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Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Today's Leasing News Headlines

Who Puts the Lights on the Tree?
    Top 5 Exporters of Christmas Decorations and
        Christmas Tree Lights in 2019, Millions of Dollar Export
Pictures from the Past
    Featured in Leasing News
Despite the Pandemic, New Study Finds
    Americans Are Starting New Businesses at Record Pace
Leasing Industry Positions Available
    Please View Job Qualifications
Mortgage Rates Continue to Drop,
    Causing ‘Buying Frenzy’
ELFA Reports New Business Down 23%
    from October to December
Senate Approves Cannabis Research Bill
    "Cannabis has shown to be surprisingly recession-proof'
Brean Capital Secures $10 Million in Corporate Notes
    for Target Lease Capital
Technology to Transform Digital Strategy
    By the Alta Group and Reimagine Advisors
Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation Elects Officers
    and Welcomes New Trustees Following Annual Meetings
The Bells of St. Mary/All that Heaven Allows
   Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Kiss Kiss Bang Bank
      Three Days of the Condor--Christmas Movies by F. Croce
    Mission, Kansas  Adopt-a-Dog
Crossing the Equator Line, Worthy "Wags" Ritual
    Dashiell Menkin, Chief Electrician in the Military Sealift Command
News Briefs---
President Elect Joe Biden receives
    vaccine in public show of support
Justice Department sues Walmart
    over alleged role in opioid crisis
Millions of low-income Americans will receive Internet
    access rebates under new $7 billion broadband stimulus plan
Lyft and Uber to offer millions of free rides
      for ‘vulnerable’ to get COVID vaccine
New Labor Department rule would let employers
    distribute tips more widely

You May have Missed---
Capital One looks to shed big suburban office
     in Chicago, 430 Employees 3 floors, most working from home now

Broker/Funder/Industry Lists | Features (wrilter's columns)
Top Ten Stories Chosen by Readers | Top Stories last six months (Be Careful of Doing Business)
Leasing News Icon for Android Mobile Device

  Sports Brief----
   California Nuts Brief---
    "Gimme that Wine"
     This Day in History
       Daily Puzzle
         Weather, USA or specific area
          Traffic Live----

######## surrounding the article denotes it is a “press release,” it was not written by Leasing News nor has the information been verified. The source noted. When an article is signed by the writer, it is considered a “byline.” It reflects the opinion and research of the writer.



According to data extracted from the UN Comtrade database, China accounts for 70 percent of global exports of Christmas tree lighting sets and 83 percent of exports of other Christmas decorations excluding candles and natural trees.

As the chart illustrates, no other country comes even close to China’s role in putting the holiday spirit in our homes. With a total export value of $6.47 billion in 2019, China’s Christmas industry dwarfs those of second and third ranked Netherlands and Cambodia.

By Felix Richter, Statista


Pictures from the Past
Featured in Leasing News

Two Top Golfers
Jeff Rudin, Rick Wilbur
Charter Equipment Leasing


May 1993

Golf Champions: Western Association of Equipment Leasing Spring Conference Palm Springs, California, First Place Team: Ron Mitchell, Account Executive, ITT Capital Finance, Pleasanton, CA (far left), Kelly Hutchison, National Account Manager, Lease Pro, Marietta GA (front row, left) and Kevin Libert, VP, ITT Capital Finance (standing with visor).  Second place went to Kelly Long, Regional Marketing Manager, First Concord Acceptance, Corp., Denver, CO ( back row, third from left) and to Kelly's right, Jim Lahti, President, Affiliated Corporate Services, Inc. Dallas, TX., John Torbenson, President BJ Leasing, Inc., Bellevue, WA(bottom, right).
Closest to the hole: Phil Dushey, EVP, Global Leasing Services, New York, New York (standing, far right).
Longest Drive: Doug Hatch, AVP, Bank of the West, Walnut Creek, CA. (center, holding plaque).


Deborah J. Monosson
1994, April, Western Association of Equipment Leasing Conference, Monterey
(with John Colton)

 “I serve on the Executive Committee of the Commercial Finance Association, Treasurer of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation, Board of Directors of the Equipment Leasing Association and locally I am on the board of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge, a nonprofit that works to educate start up technology companies as well as help them make the right connections.

“My interests outside work are downhill skiing, bicycling (road not Mountain) and a faithful Red Sox fan. I probably attend 25-30 games a season, even when they're losing. Kit asked me if I miss my Father....he hasn't left. He's in work before me! He comes to the office every day, although I did give him Fridays off this summer!”


“Cha, Cha, Cha!” Sue Angelucci, Lisa Rafter, The Monitor; Len Sampaio, Security Financial Services; and Frank L. Frontario, Mercantile Lessors, Inc. shakin’ it on the way to Las Fiesta de Los Vientes.”
Western Association of Equipment Lessors, Regional Reporter, November, 1995




Despite the Pandemic, New Study Finds
Americans Are Starting New Businesses at Record Pace

By Caity Roach, Editor Coleman Report

2020 saw a large spike in new business applications. New figures from a study by LendingTree indicate that in the first 13 weeks of the year, an average of nearly 74,000 businesses applied for employer identification numbers (EINs) weekly. From the following week through mid-October — the latest available data — the average was nearly 89,000.

Here are some of the other key findings from LendingTree’s most recent report:

  • In 2020, there have been 1.26 million new business applications for high-propensity businesses (businesses with 1 or more employees).
  • 65% of the new businesses created during the pandemic are small businesses with few or no employees.
  • From March 27, 2020, to July 12, 2020, the number of weekly business applications for non-store (ecommerce) retailers grew by four times, from 5,070 to 20,370.
  • July 12 was the peak for business applications for non-store retailers. In the following 10 weeks, business applications fell to an average of about 15,400 weekly.

Not every state has seen the same level of dramatic business application growth. Wyoming, for example, has already surpassed its 2019 level of 18,200 new businesses while Nevada continues to see fewer applications each year.

LendingTree suggests that the increase in entrepreneurship is highly correlated with CARES Act unemployment payments, stimulus checks, and tax incentives. The additional $600 weekly in unemployment insurance payments increased the American personal savings rate to nearly 34% in April, the highest on record. Unemployment payments coupled with a new tax provision that allows qualified business owners to deduct up to 20% of their income created an incentive for people to set up new businesses and monetize side hustles.

Source:  Lending Tree (full article)

Originally appeared in "Main Street Monday"
Coleman Report, 28081 Marguerite Pkwy.
#4525, Mission Viejo, CA 92690


Leasing Industry Help Wanted




Mortgage Rates Continue to Drop,
Causing ‘Buying Frenzy’

Mortgage rates have continued to drop for several months, contributing to a red-hot housing market with buyers hoping to take advantage of the low rates. A recent survey from Freddie Mac shows rates have hit a new record low.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist, said in the survey announcement, “The housing market continues to surge higher and support an otherwise stagnant economy that has lost momentum in the last couple of months.

“Mortgage rates are at record lows and pushing many prospective homebuyers off the sidelines and into the market. Homebuyer sentiment is sanguine and purchase demand shows no real signs of waning at all heading into next year.”

According to the latest survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.67% “with an average 0.7 point for the week ending December 17, 2020.” This is the lowest mortgage rate ever recorded in the history of the survey, which started back in 1971.

This latest 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is a decrease from last week when it averaged 2.71%. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.73% during this same week last year.

Meanwhile, this week’s 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.21% and had an average 0.6 point. This is another decline from the previous week when it averaged 2.26%. During this time in 2019, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.19%.

The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.79% with an average 0.3 point, which is the same as it was the prior week. During this same week last year, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.36%.’s Chief Economist, Danielle Hale, said, “Low rates are one key factor contributing to the buying frenzy we've observed in the housing market. Buyers with a keen eye on getting a home this holiday season are likely to struggle both to find a house that checks all the boxes and to win in a competitive market. Despite these challenges, soaring buyer demand is keeping home sales at their highest pace in more than 15 years."

Source:   MR Report



ELFA Reports New Business Down 23%
from October to December

(Chart: Leasing News)

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s (ELFA) Monthly Leasing and Finance Index (MLFI-25), which reports economic activity from 35 companies representing a cross section of the $900 billion equipment finance sector, showed their overall new business volume for November was $7.3 billion, down 7 percent year-over-year from new business volume in November 2019. Volume was down 21 percent month-to-month from $9.2 billion in October. Year-to-date, cumulative new business volume was down almost 6 percent compared to 2019.

click to make larger
(Chart: ELFA)


ELFA President and CEO Ralph Petta reported:  “With a tumultuous election season behind us, the equipment finance industry reports slightly lower volume totals for the month. The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the U.S. economy surely has taken, and will continue to take, a toll on some members’ business operations. But, overall, the broader industry is performing well, with delinquencies and losses in very acceptable ranges. And, the roll out of vaccines should inject a renewed sense of optimism and hope by consumers and businesses alike, which will only bode well for our industry in the months ahead.”

Receivables over 30 days were 2.30 percent, up from 2.20 percent the previous month and up from 1.80 percent the same period in 2019. Charge-offs were 0.61 percent, a slight uptick from 0.60 percent the previous month and up from 0.43 percent in the year-earlier period.

Credit approvals totaled 70.4 percent, down from 72.3 percent in October. Total headcount for equipment finance companies was down 7.0 percent year-over-year.

click to make larger

click image to make larger

click image to make larger

click image to make larger

(Chart: ELFA)

Full Listing of 35 MLFI Participants

Bank of America Global Leasing
Bank of the West
BB&T Bank
BMO Harris Equipment Finance
Canon Financial Services
Caterpillar Financial Services
Citizens Asset Finance
Dell Financial Services
Fifth Third Bank
First American Equipment Finance, a City National Bank Company
Frost Equipment Leasing and Finance
GreatAmerica Financial Services
Hitachi Capital America
HP, Inc.
HPE Financial Services Company
Huntington Equipment Finance
John Deere Financial
Key Equipment Finance
LEAF Commercial Capital Inc.
M&T Bank
Marlin Capital Solutions
Merchants Bank Equipment Finance
PNC Equipment Finance
Societe Generale Equipment Finance
Siemens Financial Services
Stearns Bank
Stonebriar Commercial Finance
TCF Capital Solutions, a division of TCF National Bank
TD Equipment Finance
TIAA Commercial Finance, Inc.
US Bancorp Business Equipment Finance
Volvo Financial Services
Wells Fargo Equipment Finance



Senate Approves Cannabis Research Bill
"Cannabis has shown to be surprisingly recession-proof'


Cannabis has been having a great year compared to other industries. As one of the few industries considered essential during the coronavirus pandemic, cannabis has shown to be surprisingly recession-proof, bringing in millions of dollars in much-needed tax revenue. In addition, voters in five states approved some form of cannabis reform legislation on the November ballot and, shortly after that, the House of Representatives passed a historic cannabis legalization bill that would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and expunge marijuana-related offenses.

Just a week after the House approved the marijuana reform policy, the Senate approved a bipartisan bill designed to promote more research into the effects of cannabis. Filed last year, the Cannabidiol and Marihuana Research Expansion Act would provide a more streamlined application process for researchers who would like to study cannabis as well as encourage the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop marijuana-based medicines. After a slight amendment on the floor, the Senate advanced the bill by unanimous consent.

The lead sponsors of the cannabis research bill are Senators Dianne Feinstein, Brian Schatz and Chuck Grassley. They sought to attach marijuana and CBD research language to the National Defense Authorization Act back in June but were unsuccessful. Before the Senate voted on the bill, Feinstein filed an amendment that would add requirements for researchers who are studying cannabis and would like to increase the quantity of the plant they use. Additionally, the amendment would stipulate that state-licensed physicians who discuss the benefits and risks of cannabis and cannabis-related products would not be in violation of the Controlled Substances Act.

According to Schatz, the Cannabidiol and Marihuana Research Expansion Act will remove barriers that have prevented researchers from effectively studying the risks and benefits of cannabis thereby exploring more treatment options for a variety of diseases and illnesses. Most of the cannabis used for research is grown at the only federally authorized manufacturing facility at the University of Mississippi. However, research has found that not only is the cannabis produced there genetically closer to hemp than commercial cannabis, but it also has lower levels of CBD and THC.

The first section of the legislation covers the application process for institutions that require federal authorization to study marijuana, tasking the U.S. attorney general with approving applications or requesting supplemental information within a 60-day deadline. The second section concerns FDA approval of cannabis-derived drugs, with the DEA being mandated to approve applications for institutions seeking to manufacture cannabis-derived FDA approved drugs.

The final section requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to study the risks and benefits of marijuana, and to look into policies that are preventing research into cannabis grown in legal states and offer recommendations. Many medical organizations and pro-legalization groups have endorsed the bill.




##### Press Release ##############

Brean Capital Secures $10 Million in Corporate Notes
for Target Lease Capital

Williamsvile, NY – Targeted Lease Capital, LLC (“TLC”) announced the upsizing to $10.0 million of its existing corporate notes.  This $5.0 million incremental capital raise follows the company’s successful inaugural capital markets issuance in 2018.  The proceeds from this transaction will be used to leverage the company’s credit facilities and support the growth of its robust business lending platform.

Brean Capital, LLC served as Sole Placement Agent for both notes.

Michael Philbin, Chief Financial Officer at TLC, said, “We are pleased to announce the ability to raise additional capital during these uncertain times, which speaks to the track record of our team. The additional capital enables us to support small businesses throughout the country by providing much-needed equipment financing at attractive terms.”

Targeted Lease Capital is a specialty finance company that provides equipment finance loans on a national basis to small businesses ranging from $5,000 to $250,000. To learn more about Targeted Lease Capital, visit or call 716-266-6700.

Brean Capital’s Investment Banking Group is dedicated to helping its clients achieve their strategic and financial goals. For more than 40 years, the Firm has specialized in providing capital raising, M&A and financial advisory services to middle market businesses. Throughout its history, Brean Capital has established a track record of providing its clients with deep market knowledge, commitment and experience to ensure a successful transaction.

### Press Release ############################


### Press Release ############################

Technology to Transform Digital Strategy
By the Alta Group and Reimagine Advisors

GLENBROOK, NEVADA, --The Alta Group and Reimagine Advisors announced a strategic partnership this month that will enable them to bring transformative technology solutions to clients seeking a competitive advantage in the digital-first economy.

Denis Stypulkoski, Founder and Principal, Reimagine Advisors,
“Given Alta’s leading position in our industry we are going to rely on them to help us prepare asset finance companies for the future

“The Alta Group is considered the leading global consultancy in this industry,” he added.

Stypulkoski said Reimagine Advisors will also seek inspiration from outside of the industry to bring fresh insight to help clients become “digital first,” and give their customers rewarding digital experiences.

Reimagine Advisors enables companies to pivot from traditional models toward becoming agile digital products companies by tapping its own network of digital partnerships.  Alta, as Reimagine Advisors partner in the equipment finance industry, brings domain knowledge critical to transforming effective digital strategies for the equipment finance company of the future.

Alta’s more than 60 consultants covering equipment finance markets in North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) are focused on helping clients prepare for the future and establish a solid foundation for sustainable business growth.

Valerie L. Gerard,  Senior Managing Director, Strategy and Competitive Alignment, inline to become Co-CEO of The Alta Group in January 2021, commented, “As digital solutions become increasingly vital to survival, the ability to combine strategy and technology tailored to each company’s unique set of objectives will be critical; the pandemic has made it urgent.
Earlier in his career, he served as a CIO advisory consultant at The Alta Group. Following that he was one of the six founding leaders that launched US Express Leasing and then held leadership positions with EverBank, Tygris Commercial Finance and, most recently, TIAA Bank.

#### Press Release ############################# 



#### Press Release #############################

Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation Elects Officers
and Welcomes New Trustees Following Annual Meetings

Washington, DC,- The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (Foundation) announced the 2021 officers of its Board of Trustees (Board). Board Officers serving are Scott Thacker, Chief Executive Officer, Ivory Consulting Corporation, as Chair; Nancy Pistorio, President, Madison Capital LLC, as Vice Chair; Zack Marsh, CFO, Orion First Financial, LLC, as Secretary/Treasurer; and Ralph Petta, President and CEO, Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) as President. Jeffry Elliott, Senior Managing Director, Huntington Equipment Finance, is Immediate Past Chair. The officer elections were held following the Board‘s annual meeting.

New members appointed to the Foundation Board of Trustees include Shari Lipski, Principal, ECS Financial Services, Inc.; William Tefft, SVP Asset Management, Pacific Western Bank; and Bonnie Wright.  

“The Foundation’s 2021 Board represents a wealth of expertise, talent, and experience in the equipment finance industry,” said Scott Thacker. “We are privileged that each one of them shares a strong passion for the three key components of our mission – research, education, and sustainability, and we are fortunate to benefit from their volunteer time and commitment as we collectively work to advance the Foundation for the benefit of the equipment finance industry.”

Trustees continuing on the Board for 2021 are:
•   Jeffrey Berg, Executive Vice President, DLL
•   Katie Emmel, Chief Operating Officer, International Decision Systems
•   Christopher Enbom, CEO & Chairman, AP Equipment Financing
•   Valerie Gerard, Co-Chief Executive Officer, The Alta Group LLC
•   Miles Herman, President and COO, LEAF Commercial Capital Inc.
•   James Johnson, Ph.D, Retired, Professor of Finance, Northern Illinois University
•   Brian Madison, President, TrinityRail Leasing and Management Services
•   Bonnie Michael, Vice President, Legal and General Counsel - United States, Volvo Financial Services
•   Michael Romanowski, President, Farm Credit Leasing
•   Thomas Ware, President, Tom Ware Advisory Services, LLC
•   Donna Yanuzzi, Director, Vendor & Small Business Equipment Finance, F.N.B. Equipment Finance

Kelli Nienaber will continue to serve as Executive Director. 


The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that propels the equipment finance sector—and its people—forward through industry-specific knowledge, intelligence, and programs that contribute to industry innovation, individual careers, and the overall betterment of the equipment leasing and finance industry. The Foundation is funded through charitable individual and corporate donations. Learn more at

#### Press Release #############################


Fernando Croce Reviews
Special Christmas Edition Part II

When it comes to celebrating Christmas with your loved ones, a great movie is as much of a seasonal staple as eggnog and mistletoe. So check out Netflix for the rest of our Yuletide recommendations!

The Bells of St. Mary’s (Leo McCarey, 1945): Charting the further adventures of Father O’Malley (Bing Crosby), this marvelous sequel to the hit “Going My Way” has director Leo McCarey bringing the same magical fusion of humor and sentiment. This time around, O’Malley has been transferred to St. Mary’s, a dilapidated Catholic school ran by Sister Mary (Ingrid Bergman). While disagreeing over the school’s future, the two of them join forces to save it from being closed with the help of a local businessman (Henry Travers). Along the way, they help students with their individual problems and, to their surprise, find a spark of affection growing that could prove problematic. Buoyed by Bergman’s terrific performance, McCarey’s uplifting film has a gentleness and delight in human interactions that make it a treasure.

All That Heaven Allows (Douglas Sirk, 1955): A specialist in subtly subverting traditional rituals, director Douglas Sirk takes a characteristically caustic and tender look at a May-December romance in this classic drama. The romance in question is between wealthy widow Cary Scott (Jane Wyman) and her young gardener, Ron (Rock Hudson), a relationship that grows in ardor as well as in controversy amid Cary’s family and friends. With social pressure mounting around her, the heroine must ultimately discover if she has the strength to put love before convention. Using evocative décor and framing, Sirk could make the characters look like they were trapped by their affluent surroundings. His cinematic mastery is evident in a memorable Christmas Eve sequence, in which Cary comes to realize the emotional chill of conformity.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Larry Roemer, 1964): Before the better-known “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town,” stop-animation specialists Rankin & Bass produced this similarly beloved TV special, which chronicles the origin of “the most famous reindeer of all.” Told by Sam the Snowman (voiced by Burl Ives), it takes place in the North Pole, where a young fawn named Rudolph (Billie Edwards) learns he won’t be able to join Santa’s sleigh team due to his glowing nose. Shunned by the other reindeer, Rudolph befriends a misfit elf named Hermey (Paul Soles), and they two head off into the wilderness. There they meet Yukon Cornelius the lumberjack (Larry Mann), the Abominable Snow Monster, and, perhaps, Rudolph’s self-esteem. Tuneful and heartwarming in its celebration of difference, this has become a staple of Christmas specials.

Three Days of the Condor (Sydney Pollack, 1975): Yuletide warmth gets mixed with a dose of paranoid chill in this classic conspiracy thriller. Robert Redford stars as Joe Turner, a bookworm who works for the CIA and whose life takes a sharp turn when he narrowly escapes an assassination that wipes out most of his colleagues. On the lam, he gradually realizes that his own higher-ups were involved with the murders and that a ruthless hit-man named Joubert (Max von Sydow) is on his trail. With a photographer (Faye Dunaway) by his side, reluctantly at first but then romantically, he must figure out this murky web of corruption. Updating the classic Hitchcock formula for the inquisitive Seventies, director Sydney Pollack serves up this chase with class, suspense, and stinging irony.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Shane Black, 2005): The writer behind the original “Lethal Weapon,” Shane Black offers another Christmas-set action movie in this enjoyable parody, which features one of Robert Downey Jr.’s most freewheeling performances. Downey plays Harry Lockhart, a small-time thief who becomes a Hollywood actor after stumbling into a movie audition while on the run from cops. It’s not long before his sojourn in Tinseltown turns into a mirror of hard-boiled thrillers, as Harry gets involved in a murder case that also features a detective named Perry (a hilariously deadpan Val Kilmer) and an aspiring actress named Harmony (Michelle Monaghan), who just happens to be Harry’s childhood sweetheart. Breathlessly paced, cheerfully convoluted and full of winks and asides, Black’s film spikes seasonal eggnog with plenty of good-natured acerbity.


Mission, Kansas  Adopt-a-Dog

Moosey Goosey Lex

3 years, 4 months
Locatoin: Dog Intake

Unleashed Pet Rescue
5918 Broadmoor
Mission, KS 66202

Hours of Operation

Adoption Application:


Crossing the Equator Line, Worthy "Wags" Ritual
Dashiell Menkin, Chief Electrician in the Military Sealift Command

My son as "Pirate Lord"  (King Neptune on his right)


King Neptune’s Court

Pirate Lord


News Briefs---

President Elect Joe Biden receives
    vaccine in public show of support

Justice Department sues Walmart
    over alleged role in opioid crisis 

Millions of low-income Americans will receive Internet
    access rebates under new $7 billion broadband stimulus plan

Lyft and Uber to offer millions of free rides
     for ‘vulnerable’ to get COVID vaccine

New Labor Department rule would let employers
    distribute tips more widely



You May Have Missed---

Capital One looks to shed big suburban office
     in Chicago, 430 Employees 3 floors, most working from home now


Sports Briefs---

Mullen’s injury clears way for Beathard to start for 49ers

San Francisco 49ers signing Josh Rosen
     to back up C.J. Beathard, sources say

No Dallas Cowboys selected to the NFL's Pro Bowl
      for first time since 1989

Derek Carr limited at Raiders practice, splits reps with Marcus Mariota

The Fall of the House of Belichick


California Nuts Briefs---

‘California is in a crisis.’ Overwhelmed hospitals
    beg families to avoid holiday gatherings "Don't Share Your Air"

Newsom names Alex Padilla to replace Kamala Harris
     First Latino to represent California in Senate

Gavin Newsom names chair of the California Legislative
    Black Caucus as next secretary of state

As coronavirus raged, Sonoma County did little
    to enforce rules on weddings with as many as 100 people

Renters fled S.F. and the Bay Area in 2020
    but many didn’t go far, data suggests



“Gimme that Wine”

African American vintners hopeful over future
    after Black Lives Matter movement

Can Water Saving Traits Help Wine Survive Climate Change?

Napa supervisors won't consider major winery rule changes

Walla Walla Community College to receive
     $15 million gift from MacKenzie Scott

Smoke Taint Reduces California Wine Crop

Wine Meets Sisterhood

Free Wine App

Wine Prices by vintage


This Day in History

    1620 - According to Governor William Bradford’s “History of Plymouth Plantation,” the Pilgrims, aboard the Mayflower, reached Plymouth, MA, “sounded ye harbor, and founde fill for shipping; and marched into ye land, & founde diverse cornfields, and ye best they could find, and yea season & their presente necessitie made them glad to accepte of it.... And after wards tooke better view of ye place, and resolved wher to pitch their dwelling; and them and their goods.”  Plymouth Rock, the legendary place of landing since it first was “identified” in 1769, nearly 150 years after the landing, has been a historic shrine since. Contrary to common belief, the Pilgrims tried several locations first, including Provincetown Harbor, Mass, where the first social contract for a New England colony was drafted and signed by 41 adult males. The Pilgrims did not settle there but went on after a time to Plymouth. Physician Dr. Samuel Fuller was on board, in fact one of the signers of the Mayflower Compact. For some time, he was the sole physician in Massachusetts. In a letter dated June 28, 1630, written at Salem, MA, to Governor William Bradford of Plymouth, he described one of the customary treatments, in which he “let some twenty of these people blood.”
    1790 - Samuel Slater's thread-spinning factory goes into production, Pawtucket, Rhode Island, beginning the Industrial Revolution in America. The workers at his machines are 4 to 10 years old.
    1826 - American settlers in Nacoqdoches in Mexican Texas declared their independence, starting what is known as the Fredonian Rebellion. The first attempt by Anglo settlers in Texas to secede from Mexico, the settlers, led by Empresario Haden Edwards, declared independence and created the Republic of Fredonia near Nacoqdoches. The short-lived republic encompassed the land the Mexican government had granted to Edwards in 1825 and included areas that had been previously settled.  Fearing that through the rebellion, the United States hoped to gain control of Texas, the Mexican government severely curtailed immigration to the region from the US. The new immigration law was bitterly opposed by colonists and caused increasing dissatisfaction with Mexican rule. Some historians consider the Fredonian Rebellion to be the beginning of the Texas Revolution. In the words of one historian, the rebellion was "premature, but it sparked the powder for later success."
    1829 - Birthday of Laura Dewey Bridgman (d. 1889), Hanover, NH.  Struck deaf and blind at two, she was the first blind-deaf mute to be taught successfully. She eventually helped teach others with disabilities. She learned to read through a Braille-like system and "spoke" through tapping out an "alphabet." as taught her by Samuel Gridley Howe at the Perkins Institute for the Blind, Boston. Howe's methods of teaching her are still being studied today and his journals as well as Bridgman's are carefully read for their insight and aid for teaching all those with disabilities. The records kept by Howe and by Bridgman's teachers are invaluable to modern researchers investigating the education of the disabled, as they are the first detailed records of the education of a deaf-blind person." She lived her entire life at Perkins, dying at age 60.

    1830 - Birthday of early American author Mary Virginia Hawest Terhune (d. 1922), Amelia County, VA. Her novels often centered around southern plantation life. Her first novel, “Alone” (1854), sold more than 100,000 copies. She also wrote advice books and popular biographies. She wrote syndicated columns on women's affairs for the Philadelphia North American (1900-10) and the Chicago Tribune (1911-17).
    1850 - Celia, a black slave is hung for killing her master. Her tragic story and the underlying cruelty and the societal-approved prerogative of the male to sexually satisfy himself with his property - slave or wife - was told in Meltan A. McLaurin's historically accurate book “Celia, A Slave,” New York: Avon Books, 1991. Robert Newsom, a widower, bought Celia when she was about 14, raping her for the first time on the way back to his Missouri plantation. He set her up in a cabin behind the main house and, in time, she bore two children. As the trial transcripts relate, in trying to resist her master's advances, she killed him with a stick. White women rallied to her side claiming that women had a right to resist rape whether they were slaves or not.  Not surprising in the all-male judicial system, the male prerogative and the right of ownership prevailed in court. All appeals failed and she was hanged for murder. McLaurin's book attracted a great deal of interest when it was first published because it was the first time anyone had attempted to reconstruct the life of an "ordinary" slave, a woman at that. All the real facts that are known about Celia are taken from the transcripts of her trial. At about 19, she began developing a mind of her own and became involved with another slave, George.

    1864 - Sherman takes Savannah. Despite efforts by Confederate General William Hardee to defend the city of Savannah, GA, Confederate troops were forced to pull out of the city, and Union forces under William Tecumseh Sherman captured the town. By marching from Atlanta to the coast at Savannah, Sherman had cut the lower South off from the center. Contrary to Southern belief on history, it was the Confederate troops who, upon leaving the city, began the fires so Union troops would not food or supplies or goods held in stores or warehouses in the city. They also burned farms on their journey to cut supplies from Union troops.
    1892 - Walter Charles Hagen (d. 1969), golfer born at Rochester, NY. Hagen won two US Opens, four British Opens and five PGA Championships. He was extraordinary in match play, including the Ryder Cup, because he was a master scrambler and absolutely unflappable. He was also a colorful showman who brought the game to the masses and helped to increase prize money.
    1892 - Portland, OR, was buried under a record 27.5 inches of snow.
    1903 – American detective writer Lawrence Treat was born Lawrence Arthur Goldstone (d. 1998), NYC.  Often called the "father" of modern police procedural novel.
    1909 - Barney Ross, boxer born Barnet David Rosofsky (d. 1967) at New York, NY. Ross was the first boxer to hold two titles simultaneously. He won the lightweight crown in 1932 and the welterweight crown in 1934. He also won a Silver Star during World War II as a Marine.
    1909 - Although called introductory high schools, the McKinley and Washington schools of Berkeley, California, were the first authorized junior-high schools in the United States. They taught grades 7, 8 and 9.
    1912 - Joshua (Josh) Gibson (d. 1947), Baseball Hall of Fame catcher born at Buena Vista, GA. Gibson is regarded as the greatest slugger to play in the Negro Leagues and perhaps the greatest ballplayer ever. Gibson starred with the Pittsburgh Crawfords. His long home runs are the stuff of legend. In 60 recorded at bats against big league pitching, Gibson batted .426. He died at 35 years old just three months before the integration of baseball in the Major Leagues. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972.
    1913 - The first crossword puzzle was compiled by Arthur Wynne and published in a supplement of New York World. He basically redesigned a Victorian-era game called The Magic Square as a feature for the Pulitzer newspaper.
    1914 - Marie Dressler, Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand and Mack Swain appeared in the first feature-length comedy that was six reels long. Mack Sennett directed the film called, "Tillie's Punctured Romance."
    1929 - The first hospital insurance group plan was effected by Baylor University Hospital, Dallas, Texas. The plan was inaugurated by Dr. Justin Ford Kimball, executive vice president of Baylor University. The first group insured were the Dallas public school teachers, who paid 50 cents per month for 21 days of hospital treatment.
    1929 - An exceptional snowstorm swept across the southern Plains through Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. 26 inches fell at Hillsboro, TX and 18 inches fell at El Dorado, AR.
    1937 – “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was exhibited in Los Angeles, CA. It was an instant hit. Disney took a tremendous gamble with this 3-year artistic venture, as fantasies usually did not fare well at the box office. He had much of his own money tied up in the film and “Snow White” had the potential of financially ruining him. The film was originally budgeted for $250,000 but ended up costing $1,480,000. The film utilized the talents of 570 artists and contained 250,000 drawings. Would adults sit through a cartoon that ran nearly an hour and a half? The pre-release fears were unfounded. The public and most critics were enchanted and impressed with Disney's painstakingly crafted fairy tale. Never before had anyone so successfully produced a full-length animation film and it was quickly dubbed into 10 languages. In England, children under 16 were not allowed to see the film unless accompanied by an adult and it was under partial ban in South Africa and the Netherlands. The film ran for 5 weeks at New York's Radio City Music Hall and for 31 weeks in Paris. “Snow White” set new attendance records around the world, marking the dawn of a new age in animation. It became the first movie to earn $1 billion. In its nine theatrical releases, it earned approximately $1 billion in 1994 US Dollars. The home video version of “Snow White” was officially released on October 28, 1994, after receiving about 27 million retail orders, making it the top-selling video up to that time.
    1937 - Birthday of Jane Fonda, NYC, considered a controversial figure because she visited Hanoi during the Viet Nam war. She won Academy Awards for her work in “Klute” (1971) and “Coming Home” (1978) and she was nominated three more times. She won the Emmy for “The Dollmaker” (1984). One of the nation's most distinguished actors, she may never be fully honored because of her anti-war activities during the Viet Nam war. She went to Hanoi and through radio broadcast begged America to stop the bombing. She has been called Hanoi Jane ever since by the right wing extremists who distorted her message and purpose. Her workout books and videos became very popular in the 1980s. She dropped out of films when she married Ted Turner, the TV mogul, in 1991 (divorced in 2001). In 1994, she narrated “A Century of Women,”  a TV series that celebrated women's achievements in the 20th century.
    1938 - Cootie Williams's Rug Cutters record “Delta Mood.”
    1940 - Rock singer and composer Frank Zappa (d. 1993) was born in Baltimore. The oldest of four children, Zappa and his family moved to California while he was still in his teens. After graduation in 1958, he played with various lounge bands and began composing songs, one of which, "Memories of El Monte," was recorded by the Penguins of "Earth Angel" fame. In 1964, Zappa took over a rhythm-and-blues band called the Soul Giants and turned them into the Mothers of Invention. Their irreverent blend of satire and rock 'n' roll was featured on half a dozen albums in the '60s. Zappa began a solo career in the '70s, and made a surrealistic film of rock 'n' roll life called "200 Motels." All told, he released more than 50 albums, including "Jazz from Hell," which won a Grammy Award for best rock instrumental in 1988.
    1942 - Soul singer Carla Thomas was born in Memphis, the daughter of veteran performer Rufus Thomas. She was the first Memphis soul artist to have a national pop hit, "Gee Whiz" in 1961. The success of that disc led to the formation of the Stax Records Company. Thomas had another pop hit in 1966 with "BABY," and the following year recorded two duets with Otis Redding, "Tramp" and "Knock on Wood," both of which made the Billboard Top 30.
    1943 - Birthday of guitar player Walter “Wolfman” Washington, New Orleans, LA
    1944 - CURREY, FRANCIS S., Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company K, 120th Infantry, 30th Infantry Division. Place and date: Malmedy, Belgium, 21 December 1944. Entered service at: Hurleyville, N.Y. Birth: Loch Sheldrake, N.Y. G.O. No.: 69, 17 August 1945. Citation: He was an automatic rifleman with the 3d Platoon defending a strong point near Malmedy, Belgium, on 21 December 1944, when the enemy launched a powerful attack. Overrunning tank destroyers and antitank guns located near the strong point, German tanks advanced to the 3d Platoon's position, and, after prolonged fighting, forced the withdrawal of this group to a nearby factory. Sgt. Currey found a bazooka in the building and crossed the street to secure rockets meanwhile enduring intense fire from enemy tanks and hostile infantrymen who had taken up a position at a house a short distance away. In the face of small-arms, machinegun, and artillery fire, he, with a companion, knocked out a tank with 1 shot. Moving to another position, he observed 3 Germans in the doorway of an enemy-held house. He killed or wounded all 3 with his automatic rifle. He emerged from cover and advanced alone to within 50 yards of the house, intent on wrecking it with rockets. Covered by friendly fire, he stood erect, and fired a shot which knocked down half of 1 wall. While in this forward position, he observed 5 Americans who had been pinned down for hours by fire from the house and 3 tanks. Realizing that they could not escape until the enemy tank and infantry guns had been silenced, Sgt. Currey crossed the street to a vehicle, where he procured an armful of antitank grenades. These he launched while under heavy enemy fire, driving the tank men from the vehicles into the house. He then climbed onto a half-track in full view of the Germans and fired a machinegun at the house. Once again changing his position, he manned another machinegun whose crew had been killed; under his covering fire the 5 soldiers were able to retire to safety. Deprived of tanks and with heavy infantry casualties, the enemy was forced to withdraw. Through his extensive knowledge of weapons and by his heroic and repeated braving of murderous enemy fire, Sgt. Currey was greatly responsible for inflicting heavy losses in men and material on the enemy, for rescuing 5 comrades, 2 of whom were wounded, and for stemming an attack which threatened to flank his battalion's position.
    1945 - BENJAMIN, GEORGE, JR., Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company A, 306th Infantry, 77th Infantry Division. Place and date: Leyte, Philippine Islands, 21 December 1944. Entered service at: Carney's Point, N.J. Birth: Philadelphia, Pa. G.O. No.: 49, 28 June 1945. Citation: He was a radio operator, advancing in the rear of his company as it engaged a well-defended Japanese strong point holding up the progress of the entire battalion. When a rifle platoon supporting a light tank hesitated in its advance, he voluntarily and with utter disregard for personal safety left his comparatively secure position and ran across bullet-whipped terrain to the tank, waving and shouting to the men of the platoon to follow. Carrying his bulky radio and armed only with a pistol, he fearlessly penetrated intense machinegun and rifle fire to the enemy position, where he killed 1 of the enemy in a foxhole and moved on to annihilate the crew of a light machinegun. Heedless of the terrific fire now concentrated on him, he continued to spearhead the assault, killing 2 more of the enemy and exhorting the other men to advance, until he fell mortally wounded. After being evacuated to an aid station, his first thought was still of the American advance. Overcoming great pain he called for the battalion operations officer to report the location of enemy weapons and valuable tactical information he had secured in his heroic charge. The unwavering courage, the unswerving devotion to the task at hand, the aggressive leadership of Pfc. Benjamin were a source of great and lasting inspiration to his comrades and were to a great extent responsible for the success of the battalion's mission. 
    1945 - The FCC assigned television channels to several licensees, including CBS and NBC in New York City and Radio Corp. of America in Camden, New Jersey.
    1946 - Louis Jordan's single, "Let the Good Times Roll," debuted on the Rhythm and Blues charts.
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    1946 - Guitarist Carl Wilson (d. 1998) of the Beach Boys was born in Hawthorne, California. The three Wilson brothers - the others were Dennis and Brian - formed a group called Carl and the Passions with Mike Love and Al Jardine in 1961. The band's name was changed to the Beach Boys to take advantage of the surfing craze in southern California. Among their surfing hits for the Capitol label - "Surfin USA," "Surfer Girl" and "I Get Around." The Beach Boys turned in a more experimental direction in 1966, recording "Good Vibrations," a number-one song that took six months to produce and was at the time the most expensive single ever made. The Beach Boys continue to perform, primarily as a nostalgia act.
    1947 - Metronome All-Stars record “Metronome Riff.”
    1950 - Top Hits
“Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” - Gene Autry
“White Christmas” - Bing Crosby
“Nevertheless” - Jack Denny
“If You've Got the Money Honey I've Got the Time” - Lefty Frizzell
    1954 - Chris Evert was born in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  An all-time tennis champion, she had 125 consecutive clay-court victories and has been called the world's best clay-court woman player of all time. She was ranked the world's best player 1974 to 1978 and in 1980 and 81. She was the U.S. singles champion 1975-78, 80, 82; Wimbledon champion 1974, 76, and 81, and won at least one Grand Slam singles title for 13 consecutive years. Between 1973 and 1979 Evert won a record 125 consecutive clay-court matches, and won the French Open on clay a record seven times.
    1958 - Top Hits
“The Chipmunk Song” - The Chipmunks
“Problems” - The Everly Brothers
“One Night” - Elvis Presley
“City Lights” - Ray Price
    1960 - Elvis Presley was inducted into the Los Angeles Indian Tribal Council on the day his movie “Flaming Star” opened.
    1961 - One of Rock and Roll's strangest oddities happened when "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," by Marvin Gaye, hit number one on the Cash Box music chart. The same song was also a number one hit for Gladys Knight and The Pips exactly one year earlier. The tune would also turn up on the chart by Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1976. 
    1964 - A great warm surge from the Pacific Ocean across Oregon and northern California brought torrential rains on a deep snow cover resulting in record floods.
    1965 - An overflow crowd of 76,251 jams the Cotton Bowl, giving Dallas its first home sellout. The Browns beat the Cowboys 24-17.
    1966 - The Beach Boys receive three gold-record citations for the single "Good Vibrations," which hit Number One eleven days ago and the albums "Little Deuce Coupe" and "Shut Down, Vol. 2."
    1966 - Top Hits
“Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron” - The Royal Guardsmen
“Winchester Cathedral” - The New Vaudeville Band
“That's Life” - Frank Sinatra
“Somebody Like Me” - Eddy Arnold
    1967 - SMEDLEY, LARRY E., Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, Company D, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. Place and date: Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam, 21 December 1967. Entered service at: Orlando, Fla. Born: 4 March 1949, Front Royal, Va. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a squad leader with company D, in connection with operations against the enemy. On the evenings of 20-21 December 1967, Cpl. Smedley led his 6-man squad to an ambush site at the mouth of Happy Valley, near Phouc Ninh (2) in Quang Nam Province. Later that night an estimated 100 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army regulars, carrying 122mm rocket launchers and mortars, were observed moving toward Hill 41. Realizing this was a significant enemy move to launch an attack on the vital Danang complex, Cpl. Smedley immediately took sound and courageous action to stop the enemy threat. After he radioed for a reaction force, he skillfully maneuvered his men to a more advantageous position and led an attack on the numerically superior enemy force. A heavy volume of fire from an enemy machinegun positioned on the left flank of the squad inflicted several casualties on Cpl. Smedley's unit. Simultaneously, an enemy rifle grenade exploded nearby, wounding him in the right foot and knocking him to the ground. Cpl. Smedley disregarded this serious injury and valiantly struggled to his feet, shouting words of encouragement to his men. He fearlessly led a charge against the enemy machinegun emplacement, firing his rifle and throwing grenades, until he was again struck by enemy fire and knocked to the ground. Gravely wounded and weak from loss of blood, he rose and commenced a l-man assault against the enemy position. Although his aggressive and singlehanded attack resulted in the destruction of the machinegun, he was struck in the chest by enemy fire and fell mortally wounded. Cpl. Smedley's inspiring and courageous actions, bold initiative, and selfless devotion to duty in the face of certain death were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
    1968 - The first Astronauts to orbit the moon were Colonel Frank Borman, Captain James Arthur Lovell, Jr., and Major William Alison Anders, who made 10 lunar orbits in Apollo 8, launched by a three-stage Saturn 5 rocked from Cape Canaveral, FL, at 7:51am. The spacecraft reentered the atmosphere and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean 147 hours 11 seconds later.
    1968 - David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash performed together for the first time at a concert in California. Nash had announced his departure from the Hollies earlier in the month, while Crosby had played with the Byrds and Stills with Buffalo Springfield. Another former member of Buffalo Springfield, Neil Young, joined Crosby, Stills and Nash in 1969.
    1968 - Janis Joplin made her first appearance after leaving Big Brother and the Holding Company. Joplin performed in Memphis at the "Yuletide Thing" event sponsored by the Stax-Volt record labels. Also on the bill were such leading Stax acts as the Bar-Kays, Booker T. and the M-G's, and Rufus and Carla Thomas. 
    1969 - Diana Ross and the Supremes make their final television appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, singing "Someday We'll Be Together," which would be the last of their 12 number one singles. 
    1970 - Elvis Presley met US President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office at the White House. They posed for a photo that Nixon aides hoped would boost the president's image with America's youth. All the singer wanted was a Drug Enforcement Agency badge for his collection. Presley, according to most accounts high on pills at the time, lectured Nixon on the evils of drugs, the Beatles, hippies and communists. Nixon had Presley shown the door as soon as he'd presented him with the badge and made him an honorary federal agent.
    1974 - Top Hits
“Cat's in the Cradle” - Harry Chapin
“Angie Baby” - Helen Reddy
“You're the First, the Last, My Everything” - Barry White
“I Can Help” - Billy Swan
    1974 - Harry Chapin enjoys his only number one single with "Cat's In The Cradle." The song's theme about a distant father and son relationship was suggested to Harry by his wife, after he expressed disappointment about being on tour instead of attending his son's birth. 
    1979 - The Eagles, Chicago and Linda Ronstadt perform at a benefit show for the presidential campaign for California governor Jerry Brown, who also happens to be Ronstadt's boyfriend. The show at the San Diego Sports Arena is followed-up by a similar show at the Aladdin Theater in Las Vegas. The two shows bring in over $450,000.
    1979 - Willie Nelson's movie debut, "The Electric Horseman," which also starred Robert Redford and Jane Fonda, opened in North American theatres.
    1979 - Frank Zappa's "Baby Snakes" premiered on Zappa's 39th birthday. The film combined concert footage, backstage antics and animated clay figures.
    1982 - Top Hits
“Maneater” - Daryl Hall & John Oates
“The Girl is Mine” - Michael Jackson/Paul McCartney
“Steppin' Out” - Joe Jackson
“Somewhere Between Right and Wrong” - Earl Thomas Conley
    1985 - Bruce Springsteen's album, "Born in the USA," surpassed Michael Jackson's "Thriller," making it the second longest-lasting LP in the top 10. Springsteen’s album lasted at its peak for 79 weeks, and was second to "The Sound of Music" with Julie Andrews that lasted: 109 weeks.    1986 - Atlanta center Jeff Van Note, who at 40 was the oldest pro football player, played his 246th and last NFL game as Atlanta beat Detroit, 20-6.
    1988 - Pan Am World Airways Flight 103 was the victim of a terrorist attack when the jet exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland. The 258 passengers, crew, and several people on the ground at the site of the crash were all killed.  Flight 103 was a regularly scheduled flight from Frankfort to Detroit via London and New York City. The aircraft operating the transatlantic leg of the route was destroyed by a bomb, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew. With a total of 270 fatalities, it is the deadliest terrorist attack in the history of the UK.  Following a three-year joint investigation, arrest warrants were issued for two Libyan nationals in November 1991. In 1999, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi handed over the two men for trial after protracted negotiations and UN sanctions. In 2001, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence officer, was jailed for life after being found guilty of 270 counts of murder in connection with the bombing. He died in May 2012 as the only person to be convicted for the attack.
    1988 - Seven cities in the eastern U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date, including Charleston, SC with a reading of 78 degrees. A storm in the northwestern U.S. produced 22 inches of snow at Idaho City, ID in two days, and up to two feet of snow at Happy Camp, CA. Ski resorts in Idaho reported three to six feet of snow on the ground.
    1989 - Forty cities in the north central U.S., including thirteen in Iowa, reported record low temperatures for the date. Havre and Jordan, MT, tied for honors as the cold spot in the nation with morning lows of 43 degrees below zero, and the temperature remained close to 40 degrees below zero through the daylight hours. Dickinson, ND reported a morning low of 33 degrees below zero and a wind chill reading of 86 degrees below zero. The high for the date of 16 degrees below zero at Sioux Falls, SD was December record for that location.
    1990 - Top Hits
“Because I Love You” (“The Postman Song”) - Stevie B
“Justify My Love” - Madonna
“Impulsive” - Wilson Phillips
“I've Come to Expect It from You” - George Strait
    1997 - Barry Sanders of the Detroit Lions became the third player in NFL history to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season when he gained 184 yards against the New York Jets. The Lions won, 13-10. He reached the 2,000-yard mark with a 2-yard run with just over two minutes left in the game. On the next play, he broke free for 53 yards, a gain that allowed the Lions to run out the clock and clinch a playoff berth. The other members of the 2,000-yard club then were O.J. Simpson, who rushed for 2,003 yards in 1973, and Eric Dickerson, who ran for 2,105 yards in 1984.  Since Sanders’ feat, four others have surpassed 2000 rushing yards in a season.
    2006 - The Beatles' "Love" sat at #1 on the European Top 100 Albums chart. The album was produced by George Martin and his son Giles Martin and features music compiled and remixed for the Cirque du Soleil show of the same name. The disc would quickly be certified Platinum and won Grammys in two categories - Best Compilation Soundtrack Album and Best Surround Sound Album at the 50th annual Grammy awards on February 10th, 2008.
    2009 - A snow storm embattled the East Coast, closing airports, raising havoc in many states, affecting Christmas shopping and closing many businesses.    1620 - One week after the Mayflower arrived at Plymouth Harbor in present-day Massachusetts, construction of the first permanent European settlement in New England begins. By the mid-1640s, Plymouth's population numbered 3,000 people, but by then the settlement had been overshadowed by the larger Massachusetts Bay Colony to the north, settled by Puritans in 1629. The term "Pilgrim" was not used to describe the Plymouth colonists until the early 19th century and was derived from a manuscript in which Governor Bradford spoke of the "saints" who traveled to the New World as "pilgrimes." In 1820, the orator Daniel Webster spoke of "Pilgrim Fathers" at a bicentennial celebration of Plymouth's founding and thereafter, the term entered common usage.
    1657 - Hannah Duston, captured by Indians less than a week after the birth of her eighth child, was able to secure a hatchet with the help of an English boy captive while they were on the way back to the Indian village and she attacked their captors. She killed nine of the ten Indians and scalped them to prove the deed before escaping. She received 25 pounds from the British general in Boston who gave rewards for scalps.
    1776 – Second Continental Congress negotiated a war loan of $181,500 from France.
    1776 – Thomas Paine wrote “These are the times that try men’s souls.”
    1779 - Benedict Arnold, in absentia, court-martialed for “improper conduct.”
    1783 - George Washington resigned his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army in the senate chamber of the Maryland State House in Annapolis, where the Continental Congress was then meeting. (lower part of:
    1788 - Maryland votes to cede a 10 square mile area for District of Columbia

    1811 - A cold storm hit Long Island Sound with a foot of snow, gale force winds, and temperatures near zero. During the storm, many ships were wrecked, and in some cases entire crews perished
    1823 - An anonymous poem appeared in the Troy (NY) Sentinel, "A Visit from St. Nicholas," later known better as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." The poem was written by a professor of Greek and Oriental literature, Clement Clark Moore, and appeared without his permission in the newspaper.
    1834 - John R. Morrison of Springfield, OH was granted a patent for bellows for smiths and furnace fires.
    1839 - The second of triple December storms hit the northeastern U.S. The storm produced 25 inches of snow at Gettysburg, PA and gales in New England, but only produced light snow along the coast.
    1848 - The first railroad to run west of the Mississippi River was the Pacific Railway of Missouri (later known as the Missouri Pacific), which began passenger service from St. Louis.
    1852 - In San Francisco, California, the Theatre of Celestial John opened on Telegraph Hill, fronting on Dupont Street. It was the first Chinese theatre in the United States. The theater had a seating capacity of 1,400. There were no tiers of boxes. No scenery was used.
    1853 - In San Francisco, the Metropolitan Theater opened on Washington St.; first theater to be lit by gas.
    1860 - Harriet Monroe (d. 1936) birthday, Chicago.  Founder/longtime editor of "Poetry" magazine.
    1867 - Birthday of Madame C J Walker (d. 1919), Delta, LA.  Probably the first Black millionaire. Considered a marketing genius, she made her fortune in hair straightener and care products for Blacks. The hair straightener and some other products she invented herself and, in the early days, she mixed them herself in large tubs. Orphaned, she married at 14 "to get a home," before moving from Louisiana with her daughter to St. Louis to work as a $1.50 a day washerwoman. She developed her products (which she said came to her in a dream after prayers) that were marketed much in the way Avon and Mary Kay products are sold today, door-to-door and then through neighborhood salespeople. She was a noted philanthropist in black causes, leaving a trusteeship to make sure the gifts continued after her death. For example, in one of her obituaries, it was noted "She spent $10,000 every year for the education of young Negro men and women in Southern colleges and sent six youths to Tuskegee Institute" An unusual stipulation in her will decrees that the company which is still in existence is always headed by a woman. Much of the assets of the Walker Company have been willed to the NAACP by Madame Walker's granddaughter.

    1870 – American artist John Marin (d. 1953) born Rutherford, NJ.

    1902 - Birthday of Vivian Harris (d. 2000).  African-American singer, comedian, chorus girl and longtime "Voice of the Apollo." It is reported she made 10,000 appearances at the famed Apollo in Harlem, New York. She was one of the first to dance the Charleston in a 1923 Broadway production of “Runnin' Wild”. She danced, sang, and did whatever to keep the Apollo going during the Great Depression. When she wasn't onstage or helping behind the curtain, she worked in wardrobe and even taking tickets. Highly talented, Vivian Harris appeared in a number of shows on Broadway and even in France.
    1902 - Birthday of author Norman Maclean (d. 1990), Clarinda, Iowa. Firefighter, fly-fisher, scholar, storyteller. Author of “A River Runs Through It.” “Eventually, all things merge into one, & a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood & runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, & some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.”
    1913 - President Woodrow Wilson signed the "Federal Reserve Act" into law. The act established twelve Federal Reserve Banks and the Federal Reserve System. The system serves as the nation's central bank, has responsibility for execution of monetary policy. It is called on to contribute to the strength and vitality of the US economy, in part by influencing the lending and investing activities of commercial banks and the cost and availability of money.
    1919 - African-American Alice H Parker patents gas heating furnace
    1928 - The National Broadcasting Company set up a permanent coast-to-coast radio network in the US. NBC had been formed two years earlier by General Electric, Westinghouse and RCA, with David Sarnoff as its chief organizer.
    1929 - Trumpet Player Chet Baker (d. 1988) birthday, Yale, OK.  My friend Warren Luening said he often played “flat.” He certainly was bombed out. When I was much younger, I dated one of Chet Baker's ex-girlfriends. She told me he used to beat her up, and since then, I have never been able to listen to any of his albums—although he is considered of the giants of modern jazz.

    1931 - Birthday of clarinet player Henry Cuesta (d. 2003), McAllen, TX
    1933 - Birthday of altoist Frank Morgan (d. 2007), born Minneapolis, MS.
    1935 - Birthday of broadcaster and Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Paul Vernon Hornung (d. 2020), Louisville, KY.
    1935 - Birthday of singer Esther Phillips (d. 1984), Galveston, TX. At age 13, she was a member of Johnny Otis's rhythm-and-blues revue. She had a number of r-and-b hits in the early '50s but was forced to retire temporarily because of illness later in the decade. Phillips came back stronger than ever at the start of the '60s with an r-and-b version of a country ballad, "Release Me." It reached number eight on the US charts in 1962. The Beatles paid tribute to Little Esther in November 1965 by featuring her on a BBC television show.
    1938 - Music impresario John Hammond presented his famous Spirituals to Swing concert at Carnegie Hall in New York. The event introduced many black jazz musicians to a white audience for the first time and helped launch a craze for the rhythmic boogie-woogie piano style. Among those appearing were pianists Albert Ammons, Meade Lux Lewis and Pete Johnson with vocalist Joe Turner, blues singer Big Bill Broonzy, gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, clarinetist Sidney Bechet and the Count Basie Orchestra.
    1939 - US Trotting Association Incorporated. Following an agreement at a January meeting to merge several regional organizations into a national body, the US Trotting Association was incorporated in the State of Ohio.
    1939 - Frank Sinatra, at $75 a week, wins release from the Harry James Band to join Tommy Dorsey.
    1940 - Birthday of folk singer and songwriter Tim Hardin (d. 1980), Eugene, Oregon. Despite his ability as a performer, his greatest impact was as a writer of songs that proved great successes for other artists. Hardin's best-known composition is "If I Were a Carpenter," which provided Bobby Darin with a hit in the early 60s, and a gold-record single for Johnny Cash and June Carter later in the decade. In 1980, Tim Hardin was found dead of a heroin overdose in his Hollywood apartment.
    1941 - ELROD, HENRY TALMAGE, Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 27 September 1905, Rebecca, Ga. Entered service at: Ashburn, Ga. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while attached to Marine Fighting Squadron 211, during action against enemy Japanese land, surface and aerial units at Wake Island, 8 to 23 December 1941. Engaging vastly superior forces of enemy bombers and warships on 9 and 12 December, Capt. Elrod shot down 2 of a flight of 22 hostile planes. By executing repeated bombing and strafing runs at extremely low altitude and close range, he succeeded in inflicting deadly damage upon a large Japanese vessel, thereby sinking the first major warship to be destroyed by small caliber bombs delivered from a fighter-type aircraft. When his plane was disabled by hostile fire and no other ships were operative, Capt. Elrod assumed command of 1 flank of the line set up in defiance of the enemy landing and, conducting a brilliant defense, enabled his men to hold their positions and repulse intense hostile fusillades to provide covering fire for unarmed ammunition carriers. Capturing an automatic weapon during 1 enemy rush in force, he gave his own firearm to 1 of his men and fought on vigorously against the Japanese. Responsible in a large measure for the strength of his sector's gallant resistance, on 23 December, Capt. Elrod led his men with bold aggressiveness until he fell, mortally wounded. His superb skill as a pilot, daring leadership and unswerving devotion to duty distinguished him among the defenders of Wake Island, and his valiant conduct reflects the highest credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
    1941 - Shep Field's All woodwind band cuts “Firedance.”
    1942 - Bob Hope agreed to entertain United States airmen stationed in Alaska for what would be the first of his famous Christmas shows for American armed forces across the world. The Christmas show tradition continued for over three decades.
    1944 - Top Hits
White Christmas - Bing Crosby
Santa Claus is Coming to Town - Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
Don't Fence Me In - Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
I'm Wastin' My Tears on You - Tex Ritter
    1944 - BOLDEN, PAUL L., Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company 1, 120th Infantry, 30th Infantry Division. Place and date: Petit-Coo, Belgium, 23 December 1944. Entered service at: Madison, Ala. Birth: Hobbes Island, lowa. G.O. No.: 73, 30 August 1945-. Citation: He voluntarily attacked a formidable enemy strong point in Petit-Coo, Belgium, on 23 December, 1944, when his company was pinned down by extremely heavy automatic and small-arms fire coming from a house 200 yards to the front. Mortar and tank artillery shells pounded the unit, when S/Sgt. Bolden and a comrade, on their own initiative, moved forward into a hail of bullets to eliminate the ever-increasing fire from the German position. Crawling ahead to close with what they knew was a powerfully armed, vastly superior force, the pair reached the house and took up assault positions, S/Sgt. Bolden under a window, his comrade across the street where he could deliver covering fire. In rapid succession, S/Sgt. Bolden hurled a fragmentation grenade and a white phosphorous grenade into the building; and then, fully realizing that he faced tremendous odds, rushed to the door, threw it open and fired into 35 SS troopers who were trying to reorganize themselves after the havoc wrought by the grenades. Twenty Germans died under fire of his submachine gun before he was struck in the shoulder, chest, and stomach by part of a burst which killed his comrade across the street. He withdrew from the house, waiting for the surviving Germans to come out and surrender. When none appeared in the doorway, he summoned his ebbing strength, overcame the extreme pain he suffered and boldly walked back into the house, firing as he went. He had killed the remaining 15 enemy soldiers when his ammunition ran out. S/Sgt. Bolden's heroic advance against great odds, his fearless assault, and his magnificent display of courage in reentering the building where he had been severely wounded cleared the path for his company and insured the success of its mission.
    1947 - John Bardeen, Walter H. Brattain and William Shockley created the transistor, for which they would share the 1956 Nobel Prize in physics. In its original form, the transistor took up a large amount of space in the New Jersey lab where it was invented. Today, thousands of transistors can be put into a space tinier than a pinhead; and used in electronics such as computers, radios, televisions and video games.
    1948 – In Tokyo, Japan, Hideki Tojo, former Japanese premier and chief of the Kwantung Army, is executed along with six other top Japanese leaders for their war crimes during World War II. Seven of the defendants were also found guilty of committing crimes against humanity, especially in regard to their systematic genocide of the Chinese people. On November 12, death sentences were imposed on Tojo and the six other principals, including Iwane Matsui, who organized the Rape of Nanking, and Heitaro Kimura, who brutalized Allied prisoners of war. Sixteen others were sentenced to life imprisonment, and the remaining two of the original 25 defendants were sentenced to lesser terms in prison. In addition to the central Tokyo trial, various tribunals sitting outside Japan judged some 5,000 Japanese guilty of war crimes, of whom more than 900 were executed.
    1951 – In the first nationally televised NFL Championship game, the LA Rams defeated the Cleveland Browns, 24-17.   
    1952 - Top Hits
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - Jimmy Boyd
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Gene Autry
White Christmas - Bing Crosby
Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes - Skeets McDonald
   1954 - Walt Disney's “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” starring Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Peter Lorre and Paul Lukas, was released to theaters. It became one of the Disney studio's biggest-grossing films.
    1955 - Pioneer rock 'n' roll disc jockey Alan Freed sponsored a week-long series of shows at the Academy of Music in Manhattan. The bill included both jazz and rhythm-and-blues acts, such as the Count Basie Orchestra and The Cadillacs. The shows took in more than $100,000.
    1955 - The barometric pressure dipped to 28.97 inches (981 millibars) at Boise ID, an all-time record for that location.
    1957 - Actor Dan Blocker debuted on television in the "Restless Gun" production of "The Child." My father, Lawrence Menkin, wrote the original television play, and later was story editor and wrote several “Bonanza” episodes. My father wrote many TV westerns in the 1950's. Two years after this “pilot,” Blocker would star in NBC's "Bonanza" as Hoss Cartwright.
    1957 - The title song to his movie “April Love” becomes Pat Boone's fifth US number one hit.
    1960 - Top Hits
Are You Lonesome To-night? - Elvis Presley
Wonderland by Night - Bert Kaempfert
North to Alaska - Johnny Horton
Wings of a Dove - Ferlin
    1961 - Holiday travel was paralyzed over extreme northeastern Kansas, and adjacent parts of Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska. The storm produced 5 to 15 inches of snow, with drifts up to ten feet high.
    1964 - After making their first appearance on ABC-TV's Shindig! (where they perform "Little Saint Nick," "Dance, Dance, Dance," "Papa Oom Mow Mow," and "Monster Mash"), and in flight from Los Angeles to a concert in Houston, the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson suffers a nervous breakdown, leading to his immediate retirement from touring. Glen Campbell, still a studio musician, is hired to take his place on stage, and is eventually replaced by permanent member Bruce Johnston.
    1966 - Grateful Dead, The Steve Miller Blues Band, Moby Grape @ Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco
Artist: Victor Moscoso
    1967 - The Jimi Hendrix Experience's "Foxy Lady" is released.
    1968 - Crew of USS Pueblo released by North Korea. The crew and captain of the U.S. intelligence gathering ship Pueblo are released after 11 months imprisonment by the government of North Korea. The ship, and its 83-man crew, was seized by North Korean warships on January 23 and charged with intruding into North Korean waters. The seizure infuriated U.S. President Lyndon Johnson. Later, he claimed that he strongly suspected (although it could not be proven) that the incident with the Pueblo, coming just a few days before the communist Tet Offensive in South Vietnam, was a coordinated diversion. It was 11 long months before the Pueblo's men were freed. Both captain and crew were horribly treated and later recounted their torture at the hands of the North Koreans. With no help in sight, Captain Lloyd Bucher reluctantly signed a document confessing that the ship was spying on North Korea. With this propaganda victory in hand, the North Koreans released the prisoners and also returned the body of one crewman who died in captivity. Some Americans criticized Johnson for not taking decisive retaliatory action against North Korea; others argued that he should have used every diplomatic means at his disposal to secure a quick release for the crew. In any case, the event was another blow to Johnson and America's Cold War foreign policy. It dug Johnson in deeper into the war effort to overcome his “loss of face.”
    1968 - At Apple Corp, Ltd's Christmas party, John Lennon and Yoko Ono hand out presents to the children of the staff, dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus.
    1969 - B.J. Thomas was awarded a gold record for the single, "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" from the film, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." On January 3, 1970, the song would hit number one on the pop charts, staying there for 4 weeks.
    1968 - Top Hits
I Heard It Through the Grapevine - Marvin Gaye
For Once in My Life - Stevie Wonder
Stormy - Classics IV featuring Dennis Yost
Wichita Lineman - Glen Campbell
    1969 - B.J. Thomas' "Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head" is certified gold
    1969 - The Supremes began Diana Ross's farewell engagement at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas. Ross would go on to a hugely successful solo career. The Supremes also continued to hit record charts with Ross's replacement, Jean Terrell. She was the sister of heavyweight boxer Ernie Terrell.
    1969 - Elton John had his first meeting with arranger Paul Buckmaster, writer Bernie Taupin and producer Gus Dudgeon. Their collaboration started one of music's most lucrative milestones of the 1970s. Together the four created "Your Song," "Friends," "Levon," "Tiny Dancer," "Rocket Man" and many more.
    1970 - Canadian folksinger Joni Mitchell was awarded her first gold record for the album "Ladies of the Canyon." The LP contained the hit single "Big Yellow Taxi”
    1972 - The “Immaculate Reception:” In an AFC first-round play-off game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Oakland Raiders, the Raiders were ahead, 7-6, with 22 seconds to play. Pittsburgh had the ball on its own 40-yeard line. Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw threw a desperation pass intended for Johnny Fuqua. The ball deflected off an Oakland defender into the waiting arms of Franco Harris, who ran into the end zone for the winning touchdown. The Steelers defeated the Raiders, 13-7, and the play has since been known as the “Immaculate Reception.”
    1973 - Jim Croce's "Time In A Bottle" hits #1
    1974 - The first free agents in major league baseball were Andy Messersmith of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Dave McNally of the Montreal Expos. A Federal arbitrator ruled that the two players, and by extension, other Major League baseball players not bound to a current contract, were free to sell their services to the team that offered them the most money.
    1975 - Metric Conversion Act: The Congress of the US passed Public Law 94-168, known as the Metric Conversion Act of 1975. The act declares that the SI (International System of Units) will be the country's basic system of measurement and established the United States Metric Board which is responsible for the planning, coordination and implementation of the nation's voluntary conversion to SI (Congress had authorized the metric system as a legal system of measurement in the US by an act passed July 28, 1866. In 1875, the US became one of the original signers of the Treaty of the Metre, which established an international metric system.
    1976 - Top Hits
Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright) - Rod Stewart
The Rubberband Man - Spinners
You Make Me Feel Like Dancing - Leo Sayer
Thinkin' of a Rendezvous - Johnny Duncan
    1978 - Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" is released.
    1979 - Rod Stewart's "I Don't Want to Talk About It," Anne Murray's "Daydream Believer," Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," and Neil Diamond's "September Morn" all enter the pop charts
    1982 - A major winter storm struck Colorado producing heavy snow and blizzard conditions. A record two feet of snow was reported at Stapleton Airport in Denver, which was shut down for 33 hours. Up to 44 inches of snow fell in the foothills surrounding Denver. The storm hurt the ski industry as skiers were unable to make it out of Denver to the slopes, and the closed airport became a campground for vacationers.
    1983 - The temperature plunged to 50 degrees below zero at Williston ND to equal their all-time record. Minneapolis MN reported an afternoon high of 17 degrees below zero, and that evening strong northerly winds produced wind chill readings of 100 degrees below zero in North Dakota
    1984 - Top Hits
Like a Virgin - Madonna
Sea of Love - The Honeydrippers
Cool It Now - New Edition
Why Not Me - The Judds
    1987 - A winter storm brought heavy snow to the Central Rockies, and also spread a blanket of snow across the Middle Missouri Valley in time for Christmas. Snow and high winds created near blizzard conditions in Wyoming. Snowfall totals in Wyoming ranged up to 25 inches at Casper, with four feet of snow reported at the Hogadon Ski Resort on Capser Mountain. The Wolf Creek Ski Resort in Colorado received 26 inches of snow. Totals in the Middle Missouri Valley ranged up to 16 inches at Alpena, SD, with 14 inches at Harrison, NE. Strong winds ushered unseasonably cold air into the southwestern U.S. Canyon winds gusting to 100 mph created ground blizzards in Utah.
    1989 - An historic arctic outbreak spread to the Gulf Coast Region, and a total of 122 cities across the central and eastern U.S. reported record low temperatures for the date. Forty-one of those cities reported record lows for the month of December, with some cities breaking December records established the previous morning. Morning lows of 11 degrees at New Orleans, LA and Lake Charles, LA, 4 degrees below zero at San Angelo, TX, and 26 degrees below zero at Topeka, KS, established all-time records for those four locations. Yankton, SD was the cold spot in the nation with a morning low of 31 degrees below zero. A storm system moving across the Florida peninsula and along the Southern Atlantic Coast produced high winds and record snows along the Carolina coast. Unofficial morning lows included 50 degrees below zero at Recluse, WY and 60 degrees below zero at Rochford, SD. Broadus, MT and Hardin, MT tied for honors as the official cold spot in the nation with morning lows of 47 degrees below zero. Snowfall totals of 15 inches at Wilmington, NC and 13.3 inches at Cape Hatteras, NC were all- time records for those two locations. Gale force winds, gusting to 60 mph, produced waves thirty-four feet high off the coast of North Carolina, and whipped the heavy snow into drifts up to eight feet high. The storm resulted in the first white Christmas of record from northeastern Florida to North Carolina.
    1991 - Longtime Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Chuck Noll retired after 23 seasons. He was the only coach to have four Super Bowl wins (1975-1976, 1979-1980) and was the fifth winningest coach in the NFL (209-156-1).  When Noll retired, only three other head coaches in NFL history had longer tenures with one team. Between his playing and head coaching tenures, Noll won a total of six NFL Championships as well as one AFL Championship and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993, his first year of eligibility.
    1991 - Recent rains in Austin, TX set a new monthly (13.59 inches) and annual record total (51.64 inches).
    1994 – John Connolly, FBI agent, came to the Winter Hill gang’s headquarters in a Boston liquor store and warned Kevin Weeks of pending FBI arrests for mobsters James Bulger, Stephen Flemmi and Francis Salemme. Connolly was convicted for corruption in 2002 and sentenced to 121 months
    1994 - An intense nor'easter, a hybrid winter and tropical storm lashed New England with high winds and heavy rains. The storm had its origin in the western Gulf of Mexico and had characteristics of a tropical storm even as it reached 40 degrees latitude. The storm "dumbelled" around a developing winter type storm off the mid-Atlantic and approached New England from the south-southeast. Winds exceeded hurricane force over coastal areas. Walpole, MA had a wind gust of 88 mph. Sustained winds of 63 mph with a gust to 84 mph were recorded at Nantucket. Falmouth, MA had a wind gust of 78 mph and Ashaway, RI a gust of 74 mph. Plymouth, MA was deluged with 4.85 inches of rain and Gloucester, MA had 4.72 inches.
    1997 - Phil Jackson of the Chicago Bulls won the 500th game of his coaching career as the Bulls defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 94-89. Jackson got to 400 in his 682nd game, faster than any other coach in NBA history. He was the twentieth coach to reach the 500 mark.
    1997 - Right wing Jarri Kurri of the Colorado Avalanche became the eight player in NHL history to score 600 regular-season goals. Kurri tallied in the first period as Colorado defeated the Los Angeles Kings, 5-1.
    1997 - Terry Nichols was convicted by a Denver, Colorado, jury on charges of conspiracy and involuntary manslaughter in the 1995 federal building bombing in Oklahoma City.
    2009 - The Yankees are assessed with a luxury tax of $25.69 million for its spending in 2009. The World Series champion club is the only team to be penalized this year for crossing the salary threshold, as it has in all seven years since the tax was initiated by the collective bargaining agreement in 2002.



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