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Leasing News is a web site that posts information, news, and
entertainment for the commercial bank, finance and leasing industry

Monday, December 15, 2014

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

Picture from the Past
  ---1988—Bill Grohe
   Classified Ads---Legal
37 Months for $433,000 Leasing/Loan Fraud Scheme
    Top Stories:  December 8--December 12
       Opened Most by Readers of Leasing News
CLP Membership Reaches Highest Since Inception
  2014 Accomplishment Report
  Leasing 102 by Mr. Terry Winders, CLP
   Leasing in December Best Month for Tax Advantages
Manufacturers Vendor Support Agreement
 Takes a Wrong Turn But Ends Up in Favor of Lessor
   By Tom McCurnin, Leasing News Legal Editor
     Leasing Industry Ads---Help Wanted
 Editing Your Recommendations on LinkedIn
    Career Crossroad---By Emily Fitzpatrick/RII
        Salvation Army Kettle
         $3,985 Raised to Date—Thank You, Donors
  The Astounding Explosion In Amazon Prime Members
        Tampa Bay, Florida  Adopt-a-Dog
    Saving Your Pet with CPR Chart
News Briefs--- 
Congress Approves Trillion Dollar Spending Bill
 Apple CEO Tim Cook Is FT’s Person of the Year
  Jeff Bezos’ Lemonade Stand
   PetSmart buyout to fetch $8.2 billion

Broker/Funder/Industry Lists | Features (writer's columns)
Top Ten Stories Chosen by Readers | Top Stories last six months (Be Careful of Doing Business)
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You May have Missed---
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      California Nuts Brief---
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          This Day in American History
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                 Traffic Live----

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Picture from the Past
---1988—Bill Grohe

Bill Grohe, Spring Conference Program Chairman, Palm Springs, CA
Western Association of Equipment Lessors

“Program Chairman Bill Grohe of Grohe Financial Services in San Mateo, CA is in the process of putting together a variety of workshops for those with basic, intermediate, and advanced level expertise; he plans to make the conference a real “ meat and potatoes kind of program, with the emphasis on professionalism and educational up-date on industry issues.”

In 1989, Bill would be named “Secretary-Treasurer,” where his biography is printed: “...vice-president of Brentwood Funding, Laguna Hills, CA. A member of the Board of Directors since 1987, he will head the Membership Development Task Force in 1989.

“Bill was formerly president of Grohe Financial Services, and during his 26 years in the industry, also worked with Leaseco, Searle and Colonial Pacific Leasing. He is a graduate of Colgate University.

"In 1991, he served as president of the association. He sold his company to his daughter who was working for him, went sailing and swimming, then decided to help out the association he helped lead for 13 years by becoming the Membership Director."



William E. "Bill" Grohe

"His wife was a Master swimmer at the University of San Francisco and cajoled him into giving it a try. Once in the water again, he lost the weight in about a year, tangible results that kept him going. When a friend suggested he attend a Masters Swim meet, he was hooked again on competition. Bill says, 'It brought back memories from school. I did well and had fun – there was no turning back'.”

US Masters Achievements

Top Ten achievements

US Masters Swimming Results (713 swims)

Relay All American Listings for William E Grohe (4)


Classified Ads---Legal

(These ads are “free” to those seeking employment
or looking to improve their position)

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Free Posting for those seeking employment in Leasing:

All “free” categories “job wanted” ads:


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37 Months for $433,000 Leasing/Loan Fraud Scheme

Leigh Farrington Fiske, 51, of Tampa, Florida was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution for a fraud scheme he perpetrated against small business owners and others seeking leases, loans, and lines of credit around the nation.

According to the plea agreement, Fiske and his partner, Michael Ramdat, operated a business referred to as “Corporate Funding Solutions.”  Christy Romero, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, reports: “The purported purpose of this business was to obtain credit lines for customers in exchange for a fee. Fiske’s role was to solicit customers, which he generally did over the Internet and by word of mouth. In reality, neither Fiske nor Ramdat ever intended to provide any services to their customers. Instead, Fiske and Ramdat accepted approximately $433,000 from approximately 30 victims and never helped any of these victims obtain credit. Fiske admitted that he kept $102,000 of these payments for himself and that he passed the remainder on to Ramdat.”

The sentence was handed down by The Honorable Edward M. Chen, United States District Court Judge. Judge Chen also sentenced the defendant to a three-year period of supervised release and restitution. Fiske will begin serving the sentence on March 31, 2015. Ramdat is scheduled to be sentenced on December 17, 2014, before Judge Chen.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Kingsley is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Mary Mallory and Jessica Meegan. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by SIGTARP and the FBI.

Leasing the case were Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP); and Melinda Haag, United States Attorney for the Northern District of California; and David J. Johnson, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation San Francisco Field Office.


((Please click on ad to learn more))
(Leasing News provides this ad “gratis” as a means
to help support the growth of Lease Police)



Top Stories:  December 8--December 12
Opened Most by Readers of Leasing News

(1) Section 179 Vote Expected Today in US Senate
           by Christopher Menkin

(2) Leasing 102 by Mr. Terry Winders, CLP
          Signatures on Leases

(3) Can Lessors Rely on Electronic Signatures?
        By Tom McCurnin, Leasing News Legal Editor

(4) Archives---December 8, 2000
     Dallas says United Capital "Kickin' and Scratchin'"
              ... "We are going to survive!"

(5) Complaints Bulletin Board BBB Ratings

 (6) New Hires---Promotions in the Leasing Industry

(7) New Standard Mileage Rates Now Available
           Business Rate to Rise in 2015

(8) Archives--December 10, 2010
         How EFI Bilked Sterling/Braas Pleads Guilty

(9) As Economic Headwinds Subside, Businesses Increasingly Reach Out for Financing By Frederick Van Etten President, Scottrade Bank Equipment Finance

(Tie) (10) BBB Leasing Company Ratings
            December 10, 2014

(Tie) (10) MBF Leasing Prevails in Litigation over Forum
           Selection Clause
  By Tom McCurnin, Leasing News Legal Editor




CLP Membership Reaches Highest Since Inception
2014 Accomplishment Report

The CLP Annual Accomplishment Report states, "The Certified Lease Professional Foundation received and approved 49 applications this past year, with 36 applicants sitting for and passing the exam. The remaining applicants are either studying to take the exam or planning to re-sit for it. With 213 CLPs in good standing, the Foundation now has its highest membership count since the inception of the designation in 1985."

2014 Board of Directors
President-David A. Normandin, CLP
Banc of California
Vice-President-Brian M. Schonfeld, CLP
Pawnee Leasing Corporation
Treasurer-Amy Spragg, CLP
Pacifica Capital
Secretary-Lori Dean, CLP
Arvest Equipment Finance
Bob Fisher, CLP
Ascentium Capital
Nancy Geary, CPA, CLP
ECS Financial Services Inc.
Chris Lerma, CLP
Allegiant Partners, Inc
Pete Sawyer, CLP
Sun South Equipment Leasing Inc.
Carl Villella, CLP
Acceptance Leasing and Financing Service

2015 Board of Directors
(Election of Officers in January)

The Foundation’s Board of Directors is comprised of five elected Directors serving two-year terms and four Directors appointed by the National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers (NAELB) & the NEFA for one-year terms. Below are the Directors for the 2015 CLP Foundation:

Courtney DioGuardi, CLP, First American Equipment Finance (NEFA-Appointed)
Bob Fisher, CLP, Ascentium Capital (Elected in 2013)
David Normandin, CLP, Banc of California (Elected in 2013)
Larry Randall, CLP, Arvest Equipment Finance (NEFA-Appointed)
Joe Schmitz, CLP, F.I.T. Leasing (NAELB-Appointed)
Brian Schonfeld, CLP, Pawnee Leasing (Elected in 2013)
Marci Slagle, CLP, Varilease Finance, Inc. (Elected in 2014)
Amy Spragg, CLP, Pacifica Capital (Elected in 2014)
Carl Villella, CLP, Acceptance Leasing & Finance (NAELB-Appointed)

The Foundation would especially like to salute those whose terms have come to an end and have graciously volunteered their time over the years:

Lori Dean, CLP, (Secretary) Arvest Equipment Finance (NEFA-Appointed)
Nancy Geary, CPA, CLP, ECS Financial Services (Elected in 2013)
Chris Lerma, CLP, Allegiant Partners (NEFA-Appointed)
Pete Sawyer, CLP, Sun South Equipment Leasing (NAELB-Appointed)

Companies with three or more CLPs

First American Equipment Finance (27)
Financial Pacific Leasing, LLC (23)
Allegiant Partners, Inc. (10)
Orion First Financial LLC (8)
ECS Financial Services, Inc. (7)
Arvest Equipment Finance (6)
Ascentium Capital, LLC (5)
Great American Insurance (5)
Banc of California, N.A. (4)
Bank of the West (4)
Innovative Lease Services, Inc. (4)
Maxim Commercial Capital, LLC (4)
FSG Leasing Inc. (3)
LeaseTeam Inc. (3)
Pacifica Capital (3)

"The CLP designation identifies you as a knowledgeable professional to employers, clients, customers, and peers in the leasing industry. There are currently 231 Certified Lease Professionals throughout the world. For more information please call Reid Raykovich, CLP, Executive Director at (206) 535-6281 or visit"

Full Report: 4 pages


Leasing in December Best Month for Tax Advantages

For those of you that do not do a lot of true leasing, December is the best month for tax advantages, if your fiscal year end is in December.

Depreciation is fixed, but payment revenue is subject to how many months of payments you get during the year. Many leases are closed in December with delivery in December, but payments are in Arrears starting in January. Therefore, depreciation is a total expense because there are no payments to take as income in this tax year.

Based on the lessor’s effective tax rate, the depreciation expense can add a major league increase in the lessor’s yield or a reduction in the lessee’s payment. If the transaction is not too competitive, sometimes the lessor splits the value of the tax advantages with the lessee.

The dilemma is that because of the depreciation, there is a difference between the undepreciated value for income tax and the book balance, so in the early stages of the lease, the stipulated loss value is very high.

Tax leasing needs to be on assets that have a good chance of running full term. If the lessee needs to trade up or terminate early, the stipulated loss value for the lessor to come out whole may be a problem.

If the lessee asks for an early termination, the non-cancelable clause means you have the opportunity to request the current value of the equipment, if it is larger than the stipulated loss value. A way around this, if the lessee wants to lease the new equipment, then have them trade in the current equipment in the lessors name. This will reduce the purchase price by the amount by which the value exceeds the stipulated loss value. You will be giving up any value over the residual but you will retain a customer and because of the reduced price of the new equipment, you can increase the rate.

If the payments are reduced by the December closing, the lessee is more likely to lease than to finance. However, the real reduction comes from the residual if the lessor is prepared to evaluate the equipment and its use. Then follow up with good return language and if applicable, maintenance requirements.

In addition, timing is very important. The equipment needs to be delivered and put into use in December, not just accepted in December. Payments can be placed in January, but the transaction needs to be completed in December.

Mr. Terry Winders, CLP, has been a teacher, consultant, expert witness for the leasing industry for thirty years and can be reached at or 502-649-0448.
He invites your questions and queries.

Previous #102 Columns:


Mr. Terry Winders available as Expert Witness. 35 years as a professional instructor to the top equipment leasing and finance companies in the United States, author of several books, including DVD's, as well as weekly columnist to Leasing News. He also performs audits of leasing companies as an expert on documentation, and has acted as an expert witness on leasing for litigation in legal and tax disputes, including before the IRS. He also has taught the senior bank examiners, how to review a bank leasing department, for the Federal Reserve in Washington D.C. and has trained the examiners for the FDIC on how to prepare a lease portfolio for sale.

Mr. Winders received his Master of Business Administration and his Bachelor of Science degrees from the College of Notre Dame.


(This ad is a “trade” for the writing of this column. Opinions
contained in the column are those of Mr. Terry Winders, CLP)


Manufacturers Vendor Support Agreement
Takes a Wrong Turn But Ends Up in Favor of Lessor
By Tom McCurnin
Leasing News Legal Editor

Vendor Support Agreements Might Be Construed as a Guaranty.  What Do Your Vendor Support Agreements Look Like? 

Express Blower, Inc. v. Earthcare, LLC 410 Fed.Appx. 742 (5th Cir. 2010)

Is a vendor support agreement a guaranty? If so, what are the ramifications?  One serious ramification of a vendor support agreement being construed as a guaranty is that the vendor would be entitled to assert a whole host of suretyship defenses if the Vendor Support Agreement was construed as a guaranty. This would be a disaster unless the lessor crafted the Vendor Support Agreement with the applicable suretyship waivers.

Today’s case concerns such a Vendor Support Agreement, but the lessor and vendor both came out on top. Sadly, the lessee had to pay the vendor.  However, the 5th Circuit got this one horribly wrong, as this vendor support agreement was not a guaranty. The lesson for today is that if the lessor uses a vendor support agreement, it must be reviewed with a critical eye since it may be construed as guaranty. 

The facts follow. 

The vendor and manufacturer Express Blower, sold the lessor, IFC, an industrial pneumatic blower for $320,000. IFC, in turn leased the blower to the lessee, Earthcare through a commercial equipment lease for 72 months. The Vendor signed a repurchase agreement which obligated it to remarket the equipment, but not cure the default, secured by a letter of credit issued by the Vendor to the Lessor. 

The lessee Earthcare defaulted. The Vendor paid the Lessor $108,000 for missed payments (it was under no obligation to do so, and I didn’t understand why) and $320,000 for the equipment and an assignment of the lease.  Again, the vendor was under no duty to repurchase the equipment, it was obligated only to remarket the equipment. The Lessor assigned the lease back to the Vendor. The Vendor repossessed the equipment and sold it to a third party for $271,000. 

The Vendor, as an assignee of the lease, then sued the Lessee for breach of lease claiming the damages to be a total loss of $169,368.19, far in excess of what was due under the lease. 

The trial court viewed the relationship as an assignor-assignee relationship, e.g., the Vendor stood in the shoes of the Lessor. The trial court rejected that the repurchase agreement was a guaranty, and certainly did not address the novel notion that the vendor’s letter of credit was a guaranty. 

Because under Louisiana law, the lessor may either repossess or sue for breach (but not both), the Vendor’s action against the Lessee was dismissed, and the Lessee won, escaping any liability for the deficiency. The Vendor appealed. 

On appeal, the Vendor took another position, which was that by virtue of the repurchase agreement and the letter of credit supporting it, the Vendor was actually the guarantor of the lease. As a guarantor, it had subrogation rights for all that it paid the original Lessor. So the issue on appeal was whether the Repurchase Agreement and letter of credit was a “guaranty.” 

The Fifth Circuit reversed, holding that the letter of credit posted by the Vendor evidenced a suretyship (guaranty) agreement. While its act of kindness to the vendor is commendable, the fact is that under every case I have ever seen, a letter of credit is not a guaranty. 

A letter of credit creates a primary responsibility to pay. A guaranty creates a responsibility to pay only if another does not.  Neither the vendor support agreement, nor the repurchase agreement in this case, created an independent obligation on the part of the Vendor to pay the Lessee’s lease payments. As the facts indicate, the Vendor’s letter of credit secured the obligations of the Vendor to remarket the equipment, not to pay the obligations of the lessee, so the idea that the vendor support agreement was a guaranty is a head scratcher for me. 

It is not enough that the Fifth Circuit issued its opinion per curiam and directed that it not be published. The court’s dictum is boldly incorrect.

What can the equipment lessor take away from this flawed case?  The most obvious take-away is that the form of a vendor support agreement should be reviewed by counsel before circulating it—it might be a guaranty and subject to suretyship defenses, like having to resort to suing the lessee first, or re-selling the equipment. Even worse, if the lessor compromises the obligation in any respect, it risks discharging the vendor! 

So here are the lessons: 

•  First, if the lessor’s vendor support agreement might be construed as a guaranty, then treat it as such, state that it is a guaranty, and have the document recite the various suretyship waivers.

•  Second, if the vendor support agreement is not a guaranty, and the lessor is confident about that fact, then say so in the document, e.g., recite that the obligation is a primary one, not a secondary obligation. 

•  Third, not all vendor support agreements are equal and they can take many forms, from a declining security deposit, to a letter of credit.  Not one type of vendor support agreement will work for every situation.

The bottom line to this case and this discussion is that while the lessor had top notch vendor support agreement (and was paid), the Fifth Circuit made clear error in holding that a letter of credit is a guaranty.  So, a lessor’s documents need to be wired tight in the event a judge goes off the reservation.  The lessor does not want a vendor support agreement to be a guaranty unless that is the clear intent going into the deal.  I hate surprises. 

Express Blower Case

Tom McCurnin is a partner at Barton, Klugman & Oetting
in Los Angeles, California.

Tom McCurnin
Barton, Klugman & Oetting
350 South Grand Ave.
Suite 2200
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Direct Phone: (213) 617-6129
Cell (213) 268-8291
Visit our web site at
Previous Tom McCurnin Articles:

Previous Tom McCurnin Articles:




Leasing Industry Help Wanted



Editing Your Recommendations on LinkedIn
Career Crossroad---By Emily Fitzpatrick/RII

With LinkedIn becoming increasingly influential in the networking process, having Recommendations on your profile is important. They work in conjunction with references and letters of recommendation. Since many companies are restricting reference checks to verification of title and dates of employment, a LinkedIn Recommendation from a supervisor and/or coworkers and/or client is invaluable.

Someone looking at your Recommendations wants to know two thing
1.      What are you like?
2.      Are you good at what you do?

A good Recommendation should look something like this:
“Mark had a consistent record of delivering year-over-year sales revenue increases while also ensuring top-notch customer service, working effectively with the entire sales team to make sure the client’s needs were met.”  

How many Recommendations you have on your profile depends on how many contacts you have. Ideally, these will be a variety of individuals - not just supervisors, but colleagues, people you supervise, and clients/customers. Choose quality over quantity.

Furthermore, note, that they need to be built over time (dates are attached), so do not try to solicit all of your Recommendations at once, it is best if they are added gradually. 

[Note: while it is commendable to quid pro quo re LinkedIn recommendations, try to space reciprocal recommendations so it does not appear that way. Let a month or more lapse between the two when you exchange recommendations.]

For more tips on how to receive AND give recommendations, please contact

Emily Fitzpatrick
Sr. Recruiter
Recruiters International, Inc.
Phone:  954-885-9241
Cell:  954-612-0567
Invite me to Connect on LinkedIn
Also follow us on Twitter #RIIINFO

Career Crossroads Previous Columns


Salvation Army Kettle
$3,985 Raised to Date—Thank You, Donors

Carol Baker Brent Baron Brian Carey
Richard Cohen Dale Davis Rob Day
Shawn Halladay Larry Hartmann Randy Haug
Jim Lahti Sam Khedkar Theresa Kabot, CLP
Bruce Kropschot Allan Levine Paul Menzel, CLP
Dean Morrison Gerald Oestreich PFSC
Klaus Pache Susan Robert Dean Rubin
Jeffrey Rudin David Silverman Bob Teichman, CLP
Gary Trebels Terry Waggoner Paul Weiss
Rick Wilbur Edward Winston Robert VanHellemont

(Please click on kettle to learn more)

Please Help Us Make Our Goal!



The Astounding Explosion In Amazon Prime Members

It’s the busiest time of the year for shoppers and merchants alike, but Amazon Prime members have the added benefit of free two-day shipping from the online retail giant, as well as access to extras like Amazon’s media libraries for streaming music, movies, and TV shows for just $99 a year.

Based on estimates charted for us by BI Intelligence, membership to Amazon Prime has been spiking over the last year, and is expected to reach roughly 58 million members worldwide by the end of 2014. And bundling so many services into Amazon Prime seems to be working: According to RBC data, 40% of Prime members have spent more than $200 on the website in the last 90 days, compared to only 13% of non-Prime members.



Tampa Bay, Florida  Adopt-a-Dog

Animal ID:  17018808

Breed: Retriever/Mix
Age:  3 years 3 months 23 days
Sex:  Male
Size: Medium
Color: Blond
Declawed: No
Housetrained: Yes
Site: Humane Society of Tampa Bay
Location: Adoption Kennel 1
Intake Date: 11/28/2014
Adoption Price: $95.00

"Hi! I'm Sherbert and I am a big, beautiful boy waiting here at the Humane Society for my forever home. I am a real sweet boy, but I can get a little nervous in new situations. I also need to be the only dog in the home. If you think I would be a good fit and want to take me home for the holidays, come by and visit me today!"

Adopt and Protect this pet with the 24PetWatch Gift of Pet Insurance.

Humane Society of Tampa Bay
3607 N Armenia Ave    Mon-Fri: 12-7:00pm
Tampa, FL 33607 Sat-Sun: 10-5:00pm

Shelter Programs & Services


Adopt a Pet




News Briefs----

Congress Approves Trillion Dollar Spending Bill

Apple CEO Tim Cook Is FT’s Person of the Year

Jeff Bezos’ Lemonade Stand

PetSmart buyout to fetch $8.2 billion



--You May Have Missed It

Climate Deal Would Commit Every Nation to Limiting Emissions


SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer

Are low-calorie sweeteners safe?


Football Poem

Nick Ferguson: The Poet Has Found a Home
By Doug Collins

The poet has found himself
And now finally knows peace
For where once the soul of a traveler lived
There exists a spirit at ease
One mile above the ocean
In the land where the Broncos roam
The poet can finally rest
For, at last, he has found a home.






Sports Briefs----

Broncos beat Chargers, clinch AFC West

Five Takeaways From the Patriots' 41-13 Win Over the Dolphins

Patriots fan wins $1 million at halftime by picking No. 12

Robert Griffin III plays three quarters, but Redskins let lead slip, lose to Giants 24-13

Grading the game: High marks in win over 49ers

49ers lose to Seahawks, eliminated from playoff contention

34 Photos from 49er-Seattle Game--Montana, Moon

Trade talk: How the 49ers could be compensated if they unload Jim Harbaugh

Philadelphia fans throw beer bottles and eggs at Cowboys buses

 Johnny Football is forgettable in starting debut

Brawl erupts after Titans lineman punches Geno Smith in the head

Sy Berger, Who Turned Boyhood Heroes Into Brilliant Rectangles, Dies at 91

Marcus Mariota of Oregon Wins Heisman Trophy, and Hawaii Rejoices


California Nuts Briefs---

Rainstorm Doubles, Triples Water At Santa Clara County Reservoirs
But ... it's still not nearly enough, Santa Clara Valley Water District official says.

Study: Almond industry contributes $21.5 billion to economy


“Gimme that Wine”

Wine industry seeks stable labor supply in immigration debate

Top 100 Wines: The Best of the West Coast in 2014

Noise, traffic at issue in dispute over Guy Fieri’s proposed winery

What’s Behind New York’s Unprecedented Attack on Fine Wine Retailers?

Washington has highest liquor prices nationwide

Thieves Swipe 1,800 Bottles of Cote-Rotie

Free Mobile Wine Program

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page


This Day in American History

     1636 – The English began colonizing Connecticut.  Originally known as the River Colony, it was organized on March 3, 1636 as a settlement for a Puritan congregation.  After early struggles with the Dutch, the English had permanently gained control of the colony around this time.
    1791 - The first 10 amendments to the US Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, became effective following ratification by Virginia. This anniversary of ratification and of effect is observed as Bill of Rights Day. The constitutional amendments were drawn up by James Madison and were declared in force this day, having been passed by both houses of Congress and ratified by their required number of states. The first of them established religious freedom, freedom of speech and press, the right to assemble, and the right to petition the government. The amendments were submitted to the states by the First Congress on September 25, 1789. The first state to ratify was New Jersey, which acted on November 20, 1789. Originally both houses passed 12 amendments, but two of them, on the proportion of representatives and on compensation, failed to secure the requisite number of states and ratifications.
    1791 – The first U.S. law school was established at University of Pennsylvania   
    1792 - The first life insurance offered by a general insurance company was offered by the Insurance Company of North America, organized in Philadelphia, PA with a capital of $600,000 on December 10th. The first policy was issued this day. Only six policies were written in five years, and in 1804, the life insurance feature was discontinued. The first president was John Maxwell Nesbitt. He was a co-founder of the Bank of North America with Robert Morris, who both helped finance the Revolutionary War.
    1810 – The first Irish magazine in the US, “Shamrock” is published.
    1814 - Twenty-six “Federalist party” Delegates from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, who opposed the War of 1812, met to plan secession from the United States. Known in history as “The Hartford Convention,” it lasted until January 5, 1815. They voted not to secede.
    1836 – The US Patent Office burned in Washington, DC.
    1839 - The first of triple storms hit Massachusetts Bay. The storm produced whole gales, and more than 20 inches of snow in interior New England. There was great loss of life at Gloucester, MA
    1854 - The first street-cleaning machine of importance was employed by Philadelphia, PA. This was a historic event, as most city streets were quite dirty, which not only hampered transportation but was quite unsanitary. According to a contemporary account, it consisted of “a series of brooms on a cylinder about two feet six inches wide, attached to two endless chins, running over an upper and lower set of pulleys, which are suspended on a light frame of wrought iron behind a cart, the body of which is near the ground. As the cart wheels revolve, a rotary motion is given to the pulleys conveying the endless chains and a series of brooms attached to them; which being made to bear on the ground successively sweep the surface and carry the soil up an incline or carrier plate, over the top of which it dropped into the cart.” 
     1861 – Charles Duryea was born near Canton, IL.  He was the engineer of the first-ever working American gasoline-powered car and co-founder of Duryea Motor Wagon Company and spent most of his life working in Springfield, MA. It was in Springfield that Charles and his brother, Frank, produced and road-tested America's first gasoline-powered car.  He died in 1938 in Philadelphia.
    1862 - Nathan B. Forrest crosses the Tennessee River at Clifton with 2,500 men to raid the communications around Vicksburg, Mississippi. 
    1862 - In New Orleans, Louisiana, Union Major General Benjamin F. Butler turns his command over to Nathaniel Banks. The citizens of New Orleans hold farewell parties for Butler, "The Beast," but only after he leaves. 
    1864 - The battle at Nashville begins.  Union forces under George Thomas almost completely destroy the Army of Tennessee under John Bell Hood.
    1869 - Norton I, Emperor of the United States & Protector of Mexico, and the greatest American ruler in history, leaves San Francisco to seek his yearly tribute from the legislature and lobbyists. He inspects the new capitol during the gala ball celebrating the buildings’ inauguration.
    1874 - The first child abuse prevention organization was the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, founded in New York City by Henry Bergh, Elbridge Gerry, and James Wright. Initial funding was provided by Cornelius Vanderbilt. Bergh had earlier founded the American Society for the Prevention
Of Cruelty to Animals in 1866.
    1874 - The first reigning king to visit the United States was David Kalakaua, King of the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), who was elected king on February 12, 1874, by a vote of 39-6. He embarked on the USS Benicia on November 17, 1874 and was received at the White House, Washington, DC, by President Ulysses Simpson Grant. Congress tendered him a reception on December 18. He arranged for a treaty of reciprocity, which was concluded on January 30, 1875. He returned to his country on February 15 on the USS Pensacola.
    1877 - Thomas Edison patents phonograph
    1890 - Sitting Bull is murdered by soldiers who claimed he was trying to escape after he had surrendered.  Famous Sioux Indian leader, medicine man and warrior of the Hunkpapa Teton band. Known also by his native name, Tatanka-yatanka, Sitting Bull was born on the Grand River, SD. He first accompanied his father on the warpath at the age of 14 against the Crow and thereafter rapidly gained influence within his tribe. In 1886, he led a raid on Fort Buford. His steadfast refusal to go to a reservation led General Phillip Sheridan to initiate a campaign against him which led to the massacre of Lieutenant Colonel George Custer's men at the Little Bighorn.  Afterward, Sitting Bull fled to Canada, remaining there until 1881. He later joined the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show and toured the US and Europe. When the government tried to take more land from the Indians, he became active again. A copy of the days’ newspapers about his death is noted below, and this is from Don Russell:  “The Lives and Legends of Buffalo Bill” (Norman, Okla, University of Oklahoma Press, 1960, page 132):  “At the outbreak of the Ghost Dance War, the War Department ordered the arrest of Chief Sitting Bull. Although the Sioux chief was, by 1890, quite old and had lost much of his power within the tribe, the army still feared him as a great anti-white leader. Forty-three Indian policemen, with the backing of two troops of the Eight Calvary just three miles away, were sent to make the arrest.  “An hour before dawn, the Indian police arrived at Sitting Bull’s cabin. At first the old chief offered no resistance, but when a few policemen tried to speed things up by dressing him roughly, he became angry. A crowd of Sitting Bull supporters gathered. Almost ready to leave, the chief demanded that the Indian police saddle his horse.  Sitting Bull’s was no ordinary horse, but an equine from the staged, show time West. It had belonged to Buffalo Bill, and Sitting Bull had performed special tricks with it when the Indian had traveled with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. When Sitting Bull left the show to return to the Indian nation, Buffalo Bill, in friendship, gave the trick horse to him as a gesture of the showman’s gratitude.  As the Indian police dragged and pushed Sitting Bull from his cabin, words were exchanged between the chief’s supporters and his abductors. Suddenly, Sitting Bull announced that he was not going. Shots rang out, and with the first volley, Sitting Bull was struck dead, one bullet entering from the front and another from behind. Both bullets were fired by the Indian police.  Oddly, when the shooting started, Sitting Bull’s horse took the cue for his act in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. With bullets flying everywhere, Indian police and Sitting Bull partisans scurrying for cover, the horse began to perform his tricks. Right in the middle of the newly anointed battlefield, he sat down and raised one hoof. Terror-stricken, some of the Indian police thought Sitting Bull’s freed spirit had entered his horse and made the animal do the act. The battle continued for thirty minutes. Fourteen people, from both sides, were killed.  Sitting Bull’s horse, incredibly, was not injured, and an Indian policeman rode him to Fort Yates with news of the battle. Eventually, the chief’s horse was returned to Buffalo Bill, who put him back to work in the Wild West Show. In 1893, at the Chicago Columbian Exposition, the Wild West Show’s cavalry standard bearer rode Sitting Bull’s old horse.”
    1892 – J. Paul Getty, American-English businessman and art collector who founded Getty Oil was born in Minneapolis.  In 1957 Fortune magazine named him the richest living American while the 1966 Guinness Book of Records named him as the world's richest private citizen, worth an estimated $1.2 billion (approximately $8.7 billion in 2013). At his death in 1976, he was worth more than $2 billion (approximately $8.3 billion in 2013). A book published in 1996 ranked him as the 67th richest American who ever lived, based on his wealth as a percentage of the GNP. Preceding him in death by two months, Howard Hughes’ estate was listed at $2.5 billion. But while Hughes had engaged in a great deal of philanthropy, despite his wealth, Getty was known for being a miser.
    1895 - Birthday of composer Any Razaf, Washington, DC.  Died February 3, 1973 in Los Angeles.
    1896 - Breaking all records, 1,096,509 shares of stock were traded at the New York Stock Exchange.
    1897 - Birthday of trumpet player Ed Allen, Nashville, TN
    1906 - Birthday of Betty Smith, born Elisabeth Wehner in Brooklyn.  A novelist best known for “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” (1943). Smith died in Connecticut in 1972.
    1911 - Bandleader Stan Kenton born Wichita, Kansas.  “Salt Peanuts!”
    1918 – Actor Jeff Chandler was born Ira Grossel in Brooklyn.  A film star of some repute in the 1950s, he secured an Oscar nomination as Cochise in “Broken Arrow”.  In 1961, Chandler injured his back while playing baseball with soldiers who served as extras in the movie. He entered a hospital and had surgery on May 13, 1961. There were severe complications and Chandler hemorrhaged. In a seven-and-a-half-hour emergency operation over-and-above the original surgery, he was given 55 pints of blood. Another operation followed, date unknown, where he received an additional 20 pints of blood. He died on June 17, 1961. His death was deemed malpractice and resulted in a large lawsuit and settlement for his children.
    1918 – American Jewish Congress held its first meeting.
    1921 – Rock ‘n’ roll pioneer DJ Alan Freed, was born in Windber, PA.  Freed is commonly referred to as the "father of rock ‘n’ roll” due to his promotion of the music, and his introduction of the phrase "rock and roll" on mainstream radio in the early 1950s. He helped bridge the gap of segregation among young teenage Americans, presenting music by African-American artists (rather than cover versions by white artists) on his radio program, and arranging live concerts attended by racially mixed audiences.  Freed's career ended when it was shown that he had accepted payola (payments from record companies to play specific records), a common practice that was highly controversial at the time. There was also a conflict of interest that he had taken songwriting co-credits (most notably on Chuck Berry’s "Maybelline"), which entitled him to receive part of a song's royalties, which he could help increase by heavily promoting the record on his own program. In another example, Harvey Fuqua of The Moonglows insisted Freed's name was not merely a credit on the song "Sincerely" and that he did actually co-write it (which would still be a conflict of interest for Freed to promote).  Freed lost his own show on WABC and he was fired from the station altogether on November 21, 1959. He also was fired from his television show. In 1960, payola was made illegal. In 1962, Freed pleaded guilty to two charges of commercial bribery, for which he received a fine and a suspended sentence.  He died a broken man in 1965.
    1925 - Birthday of trumpet player Jimmy Nottingham, Brooklyn, NY,,474141,00.html?artist=Jimmy+Nottingham
    1925 – Madison Square Garden held its first hockey game.  The Montreal Canadiens defeated the New York Americans, 3-1.
    1927 - Birthday of sax player Gene Quill, Atlantic City, NJ,,482073,00.html?artist=Gene+Quill
    1929 - Birthday of pianist Barry Harris, Detroit, MI
    1932 - Birthday of vocalist/song writer Jesse Belvin, Texarkana, TX.  He recorded a song among the anthems of rock ‘n’ roll, “Good Night, My Love”, which reached #7 on the R&B chart. The piano on the session was reportedly played by the 11 year old Barry White. The song became the closing theme to Alan Freed’s rock and roll radio shows.  After finishing a performance in Little Rock, AR on a bill with Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, and Marv Johnson, Belvin and his wife were killed in a head-on collision at Hope, AR (Bill Clinton’s hometown). The concert was the first concert played before an integrated audience in the history of Little Rock. There had been several death threats on Belvin prior to the concert, and that led to speculation that his car had been tampered with prior to the accident. The actual cause of the accident was the driver who nodded off and lost control of the car and had a head on collision with a car traveling in the opposite direction. The driver had been recently fired for falling asleep at the wheel by another musical act.
    1933 – Comedian Tim Conway was born in Willoughby, OH.  While he is best known as one of the hilarious ensemble cast of “The Carol Burnett Show”, few remember that he was also Ensign Parker in “McHale’s Navy” in the 1960s, and had his own “The Tim Conway Show”.   A very funny man.
    1933 - The 21st Amendment to the Constitution officially became effective, repealing the 18th Amendment that prohibited the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol.
    1933 – Major League Baseball owners agreed to ban Sunday doubleheaders until after June 15
    1934 - Birthday of Trombonist Curtis Fuller, Detroit, MI
    1935 - Birthday of drummer Dannie Richmond, New York City
    1938 - Washington sends its fourth note to Berlin demanding amnesty for Jews. 
    1938 – Groundbreaking began on the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC, with President Franklin Roosevelt presiding over the ceremonies.
    1939 - The epic film "Gone with the Wind" had its world premiere in Atlanta, introduced by its producer David O. Selznick.
    1939 – DuPont introduces the first commercial manufacture of nylon yarn, Seaford, Delaware
    1939 – Cindy Birdsong was a American singer, and member of Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles, but most famous for replacing Florence Ballard as a member of the legendary The Supremes.
    1941 - On Victor Records, Lena Horne recorded the classic torch song that became her signature: "Stormy Weather".
    1942 - Dave Clark, musician (leader of the Dave Clark Five, "I Like It Like That"), born London, England.
    1942 – Massachusetts issued the first U.S. vehicular license plate tags
    1943 - Battle of San Pietro: A German panzer battalion inflicted heavy casualties on American forces trying to take the 700-year-old Italian village of San Pietro, before withdrawing from the town. San Pietro was reduced almost entirely to rubble. The American movie director John Huston, serving as an Army lieutenant, filmed the battle for the military. So graphic was the film that it was described as antiwar by the military brass at the War Department. The film was cut from five to three reels before censors allowed it to be released in 1944. It was later re-edited for the television series "The Big Picture."
    1943 - The first Marine officer of Chinese descent was Wilbur Carl Sze, commissioned a second lieutenant. He was born in Washington, DC, and at the age of five went to China, where he remained for 11 years before returning to the United States.
    1943 - King Cole Trio records,” Sweet Lorraine.”
    1944 - US Army Major and bandleader Glenn Miller's plane disappears in thick fog somewhere over the English Channel. Miller flew from the United Kingdom to Paris, France, to play for the soldiers there. His plane departed from RAF Twinwood Farm in Clapham.  The fate of Miller and his passengers, en route to play a Christmas concert in Paris with his Air Force band, has never been determined.
    1944 - Invasion of Mindoro, Philippines. After the usual barrage from naval guns, the US 24th Division landed on Mindoro, the largest of the islands immediately south of Luzon (the most important island of the Philippines). American soldiers easily advanced eight miles inland, took the perimeter of their beachhead and started construction of an airfield. Japanese kamikaze counterattacks, however, sank two motor torpedo boats and damaged the escort carrier Marcus Island, two destroyers and a third motor torpedo boat, making Mindoro a more costly conquest than the island of Leyte had been.
    1944 - The first US Army generals to wear the five-start insignia were Henry Harley “Hap” Arnold, Dwight David Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, and George Catlett Marshall, whose appointments were ratified by the Senate this day. The grade of General of the Army was established by an Act of Congress on December 14, 1944.
    1944 - The first US Navy admirals to wear the five-star insignia as Admirals of the Fleet were Ernest Joseph King, William Daniel Leahy, and Chester William Nimitz, whose appointments were ratified by the Senate this day. The grade of fleet admiral of the Navy was established by an Act of Congress on December 14, 1944.
    1944 - VLUG, DIRK J., Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, 126th Infantry, 32d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Limon, Leyte, Philippine Islands, 15 December 1944. Entered service at: Grand Rapids, Mich. Birth: Maple Lake, Minn. G.O. No.: 60, 26 June 1946. Citation: He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty when an American roadblock on the Ormoc Road was attacked by a group of enemy tanks. He left his covered position, and with a rocket launcher and 6 rounds of ammunition, advanced alone under intense machinegun and 37-mm. fire. Loading single-handedly, he destroyed the first tank, killing its occupants with a single round. As the crew of the second tank started to dismount and attack him, he killed 1 of the foe with his pistol, forcing the survivors to return to their vehicle, which he then destroyed with a second round. Three more hostile tanks moved up the road, so he flanked the first and eliminated it, and then, despite a hail of enemy fire, pressed forward again to destroy another. With his last round of ammunition he struck the remaining vehicle, causing it to crash down a steep embankment. Through his sustained heroism in the face of superior forces, Pfc. Vlug alone destroyed 5 enemy tanks and greatly facilitated successful accomplishment of his battalion's mission.
     1944  Top Hits
 "White Christmas" - Bing Crosby
 "The Trolley Song" - The Pied Pipers
 "I’m Making Believe" - Ella Fitzgerald & The Ink Spots
 "Smoke on the Water" - Red Foley
    1945 - A record December snowstorm buried Buffalo, NY, under 36.6 inches of snow, with unofficial totals south of the city ranging up to 70 inches. Travel was brought to a halt by the storm.
    1945 – During the occupation of Japan following the surrender, General Mac Arthur ordered that Shinto be abolished as the state religion of Japan.
    1946 - U.S.-backed Iranian troops evict the leadership of the breakaway Republic of Mahabad, putting an end to the Iran crisis of 1946.  Bet you didn’t think we’d be there that long!!
    1946 – New York Football Giants’ Frank Filchock and Hapes were suspended by the NFL for failure to report a bribe.
    1948 – In one of the seminal events that led to the rise of Richard Nixon, former state department official Alger Hiss indicted in New York City for perjury.  Hiss had accompanied President Roosevelt to the Yalta Conference.  Hiss was secretary-general of the San Francisco UN Conference on International Organization. (The United Nations Charter Conference), which began on April 25, 1945, and then became the full director of the OSPA. The Soviet U.N. ambassador personally recommended that Hiss be appointed temporary Secretary General of the U.N. citing his "impartiality" and "fairness". In 1946, he left government service to become president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he served until May 5, 1949, when he was forced to step down.  On August 3, 1948, Time magazine senior editor Whittaker Chambers, a former Communist Party member, appeared before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) to denounce Alger Hiss, after writing a scathing article critical of the Yalta Agreements.  As historian Tim Weiner points out: "This was a crucial point. Infiltration and invisible political influence were immoral, but arguably not illegal. Espionage was treason, traditionally punishable by death. The distinction was not lost on the cleverest member of HUAC, Congressman Richard Nixon.... He had been studying the FBI's files for five months, courtesy of J. Edgar Hoover. Nixon launched his political career in hot pursuit of Hiss and the alleged secret Communists of the New Deal."  With some reluctance, the Committee voted to make Nixon chair of a subcommittee that would seek to determine who was lying, Hiss or Chambers, at least on the question of whether they knew one another.  The grand jury charged Hiss with two counts of perjury but did not indict him for espionage since the statute of limitations had expired.
    1949 - Birdland opens in New York City
    1949 – Actor Donnie Wayne "Don" Johnson was born in Flat Creek, MO.  He is best known for his role as Sonny Crockett in the 1980s television series “Miami Vice”, and as the lead role in the 1990s cop series “Nash Bridges.”
    1950 – The Port of New York Authority, now known as The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, opened.
     1952  Top Hits
 "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" - Jimmy Boyd
 "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" - Gene Autry
 "White Christmas" - Bing Crosby
 "Back Street Affair" - Webb Pierce
    1954 - “Davy Crockett” premieres on TV. This show, a series of five segments, can be considered TV's first miniseries. Shown on Walt Disney's "Disneyland" show, it starred Fess Parker as American western hero Davy Crockett and was immensely popular. The show spawned Crockett paraphernalia, including the famous coonskin cap (even after we found out that Crockett never wore a coonskin hat).     
    1954 - Kirk Douglas/James Mason movie "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" released.
    1954 – Fordham University decided to drop intercollegiate football for financial reasons.  Fordham was one of college football’s early powers.  Among its teams were the Seven Blocks of Granite that included future NFL Hall of Famer Vince Lombardi.
    1955 - Johnny Cash released "Folsom Prison Blues"
    1957 - Mitch Miller and Sammy Davis Jr. blast rock and roll in a syndicated radio talk show hosted by Davis. However, MGM label president Arnold Maxim disagrees, stating he sees no end to the fad in the near future.
    1958 - In its year-end survey, Billboard rates the top pop tune of 1958 as Domenico Modugno's "Volare"; the top R&B tune as Chuck Willis' "Hang Up My Rock & Roll Shoes"; the best-selling LP as the original cast album of "My Fair Lady" and the best-selling EP as Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock."
    1959 - The Everly Brothers record "Let It Be Me" in New York City, the first time they've recorded outside of Nashville and the first time they've recorded with strings.
 1960  Top Hits
 "Are You Lonesome To-night?" - Elvis Presley
 "A Thousand Stars" - Kathy Young with the Innocents
 "Wonderland by Night" - Bert Kaemphert
 "Wings of a Dove" - Ferlin Husky
    1960 – Richard Pavlick is arrested for plotting to assassinate President-elect Kennedy.  Shortly before 10 a.m. on Sunday, December 11, as John F. Kennedy was preparing to leave for Mass at St. Edward Church in Palm Beach, Pavlick waited in his dynamite-laden car hoping to detonate his 1950 Buick to cause a fatal explosion. However, Pavlick changed his mind after seeing John F. Kennedy with his wife and the couple's two small children. While waiting for another opportunity over the next few days Pavlick visited the church to learn its interior, but the Secret Service had informed local Palm Beach police to look out for Pavlick's automobile.  Four days after the attempt, on Thursday, December 15, a Palm Beach police officer, Lester Free, spotted Pavlick’s vehicle as he entered the city. Police immediately surrounded the car (which still contained 7 sticks of dynamite) and arrested him.
    1961 - Adolf Eichmann, the former German Gestapo official accused of a major role in the Nazi murder of 6 million Jews, is sentenced by a Jerusalem court to be hanged after being found guilty of 15 criminal charges, including charges of crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people, and membership of an outlawed organization.
   1962 - The first album to make fun of a United States President became the United States' #1 LP. The album was Vaughn Meader’s "The First Family", which stayed at #1 for three months.
    1962 - The Boston Celtics' Bob Cousy set a National Basketball Association record as he scored his 5,926th field goal. His career highlights included the NBA’s 1957 MVP Award, and the record set on March 21, 1953 for 30 free throws in one game when the Celtics played the Syracuse Nationals. Four of the free throws were made in overtime.
    1965 - The United States drops 12 tons of bombs on an industrial center near Haiphong Harbor, North Vietnam. 
    1965 – Gemini 6A, crewed by Wally Schirra and Thomas Stafford, is launched from Cape Kennedy, FL. Four orbits later, it achieves the first space rendezvous, with Gemini 7.
    1966 – Walt Disney died in LA.
    1967 - President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the meat bill in the presence of Upton Sinclair, the author of the controversial book “The Jungle”.
    1967 - Beatles release "Christmas Time is Here Again"

    1967 - The Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour" LP goes gold.
    1967 - LYNCH, ALLEN JAMES, Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company D, 1st Battalion (Airmobile), 12th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). Place and date: Near My An (2), Binh Dinh province, Republic of Vietnam, 15 December 1967. Entered service at: Chicago, Ill. Born: 28 October 1945, Chicago, Ill. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Lynch (then Sp4c.) distinguished himself while serving as a radio telephone operator with Company D. While serving in the forward element on an operation near the village of My An, his unit became heavily engaged with a numerically superior enemy force. Quickly and accurately assessing the situation, Sgt. Lynch provided his commander with information which subsequently proved essential to the unit's successful actions. Observing 3 wounded comrades Lying exposed to enemy fire, Sgt. Lynch dashed across 50 meters of open ground through a withering hail of enemy fire to administer aid. Reconnoitering a nearby trench for a covered position to protect the wounded from intense hostile fire, he killed 2 enemy soldiers at point blank range. With the trench cleared, he unhesitatingly returned to the fire-swept area 3 times to carry the wounded men to safety. When his company was forced to withdraw by the superior firepower of the enemy, Sgt. Lynch remained to aid his comrades at the risk of his life rather than abandon them. Alone, he defended his isolated position for 2 hours against the advancing enemy. Using only his rifle and a grenade, he stopped them just short of his trench, killing 5. Again, disregarding his safety in the face of withering hostile fire, he crossed 70 meters of exposed terrain 5 times to carry his wounded comrades to a more secure area. Once he had assured their comfort and safety, Sgt. Lynch located the counterattacking friendly company to assist in directing the attack and evacuating the 3 casualties. His gallantry at the risk of his life is in the highest traditions of the military service, Sgt. Lynch has reflected great credit on himself, the 12th Cavalry, and the U.S. Army.
    1967 - In Paris, the members of the Beach Boys have their own audience with guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
    1967 - The Silver Bridge, connecting Pt. Pleasant, WV and Gallipolis, OH over the Ohio River collapses, killing 46 people.
     1968  Top Hits
 "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" - Marvin Gaye
 "For Once in My Life" - Stevie Wonder
 "Abraham, Martin and John" - Dion
 "Born to Be with You" - Sonny James
    1968 - Grace Slick, performing with the Jefferson Airplane on the "Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour," appears in blackface and raises a black-leather glove, mimicking the recent Olympic scandal, in the black power salute at the conclusion of "Crown of Creation." The incident is one of several which leads to the show's cancellation the following season.
    1971 - The first female Secret Service agents were Laurie B. Anderson, Sue A. Baker, Kathryn I. Clark, Holly A. Hufschmidt, and Phyllis Frances Shantz, all former agents of the Executive Protective Service.
    1973 - American Psychiatric Association declares homosexuality is not mental illness.
    1973 - Sandy Hawley became the first jockey to win 500 races in a single year when he rode Charlie Jr. to victory in the third race at Laurel Race Course in Maryland.
    1973 - Charlie Rich followed his number 15 hit, "Behind Closed Doors" with a number one smash on the Hot 100, "The Most Beautiful Girl".
    1973 - Jermaine Jackson marries Hazel Gordy, daughter of Motown founder and head Berry Gordy, Jr.
    1973 – John Paul Getty III, grandson of American billionaire J. Paul Getty, was found alive near Naples, Italy, after being kidnapped by an Italian gang on July 10.
    1974 - Pitcher Jim “Catfish” Hunter was ruled a free agent by arbitrator Peter Seitz who decided that Oakland A’s owner Charley Finley had not fulfilled the terms set forth in Hunter’s contract. Hunter later signed to play with the New York Yankees.
    1974 - Baltimore Colts quarterback, Bert Jones, set an NFL record by when he completed seventeen consecutive passes in a game against the New York Jets.

    1976 - The oil tanker MV Argo Merchant ran aground near Nantucket, causing one of the worst marine oil spills in history.
    1976  Top Hits
 "Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)" - Rod Stewart
 "The Rubberband Man" - Spinners
 "You Don’t Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show)" - Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr.
 "Thinkin’ of a Rendezvous" - Johnny Duncan
    1978 - United States President Jimmy Carter announced he would establish diplomatic relations with China from January 1, 1979, and break off relations with Taiwan. 
    1979 - Chris Haney and Scott Abbot invented the game "Trivial Pursuit".
    1979 - Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall" hits Number One on the U.K. pop chart before subsequently finding similar success in the U.S.
    1979 - The former Shah of Iran, Muhammad Riza Pahlavi, left the US for Panama. He had gone to the US for medical treatment earlier that year.
    1979 - In a preliminary ruling, the International Court of Justice ordered Iran to release all hostages that had been taken at the US embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979.
    1980 - Dave Winfield signed a ten-year contract with the New York Yankees for a paycheck between $1.3 and $1.5 million, making him the wealthiest player in United States team sport history. It was said the total package for the outfielder was worth over $22 million.
    1981 - Congress passed a $200 billion spending bill. At the time it was the largest in U.S. history. 
    1982 - Paul "Bear" Bryant announced his retirement as head football coach at the University of Alabama after 232 victories and only 46 losses, and six national championships.   After the game, Bryant was asked what he planned to do now that he was retired. He replied "Probably croak in a week." His reply proved ominous.  Four weeks after making that comment, and just one day after passing a routine medical checkup, on January 25, 1983, Bryant checked into Druid City Hospital in Tuscaloosa after experiencing chest pain. A day later, when being prepared for an electrocardiogram, he died after suffering a massive heart attack.
    1983 - The remaining 80 United States combat soldiers in Grenada withdrew just over seven weeks after the United States-led invasion of the Caribbean island. 
    1984  Top Hits
 "Out of Touch" - Daryl Hall & John Oates
 "The Wild Boys" - Duran Duran
 "Like a Virgin" - Madonna
 "Nobody Loves Me Like You Do" - Anne Murray (with Dave Loggins)
    1986 - CIA director William Casey suffers a cerebral seizure.

    1986 - In New York City, violinist Isaac Stern arrived in a horse-drawn carriage to cut the ribbon on the renovated Carnegie Hall.
    1986 - Kenny Rogers cut a 17 million dollar deal with the Dole Food Company, to become the highest-paid celebrity pitchman.
    1987 - A major winter storm hit the Great Lakes Region, intensifying explosively as it crossed northern Illinois. High winds and heavy snow created blizzard conditions in southeastern Wisconsin. Winds gusted to 73 mph, and snowfall totals ranged up to 17 inches at LaFarge. The barometric pressure at Chicago dropped three quarters of an inch in six hours to 28.96 inches, a record low reading for December. Up to a foot of snow blanketed northern Illinois, and winds in the Chicago area gusted to 75 mph. O'Hare Airport in Chicago was closed for several hours, for only the fourth time in twenty years. High winds derailed train cars at Avon, IN. Light winds and partly sunny skies were reported near the center of the storm, a feature typical of tropical storms.
    1988 - High pressure in the Pacific Northwest and low pressure in the southwestern U.S. combined to produce high winds from Utah to California. Winds gusting to 70 mph in the San Francisco area left nearly 300,000 residents without electricity. Winds in Utah gusted to 105 mph at Centerville.
    1988 - For his interstate car chase and numerous drug, firearms, and assault offenses, James Brown is sentenced to six and one-half years in a South Carolina prison. He would serve a little more than two.
    1989 - A couple of low pressure systems spread heavy snow across the northeastern U.S. Up to two feet of snow was reported along Lake Erie in northeastern Ohio, and up to ten inches was reported in Connecticut. Heavy snow squalls developed over Michigan for the third day in a row. Three Oaks, MI reported 25 inches of snow in two days. Twenty-six cities in the north central U.S. reported record low temperatures for the date. The low of 10 degrees below zero at Wichita, KS was a December record for that location.
    1993 - Delegations from 117 countries approved by consensus a GATT trade treaty aimed at opening up international markets. 
    1993 - Called "a beautiful film about the holocaust horror", Steven Speilberg's haunting black-and-white film “Schindler's List” opened in United States theaters. Starring Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, and Caroline Goodall, the film won many awards, including Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. 
    1995 - The United Nations Security Council authorized NATO to take over peacekeeping operations in Bosnia in a resolution spelling the end of one of the United Nations' toughest field missions. 
    1995 - Southeast Asian nations signed a treaty banning the possession, manufacture and acquisition of nuclear weapons and created a nuclear arms-free zone from Burma and Vietnam in the north to Indonesia in the south. 
    1995 - European Union leaders christened their planned new single currency the "Euro." 
    1995 - The Ted Williams Tunnel in Boston is opened as the Splendid Splinter leads the way.
    1996 - Boeing announced plans to pay $13.3 billion to acquire rival aircraft manufacturer McDonnell Douglas.
    1997 - Mike Gartner of the Phoenix Coyotes became the fifth player in NHL history to reach the 700 mark for regular-season goals scored. Gartner tallied at 10:41 of the first period against the Detroit Red Wings in a game that ended in a 3-3 tie.
    1997 - The SF 49ers retired #16, the number on Joe Montana's jersey.
    2000 - Senator-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton agreed to accept an $8 million book deal with Simon & Schuster. The book was to be about her eight years in the White House. The advance was the highest ever to be paid to a member of the Congress.
    2001 - An intruder who broke into George Harrison's home and stabbed him earlier in the year is found not guilty by reason of insanity.
2001 – Eagles’ guitarist Joe Walsh receives an honorary doctorate of music from Kent State University.
    2002 - Indianapolis wide receiver Marvin Harrison catches nine passes for 172 yards and two TDs to break Herman Moore's single-season reception record (123). Harrison finishes the year with 143 catches.
    2005 - Freezing rain and ice pellets fell throughout portions of the southeast U.S. The accumulation of ice caused about 683,000 utilities customers to lose power from northern Georgia northward through the western Carolinas. The power outages were the result of ice accretions of up to three-quarter inch in thickness. The ice storm was blamed for at least four deaths.
    2009 - With U2 leading the way by making over 311 million dollars, several classic rockers were among the top earning touring acts of the year, including Madonna ($222 million), Bruce Springsteen ($156 million), AC/DC ($135 million), Billy Joel and Elton John ($90 million) and Tina Turner ($86 million).
    2009 – Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner makes its maiden flight from Seattle, WA.
    2011 – Baseball’s all-time career HR leader* Barry Bonds is sentenced to 30 days of house arrest, two years of probation and 250 hours of community service, for an obstruction of justice conviction stemming from a grand jury appearance in 2003.



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or type in a new route to learn the traffic live