Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines
Archives---July 9, 2008
Broker/Funder/Industry Lists | Features (writer's columns)
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Archives---July 9, 2008
Leasing News is conducting an informal survey among lessors and funders on the use of “Trigger Leads.” This may be the most important series we have written since we started; with the most impact on the leasing industry.
If your company utilizes this marketing device, or if you have knowledge of a company utilizing this technique, please contact: email@example.com
The purchaser of this information then utilizes it to make a “sales call,” most often by telephone, to pitch a lower price, better terms, or otherwise compete with the original party who pulled the credit report. Three large leasing companies exist primarily on this method of obtaining sales to take clients away from those who originally ordered the report.
Leasing News is still working on finding others utilizing this technique and who they are working with in funding such transactions. Readers also may be interested to hear from other companies, such as LEAF, who are opposed to this practice, regarding when they run credit and business reports, and this information is sold as "Trigger data" to their competitors. Remember, this is not after the sale or funding, but in the qualifying of the customer, before the sale and the funding. To many, it is not marketing, but stealing.
The “Trigger Lead” or “Trigger Data” name comes from the purchaser qualifying the attributes required from the credit report. Criteria can include who pulled the credit, the business name, length in business, often city, state, address (some are cross indexed for telephone number), credit score, of course, as well as the consumer name or corporate names if a business report, and often other key information, depending on the criteria required, such as geography; some can also sort by industry.
When a prospect meets these criteria, it “triggers” the lead to be sent.
Trigger files are generated lists of “hits” to D&B, Experian, etc. that tell the buyer of the lists who is acquiring equipment or thinking about entering into a lease. These files are sent to the larger lessors on a daily or weekly basis so if the small broker gets a deal, sends it to a lender who accesses the D&B database, or Experian, a list of those hits is recorded and sold.
This marketing information is legal, if the Fair Credit Reporting Act policies are followed, and have been used in the credit card business as well as mortgage industry for years for use in mailing or building lists for sales people to call upon. In the past, it was after the transaction was completed. With the growth of computer software and abilities, growth of credit scoring information, the information can now be obtained as quickly as the authorization of credit card that enables the gasoline pump to begin fueling your car. It means before a transaction is even approved and documents drawn up, a competitor with the specific information about the qualification can call and approve the deal themselves using bait and switch or other marketing gimmicks such as changing the term or structure of the transaction.
(These ads are “free” to those seeking employment or looking
Free Posting for those seeking employment in Leasing:
All “free” categories “job wanted” ads:
Equipment Financing on the Rise –Reports ELFA
Equipment Finance Industry new business volume in 2013 grew 9.3%, according to the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) 2014 Survey of Equipment Finance Activity; based on responses from 109 ELFA member companies.
In addition to the basic survey report, a companion report was conducted that focuses on small-ticket ($25,000 to $250,000) and micro-ticket (up to $25,000) equipment transactions, which found that new business volume in this group grew by 10.2% in 2013.
Key Findings from ELFA found:
Overall new business volume grew 9.3%.
Member-respondents receive a complimentary copy of the survey report, as well as confidential individual company data sheets, which show the individual company’s statistics ranked against a peer group. Non-respondents may purchase the 2014 SEFA ($695 member/$1,395 Nonmember) and the 2014 Small-Ticket SEFA (195 member/$395 Nonmember from www.elfaonline.org/SEFA.
Leasing Industry Help Wanted
For information on placing a help wanted ad, please click here:
Please see our Job Wanted section for possible new employees.
Top Five Leasing Company Web Sites—
Top Five Sites Under 300
Note the World Wide Web rating. Not only the best rating of finance
Site is "interactive," not just a "brochure." Also active in various social media as well as press releases regarding leasing and other economic reports. Portsmouth, New Hampshire firm is leading the way in technology and innovations, particularly in securing vendor business. It is the reason why CIT said they purchased the company, with the fall as the date of conclusion. Direct Capital increased its position as well as came up over 200,000 WWW. Most likely, the name will remain the same, but underneath the name, Subsidiary of CITbank, who actually was the “buyer.”
Time on Site: 2:31
Balboa Capital went further up the list since February 5, 2014, as well as lost WWW rankings, but remains the third most visited. It is very active on social media sites, including Linkedin.com, as well as with several telephone banks, and has issued many press releases. The Regents Capital case brought up the many postings of vendors, customers, and programs the company they do business; which aims to build the relationship and attract other similar company. (1) The company has many complaints posted in the Leasing News Bulletin Board www.leasingcomplaints.com as well is on the Evergreen abuse list: www.evergreenleasingnews.org).
Time on Site: 2:16
Knocking Ascentium out of the top five, this company is also noted by
Time on Site: 3:50
Doing very well, great portfolio ratings by Fitch, but for the last year has fallen in rank in the top five, but remains on the list. It rose on the list, meaning lost rankings as the lower the number, the higher on the list. WWW was better than last time by over 200,000, but increase 36,000 on the list. Perhaps the competition is catching up with GreatAmerica Financial Services.
Should note most bank leasing companies are under their bank web sites, so individual ratings are not available. Many of the bank companies who have their own web address, have poor Alexa ratings,
TimePayment New Web Site Almost Makes Top Five List
Time on Site: 1:44
With TimePayment's new logo, going from blue to green, Microfinancial Inc. (Nasdaq: MFI), Burlington, Massachusetts announced July 8, 2014 its subsidiary TimePayment Corporation has launched a “significantly improved and feature packed website” aimed at promoting its “vendor-based leasing and finance programs”.
The company specializes in leases from $500 to $15,000, with the current average of $4,900. TimePayment offers “a web based application and credit approval process for its vendors which provides credit decisions usually within 2-3 minutes,” according to http://www.microfinancial.com/.
"Delivering better access to our solutions, whether it is industry-specific content for our vendor partners, documents for our broker community, or improved lessee account management services is a critical initiative that will provide significant value to our entire online community," said Richard Latour, CEO and President of MicroFinancial, Inc.
"The TimePayment customer base is increasingly looking to obtain information and support as quickly as possible; this update will allow us to expand our leadership role in the delivery of information and services to our nationwide community of equipment buyers and sellers."
Largest 100 banks in the world
European banks are losing some of their dominance in global asset size rankings as they shrink their balance sheets in the wake of the financial crises of the last six years.
France's Crédit Agricole Group dropped out of the top five largest banks in the world by assets, landing at No. 9 as of March 31, while China Construction Bank Corp. has emerged as the third biggest bank, up from a rank of seventh in SNL's prior ranking published in December 2013.
The largest five banks on the globe, based on their own accounting treatments of total assets, are now: Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., with US$3.174 trillion; London-based HSBC Holdings Plc, with US$2.758 trillion; China Construction Bank Corp., with US$2.596 trillion; Paris-based BNP Paribas SA, with US$2.595 trillion; and Tokyo-based Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., holding US$2.507 trillion in assets.
Crédit Agricole's assets have fallen from US$2.616 trillion at Sept. 30, 2013, to US$2.369 trillion at March 31, as the bank shrinks its balance sheet to become better capitalized and less risky. Other European banks have also slid down the rankings partly due to a decline in assets. Deutsche Bank AG now ranks as the 11th largest bank, compared to its No. 8 ranking in SNL's previous list. Deutsche Bank's assets fell to US$2.256 trillion at March 31 from US$2.420 trillion at Sept. 30, 2013. Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc's assets dropped to US$1.707 trillion at March 31 from US$1.829 trillion at Sept. 30, 2013, moving its rank to No. 17 from No. 16. Spain's Banco de Sabadell SA and Germany's Hypo Real Estate Holding AG fell out of the top 100 completely. Bucking the trend was Société Générale SA, which moved up to No. 15 from No. 17.
Three banks have newly entered the top 100, replacing the two European banks that exited the rankings and Japan's Shinkin Central Bank, which SNL did not include in the current ranking after reconsidering the methodology of included banks. The absence of these three companies made way for new entrants: Boston-based State Street Corp. ranked as No. 96, China Guangfa Bank Co. Ltd. was No. 99 and Singapore-based United Overseas Bank Ltd. took the No. 100 spot.
China is the country with the highest number of banks on SNL's top 100 list (15), followed by the United States with 11 and Japan with eight. Europe as a whole, including Russia, now has 45 of the top 100 banks, down from 47 in SNL's previous ranking.
A company's accounting treatment can have a significant effect on its world rank. The largest four banks report total assets under the IFRS accounting principle, which requires companies to include the gross amount of derivative assets on their balance sheets. Meanwhile, banks that report under U.S. GAAP report the net amount of derivative assets. New York-based JPMorgan Chase & Co., which ranks as the 6th largest bank, would move up to No. 1 if it reported derivatives on a gross basis instead of a net basis. The change would increase its assets by 40% to $3.475 trillion from $2.477 trillion. (Note: SNL did not perform the same analysis on banks that report Japanese GAAP or other types of GAAP.)
Some companies classified by SNL as "banks" or "savings banks/thrifts/mutuals" were not included in the ranking due to the nature of their business models. The excluded companies were Beijing-based Agricultural Development Bank of China; Beijing-based Export-Import Bank of China; Seoul, South Korea-based Korea Finance Corp.; and Japan-based Shinkin Central Bank.
Prices improving in latest TARP auction
The U.S. Treasury Department recently completed its latest auction of TARP preferred equity, selling into a market that is still seeing strong demand and consistent pricing.
The Treasury announced June 23 that it had priced the auctions of six more institutions and it expected gross proceeds from the auction to be approximately $64.4 million. The agency auctioned off its TARP holdings issued by six banks in the process: Vero Beach, Fla.-based Marine Bank & Trust Co.; Elko New Market, Minn.-based Market Bancorp. Inc.; Towson, Md.-based Maryland Financial Bank; Narberth, Pa.-based Royal Bancshares of Pennsylvania Inc.; San Mateo, Calif.-based United American Bank; and Fayetteville, Ark.-based White River Bancshares Co.
Overall, the Treasury saw a slight 0.11% aggregate premium in the auction, according to SNL data, after recording aggregate discounts in its last seven auctions; it has netted premiums in only two other auctions, though the size of the aggregate discounts had come down in its previous two auctions: to 5.05% and 11.95%.
Michael Nichol, a portfolio manager at Hildene Capital — which has participated in the process and put money to work — said Hildene and other investors examine the companies whose preferred equity is up for auction rigorously. "You really do have to look at it from all different angles," he told SNL.
Royal Bancshares of Pennsylvania saw the highest aggregate premium in the auction and contributed to the slight premium that the Treasury recorded in this round of auctions. The company has 20 missed payments on the preferred equity it issued under TARP — a fact that in some cases will make a company a top target for buyers in the auction.
Nichol said that more investors have moved into the space, which in many cases has made pricing more competitive, especially as buyers in some cases grow confident that companies with missed payments will survive and move quickly to make payments. Still he noted that despite the increased competitiveness in the bidding, "there are still attractive opportunities even at these higher levels — just because something is at 120% doesn't mean that the … back interest the issuer owes won't trickle through in the next year or so … then you work towards having the issuer hopefully redeem at par in the not-too distant future."
The equity issued by Market BanCorp. Inc. and White River Bancshares Co. also drew aggregate discounts in the auction, although Royal Bancshares of Pennsylvania may have seen particularly strong demand because the company launched a private placement and said it would use the proceeds to help it purchase 14,000 of its own shares in the auction — a fact Nichol said is appealing from the perspective of investors.
For companies that display the right profile for investors, pricing will continue to hold fast for the best names in future auctions — though Nichol said there are still many good opportunities despite the increased competitiveness. But a divide could emerge because much of the paper left to be auctioned off was issued by institutions which are still in troubled straits.
"I would not be surprised if whatever comes out [of] that are high quality trades in line with what we've seen recently — or even better. Or, on the other end of the spectrum if they decide to sell off some of the deeper distressed levels … that [the preferred equity] would sell at some of the minimum clearing levels the Treasury has in mind," Nichol said.
(Leasing News provides this ad as a trade for investigations
Chart ---Apple iOS Dominates Mobile Web Traffic
As has been the case for the last few years, Apple's mobile operating system, iOS, has remained dominant in the U.S., successfully fending off Android, Windows 8, and others in terms of market share of mobile web traffic.
According to the latest data from Quantcast and Wall Street firm Piper Jaffray — charted for us by Statista — iOS is still responsible for the lion’s share of mobile web traffic, accounting for 60%. Android, meanwhile, has increased its web traffic market share from a year ago from 29% to 33%, but it still has a long way to go before it can catch up to Apple.
It’s important to note, however, that Android is dominating iOS when it comes to market share of global sales, with Android owning north of 81% while iOS only accounts for about 13% of all smartphones sold around the world, according to IDC.
##### Press Release ############################
Element Financial closes PHH Arval Acquisition
US$1.4 billion transaction expected to deliver ten percent
Toronto, Ontario – Element Financial Corporation (TSX:EFN) (“Element” or the “Company”) has closed the previously announced acquisition of the assets and operations of PHH Arval (the “Acquisition”) for a purchase price of US$1.4 billion. The all-cash transaction was financed with a combination of 74,416,500 subscription receipts (the “Subscription Receipts”) at $12.75 per Subscription Receipt, $345,000,000 aggregate principle amount debentures and 5,000,000 cumulative 5-year rate reset preferred shares series E at $25.00 per preferred share (the “Capital Raise”). Concurrent with the closing of the Acquisition, each Subscription Receipt will be exchanged for one common share of the Company as soon as practicable in accordance with their terms with the Subscription Receipts to be delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange.
The Acquisition increases Element’s total assets to $10 billion and raises the Company’s tangible leverage to 3.2:1 from 1.6:1 as at March 31, 2014 while providing balance sheet capacity to fund forecasted growth. Concurrently, the increased scale of Element’s balance sheet also provides the Company with the opportunity to underwrite larger transactions in each of its four North American business verticals – Commercial & Vendor Finance, Aviation Finance, Railcar Finance and Fleet Management. The Acquisition and the Capital Raise are expected to deliver at least ten percent of earnings accretion to common shareholders in 2015. They also set Element on a path to qualify the Company for investment grade ratings which would offer additional accretion to the Company’s shareholders as these ratings are applied to Element’s capital structure.
“This accretive transaction doubles both our asset base and our tangible leverage at the same time that it sets in motion a process for achieving investment grade ratings to reduce our funding costs that will drive incremental returns for our shareholders,” said Steven K. Hudson, Element’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
The transaction is also transformational for Element’s fleet management business increasing the size of the Company’s portfolio of fleet assets to $6 billion. The combined employee base will serve customers through Element Fleet Management’s US head office in Sparks, Maryland and its Canadian head office in Mississauga, Ontario supported by the Arval global alliance that will service clients’ needs in more than 40 countries beyond North America.
“The transaction positions Element Fleet Management as North America’s premier fleet management provider,” said Bradley Nullmeyer, President of Element Financial Corporation. “Through Element’s other business verticals, it also presents an opportunity for our new fleet clients to access equipment financing solutions for a much broader range of their capital assets – from fork lifts and highway tractors to railcars and aircraft.”
Element’s Fleet Management business will be led by Jim Halliday, current President of PHH Arval. “Element’s focused and disciplined approach to growth presents us with an exceptional opportunity to deliver new solutions and a broader scope of services to our clients,” said Halliday. “I believe our passion for customer service together with the added scale and financial strength to support increased investment in technology and product development, sets Element Fleet Management apart as North America’s premier fleet management company.”
About Element Financial Corporation
### Press Release ############################
Jack Russell Mix
Biography: "Sadie is a lovely, lively Jack Russell mix. She is graceful and goofy, playful and affectionate. She is just about 1 year old and very trainable. She knows "come" and "sit" and is house-broken. She will "work for food."
"In her early days, she was a stray who had no real people contact. But now, after only a few weeks in foster, Sadie just loves tummy rubs and games of tug. She’s bonded well with our other foster dog, Coco. They just love to chase each other around the yard. Watching Sadie run is a thing of beauty.
"Sadie will be a wonderful and loyal dog to a lucky family. She is shy at first, but comes around when she knows she can trust. She’s a great playmate for another small dog who likes to play, or for a big dog that is gentle. Once she gets used to something—be it people, children, or other dogs—she is at ease and very playful."
To adopt, please contact us by telephone at:
Or by e-mail at:
Adopt a Pet
Update on CLP Rosanne Wilson’s Husband Richard
After much media attention, generated originally by Leasing News on
Here is the latest from Rosanne, who reports there still are “scheduling
“Richard has become worse and he collapsed in the kitchen last week. The VA has now determined he has 2 major issues. His balloon in his heart that was done this past October has already collapsed which is causing those "mini-heart attacks" to hit him each day. He has to take 5 or 6 nitro tablets to get the heart pains to stop. It's frightening to say the least.
“The cardiologist is talking about making a small incision in his chest to repair the balloon and not have to cut his whole chest open like was first thought. In fact, the VA Cardiologist is supposed to call him today to schedule that surgery ASAP. We are staying on top of the Cardiologist to make sure this does not get delayed
“Then the Vascular surgeon discovered both arteries in his legs are clogged and blood is not flowing at all to his left leg and barely a trickle getting through in his right leg. His left foot has zero pulse. The doctors cannot use stints as they had planned for his legs. They have to cut both his legs open at the top of each leg and strip out the collapsed veins and put in these rubber type artificial veins. This surgery will require 10 days in the VA hospital flat on his back unfortunately.
“The Vascular Surgeon needs to do this right away but said the Cardiologist must fix his heart FIRST or else Richard would not survive the leg surgery.”
Rosanne Wilson, CLP, BPB
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This Day in History
1755 - General Edward Braddock was mortally wounded when French and Indian troops ambushed his force of British regulars and colonial militia, which was on its way to attack France's Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh). Gen. Braddock's troops were decimated at Fort Duquesne, where he refused to accept Washington's advice on frontier style fighting. Braddock gave his bloody sash to George Washington at Fort Necessity just before he died on July 13.
1776- Declaration of Independence read aloud to Gen Washington's troops in NY.
1776 - New York was the 13th colony to ratify the Declaration of Independence.
1793- Vermont is the first state to complete the revision of its constitution
(lower half of: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/jul09.html )
1802 – Birthday of Thomas Davenport, American inventor who is credited with developing the first successful electric motor.
1809-Samuel Parker of Billerica, MA received his first patent for a leather-splitting machine, which split leather to any thickness. This invention doubled the use of leather.
1811- Sara Payson Willis Parton born Portland, Maine. Better known as Fanny Fern, whose first collection of witticisms sold 80,000 copies. SP was one of the first woman newspaper columnists in the world.
1819 - Birthday of Elias Howe, American inventor of the sewing machine, at Spencer, MA. He died October 3, 1867, Brooklyn, NY. All inventions were slow to catch on as people were afraid to try new things, or change, or invest. His invention made him very little money.
1838 - Birthday of Philip P. Bliss in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania. American gospel singer and songwriter. His best-remembered hymns include 'Wonderful Words of Life,' 'It is Well with My Soul' and 'Let the Lower Lights Be Burning.'
1846 - An American naval captain occupies the small settlement of Yerba Buena, a site that will later be renamed San Francisco. Surprisingly, Europeans did not discover the spectacular San Francisco Bay until 1769, although several explorers had sailed by it in earlier centuries. When Spanish explorers finally found the bay in that year, they immediately recognized its strategic value. In 1776, the Spanish built a military post on the tip of the San Francisco peninsula and founded the mission of San Francisco de Asis (the Spanish name for Saint Francis of Assisi) nearby. The most northern outpost of the Spanish, and later Mexican, empire in America, the tiny settlement remained relatively insignificant for several decades. However, the potential of the magnificent harbor did not escape the attention of other nations. In 1835, the British Captain William Richardson established a private settlement on the shore of Yerba Buena Cove, several miles to the east of the Mexican mission. That same year the U.S. government offered to purchase the bay, but the Mexicans declined to sell. In retrospect, the Mexicans should have sold while they still had the chance. A little more than a decade later, a dispute between the U.S. and Mexico over western Texas led to war. Shortly after the Mexican War began, U.S. Captain John Montgomery sailed his warship into San Francisco Bay, anchoring just off the settlement of Yerba Buena. On this day in 1846, Montgomery led a party of marines and sailors ashore. They met no resistance and claimed the settlement for the United States, raising the American flag in the central plaza. The following year, the Americans renamed the village San Francisco. When the Mexicans formally ceded California to the United States in the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe, San Francisco was still a small town with perhaps 900 occupants. That same year, however, gold was discovered at the nearby Sutter's Fort. San Francisco became the gateway for a massive gold rush, and by 1852, the town was home to more than 36,000.
1846 - The U.S. Treaty with Great Britain set the Oregon boundary at the 49th parallel. Expansionists in Congress disagreed, and used the slogan “54-40 or Fight.” In June, Col. Castro’s forces from Monterey, under the command of Joaquín de la Torre, fought the “Battle of Olompali” north of San Rafael with Fremont’s troops from Sonoma. Two Americans and five or six Californians were killed. John Frémont, along with my namesake Christopher “Kit” Carson, his guide, crossed to the Presidio with his Republic of California forces and spiked 10 Spanish guns. He also gave the name “Chrysoplylae” or “Golden Gate” to the entrance of the Bay. Meanwhile, on July 2, Commodore Sloat anchored at Monterey aboard the “Savannah.” He hesitated to follow his secret orders lest he commit the same grave error as Commodore Jones in 1842. Thomas Larkin advised the Commodore to move cautiously. July 5, Frémont returned to Sonoma and organized the “California Battalion” to carry on the revolution. Marine Lt. Archibald H. Gillespie was appointed adjutant. July 7, American flag rose at Monterey by Commodore John Drake Sloat, U.S.N. Sloat decided to take possession of California because he feared the British might occupy Monterey, and he was concerned about the reported revolution in Sonoma. The Commodore told the people of Monterey that he came to bring greater political freedom and stability, and henceforth California would be a part of the United States.
Population the pueblo of Yerba Buena estimated at about 1000 non-natives. There were about 50 buildings in the pueblo. July 8, Capt. Montgomery took formal possession of Yerba Buena and appointed Lt. Washington Allen Bartlett the first American Alcalde because he spoke fluent Spanish. This appointment was later ratified by a vote of the people. And this day, Captain James B. Montgomery of the “U.S.S. Portsmouth” and 70 marines and sailors marched to the Plaza at Yerba Buena (San Francisco), hauled down the Mexican flag and raised the Stars and Stripes. Capt. Montgomery claims Yerba Buena (San Francisco) for United States. He later made Indian slavery against the law by proclamation.
As a side note, it would not be until January 24, 1848 that James W. Marshall, an employee of John Sutter, accidentally discovers gold while building a sawmill near Coloma City. Efforts to keep the discovery secret failed, and the gold rush of 1849 was under way, bringing thousands of men to California.
1847 - The twelve-hour and longer workday was common. The first law to try and change the workday to ten hours a day was by a new law in New Hampshire, although because of the “bargaining position,” it was ineffective. It stated that “in all contracts relating to labor, ten hours actual labor shall be taken to be a day’s work unless otherwise agreed by the parties.”
1850 - Zachary Taylor, war hero, 12th president of the United States, after serving only 16 months, dies of “acute gastrointestinal illness,” also thought to be cholera, at the age of 55. Vice-President Millard Fillmore was sworn in as the 13th president of the United States on July 10. Some historians suggested that Taylor may have been poisoned. To test this theory, his remains were exhumed from a cemetery in Louisville, KY, on June 17, 1991. A coroner’s report dated June 26 found no evidence of foul play.
1852 -- American Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow visits Jewish cemetery of Newport, RI. Shortly thereafter he writes his poem "The Jewish Cemetery at Newport".
1853-Admiral Perry and US Navy visit Japan in what is historically recognized as the ‘Opening of Japan’ to the western world. As he arrived, Perry ordered his ships to steam past Japanese lines towards the capital of Edo, refusing Japanese demands to leave. He then demanded permission to present a letter from President Millard Fillmore, and threatened to use force if the Japanese boats around the American squadron did not disperse. Perry attempted to intimidate the Japanese by presenting them a white flag and a letter which told them that in case they chose to fight, the Americans would destroy them. After the Japanese agreed to receive the letter from the American President, Perry landed on July 14, 1853, presented the letter to attending delegates, and left for the Chinese coast, promising to return for a reply. After Perry's departure, fortifications were built on Tokyo Bay in order to protect Edo from possible future American naval incursion. Perry returned in February 1854 with twice as many ships to find that the Japanese had prepared a treaty accepting virtually all the demands in Fillmore's letter. Perry signed at the Convention of Kanagawa on March 31, 1854, and departed, mistakenly believing the agreement had been made with imperial representatives. The agreement was made with the Shogun, the de facto ruler of Japan.
1863-At the battle of Port Hudson, Miss., Confederate Major General Franklin Gardner surrendered his garrison of 5500 men to General Nathaniel P. Banks after a siege of six weeks. The army this day fully controlled this crucial spot on the Mississippi.
1864 - Confederate General Jubal Early brushes a Union force out of his way as he heads for Washington. Early's expedition towards the Union capital was designed to take pressure off Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia around Petersburg. Beginning in early May, Ulysses S. Grant's Union army had continually attacked Lee and drove the Confederates into trenches around the Richmond-Petersburg area. In 1862, the Confederates faced a similar situation around Richmond, and they responded by sending General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson to the Shenandoah Valley to occupy Federal forces. The ploy worked well, and Jackson kept three separate Union forces away from the Confederate capital. Now, Lee sent Early on a similar mission. Early and his force of 14,000 marched down the Shenandoah Valley, crossed the Potomac into Maryland, and then veered southeast toward Washington. Union General Lew Wallace, commander of the Middle Department and stationed in Baltimore, patched together a force of 6,000 local militiamen and soldiers from various regiments to stall the Confederates while a division from Grant's army around Petersburg arrived to protect Washington. Wallace placed his makeshift force along the Monocacy River near Frederick. Early in the morning of July 9, Early's troops easily pushed a small Federal guard from Frederick before encountering the bulk of Wallace's force along the river. Wallace protected three bridges over the river. One led to Baltimore, the other to Washington, and the third carried the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Early's first attack was unsuccessful. A second assault, however, scattered the Yankees. The Union force retreated toward Baltimore, and the road to Washington was now open to Early and his army. Union losses for the day stood at 1,800, and Early lost 700 of his men. However, the battle delayed Early's advance to Washington and allowed time for the Union to bring reinforcements from Grant's army. On July 11th, he actually entered the District of Columbia, breaking through inadequate Union forces southeast of Frederick, MD. He withdrew on July 12th as reserves were reported on their way. He continued to harass Union forces from the Shenandoah Valley until the Battle of Cedar Creek in October. He again missed his opportunity and allowed the Union troops to regroup. The poem “Sheridan’s Ride” by Thomas Buchanan Read dramatized the general’s return to the field and the turn of the battle.
1867 – Birthday of the inventor of the sewing machine, Elias Howe, born at Spencer, MA. He died Oct. 3, 1967, at Brooklyn, NY.
1868- The 14th Amendment defined US citizenship and provided that no State shall have the right to abridge the rights of any citizen without due process and equal protection under the law. Coming three years after the Civil War, the 14th Amendment also included provisions for barring individuals who assisted in any rebellion or insurrection against the US from holding public office, and releasing federal and state governments from any financial liability incurred in the assistance of rebellion or insurrection against the US.
1872-John F. Blondel of Thomaston, ME, obtained a patent for a doughnut cutter. A spring pushed the dough out of a center tube to make a hole. His invention helped to increase efficiency for bakers to increase their quantities of this tasty treat that originated in the 16th century Holland, where it was known as an "Olykoek." Blondel, however, was not the one who gave this pastry its famous ring shape. According to legend, a Maine sea captain gave the doughnut its hole by thrusting a piece of fried dough on the spoke of his ship’s wheel so he could steer with both hands. On the books, however, it was in 1847 when a young American named Captain Hanson Crockett Gregory first put the hole in the doughnut. Hanson's mother was a cake maker who, because the cakes were difficult to fry all the way through, began placing walnuts and hazelnuts in the center to mask their gooey texture. Her son disliked this part of the otherwise delicious cake and removed it altogether, giving it the look we all know and love. Today Americans eat an estimated 10 billion of these deep-fried pastries annually.
1887 - American biographer and historian Samuel Eliot Morison birthday.
1893 - In Provident Hospital on Chicago’s south side, African-American surgeon Dr. Daniel Hale Williams performed the first successful open-heart surgery. The patient was James Cornish whose internal mammary artery had been damaged by a knife wound. The operation was witnessed by six doctors, and described in the March 27, 1897 Medical Record.
1894- Dorothy Thompson birthday- influential U.S. newspaper columnist. Expelled from Germany for her virulent anti-Nazi stand when she was a U.S. reporter, she lectured widely against Hitler on her return to the U.S. She headed her paper's Berlin office 1925-1934. Her newspaper column “On the Record” was one of the most popular in the nation (1936-1958).
1896 - William Jennings Bryan caused a sensation at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago with his "cross of gold" speech denouncing supporters of the gold standard. Bryan went on to win the party's nomination.
1896- Birth of William Cameron Townsend, American missionary and linguist. In 1942, he established what has become the largest evangelical missionary agency in the world --Wycliffe Bible Translators (WBT).
1907 - Birthday of Eddie Dean ( Edward Dean Glosup) in Posey, Texas. He appeared in scores of low-budget westerns, including his own series of 20 films from 1946-48. Dean and his wife Loreen co-wrote the country music classics "One Has My Name, the Other Has My Heart" and "I Dreamed of a Hillybilly Heaven”. Died Thousand Oaks, California, March 4, 1999.
1908 – American photographer Minor White birthday.
1910 - Jimmy Dale Birthday. Born Harold C. Fox. Bandleader-clothier, who first coined “zoot suit” (with a reet pleat in 1942
1914 - The first auction duplicate bridge championship was held at the Lake Placid Club, Lake Placid, NY. The four-man team of the New York Bridge Whist Club defeated the team of the Knickerbocker Whist Club of New York City by seven tricks on 48 boards to win the American Whist League’s Hamilton Trophy, symbolic of the whist championship of the United States and Canada.
1915--Birthday of American composer David Diamond, at Rochester, NY. Died 12 June, 2005. Diamond studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris, because of his great hero, Maurice Ravel. He had a close friendship with Leonard Bernstein who premiered a lot of his works. Diamond was still active as a composer in his mid 80’s, and had been mostly known for the work "Rounds" for string orchestra.
1918 –- Worst rail accident in U.S. history occurs with head-on collision of two trains at Nashville, Tennessee, taking the lives of 101 and injuring another 171.
1921 - Birthday of Canadian country singer Stu Davis (David Stewart) in Boggy Creek, Saskatchewan. He and his brother Fred teamed up in 1939 to perform as the Harmony Boys on Regina radio station CKCK. Stu Davis later became known as "Canada's Cowboy Troubadour," and made appearances in the late 1940's on NBC radio's "National Barn Dance" from Chicago and the "Grand Ole Opry." Davis signed with London Records in 1956, making 15 LP's for the label.
1925 - Birthday of tenor sax player Frank Wright, Grenada, MS
1926- Mathilde Krim birthday. Founder in 1980 of AmFar, the preeminent AIDS organization that has raised more than $50 million for AIDS research and education. She was one of the first to recognize the dangers of AIDS worldwide in 1980, when most health authorities were unaware of anything called AIDS, she had the courage to do something about it, using $100,000 of her own funds. She served as head of a lab at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and was a noted medical researcher and health educator.
1927 – Birthday of actor, singer Ed Ames.
1928 - Vince Edwards birthday. As Dr. Ben Casey on the 1961 television show “Ben Casey,” Edwards’s muscular, brooding charm made him an overnight sex symbol. Medical school enrollment increased while he was on the air. After conquering a gambling addiction, he became a real-life hero. Born at Brooklyn, NY, he died at Los Angeles, CA, Mar. 11, 1996.
1930 - Arranger/bandleader Buddy Bregman born, Chicago, IL
1932 – Birthday of Donald Rumsfeld. 13th Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977 under President Gerald Ford, and as the 21st Secretary of Defense from 2001 to 2006 under President George W. Bush. He is both the youngest and the oldest person to have served as Secretary of Defense. Additionally, Rumsfeld was a four-term US Congressman from Illinois (1962–1969), Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity (1969–1970), Counsellor to the President (1969–1973), the US Permanent Representative to NATO (1973–1974), and White House Chief of Staff (1974–1975).
1936 - The temperature hit an all-time record high of 106 degrees at the Central Park Observatory in New York City, a record which lasted until LaGuardia Airport hit 107 degrees on July 3, 1966.
1941 - Crack British cryptologists break the secret code used by the German army to direct ground-to-air operations on the Eastern front. British experts had already broken many of the Enigma codes for the Western front. Enigma was the Germans' most sophisticated coding machine, necessary to secretly transmit information. The Enigma machine, invented in 1919 by Hugo Koch, a Dutchman, looked like a typewriter and was originally employed for business purposes. The Germany army adapted the machine for wartime use and considered its encoding system unbreakable.
1942 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: “Sleepy Lagoon,'' Harry James Orchestra.
1942—Birthday of Richard Roundtree, actor (“Shaft,” “Q”, “Roots.” Born
New Rochelle, NY.
1944 - German Army Group Center was taken by surprise when the Soviets began an offensive between the Baltic Sea and the Carpathian Mountains. The Germans had expected an attack farther south, where the Red Army had already penetrated deep into Poland. When Hitler refused to allow a German retreat, the Soviets easily broke through the German lines, and the Reich’s forces were isolated in the Baltic States. Within a week Army Group Center was virtually annihilated, with a loss of 200,000 men.
1944- PUCKET, DONALD D. (Air Mission) Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Corps, 98th , Bombardment Group. Place and date: Ploesti Raid, Rumania, 9 July 1944. Entered service at: Boulder, Colo. Birth: Longmont, Colo. G.O. No.: 48, 23 June 1945. Citation: He took part in a highly effective attack against vital oil installation in Ploesti, Rumania, on 9 July 1944. Just after "bombs away," the plane received heavy and direct hits from antiaircraft fire. One crewmember was instantly killed and 6 others severely wounded. The airplane was badly damaged, 2 were knocked out, the control cables cut, the oxygen system on fire, and the bomb bay flooded with gas and hydraulic fluid. Regaining control of his crippled plane, 1st Lt. Pucket turned its direction over to the copilot. He calmed the crew, administered first aid, and surveyed the damage. Finding the bomb bay doors jammed, he used the hand crank to open them to allow the gas to escape. He jettisoned all guns and equipment but the plane continued to lose altitude rapidly. Realizing that it would be impossible to reach friendly territory he ordered the crew to abandon ship. Three of the crew, uncontrollable from fright or shock, would not leave. 1st Lt. Pucket urged the others to jump. Ignoring their entreaties to follow, he refused to abandon the 3 hysterical men and was last seen fighting to regain control of the plane. A few moments later the flaming bomber crashed on a mountainside. 1st Lt. Pucket, unhesitatingly and with supreme sacrifice, gave his life in his courageous attempt to save the lives of 3 others.
1946 - Birthday of Bon Scott, singer for AC/DC. I saw him in Campbell, California, when there was a rock 'n' roll club early on and at one time had a signed poster by all members of the band.
1947 - The first female army officer, Florence Aby Blanchfield, appointed lieutenant colonel with a ceremony held at the Pentagon. General Dwight David Eisenhower, Chief of Staff, presenting her with her commission. On June 1, 1943, she had been appointed superintendent of army nurses.
1947 – Birthday Orentha James “OJ” Simpson, nicknamed “The Juice,” Heisman Trophy winner, USC All-American, NFL Hall of Fame running back who was the first man to rush for over 2000 yards in a season, actor, pitchman, convict, born San Francisco, California. Simpson was the first professional football player to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season, a mark he set in 1973. While six other players have passed the 2,000-rush yard mark, he stands alone as the only player to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a 14-game season (professional football changed to a 16-game season in 1978). He holds the record for the single season yards-per-game average, which stands at 143.1 ypg. Simpson was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985. After retiring from professional football, Simpson had a career as a football broadcaster and actor. In 1995, he was acquitted of the 1994 murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman after a lengthy and internationally publicized criminal trial, the People v. Simpson. In 1997, a civil court awarded a judgment against Simpson for their wrongful deaths; to date he has paid little of the $33.5 million judgment. In September 2007, Simpson was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada, and charged with numerous felonies, including armed robbery and kidnapping. In 2008, he was found guilty [and sentenced to 33 years' imprisonment, with a minimum of nine years without parole.] He is serving his sentence at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nevada, near Ryepatch, not far from
Winnemucca, along Highway 80) (http://www.doc.nv.gov/?q=node/26.)
1949 - NBC radio broadcast "Dangerous Assignment" for the first time. The show starred Brian Donlevy as Steve Mitchell.
“Bewitched” - The Bill Snyder Orchestra
“My Foolish Heart” - The Gordon Jenkins Orchestra (vocal: Eileen Wilson)
“I Wanna Be Loved” - The Andrews Sisters
“Why Don’t You Love Me” - Hank Williams
1951 -- American "hard-boiled" novelist Dashiell Hammett sentenced, choosing six months' imprisonment rather than co-operate with the US House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities' inquiries into domestic "subversion", refusing to kow-tow to the anti-communist witch hunters. My son Dashiell is named after him, my favorite detective writer. Hammett was President of the League of American Writers in 1942, and of the Civil Rights Congress of New York, 1946-47.
1952 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: “Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart,'' Vera Lynn.
1954 - Debbie Sledge of Sister Sledge is born. Sisters Debbie, Joan, Kim and Kathie Sledge of North Philadelphia begin recording as Sister Sledge in1971. The group's biggest hit is the million-selling No. 2 song, “We Are Family'' in 1979.
1955 - Pat Boone released his version of "Ain't That a Shame" which became his first #1 hit, covering the original by Fats Domino, a common occurrence in rock ‘n’ roll’s early days..
1955---A landmark in music history is established on July 9th, when Bill Haley's "Rock Around The Clock" reaches number one on the Billboard chart. Many music historians will eventually acknowledge the song as a dividing line, separating Rock ‘n’ Roll from everything that preceded it.
1955-Les Paul and Mary Ford enter the Billboard charts with "Hummingbird", which will reach #7 and become the first of their five Pop chart entries.
1955 – Birthday of Jimmy Smits, actor “LA Law,” “NYPD Blue.” Born New
1956- Dick Clark made his debut as host of "Bandstand" on Philadelphia TV station WFIL. He took over from Bob Horn, who had been charged with driving while intoxicated during a highly publicized police crackdown. "Bandstand" featured top pop and rock stars lip-synching their latest hits and a group of local teens dancing in the studio to recorded music. The ABC network expressed interest, and in 1957, the program was re-titled "American Bandstand" and shown across the US and Canada. At the height of its popularity, the daily show was reported to have generated one million fan letters a week. Through their exposure on "American Bandstand," such non-singers as Fabian and Frankie Avalon became teen idols and the show was a launching pad for many other singing acts and rock ‘n’ roll itself. Millions of teens across the US ran home from school to watch the show at 4 pm as must-see TV. Clark relinquished his "Bandstand" hosting duties in 1989 to 26 year-old David Hirsch. The program died within a matter of months. Still, it had been on the air for 37 years - a record for a television variety show.
1956-Actor Tom Hanks born Concord, California. After his parents divorced when he was a toddler, Hanks lived with his father, a cook. He began studying acting in high school, played with a Shakespeare festival for three years, and launched his television career in 1980 with “Bosom Buddies”, an offbeat sitcom about two men forced to disguise themselves as women. He made a splash with “Splash” in 1984, followed by a huge success with “Big” in 1988, for which he received an Oscar nomination. After several quiet years, his career took off again with “Sleepless in Seattle” (1993). He is now considered one of the biggest box office draws alive. He won the Best Actor Oscar twice, for “Philadelphia” in 1993 and “Forrest Gump” in 1994. He was also nominated for his role in “Saving Private Ryan” in 1998. He began directing in 1996 with “That Thing You Do” and co- produced “Cast Away” (2000), for which he received another Best Actor Oscar nomination.
1957-Bobby Helms "My Special Angel" is released.
“Hard Headed Woman” - Elvis Presley
“Splish Splash” - Bobby Darin
“Poor Little Fool” - Ricky Nelson
“Guess Things Happen that Way” - Johnny Cash
1958 - Johnny Cash, following in the footsteps of ex-Sun Records artist Carl Perkins, signs with Columbia Records.
1958 - On Capitol Hill, Casey Stengel and Mickey Mantle appear in front of the Senate Anti-Trust and Monopoly Subcommittee which is investigating the baseball monopoly power in regards to sport's antitrust exemption. After 'The Old Perfessor' gives 45 minutes of rambling and confusing testimony, Senator Estes Kefauver laughs when Mickey Mantle answers his inquiry about the topic with, "My views are just about the same as Casey's."
1959- The Drifters "Dance with Me" is released.
1962--- Bob Dylan records Blowin in the Wind.
1962 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: “Roses Are Red (My Love),'' Bobby Vinton.
1964-"House of the Rising Sun" by the Animals hits #1 on the U.K. singles chart.
1965- Patricia Roberts Harris was sworn in as the ambassador to Luxembourg, the first African-American Ambassador. She was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, who later that month announced US Troops would be increased from 75,000 to 125,000 in South Vietnam and the draft would be doubled from 17,000 to 35,000 a month.
1966 -- United Farm Workers benefit at the Fillmore with Quicksilver Messenger Service & the San Andreas Fault Finders.
“Paperback Writer” - The Beatles
“Red Rubber Ball” - The Cyrkle
“Hanky Panky” - Tommy James & The Shondells
“Think of Me” - Buck Owens
1966-Jack Nicklaus shot 282 at Muirfield in Scotland to win his first British Open Championship. With this victory, Nicklaus joined Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan and Gary Player as the only golfers to have won all four events comprising golf’s modern Grand Slam: the Masters, the US Open, The British Open and the PGA Championship. Nicklaus won two other British Opens, in 1970 and 1978. For his career, Nicklaus won 18 major championships, still the record.
1968- The Beatles "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" is released.
1969- A funeral was held in Cheltenham Spa, England, for Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones, who had been found dead in the swimming pool of his home six days earlier. The coroner's report cited "death by misadventure."
1969-Courtney Love is born.
“Rock the Boat” - The Hues Corporation
“Rock Your Baby” - George McCrae
“Hollywood Swinging” - Kool & The Gang
“He Thinks I Still Care” - Anne Murray
1977-KISS' "Love Gun" LP enters the chart.
1977-Bob Marley and the Wailers' "Exodus" LP enters the chart.
1978-Steve Miller's "Jet Airliner" peaks at #8 on the pop chart.
1978- After crashing legendary bluesman Willie Dixon's house in Chicago, Dixon takes the Rolling Stones to the local Quiet Night Club to join Muddy Waters and his band onstage and jam with them on several of their favorite Muddy songs, including "Mannish Boy."
“Don’t You Want Me” - The Human League
“Rosanna” - Toto
“Hurts So Good” - John Cougar
“Any Day Now” - Ronnie Milsap
1983-The Police's "Every Breath You Take" peaks at #1 on the pop chart -- a position it will hold for 9 weeks.
1983-Stevie Nicks' album "The Wild Heart" enters the chart. It features the smash hit, "Stand Back."
1983-Elton John's hit "I'm Still Standing" hits #12 on the singles chart.
1984 - The Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis, IN was packed to the rafters. 67,596 spectators, the largest crowd to watch a basketball game in the United States, saw the U.S. men’s Olympic team defeat a team of players from the NBA, 97-82. The largest crowd in the world to see a basketball game was in 1951. 75,000 spectators saw the Harlem Globetrotters play in Olympic Stadium in West Berlin, Germany.
1985 - Football great Joe Namath signed a five-year pact with ABC-TV to provide commentary for "Monday Night Football". The former New York Jets quarterback reportedly earned one million dollars a year for the job. Namath replaced ‘Dandy’ Don Meredith. Broadway Joe had previous experience with "Monday Night Football" as a player, when he and the Jets were the first team to play on the popular TV series on September 21, 1970.
1987 - Thunderstorms produced severe weather in Michigan. A tornado near Munising, MI, destroyed part of a commercial dog kennel, and one of the missing dogs was later found unharmed in a tree top half a mile away.
1988 - Twenty-three cities in the eastern U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date. Alpena, MI, and Buffalo, NY, suffered through their sixth straight day of record heat. The percentage of total area in the country in the grips of severe to extreme drought reached 43 percent, the fourth highest total of record. The record of 61 percent occurred during the summer of 1934.
1988- At Candlestick Park, Chris Speier hits for the cycle as the Giants maul the Cardinals, 21-2. The 21 runs scored established a San Francisco record.
1988-Elton John's "Reg Strikes Back" LP enters the chart. It will stay for 19 weeks and features the hit, "I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That."
1988-Steve Winwood's "Roll With It" LP enters the chart. It will stay on the chart for 31 weeks eventually hitting #1. The LP features the #1 hit, "Roll With It."
1989-- 1st time Wimbledon has both men & women's final on same day, Boris Becker beats Stefan Edberg while Steffi Graf beats Martina Navratilova
“Step By Step” - New Kids on the Block
“She Ain’t Worth It” - Glenn Medeiros featuring Bobby Brown
“Hold On” - En Vogue
1991- Prodigy began testing a service allowing customers to pay bills electronically. The service, which cost about $9.95 a month on top of Prodigy's monthly online service fee, allowed members to pay up to 20 bills electronically. About a quarter of a million subscribers participated in the test.
1992 - Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton tapped Sen. Al Gore of Tennessee to be his running mate.
1994- John Mellencamp's "Dance Naked" LP enters the chart. The album features the hit "Wild Night", a duet with Me’Shell NdegeOcello.
1994-The Kiss tribute album, "Kiss My Ass, Classic Kiss Regrooved" enters the chart. The LP features Kiss songs done by artists such as Lenny Kravitz, Stevie Wonder and Garth Brooks.
1995-The Grateful Dead played what proved to be their last concert, at Soldier Field in Chicago. The show began with their only Top-10 hit, "Touch of Grey," and ended with an encore of "Black Muddy River" and "Box of Rain." One month later, leader Jerry Garcia entered a drug rehabilitation program in Forest Knoll, known as Forest Farm in Marin County, CA. Garcia died early Wednesday, August 9, in his sleep at the drug rehabilitation clinic in Forest Knolls, Marin County, where he had gone to kick a heroin habit. He had snuck out after curfew and made a connection. The Marin County coroner said preliminary tests indicated Garcia - overweight and diabetic - had died of a heart attack.
1995- The Rolling Stones played their first concert in their homeland in five years, opening the British leg of their "Voodoo Lounge" tour in Sheffield, England. During the tour, the Stones played before more than 6.5 million people in 135 venues around the world. Ticket sales topped $300-million Canadian, with more than $430-million in merchandise sales. They are still on a roll; every concert I have seen them, they get better and better. Several recent ones I have sat in the second or third up-front row.
1997-Apple Computer chairman and CEO Gilbert Amelio was ousted from Apple on July 9, 1997. His unexpected departure came less than a year and a half after he was named chairman in February 1996. Amelio became the third Apple chief forced out in four years, including John Sculley in 1993 and Michael Spindler in 1996. Amelio had a very fancy wine cellar entrance and trappings. He liked it there better than anywhere else.
1997 - Boxer Mike Tyson was banned from the ring and fined $3 million for biting opponent Evander Holyfield's ear.
1998 - Milwaukee Brewer owner Bud Selig, who served as acting commissioner for nearly the last six years, is named by the owners to be baseball's ninth commissioner. To avoid conflicts of interest, his ownership of the Milwaukee's franchise will be placed in trust.
2002 --Despite chants of 'Let them play!' from the sellout crowd of 41,871 at Milwaukee's Miller Park, Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig declares the 73rd All-Star Game a 7-7 tie after 11 innings because both teams had run out of players. No player is selected to receive the first Ted Williams Most Valuable Player award, named in honor of the late Red Sox legend who died five days prior.
2004 - A Senate Intelligence Committee report concluded the CIA had provided unfounded assessments of the threat posed by Iraq that the Bush administration relied on to justify going to war.
2005 -- Daredevil skateboarder Danny Way jumps the Great Wall of China, rolling down a massive ramp at nearly 50 mph. Way botched the landing on his first attempt but then successfully completed the jump across the 61-foot gap four times, adding 360 degree spins on his last three tries.
2013--Jon Bon Jovi returned to his home town of Sayreville, New Jersey to donate $1 million to the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund. Presenting a check to Governor Chris Christie, the singer told a crowd in front of the town hall, "One thought came to me. What can I do? One of the residents responded, saying, 'Use your voice.'"
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