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

Monday, December 3, 2018

Today's Leasing News Headlines

Position Wanted – Credit
  Work Remotely or Relocate for Right Opportunity
Leasing News Top Stories
  November 26 - November 30
Letters! We Get eMail
 Amur Equipment Finance/Bloomberg MCA/ABC Leasing
Leasing News Complaints Bulletin Board
  BBB Ratings --- Updated
Sales Makes it Happen by Steve Chriest
 “Rule 23”  -  Everyone Has Customers
Top Ten Business Challenges to Finance/Leasing
  #1 Driving Down Operations Costs
German Shepherd
   Portland, Oregon  Adopt a Dog
"Day in the Life" from Chris Enbom, CLFP
   Allegiant Partners CEO
News Briefs---
Expanding Chicago Presence
 "Salesforce to bring 1,000 jobs to riverfront tower"
Trade Truce by China and U.S. Gives Both Sides
 Political Breathing Room; 90-day window it has set for trade talks

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

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

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

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Position Wanted – Credit
Work Remotely or Relocate for Right Opportunity

Orlando, Florida - Will work remotely

As a Commercial Credit Analyst/Underwriter, I have evaluated transactions from sole proprietorships to listed companies, across a broad spectrum of industries, embracing a multitude of asset types. Sound understanding of balance sheet, income statement and cash flow dynamics which impact credit decisions. Strong appreciation for credit/asset risk.
407 430-3917

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Leasing News Top Stories
November 26 - November 30

(Stories most opened by readers)

(1) Auction is on for December 5 regarding the Shares
       of Amur Equipment Finance, et al

(2) Senators Rubio and Kennedy Introduce
  “The Small Business Credit Protection Act”

(3) New Hires/Promotions in the Leasing Business
    and Related Industries

(4) Financing Cannabis Funding Sources
  Many Work with Third Party Originators

(5) ABC Leasing & Finance
    Joins Broker/Lessor List "A"

(6) Jim Grant with Odin
           He is Available

(7)  Sales Makes it Happen
Probing Questions for Equipment Leasing
    By Terry Winders, CLP

(8) Quiktrak Updated
   Site Inspection Services

(9) Alliance Commercial Capital
  Joins Broker/Lessor List "A"

(10) Lion or Gazelle Placard
  You better be running

You May Have Missed (feature in Leasing News---not counted)

How an obscure legal document turned New York’s court system into a debt-collection machine
 that’s chewing up small businesses across America.

Meet New York City’s highest-earning official.
   He’s a debt collector for predatory lenders.

Cash Advance Sign Here lose everything


Letters! We Get eMail
Amur Equipment Finance/Bloomberg MCA/ABC Leasing

Auction is on for December 5rd regarding the Shares
       of Amur Equipment Finance, et al

“Amur, by policy, does not comment on ongoing litigation, however, please note that Amur Equipment Finance, Inc. is not a party to this litigation and it in no way affects the business or operations of Amur Equipment Finance, Inc.”
  Statement from Amur Equipment Finance

"Isn’t that like saying a child is not a party to a divorce and the divorce in no way affects the custody, life, or living arrangements of the child?  Someone will get custody of $7.5 million of preferred stock in Amur Equipment Finance.  Preferred stock is like being the favorite child – that is why it is referred to as preferred."

 Name With Held

"The Amur saga is long and complex with numerous tentacles of litigation each spawning their own little “Westworld.”  From the September 13, 2017, Delaware Chancery Court Memorandum Decision (civil action no. 2017-0145-JRS) in Pine River Master Fund Ltd. and Pine River Fixed Income Master Fund Ltd (“Pine River”) versus Amur Finance Company, Inc. and Amur Finance IV LLC, (the Pine River versus Amur tentacle), the judge classified Amur Finance Company, Inc., Amur Finance IV LLC, Amur Aviation LLC, PMC Aviation 2012-1 LLC, and Mostafiz ShahMohammed as collectively, “Amur”.  As the judge stated in September 2017, “In happier times, Pine River and Amur entered into a Secured Revolving Credit Agreement (the “Credit Agreement”) whereby Pine River made loans to Amur that Amur, in turn, used to make investments in various operating companies.”

"Amur apparently defaulted under the credit agreement, Pine River sued, and Pine River is now seeking to liquidate its collateral.  A deeper read of the attached notice and some internet sleuthing reveals there may be little to collect.

"The $30 million listed in item (b) of the attached notice relates to Amur JMW Aviation, LLC (AJMWA), a joint venture between Amur Finance Company, Inc. and the owners of Jet Midwest, Inc.  On February 26, 2018, Jet Midwest Group, LLC filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. 

"The $30.25 million listed in item (d) is rumored to have been invested in a fleet of helicopters that sits idle in Asia. Former Amur staff report generally consistent rumors of this fleet but none that could be confirmed independently by press time. 

"The $9.6 million listed in item (e) appears to have been further lent or invested in Jet Midwest Group, LLC.  According to the website, Amur Finance IV, LLC and PMC Aviation 2012-1 LLC (an Amur related company) sued Jet Midwest Group, LLC.  Jet Midwest Group countersued Amur Finance IV, PMC Aviation, and Mostafiz ShahMohammed.  How much of that $9.6 million is collectible is uncertain but on February 26, 2018, Jet Midwest Group, LLC filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.

"The item that may have value is the $7.55 million of par value preferred stock in Amur Equipment Finance, the core equipment leasing business founded by Gordon Glade as Axis Capital and located in Grand Island, Nebraska.  Following the various Amur entities can be challenging.  Sources indicate ShahMohammed did not want to simplify the structure until the Pine River litigation was resolved, in order, at least in part, to protect the equipment leasing operation, as the crown jewel, from the litigation.  With this notice Pine River may have found its Trojan horse into the epicenter of Amur’s operations. "

Name With Held

"Looks like someone will end up owning the preferred stock of Amur Equipment Finance."

Name With Held

“How come you didn’t write about and Mostafiz ShahMohammed?  His involvement is the story.”

Name With Held

(Definitely is more to the story. Stay tuned. Editor)


"Hope that all is well with you. I don’t know if you’ve seen the article that has hit the media recently about Merchant Cash Advances and Confessions of Judgment.  If not, I’ve attached it here for your reference.

"The practices of the companies mentioned in this article have just about put themselves out of business by abusively exercising their authority and have created a very large blemish on the MCA and commercial finance industries.  It’s a shame that a few bad apples have to undermine the reputation of the entire industries."

Joseph G. Bonanno, Esq.

"You missed it!  Amur was not the top story... buried in You May Have Missed was one of the most important stories of the year. The Bloomberg MCA series - parts 1 - 3.  All I can say is Wow! This story provides full color to CA Rep. Steve Glazer's legislation and is a must read for anyone who comes near the MCA business. CA was just the start. I would expect NY to be shamed into legislation based on the Bloomberg investigative piece and other states to follow. It will be surprising if class actions don't pop up quickly. The Bloomberg story makes O.P.M. Leasing, Rhino Copy, NorVergence, Royal Links, and the rest look like chump change..."

David Rabinovitz

(The three stories did appear in Leasing News. First, they were copyrighted. While others may disregard this, Leasing News does not open copyrighted stories. As well as they were too long for “news briefs.” They were basically magazine length, thus the links appeared in the section titled
You May Have Missed” - Editor):

How an obscure legal document turned New York’s court system into a debt-collection machine
 that’s chewing up small businesses across America.

Meet New York City’s highest-earning official.
   He’s a debt collector for predatory lenders.

Cash Advance Sign Here lose everything


ABC Leasing & Finance
    Joins Broker/Lessor List "A"

"I've already had my first email/phone call this AM as a result of our nice write up in your newsletter today.  From a lone-wolf kind of broker out in the Buffalo area, who's been in the industry since 1984!

"Make it a great week Kit!"

Gerry Oestreich


Jim Grant with Odin
           He is Available

“Thank you very much for the plug. I owe you a steak dinner.”



"You can report or put in your newsletter that SCL has had their biggest funding year in 28 years. I do not want to give a number but we are looking at more deals.

"$100-$750K which is why we see the increase in overall numbers. In our research we also see these deals came to us by referral of the vendor and repeat customers trusting in us to facilitate funding."

Barbara Griffith
SCL Equipment Finance
A Division of Southern California Leasing Inc



Leasing News Complaints Bulletin Board 
BBB Ratings

The following companies appear on the Leasing News “Complaints” Bulletin Board:

Also may appear on Evergreen Abuse List

Ability Capital Solutions, Long Beach, California: C-
  Principal noted: Brian Acosta, also principal of Matrix Business Capital
ACC Capital, Midvale, Utah: A+
  Our of Business, but not according to BBB
Balboa Capital, Costa Mesa, California: A-
  Balboa 25 negative reviews, 1 positive review, 1 neutral review
  “Our commitment to fast, dependable funding and great service has helped us achieve full    accreditation with the Better Business Bureau.” But they don’t mention the A- on
Blue Bridge Financial, LLC, Buffalo, New York: A+
De Lage Landen, Wayne, Pennsylvania: A+
Integrity Financial Groups, Midvale, Utah F
Jules and Associates, Los Angeles, California  A+ 
Leasing Innovations, Inc., Solano BeachCA  A+
Liberty Capital, Aliso Viejo, California  N/R
MAC Financial Services, Scottsdale, Arizona: A+
Marlin Leasing, Mount Laurel, New Jersey A+
Jules and Associates, Los Angeles, California  A+
Matrix Business Capital, Long Beach, California: C+
  Principal noted: Brian Acosta, also principal of Ability Capital Solutions
Mazuma Capital Corporation, Draper, Utah A+
Newport Financial Partners, Newport Beach, California: N/R
Onset Financial, South Jordan, Utah A+
Platinum Financial, Orange, California  NR
Proviso Financial Services, Coquitlam, British Columbia: N/R
Radiance Capital, Tacoma, Washington  A+
Tetra Financial Group, Salt Lake City, Utah A+
US Business Funding, Santa Ana, California: A+


Sales Makes it Happen by Steve Chriest

"Rule 23"

Rule #21
- Everyone in an organization is a salesperson.
Rule #22
- Not everyone believes rule number twenty-one.
Rule #23
- Everyone has customers.

The most successful, customer-centric organizations we encounter work hard to create a culture that champions all customers, including the company's employees.

Managers in these organizations recognize that they oversee a volunteer workforce and they realize that their success as managers depends, to a large degree, on their ability to persuade employees to work at fulfilling the company's mission.

We've noticed that these same managers faithfully follow their company's sales process when interacting with subordinates.

We don't think it is an accident that companies that are satisfied with their implementation of highly complex CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems share a common approach to managing their employees.

Instead of simply announcing the arrival of new CRM software, managers solicited input from all affected business units during the project's planning phase, launched modules in stages to promote user adoption, and addressed the cultural shift issues that a major change in software often entails. In short, they approached their employees as customers of the new software system!

A willingness to accept the three rules that apply to all organizations today, and a commitment to treat everyone in the organization as a "customer," helps create a true customer-focused enterprise.

Steve Chriest is the CEO of Open Advance and author of “Selling to the E-Suite, The Proven System for Reaching and Selling Senior Executives and Business Acumen 101.” He recently re-named his company from Selling-Up. He produces video and radio blogs, as well as continuing as a columnist for Leasing News since 2005.

Sales Makes It Happen Articles:


Top Ten Business Challenges to Finance/Leasing
#1 Driving Down Operations Costs

A survey by KPMG, a major professional service firm, of 1,000 executives who make finance and accounting decisions, finds that the biggest challenge is enabling digital transformation at a faster pace.

According to the 36 page research report, the top 10 business challenges are:

  1. Driving down operating costs – 31%
  2. Enabling digital transformation – 28% (Finance and Accounting executives ranked this highest)
  3. Increasing revenue and/or profits – 20%
  4. Dealing with talent shortages/talent management challenges – 12%
  5. Regulatory, compliance and tax burdens – 14%
  6. Political/government gridlock – 7%
  7. Competitive pressures – 9%
  8. Cybersecurity risks, corporate espionage and IP Theft – 7%
  9. Weakening consumer/customer demand – 3%
  10. Expanding into new geographic markets – 1%

The survey found that the following approaches could help deal with or solve some of the challenges.

  • Investing in data & analytics
  • Updating and overhauling "target operating models"
  • Improving/upgrading talent management and upgrading talent pools and talent management strategies
  • Improving "Governance Regulatory and Compliance" (GRC)
  • Investing in intelligent automation (IA) and Robotic process automation (RPA)—

Full Survey Results (36 pages)



German Shepherd
Portland, Oregon  Adopt a Dog

2 Years old
55 lbs.

"Fiona, this sweetness isn’t a persona. Come in and let me show ya! Try saying that sentence five times fast! Tell ya what, you say that five times fast and I’ll let ya adopt me. Deal? I’m a happy gal who can’t wait to get into a real home. If you ask me, I’ve already spent too much time in rescue and believe me, I am ready to experience love and companionship with a family all my own. I am sure that I will make a great addition to your home, and I won’t mind sharing it with other dogs or respectful children…I can even share my home with cats if they don’t mind the occasional game of chase. I’m a fan favorite everywhere I go—I guess people just can’t help falling in love with my sweet, gentle, and affectionate personality! I am also well mannered, fully crate trained, and very food motivated.

"2 years old-55lbs. My adoption fee is $220 and includes spay, microchip & registration, reduced-cost training class, free veterinary exam, 1 month pet health insurance, leash/collar, food sample, toy & treat packet."

Family Dogs New Life Shelter
9101 SE Stanley Ave
Portland, Oregon 97206

Phone: 503-771-5596 (Our phone is an automated / voice message system only. Phone calls do not get answered, but got straight to voicemail. All voicemails will be returned by a staff member, but this may take several days. For a more timely response please send us an email instead.)

Saturday: 11am to 6pm
Sunday: 12pm to 6pm
Monday: 12pm to 7pm
Tuesday: 12pm to 7pm
Wednesday: 12pm to 7pm
Thursday: CLOSED
Friday: CLOSED

Last adoption is done 30 minutes before closing, therefore we stop introductions 30 minutes before closing time.

Adopt a Pet


Day in the Life" from Chris Enbom, CLFP
Allegiant Partners CEO


News Briefs----

  Expanding Chicago Presence
"Salesforce to bring 1,000 jobs to riverfront tower"

Trade Truce by China and U.S. Gives Both Sides
 Political Breathing Room; 90-day window it has set for trade talks


You May Have Missed---

Best Answer to "Sell Me This Pen" I Have Ever Seen



Leif the Viking bent his knees
And prayed to God in ten-o-three
"With your help I'll set the sail
With your wisdom we'll prevail."

Across the sea to a far off land
The Vikings sailed under Leif's command
In winds and waves the ship was tossed,
But through it all the bark did cross.

A new world waited for Leif to view
Adventure, wonder, farmland too
Clear waters, fish and hunting grounds
A finer land could not be found

A man of courage, faith, and prayer
Leif the Norseman did his share
To open the worlds beyond the sea
A noble Viking, great was he!

Written by Carol Naevestad-Billings of Oxford, CT


Sports Briefs---

Packers fire Mike McCarthy after stunning loss to Cardinals

49ers’ routed by Seahawks, 43-16, in Sherman’s return to Seattle

Raiders lose 40-33 shootout to Chiefs

Giants do everything to win, then lose,
  then win in wild OT thriller

Warriors’ Damian Jones could be out for season
  with pectoral injury

2018 Bowl Games: Schedule, announcements,
   College Football Playoff selections

Is fine wine the NBA’s new status symbol?


California Nuts Briefs---

Livestock prices to rise with California's Proposition 12
  apparent victory, North Coast farmers say

Graton Resort and Casino marks 5 years
   with widening Sonoma County footprint

Are ticked off SF Bay Area transplants now
     influencing Central Valley politics?

A modern loft in SF's historic Clock Tower asks $2.193M



“Gimme that Wine”

This California Winery is Revolutionizing American Sparkling Wine

This Year in Wine, According to Wine Spectator

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page


This Day in History

         1755 - Birthday of Gilbert Charles Stuart (d. 1828), near Narragansett, RI.  American portrait painter whose most famous painting is that of George Washington. He also painted portraits of Madison, Monroe, Jefferson and other important Americans.
    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 (d. 1879) birthday, Washington, DC. 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, it is said they 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.
    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 (d. 1885) 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 commanded 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.    
    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 (d. 1919) 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 (d. 1899) 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 Star, the first anti-slavery newspaper.
    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’ (d. 1982) 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 (d. 1977) 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.
    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 Brewers of the American League were replaced by the St. Louis Browns.
    1902 - Birthday of Mitsuo Fuchida (d. 1976), Nara Prefecture, Japan.  He was the pilot who flew the lead plane in Japan's air attack on Pearl Harbor.  Following World War II, through representatives of the Pocket Testament League, Fuchida was converted to Christianity in 1950.
    1902 - Birthday of clarinet player Joe “Brother Cornbread” Thomas (d. 1981), New Orleans, LA
    1903 - Birthday of trombone player Brad Gowans (d. 1954), Billerica, MA,
    1907 - Singer Connee Boswell’s (d. 1976) 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.

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

    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 (d. 1989), 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 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 (d. 2011) 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. 
    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 (d. 1966), 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 signed 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 votes. The democrats also gained 13 senate seats and 90 house seats.
    1930 - Birthday of singer Andy Williams (d. 2012), born Wall Lake, IA. He recorded 43 albums in his career, of which 15 have been gold-certified, and three platinum-certified.  He was also nominated for six Grammy Awards and hosted “The Andy Williams Show,” a television variety show, from 1962 to 1971, and numerous TV specials. “The Andy Williams Show” won three Emmy Awards. The Moon River Theatre in Branson, MO is named after the song for which he is best known — “Moon River” by Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini. He sold more than 100 million records worldwide, including more than 10 million certified units in the United States.
    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 (d. 2003), 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, thus beginning a decades-long decline that ended with the sale of the team after Mack’s death to Arnold Johnson, who moved the team to Kansas City.
    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, Miami, FL.  Named one of NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers, he was the 1983 Winston Cup champion and won the Daytona 500 three times (1978, 1982 and 1988).    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, Los Angeles.  Krenwinkel is now the longest-incarcerated female inmate in the California penal system.
    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.  From 1952 through 2008, his programs reached as many as 24 million people a week. “Paul Harvey News” was carried on 1,200 radio stations, 400 American Forces Network stations, and 300 newspapers.
    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 Katarina Witt, born Staaken, East Germany. Witt won two Olympic gold medals for East Germany, first at the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics and the second at the 1988 Calgary Olympics. She is a four-time World Champion (1984, 1985, 1987, 1988) and two-time World silver medalist (1982, 1986). A feat equaled by only Sonja Henie among female skaters, Witt won six consecutive European Championships (1983–1988).  Between 1984 and 1988 Witt won ten golds from eleven major international events; two Olympics, four out of five World championships and five European championships. Her competitive record makes her one of the most successful figure skaters of all time.
    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.  From 1902 to 1967, advertised as "The Most Famous Train in the World," New York Central Railroad introduced it to compete with rival Pennsylvania Railroad.  They merged in 1968 to become Penn Central and went bankrupt two years later…together.
    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, “Singer Presents...Elvis,” aired for the first time.  It marked Presley's return to live performance after seven years during which his career was centered in the movie business. Presley was unhappy with his distance from musical trends of the time and the low-quality movie productions he was involved in.  The special garnered good reviews when it aired, topped the Nielsen television ratings for the week, and was the most watched show of the season. Later known as the "Comeback Special," it re-launched Presley's singing career and his return to live performance.
    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.



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