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

Friday, December 11, 2015

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

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Looks Like No Change in Section 179 for 2015
  Congress Getting Ready to Adjourn
SB 197 Three Question Clarification
Most Asked Questions on New California Law

  by Tom McCurnin, Leasing News Legal Editor
New Hires---Promotions in the Leasing Business
  and Related Industries
Leasing Industry Ads---Help Wanted
  Now Hiring
America's Biggest Donors in 2014
Donations made by America's most generous donors
Chart - Uber is now more valuable than Ford,
  GM, and a bunch of huge public companies
The "Made in China" Story is Falling Apart
  by Myles Udland,
Chi-Raq/Hitchcock/Truffaut/Don't Look Back
Ricki and the Flash/Shaun the Sheep/

Film/Digital Reviews by Leasing News' Fernando Croce
Bode Ace Menkin Birthday
  He Turned Ten Years Old Yesterday
Cattle Dog Mix
Madera, California Adopt-a-Dog
News Briefs---
Prosper FinTech Loan Linked to San Bernardino Terrorist
– A Preliminary Assessment on How it Occurred
The Uber or Airbnb of finance will prove elusive
    still lies with the banks, not the upstarts
Refinancing, Refined: Why This Company
   Is the 'TurboTax for Mortgages'
VW staff began working on cheat in 2005
  to break into U.S. market
Chinese Billionaire Plans Electric Car Plant in Nevada
  To Revolutionize the Auto Industry, He says

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---
   SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer
    Sports Briefs---
      California Nuts Brief---
       "Gimme that Wine"    
          This Day in American History
           Daily Puzzle
               Weather, USA or specific area
                 Traffic Live----

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Contributors at press time: Bruce Kropschot, Allan Levine, Dean Morrison, Susan Robert


Looks Like No Change in Section 179 for 2015
Congress Getting Ready to Adjourn

Looks like any effort to seriously extend Section 179 at $500,000 and 50% bonus depreciation on new purchases for 2015 is going nowhere. Congress is trying to adjourn for the year by next Friday, December 18th.

Senator Orrin Hatch(R-UT) has stated the one-year extension similar to last year will not work. The bonus depreciation is usually paired with higher Section 179 expensing levels, which fell back to a $25,000 cap in 2015 after being at a $500,000 cap in 2014.

According to the section website, this section of the tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment purchased during the tax year from its gross income, instead of depreciating it over time.

According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Research Foundation, a permanent expansion of the small business expensing limit to $500,000 could increase employment by as much as 197,000 jobs and increase economic output by as much as $18.6 billion.


SB 197 Three Question Clarification
Most Asked Questions on New California Law
by Tom McCurnin, Leasing News Legal Editor

ISSUE ONE: Is an operating commercial leasing subsidiary of a National Bank exempt from licensing under the Department of Business Oversight’s California Finance Lender’s law?

BRIEF ANSWER: Yes, subsidiaries of regulated entities, especially banks, are exempt from licensing under the DBO CFL license program. This has been the law for years, and although changes were proposed, those proposed changes have not taken effect and do not presently affect commercial equipment lessors.

LONG ANSWER: No license is required for those companies doing business under any law of this state or the United States as a bank, trust company, savings and loan association, industrial loan company, credit unions, or pawnbrokers.  Financial Code § 22050(a).  See also Financial Code § 22101 which says if the parent is licensed, the subsidiary does not have to be licensed, so that same might be true for an exemption, e.g., if the parent is exempt, so is the subsidiary.  Under an opinion of the predecessor statute, a wholly-owned subsidiary of a national bank would be exempt from licensing requirements under the exemption applicable to “any person doing business under any law . . . of the United States . . . relating to banks.” Op. Comm’r, Cal. Dept. Corp., OP 5792CM (Dec. 1, 1988). 

A 2014 proposal by the DBO sought to remove that exemption. See attached 03-13 document. That brought so much criticism that the proposed rule was modified to remove the exemption only for consumer transactions; See 03-13 Modifications.  Even that proposal has not been adopted by the DBO, and its status is uncertain.


ISSUE TWO: Can an operating subsidiary of a national bank pay commissions to an unlicensed broker in contravention of SB197?


LONG ANSWER: To me, it follows if the leasing subsidiary is exempt, then it can pay any type of broker it wants to and is not subject to the CFL, and does not have to report the commissions.


ISSUE THREE: Are unlicensed brokers at risk if they do not procure a CFL license?

BRIEF ANSWER: Yes, but that’s not the Bank’s problem.

LONG ANSWER: Obviously, best practices would dictate using brokers which follow the law and any broker that brokers more than five California deals is required to be licensed under California Financial Code § 22050. The CFL license insures that the brokers meet certain financial net worth requirements and have no criminal record. So it might be a good practice to insist upon brokers being licensed. That said,  if a leasing subsidiary of a national bank, which is what we are talking about, is exempt, it can pay it can pay a commission to anyone it wants to, whether they be convicted felons or unlicensed brokers. 

What's New Notice

Notice of Modification

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:


New Hires---Promotions in the Leasing Business
and Related Industries


“Ellen R. Alemany was promoted to Chief Executive Officer and President of CIT Bank, N.A. effective immediately. Alemany is Vice Chairman of CIT Group and, as previously announced, will become the Chief Executive Officer of CIT Group on April 1, 2016. Alemany has been a member of CIT Group’s Board of Directors since January 2014 and is also a member of the Board of Directors for CIT Bank, N.A. Alemany is the former Head of The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Americas, which oversaw RBS’s businesses in the Americas. She also served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc. Prior to RBS, Alemany served as Chief Executive Officer for Global Transaction Services of Citigroup. Alemany received her MBA in finance from Fordham University. She serves on the Boards of Fidelity National Information Services, Inc. (FIS), Automatic Data Processing, Inc. and the Center for Discovery.”

Steve Bellah was hired as Director, Southwest Region at Siena Lending Group, LLC, ABL Alliance, Dallas/Fort Worth area. “(He)...will be focused on originating middle market transactions and ABL Alliance banking partners."  Previously, he was Senior Vice President - National Sales and Underwriting Manager, Porter Capital Corporation (May, 2013 – December, 2015); Managing Director, Clear Thinking Group (October, 2011 – May, 2013); Senior Associate, Realization Services, Inc. (August, 2010 – October, 2011); Managing Director, Silver Spring Securities (May, 2007 – August, 2010); Senior Vice President, Webster Bank, Retail Finance (2006 – 2007); Senior Vice President/Division Manager, Wells Fargo Capital Finance (2002 – 2006); Managing Director/Region Manager, GE Capital (March, 1996 – March, 2001);
Region Manager, CIT (December, 1989 – March, 1996); Vice President, Bankers Trust - New York (January, 1988 – December, 1989). Education: The University of Texas at Dallas, BA, Economics and Finance (1979 – 1982). Bryan Adams High School, English and Mathematics, English Language and Literature, General (1973 – 1976). Activities and Societies: Football, Key Club, Bi-Centennial Committee Co-chair, Journalism Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Kenneth "Ken" A. Brause was promoted to Executive Vice President and Treasurer, CIT.  He joined the firm, August, 2008, as Executive Vice President Investor Relations; promoted November, 2012, President, Small Business Lending; promoted January, 2014,Executive Vice President / Chief Financial Officer, North American Commercial Finance.  Previously, he was Managing Director, Investor Relations The Bank of New York (May, 2006 – July, 2007); Vice President, Strategy & Development, Horizon BCBS of NJ (September, 2002 – May, 2006); SVP Investor Relations, AIG American General (1999 – 2002); Principal, Bankers Trust (1985 – 1999). Education: The University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), Accounting and Finance (1990 – 1992). University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School Bachelor of Science (BS), Economics.

Martin Davies was hired as Vice President Business Development at Key Equipment Finance, Ontario, Canada. “(He)...will be responsible for enhancing, structuring and managing the company’s Canadian direct and energy sales vertical." He joined Honeywell, January, 2008, Director of Sales, Energy Services; promoted January, 2010, Regional Director; promoted October, 2013, Director of Sales. Prior, he was Program Manager Honeywell Global Finance (Key Equipment Finance Canada), KeyBank (August, 2005 – January, 2008). Director of Sales, GE Capital IT Solutions, GE (August, 1990 – April, 2003). Certifications: Six Sigma Green Belt Certified, GE Capital, Starting April 2003. Volunteer: Coaching Hockey, Curling, and Baseball,
Waterdown Minor Hockey, Burlington Golf and Country Club. Education: McMaster University, Bachelor's degree, Economics (1981 – 1985). Bachelor’s Degree, Major in Economics. Minor in Political Science. Activities and Societies: Varsity Rugby - Letterman

Robert C. Rowe was promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer at CIT. "In this role he will oversee the Company's Risk Management Group, including Credit Administration."  He joined the firm June, 2010. Previously, he was Senior Credit Officer, Commercial Banking, First Merit Bank (September, 2009 – May, 2010); Chief Credit Officer, National City Bank (September, 2006 – December, 2008). Education: Indiana University Bloomington, Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), Finance (1988 – 1990); Boston College, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Economics (1979 – 1983).

Steve Solk was hired as President of CIT Business Capital with responsibilities for CIT’s Direct Capital, Capital Equipment, Equipment Finance, and Commercial Services businesses. Previously, he was Co-Owner, Catastrophic and Rehabilitation Management (October, 2014-December, 2015); Executive Vice President, RBS/Citizens (June, 2010 – September, 2014); Senior Vice President, Central Pennsylvania, Market Manager, Commerce Bank of Harrisburg (April, 2009 – July, 2010 ); Executive Vice President, GE Capital (August, 2008 – December, 2008); Executive Vice President, Citi (January, 1987 – August, 2008); Vice President, Bank of America (January, 1981 – January, 1987). Education: Arizona State University, BA, Finance (1974 – 1978).

Charlene Thompson was hired as Account Executive IOU Financial Inc., greater Atlanta area.  Previously, she was Business Consultant, First Data Corporation (July, 2015 – December, 2015); Business Consultant,, CAN Capital (September, 2013 – October, 2014. Education: Georgia Perimeter College, Business Administration and Management, General (2013 – 2015). Kennesaw State University.



Leasing Industry Help Wanted


Credit Analyst
Anaheim,CA; Federal Way, WA; Tigard, OR

$150K -$500k equipment leases, financing (recourse/non-recourse lines of credit)
Requires five or more years of credit underwriting. Work with third party originators, brokers, as well as clients & vendors of Umpqua Bank
Please click here for more information.
A subsidiary of Umpqua Bank


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Chart - Uber is now more valuable than Ford,
GM, and a bunch of huge public companies




The "Made in China" Story is Falling Apart
by Myles Udland,

Here's something you hear thrown around a lot: "China is taking all of our jobs."

This was perhaps true a generation ago.

But the reality is that while China's economy took off in the last 20 years and seemingly everything was "Made in China," the cost of labor was forever going up.

And now, China is facing an economic slowdown amid a government-sponsored shift towards the service sector and away from manufacturing. The "Made in China" story is falling apart as Mexico and Brazil become more attractive for global manufacturers.

One look at this chart tells you why: labor costs approximately five times more in China than two decades ago and  are now higher
than in Mexico.

In its year-ahead outlook, Credit Suisse includes this chart as part of its argument for being bullish on Mexico, noting that Mexico's manufacturing competitiveness — particularly against China — is as strong as its ever been.

Mexico also benefits from having 81% of its exports flow to the US, an economy that is widely seen as the best Western economy, while Brazil, which has also seen manufacturing competitiveness measured by average US dollar wages in the sector increase against China, exports 17% of its goods to China, one of this highest proportions among emerging markets.

Now, it's worth noting that in the last year, Mexico has taken an edge on labor costs against China because of the dollar's strength, which benefits free-floating currencies like the peso over pegged currencies like the yuan, but this is a blip in the grand scheme of this shift over the last two decades.

Brazil, on the other hand, has all sorts of economic problems — not the least of which is a collapse in value of the real against the dollar — so their "gains" in competitiveness here have come with major costs. When measuring any US-related manufacturing impacts here, Mexico and China are more relevant comparisons regardless.

The real story here, though, is that the manufacturing story has simply changed in China and around the world.

For years the story in global manufacturing was all about China: labor was cheapest and consumption was highest.

And that is simply no longer the case.

(Leasing News provides this ad as a trade for appraisals
and equipment valuations provided by Ed Castagna)


Fernando's View
By Fernando F. Croce

An incendiary satire ("Chi-Raq") and a thoughtful documentary ("Hitchcock/Truffaut") come to theaters, while new DVD releases offer a funky comedy-drama ("Ricki and the Flash"), refreshing animation ("Shaun the Sheep"), and a classic look at a music legend ("Don't Look Back").

In Theaters:

Chi-Raq (Lionsgate): Veteran provocateur Spike Lee (“Do the Right Thing”) brings his customary confrontational passion to this brash musical satire, which critics are calling his strongest film in years. A sort of updated version of Aristophanes’ classical comedy “Lysistrata,” the story morphs ancient Greece into 21st-century Chicago, following rap star Chi-Raq (Nick Cannon) and his nemesis Cyclops (Wesley Snipes). Warfare between the two men leads to tragedy, but it’s not until Chi-Raq’s beautiful lover Lysistrata (Teyonah Parris) takes an unconventional stand that a ceasefire seems possible. With bracing cinematic verve, Lee shapes the film as a wild collage of styles, ranging from spoken-word poetic dialogue and gospel interludes to color-coded compositions and a one-man Greek chorus played by Samuel L. Jackson. The results are vibrant, unwieldy and essential.

Hitchcock/Truffaut (Cohen Media Group): A fascinating friendship between two very different directors is examined in this smart and engaging documentary, directed by respected film critic Kent Jones. An exacting neurotic forever known as the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock envisioned a dangerous world perpetually on the verge of chaos. More than three decades his junior, French New Wave staple Francois Truffaut favored freewheeling stories with generous characters. Yet they became friends over a series of interviews that shed light on their lives and films. With insights from a virtual who’s who of current directors (including Martin Scorsese, David Fincher and James Gray), Jones’ picture employs gorgeous clips and incisive anecdotes to illustrate how Hitchcock’s influence continues to shine strongly even to this day.

Netflix Tip: Gruff and avuncular, Robert Loggia (1930-2015) proved to be a welcome presence in many a film. So check out this terrific character actor’s best roles, which include “Scarface” (1983), “Jagged Edge” (1985), “Big” (1988), and “Lost Highway” (1997).


Ricki and the Flash (Sony): Known for his funky humanism, Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme returns to "Rachel Getting Married" territory with this spiky suburban comedy-drama. Meryl Streep stars as Ricki, who as a young woman left her family in order o pursue her dream of heading a rock 'n' roll band. Now mostly living off sporadic gigs with her smitten fellow musician Greg (Rick Springfield), Ricki gets a chance to make amends following a call from her ex-husband Pete (Kevin Kline). But can the prospect of a family reunion survive the thorny emotions of her troubled daughter Julie (Streep's real-life daughter Mamie Gummer)? Working from an offbeat screenplay by Diablo Cody ("Juno"), Demme and his talented cast paint an emotionally rich portrait of human joys and foibles, giving this bittersweet tale a genuinely musical soul.

Shaun the Sheep (Lions Gate): A refreshing change of pace for audiences weary of noisy animation, this stop-motion feature from the British studio Aardman offers mischievous but essentially gentle humor. The story centers on the eponymous sheep (voiced by Justin Fletcher), who, yearning for a bit of excitement away from Mossy Bottom Farm, hopes for a trip in the big city. When an accident causes the Farmer (John Sparkes) to lose his memory, however, Shaun and sheep dog Blitzer must find a way to restore his identity and take everybody back home, all while dodging a keen animal-control worker. Directed by Aardman veterans Richard Starzak and Mark Burton, the movie is a fleet and funny ride with plenty of the elaborate gags and understated wisdom that made "Wallace & Gromit" such a favorite with animation buffs.

Don't Look Back (Criterion): Generation-defining troubadour Bob Dylan takes center stage in this endlessly fascinating, revealing documentary, which follows the music superstar's 1965 tour of England. Holding court with other counterculture performers (including Joan Baez, Alan Price and Donovan), Dylan fields questions from curious reporters, comes up with lyrics for new songs, and generally shows off his rebellious, mischievous creative spark. A specialist in inquisitive documentaries, director D.A. Pennebaker ("Monterey Pop") uses the rough, grainy footage for an uniquely intimate look at Dylan's music and personality as he performs some of his most iconic numbers. The soundtrack includes the title song, "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" and "Only a Pawn in Their Game."



Bode Ace Menkin Birthday
He Turned Ten Years Old Yesterday

Bode Ace Menkin, AKC
Born December 10, 2005 Madera, California

When Sue and I went looking for a puppy, two years after our dog Samantha passed away, we drove over two hours, 133 miles to see a litter of pups, after seeing photos on the internet.

We were looking for a female, as Sue always had female dogs. The owners let the puppies out from their outside pen, and this black dog ran right up to her, while the others ran in all directions. She picked the dog up, and it licked her on the face immediately. Sue laughed, then turned the dog to learn it sex, and when discovered, in a loud voice, said “Ugh!  A boy dog! No way!”

And the dog licked her again on the face, and the other dogs continued to play. And this dog’s tail was wagging, too, as she put him on the ground.

The dog was $800. So we made this deal, she would pay $400 for the front part of the dog, and I would pay $400 for the back side, which also meant I was to take care of all the poop and was responsible for training the dog.

The amazing thing is we drove back, and Bode slept the entire trip back in my lap, all the way. We never stopped for a potty break for him.

Today I walk with Bode off leash, about an hour each day, and he often sits next to me in his dog’s bed as I work on the computer.

A more current photo:


Cattle Dog Mix
Madera, California Adopt-a-Dog


ID#: 9463724-1948/18
Breed: Cattle Dog Mix
Color: Tricolor (Tan/Brown & Black & White)
Age: Adult
Size: Med. 26-60 lbs. (12-27 kg)
Sex: Male

"Rufus is an adult Cattle Dog mix boy who weighs about 35 pounds.  He is super loving and wants nothing more than to cuddle.  He is calm and thoughtful and the real deal –a good boy looking for a good forever friend."

To submit an application for this pet please click here:

Fees are $100 for dogs which includes spay/neuter surgery, vaccines, and $10 microchipping.

Shelter: Madera County Animal Control
Pet ID #: 9463724-1948/18
Phone: (559) 675-7891
Fax: (559) 675-7617
14269 Road 28
Madera, CA 93638

Old shelter building: Mon - Fri: 10am-4pm
New Adoption Center : Mon - Fri: 12pm-4pm
All: Saturday: 10am-2pm

Adopt a Pet

Receivables Management LLC
John Kenny

• End of Lease Negotiations & Enforcement 
• Third-Party Commercial Collections | ph 315-866-1167

(Leasing News provides this ad as a trade for investigative
reporting provided by John Kenny)


News Briefs---

Prosper FinTech Loan Linked to San Bernardino Terrorist
– A Preliminary Assessment on How it Occurred

The Uber or Airbnb of finance will prove elusive still lies with the banks, not the upstarts

Refinancing, Refined: Why This Company Is the 'TurboTax for Mortgages'

VW staff began working on cheat in 2005 to break into U.S. market

Chinese Billionaire Plans Electric Car Plant in Nevada


Credit Analyst
Anaheim,CA; Federal Way, WA; Tigard, OR

$150K -$500k equipment leases, financing (recourse/non-recourse lines of credit)
Requires five or more years of credit underwriting. Work with third party originators, brokers, as well as clients & vendors of Umpqua Bank
Please click here for more information.
A subsidiary of Umpqua Bank




--You May Have Missed It

9.45 Million Used Car sales 3rd Quarter
  3 Years and Newer 39%, up from 2014 3rd Q


SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer

Slip into a Steady Slumber
Tips for Curing Insomnia


Football Poem

   The Guy in the Glass
by Dale Wimbrow, (c) 1934
When you get what you want in your struggle for pelf,
And the world makes you King for a day,
Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that guy has to say.

For it isn't your Father, or Mother, or Wife,
Who judgement upon you must pass.
The feller whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the guy staring back from the glass.
He's the feller to please, never mind all the rest,
For he's with you clear up to the end,
And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the guy in the glass is your friend.
You may be like Jack Horner and "chisel" a plum,
And think you're a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you're only a bum
If you can't look him straight in the eye.
You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you've cheated the guy in the glass.
In grateful memory of our father, the author,
Dale Wimbrow 1895-1954




Sports Briefs----

The 7 greatest player revenge games in NFL history

Blaine Gabbert is playing just well enough to screw over the 49ers

Michael Crabtree on his new contract: 'It's pretty neat'

Rams will wear all-yellow uniforms in final home game

John Madden recovering from open heart surgery

U.S. Bank and Vikings to fund small places to play


Receivables Management LLC

John Kenny

• End of Lease Negotiations & Enforcement 
• Third-Party Commercial Collections | ph 315-866-1167|

(Leasing News provides this ad as a trade for investigative
reporting provided by John Kenny)



California Nuts Briefs---

Surprise: California friendly to new business

California wineries drawn into trade fight between U.S., Canada and Mexico

Generational split may be emerging over acceptance of Levi’s Stadium


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to help support the growth of Lease Police)


“Gimme that Wine”

Napa Valley's Vin65, Gliding Eagle seek to ease China
 wine direct-to-consumer shipments

'Star Wars': What would Luke Skywalker drink?

Nova Scotia offers $1M incentive to double grape production

Free Mobile Wine Program

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page


This Day in American History

     1620 - 103 Mayflower pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.  Later that day, Myles Standish and a group of 18 settlers are attacked by 30 Native Americans, which became known as the "First Encounter".
    1725 – George Mason (d. 1795) was born in Fairfax County, Virginia Colony.  A planter, politician, and a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, he was one of three men who refused to sign. His writings, including substantial portions of “Virginia Declaration of Rights” of 1776, and his “Objections to this Constitution of Government” (1787) in opposition to ratification of the Constitution, have been a significant influence on political thought and events. The Virginia Declaration of Rights served as a basis for the Bill of Rights, of which he has been deemed the father.
    1789 – The University of North Carolina was chartered by the NC General Assembly.
    1815 - The Senate created a select committee on finance and a uniform national currency, predecessor of the Senate Committee on Finance.
    1816 - Indiana became the 16th state of the Union.
    1830 – Kamehaha V (d. 1872) was born Lot Kapuāiwa in Honolulu.  He reigned as King of the Kingdom of Hawai’i from 1863 to 1872. He worked diligently for his people and kingdom and was described as the last great traditional chief.  With no heir at his death, the next monarch would be elected by the legislature. Kamehameha V's cousin William C. Lunalillio, a Kamehameha by birth from his mother, demanded a general election and won. The legislature agreed and Lunalilo became the first elected King of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
    1846 - In one of the most unusual battles in military history, US soldiers of the Mormon Battalion were attacked by a herd of wild longhorn bulls while camped on the San Pedro River in Arizona just 10 miles from present-day Tombstone. Men and mules were injured and wagons damaged. Several of the bulls were shot and killed. Lieutenant George Stoneman, one of the injured soldiers, later became Governor of California in 1883-87.
    1844 - Dr. Horace Wells, a dentist of Hartford, CT, was the first to discover the anesthetic property of nitrous oxide (laughing gas). On this date, while under the influence of gas, he had one of his teeth extracted by Dr. John M. Riggs. The use of the gas was not successful, as he did not know that it had to be combined with oxygen, a discovery that was not made until 24 years later. Holy Cow.
    1862 - Union General Burnside's engineers finally began to assemble the bridges around Fredericksburg, Virginia. He had replaced General George McClelland as head of the Army of the Potomac. Confederate snipers in Fredericksburg picked away at the builders, so Yankee artillery began a barrage that reduced to rubble many of the buildings along the river. Three regiments ran the sharpshooters out of the town, and the bridge was completed soon after. By evening on the 11th, the Union army was crossing the Rappahannock. By the next day, the entire army was on the other side and Burnside planned the actual attack. The Battle of Fredericksburg, which took place on December 13, was an enormous defeat for the Army of the Potomac. Ten percent of Burnside's soldiers were casualties. Lee lost less than 5,000 men while Burnside lost 12,600.
    1863 - Birthday of Annie Jump Cannon (d. 1941), Dover, DE. American astronomer and discoverer of five stars.  Author and winner of the National Academy of Science Draper Medal.
    1872 - Already appearing as a well-known figure of the Wild West in popular dime novels, Buffalo Bill Cody makes his first stage appearance on this day, in a Chicago-based production of “The Scouts of the Prairie”. Cody's work as a scout in the western Indian wars laid the foundation for his later fame. From 1868 to 1872, he fought in 16 battles with Indians, participating in a celebrated victory over the Cheyenne in 1869. One impressed general praised Cody's "extraordinarily good services as trailer and fighter . . . his marksmanship being very conspicuous." Later, Cody again gained national attention by serving as a hunting guide for famous Europeans and Americans eager to experience a bit of the "Wild West" before it disappeared. As luck would have it, one of Cody's customers was Edward Judson, a successful writer who penned popular dime novels under the name Ned Buntline. Impressed by his young guide's calm competence and stories of dramatic fights with Indians, Buntline made Cody the hero of a highly imaginative Wild West novel published in 1869. When a stage version of the novel debuted in Chicago as “The Scouts of the Prairie”, Buntline convinced Cody to abandon his real-life western adventures to play a highly exaggerated version of himself in the play. Once he had a taste of the performing life, Cody never looked back. Though he continued to spend time scouting or guiding hunt trips in the West, Cody remained on the Chicago stage for the next 11 years. Buffalo Bill Cody was the hero of more than 1,700 variant issues of dime novels, and his star shone even more brightly when his world-famous “Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show” debuted in 1883. The show was still touring when Buffalo Bill Cody died in 1917.
    1882 - The first theater lit by electric lights was illuminated in Boston, Massachusetts. Some 650 lamps were used to light the theater and stage for a performance of a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. The light bulb had been invented by Thomas Edison in 1879 and had first been installed in a building in 1881.
    1882 - Birthday of the great Fiorello La Guardia (d. 1947) at New York, NY. Popularly known as the “Little Flower,” La Guardia was not too busy as Mayor of New York City to read the “funnies” to radio listeners during the New York newspaper strike. He said of himself: “When make a mistake it’s a beaut!”
    1884 - The American Association voted to keep its ban on overhand pitching and to continue to allow foul balls caught on one bounce to count as outs. It abolished the tradition of team captains flipping for the honor of batting first. Now the home team will automatically bat first.  
    1909 - Colored moving pictures were demonstrated at Madison Square Garden.
    1913 - Birthday of Mary Virginia Martin (d. 1990) at Weatherford, TX.  American stage star best known for her title role in the Broadway and television productions of “Peter Pan”. She won Tony awards for her starring roles in “South Pacific” and “Peter Pan”.
    1914 – The Stockton Street Tunnel in San Francisco was completed.   
    1917 - 19 black soldiers hanged for alleged participation in Houston riot
    1917 - The Philadelphia Phillies sold star pitcher, and future Hall of Famer, Grover Cleveland Alexander, twice a 30-game winner, and his personal catcher “Reindeer” Bill Killefer, to the Cubs for two players and $5000. Phil’s owner William Baker later admitted he made the trade because, "I needed the money." The 5th-place Cubs expected the addition of Alexander to greatly strengthen their staff, but Alex was drafted in the Army.  Alexander went on to win 363 games in his career.
   1919 - The citizens of Enterprise, Alabama erected a monument to the boll weevil.
    1922 - Perez Prado (d. 1989) birthday in Matanzas, Cuba.  He is often referred to as the King of the Mambo.  At the height of the mambo movement, in 1955, Pérez hit the American charts at number one with a cha-cha version of "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White". This arrangement held the spot for 10 consecutive weeks, sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.  The song also went to number one in the UK and in Germany.  In 1958 one of Perez's own compositions, "Patricia", became the last record to ascend to No. 1 on the Jockeys and Top 100 charts, both of which gave way the following week to the then newly introduced Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song also went to number one in Germany, and, in the UK, it reached number eight.
    1923 - Marky Markowitz born, Washington, DC, great trumpet player.
    1924 – “Mr. Inside”, Felix “Doc” Blanchard (d. 2009), was born in McColl, SC.  He became the first ever junior to win the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, and was the first ever football player to win the James E. Sullivan Award, all in 1945.  He teamed with Glenn Davis on the 1944-45-46 Army teams (Davis won the Heisman in 1946, the year after Blanchard won it). They formed one of the most lethal rushing combinations in football history. In his three seasons at West Point, Blanchard scored 38 TDs, gained 1,908 yards and earned the nickname "Mr. Inside." Teammate Davis earned the nickname "Mr. Outside" because of his speed and in November 1945, they both shared the cover of Time magazine.
    1926 – Big Mama Thornton was born (d. 1984) Willie Mae Thornton in Ariton, AL.  She was the first to record Leiber and Stoller’s “Hound Dog” in 1952, which became her biggest hit. It spent seven weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1953 and sold almost two million copies.
    1928 - At the National League meeting, President John Heydler proposed the designated hitter for pitchers to improve and speed up the game. He contended fans were tired of seeing weak-hitting pitchers come to bat. Heydler referred to his idea as "the tenth regular."
    1930 - Another ominous sign that the nation was sliding towards a prolonged and difficult economic slump, as New York's branch of Bank of the United States announced that it had gone belly-up. Up until its downfall, the Bank held the savings of some 400,000 depositors, including a number of immigrants; its subsequent demise imperiled the finances of roughly one-third of New York and stood as the nation's single worst bank failure.
    1931 - Birthday of Rita Moreno, Humacao, Puerto Rico.  She is the first performer to win all four major entertainment awards: 1962 Academy Award for her work in the movie “West Side Story”; 1975 Tony for “Gomez in The Ritz”; Grammy for her recording work with “The Electric Company”; and Emmys for her work in “The Muppet Show” and “The Rockford Files”.  On December 4, 2015 she was awarded the Kennedy Center Honor.
    1932 - Very cold weather prevailed along the West Coast. San Francisco received 0.8 inch of snow, and at the airport the temperature dipped to 20 degrees. At Sacramento, CA, the mercury dipped to 17 degrees to establish an all-time record low for that location. Morning lows were below freezing from the 9th to the 15th at Sacramento, and the high on the 11th was just 34 degrees. The cold wave dealt severe damage to truck crops and orange groves in the Sacramento Valley.
    1934 - The NL voted to permit night baseball, authorizing a maximum of seven games by any team installing lights. The AL did not grant permission for night games until 1937.
    1939 - Actress Marlene Dietrich records her hit song "Falling in Love Again." Dietrich also became a U.S. citizen in 1939. Born in Berlin, Dietrich came to the United States in 1930 to make movies after considerable success on the German screen. She allegedly refused several offers to return to Germany to star in Nazi films. She became a U.S. citizen in 1939 and worked tirelessly during and after World War II to sell war bonds and entertain troops. She was awarded the Medal of Freedom and named Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor.
    1940 – David Gates, of Bread, was born in Tulsa, OK.
    1941 - Adolf Hitler declares war on the United States, bringing America, which had been neutral, into the European conflict. The bombing of Pearl Harbor surprised even Germany. Although Hitler had made an oral agreement with his Axis partner Japan that Germany would join a war against the United States, he was uncertain as to how the war would be engaged. Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor answered that question. The failure of the New Deal, argued Hitler, was the real cause of the war, as President Roosevelt, supported by plutocrats and Jews, attempted to cover up for the collapse of his economic agenda. "First he incites war, then falsifies the causes, then odiously wraps himself in a cloak of Christian hypocrisy and slowly but surely leads mankind to war," declared Hitler-and the Reichstag leaped to their feet in thunderous applause.
    1941 - A Japanese invasion fleet attacked Wake Island, which was defended by 439 US marines, 75 sailors and 6 soldiers. The defenders sank 4 Japanese ships, damaged 8 and destroyed a submarine.     
    1942 - Japanese Admiral Tanaka's "Tokyo Express" again attempts the delivery of supplies to the Japanese forces on Guadalcanal. The cargo is dropped over board and only 1/4 of it reaches the troops on shore. Machine gun fire from US PT boats sinks much of it. One of the Japanese destroyers is sunk by the defenders as well.
    1943 - Birthday of John Kerry, Aurora, CO.  Former US Senator from Massachusetts and current Secretary of State.
    1944 – Brenda Lee, “Little Miss Dynamite” was born Brenda Mae Tarpley in Atlanta.  The top-charting solo female vocalist of the 1960s, she had 47 US chart hits during the 1960s, and is ranked fourth in that decade surpassed only by Elvis, the Beatles, and Ray Charles.  She is perhaps best known in the United States for her 1960 hit "I’m Sorry", and 1958's "Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree", a United States holiday standard for more than 50 years.  At age six, she won a local singing contest sponsored by local elementary schools. The reward was a live appearance on an Atlanta radio show, “Starmakers Revue”, where she performed for the next year.  Her father died in 1953, and by the time she turned ten, she was the primary breadwinner of her family through singing at events and on local radio and television shows.  Lee achieved her biggest success on the pop charts in the late 1950s through the mid-1960s with her biggest hits including "Jambalaya", "Sweet Nothins" (#4), "I Want to Be Wanted" (#1), "All Alone Am I" (#3) and "Fool #1" (#3).
    1946 – UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund, was established.
    1947 – The Pacific Coast League’s application to become a Major League was rejected.
    1948 - Top Hits
“Buttons and Bows” - Dinah Shore
“On a Slow Boat to China” - The Kay Kaiser Orchestra (vocal: Harry Babbitt & Gloria Wood
“A Little Bird Told Me” - Evelyn Knight
“One Has My Name” (“The Other Has My Heart”) - Jimmy Wakely
    1949 – Chicago Bears QB Johnny Lujack threw 6 TD passes as the Bears routed the Chicago Cardinals, 52-29.  In the AAFC’s final game, the Cleveland Browns defeated the SF 49ers, 21-7 for the championship.
    1950 - George “Gabby’ Hayes veteran of Western movies, hosted two series: the first was a 15 minute show; the second a half-hour Saturday morning show.  On both shows, Hayes showed clips from old westerns.
    1951 - Joe DiMaggio announced his retirement from baseball. Joltin’ Joe played only for the New York Yankees during his 13-year career. DiMaggio was a three-time MVP and an All-Star in each of his seasons. During his tenure with the Yankees, the club won ten American League pennants and nine World Series championships. His lifetime batting average was .325; and his hitting streak of 56 consecutive games still stands as one of MLB’s records least likely to be broken. Joe’s two brothers, Vince and Dom, were also Major Leaguer center fielders.  
    1952 - An audience of 70,000 people watched from 31 theatres as Richard Tucker starred in "Carmen". The event was the first pay-tv production of an opera. Ticket prices ranged from $1.20 to $7.20.
I went to summer camp with his son for several years in White Mountain, New Hampshire. Tucker was a famous Broadway/opera star in his day.
    1956 - Top Hits
Singing the Blues - Guy Mitchell
A Rose and a Baby Ruth - George Hamilton IV
Rock-A-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody - Jerry Lewis
Singing the Blues - Marty Robbins
    1956 – A MLB Players Association was established with Bob Feller as president.
    1957 - In one of the biggest scandals to ever hit rock music, Jerry Lee Lewis married his 14-year-old cousin, Myra Gale Brown, daughter of his cousin Jim.  Lewis' first marriage was still valid; the divorce wouldn't be finalized for six months. When the story broke in England a few weeks later, Lewis' career was seriously damaged.   
    1959 - The Yankees trade Hank Bauer, Marv Throneberry, Don Larsen and Norm Siebern to the Kansas City A's for outfielder Roger Maris and two other players.  He finished his MLB career playing for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1967 and 1968. Maris was an AL All-Star from 1959 through 1962, AL MVP in 1960 and 1961, and an AL Gold Glove winner in 1960. Maris appeared in seven World Series, five with the Yankees and two with the Cardinals.  Perhaps most importantly, he teamed with the dangerous Mickey Mantle in a lineup that top to bottom could hit with power.
    1960 - Baltimore quarterback Johnny Unitas failed to throw a touchdown pass in a 10-3 loss at Los Angeles, snapping his NFL record streak of 47 consecutive games with a scoring toss.
    1960 - Aretha Franklin made her stage debut at New York's Village Vanguard.
    1961 - Motown Records achieves their first number one song when The Marvelettes' "Please Mr. Postman" reaches the top. The session musicians on the track included 22 year old Marvin Gaye on drums.
    1961 - Elvis Presley started a 20 week run at the top of the Billboard album chart with "Blue Hawaii", his seventh US #1 album.
    1961 - The first American troops were sent to Vietnam. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy ordered 425 helicopter crewmen to Vietnam to provide support and training for South Vietnamese forces. Historians consider this the first day of the war in Vietnam. Politicians do not.
    1964 - Top Hits
“Ringo” - Lorne Greene (“Bonanza”)
“Mr. Lonely” - Bobby Vinton
“She’s Not There” - The Zombies
“Once a Day” - Connie Smith
    1964 – Rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Sam Cooke was slain at the Hacienda Motel in downtown LA. One of the most popular and influential R & B singers of his generation, Cooke died under violent and mysterious circumstances. According to court testimony, Cooke, who was married to Barbara Campbell, picked up a 22 year old woman named Elisa Boyer at a party. He promised her a ride home but they ended up at a motel. Boyer claims Cooke forced her into the motel room and began ripping her clothes off. She managed to escape with his clothes while he was in the bathroom. He pursued, wearing only a sports coat and shoes. While she called police from a phone booth, Cooke began pounding on the door of the office of the motel's manager, Bertha Franklin. He demanded to know where Campbell was and allegedly broke the door open. Cooke reportedly assaulted Franklin, who shot him three times, and kept coming at her, who then beat Cooke with a stick.
    1965 - The third Acid Test was held at the Big Beat night club in Palo Alto. It featured the Warlocks band (future Grateful Dead), a light show, and Stewart Brand's "America Needs Indians" slide show.
    1965 - Ray Charles' "Crying Time" enters the Hot 100 where it stays for 39 weeks, making it to #6. It is his 44th chart entry.
    1967 - Frank Sinatra records with the Duke Ellington Band, Hollywood, California (Reprise FS1024).
    1968 - The Labor Department announced that the nation's unemployment rate had dwindled to 3.3%, the lowest mark in 15 years.
    1971 - The Godfather of Soul, James Brown, has his 32nd album released this week, "Revolution of the Mind," subtitled "Live at the Apollo, Volume Three." It opens with a song whose title only James Brown could have come up with, "It's a Brand New Day So Open Up the Door and Let a Man Come In to Do The Popcorn."
    1971 - Carly Simon's "Anticipation" is released.
    1972 – Apollo 17, the sixth and last Apollo mission, landed on the Moon.
    1972 - Top Hits
“I Am Woman” - Helen Reddy
“If You Don’t Know Me by Now” - Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes
“You Ought to Be with Me” - Al Green
“Got the All Overs for You” (“All Over Me”) - Freddie Hart & The Heartbeats
    1972 - Genesis plays their first date in the U.S. at Brandeis University in Massachusetts. The group, which has yet to place an LP in the Top 200, consists of Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks.
    1972 - After a show in Knoxville, TN, James Brown was arrested and charged with "disorderly conduct" when a conversation Brown had with fans was somehow mistaken for an attempt to incite a riot. Charges were dropped after Brown threatened to sue the city for a million dollars due to police brutality.
    1973 - Ron Santo was traded to the Chicago White Sox from cross-town rivals, the Chicago Cubs. Santo became the first Major Leaguer to invoke the rule which permits 10-year veterans of a club to refuse to be traded. He turned down a trade to the California Angels.
    1973 - Karen and Richard Carpenter received a gold record for their single, "Top of the World".
    1976 - Al Stewart debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 with "Year of the Cat". It peaked at #8, but not until March 1977.
    1978 - 6 masked men bound 10 employees at Lufthansa cargo area at NYC Kennedy Airport and made off with $5.8 M in cash and jewelry.  The movie “Goodfellas” was loosely based on this heist.
    1980 - Top Hits
“Lady” - Kenny Rogers
“More Than I Can Say” - Leo Sayer
“Another One Bites the Dust” - Queen
“Smoky Mountain Rain” - Ronnie Milsap
    1980 - “Magnum, PI“ premiered on CBS starring Tom Selleck in the title role of Thomas Magnum, private investigator in Hawaii. Other cast regulars were John Hillerman as Jonathan Quayle Higgins, Roger E. Mosley as Theodore Calvin (“TV’) and Larry Maretti as Orville “Rick’ Wright. Final episode aired May 1, 1988. “Magnum” fans enjoy an open house at “Magnum Memorabilia’ (the nonprofit research/production foundation and full-service fan information clearinghouse) in celebration of this day every year. Episode viewings and costume/prop exhibits are featured. Contact for more information.
    1981 - It was Muhammad Ali’s 61st -- and last -- fight. He lost to future champ Trevor Berbick.
    1982 - Toni Basil reached the #1 position on the pop music charts for the first time, with her single, "Mickey". The chorus: “Hey Mickey, you’re so fine, you’re so fine, you blow my mind, hey Mickey, hey Mickey.” Romantic, huh?
    1983 - Thoroughbred John Henry became the first race horse to earn more than $4 million when he won the Hollywood Turf Cup under jockey Chris McCarron.
    1985 - Hugh Scrutton is killed in his computer store in Sacramento, California, by a mail package that explodes in his hands. By the time he was finally apprehended, the "Unabomber", so named because his earliest attacks were directed at universities, had been responsible for the deaths of 3 people and the injuries of 23 others. After two months of surveillance, the FBI finally arrested Ted Kaczynski in 1996. Inside his cabin were bombs and writings that tied him to the crimes. In January 1998, while awaiting trial, Kaczynski tried to commit suicide in his cell. Still, he resisted his lawyer's attempts to plead insanity and instead pleaded guilty. Although prosecutors originally sought the death penalty, Kaczynski eventually accepted a life sentence with no right to appeal.
    1985 - General Electric acquires RCA Corp and its subsidiary, NBC.
    1985 - Dow Jones average closed above 1,500 for the first time, 1,511.70.
    1985 - With the season still in progress, the Chicago Bears declared their intention to appear in and win the Super Bowl. Members of the team, known as Chicago Bears Shufflin’ Crew, released their "Superbowl Shuffle". The Bears went on to defeat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, 46-10. “You better start makin’ Your Superbowl plans. But don’t get ready or go to any trouble, Unless you practice The Superbowl Shuffle.”
    1988 - Top Hits
“Look Away” - Chicago
“How Can I Fail?” - Breathe
“I Don’t Want Your Love” - Duranduran
“If You Ain’t Lovin’” (“You Ain’t Livin’”) - George Strait
   1989 - The Recording Industry Association of America certifies four Led Zeppelin albums as multi-Platinum: "Presence" (2 million), "Led Zeppelin" (4 million), "Physical Graffiti" (4 million) and "In Through The Out Door" (5 million).
    1989 - Strong Santa Ana winds developed across southern California and parts of central California. Winds in Kern County of central California gusted to 100 mph near Grapevine. The high winds reduced visibilities to near zero in the desert areas, closing major interstate highways east of Ontario CA
    1992 – A violent nor’easter slammed the east coast, causing flooding and damage into the millions.  For two days, it remained over the Mid-Atlantic before moving offshore. In Maryland, the snowfall unofficially reached 48 in; if verified, the total would have been the highest in the state's history. About 120,000 people were left without power in the state due to high winds. Along the Maryland coast, the storm was less severe than the Perfect Strom in the previous year, although the strongest portion of the storm remained over New Jersey for several days. In the state, winds reached 80 mph in Cape May, and tides peaked at 10.4 ft. in Perth Amboy. The combination of high tides and 25 ft. waves caused the most significant flooding in the state since the Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962. Several highways and portions of the NYC Subway and Port Authority Trans-Hudson systems systems were closed due to the storm. Throughout New Jersey, the nor'easter damaged about 3,200 homes and caused an estimated $750 million in damage.
    1993 - Snoop Doggy Dogg’s "Doggy Style" was number one on U.S. album charts. The rest of the top five: 2-"Vs.", Pearl Jam; 3-"Music Box", Mariah Carey; 4-"The Spaghetti Incident?", Guns N' Roses; 5-"The Beavis & Butt-Head Experience", Various artists.
    1995 - "Gangsta's Paradise" from the movie "Dangerous Minds" by Coolio, featuring L.V. tops the year-end Billboard Hot 100 singles chart followed by TLC's "Waterfalls" and Stone Temple Pilots' "Creep."
    1995 - "Cracked Rear View" by Hootie and the Blowfish tops the year's album chart followed by Garth Brooks' "The Hits" and "II" by Boyz II Men.
    1996 - Following the example of America Online, Prodigy announced it would provide unlimited use of its service for a flat fee of $19.95 per month. Prodigy, like other proprietary online services, was struggling to stay afloat in the face of competition from Internet service providers. Ultimately, Prodigy embraced the competition and transformed itself into an Internet access provider.
    1997 - Negotiators from around the world (more than 150 countries) agreed on a package of measures that for the first time would legally obligate industrial countries to cut emissions of waste industrial (greenhouse) gases that scientists say are warming the Earth's atmosphere.
    2000 - Alex Rodriguez signs the richest contract in sports history, a ten-year deal with the Rangers worth $252 million. The quarter billion dollars doubles the previous high of $126 million paid by the NBA's Timberwolves to Kevin Garnett in a six-year agreement signed in October, 1997.
    2002 - Musicologist and author Rob Durkee compiled a list of The Top Ten Christmas Songs of All Time (according to sales and radio air play)
1. White Christmas - Bing Crosby - 1942
2. Silent Night - Bing Crosby - 1936
3. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Gene Autry - 1949
4. The Little Drummer Boy - Harry Simeone Chorale - 1958
5. Jingle Bell Rock - Bobby Helms - 1957
6. The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole - 1946
7. The Chipmunk Song - David Seville and the Chipmunks - 1958
8. Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee - 1958
9. Blue Christmas - Elvis Presley - 1957
10. Jingle Bells - Bing Crosby / The Andrews Sisters - 1943
    2003 - Andy Pettitte inks a three-year, $31.5 million deal with his 'hometown' Astros. The thirty-one year old Texan, who compiled a 149-78 won-loss record with a 3.94 ERA during his nine-year stint in pinstripes turned down better offers to stay with the Yankees or go to the rival Red Sox.
    2003 - MTV gives viewers a glimpse into the holiday season at the home of Ozzy Osbourne and his family with "The Osbourne Family Christmas Special." A wide range of celebrity guests join in on the festivities, including Jessica Simpson, who duets with Ozzy on "Winter Wonderland," and newlyweds Dave Navarro and Carmen Electra, who are shown baking holiday cookies.
    2008 - The Red Sox unveil their new, but familiar “Hanging Sox” logo. Originally sown on uniforms in 1931, the pair of red socks will now appear on most of the club's letterhead and signs, diminishing the use of the circular trademark which contain the words "Boston Red Sox".
    2008 – Bernie Madoff was arrested and charged with securities fraud in a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.  They should rename it Madoff Scheme.
    2013 – MLB owners voted to ban home plate collisions over concerns about serious injuries recently suffered by catchers such as Buster Posey and Alex Avila. Baserunners will now be called out if they deliberately run into the opposing catcher, and will face a fine or suspension for particularly grievous offenses. Catchers will also be banned from blocking access to the plate without the ball.
    2014 – Detroit emerged from bankruptcy.  The city filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy on July 18, 2013, the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history by debt, estimated at $18–20 billion.  Debt was negotiated and liquidated, pensioners were reduced despite state law against it, and union contracts were renegotiated.
    2014 - A 219-year-old time capsule was excavated from beneath the cornerstone of the Massachusetts State House in Boston; the capsule, first found in 1855 and reburied, is likely the oldest in the U.S.  The capsule was buried in 1795 by Paul Revere and Samuel Adams.  As Boston Museum of Fine Arts Conservator Pam Hatchfield chiseled away for hours to free the box, five silver coins spilled from the stone block.



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