothers
One Night - Elvis Presley
City Lights - Ray Price
1960-Elvis Presley was inducted into the Los Angeles Indian Tribal Council on the day his movie Flaming Star opened.
1961-One of Rock and Roll's strangest oddities happened when "I Heard It through the Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye hit number one on the Cash Box music chart. The same song was also a number one hit for Gladys Knight and The Pips exactly one year earlier. The tune would also turn up on the chart by Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1976.
1964 - A great warm surge from the Pacific Ocean across Oregon and northern California brought torrential rains on a deep snow cover resulting in record floods.
1965 -- An overflow crowd of 76,251 jams the Cotton Bowl, giving Dallas its first home sellout. The Browns beat the Cowboys 24-17.
1966 - The Beach Boys receive three gold-record citations for the single "Good Vibrations," which hit Number One eleven days ago and the albums "Little Deuce Coupe" and "Shut Down, Vol. 2."
Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron - The Royal Guardsmen
Winchester Cathedral - The New Vaudeville Band
That's Life - Frank Sinatra
Somebody Like Me - Eddy Arnold
1967--SMEDLEY, LARRY E. Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, Company D, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. Place and date: Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam, 21 December 1967. Entered service at: Orlando, Fla. Born: 4 March 1949, Front Royal, Va. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a squad leader with company D, in connection with operations against the enemy. On the evenings of 20-21 December 1967, Cpl. Smedley led his 6-man squad to an ambush site at the mouth of Happy Valley, near Phouc Ninh (2) in Quang Nam Province. Later that night an estimated 100 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army regulars, carrying 122mm rocket launchers and mortars, were observed moving toward Hill 41. Realizing this was a significant enemy move to launch an attack on the vital Danang complex, Cpl. Smedley immediately took sound and courageous action to stop the enemy threat. After he radioed for a reaction force, he skillfully maneuvered his men to a more advantageous position and led an attack on the numerically superior enemy force. A heavy volume of fire from an enemy machinegun positioned on the left flank of the squad inflicted several casualties on Cpl. Smedley's unit. Simultaneously, an enemy rifle grenade exploded nearby, wounding him in the right foot and knocking him to the ground. Cpl. Smedley disregarded this serious injury and valiantly struggled to his feet, shouting words of encouragement to his men. He fearlessly led a charge against the enemy machinegun emplacement, firing his rifle and throwing grenades, until he was again struck by enemy fire and knocked to the ground. Gravely wounded and weak from loss of blood, he rose and commenced a l-man assault against the enemy position. Although his aggressive and singlehanded attack resulted in the destruction of the machinegun, he was struck in the chest by enemy fire and fell mortally wounded. Cpl. Smedley's inspiring and courageous actions, bold initiative, and selfless devotion to duty in the face of certain death were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
1968-the first Astronauts to orbit the moon were Colonel Frank Borman, Captain James Arthur Lovell, Jr., and Major William Alison Anders, who made 10 lunar orbits in Apollo 8, launched by a three-stage Saturn 5 rocked from Cape Canaveral, FL, at 7:51am. The spacecraft reentered the atmosphere and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean 147 hours 11 seconds later.
1968--- David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash performed together for the first time at a concert in California. Nash had announced his departure from the Hollies earlier in the month, while Crosby had played with the Byrds and Stills with Buffalo Springfield. Another former member of Buffalo Springfield, Neil Young, joined Crosby, Stills and Nash in 1969.
1968-Janis Joplin made her first appearance after leaving Big Brother and the Holding Company. Joplin performed in Memphis at the "Yuletide Thing" event sponsored by the Stax-Volt record labels. Also on the bill were such leading Stax acts as the Bar-Kays, Booker T. and the M-G's and Rufus and Carla Thomas.
1969-Diana Ross and the Supremes make their final television appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, singing "Someday We'll Be Together", which would be the last of their 12 number one singles.
1970--Elvis Presley met US President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office at the White House. They posed for a photo that Nixon aides hoped would boost the president's image with America's youth. All the singer wanted was a Drug Enforcement Agency badge for his collection. Presley, according to most accounts high on pills at the time, lectured Nixon on the evils of drugs, the Beatles, hippies and communists. Nixon had Presley shown the door as soon as he'd presented him with the badge and made him an honorary federal agent.
Cat's in the Cradle - Harry Chapin
Angie Baby - Helen Reddy
You're the First, the Last, My Everything - Barry White
I Can Help - Billy Swan
1974-Harry Chapin enjoys his only number one single with "Cat's In The Cradle". The song's theme about a distant father and son relationship was suggested to Harry by his wife, after he expressed disappointment about being on tour instead of attending his son's birth.
1979- The Eagles, Chicago and Linda Ronstadt perform at a benefit show for the presidential campaign for California governor Jerry Brown, who also happens to be Ronstadt's boyfriend. The show at the San Diego Sports Arena is followed-up by a similar show at the Addin Theater in Las Vegas. The two shows bring in over $450,000.
1979-- Willie Nelson's movie debut, "The Electric Horseman," which also starred Robert Redford and Jane Fonda, opened in North American theatres.
1979- Frank Zappa's "Baby Snakes" premiered on Zappa's 39th birthday. The film combined concert footage, backstage antics and animated clay figures.
Maneater - Daryl Hall & John Oates
The Girl is Mine - Michael Jackson/Paul McCartney
Steppin' Out - Joe Jackson
Somewhere Between Right and Wrong - Earl Thomas Conley
1985 - Bruce Springsteen's album, "Born in the USA", surpassed Michael Jackson's "Thriller", making it the second longest-lasting LP in the top 10. springsteen's album lasted at it peak for 79 weeks, and was second to "The Sound of Music" with Julie Andrews that lasted: 109 weeks.
1985 - Bruce Springsteen's album, "Born in the USA", passed Michael Jackson's "Thriller" to become the second longest-lasting LP in the top 10. It stayed there for 79 weeks. Only "The Sound of Music" with Julie Andrews lasted longer: 109 weeks.
1986 - Atlanta center Jeff Van Note, who at 40 was the oldest pro football player, played his 246th and last NFL game as Atlanta beat Detroit, 20-6.
1988 - Pan Am World Airways Flight 103 was the victim of a terrorist attack when the jet exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland. The 258 passengers, crew, and several people on the ground at the site of the crash were all killed.
1988 - Seven cities in the eastern U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date, including Charleston SC with a reading of 78 degrees. A storm in the northwestern U.S. produced 22 inches of snow at Idaho City ID in two days, and up to two feet of snow at Happy Camp CA. Ski resorts in Idaho reported three to six feet of snow on the ground.
1989 - Forty cities in the north central U.S., including thirteen in Iowa, reported record low temperatures for the date. Havre and Jordan, MT, tied for honors as the cold spot in the nation with morning lows of 43 degrees below zero, and the temperature remained close to 40 degrees below zero through the daylight hours. Dickinson ND reported a morning low of 33 degrees below zero and a wind chill reading of 86 degrees below zero. The high for the date of 16 degrees below zero at Sioux Falls SD was December record for that location.
Because I Love You (The Postman Song) - Stevie B
Justify My Love - Madonna
Impulsive - Wilson Phillips
I've Come to Expect It from You - George Strait
1997- Barry Sanders of the Detroit Lions became the third player in NFL history to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season when he gained 184 yards against the New York Jets. the Lions won, 13-10. He reached the 2,000 yard mark with a 2-yard run with just over two minutes left in the game. On the next play, he broke free for 53 yards, a gain that allowed the Lions to run out the clock and clinch a playoff berth. The other members of the 2,0000 yard club are O.J.Simpson, who rushed for 2,003 yards in 1973, and Eric Dickerson, who ran for 2,105 yards in 1984 ( this book is not up to date and there are surely some more members of this elite group today ).
2006-The Beatles' "Love" sat at #1 on the European Top 100 Albums chart. The album was produced by George Martin and his son Giles Martin and features music compiled and remixed for the Cirque du Soleil show of the same name. The disc would quickly be certified Platinum and won Grammys in two categories - Best Compilation Soundtrack Album and Best Surround Sound Album at the 50th annual Grammy awards on February 10th, 2008.
2009-A snow storm embattled the East Coast, closing airports, raising havoc in many states, affecting Christmas shopping and closing many businesses.
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