Thursday, January 23, 2014
Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines
Confirmed: Sheldon Player Passed Away Nov. 13, 2013
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Confirmed: Sheldon Player Passed Away Nov. 13, 2013
($900,000 in a duffle bag caught by the FBI when
Leasing News' John Kenny, John Kenny Receivables Management, was able to confirm the passing of Equipment Acquisition Resource scoundrel Sheldon Player, 63, with a death certificate, as well as confirmation of the certificate from the Lake County Coroner.
Player passed away November 13, 2013 from metastatic prostate cancer (spreads to other parts of the body), and was buried November 18, 2013.
For readers who don't know who he is, Sheldon Player created Equipment Acquisition Resources in Palatine, Illinois, where the company leased used equipment as new, equipment that did not exist, sale/leasebacks, and leases to non-existent companies to the tune of $135 million. He did this once before with Greyhound for $40 million and was sent to jail.
Leasing News was told by many readers that they had heard that Player had died of prostate cancer, and one of the main reasons he was allegedly not arrested by the FBI. Since November, Leasing News has been attempting to confirm the information from readers.
As a point of information, Shalom Memorial Funeral Home, Arlington Heights, Illinois, did not have an obituary and none was found in any of the local or regional newspapers. John Kenny was told that next of kin can request or write an obituary which the funeral home then places in a local and/or regional newspaper. None was requested.
This case is very similar to John Otto and HL Leasing, and there is no one left to answer as principals have filed bankruptcy, as did Player's estranged wife, Dorothy Malone, and Mark Anstett.
Pacer shows an Omnibus Hearing for over 100 creditors to be held January 14, 2014 at 2:00pm, with those to be notified, but nothing following it, meaning no report concerning the hearing was published. (1) This is perhaps a follow-up to a story written by Leasing News Legal Editor Tom McCurnin (2)
Equipment Acquisition Resource Stories:
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E.A.R. Case Takes Wrong Turn for Equipment Lessors
New Bankruptcy Judge Has Different Take on Case, and Order Lessors
Brandt v Leasing One 11: 22248(Northern District of Illinois, 2014)
This is an awful case involving at least a dozen equipment lessors, Plains Capital, American Bank, Suntrust Leasing, ICON, Banknorth Leasing, Manifest Funding and Lyon Financial, Pentech Leasing and KLC Financial, IBM Credit, and Leasing One; perhaps more. The lessors, on the eve of a dispositive hearing, had their existing friendly judge replaced with a rookie judge, who, without written comment, ordered the lessors to answer the complaint. After four complaints and hundreds of thousands of dollars of legal assets for dozens of lessors, all the attorney fees were essentially wasted by the stroke of a pen by this new bankruptcy judge.
The back story of Sheldon Player and Equipment Acquisition Resources (EAR) is probably well known, but worth briefly for context. He is alleged to double or triple financed equipment or financed equipment which simply did not exist. Equipment lessors provided financing with leases and lease-backs until about October 26, 2006, when EAR filed for bankruptcy. Sounds like the leasing companies might have been the victim in this scam, right?
The Trustee William Brandt was facing $135 million dollars in claims. The Trustee thought that the various leasing companies, about 11 of them, kept EAR alive, and while the lessors may have operated in good faith, the financing contributed to the loss, and without the financing, EAR would have cratered sooner. In addition there were other creditors of EAR that supplied EAR with goods or cash which propped up EAR.
The Trustee concluded that EAR was a Ponzi scheme, in that the “investors” were the creditors of EAR which supplied EAR with money and goods and expected payment in return. While characterizing EAR as a Ponzi scheme might be a bit of a stretch, such a characterization has an advantage in that there are special rules for Ponzi schemes and fraudulent conveyance actions. The investors really don’t have specific intent to defraud anyone. They are just ignorant investors. As a result, a body of law has developed which presumes intent if the Ponzi scheme is established. Thus, the Trustee could, if a Ponzi scheme was proven, go after the investors for the monies received during the scam. Three times the Trustee sued, and three times the old, friendly bankruptcy judge sustained the Motions to Dismiss filed by the equipment lessors.
The fourth complaint, called a third amended complaint, was filed by the Trustee for one last chance. The Trustee sued the equipment lessors to set aside, or recoup, the millions of dollars for the lease financings.
The lessors moved to dismiss, claiming that they were victims not participants in the fraudulent scheme and provided “reasonably equivalent value,” e.g., financing equipment. They also cited a case, BELT v Wachovia Corporation, 403 F.3d 474 (7th Cir. 2005) for the proposition that a creditor providing financing cannot be subject to a fraudulent conveyance claim, since the repayment of the loan had nothing to do with the underlying fraud or false financial statements. Finally, they argued that lessor’s fraud has to be alleged with specificity.
The Trustee responded by pointing out the questions:
• That the equipment was not “reasonably equivalent value” because it was largely worthless and unnecessary to EAR, except to perpetuate the fraud.
• That the repayment scheme was part of the fraud, which was to conceal the insolvency of EAR.
• That EAR committed 31 specific acts of fraud.
In previous hearings, Judge Timothy Barnes was not very receptive to the arguments of the Trustee, but suddenly, in early January, he recused himself from the case, and the case was assigned to a new judge, Donald R. Cassling, a brand new bankruptcy judge, with limited bankruptcy experience. He was sworn in January 18, 2014,
Judge Cassling took a fresh look at the Complaint, and without written comment, overruled the lessors’ motions to dismiss and ordered them to answer the third amended complaint.
I rarely criticize judicial opinions, but it’s hard to get your head around this case. I have no problem criticizing a lessor when it has done something wrong, but this is not the case here.
• The Court lost sight of the fact that the equipment lessors were the victims of Sheldon Player’s fraud, perhaps the largest victims.
• There was no allegation that the equipment lessors did anything wrong.
• There was no allegation that the lessors knew, or should have known with the exercise of reasonable diligence, that Sheldon Player was a crook.
• The amount financed for EAR far exceeded the amount of the lease payments.
• The BELT decision, referenced above, seems to hold that a bona fide lender, not involved in the fraud, is immune to fraudulent conveyance claims.
I’m assuming that this boils down to a newly appointed insecure judge, who is unwilling to stick his neck out to do the right thing, and will let the matter go to trial or summary judgment. That is little consolation for the lessors which combined probably spent a couple million dollars in attorney fees fighting four complaints.
EAR Opposition (16 pages)http://www.leasingnews.org/PDF/EAROpposition2014.pdfs)
EAR Reply (16 pages)
EAR Third Complaint (39 pages)
Interview with the Bankruptcy Judge/America Bar Assoc.
Tom McCurnin is a partner at Barton, Klugman & Oetting in Los Angeles, California.
Previous Tom McCurnin Articles:
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Ellen R. Alemany named to CIT's Board of Directors, to primarily serve as a member of CIT's audit committee. She "...is the former Head of The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Americas, the management structure that oversees RBS’ businesses in the Americas. She also served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc. Prior to RBS, she served as Chief Executive Officer for Global Transaction Services of Citigroup. She held a number of senior positions during her tenure at Citigroup including Executive Vice President for the Commercial Business group and President and CEO of CitiCapital. She also held a number of executive positions in Citigroup’s Global Corporate Bank, including Customer Group Executive of North American markets, Global Industry Head of Media and Communications, U.S. industry Head of Consumer Products, and Executive Vice President of Citibank and Customer Group Executive for the Global Relationship Bank in Europe, based in London.
Ms. Alemany received her MBA in finance from Fordham University. She serves on the Boards of Automatic Data Processing, Inc. and the Center for Discovery.
Tanya Blair has been promoted to leasing department specialist, Ervin Equipment Finance, Ann Arbor, Michigan. She joined Ervin January, 2003, becoming "... cross-trained in documentation/processing the agreements, credit entering and analyzing, collections and customer service; administrative assistant, Renaissance Precast Ind. (November, 2000-October, 2002).
Gale Burket promoted to v.p. global business development at Key Equipment Finance, Superior, Colorado. He joined the firm July, 1998, rising to regional leasing manager-Unisys Leasing. In November, 2005, v.p. business development; regional leasing manager, Leasetec (1992-1998); account executive, zone sales manager, branch sales manager, Burroughs Corporation/Unisys Corporation (1977-1992). Education: Minnesota State University, Moorhead Marketing, Business Admin (1973 – 1977). Activities and Societies: Intramural Football, Basketball, Softball.
Stephen Carr hired as director of sales, Sprocket. Previously he was sr. vice president, Patriot Consulting (2007-2013); national director of sales, Marlin Leasing (October, 2004-June, 2007); director sales & operations, Electric Mobility (October, 2002-October, 2004); mid-west director of sales, Micro Warehouse (January, 1994-March, 2002). Education: Kean University (1987 – 1991).
Brian DePonte promoted to senior vice president, innovative markets, Key Equipment Finance, Superior, Colorado. He joined the firm in 2011. Previously he was v.p., sales, Municipal Services Group (January, 1996-July, 2011); sales, Columbine Systems (1992-1995); sales/auditing, Transamerica Commercial Finance (1990-1992). Education: Texas Tech University BA, Management, Finance (1981 – 1989), Dean's List - Academic Excellence. Education self-financed.
Gene DiStefano promoted to healthcare program manager, CIT Vendor Finance, Jacksonville, Florida. He joined CIT August, 2012. Prior he was healthcare financial services sales executive, Karl Storz Endoscopy America (KSEA) (January, 2010-April, 20120; healthcare finance manager, Olympus America (July, 2007-January, 2010); healthcare finance specialist middle ticket, Phillips Medical Capital (PMC) (2004-2008); program manager, healthcare, De Lage Landen (1999-2004); major account executive vendor financial services (1995-1999); credit analyst, Checkpoint Systems (1993-1995).Education: Widener University, BA (1993).
Noiel Fontaine promoted to Eastern regional vice-president at CoBank, Enfield, Connecticut. He joined the firm June, 2011, now managing a team of six relationship managers. Previously he was president, Security Equipment Leasing (October, 2003-August, 2006); national sales manager, Micro Financial (October, 2001-September,2003); vice president eastern regional sales manager (July, 1995-September, 2001); vice president vendor programs, Heller Financial (December, 1992-July, 1995). Education: Babson College - Franklin W. Olin Graduate School of Business, MBA (1990–1992); Springfield College BS, Business Mgmt. & Psychology (1984–1988), Activities and Societies: Deans list Captain Lacrosse Team 1988, Four year letter winner; Longmeadow High School (1979–1983), 1983 Massachusetts Lacrosse state championship team; ELFA Lease training; Harvard Business School.
Don Hansen now chief executive office, Regents Capital, Orange County, California. Previously he was vice-president, Balboa Capital (1994-December, 2013). City Council, City of Huntington Beach (2004-December, 2004), serving as mayor 2011-2013; director, Orange County Transportation Authority (January, 2010-December, 2012).Education: University of Southern California, B.A., International Relations (1990–1994).
Sean Joyce promoted to vice-president and team leader, Regions Equipment Finance. He joined the firm September, 2012. Prior he was vice president, PNC Equipment Finance (March, 2011-September, 2012); vice-president, Regions Equipment Finance (May, 2005-March, 2011), vice president, GE Capital (September, 1999-May, 2005). Education: Bowling Green State University BSBA, Marketing and International Business (1995–1999). Activities and Societies: International Business Association Sigma Alpha Epsilon WBGU-PBS - Marketing Intern.
Paul Knapp promoted to senior recruiter & sales manager, Balboa Capital, Kirksville, Missouri. He joined the firm October, 2011. Prior he was management trainee, Enterprise Rent-A-Car (April, 2011-October,2011); inside sales representative (seasonal), Angeles Baseball (November, 2010-April, 2011). Education: University of Missouri-Saint Louis, Bachelor of Science, Media Studies (2007–2010). Honors and Awards: President's Club 2013, President's Club 2012, Up & Comer Award Winner - Q3 2012.
James R. Lahti, CLP, has joined BancLease Acceptance Corp as Vice President of Sales, Irving, Texas. Previously he was president, Affiliated Investment Group.(2002-2014); president, BancPartners of Texas, Inc. (2001); president, Affiliated Corporate Services (1982-2001). 1998 president of United Association of Equipment Leasing. Education: University of Michigan, BGS, Business, Psychology (1970–1974).
Daniel Lemire hired as general counsel/EVP-legal and operations at Century Tokyo Leasing (USA) Inc. Previously he was senior counsel-Americas, NetAPP (March, 2001-January, 2014), consulting counsel, Axiom (March, 2001-March, 2012); temporary consulting counsel, Lexolution-On assignment with Citibank, N.A.’s procurement group (February, 2011-May, 2001); sr. v.p. & general counsel, Webster Bank, Webster Capital Finance (formerly Center Capital Corporation (June, 1995-Decembere, 2009); counsel & assistant secretary, HSBC-Concord Group of Companies (October, 1988-August, 1994); corporate attorney, The Hanover Insurance Group (October, 1985-September, 1988); associate, Rosen, Crosson, McGlynn & Resnek (October, 1983-October, 1985). Honors & Awards: AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated, Martindale Hubbell. Suffolk University Law School, J.D., Law (1979 – 1984), Dean's List, Law School Trustee Scholarship.
Patrick McDermott named SVP of Direct Originations, Nations Equipment Finance, Norwalk, Connecticut; lease and loan origination activities in the Northeastern United States. "He has held positions with US Bank Equipment Finance as vice president, TD Banknorth as vice president, Bank of America as vice president and GE Capital as vice president–senior account executive."
Marsha Moffitt, senior vice president-senior banker, JP Morgan Chase, Greater Nashville Area. She joined the firm January, 2003 as asst. vice -president, syndication associate; January, 2008, vice-president, syndication manager; vice president-territory manager, January, 2001). Previously she was an accountant, DuPont Canada (May,1999-May, 2002). Education: US Securities and Exchange Commission, Series 7 - General Securities License (2003); Mount Allison University, Bachelor of Commerce, Accounting/Finance.
Dennis Odiorne now president, Regents Capital Corporation, Orange County, California. Previously he was sales manager, Balboa Capital.
Failed banks: Class of 2014
The first bank closure of 2014 occurred Jan. 17.
The one bank failure in 2014 did not involve a loss-share agreement. In 2013, only three of the 24 bank failures had a loss-share agreement. In 2012, the FDIC entered loss-share agreements with the buyers of 20 of the 51 closed banks.
The median cost to the deposit insurance fund at the time of announcement as a percentage of the failed banks' assets was 3% so far in 2014, 22% in 2013 and 21% in 2012.
West Chicago, Ill.-based DuPage National Bank ($61.7 million)
The bank was established in 1891 and operated three branches in the Chicago MSA. DuPage National was the first bank failure in Illinois since Covenant Bank in February 2013. The bank had incurred net losses for 24 consecutive quarters for an aggregate loss of $17.2 million. As of Sept. 30, 2013, 17.41% of its gross loans were past due or nonaccrual.
Leasing News article DuPage National Bank
Leasing Industry Help Wanted
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Lease Police offers yearly subscriptions (365 days) and allow up to 5 signors to sign under their own password. They may pull any current file of 75,000 vendors or will receive a new file within 3-4 business hours. Any pull of a current file generally will receive an updated file in the same day as needed.
Larger fixed amounts available as well as unlimited usage.
Bernie Boettigheimer, CLP, relates a call last week he received from the President of a bank subsidiary which is a long-standing Subscriber:
"They had just hired a salesman who had a fine reputation in the industry and who brought with him a rather new vendor who appeared clean. After the Lease Police report was pulled it showed an “Alert” and a score of 100. The President called me for some background on this vendor (actually a broker posing as a vendor). That firm’s Fictitious Name was filed by a new corporation as owner but the business and real ownership were actually the same as a very notorious broker whose BBB rating was “F”. A “bad apple “indeed! This is how things change and get out of control. It only takes a couple situations like this to cause serious problems in your portfolio’s performance. Obviously my Subscriber was pleased."
"For those of you who are still ‘sitting on the fence’ about becoming a Lease Police Subscriber there is still time to make a move before you again commit to those usual very costly services which can’t help you judge vendors in a leasing or financing transaction. Making a switch now could be a problem if our rates were higher than any one of them, but the opposite is true! Furthermore, you’ll save money."
Bernie Boettigheimer, CLP
On Line Equipment Auction List
This is not a list of companies who hold auctions primarily, but those who conduct on line auctions.
List of many auction sites for consumer and vehicle:
Online auction Top Ten Most Popular Sites
Leasing News Advisor
Steve Crane, CLP is an original member of the Leasing News Advisory Board, joining in July of 2000. During his career he has held positions at Westinghouse Credit, Ingersoll Rand Financial, CIT and Taylor Financial. He is currently Vice President and Marketing Manager for the Indirect Equipment Finance Group at Bank of the West where he has been employed for over 19 years. “I have known Kit Menkin for almost 30 years, going back to the CIT and Taylor Financial days of my career and am happy to be a part of The Leasing News Advisory Board”.
Steve Crane, CLP
He is currently Vice President and Marketing Manager for the Third Party Equipment Finance Group at Bank of the West where he has been employed for over 19 years.
Steve and his wife Cheryl have two sons, Ryan, who is a firefighter in the San Jose area, and Alex, who recently graduated from The University of Oregon and is applying to medical school. Steve and Cheryl are big college football fans and enjoy traveling to games with their sons.
An avid outdoorsman, Steve enjoys backpacking, skiing, sailing, golfing and endurance sports. Since his sons have left the house he has more time on his hands and has taken up the sport of triathlon. Steve has competed in numerous Olympic and Half Ironman distance races and completed two Full Ironman races, including the inaugural Ironman Los Cabos.
Steve enjoys his work and is looking forward to many more years of participating on the Leasing News Advisory Board and the equipment financing industry
Failed-bank bidding details spotlight: Umpqua Bank
Although Umpqua Bank, a unit of Portland, Ore.-based Umpqua Holdings Corp., has not been disclosed as a bidder in a failed-bank transaction in more than three years, it still ranks as one of the most active bidders since 2009. Umpqua's Sept. 11, 2013, announcement that it is acquiring Spokane, Wash.-based Sterling Financial Corp., which had $9.98 billion in total assets as of Sept. 30, 2013, could keep it on the sidelines for any bank acquisition in 2014 as well. The deal for Sterling is slated to close in the first quarter.
Umpqua has submitted a total of 14 bids on failed banks, based on disclosed bids to the FDIC from Jan. 1, 2009, through Jan. 15, 2014. That includes 11 bids on distinct failures. It has completed four failed-bank deals and was the runner-up bidder on five deals.
Umpqua has stayed within its West Coast footprint in its failed-bank bidding efforts. Of the 11 distinct bids, five of the banks were based in Washington, one was in Oregon, four were in California and one was in Nevada.
One of the most recent bids disclosed for Umpqua was for the Stockton, Calif.-based Pacific State Bank failure on Aug. 20, 2010, as an "other" bidder. The failed bank received five bids, with the winner being Roseville, Calif.-based Rabobank NA.
Umpqua was also another bidder for the Aug. 20, 2010, failure of Sonoma, Calif.-based Sonoma Valley Bank. The failure drew 11 bids and was won by Westamerica Bank, a unit of San Rafael, Calif.-based Westamerica Bancorp.
Additionally, Umpqua bid on another Aug. 20, 2010, failure. It was listed as the runner-up bidder, as well as another bidder, for Chico, Calif.-based Butte Community Bank. The winning bidder for that transaction was Rabobank.
For both the Tacoma, Wash.-based Rainier Pacific Savings Bank seizure and the Seattle-based EvergreenBank closure, Umpqua was the only disclosed bidder.
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Florida’s Abba Equipment Leasing Expands Its Aircraft
Abba Equipment Leasing continues to increase its list of aircraft leasing options to provide financing for any type of aircraft while specializing in the difficult-to-place category, such as experimental, vintage and jumbo jets.
SPRING HILL, Fla. – Aircraft are especially well suited for Leasing, as opposed to outright purchase. Companies and individuals can avoid the huge capital outlay required for down payments, and thus have the cash available for other business purposes, such as marketing and growing the company. Certain types of aircraft, such as vintage aircraft, are very hard to place with a Leasing company. Abba Equipment Leasing has announced that it welcomes Vintage Aircraft enthusiasts, and now reports that they will handle any type of aircraft. They have a staff of financing experts that have the ability to craft the perfect lease for all clients, according to a company spokesperson.
Abba Equipment Leasing points out that leasing shifts the residual value risk to the lessor. This is significant because aircraft values depreciate over time. Meanwhile, lease payments can be written-off as an operating expense. Payments on Leases are usually a lot lower than the payment on an aircraft purchase. Shareholder or Insurance Liability issues can prevent many companies from making an aircraft purchase, which makes leasing an attractive option. Leases can be for short time periods, generally three years or longer. Noteworthy mention is the fact that leasing makes it possible to walk away from the aircraft at the end of the lease without the hassle of selling an owned aircraft, or facing prepayment penalties for an early sale of a mortgaged aircraft.
Abba states that they have over thirty years’ experience in aircraft financing, including all types of aircraft. As one of the oldest sources of aviation financing, clients from all industries have a “one stop” financial source to meet their varied needs. It appears that leasing aircraft is the preferred method, as nearly one-half of all commercial aircraft are leased. This enables the access to the latest technology, and the avoidance of investing in a depreciating asset.
The Mission Statement by Abba Equipment Leasing is “To help business owners grow and prosper.” They offer both New Equipment Leasing as well as Used Equipment Leasing. Their team members are certified in a multitude of areas, such as: Aircraft Leasing and Financing, Restaurant equipment leasing, Bakery equipment leasing, heavy equipment leasing, medical equipment leasing, computer equipment leasing, equipment financing, office furniture leasing, farm equipment leasing, fitness equipment leasing and construction equipment leasing, and others.
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Equipment leasing company orders freighter conversion
Equipment leasing company Vx Capital Partners selected Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. to provide its first B737-400SF passenger-to-freighter conversion.
The aircraft is a standard gross-weight B737-400 built in 1994 and will undergo freighter modification at AEI’s Authorized Conversion Center in Miami.
“Vx is seeing demand in the cargo market for well-maintained, low-cycle 737-400s. We believe that the AEI conversion will allow us to offer our customers the versatile and reliable aircraft they require to compete effectively,” Will Hudson, president of Vx Capital Partners, said. “We look forward to converting more 737s for our customers in the near future.” Vx’s B737-400SF will be available for lease in July.
“Vx Capitals’s decision to convert their first B737-400SF on a speculative basis is further proof that the narrow-body freighter market continues to gain momentum,” Robert T. Convey, vice president of sales and marketing for AEI, said. “AEI is the leading B737-400SF conversion provider and looks forward to supplying Vx with the industry’s most capable freighter.”
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The Oscar race is on with two new releases ("August: Osage County" and "Philomena"), while DVD releases offer splashy comedies ("Don Jon," "I'm So Excited") and a disturbing documentary ("The Act of Killing").
August: Osage County (Weinstein Company): The darker side of family matters is the subject of this all-star adaptation of Tracy Letts' award-winning play, an acidic comedy-drama set in rural Oklahoma. In another fierce, Oscar-nominated performance, Meryl Streep stars as Violet, an ailing but still vehement matriarch whose household is thrown off-kilter by the sudden disappearance of her husband (Sam Shepard). Soon, the home is flooded by relatives, including sister Mattie (Margo Martindale), daughter Barbara (Julia Roberts) and granddaughter Jean (Abigail Breslin), all of whom have their own dirty laundry to air out. A poison letter to family reunions, John Wells' streamlined film version maintains the original's flavor thanks to its powerhouse cast (which also includes Juliette Lewis, Ewan McGregor, and Chris Cooper), who tears into Letts' characteristically humorous nastiness with gusto.
Philomena (Twentieth-Century Fox): Renowned actress Judi Dench teams up with director Stephen Frears ("Dangerous Liaisons") for this fact-based, poignant drama. Dench plays the eponymous Philomena, who as a young woman was separated from her child during her time at a Catholic convent. Decades later, she sets out to find out what happened to her boy, a journey that takes her from England to America. Accompanying her is Martin Sixmith (Steve Coogan), a sarcastic journalist who hopes to turn Philomena's search into a juicy magazine article. As the two get closer to the truth, they experience discoveries not just about the past but also about themselves. Deftly combining heartbreak with sly humor, Frears creates a polished, tearjerking road movie highlighted by Dench's and Coogan's expert performances.
Don Jon (Fox): A former child star who matured into a versatile and often edgy performer, Joseph Gordon-Levitt makes his directorial debut in this energetic indie comedy. Gordon-Levitt also stars as Jon, a New Jersey guy whose dedication to family and church is contrasted with his obsession with adult movies. This obsession leads him to hold unrealistic expectations when it comes to women, especially in his relationship with Barbara (Scarlett Johansson), whose views of love derive mainly from romantic Hollywood comedies. Can these two tough-talking but secretly vulnerable find some emotional common ground, or are they destined to go their own separate ways? With exuberant humor and lively supporting performances from Julianne Moore and Tony Danza, Gordon-Levitt takes an unlikely romantic subject and fills it with bounce and heart.
I'm So Excited (Sony): Following a decade of more mature dramas, Spanish director Pedro Almodovar returns to the anarchic comedies that first made his name with this freewheeling farce, which unfolds mainly inside the craziest airplane on the continent. As technical difficulties force their Mexico-bound flight to remain endlessly circling the airs, pilots Benito (Hugo Silva) and Alex (Antonio de la Torre) struggle to keep their passengers calm. It looks like it will take a lot of work for that, though, because the passengers include everything from anxious couples to hired killers, with everybody ready and willing to embrace the chaos about to break out. Shot in luscious colors and featuring surprise cameos by some of Almodovar's biggest stars, this is a frothily enjoyable romp that's ready-made for fans of the impish, bad-boy filmmaker. With subtitles.
The Act of Killing (New Video): There has never been a documentary quite like Joshua Oppenheimer's unconventional look into the lives of assassins turned heroes in Indonesia. In the 1960s, the Indonesian government gave a group of thugs the right to kill under the guise of ridding the country of "communists," leading to countless atrocities. Now, Oppenheimer and his courageous co-directors interview the elderly murderers as they look back nostalgically at their time of power and terror. Given the chance to turn their crimes into movie scenarios like crime thrillers and even musicals, they reenact the bloody past with surreal cheerfulness. Can a hint of remorse intrude into their monstrous fantasies? Disturbing and unforgettable, this is one of the year's best releases. With subtitles.
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This Day in History
It was slavery and not gold or any major agriculture item that was being brought back to Europe. By the late seventeenth century, the African slave trade was a relatively large-scale business enterprise, largely in the hands of the Dutch until the 1660s. It was continued by the English, with New Englanders especially active after the Royal Africa Trade Company lost its monopoly in 1696. In the trade, a ship sailed from New England with rum and other goods for the Slave Coast. The slaves were then carried, under the most miserable conditions, to the West Indies or to the colonial South, where they were exchanged for sugar, molasses, and tobacco for the North. During this period, Virginia planters relied more on white indentured servants from Europe than on slaves from Africa. There were 6000 indentured servants in Virginia in 1681, compared with 2000 slaves. Some indentured servants came voluntarily, signing papers for five or more years, at the end of which time they would receive some clothing and perhaps a parcel of land. They often then became tenant farmers. Criminals, vagrants, and debtors were sent involuntarily to the New World, usually for a term of service of seven years. And others, children and adults, were victims of kidnapping. They were sold to shipmasters who in turn sold them into servitude in America. Many debtor servants caused trouble in the colonies. As a result, the end of the seventeenth century saw a steady growth in the slave trade.
1730- Joseph Hewes birthday. Signer of the Declaration of Independence. Born at Princeton, NJ, he died Nov 10, 1779, at Philadelphia, PA.
1737-Birthday of John Hancock, American patriot and statesman, first signer of the Declaration of Independence and one of the richest men in the country at the time. He had a lot to lose if the revolution were to fail. Born at Braintree, MA, he died at Quincy, MA, Oct. 8, 1793. Because of his conspicuous signature on the Declaration, Hancock's name has become part of the American language, referring to any handwritten signature, as in “Put your John Hancock on that.”
1775 – The Georgia Colony adopts a revised version of the Continental Association which mandates a non-importation policy and a trade embargo against Britain to force a repeal of the Coercive Acts of 1774.
1780 - The coldest day of the coldest month of record in the northeastern U.S. A British Army thermometer in New York City registered a reading of 16 degrees below zero. During that infamous hard winter, the harbor was frozen solid for five weeks, and the port was cut off from sea supply.
1789 - Georgetown College was founded by Father John Carroll, 54, as the first Catholic college in the United States. The school is in Washington, DC. Its name today is Georgetown University.
1845 – US Congress decided all national elections would be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The law was signed by Pres. John Tyler.
1849- Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to receive an MD degree in the US???. The native of Bristol, England, was awarded her degree by the Medical Institution of Geneva, NY.
1863-Confederate General John Bell Hood is officially removed as commander of the Army of Tennessee. He had requested the removal a few weeks before. The action closed a sad chapter in the history of the Army of Tennessee. A close personal friend of President Jefferson Davis and a Kentucky native, Hood attended West Point and graduated in 1853. He served in the frontier army until the outbreak of the Civil War. Hood resigned his commission and became a colonel commanding the 4th Texas Infantry. Hood's unit was sent to the Army of Northern Virginia, where it fought during the Peninsular Campaign of 1862. Hood, now a brigadier general, built a reputation as an aggressive field commander. He distinguished himself during the Seven Days' battle in June, and was given command of a division. His counterattack at Antietam in September may have saved Robert E. Lee's army from total destruction. After being severely wounded at Gettysburg in July 1863, Hood was transferred to the Army of Tennessee. He was soon wounded again, losing a leg at Chickamauga in September. Hood was promoted to corps commander for the Atlanta campaign of 1864, and was elevated to commander of the army upon the removal of Joseph Johnston in July. Over the next five months, Hood presided over the near destruction of that great Confederate army. He unsuccessfully attacked General William T. Sherman's army three times near Atlanta, relinquished the city after a month-long siege. He then took his army back to Tennessee in the fall to draw Sherman away from the deep South. Sherman dispatched part of his army to Tennessee, and Hood lost two disastrous battles at Franklin and Nashville in November and December 1864.
There were about 65,000 soldiers in the Army of Tennessee when Hood assumed command in July. On January 1, a generous assessment would count 18,000 men in the army. The Confederate Army of Tennessee was no longer a viable fighting force.
1870- US Soldiers deliberately massacred the wrong camp of Indians
Declaring he did not care whether or not it was the rebellious band of Indians he had been searching for, Colonel Eugene Baker orders his men to attack a sleeping camp of peaceful Blackfeet along the Marias River in northern Montana. The previous fall, Malcolm Clarke, an influential Montana rancher, had accused a Blackfeet warrior named Owl Child of stealing some of his horses; he punished the proud brave with a brutal whipping. In retribution, Owl Child and several allies murdered Clarke and his son at their home near Helena, and then fled north to join a band of rebellious Blackfeet under the leadership of Mountain Chief. Outraged and frightened, Montanans demanded that Owl Child and his followers be punished, and the government responded by ordering the forces garrisoned under Major Eugene Baker at Fort Ellis (near modern-day Bozeman, Montana) to strike back. Strengthening his cavalry units with two infantry groups from Fort Shaw near Great Falls, Baker led his troops out into sub-zero winter weather and headed north in search of Mountain Chief's band. Soldiers later reported that Baker drank a great deal throughout the march. On January 22, Baker discovered an Indian village along the Marias River, and, postponing his attack until the following morning, spent the evening drinking heavily. At daybreak on the morning of January 23, 1870, Baker ordered his men to surround the camp in preparation for attack. As the darkness faded, Baker's scout, Joe Kipp, recognized that the painted designs on the buffalo-skin lodges were those of a peaceful band of Blackfeet led by Heavy Runner. Mountain Chief and Owl Child, Kipp quickly realized, must have gotten wind of the approaching soldiers and moved their winter camp elsewhere. Kipp rushed to tell Baker that they had the wrong Indians, but Baker reportedly replied, "That makes no difference, one band or another of them; they are all Piegans [Blackfeet] and we will attack them." Baker then ordered a sergeant to shoot Kipp if he tried to warn the sleeping camp of Blackfeet and gave the command to attack. Baker's soldiers began blindly firing into the village, catching the peaceful Indians utterly unaware and defenseless. By the time the brutal attack was over, Baker and his men had, by the best estimate, murdered 37 men, 90 women, and 50 children. Knocking down lodges with frightened survivors inside, the soldiers set them on fire, burnt some of the Blackfeet alive, and then burned the band's meager supplies of food for the winter. Baker initially captured about 140 women and children as prisoners to take back to Fort Ellis, but when he discovered many were ill with smallpox, he abandoned them to face the deadly winter without food or shelter. When word of the Baker Massacre (now known as the Marias Massacre) reached the east, many Americans were outraged. One angry congressman denounced Baker, saying "civilization shudders at horrors like this." Baker's superiors, however, supported his actions, as did the people of Montana, with one journalist calling Baker's critics "namby-pamby, sniffling old maid sentimentalists." Neither Baker nor his men faced a court martial or any other disciplinary actions. However, the public outrage over the massacre did derail the growing movement to transfer control of Indian affairs from the Department of Interior to the War Department. President Ulysses S. Grant decreed that henceforth all Indian agents would be civilians rather than soldiers.
1907 - Charles Curtis, of Kansas, began his term serving in the United States Senate, making him the first American Indian to become a United States Senator. In March of 1929, he resigned to become United States President Herbert Hoover's Vice President
1910 –Jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt's birthday
1913 -- Joe Hill's song "Mr. Block" published in the "Industrial Worker".
1919- birthday of Ernie Kovacs, early television pioneer and great comedian. With his wife Edie Adams, he had both a morning and then one of the first late night television shows, smoking a large cigar, that his wife later made even more famous. I remember as a teenager the superimposing of Ernie being very small, looking down his wife's well-endowed evening gown. This was very new and shocking on TV. The gorilla's and his great humor???. He died in a bizarre car accident in Beverly Hills in 1962, with his wife in a separate car in the lead, his slipped on the wet pavement and went slamming at 25 miles an hour into a telephone poll, where the leadsman had left the bottom rung to climb, and it went through the driver's door, killing him instantly.
1930-Birthday of Black American poet and playwright Derek Walcott, born in St. Lucia, in the Caribbean. Walcott will win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992. Walcott's family descended from slaves in the West Indies, and the legacy of slavery is a common theme in his work. Both his parents were schoolteachers and encouraged a love of reading in their three children. When Walcott's father died, his mother raised the family on her own. Walcott knew early on he wanted to be a writer. His first book of poems was published when he was only 18. He continued writing and began teaching as well. Deeply interested in theater as well as poetry, he received a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation in 1957, which allowed him to study with a prominent director in New York for two years. In New York, Walcott founded the Trinidad Theater Workshop. A prolific poet, Walcott published “In a Green Night: Poems 1948-1960” in 1962, “Selected Poems” in 1964, “The Castaway” in 1965, and “The Gulf” in 1969. His lush style explores multicultural tensions and questions of identity. Meanwhile, he continued his work in the theater, with plays like “Ti-Jean and His Brothers” (produced in 1958), “Dream on Monkey Mountain” (produced 1967), and “Pantomime” (produced 1978). He wrote more than 30 plays while continuing to publish poetry collections regularly. His book-length poem “Omeros”, published in 1990, evokes Homer's Odyssey in the environment of the Caribbean. Walcott was the first Caribbean writer to win the Nobel Prize.
1933-the 20th Amendment was ratified, fixing the date of the presidential inauguration at the current Jan 20 instead of the previous Mar 4. It also specified that were the president-elect to die before taking office, the vice president-elect would succeed to the presidency. In addition, it set Jan 3 as the official opening date of Congress each year.
1941-Charles A. Lindbergh, a national hero since his 1927 nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic, testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the Lend-Lease policy and suggests that the United States negotiate a neutrality pact with Hitler. In March 1932, Lindbergh made headlines again, but this time because of the kidnapping of his two-year-old son. The baby was later found dead, and the man convicted of the crime, Bruno Hauptmann, was executed. Many historians believe the real murderer was Lindbergh's sister, who had a history of mental disorder and violence, plus she was living in the house. To flee unwanted publicity, Lindbergh and his wife, Anne Morrow, daughter of U.S. ambassador Dwight Morrow, moved to Europe. During the mid-1930s, Lindbergh became familiar with German advances in aviation and warned his U.S. counterparts of Germany's growing air superiority. But Lindbergh also became enamored of much of the German national "revitalization" he encountered, and allowed himself to be decorated by Hitler's government, which drew tremendous criticism back home. Upon Lindbergh's return to the States, he agitated for neutrality with Germany, and testified before Congress in opposition to the Lend-Lease policy, which offered cash and military aid to countries friendly to the United States in their war effort against the Axis powers. His public denunciation of "the British, the Jewish, and the Roosevelt Administration" as instigators of American intervention in the war, as well as comments that smacked of anti-Semitism, lost him the support of other isolationists. When, in 1941, President Roosevelt denounced Lindbergh publicly, the aviator resigned from the Air Corps Reserve. He eventually contributed to the war effort, though, flying 50 combat missions over the Pacific. His participation in the war, along with his promotion to brigadier general of the Air Force Reserve in 1954 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a popular Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “The Spirit of St. Louis”, and a movie based on his exploits all worked to redeem him in the public's eyes.
1941- Artie Shaw records “Moonglow/Dancing in the Dark” ( Victor 27405/27335). In the band were Johnny Guarnieri, Jack Jenney, Billy Butterfield and Ray Conniff on trombone.
1943- The New Tribes Mission was incorporated in Los Angeles by founder Paul W. Fleming. NTM works today primarily in missionary aviation, Bible translation, church planting and the production and distribution of Christian literature.
1943- Duke Ellington Band plays first Carnegie Hall concert, introduces “Black, Brown, and Beige.”
1943---Medal of Honor-FOSS, JOSEPH JACOB
Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Marine Fighting Squadron 121, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. Place and date: Over Guadalcanal, 9 October to 19 November 1942, 15 and 23 January 1943. Entered service at: South Dakota. Born: 17 April 1915, Sioux Falls, S. Dakota. Citation: For outstanding heroism and courage above and beyond the call of duty as executive officer of Marine Fighting Squadron 121, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, at Guadalcanal. Engaging in almost daily combat with the enemy from 9 October to 19 November 1942, Capt. Foss personally shot down 23 Japanese planes and damaged others so severely that their destruction was extremely probable. In addition, during this period, he successfully led a large number of escort missions, skillfully covering reconnaissance, bombing, and photographic planes as well as surface craft. On 15 January 1943, he added 3 more enemy planes to his already brilliant successes for a record of aerial combat achievement unsurpassed in this war. Boldly searching out an approaching enemy force on 25 January, Capt. Foss led his 8 F-4F Marine planes and 4 Army P-38′s into action and, undaunted by tremendously superior numbers, intercepted and struck with such force that 4 Japanese fighters were shot down and the bombers were turned back without releasing a single bomb. His remarkable flying skill, inspiring leadership, and indomitable fighting spirit were distinctive factors in the defense of strategic American positions on Guadalcanal. In 1959, he was appointed as the first Commissioner of the new American Football League.
1944 – There are now about 50,000 Allied troops concentrated in the Anzio beachhead. General Lucas commands. German resistance is light but the Allied forces advance slowly. Meanwhile, German Luftwaffe General Albert Kesselring believes it is possible to maintain the Gustav Line defenses at the same time as containing the Anzio landings. The commander of the German 10th Army, von Vietinghoff favors a withdrawal from the southern defensive line. The German High Command allots German reserves from France, northern Italy and the Balkans as well as the German 14th Army headquarters to organize defenses around Anzio. Within a week a total of 8 German divisions are concentrated in the area.
1944- The Detroit Red Wings set an NHL record for consecutive goals scored when they defeated the New York Rangers, 15-0.
1945--Medal of Honor-ORESKO, NICHOLAS
Rank and organization: Master Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company C, 302d Infantry, 94th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Tettington, Germany, 23 January 1945. Entered service at: Bayonne, N.J. Birth: Bayonne, N.J. G.O. No.: 95, 30 October 1945. Citation: M/Sgt. Oresko was a platoon leader with Company C, in an attack against strong enemy positions. Deadly automatic fire from the flanks pinned down his unit. Realizing that a machine gun in a nearby bunker must be eliminated, he swiftly worked ahead alone, braving bullets which struck about him, until close enough to throw a grenade into the German position. He rushed the bunker and, with pointblank rifle fire, killed all the hostile occupants who survived the grenade blast. Another machine gun opened up on him, knocking him down and seriously wounding him in the hip. Refusing to withdraw from the battle, he placed himself at the head of his platoon to continue the assault. As withering machine gun and rifle fire swept the area, he struck out alone in advance of his men to a second bunker. With a grenade, he crippled the dug-in machine gun defending this position and then wiped out the troops manning it with his rifle, completing his second self-imposed, 1-man attack. Although weak from loss of blood, he refused to be evacuated until assured the mission was successfully accomplished. Through quick thinking, indomitable courage, and unswerving devotion to the attack in the face of bitter resistance and while wounded, M /Sgt. Oresko killed 12 Germans, prevented a delay in the assault, and made it possible for Company C to obtain its objective with minimum casualties.
1948-John Huston's "Treasure of Sierra Madre" starring Humphrey Bogart opens
1951 –Top Hits
Tennessee Waltz - Patti Page
The Thing - Phil Harris
A Bushell and a Peck - Perry Como & Betty Hutton
The Shot Gun Boogie - Tennessee Ernie Ford
1955 - The U.S. Presbyterian Church votes to accept women as ministers.
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes - The Platters
My Happiness - Connie Francis
Donna - Ritchie Valens
Billy Bayou - Jim Reeves
1962- Jackie Robinson became the first black ballplayer to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Robinson broke baseball's color line in 1947 and played for the Brooklyn Dodgers through 1956.
1963 -- A 20-year-old college dropout from Port Arthur, TX named Janis Joplin begins hitchhiking to San Francisco in order to become a singer, along with her friend Chet Helms.
1964- the Twenty-Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified. Poll taxes and other taxes were eliminated as a prerequisite for voting in all federal elections. Payment of the tax stood as a potent prerequisite, and sometimes outright barrier, to voting in national elections. And, for the Southern Democrats who designed and helped pass the tax in a number of Southern states during the 1880s and 1890s, this was precisely the point: the poll tax was a blunt tool for barring poverty-stricken African-Americans and whites from participating in the electoral process. As such, the tax was also a means for stemming the rise of the Populist Party, which had used a racially mixed coalition of poor and lower class voters to gain a place on the national stage. Attempts to roll back the poll tax were generally blocked in the Senate. However, in 1949, Senator Spessard L. Holland of Florida took up the cause of killing the tax forever via a constitutional amendment. When the Senate finally passed the Twenty-Fourth Amendment in 1962, the poll tax remained in effect in five Southern states: Virginia, Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas and Alabama. After 1964, it was constitutionally legal in none.
ABC musical variety show featuring the singing and playing of the King sisters and other descendants of William King Driggs, who organized the family musical group in the 1930s. Including spouses, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, some three dozen members of the King family have appeared on camera at one time.
1965 - Petula Clark becomes the first British female to hit the top of the American charts, with her smash "Downtown."
I'm a Believer - The Monkees
Tell It Like It Is - Aaron Neville
Georgy Girl - The Seekers
There Goes My Everything - Jack Greene
1968 - North Korea seized the USS Pueblo in the Sea of Japan, claiming the ship was on a spy mission. The crew was held for 11 months. The vessel was confiscated. The Pueblo incident began when the Navy intelligence ship was seized off the coast of North Korea by North Korean patrol boats. It was claimed that the Pueblo had been caught within North Korean waters. Its crew of 83 was subjected to harsh treatment until their release. Accompanying the crew when they were released--on Dec 22, 1968--was the body of Seaman Duane D. Hodges, the only crewman killed. The Pueblo incident was a blow to the Johnson administration's credibility, as the president seemed powerless to free the captured crew and ship. Combined with the public's perception--in the wake of the Tet Offensive--that the Vietnam War was being lost, the Pueblo incident resulted in a serious faltering of Johnson's popularity with the American people. The crewmen's reports about their horrific treatment at the hands of the North Koreans during their 11 months in captivity further incensed American citizens, many of whom believed that Johnson should have taken more aggressive action to free the captive Americans. They were primarily after actual cipher machine and this was the main plan in the capture of the Pueblo. With it, they could read all secret communication by the US military, which was not known until the capture of the traitor until early this century.
1970- During the trial of the "Chicago Seven" accused of starting a riot during the 1968 Democratic National Convention, witness Judy Collins is denied the right to sing a relevant song during her testimony.
1971 - In Prospect Creek Camp, Alaska the lowest temperature ever recorded in the United States was reported when the thermometer fell to minus 80 degrees.
1973-President Nixon announces that Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho, the chief North Vietnamese negotiator, have initiated a peace agreement in Paris "to end the war and bring peace with honor in Vietnam and Southeast Asia", preliminary signed on January 22 and official agreement signed on January 27. Kissinger and Tho had been conducting secret negotiations since 1969. After the South Vietnamese had blunted the massive North Vietnamese invasion launched in the spring of 1972, Kissinger and the North Vietnamese had finally made some progress on reaching a negotiated end to the war. However, a recalcitrant South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu had inserted several demands into to the negotiations that caused the North Vietnamese negotiators to walk out of the talks with Kissinger on December 13. President Nixon issued an ultimatum to Hanoi to send its representatives back to the conference table within 72 hours "or else." The North Vietnamese rejected Nixon's demand and the president ordered Operation Linebacker II, a full-scale air campaign against the Hanoi area. This operation was the most concentrated air offensive of the war. During the 11 days of the attack, 700 B-52 sorties and more than 1,000 fighter-bomber sorties dropped roughly 20,000 tons of bombs, mostly over the densely populated area between Hanoi and Haiphong. On December 28, after 11 days of intensive bombing, the North Vietnamese agreed to return to the talks. When the negotiators met again in early January, they quickly worked out a settlement.
1973 - Tony Orlando and Dawn's "Knock Three Times" hits #1
1973- Neil Young interrupted a concert in New York to announce that the US had accepted a ceasefire in Vietnam. The audience was reported to have hugged and kissed for 10 minutes.
1974 - The movie "The Exorcist", based on William Peter Blatty's novel, opened with Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" playing over the movie's credits. The song was awarded a gold record.
Mandy - Barry Manilow
Please Mr. Postman - Carpenters
Laughter in the Rain - Neil Sedaka
Kentucky Gambler - Merle Haggard
1975-"Barney Miller" premiered on television, about a New York precinct captain starred Hal Linden as Captain Barney Miller. The 12th Precinct gang included Barbara Barrie as Miller's wife, Abe Vigoda as Detective Phil Fish, Max Gail as Sergeant Stan Wojciehowicz, Gregory Sierra as Sergeant Chano Amenguale, Jack Soo as Sergeant Nick Yemana, Ron Glass as Detective Ron Harris and a host of others. It was one of my favorite television shows ( not seen on re-run, yet ).
1977 - When Carole King's landmark album, "Tapestry", hit its 302nd week on the album charts, it became the longest-running album to hit the charts in history. It would eventually be eclipsed, no pun intended, by Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.
1982 -- CBS broadcasts The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception, charging General William Westmoreland oversaw the intentional underestimation of enemy forces to improve the perception of how things were going. Westmoreland filed a libel suit, which he subsequently lost.
1983 - "The A-Team", began its run on television, full of action and drama, starring, Mr. T. Wearing a ton of gold jewelry, he played the not so mild-mannered Sergeant Bosco B.A. Baracus, under the command of George Peppard as John Hannibal Smith
Down Under - Men at Work
The Girl is Mine - Michael Jackson /Paul McCartney
Dirty Laundry - Don Henley
(Lost His Love) On Our Last Date - Emmylou Harris
1983 — Miami linebacker A.J. Duhe has three interceptions, including one he returns for a 35-yard touchdown, as the Dolphins defeat the Jets 14-0 in the AFC Championship Game.
1986 - The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts its very first class of musicians: Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Fats Domino, Sam Cooke, and the Everly Brothers.
1988- for the first time ever, a bowler named Bob Benoit rolled a 300 game on television to win a professional tournament. He won the Quaker State Open in Grand Prairie,, TX, and earned a $100,000 bonus.
1991- Policeman's Videotaped Murder Leads to Killers' Convictions in Texas. Darrell Lunsford, a county constable in Garrison, Texas, is killed after pulling over a traffic violator. His murder was remarkable because it was captured on a camera set up in Lunsford's patrol vehicle. The videotape evidence led to the conviction of the three men who beat, kicked, and stabbed the officer to death along the East Texas highway. Lunsford pulled over a vehicle with Maine license plates and turned on the video camera installed on his front dashboard. He appeared to have asked the three men in the car to open the trunk. However, when the men got out of the car they tackled Lunsford and stabbed him in the neck. The men took his gun, badge, and wallet and drove off in their car. Later that night, Reynaldo Villarreal was picked up by officers as he was walking a few miles from the murder site. His brother, Baldemar, and another man, Jesse Zambrano, were also arrested a short time later. At the trial of the three men, the jury watched the videotape and all three were convicted. The videotaped murder of Lunsford has ushered in a new era. Video cameras have become ubiquitous in police cars, and can be a potent law-enforcement tool.
Love Will Never Do (Without You) - Janet Jackson
The First Time - Surface
Sensitivity - Ralph Tresvant
Unanswered Prayers - Garth Brooks
1997- Madeleine Korbel Albright, born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, was sworn in as Secretary of State, the first woman to hold this position. She served as Ambassador to the United Nations during the first administration of President William Jefferson Clinton. While she was raised a Catholic, during her term she learned she was the child of Jewish parents killed by the Nazi's and hidden and raised as a Catholic.
2013--Without offering an explanation, Tina Turner revealed that she was giving up her US citizenship to become a citizen of Switzerland. Her reasons were probably was not tax related, as Switzerland itself is a high tax environment for its citizens. (Visit Fleetwood Mac's restaurant in Maui, ask for the top floor.)
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