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entertainment for the commercial bank, finance and leasing industry

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

Blue Bridge Financial, Buffalo, New York
 Bulletin Board Complaint--Doesn't Pay Broker
   Classified Ads---Senior Management
Ben Carlile Joins Leasing News Advisory Board
 Brican Assignee Wins Battle Over Floating Forum
  Selection Clause in New Jersey
   By Tom McCurnin, Leasing News Legal Editor
Sales Make it Happen by Robert Teichman, CLP
   ‘Tis the Season
Leasing Industry Ads---Help Wanted
    November ---"The List"
What $11.71 Trillion Worth of Household Debt Looks Like
 Leasing News’ Salvation Army Kettle
    $1325 Raised to Date
 John Kenny Hanging Wall Calendars
  Largest U.S. bank holding companies improved capital levels
   Q-over-Q Improvement All 3 Applicable Capital Ratios
    Australian Cattledog Cross
     Novato, California Adopt-a-Dog
   Classified ads— Syndicator
News Briefs--- 
Avolon IPO values aircraft lessor at up to $1.86 billion
 Seven Reasons Why Banks Are Selling --Slideshow
  NetLingo: The List - The Largest List of Text & Chat Acronyms
   The salary you need for a median home

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Top Ten Stories Chosen by Readers | Top Stories last six months (Be Careful of Doing Business)
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Blue Bridge Financial, Buffalo, New York
Bulletin Board Complaint--Doesn't Pay Broker

by Christopher Menkin

From Dave Anderson, Account Manager, Spectrum Financial:

"I have a small loan broker company in California. We do mostly working capital loans but every now and again we stumble on an equipment deal.  We had placed a deal at Blue Bridge Financial, deal funded and commissions were to be paid in the amount of $6,851.06. As stated we rarely come across equipment deals and it’s been about a year prior to this particular deal that we funded with Blue Bridge Financial. In that meantime we had switched banks. We let Blue Bridge Financial know of the switch, they sent a new ACH form which we signed and submitted with a copy of a voided check. After about a week I noticed we never got our commissions transferred. Our funding guy contacted Blue Bridge Financial and the ACH was sent to our old account. Blue Bridge Financial asked if we would mind waiting for a few days for this ACH to bounce back into their account and they would then forward to the proper account. I obliged their request but this was over a month ago and still no commission. 
"In this interim I have been trying to collect my commission to no avail. They told us the ACH never bounced back into their account and even had the nerve to tell me that I received the commission and was trying to have them pay me double. I called Chase bank and recorded the call.  On this call they confirm there was an inbound wire transfer on Oct 15th and was reversed back to the sending account on the 22nd due to the account being closed." 
Here are the facts gleaned from the documents both parties provided Leasing News:

1. Dave Anderson, as broker, brokered a lease transaction for you which closed in October, 2014, earning them a commission of $6,851.06.
2. The Commission was paid on 10-15-14 to the Broker by ACH, apparently to an account number of the Broker which was no longer valid. The original form provided by Dave Anderson shows the payment should have gone to Wells Fargo Bank. It evidently went to an account that no longer exists. The Broker’s bank, JP Morgan Chase has provided Leasing News with a printout showing this. A telephone recording that Leasing News listened to with the bank also confirms the money was not received.

(Tax Number and Bank Account Numbers deleted by Leasing News)

3. Because the account was invalid, the ACH was returned by JP Morgan Chase on 10-22-14. Again, the same printout by JP Morgan Chase proves that. 

4. Blue Bridge’s bank records from M&T Bank also show an “Item Returned” on 10-15-14, of $6,851.06 for the reason that the “account could not be located” which is consistent with the Broker’s printout from JP Morgan Chase

5. It seems perfectly clear to Leasing News that Blue Bridge received the ACH back between 10-15 and 10-22, and still owes the Broker a commission. Blue Bridge is not paying twice, since it got the money back. In Blue Bridge’s defense, they claim that the ACH which was reversed to them was somehow reversed again, with the money ending up in limbo. Leasing News cannot verify this claim. 

6. It further appears to Leasing News that although the Broker informed Blue Bridge of the correct account number to send the ACH to, the fact that Blue Bridge sent the money to an incorrect account seems to be the fault of Blue Bridge. 

Brian Gallo, President, Blue Bridge Financial, states, "Kit, with all due respect you are off base on this one and advocating for us to pay a commission twice... As of 10/24/2014 the $6,858.06 resides with Tri-Cities (1)" 
The letter noted at the bottom basically states, "As of 11/26/2014, those funds have not been returned to M&T Bank", but also adds "(ii) the reversal request sent on 10/21/2014 was rejected by Chase due to issues with the account that could not be disclosed." Thus, Leasing News was unable to verify the truth of Blue Bridge’s claim that the money is elsewhere. 

The bottom line is that Blue Bridge mishandled the ACH, the funds transfer got fouled up and the money returned to Blue Bridge and whatever happened with the bank's action does not eliminate Blue Bridge’s contractual obligation to pay a commission. Had Blue Bridge mailed a check and the address on the check was incorrect, this error would not excuse Blue Bridge’s obligation to pay a commission.

As intriguing as finding out where the money went to might be, the fact remains that Blue Bridge botched the ACH which does not excuse its obligation to pay a commission to a broker.  




Classified Ads---Senior Management

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

Tampa, FL
Executive leader accomplished in leasing operations, finance, sales and marketing seeking new opportunity. Capitalizes on strategic, ideation, communication and analytical strengths to identify opportunities, formulate solutions and articulate strategies that drive increased sales productivity, incremental revenue, operating expense reductions and customer acquisition and retention.

Free Posting for those seeking employment in Leasing:

All “free” categories “job wanted” ads:




Ben Carlile Joins Leasing News Advisory Board

Ben Carlile
Novato, California

Ben brings his 26 years of management and lease operation experience as well as his desire to provide his insight and expertise toward a good cause. He is a strong ethical leader with an enduring commitment to the success of our industry.

Most recently, Ben was Managing Director and President of Allegiant Partners Inc., an independent equipment finance company in San Rafael, CA. He was Chief Credit Officer, Board of Directors member, and shareholder since 2000, involved in developing access to capital and bank relationships, hiring and managing personnel, implementing processes and growing revenues. His skills in underwriting and portfolio management drove the performance of Allegiant’s near-prime leases and loans to a level comparable to the “A-Grade” portfolios of the best-managed banks.

Prior to Allegiant, Ben spent 11 years as Vice President of Credit Administration for Trinity Capital Corporation, San Francisco, California. At Trinity, he managed strong portfolio growth and performance that led to excellent bank relationships, low cost credit facilities, and a profuse interest in optimizing Trinity’s valuation, which ultimately led to Trinity’s successful acquisition by Bank of the West in 2002.

His earlier experience includes Bank of America as well as was Assistant Manager, Sales Finance, CIT. He also served on the Novato Charter School Board, including a term as president (2008-2011). He is a Rosarian and also shares an interest in finance innovations.

Ben is currently serving his second year as a member of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association Credit and Collections Committee. He and his wife and sons live in Marin County, CA.


Brican Assignee Wins Battle Over Floating Forum
Selection Clause in New Jersey

By Tom McCurnin
Leasing News Legal Editor

Case Underscores Desirability of Having Strong Forum Selection Clause.  Lessee Did Not Help Herself By Allowing a Default Judgment to be Entered in Iowa

Professional Solutions Financial Services v. Cregar 2013 WL 709099 (N.J.Super.A.D. 2013)

William Cregar is a dentist in New Jersey.  He stupidly signed an expensive Brican Lease for a flat screen monitor which displays advertising to his patients. 

The matter was the subject of a class action, and has been reported in Leasing News.  The Dentists claim that Brican represented that the Dentists could purchase the systems for effectively no cost. According to the Dentists, Brican proposed that it—or a company related to Brican known as Viso Lasik Medspas, LLC—would pay the Dentists, under a simultaneously-executed marketing agreement (the “Marketing Agreement”), a sum of money to offset the monthly lease payments the Dentists had to pay under Financing Agreements for advertising the services offered either by Brican or Viso Lasik on the Display Systems

Brican’s lease contained what is called a “floating forum selection clause” which mandates jurisdiction to whatever State the assignee of the lease is located.  I dislike them, and they are not enforceable in California  Hunt v. Superior Court 81 Cal.App.4th 901, 97 Cal.Rptr.2d 215 (Cal.App. 2000).  But some States enforce them.  The clause Dr. Cregar signed stated:

You [Cregar] agree this Lease is to be performed in Dade County, Florida and this Lease will be governed by the laws of the State of Florida. You consent to personal jurisdiction and venue in the State or Federal Court located in Miami, Dade County, Florida.... You specifically agree to waive any right to transfer venue and that agreement is knowing and voluntarily and is an essential term to Lessor's willingness to enter into this Lease. If this Lease is assigned by Lessor, You consent to personal jurisdiction and venue in the State or Federal Court located where the Assignee's Corporate Headquarters is located. This is known as a floating forum selection clause and You agree that this is done knowingly and voluntarily and is an essential term to Assignee's willingness to take an assignment of this Lease. You specifically agree to waive any right to transfer venue and that agreement is knowing and voluntary and is an essential term to Assignee's willingness to take an assignment of this Lease.

Brican assigned the lease to Professional Solutions, which is located in Iowa.  Professional filed suit in Polk County Court and obtained an unopposed default judgment.  In other words, Doctor Cregar was served and simply didn’t bother to appear. 

Professional then took the final judgment to New Jersey, Dr. Cregar’s home State, and domesticated it there, where Dr. Cregar opposed the entry of the judgment based on the floating forum selection clause.  Dr. Cregar had some support in that argument, because New Jersey, like California, refuses to enforce them.  Copelco Capital, Inc. v.. Shapiro, 331 N.J.Super. 1, 5–6 (App.Div.2000).

The New Jersey Court rightfully sidestepped the issue.  The issue is not whether New Jersey enforces such clauses, but whether Iowa does, because New Jersey must give “full faith and credit” to Iowa judgment.  And regrettably for Dr. Cregar, Iowa does, in fact, enforce floating forum selection clauses.  Liberty Bank, F.S.B. v. Best Litho, Inc., 737 N.W.2d 312, 316–18 (Iowa App.2007), 

Although I dislike the clauses, because they do not give notice of what State to which the lessee is consenting jurisdiction (it could be Alaska or The United Kingdom), Brican and Professional did the right thing—they assigned the lease to a friendly State which enforces them. 

Dr. Cregar made a really bad decision in waiting to oppose the judgment until it reached New Jersey.

For informational purposes, the multiple class actions against Brican have been consolidated in the Southern District of Florida in a case titled in re Brican America Equipment Lease Litigation Case Number 10–md–02183–PAS.  That litigation was significantly trimmed down in August of this year, due to the Federal Judge ruling that about half the contracts were subject to a “hell or high water” clause. 

For readers interested in a scholarly article about such clauses, and their treatment in Texas and elsewhere, please consult this article from Leasing News archives,

Professional Case

Brican America/Brican Financial Lawsuits

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

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

Previous Tom McCurnin Articles:



Sales Make it Happen

'Tis the Season

by Robert Teichman, CLP

In general, sales people don't attend leasing association conferences, but managers should consider offering conference trips to top employees in the production end as performance awards. It is not only a good investment for the company, but may help with employee retention and incentive at the same time. In setting up your goals and budget for 2015, include sending performing sales personnel, and perhaps even credit or operation personnel, to a leasing conference.

The production function not only includes salespeople, but credit and documentation personnel as well. All have a hand in “getting the deal done”, and all should be recognized. A trip to a national, or even a regional, conference will pay dividends in improvements in employee morale and knowledge, and will enable valuable employees to see how their company and their jobs interact within the industry.

Every company recognizes the necessity of employee training, but managers often put off the task due to budget and time constraints, or just because of the press of everyday business. By sending production employees to conferences managers can achieve some training goals, and by offering such trips as performance awards, can establish goals which employees will eagerly strive to attain.

The fear that you are going to lose a good employee because they are getting smarter is like putting your head in the sand. If they are going to leave you because they are not happy, they will. If they are going to stay, why not improve their knowledge, make them more valuable so you definitely want them to not only stay but grow within your organization?

Think of it as a Christmas present.

These meetings are packed with educational sessions and the opportunities to meet with their colleagues, even if their firms are in competition with each other. These are remarkable opportunities for companies wanting to improve the knowledge and professionalism of their employees, providing several days of quality education.

Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that selling is not limited to the salesperson. Closing a deal requires the cooperation of Sales, Credit and Documentation. And while the salesperson acts as the Relationship Manager, the other members of the Production Team do their part to help retain the customer's good will and promote future business.

In a successful equipment leasing company, everybody sells.

Bob Teichman, CLP
Teichman Financial Training
"Education & training for leasing and financing personnel"
Tel: 415 331-6445



Leasing Industry Help Wanted

Rosemont, Illinois

Billing Specialist

Leasing Experience, knowledge LeasePlus preferred,
click here for more information

  Accounts Receivable Specialist

Experienced Collector/AR Associate
click here for more information




STRADA Capital recently moved into its new facility and is hiring Top Sales Producers to work in our Equipment Financing and Working Capital Divisions.

High Level Performance, Collaborative Creativity, Integrity and Transparency define our Culture. The Company offers generous commission plans, industry leading support and benefits.

Email your resume to:
The Place where Professionals Prosper

For information on placing a help wanted ad, please click here:


November ---"The List"
--- Mergers, Acquisitions & Changes
"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"---

Baytree Financial Group, Lake Forest, Il (11/14) Sold to North Community Bank, a subsidiary of Chicago-based Metropolitan Bank Group, Inc.

Direct Capital, Portsmouth, New Hampshire (11/14) Chris Broom, Chairman, Acquires $8 million home in Florida, plus jet.

Warren Capital, Novato, California (11/14) Founder Warren "Clay" Stephens passes away.

Equipment Acquisition Resources, Palatine, IL. (11/14) Lucky Airline Let Off the Hook in EAR Bankruptcy

First American Equipment Finance, Fairport, NY. (11/14) 
Now Employs Most CLPs

Ascentium Capital, Kingwood, Texas (11/14) Surpasses $1 Billion in Funded Volume

Alphabetical List

Chronicle List


What $11.71 Trillion Worth of Household Debt Looks Like
Business Insider

Household debt rose to $11.71 trillion in the third quarter.

According to the New York Federal Reserve's latest Household Debt and Credit report, household debt in the third quarter rose 0.7%, or $78 billion, to $11.71 trillion, up from $11.62 trillion in the second quarter.

Overall, household debt is below its $12.68 trillion peak reached in the third quarter of 2008.

"Outstanding household debt, led by increases in auto loans, student loans and credit card balances, has steadily trended upward in recent quarters," said Wilbert van der Klaauw, senior vice president and economist at the New York Fed. "In light of these data, it appears that the deleveraging period has come to an end and households are borrowing more."

Some of the report's highlights include:

  • Mortgage debt rose by $35 billion, or 0.4%, to $8.13 trillion in the third quarter.
  • Student loan debt rose by $8 billion in the third quarter to $1.13 trillion. About 11.1% of aggregate student loan debt is more than 90 days delinquent or in default.
  • Auto loan balances rose by $29 billion while the delinquency rate on auto debt fell to 3.1% from 3.3% last quarter.
  • Home equity lines of credit declined by $9 billion, or 1.7%, in the third quarter to $512 billion.
  • Non-housing debt balances increased by 1.7% in the third quarter.
  • Overall delinquency rates were roughly flat in the third quarter, with 6.3% of all outstanding debt in some stage of delinquency compared to 6.2% in the second quarter.


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


Leasing News’ Salvation Army Kettle
$1,325 Raised to Date

At press time, $1,325 has been donated by these contributors:

Carol Baker, Rob Day, Larry Hartmann, Sam Khedkar, Theresa Kabot, CLP,  Bruce Kropschot, Allan Levine, Dean Morrison. Gerald Oestreich, Portfolio Financial Servicing Company PFSC, Jeffrey Rudin, Bob Teichman, CLP, Rick Wilbur; with one anonymous.

Please join the Leasing News Kettle Donors:

(Please click on kettle to learn more)



John Kenny Hanging Wall Calendars

The photo is on top of each month and named.  Several of the collections also have sayings and expressions, such as in Clouds and The Feral Family
(click on photo to see them).


John Kenny Receivables Management

• End of Lease Negotiations & Enforcement
• Fraud Investigation
• Credit Investigations
• Asset Searches
• Skip-tracing
• Third-party Commercial Collections

The Solution to Your Credit & Accounts Receivable Needs 
John Kenny
315-866-1167 |

(Leasing News provides this ad as a trade for investigations
and background information provided by John Kenny)


Largest U.S. bank holding companies improved capital levels
Quarter-over-Quarter Improvement All Three Applicable Capital Ratios

Special SNL Financial Report
By Salman Aleem Khan

The largest U.S. bank holding companies saw improved capital levels in the third quarter when reporting under "advanced approaches" for the second time in quarterly regulatory filings. On a median basis, the eight Fed-approved bank holding companies reported a quarter-over-quarter improvement in all three applicable capital ratios.

Four of the eight institutions reported improved CET1, Tier 1 capital and total risk-based capital ratios when computing capital ratios under the advanced approaches; while six institutions reported an improved Tier 1 capital ratio and total risk-based capital ratio, inclusive of the four aforementioned institutions.

Morgan Stanley reported a CET1 ratio of 14.41% as of Sept. 30, the highest among the pack of eight. The institution also saw the most linked-quarter improvement in all three capital ratios as its CET1, Tier 1 capital and total risk-based ratios improved by 50, 73 and 129 basis points, respectively.

Under the recent changes to the call report's regulatory capital schedule, "advanced approaches" institutions filing the new portion of the schedule are required to compute CET1 capital after making some preliminary and threshold-based adjustments and deductions. Under the preliminary adjustments and deductions, these banks make amendments to goodwill, intangible assets, significant investments in the capital of unconsolidated financial institutions in the form of common stock, and other items. These institutions are then required to make further adjustments depending on whether mortgage servicing assets, certain deferred tax assets or significant investments in the capital of unconsolidated financial institutions exceed 10% of the Tier 1 deduction threshold. Those items subject to the 10% threshold also cannot collectively exceed 15% of CET1 capital at the institution, net of the preliminary adjustments and deductions.

SNL also analyzed all 16 bank holding companies that started reporting the new regulatory capital schedule in 2014, either under the general or the advanced Basel III approaches. While the "advanced approaches" framework makes adjustments to both the numerator and denominator of the computed capital ratios, the general Basel III guidelines only adjust the numerator of the capital ratios based on Basel III rules.

Analyzing the third-quarter filings of the 16 institutions, the group held $943.93 billion in CET1 capital on an aggregate basis. This figure was adjusted by $273.30 billion under the required adjustments and deductions under Basel III, a reduction of 28.95% of the total pre-adjusted CET1 capital.

TD Bank US Holding Co.'s CET1 capital was squeezed by $13.43 billion, or 54.36% of the company's total pre-adjusted CET1 capital under Basel III, representing the highest impact across the group. U.S. Bancorp, a Fed-approved "advanced approaches" institution, saw its pre-adjusted CET1 capital ratio drop by 47.55%, the second-highest percentage after TD Bank US Holding Co.

Bank of America Corp. meanwhile had the highest amount of adjustments and deductions under Basel III in terms of dollar value. The institution reported $70.72 billion in total preliminary and threshold-based deductions — 31.69% of the company's total pre-adjusted CET1 capital.

Under the general Basel III approaches, on a median basis, the group of 16 saw quarter-over-quarter improvements in all four reported capital ratios. The median leverage ratio for the group edged up by 5 basis points, while CET1, Tier 1 and total risk-based capital ratio, improved by 12, 20, and 28 basis points, respectively.

Nine institutions reported higher leverage ratios compared to the past quarter, while 13 reported higher CET1 ratios as of Sept. 30. Twelve institutions reported improved Tier 1 capital and total risk-based ratios in the third quarter.

Note: Starting this year, the regulatory capital schedule within FR Y9-C was broken out into parts I.A and I.B. Part I.A is reported under general risk-based rules, while the new part, I.B, is filled out using Basel III guidelines by "advanced approaches" institutions and any other institution that elects to use the "advanced approaches" for capital computations. An entity is defined as an "advanced approaches" institution under federal regulatory capital rules if it has consolidated total assets of $250 billion or more, has on-balance sheet foreign exposure of $10 billion or more, or is a subsidiary of a depository institution that uses or elects to use the "advanced approaches" to calculate total risk-weighted assets.




Australian Cattledog Cross
Novato, California Adopt-a-Dog

Animal ID: 197912
Australian Cattledog Cross
Second Breed
Sex:  Male
Color: White / Black
Weight: 33.3 lbs.
Neutered: Yes
Age: Juvenile
Size: Medium
My health has been checked.
My vaccinations are up to date.
My worming is up to date.
I have been microchipped.

Not Suitable for Small Children

“When we evaluate dogs here at the shelter there are many positive attributes that we look for and Auggie has them all. He is lively, friendly, healthy, affectionate and playful. He loves people. He gets along with other dogs, assuming that they can keep up with his energetic and forward play style. (His doggie companions should be carefully chosen so that they are not intimidated by his exuberance.) Plus he is as cute as they come.

“His one flaw is that he is very attached to his food and his chew toys and will not share them under any circumstances. In fact, he gets quite testy if you come near when he is chewing or eating. For this reason we insist that he go to a home without any children, that he not frequent dog parks where treats might be available and that he not be given chew toys to guard. We also require a pre-adoption consultation to discuss a program to manage his resource guarding. Let him eat his meals in peace and he will be a super companion.

“His high energy level means that he will need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. Enrolling him in classes, starting with Family Dog 1 and adding some agility or scenting classes will engage his brain and give you other avenues for exercise besides just the twice daily walks. He likes to play fetch and that is another great distraction.

“If you are up for the challenge and have the energy to match Auggie's, this is definitely the dog for you. And you will be so glad you found each other!

“Where can you find me?

“I am at the Marin Humane Society location.
You can contact me by:”

Phone (415) 506-6225
Fax (415) 382-1349
Address 171 Bel Marin Keys Blvd. Novato

Marin Humane Society Adoption Center
Tuesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wednesdays until 6:30 p.m.
Closed Mondays and Holidays

Adopt a Pet



Classified ads— Syndicator

Leasing Industry Outsourcing
(Providing Services and Products)

Outsource Lease Syndications
Add a capital markets independent contractor and offer world-class syndications (buy and/or sell) capability for commission-based compensation. 30+ Years’ experience with major lessors (BofA, Chase, Fleet, Verizon).  Sales, underwriting, capital markets and executive background. Ivy League undergrad and MBA. Well known in industry.  Impeccable references. or 
(203) 652-1387

All "Outsourcing" Classified ads (advertisers are both requested
and responsible to keep their free ads up to date:

How to Post a free "Outsourcing" classified ad: 



News Briefs----

Avolon IPO values aircraft lessor at up to $1.86 billion

Seven Reasons Why Banks Are Selling --Slideshow

NetLingo: The List - The Largest List of Text & Chat Acronyms

The salary you need for a median home



--You May Have Missed It

Microsoft buys Acompli to enhance Outlook for iOS, Android


SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer

How to Make Yourself Work Out When It's Dark Out


Football Poem

Chicago Bear Happiness

I ASKED the professors who teach the meaning of life to tell
me what is happiness.
And I went to famous executives who boss the work of
thousands of men.
They all shook their heads and gave me a smile as though
I was trying to fool with them
And then one Sunday morning I wandering out among
grass fields surrounding Dolphin Stadium
And I saw a crowd of Polacks under the trees with
their women and children
and a keg of beer and an
They cheered and sang,
watching TV on a portable battery.
Go Bears! They yelled.
And then they lifted the beer mugs high
and yelled again: Go Bears!
As if they would win.

(With apologies to Carl Sandburg.)



Sports Briefs----

Oregon's Marcus Mariota, Arizona's Scooby Wright III win Pac-12 honors

Exclusive: 49ers' Jim Harbaugh talks about his Raiders roots

Bermuda beats San Diego to host 2017 America's Cup

NCS football: St. Helena wins 37-14 to advance to championship game


California Nuts Briefs---

No UC tuition increase under Senate Dems funding plan


“Gimme that Wine”

Thomas Keller's Per Se and The French Laundry Will Go Pre-Paid Next Year

Sonoma: The ultimate wine and food getaway

Wine Spectator: Second Sale of Roy Welland Collection Totals $5.6 Million

The Best Christmas Wines

Free Mobile Wine Program

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page


This Day in American History

     1755 - Birthday of Gilbert Charles Stuart, American portrait painter whose most famous painting is that of George Washington. He also painted portraits of Madison, Monroe, Jefferson and other important Americans. Stuart was born near Narragansett, RI, and died July 9, 1828 at Boston, MA.
    1762 - France ceded to Spain all lands west of the Mississippi River.  The territory was known as Upper Louisiana.
    1775 - Lt. John Paul Jones raises the Grand Union flag on Alfred. This was the first American flag raised over an American naval vessel.
    1799 - Margaret O'Neale Eaton’s birthday. Her marriage to the man who would become a cabinet officer resulted in a scandal, the Petticoat Affair, that caused Andrew Jackson to dismiss his entire cabinet. It led to a permanent breach between Jackson and John C. Calhoun which resulted in Martin Van Buren becoming president rather than Calhoun.   Also, Calhoun’s support of the South Carolina resolution on tariffs was  believed by many to have hastened the War Between the States. Living well is said to be the best revenge and the Eatons lived well, in fact said to have had a brilliant social life when he served as governor of Florida and U.S. minister to Spain. She lived until she was eighty years old, marrying her grandchildren’s dance teacher, Antonio Buchignani, on June 7, 1859, after Eaton died.  She was 59 and he was 19.  Eaton obtained a divorce from Buchignani but was unable to recover her financial standing. She died in poverty in Washington, D.C. on November 8, 1879.
    1800 - US state electors met and cast their ballots for the presidency. A tie resulted between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr.
    1818 - Illinois became the 21st state. The strange but beautiful prairie lands east of the Mississippi and north of Lake Michigan presented a difficult challenge to the tide of westward-moving immigrants. Accustomed to the heavily forested lands of states like Kentucky and Tennessee, the early immigrants to Illinois did not know what to make of the vast treeless stretches of the prairie. Most pioneers believed that the fertility of soil revealed itself by the abundance of vegetation it supported, so they assumed that the lack of trees on the prairie signaled inferior farmland. Those brave souls who did try to farm the prairie found that their flimsy plows were inadequate to cut through prairie sod thickly knotted with deep roots. In an "age of wood," farmers also felt helpless without ready access to the trees they needed for their tools, homes, furniture, fences, and fuel. For all these reasons, most of the early Illinois settlers remained in the southern part of the state, where they built homes and farms near the trees that grew along the many creek and river bottoms. The development of heavy prairie plows and improved access to wood and other supplies through new shipping routes encouraged even more farmers to head out into the vast northern prairie lands of Illinois. By 1840, the center of population in Illinois had shifted decisively to the north, and the once insignificant hamlet of Chicago rapidly became a bustling city. The four giant prairie counties of northern Illinois, which were the last to be settled, boasted population densities of 18 people per square mile. Increasingly recognized as one of the nation's most fertile agricultural areas, the vast emptiness of the Illinois prairie was eagerly conquered by both pioneers and plows. The Railroad and Great Lakes made Chicago a significant center of transportation.
    1826 - Birthday of Union General George McClellan in Philadelphia. Although McClellan emerged early in the war as a Union hero, he failed to effectively prosecute the war in the East. McClellan graduated from West Point in 1846, second in his class. He served with distinction in the Mexican War under General Winfield Scott, and continued in the military until 1857. After retiring from the service, McClellan served as president of the Illinois Central Railroad, where he became acquainted with Abraham Lincoln, who was then an attorney for the company. When the war began, McClellan was appointed major general in charge of the Ohio volunteers. In 1861, he command Union forces in western Virginia, where his reputation grew as the Yankees won many small battles and secured control of the region. Although many historians have argued that it was McClellan's subordinates who deserved most of the credit, McClellan was elevated to commander of the main Union army in the east, the Army of the Potomac, following that army's humiliating defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run.  McClellan was beloved by his soldiers but was arrogant and contemptuous of Lincoln and the Republican leaders in Congress. A staunch Democrat, he was opposed to attacking the institution of slavery as a war measure. While his work as an administrator earned high marks, his weakness was revealed when he took the field with his army in the spring of 1862. He lost to Robert E. Lee during the Seven Days' battles, and as a field commander he was sluggish, hesitant, and timid. President Lincoln then moved most of McClellan's command to John Pope, but Pope was beaten badly by Lee at the Second Battle of Bull Run. When Lee invaded Maryland in September 1862, Lincoln restored McClellan's command. McClellan pursued Lee into western Maryland, and on September 17, the two armies fought to a standstill along Antietam Creek. Heavy losses forced Lee to return to Virginia, providing McClellan with a nominal victory. Shortly after the battle, Lincoln declared the Emancipation Proclamation, which converted the war into a crusade against slavery, a measure bitterly criticized by McClellan. The general's failure to pursue Lee into Virginia led Lincoln to order McClellan's permanent removal in November. The Democrats nominated McClellan for President in 1864. He ran against his old boss, but managed to garner only 21 of 233 electoral votes. After the war, he served as Governor of New Jersey. He died on October 29, 1885, in Orange, New Jersey.
    1828 - Andrew Jackson was elected seventh president of the United States. Jackson, a senator from Tennessee until his nomination, received 647,231 popular votes and 178 electoral votes against 509,097 popular votes and 83 electoral votes for John Quincy Adams, candidate of the National Republican Party. John C. Calhoun was reelected vice president, receiving 171 electoral votes. Martin Van Buren of New York swung the election on the understanding that he would continue to exercise power in the state through the spoils system. Jackson was reelected in 1832 by 687,502 popular votes and 219 electoral votes, against 530,189 popular votes and 49 electoral votes for Henry Clay. Martin Van Buren was elected vice-president.
    1833 - The first college to enroll women and men on equal terms was Oberlin Collegiate Institute, Oberlin, OH, with 44 students, 29 men and 15 women. On March 21, 1930, the name of the school was changed to Oberlin College. It was the first school to advocate the abolition of slavery and to accept African-American men and women on equal terms with white students.
    1834 – The first dental society was established, in New York.
    1842 - Phoebe Apperson Hearst’s birthday in Franklin County, MO.   She was a renowned philanthropist whose contributions - based on her husband's gold and silver mining fortune - put a lot of the gold in the reputation of California. Her donations to the University of California that she served as a regent from 1897 to her death in 1919 helped make it a major institution. She endowed nurseries and kindergartens, helped rebuild many institutions after the San Francisco earthquake/fire, and later, her financial aid to numerous archaeological expeditions carried the stipulation that the finds go to the UC and thus came about the University Museum. Later she endowed UC's department of anthropology. She also set up the first refuge for redwood trees. When her husband George was appointed to the U.S. Senate, she turned her philanthropy to that area's institutions and was, among other things, a major contributor to the National Cathedral and the restoration of Mount Vernon. Her only child was William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper publisher. She died April 13, 1919 at her home in Pleasanton, CA, a victim of the worldwide influenza epidemic of 1918-1919.  The majestic residence burned in a great fire in 1969.  The land now serves as Castlewood Country Club.
    1842 – Charles Alfred Pillsbury was born in Warner, NH.  He was co-founder and namesake of the Pillsbury Company.
    1847 - Frederick Douglass, along with Martin R Delaney, started The North Start, an anti-slavery paper.
    1863 – Confederate General James Longstreet abandoned his siege of Knoxville, TN.
    1864 - Salmon P. Chase was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. His most significant achievements came as Treasury Secretary under Lincoln. He was partly responsible for saving the country from financial ruin with the Legal Tender Act, which he sponsored in 1862. The act allowed 150,000,000 greenbacks to be issued. The phrase “In God We Trust” was put on national coins by order of Chase.     
    1868 – At the trial of Jefferson Davis, black Americans were empaneled as jurors for the first time in an American courtroom. He refused to honor the trial and sat in jail for two years. Horace Greely, democratic candidate for President in 1872, and founder and editor of the New York Tribune, became an advocate of universal amnesty for Confederates, and in May, 1867, offered bail for Davis. He was pardoned by President Johnson under the influence of Southern Democrats who had swung the electoral vote in an alleged backroom deal. Some other trivia:  Davis was the son-in-law of former president Zachary Taylor (who was prepared to hold the Union together by armed force rather than by compromise) and US Secretary of War (1853-57).
(see Horace Greely:
    1878 - Settlers arrive at Petach Tikvah, Israel from various parts of the world, including America.
    1879 - Thomas Edison said he could invent a safe electric light bulb. Although electric arc lights had existed for more than ten years, their high intensity made them a fire hazard.  Financiers, including J.P. Morgan and the Vanderbilt family, took Edison at his word and established the Edison Electric Light Company later that year. After more than a year of experiments, Edison and his young assistant, Francis Upton, finally developed a carbon filament that would burn in a vacuum in a glass bulb for forty hours. They demonstrated the light bulb to their backers on Dec. 3, 1879, and by the end of the month, were exhibiting the invention to the public. On December 31, 1879, the Pennsylvania Railroad ran special trains to Edison's Menlo Park laboratory to let the public witness a demonstration of the invention.
    1892 - Harriet Stratemeyer Adams’ birthday in Newark, NJ.  Adams claimed to be the author of all 55 of the Nancy Drew mysteries (under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene), most of the Hardy Boys series (under the pseudonym Franklin W. Dixon), the Toms Swift Jr. series, the Bobbsey Twins and other books in the Stratemeyer publishing empire. Took over the organization in 1930 when her father died. Most of the books were ghosted by writers she hired, but the fable that she both created the series and write the stories still lives on.

    1896 - Hermann Hollerith incorporated the Tabulating Machine Company.  At age twenty-nine, Hollerith, who had worked at the Census Bureau in 1880, won a competition to develop the most efficient counting system for the 1890 census. His tabulating machine counted punched cards, inspired by a card system developed by Joseph Jacquard of France to program patterns into textile looms. Through a series of mergers and reorganizations, the Tabulating Machine Company eventually became IBM.
    1897 - Birthday of social artist William Gropper in New York City’s Lower East Side.   A committed radical, Gropper's alienation was accentuated when on March 24, 1911 he lost a favorite aunt in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, a disaster which resulted from locked doors and non-existent exits in a New York sweatshop. Some 146 workers burned or jumped to their deaths on that day in what was New York's greatest human catastrophe prior to the 9/11. Died 1977.
    1898 - The Duquesne Country and Athletic Club defeated an All-star collection of early football players, 16-0, in what is considered to be the very first all-star game for professional American football.
    1901 – President Teddy Roosevelt’s State of the Union Address asked Congress to curb the power of trusts "within reasonable limits".    
    1901 – Milwaukee of the American League was replaced by the St. Louis Browns.
    1902 - Birthday of Mitsuo Fuchida, the pilot who flew the lead plane in Japan's air attack on Pearl Harbor.  Following WWII, through representatives of the Pocket Testament League, Fuchida was converted to Christianity in 1950.
    1902 - Birthday of clarinet player Joe “Brother Cornbread” Thomas, New Orleans, LA
    1903 - Birthday of trombone player Brad Gowans , Billerica, MA,
    1907 - Singer Connee Boswell’s birthday in Kansas City, MO. Perhaps best known as part of the Boswell Sisters singing group, after her sisters married, she continued as a solo, performing mostly from a wheelchair. She'd been a victim of polio as a child and then had a fall that aggravated the situation. She played a number of instruments and was a gifted arranger.  Boswell died in NYC in 1976.

    1919 - Birthday of piano player/composer Herbie Nichols, New York City, NY.  Died 1963.

    1922 - The first movie in Technicolor that was considered released for commercial purpose plus was “really successful” was “The Toll of the Sea,” released this day at the Rialto Theater, New York City. The process was developed by Dr. Herbert Thomas Kalmus, president and general manager of the Technicolor Motion Picture Corporation from its inception until 1959.
    1922 - Birthday of Joseph Edward “Joe” Collins, born Joseph Edward Kollonige, at Scranton, PA. As a first baseman for the New York Yankees, Collins played in seven World Series in his 10-year Major League career and he was a teammate of Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and Whitey Ford. He hit two home runs off Brooklyn Dodgers’ Don Newcombe in Game 1 of the 1955 series (I was there and remember it, too). Collins died on August 30, 1989 in Union, NJ, where a small park is named for him.
    1923 – The first radio broadcast of a Congressional session was aired from Washington, DC…where else?
    1925 - The first jazz concerto for piano and orchestra was presented at Carnegie Hall in NYC. Commissioned by Walter Damrosch, American composer George Gershwin presented "Concerto In F", and was also the featured soloist playing a flugelhorn in a slow, bluesy style as one of his numbers.
    1925 – Ferlin Husky was born in Cantwell, MO.  He was an early country music singer who was equally adept at the genres of traditional honky-tonk, ballads, spoken recitations, and rockabilly pop tunes. He had two dozen Top 20 hits in the country charts between 1953 and 1975.  In the 1950s and 60s, Husky's hits included “Gone” and “Wings of a Dove”, each reaching No. 1 on the country charts.  Husky died in 2011.
    1927 – The first Laurel and Hardy film, “Putting Pants on Philip” was released.
    1929 - Birthday of sax/clarinet player Clarence Ford, New Orleans, LA.,,431599,00.html
    1929 - Birthday of trombone player Fred Assunto , New Orleans, played with the Dukes of Dixieland
    1929 - Showing extreme optimism, if not foresight, President Herbert Hoover declared to Congress that the nation had shaken off the impact of the recent stock market crash and regained its faith in the economy. “Happy Days Were Here Again,” he tried to make his theme song (Ironically, it became FDR’s theme song, along with “Brother Can You Spare a Dime.”). The Teapot Dome scandal and trial under undermined his leadership, but it was his lack of understanding the economy that did him in. In the 1930, he called a special session of Congress to take up tariff revisions, which he had promised in his presidential campaign the previous fall. Hoover primarily wanted to have tariff rates raised on agricultural products. By the time it was over, the Smooth-Hawley Act also included some of the highest rates in history on manufactured products. Hoover signed the act into law on June 17 despite the fact that on May 4 a petition singed by 1028 economists had been sent to Washington urging defeat of the proposed legislation. Within two years, 25 nations retaliated by raising duties on US Goods. The economic nationalism triggered by this legislation had been blamed for deepening the worldwide depression. A report in 1931 recommended repealing the anti-probation law, however, Hoover opposed it. In the 1932 election, Hoover received a popular vote of 15,761,841 with 59 electoral votes to Roosevelt’s 22,821,857 and 472 electoral vote. The democrats also gained 13 senate seats and 90 house seats.
    1930 - Birthday of singer Andy Williams, born Walt Lake, IA. Platinum album: Love Story, 13 gold albums.
    1931 - Unemployment in American reaches 13.5 million — almost 1/3 of the American work force. In Los Angeles alone, shelters give asylum to over 200,000 persons. Many choose instead to hit the road — another 200,000 become freight car migrants on the Missouri Pacific Line. Severe drought hits the midwestern and southern plains. As the crops die, the 'black blizzards" begin. Dust from the over-plowed and over-grazed land begins to blow.
    1932 - Birthday of singer/actress Jaye P. Morgan, (Mary Margaret Morgan), in Mancos, CO.  Her best known role, however, was as an original panelist on Chuck Barris’ “The Gong Show”.,+Jaye+P.

    1932 - Birthday of trumpet player Webster Young, Columbia, SC
    1933 – As the effects of the Great Depression continued to lower attendance at Major League baseball games, Philadelphia A’s owner and manager, Connie Mack, sold All-Star catcher, and future Hall of Famer, Mickey Cochrane, to the Detroit Tigers for $100,000.  Before the fire sale would end Mack would also sell Jimmy Foxx and Al Simmons among others.
    1933 – The Chicago Cardinals’ QB, Joe Lilliard, would be the last black player in the NFL until 1946.
    1937 – NASCAR’s Bobby Allison was born.
    1942 - Frank Sinatra’s first solo engagement, Paramount Theater, New York City.
    1945 - *HENRY, ROBERT T., Medal of Honor.
Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. Place and date: Luchem, Germany, 3 December 1944. Entered service at: Greenville, Miss. Birth: Greenville, Miss. G.O. No.: 45, 12 June 1945. Citation: Near Luchem, Germany, he volunteered to attempt the destruction of a nest of 5 enemy machineguns located in a bunker 150 yards to the flank which had stopped the advance of his platoon. Stripping off his pack, overshoes, helmet, and overcoat, he sprinted alone with his rifle and hand grenades across the open terrain toward the enemy emplacement. Before he had gone half the distance he was hit by a burst of machinegun fire. Dropping his rifle, he continued to stagger forward until he fell mortally wounded only 10 yards from the enemy emplacement. His single-handed attack forced the enemy to leave the machineguns. During this break in hostile fire the platoon moved forward and overran the position. Pvt. Henry, by his gallantry and intrepidity and utter disregard for his own life, enabled his company to reach its objective, capturing this key defense and 70 German prisoners.
    1946 - General Strike in Oakland, California. 100,000 workers from 142 AFL unions — including workers from factories, industries, services, retail stores, transportation systems and more — declared a "work holiday" and walked off their jobs. The three-day General Strike of more than 130,000 workers in Alameda County (Oakland) CA, opposed police brutality and supported striking Oakland department store workers. It lasted until city and labor leaders settled on a compromise agreement, returning workers to their jobs on Dec. 5. In following months, the populist Oakland Voters League brought together progressive factions in the city to elect four out of five labor candidates to the city council.
    1946 – This year’s Heisman Trophy winner is Mr. Inside, Glenn Davis, of Army.
    1947 - Tennessee Williams' “A Streetcar Named Desire” opens today at New York's Ethel Barrymore Theater and runs for 855 performances. Jessica Tandy, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, & Karl Malden star.
    1947 – Manson follower and fellow murderer Patricia Krenwinkle’s birthday.
    1948 – The first woman officer not in the US Army medical corps is sworn in.
    1948 - Top Hits
“Buttons and Bows” - Dinah Shore
“On a Slow Boat to China” - The Kay Kaiser Orchestra (vocal: Harry Babbitt & Gloria Wood
“You Were Only Fooling” - Kay Starr
“One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart)” - Jimmy Wakely
    1950 - Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Tom Fears celebrates his 27th birthday by making an NFL record 18 receptions for 189 yards and two touchdowns in the Rams' 51-14 victory over Green Bay.
    1950 - PAGE, JOHN U. D., Medal of Honor.
Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, X Corps Artillery, while attached to the 52d Transportation Truck Battalion. Place and date: Near Chosin Reservoir, Korea, 29 November to 10 December 1950. Entered service at: St. Paul, Minn. Born: 8 February 1904, Malahi Island, Luzon, Philippine Islands. G.O. No.: 21, 25 April 1957. Citation: Lt. Col. Page, a member of X Corps Artillery, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty in a series of exploits. On 29 November, Lt. Col. Page left X Corps Headquarters at Hamhung with the mission of establishing traffic control on the main supply route to 1st Marine Division positions and those of some Army elements on the Chosin Reservoir plateau. Having completed his mission Lt. Col. Page was free to return to the safety of Hamhung but chose to remain on the plateau to aid an isolated signal station, thus being cut off with elements of the marine division. After rescuing his jeep driver by breaking up an ambush near a destroyed bridge Lt. Col. Page reached the lines of a surrounded marine garrison at Koto-ri. He then voluntarily developed and trained a reserve force of assorted army troops trapped with the marines. By exemplary leadership and tireless devotion he made an effective tactical unit available. In order that casualties might be evacuated, an airstrip was improvised on frozen ground partly outside of the Koto-ri defense perimeter which was continually under enemy attack. During 2 such attacks, Lt. Col. Page exposed himself on the airstrip to direct fire on the enemy, and twice mounted the rear deck of a tank, manning the machine gun on the turret to drive the enemy back into a no man's land. On 3 December while being flown low over enemy lines in a light observation plane, Lt. Col. Page dropped hand grenades on Chinese positions and sprayed foxholes with automatic fire from his carbine. After 10 days of constant fighting the marine and army units in the vicinity of the Chosin Reservoir had succeeded in gathering at the edge of the plateau and Lt. Col. Page was flown to Hamhung to arrange for artillery support of the beleaguered troops attempting to break out. Again Lt. Col. Page refused an opportunity to remain in safety and returned to give every assistance to his comrades. As the column slowly moved south Lt. Col. Page joined the rear guard. When it neared the entrance to a narrow pass it came under frequent attacks on both flanks. Mounting an abandoned tank Lt. Col. Page manned the machine gun, braved heavy return fire, and covered the passing vehicles until the danger diminished. Later when another attack threatened his section of the convoy, then in the middle of the pass, Lt. Col. Page took a machine gun to the hillside and delivered effective counterfire, remaining exposed while men and vehicles passed through the ambuscade. On the night of 10 December the convoy reached the bottom of the pass but was halted by a strong enemy force at the front and on both flanks. Deadly small-arms fire poured into the column. Realizing the danger to the column as it lay motionless, Lt. Col. Page fought his way to the head of the column and plunged forward into the heart of the hostile position. His intrepid action so surprised the enemy that their ranks became disordered and suffered heavy casualties. Heedless of his safety, as he had been throughout the preceding 10 days, Lt. Col. Page remained forward, fiercely engaging the enemy single-handed until mortally wounded. By his valiant and aggressive spirit Lt. Col. Page enabled friendly forces to stand off the enemy. His outstanding courage, unswerving devotion to duty, and supreme self-sacrifice reflect great credit upon Lt. Col. Page and are in the highest tradition of the military service.
    1951 - Paul Harvey begins his national radio broadcast.
    1952 – Hawaii experiences its first television broadcast.
    1953 - President Eisenhower criticizes McCarthy for saying communists are in Republican Party.
    1953 - "Kismet" opened on Broadway in New York. The show ran for 583 performances.
    1955 - Elvis Presley’s first release on RCA Victor Records was announced. No, it wasn’t "Hound Dog" or "Heartbreak Hotel". The first two sides were actually purchased from Sam Phillips of Sun Records: "Mystery Train" and "I Forgot to Remember to Forget". Elvis was described by his new record company as “The most talked about personality in recorded music in the last 10 years.”
    1956 - Wilt Chamberlain's 1st collegiate basketball game.  He scored 52 points for Kansas University.
    1956 - Top Hits
“Singing the Blues” - Guy Mitchell
“Blueberry Hill” - Fats Domino
“True Love” - Bing Crosby & Grace Kelly
“Singing the Blues” - Marty Robbins
    1960 - "Camelot" opened at the Majestic Theatre in New York City. Richard Burton and Julie Andrews played the leading roles in the musical written by Lerner and Loewe. Robert Goulet also got rave reviews. "Camelot" had a run of 873 performances. Broadway went Hollywood in the 1967 film version of "Camelot". Its run was not quite as successful.  Regardless, it became synonymous with the Kennedy years such that after the assassination, the tone of writing usually contained references to the “End of Camelot”.    
    1962 - Roger Hilsman, director of the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research, sends a memorandum to Secretary of State Dean Rusk pointing out that the communist Viet Cong fighters are obviously prepared for a long struggle. Hilsman felt that a noncommunist coup against Diem "could occur at any time," and would seriously disrupt or reverse counterinsurgency momentum. As it turned out, Hilsman was eventually proven correct. On November 1, 1963, dissident South Vietnamese generals led a coup resulting in the murder of Diem. His death marked the end of civilian authority and political stability in South Vietnam. The succession of military juntas, coups, and attempted coups in 1964 and early 1965 weakened the government severely and disrupted the momentum of the counterinsurgency effort against the Viet Cong. While the administration had accurate intelligence reports, they ignored them as Lyndon B. Johnson feared being perceived as weak against communist expansion in the Far East.
    1964 - Police arrest 733 sit-in students at University of California at Berkeley following their takeover at the administration building in protest of the UC Regents’ decision to forbid protests on UC property. This is generally considered the start of the Free Speech Movement.  (I helped cover this for KFRC radio, San Francisco, stringing also for UPI audio/AP.)
    1964 - Top Hits
“Leader of the Pack” - The Shangri-Las
“She’s Not There” - The Zombies
“Mr. Lonely” - Bobby Vinton
“Once a Day” - Connie Smith
    1965 - Birthday of Olympic gold medal figure skater Katrina Witt, born Karl-Marx-Stadt, East Germany.
    1965 - An all-white jury in Alabama convicted three Ku Klux Klansmen over the murder of white civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo.
    1966 - At a time when the airwaves and record charts where dominated by Rock and Roll, a most unusual song called "Winchester Cathedral" by The New Vaudeville Band became the number one tune in the US.
    1967 - Dr. Christian Bernard, a South African surgeon, performed the world's first successful heart transplant at Cape Town, South Africa.
    1967 – The final run of “The 20th Century Limited”, the famed luxury train between Chicago and New York, began.
    1968 - HOLCOMB, JOHN NOBLE, Medal of Honor.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company D, 2d Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division. Place and date: Near Quan Loi, Republic of Vietnam, 3 December 1968. Entered service at: Corvallis, Oregon. Born: 11 June 1946, Baker, Oregon. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Holcomb distinguished himself while serving as a squad leader in Company D during a combat assault mission. Sgt. Holcomb's company assault had landed by helicopter and deployed into a hasty defensive position to organize for a reconnaissance-in-force mission when it was attacked from 3 sides by an estimated battalion-size enemy force. Sgt. Holcomb's squad was directly in the path of the main enemy attack. With complete disregard for the heavy fire, Sgt. Holcomb moved among his men giving encouragement and directing fire on the assaulting enemy. When his machine gunner was knocked out, Sgt. Holcomb seized the weapon, ran to a forward edge of the position, and placed withering fire on the enemy. His gallant actions caused the enemy to withdraw. Sgt. Holcomb treated and carried his wounded to a position of safety and reorganized his defensive sector despite a raging grass fire ignited by the incoming enemy mortar and rocket rounds. When the enemy assaulted the position a second time, Sgt. Holcomb again manned the forward machine gun, devastating the enemy attack and forcing the enemy to again break contact and withdraw. During the enemy withdrawal an enemy rocket hit Sgt. Holcomb's position, destroying his machine gun and severely wounding him. Despite his painful wounds, Sgt. Holcomb crawled through the grass fire and exploding mortar and rocket rounds to move the members of his squad, everyone of whom had been wounded, to more secure positions. Although grievously wounded and sustained solely by his indomitable will and courage, Sgt. Holcomb as the last surviving leader of his platoon organized his men to repel the enemy, crawled to the platoon radio and reported the third enemy assault on his position. His report brought friendly supporting fires on the charging enemy and broke the enemy attack. Sgt. Holcomb's inspiring leadership, fighting spirit, in action at the cost of his life were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
    1968 – The heralded NBC comeback special of Elvis Presley aired for the first time.
    1968 – With pitchers’ ERAs lowering and batters’ batting averages going in the same direction, Major League Baseball agreed to lower the pitcher's mound to 10" from 15"  and to reduce the strike zone from the knees to shoulders to top of knees to armpits.
    1969 - John Lennon is offered role of Jesus Christ in "Jesus Christ Superstar."
    1971 - The Montreaux Casino caught fire and burned during a show by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. The incident was later immortalized by Deep Purple's 1973 hit, "Smoke on the Water". (“…some stupid with a flare gun, burned the place to the ground...")
    1972 - Top Hits
Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone - The Temptations
I Am Woman - Helen Reddy
If You Don’t Know Me by Now - Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes
She’s Too Good to Be True - Charley Pride
    1973 – US spacecraft Pioneer 10 sends back the first close-up images of Jupiter.
    1976 – An assassination of singer/composer Bob Marley failed.  He was shot twice, but played a concert only two days later.
    1977 - After eight straight weeks at the top of the Cashbox Magazine Best Sellers chart, Debby Boone's "You Light Up My Life" finally gives way to "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" by Crystal Gayle.
    1977 - After 29 weeks in the #1 position on the album charts (a record, literally...), "Rumours", by Fleetwood Mac, was replaced at the top spot by the album "Simple Dreams", sung by Linda Ronstadt.
    1979 - Nearly a dozen young people are killed at concert of the rock band The Who in Cincinnati, Ohio. Eleven victims were trampled to death during a stampede for seats at the Riverfront Coliseum. The band was not informed of the deaths until after the show.
    1979 - Ayatollah Khomeini became the first Supreme Leader of Iran. 
    1980 - Top Hits
“Woman in Love” - Barbra Streisand
“Another One Bites the Dust” - Queen
“He’s So Shy” - Pointer Sisters
“If You Ever Change Your Mind” - Crystal Gayle
    1982 - A soil sample is taken from Times Beach, MO that will be found to contain 300 times the safe level of dioxin.  Over time the EPA condemned the area and homeowners were bought out of their homes by the government, leading to the town's evacuation by 1985 and complete demolition by 1992.
    1984 - A methyl isocyanate leak from a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, kills more than 3,800 people outright and injures 150,000–600,000 others (some 6,000 of whom would later die from their injuries) in one of the worst industrial disasters in history. 
    1984 - Miss America 1971, Phyllis George, wife of the Governor of Kentucky who is heir to the Kentucky Fried Chicken fortune, signed a multiyear contract with CBS-TV. Her work as co-anchor of the "CBS Morning News" began in January 1985.
    1986 - Bobby Knight led the Indiana Hoosiers past Notre Dame 67-62. For only the second time in his 22-year basketball-coaching career, Knight relied on a zone defense. He also threatened to throw 20 chairs onto the floor to trip Fighting Irish players, so maybe that had something to do with it, too.
    1988 - Top Hits
Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley (Free Baby) - Will To Power
Look Away - Chicago
How Can I Fail? - Breathe
I Know How He Feels - Reba McEntire
    1989 - Heavy snow and high winds created blizzard conditions in northern New England. Snowfall totals in Maine ranged up to 31 inches, at Limestone. Presque Isle, ME reported a record 30 inches of snow in 24 hours, along with wind gusts to 46 mph.
    1989 - President George H.W. Bush and Soviet leader Gorbachev release statements indicating that the Cold War between NATO and the Soviet Union may be coming to an end.
    1992 - A test engineer for Sema Group uses a personal computer to send the world's first text message via the Vodafone network to the phone of a colleague.
    1994 - "On Bended Knee", by Boyz II Men, hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The smash was #1, off and on, thru January 1995.
    2001 - Although Enron has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the corporation is current on its payments and plans to keep the company's name on Astros' new ballpark, according to Astro officials. The downtown stadium will stay Enron Field as long as Enron continues to exist and makes regular payments on its 30-year, $100 million commitment they stated.   Enron is long gone and the ballpark is now known as Minute Maid Park.
    2002 - Thousands of personnel files released under a court order showed that the Archdiocese of Boston went to great lengths to hide priests accused of abuse, including clergy who allegedly snorted cocaine and had sex with girls aspiring to be nuns.
    2007 - Winter storms cause the Chehalis River to flood many cities in Lewis County, WA, and close a 20-mile portion of I-5 for several days. At least eight deaths and billions of dollars in damages are blamed on the floods.
    2007 - The National Intelligence Estimate (N.I.E.) has judged with a high degree of confidence that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003. It does, however, assess that Tehran is keeping the option to develop nuclear weapons open. There is confidence that the halt, and Tehran’s announcement of its decision to suspend its declared uranium enrichment program, as well as sign an Additional Protocol to its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Safeguards Agreement, was made in response to the increasing international scrutiny and pressure on its previously undeclared nuclear work. Iran has welcomed the N.I.E. report that suggests that its government is not trying to develop nuclear weapons at this time.
    2013 - A law that banned plastic guns that were undetectable in metal detectors was set to expire by the end of the year unless the US Congress passed it again. The US House passed it on November 3rd and the US Senate passed it on December 10th. The law requires all plastic guns to have at least one metal part that cannot be removed in the firing mechanism. Gun control advocates were hoping to expand the law.



The object is to insert the numbers in the boxes to satisfy only one condition: each row, column and 3x3 box must contain the digits 1 through 9 exactly once. What could be simpler?





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