Add me to mailing list    |           |      Search

Advertising | All Lists | Archives | Classified Ads | This Day In American History



Quail Equipment Leasing

5 years experience with established vendor relationships. We offer great funding capacity for transactions $10k to $10MM. Quail Company's established for over 30 years. Submit resume to:

About the company: Quail Equipment Leasing 17 years in
business with the ability to develop specialized programs for
vendors and unique industries: $10K to $10MM.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

((with Lt. Anita Van Buren) S. Epatha Merkerson)

Actor Benjamin Bratt born December 16, 1963 San Francisco, California. He is most famous for his role as Rey Curtis on the TV series Law & Order (95 episodes, 1995-2009); and his appearances in the movies "Blood, " "Miss Congeniality," "Traffic," and "Piñero." He currently stars on the A&E Network drama "The Cleaner."



Correction: Benchmark Financial Groups
  Bulletin Board Complaint
    Classified Ads---Syndicator
Leasing News Salvation Army Team Kettle
  Trebels plays golf in Florida while creditors burn
   Where is Sheldon Player?--Anstett in China?
    Credit Repair Twist
Sales makes it Happen---by Linda P. Kester
  Overcoming Discouragement
    Classified Ads---Help Wanted
"It's So Slow…" Contest -Latest Entrees
  Cartoon---Working the Web
Latest---"Use Tax" on Donations
  False Tax Return/Conspiracy Charges: 8 years
  Lease Exchange Donates $200,000 ELFF
    Chico, California ---Butte Humane Society
News Briefs ---
 FDIC Boosts 2010 Budget, as Bank Beat predicted
  GE Capital Slimming Down ("Shrinking" as reported)
   SunTrust Leasing Corp. fixed rate of 2.785%
    Wells Fargo to Buy Prudential JV Stake
   Oracle's 'Sun'day
  Airlines projected to lose $5.6 billion next year
    Tiger and wife headed for permanent split
You May have Missed---
    Sports Briefs
     "Gimme that Wine"
 Today's Top Event in History
    This Day in American History
     Football Poem
       Daily Puzzle
  Weather, USA or specific area
     Traffic Live----

######## surrounding the article denotes it is a “press release”


Correction: Benchmark Financial Groups, Aliso Viejo, CA
Bulletin Board Complaint

Benchmark is a member of the National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers, listed as a “broker” member in good standing and abiding by the association code of ethics. This error was corrected in the online Monday version.

NAELB Code of Ethics:

Benchmark Financial Groups, Aliso Viejo, CA
Bulletin Board Complaint



Classified Ads---Syndicator

Chicago, IL
Syndicator with 20+ years experience in selling or buying one-off leases and portfolios. Price, structure, negotiate and document transactions.
Full time position or contract work.

Orange County, CA
10 yrs. exp. middle market credit underwriting/syndication/collections. All collateral. Seeking full-time position with equipment broker/lessor. Resume available

Overland Park, KS
Top Syndicator from single deal to portfolios. 20+ yrs exp. Available for contract work or full time position. Nationwide contacts.

For a full listing of all "job wanted" ads, please go to:

Other e-Mail Posting Sites:



Leasing News Salvation Army Team Kettle

Donations can go to the Salvation Army in your town.
Every dollar helps: $10, $25, or more.

Please click kettle



Trebels plays golf in Florida while creditors burn

Where is former IFC Chairman/Founder President Rudy Trebels? Leasing News is told he is in Florida at his house on a famous golf course, sharing time with one of his buddies, Mike Ditka, and others, as he is reportedly quite popular in the community.

In the meantime, older friends are left trying to re-coup money owed to them.

There appears to have been going on a disagreement among creditors regarding the IFC Credit Corporation, Morton Grove, Illinois bankruptcy. IFC is in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy which is a liquidation proceeding. Reorganization is not an option. The only question is: What is the best way to liquidate assets to generate the best recovery for creditors?

First Chicago Bank and Trust Company has asked the Court to dismiss the bankruptcy case because First Chicago is claiming that the filing is void as a matter of law because IFC was not represented by an attorney at the time the bankruptcy petition was filed.

The Chicago law firm Askounis & Darcy PC has also filed a motion to dismiss which supports the position of First Chicago Bank and Trust Company. *

There does appear an effort to lengthen the proceedings and work out a longer, and from some creditors’ viewpoint, a more costly proceeding. This is not untypical in such matters, particularly as complicated by the sale and collection of leases, security deposits, and residuals.

The latest was a "Notice of Motion and Motion to Shorten Notice and Objection Periods for the Motion of the Trustee for Authorization to Enter Into Lease with Respect to Office Space Filed by David P Leibowitz ESQ on behalf of David P Leibowitz ESQ.12/16/2009 at 01:30 PM at 219 South Dearborn, Courtroom 619, Chicago, Illinois 60604." In prior reading of such hearings, these decisions are generally not shared but made by the trustee.

Perhaps one of the largest creditors is Len Ludwig, who had sold his First Portland Corporation dba First Corp to IFC Credit, but held back stock in case of a default. He has that portfolio and may have claims to other collateral, such as Pioneer Capital or other leases and residuals laid off elsewhere. He is trying to recover his investments.

"We are dealing with many of the creditors and many of the other constituents, along with the bankruptcy trustee—simultaneously," he told Leasing News. "The next step on our mission is to conduct a public sale on behalf of creditors of IFC Credit Corporation of the issued and outstanding common stock of FP Holdings, Inc. and Pioneer Capital Corporation of Texas.

"In this IFC situation, there are no portfolios for sale at bargain prices, and there is very little opportunity to service portfolios, so I doubt he would be interested in making that kind of non-traditional investment.

"The play in this instance is to restart a company with the four legs of the stool in place at the beginning---(1) substantial senior debt, revolving, bank lines, (2) considerable deal flow from loyal vendors, (3) good and talented people at all levels, and, (4) a platform of software and processes conducive to growth under control. I think we have the plan to make that happen, while we successfully repair some of the damage to some of the victims. But, as I said before, it takes many small steps to get there. We are, however, well on the way.

"We have a lot of the bases covered and are now talking to potential investors about raising $10 million to accomplish our goals. The six-year IRR is very attractive for them and a liquidity event to get there seems very realistic. If you think of anyone interested in something like this, all or a significant piece of the total, please let me know or have them use your name as an introduction. One of my mottos is “Givers get.” Enough said."

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that Arthur Levinson and Leonard Ludwig, as creditors of IFC Credit Corporation, will sell (1) 500 shares of common stock in FP Holdings, Inc., and (2) 60,000 shares of common stock in Pioneer Capital Corporation of Texas (collectively, the "Collateral"), each to the highest qualified bidder in public as follows:

Day and Date: Monday, December 21, 2009
Time: 10:00am
Place: Greenberg Trauig, LLP
77 West Wacker Drive Suite 2100
Chicago, Il. 60601-1731

Interested bidders may participate in the auction in person or by telephone. For building security purposes, participants planning to attend in person are asked to send the name(s) of the person(s) attending to sale info: Telephone participants should dial (888) 439-7617, and enter pass code 408547, at least ten minutes prior to the start of the auction.

Ten percent (10%) of the prevailing bid amount will be due in certified funds or cash at the conclusion of the auction, with the remaining amount due in certified funds or cash on or before 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 28, 2009.

There is no warranty relating to title, possession, quiet enjoyment, or the like in this disposition.

Inquiries regarding the Collateral or the sale should be directed by email to

* Askounis & Darcy Motion (please read all:)

Previous IFC Credit articles:

(Coda: Thank you Gary Trebels for your donation to the Salvation Army Kettle. Hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Kit Menkin, editor)


Where is Sheldon Player---Anstett in China?

The Equipment Acquisition Resource Bankruptcy proceedings scheduled for December 10, 2009 10:00 am hearing at Courtroom 680 219 South Dearborn, Chicago, Illinois, was postponed until December 17, 2009 at 10:00 AM.

Icon Capital in its $24.7 million suit "Motion denied without prejudice to later consideration upon proof of diversity between every constituent..." in Icon's request "that this court enter a Default Judgment against defendants Donna Malone and Mark Anstett based on their failure to appear, please or otherwise defend the action about being properly served with the pleadings."

It also appears the Bank of Dixon County, Ponca, Nebraska received the same in their claim, and others may be in the predicament, too.

The various suits outside the bankruptcy hearing up to a little over $43 million, which include Fifth Third Bank, $10 million, Home Federal Savings Bank, Rochester, Minnesota $3.2 million, Farmers Bank & Capital Trust, $2 million, Red Oak Acquisition, $2 million, and Bank of Dixon County, Ponca, Nebraska. $321,596. They do not include attorney fees or court costs.

An insider told Leasing News that EAR President Mark Anstett has been traveling to the Orient and making calls to brokers ‘overseas’ that this is all a blip and that the leasing companies have forced money onto them...seriously, isn't it crazy what some people believe?”

Icon Motion for Default Judgment:

Previous Articles:



Credit Repair Twist

Leasing News has reported about a company in Southern California where ex-salesmen have said they were encouraged to accept any application, even if it appeared almost impossible to put together, as the company would process it and pay a commission from the "advance rental" whether it proceeded or not.

A new twist, told by an ex-employee of another company, is the hunt for very tough credits. The "rep" gets $50 for bringing in a "credit repair" client, who is charged $599 for "repairing poor credit." Allegedly the credit is clean for a week during this process, and the application in this stage is submitted to a lender or two in hopes of getting the deal approved while the credit still shows current. If for some reason, the deal does not go through, the company refunds $125 of the $599 and records the remainder as expenses in the process.


Sales Make it Happen --- by Linda P. Kester

Overcoming Discouragement

My friend Scott had a deal for $70,000 that was declined.  He worked diligently to get the decision turned around and was thrilled when he succeeded. 

The deal was on Scott's backlog report for four months, and his manager was constantly asking when the deal would book. 

There were problems with the installation of the equipment and after weeks of delay he finally got a signed lease agreement.  The lessee became annoyed with the vendor because supplies that were supposed to be included in the deal were suddenly being withheld.  The lessee refused to verbally verify the transaction while the vendor was screaming at Scott for his money. 

The next week the vendor and the lessee worked out their problems, and the lessee decided to pay CASH.

How very frustrating!

Most of you reading this probably have your own war stories.  In this industry you can't count on a deal until it's booked.  There are too many factors that can go wrong.  Most of us can accept this.  We can deal with the disappointment that comes with working a transaction through the system.  What we can't deal with is the discouragement of trying finding a deal in the first place.  It seems that every vendor we call on is sick and tired of hearing from leasing companies, or they continually tell us that they are not selling much of anything in this economy.

It's hard to stay optimistic and enthusiastic when you hear “no” over and over again. It's also hard to stay optimistic and enthusiastic when you think the same thoughts over and over again.  Studies show that we have about 50,000 thoughts per day, and 90% of them are repetitive.  Other research indicates that 77% of everything that most people think about is negative, self-damaging, and counterproductive.

How very frustrating!

Take the first step to break this negative cycle--begin to track your own thoughts.   When you start to feel frustration and discouragement, identify what thoughts are running through your mind.  Once you identify your thought pattern ask yourself:

        Is this thought accurate?

                        Is this thought helpful?

For example, you are prospecting and the vendor tells you “We're happy with who we are using and we have not done many leasing deals recently anyway.”

You think “Every vendor I call on is happy with their current leasing company.  I'm never going to get any new business.  This economy sucks, nobody is buying anything.  I'm never going to hit my quota.”

Is the thought “ every vendor I call on is happy with their current leasing company ” accurate? 

Is it helpful to you to think this?

Is the thought “I'm never going to get any new business” accurate? 

Is it helpful to think this?

Is the thought “this economy sucks, nobody is buying anything” accurate?

Is it helpful to think this?

Is the thought “I'm never going to hit my quota” accurate?

Is it helpful to think this?

Sometimes your thoughts are accurate, that doesn't mean that they will help you.

(By the way: my standard reply when someone tells me they are happy with their current leasing company is “ My best vendor said the same thing when I first called on them.  Who are you using?   I brush off their brush off and usually gain a piece of valuable information.)

Once you identify the thoughts that keep you discouraged, determine if those thoughts are accurate or helpful, then change your thoughts to ones that work for you.  For example, instead of the habitual thought “every vendor is happy with their current leasing company...change that to “This prospect is happy with CIT, I now know who they are using and that they actively use leasing.”  Then set your objective for the next call.  Maybe something like:  “The next time I talk to them I'll find out what's most important to them in a leasing company.  It may take me a while to get business from this company, but I know this is a decent prospect and I'll keep calling on them until their situation changes.”

Discouragement arises from not getting the results you want.   Remember that great achievements are made up of small achievements.  Reevaluate your actions and your thoughts and then take a different approach.  

Here's an idea:  Make eleven prospect calls and then give yourself a bonus for making the calls.  Regardless of the outcome reward yourself for having the courage (the root of the word discouragement) to face the unknown.  

When my friend Scott lost his 70K deal he was discouraged.  As soon as he could he went to the gym and worked out the tension.  He didn't mentally beat himself up.  He met with the vendor the next day over lunch and gently pointed out how hard he had worked on the deal---simply for the opportunity, without any guarantee of a return. This strengthened the relationship, and now the vendor provides him a steady stream of applications.  He turned the setback into a comeback. 

We are always going to be challenged in this industry, tough economy or not.  It's to our benefit to turn those challenges into opportunities. 

View your approach as if you were an actor on stage.

Keeping a positive mental outlook will help you to persevere through the inevitable downturns in any business. Remember, you are an actor on the Stage. When you are performing, you are positive. You are up! You are a performer!!! Your audience will applaud you with business.

Linda Kester helps leasing companies obtain more volume.

For more information please visit

Sales Makes it Happen articles:


Classified Ads---Help Wanted

Interviewing Leasing Professionals With Proven Track Record and Established Book of Business. Envision Provides: 1) Established Funding Sources, 2) Fun Working Environment, 3) Full Benefits (Health Insurance, 401k), 4) Aggressive Commission Structure.
Resumes To:, Contact: Jeff Edwards (949) 225-1712

Envision Capital Group is dedicated to providing the best in class products and service to our employers, customers, vendors and partners in the small and middle ticket commercial finance industry. With over 50 years of combined experience we have the knowledge, skills, abilities and relationships to help you reach your goals.

Quail Equipment Leasing

5 years experience with established vendor relationships. We offer great funding capacity for transactions $10k to $10MM. Quail Company's established for over 30 years. Submit resume to:

About the company: Quail Equipment Leasing 17 years in
business with the ability to develop specialized programs for
vendors and unique industries: $10K to $10MM.


"It's So Slow…" Contest - Latest Entrees
Contest is Closed

The contest is closed in order to get prizes to those who won before Christmas. There were well over two hundred who submitted (duplications, and several were asked to submit again, and did.)

Over fifty made the contest.

Here are the latest received before the contest closed yesterday:

(Mostly in chronological order)

It is so slow I finally have time to learn how to use all the software to make me more efficient and not waste time.”

Bernice Truszkowski

It's so slow that I actually have time to read Leasing News!”

Dorran Sampson

It is so slow that my computer forgot what Vision looks like.”

Tom Hirz

It's so slow, my executive sales team now has a waiting list to join their poker tournament!”

Donna Spiegel
Nyack, NY

It’s so slow, I only get up, dress up and show up one day a week”

Frank Frontario, V.P.
North Texas Credit / Banclease

It’s so slow I received a credit decision the other day via the new FedEx “Green” Fleet….. carrier turtles.”

Jay Proulx

It's so slow... we mail our small deal applications---- get them approved and funded before deals we send on-line.”

Al Rios
Del financial





Latest---“Use Tax” on Donations

Leasing News recently reported that the Internal Revenue Service is supplying cities with Schedule “C” for the cities to run through their computer to learn if the “company” is licensed.

In San Jose, they are not only charging a fine, but going back five years.

The advice, if you file a Schedule “C,” the address should be under an address that has a license, and if not, obtain a license so you do not have to not only be fined, but audite for the time you have been filing the Schedule “C.”

Almost all cities have an application on line to obtain a license.

The latest in California is use tax on donations. A recent sales tax audit of a company came out clean, and at the end, they were asked to see the list of donations they claimed, so they could verify it. Proudly the list was displayed, but only to learn the company did not pay a “use tax” on what was donated.

Fry’s Electric had donated over $1 million from their inventory, then received notice that the $100,000 California “use tax” had not been paid.

Businesses will either mark down their inventory, not report the donation, or pay a use tax; no advice is given by Leasing News as it is best to ask you CPA or tax attorney for their specific advice.


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

Rosemead Man Faces Eight Years
In Federal Prison for Subscribing to a False Tax Return and Conspiracy Charges

Los Angeles – In United States District Court, a Rosemead man who fraudulently received stock as compensation from American Fire Retardant Corporation and subsequently sold the stock, pleaded guilty to subscribing to a false tax return and to conspiracy charges.

William Manfei Woo, of Rosemead, entered his guilty plea before United States District Judge Terry J. Hatter. According to his plea agreement, Woo filed a 2004 Form 1040 with the Internal Revenue Service upon which he failed to report over $86,000 in income.

As a part of the scheme, Woo received the American Fire Retardant Corporation stock from Stephen Owens, the company’s president and chief operating officer. During 2003 and 2004, Owens caused American Fire Retardant Corporation to issue stock to Woo directly and indirectly through two nominees. The stock issued to Woo was issued as free-trading, unrestricted stock of the type issued to employees, consultants, and advisors who provide bona fide services to the company. When he was issued the stock, Woo knew that neither he nor either of his nominees performed bona fide services that justified the amount of stock issued to them.

The income Woo failed to report on his 2004 income tax return was compensation he received in the form of stock from American Fire Retardant Corporation. In connection with the preparation of his 2004 tax return, Woo told his accountant he received the stock as compensation and reported the sale of the stock on the return. Additionally, Woo also reported the cost basis of the shares he received as consulting income on his return. However, Woo falsely deducted as a business expense amounts paid indirectly to Owens, resulting in his underreporting of taxable income on his 2004 tax return.

The stock that Woo and his nominees received was sold and Woo transferred the money to accounts he controlled. Additionally, Woo transferred most of the money he and his nominees received form the sale of American Fire Retardant Corporation stock, directly or indirectly, to Owens.

In addition to prison, Woo faces fines totaling $350,000 or more in this case. Judge Hatter ordered Woo to appear for sentencing on March 1, 2010.

In a related case, Owens previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy and securities charges related to this scheme. When sentenced, Owens faces a statutory maximum 10 years in federal prison and fines totaling $500,000 or more.

The investigation and prosecution of Woo and Owens was conducted by IRS - Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Los Angeles in conjunction with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

((Please Click on Bulletin Board to learn more information))
(Leasing News provides this ad “gratis” as a mean)

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

Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation
Beneficiary of $200,000 Donation by the Lease Exchange

Washington, DC - The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (the Foundation), a non-profit organization dedicated to future-focused information and research serving the equipment leasing and finance industry, announces that it has received a donation for $200,000 from The Leasing Exchange, a non-profit organization comprised primarily of large- ticket equipment leasing companies. The Leasing Exchange’s contribution comes as a result of the disbanding of the organization, which was established in the early 1990s to address issues specific to the large ticket sector, with a significant emphasis on portfolio management issues. This fits well with the Foundation’s mission to increase the industry knowledge base for equipment finance participants.

“We are honored to be entrusted with these funds to carry on with primary research for the equipment finance industry,” said Lisa Levine, Foundation President. “The Foundation is 100 percent donor-supported and thanks to The Leasing Exchange’s generous contribution, we will be undertaking more projects in 2010 than would have been possible previously.”

Rick Rodgers, the CEO of San Francisco based Montgomery Street Financial Services and President of The Leasing Exchange from 2006 until its dissolution this year commented, “The Leasing Exchange was never intended to be in competition with the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, but had a singular focus on research and ultimately, education and training on analytical tools to foster liquidity for leasing instruments. Our donation to the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation is intended to carry on that quantitative scholarship.”

“The Leasing Exchange’s donation represents an acknowledgement of the Foundation’s body of work and reputation for providing quality research that participants in the equipment finance industry rely upon,” said Edward Dahlka, Chairman of the Foundation and President, Assurance Asset Finance, LLC. “The Foundation is fortunate to have donors who remain constant and dedicated regardless of difficult economic times.”

Donations to the Foundation support its myriad of resources for the equipment finance industry, which include more than 75 industry studies and hundreds of articles. Among the Foundation’s well received research reports are the annual Industry Future Council Report and State of the Equipment Finance Industry Report, and other sector specific studies such as Captive Finance Firms in a Challenging Economy: Facing the Wave, Credit Scoring Models: How to Effectively Rate Your Credit Risk and Rebuilding Healthcare Infrastructure – What’s in it for Us?

The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that provides vision for the equipment leasing and finance industry through future-focused information and research. Primarily funded through donations, the Foundation is the only organization dedicated to future-oriented, in-depth, independent research for the leasing industry. Visit the Foundation online at

(This ad is a “trade” for the writing of this column. Opinions
contained in the column are those of Mr. Terry Winders, CLP)

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


Adopt a Pet
Chico, California ---Butte Humane Society

Name: Honey Bun
Case #: A09198447
Gender: Spayed Female
Age: 1 1/2
Primary Breed: Australian Shepherd
Color: Fawn Brindle w/ White
Adoption Fee: $75.00

More pics to follow! Honey Bun is a beautiful and very affectionate Australian Shepherd mix who came to Butte Humane Society in December of 2009 as a stray.

We don't know where Honey Bun lived before, but someone must have cared for her very much because Honey Bun ADORES people. She loves affection and being petted and will try to wrap her body around your legs for a "doggy hug".

Honey Bun is spending her nights with a foster parent so she has a warm and quiet place to sleep at night and her Foster Mom has given her glowing reviews. She says that Honey Bun rides well in the car and is submissive towards her other energetic dogs. Honey Bun ignores the cats and likes to follow her Foster Mom from room to room and then quietly lay at her feet.

She gets along very well with the Foster Mom's teenaged son. We think that Honey Bun is a very special dog and we'd like to find her a very special home! Since she's a herding breed mix dog, she should go to an active home that will give Honey Bun the exercise and focused activity that she will need. We think she could happily live with dogs and cats as well as kids of any age.

If you're looking for that special dog who will love you instantly - Honey Bun is your girl! Adoption $75”

For additional information on available animals, or to schedule an appointment for adoption counseling, please email or call 530-343-7917 ext. 104

Adoption Form:

Adopt-a-Pet by Leasing Co. State/City

Adopt a Pet



News Briefs----

FDIC Boosts 2010 Budget, as Bank Beat predicted

Slimming Down at GE Capital ("Shrinking" as reported last month)

SunTrust Equipment Finance/Leasing Corp. fixed rate of 2.785%

Wells Fargo To Buy Prudential's JV Stake For $4.5B

Oracle's 'Sun'day

Airlines projected to lose $5.6 billion next year

Tiger and wife headed for permanent split

Survey shows Cleveland-area execs don't expect big rebound in business Most of the survey respondents indicated they expect at least four years to pass before companies return to pre-recession levels of investment, employment and productivity.

PNC Financial Services to close 22 National City branches in Cincinnati
The move will take place in February, when the conversion of National City branches to the PNC name will take place in the Queen City area.



You May have Missed---

Paper Catalogs

  • Over eight million tons of trees are consumed each year in the production of paper catalogs.

  • Nearly half of the planet’s original forest cover is gone today. Forests have effectively disappeared in 25 countries, and another 29 have lost more than 90% of their forest cover.

  • Deforestation contributes between 20% and 25% of all carbon pollution, causing global climate change.

  • More than one billion people living in extreme poverty around the world depend on forests for their livelihoods.

  • There are other significant environmental impacts from the catalog cycle. The production and disposal of direct mail alone consumes more energy than three million cars.

  • The manufacturing, distribution, collection and disposal of catalogs generates global warming gases as well as air and water pollution. Reducing the number of unwanted catalogs that are mailed will help the environment



Sports Briefs----

Quarterback Losman to join Raiders


"Gimme that Wine"

Restaurant Industry Will Need To Wait Until Second Half of 2010 for Recovery, Reports NPD

Calistoga Cellars acts quickly after regulatory setback

A New Course for Dessert Wine -Eric Asimov

Wine Grower Aldo Biale Passes Away 1929-2009

Wine Prices by vintage
US/International Wine Events
Winery Atlas
Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page
The London International Vintners Exchange (Liv-ex) is an electronic exchange for fine wine.



Today's Top Event in History

1944-Battle of the Bulge: A German offensive was launched in the Belgian Ardennes forest, where Hitler had managed to concentrate 250,000men. The Nazi commanders, hoping to minimize any aerial counterattack by the allies, chose a time when foggy, rainy weather prevailed and the initial attach by eight armored divisions along a 75-mile front took the Allies by surprise, the 5th Panzer Army penetrated to within 20 miles of crossings on the Meuse River. US troops were able to hold fast at bottlenecks in the Ardennes, but by the end of December the German push had penetrated 65 miles into the Allied lines ( though their line had narrowed from the initial 75 miles to 20 miles). By that time the Allies began to respond and the Germans were stopped by Montgomery on the Meuse and by Patton at Bastogne. the weather then cleared and allied aircraft began to bomb the German forces and supply lines by December 26. The Allies reestablished their original line by January 21.


This Day in American History

 1773-In the celebrated Boston Tea Party, a group of Boston patriots dressed as Indians boarded three British ships in Boston harbor and threw their cargoes of tea,3 42 chests worth 18,000 British pounds into the water. The action was the climax of growing colonial opposition to the growing set of import taxes, including the Tea Act. The British were trying to help finance their wars in Europe..
    1828 –Birthday of John Beatty Brigadier-General (Union volunteers), died in 1914
    1835 - New England experienced one of their coldest days of record. At noon on that bitterly cold Wednesday the mercury stood at four degrees below at Boston, 15 degrees below at Norfolk CT, and 17 degrees below at Hanover NH. The temperature at Boston was 12 degrees below zero by sunset. Gale force winds accompanied the severe cold, and that night a great New York City fire destroyed much of the financial district.
    1862-Confederate President Jefferson Davis names General Joseph Johnston commander of the Army of Tennessee. Johnston replaced Braxton Bragg, who managed to lose all of Tennessee to the Union during 1863. He fought at the First Battle of Bull Run and commanded the Army of Northern Virginia during the early stages of the Peninsular Campaign in 1862. When he was wounded at the Battle of Seven Pines on May 31, Lee replaced Johnston. After recovering from his wounds, Johnston was sent to coordinate the operations of the armies the Tennessee and Mississippi regions. Since he did not have a command of his own, Johnston resented this duty. In 1863, Johnston made a futile attempt to relieve John C. Pemberton's army at Vicksburg. He wanted Pemberton to fight his way out of Vicksburg, but Union General Ulysses S. Grant had Pemberton trapped. The surrender of Pemberton's army put additional stress on the already strained relationship between Johnston and President Davis. After the campaigns of 1863, however, Davis felt he had little choice but to name Johnston commander of the Army of Tennessee. The Confederates were losing large sections of territory to the Union. Bragg was literally maneuvered right out of Tennessee during the summer, although he engineered a victory at Chickamauga before laying siege to Union troops at Chattanooga. When Grant broke the Confederate hold on Chattanooga in November, Bragg resigned his command. Davis reluctantly appointed Johnston to save the situation in the West. Johnston took the field with his army in the spring of 1864, when Union General William T. Sherman began his drive toward Atlanta. Johnston employed a defensive strategy that avoided direct battle with Sherman but which also resulted in lost territory as Johnston slowly backed up to Atlanta. Johnston's command lasted until July 1864, when Davis replaced Johnston after the Army of the Tennessee was backed into Atlanta. Ironically, the Union Army considered him one of the best leaders of the Confederate troops, as he was quite effective. Jefferson Davis did not see it that way.
    1863-Birthday of George Santayana, Philosopher and author born at Madrid, Spain. At the age of nine he emigrated to the US where he attended and later taught at Harvard University. In 1912 he returned to Europe and traveled extensively. It was Santayana who said, “ Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. “ He died at Rome, Italy, September 1,1952.
    1864 - Union troops defeated Confederate forces on the second day of battle at Nashville, essentially knocking the Confederate Army of Tennessee out of the Civil War. Union General George Thomas attack on the army of Confederate General John Bell Hood at Nashville is a major defeat for the Confederacy. Hood's drastically outnumbered force retreat, and only some heroic rear-guard action prevented the total destruction of the Confederate army.
    1867- Elizabeth Johnson Harris birthday, one of the first African-American female writers.
    1869 -- US: Decree by US Emperor Norton I, historically America's greatest & most enlightened ruler, demands that Sacramento clean its muddy streets & place gaslights on streets leading to the capitol.
    1870-Negro Methodist Episcopal Church founded in Jackson, TN. Its name was changed in 1954 to the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. The denomination today is comprised of approximately 3,000 congregations.

    1884-William Henry Fruen of Minneapolis received a patent for a vending machine that dispensed liquid automatically. When a coin was inserted in the slot, a uniform supply of liquid was released from a reservoir.
    1893-Anton Dvorak's New World Symphony premiered at the newly erected Carnegie Hall with the New York Philharmonic playing. The composer attended and enjoyed enthusiastic applause from the audience. The symphony contains snatches from black spirituals and American folk music. Dvorak, a Bohemian, had been in the US only a year when he composed it as a greeting to his friends in Europe.
    1901 - The famous story, "Peter Rabbit", by Beatrix Potter, was printed for the first time, complete with Potter's watercolor illustrations. Ms. Potter had come up with the Peter Rabbit concept eight years earlier when she sent a story, told in pen and ink drawings, to a five-year-old who was sick in bed. The first story about the ill-behaved rabbit was meant to cheer up the little boy. Of course, all good little boys and girls remember that Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-tail were the good little bunnies who went down the lane to gather blackberries. But Peter, who was very naughty, ran straight to Mr. McGregor's garden, and squeezed through the gate. First he ate some lettuce and some French beans; and then he ate some radishes ... and he got too fat ... and Mr. McGregor is coming ... and we gotta get out of this garden ... and it's getting late ... we will have to finish this later.
    1901- Margaret Mead birthday - U.S. anthropologist who revolutionized thinking about primitive life and female adolescent sexuality by raising questions about the assumptions of rigid social mores in all cultures. In1949 she published Male and Female: A Study of the Sexes in a Changing World which contrasted gender roles in various societies, the importance of the mother in the development of the children's adult lives, and the different opinions on women's roles in . It examined traditional male- female relationships, using observations from the Pacific and the East Indies for reference in discussing such topics as the mother's influence in perpetuating male and female roles and the different concepts of women's roles in marriage.
    1905 - Sime Silverman published the first issue of "Variety", the weekly show biz magazine. The first issue was 16 pages in length and sold for a nickel. "Variety" and "Daily Variety" are still going strong.
    1907 - Eugene H. Farrar became the first singer to broadcast on radio. He sang from the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York. The song? "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?" 1916 -- Writer Theodore Weiss born Reading, Pa.
    1915-Birthday of trombonist Turk Murphy
(I have in my shellac collection, the first record he made with Lu Watters, too.I saw him many, many times in San Francisco at his own club and the Fairmont. Tony Bennett was a big Dixieland fan and was often there. Turk Murphy began playing in Frisco dance bands as early as 1930. In 1939 he teamed with the legendary Lu Watters, joining Waters' Yerba Buena Jazz Band which began a steady engagement at the Dawn Club in the basement of the Monadnock Building on Market between Third & Annie streets. In 1960, he opened his first “Earthquake McGoon's” on Broadway, named for the then-popular Al Capp cartoon character.)
    1917 - An ice jam closed the Ohio River between Warsaw, KY, and Rising Sun, IN. The thirty foot high ice jam held for 58 days, and backed up the river a distance of 100 miles.
    1917-Birthday of A.C.Clarke, Minehead, UK. Sorry to break the tradition of American History, but being a science-fiction buff, he is one of my favorite writers, so he is now an adopted American. Yes, I am a “Trekkie,” too. I have all the badges on my office wall, plus many Star Trek items on my bookcase. Also a Western fan. At age 14, I wrote four western paperbacks that were published ( I made $40 each.)
    1928 -- Science-fiction great Philip K. Dick born Chicago, Illinois. American science fiction writer par excellence. Author of Flow My Tears the Policeman Said, Crack in Space, Man in the High Castle, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Time Out of Joint, etc.
    1930-Birthday of flute player Sam Most, Atlantic City, NJ
    1930-Golfer Bobby Jones won the first James E. Sullivan award as the nation's best amateur athlete. The award was established by the Amateur Athletic Union to honor its former president and is presented annually to the athlete who “by his or her performance, example, and influence as an amateur, has done the most during the year to advance the course of sportsmanship.”
    1933-Birthday of organ player Johnny “Hammond” Smith, Louisville, KY,,543346,00.html?artist=

    1937 –The first escape from Alcatraz, San Francisco.
    1940 - Bob Crosby and his Bobcats backed up brother Bing as "San Antonio Rose" was recorded on Decca Records.
    1941-The first submarine from the United States to sink a Japanese ship in World War II was the USS Swordfish, commanded by Lt. Chest Carl Smith, which torpedoed the 8,662-ton Japanese freighter Atsutusan Maur under destroyer escort off the coast of Indochina. The Swordfish was 311 feet long and displaced 2,350 tons. The Ship was destroyed by a mine on its 13 th patrol in January 1945, near Okinawa, with the loss of all aboard.
1944 German V-2 strikes Antwerp bioscope (638 kill)
    1944-US 2nd Infantry division occupies "Heartbreak Crossroads" Wahlerscheid
    1944- Birthday of guitarist John Abercrombie, Port Chester, NY.
    1944-Battle of the Buldge: A German offensive was launched in the Belgian Ardennes forest, where Hitler had managed to concentrate 250,000men. The Nazi commanders, hoping to minimize any aerial counterattack by the allies, chose a time when foggy, rainy weather prevailed and the initial attach by eight armored divisions along a 75-mile front took the Allies by surprise, the 5 th Panzer Army penetrated to within 20 miles of crossings on the Meuse River. US troops were able to hold fast at bottlenecks in the Ardennes, but by the end of December the German push had penetrated 65 miles into the Allied lines ( though their line had narrowed from the initial 75 miles to 20 miles). By that time the Allies began to respond and the Germans were stopped by Montgomery on the Meuse and by Patton At Bastogne. the weather then cleared and allied aircraft began to bomb the German forces and supply lines by December 26. The Allies reestablished their original line by January 21.
    1944--McGARlTY, VERNON   Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company L, 393d Infantry, 99th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Krinkelt, Belgium, 16 December 1944. Entered service at: Model, Tenn. Born: 1 December 1921, Right, Tenn. G.O. No.: 6, 11 January 1946. Citation: He was painfully wounded in an artillery barrage that preceded the powerful counteroffensive launched by the Germans near Krinkelt, Belgium, on the morning of 16 December 1944. He made his way to an aid station, received treatment, and then refused to be evacuated, choosing to return to his hard-pressed men instead. The fury of the enemy's great Western Front offensive swirled about the position held by T/Sgt. McGarity's small force, but so tenaciously did these men fight on orders to stand firm at all costs that they could not be dislodged despite murderous enemy fire and the breakdown of their communications. During the day the heroic squad leader rescued 1 of his friends who had been wounded in a forward position, and throughout the night he exhorted his comrades to repulse the enemy's attempts at infiltration. When morning came and the Germans attacked with tanks and infantry, he braved heavy fire to run to an advantageous position where he immobilized the enemy's lead tank with a round from a rocket launcher. Fire from his squad drove the attacking infantrymen back, and 3 supporting tanks withdrew. He rescued, under heavy fire, another wounded American, and then directed devastating fire on a light cannon which had been brought up by the hostile troops to clear resistance from the area. When ammunition began to run low, T/Sgt. McGarity, remembering an old ammunition hole about 100 yards distant in the general direction of the enemy, braved a concentration of hostile fire to replenish his unit's supply. By circuitous route the enemy managed to emplace a machinegun to the rear and flank of the squad's position, cutting off the only escape route. Unhesitatingly, the gallant soldier took it upon himself to destroy this menace single-handedly. He left cover, and while under steady fire from the enemy, killed or wounded all the hostile gunners with deadly accurate rifle fire and prevented all attempts to reman the gun. Only when the squad's last round had been fired was the enemy able to advance and capture the intrepid leader and his men. The extraordinary bravery and extreme devotion to duty of T/Sgt. McGarity supported a remarkable delaying action which provided the time necessary for assembling reserves and forming a line against which the German striking power was shattered.
    1944---MURRAY, CHARLES P., JR.  Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company C, 30th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Kaysersberg, France, 16 December 1944. Entered service at: Wilmington, N.C. Birth: Baltimore, Md. G.O. No.: 63, 1 August 1945. Citation: For commanding Company C, 30th Infantry, displaying supreme courage and heroic initiative near Kaysersberg, France, on 16 December 1944, while leading a reinforced platoon into enemy territory. Descending into a valley beneath hilltop positions held by our troops, he observed a force of 200 Germans pouring deadly mortar, bazooka, machinegun, and small arms fire into an American battalion occupying the crest of the ridge. The enemy's position in a sunken road, though hidden from the ridge, was open to a flank attack by 1st Lt. Murray's patrol but he hesitated to commit so small a force to battle with the superior and strongly disposed enemy. Crawling out ahead of his troops to a vantage point, he called by radio for artillery fire. His shells bracketed the German force, but when he was about to correct the range his radio went dead. He returned to his patrol, secured grenades and a rifle to launch them and went back to his self-appointed outpost. His first shots disclosed his position; the enemy directed heavy fire against him as he methodically fired his missiles into the narrow defile. Again he returned to his patrol. With an automatic rifle and ammunition, he once more moved to his exposed position. Burst after burst he fired into the enemy, killing 20, wounding many others, and completely disorganizing its ranks, which began to withdraw. He prevented the removal of 3 German mortars by knocking out a truck. By that time a mortar had been brought to his support. 1st Lt. Murray directed fire of this weapon, causing further casualties and confusion in the German ranks. Calling on his patrol to follow, he then moved out toward his original objective, possession of a bridge and construction of a roadblock. He captured 10 Germans in foxholes. An eleventh, while pretending to surrender, threw a grenade which knocked him to the ground, inflicting 8 wounds. Though suffering and bleeding profusely, he refused to return to the rear until he had chosen the spot for the block and had seen his men correctly deployed. By his single-handed attack on an overwhelming force and by his intrepid and heroic fighting, 1st Lt. Murray stopped a counterattack, established an advance position against formidable odds, and provided an inspiring example for the men of his command.
    1945 - Prince Fumimaro Konoe, twice Japanese prime minister, committed suicide rather than face war crimes charges. In the 1920s. he had worked to curb army powers and prevent an expansion of the war with China. He helped engineer the fall of the Tojo government in 1944 but was suspected of war atrocities.
    1945---Top Hits
It Might as Well Be Spring - The Sammy Kaye Orchestra (vocal: Billy Williams) White Christmas - Bing Crosby
It's Been a Long, Long Time - The Harry James Orchestra (vocal: Kitty Kallen)
Silver Dew on the Blue Grass Tonight - Bob Wills
    1950 - In the wake of the massive Chinese intervention in the Korean War, President Harry S. Truman declares a state of emergency. Proclaiming that "Communist imperialism" threatened the world's people, Truman called upon the American people to help construct an "arsenal of freedom." In November, the stakes in the Korean War dramatically escalated with the intervention of hundreds of thousands of communist Chinese troops. The Korean War lasted from 1950 to 1953.
    1951 - In a special preview courtesy of "Chesterfield Sound Off Time", "Dragnet" made it to television. The police drama opened its official run on television January 3, 1952. Trivia fact: Sergeant Friday's boss in the preview was played by Raymond Burr. . My father Lawrence Menkin wrote several of the episodes of the early editions. They were based primarily on true episodes, including actual police consulted on and off the set for authenticity. It starred Jack Webb as stoic and determined Sergeant Joe Friday, a man whose life was his investigative work, and who was recognized by his recurring line, Just the facts ,ma'am.” My father said he was “almost everything” in the series from producer to story editor, a workaholic, very hard to deal with, and one of the reasons he was able to sell him scripts, he made many Los Angeles police friends, meaning the guys on the street, not from the PR department, and brought them along to “pitch stories.” Friday had partners, Barton Yarborough played Sergeant Ben Romero for three episodes, for the rest of the season Barney Phillips played Sergeant Ed Jacobs and Ben Alexander played his comedic sidekick, Officer Frank Smith. A new version appeared in 1967 with Webb and his new partner, Officer Bill Gannon(Harry Morgan): “Dragnet” is also known for its theme music and its narrative epilogue describing the fate of the bad guys. ( Here's a side note, my father was driving a 1951 two door brown Pontiac. One day leaving the studio, he got in, said he had a hard time turning the key, but it worked, and when he got home, he didn't have the scripts in the car. He then discovered it was not his car. So he drove to the station where he knew some policemen, and they all had a big laugh, got his car back, and they used the story in one of the episodes but it was Friday's sergeant, I believe, who started the wrong car.
    1952-Buck Clayton All-Star group jams, Hucklebuck, Robbins' Nest, Christopher Columbus, NYC, on Columbia label.
    1953---Top Hits
Rags to Riches - Tony Bennett
White Christmas - Bing Crosby
Ricochet - Teresa Brewer
Caribbean - Mitchell Torok
    1956-Elvis Presley gives his final performance on Louisiana Hayride, a live radio program that was broadcast on KWKH in Shreveport. Originally signed in October, 1954, Presley made 50 appearances on the show. The immediate and enormous demand for more of Presley's new kind of Rockabilly music actually resulted in a sharp decline in the popularity of the Louisiana Hayride, that until that point had been strictly a Country music venue.
    1960 - Lucille Ball took a respite from her weekly TV series to star in the Broadway production of "Wildcat", which opened at the Alvin Theatre in New York City. The show ran for 171 performances.
    1961---Top Hits
Please Mr. Postman - The Marvelettes
The Twist - Chubby Checker
Walk on By - Leroy Van Dyke
Big Bad John - Jimmy Dean
    1961 -- US: Martin Luther King, Jr., 266 others arrested in Albany, GA. Considered a major turning point in history, as evidenced by his own words in his autobiography: “On December 16, 1961, the Negro community of that city made its stride toward freedom. Citizens from every quarter of the community made their moral witness against the system of segregation. They willingly went to jail to create an effective protest. “I too was jailed on charges of parading without a permit, disturbing the peace, and obstructing the sidewalk. I refused to pay the fine and had expected to spend Christmas in jail. I hoped thousands would join me. I didn't come to be arrested. I had planned to stay a day or so and return home after giving counsel. But after seeing negotiations break down, I knew I had to stay. My personal reason for being in Albany was to express a personal witness of a situation I felt was very important to me. As I, accompanied by over one hundred spirited Negroes, voluntarily chose jail to bail, the city officials appeared so hardened to all appeals to conscience that the confidence of some of our supporters was shaken. They nervously counted heads and concluded too hastily that the movement was losing momentum. “I shall never forget the experience of seeing women over seventy, teenagers, and middle-aged adults-some with professional degrees in medicine, law, and education, some simple housekeepers and laborers-crowding the cells. This development was an indication that the Negro would not rest until all the barriers of segregation were broken down. The South had to decide whether it would comply with the law of the land or drift into chaos and social stagnation. “One must search for words in an attempt to describe the spirit of enthusiasm and majesty engendered in the next mass meeting, on that night when seven hundred Negro citizens were finally released from prison. Out from the jails came those men and women doctors, ministers, housewives-all of whom had joined ranks with a gallant student leadership in an exemplary demonstration of nonviolent resistance to segregation. “Before long the merchants were urging a settlement upon the city officials and an agreement was finally wrung from their unwilling hands. That agreement was dishonored and violated by the city. It was inevitable that the sweep of events would see a resumption of the nonviolent movement, and when cases against the seven hundred odd prisoners were not dropped and when the city council refused to negotiate to end discrimination in public places, actions began again. “
in Albany, Georgia.
    1962-Birthday of William “ The Refrigerator” Perry, former football player, born Aiken, SC.
1967 Wilt Chamberlain of NBA Philadelphia 76ers scores 68 points vs Chicago.
    1962- The first person ever to reach the mainland alive after an escape from Alcatraz Prison emerges from San Francisco Bay, immediately captured by waiting authorities.
    1965 - Gen. William Westmoreland, Commander of U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam, sends a request for more troops. With nearly 200,000 U.S. military personnel in South Vietnam already, Westmoreland sent Defense Secretary Robert McNamara a message stating that he would need an additional 243,000 men by the end of 1966. Citing a rapidly deteriorating military situation in which the South Vietnamese were losing the equivalent of an infantry battalion (500 soldiers) a week in battle, Westmoreland predicted that he would need a total of 600,000 men by the end of 1967 to defeat the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese. Although the high tide of U.S. troop strength in South Vietnam never reached the 600,000, there were more than 540,000 U.S. troops in South Vietnam by 1969.
    1966--In San Francisco, the famous Mime Troupe Carollers Arrested. Ten members of the Mime Troupe were arrested for begging while singing Christmas carols outside the Condor, where bare chested Carol Doda was performing.
    1969---Top Hits
Leaving on a Jet Plane - Peter, Paul & Mary
Someday We'll Be Together - Diana Ross & The Supremes
Down on the Corner/Fortunate Son - Creedence Clearwater Revival
(I'm So) Afraid of Losing You Again - Charley Pride
    1970-Five singles and five albums by Creedence Clearwater Revival were certified Gold. The singles were: "Down on the Corner", "Lookin' out My Back Door", "Travelin' Band", "Bad Moon Rising" and "Up around the Bend". The LPs were "Cosmo's Factory", "Willy and the Poor Boys", "Green River", "Bayou Country" and "Creedence Clearwater Revival".
    1971 - Melanie (Safka) earned a gold record for her single, "Brand New Key", about roller skates and love. It hit #1 on Christmas Day, 1971.
    1971 - Don McLean's eight-minute-plus (8:32) version of "American Pie" was released. It became one of the longest songs with some of the most confusing (pick your favorite interpretation) lyrics to ever hit the pop charts. Disc Jokey's also liked the song because it allowed them time for “potty breaks” from the microphone. "American Pie" hit #1 on January 15, 1972.
    1972 - The Miami Dolphins became the first NFL team to go unbeaten and untied in a 14-game regular season. The Dolphins beat the Baltimore Colts to earn the honor. Larry King, incidentally, did color for the Dolphins this year on radio..
    1972 - Paul McCartney's single, "Hi, Hi, Hi", was released. It peaked at #10 on the top tune tabulation (February 3, 1973).
    1975-“One Day at a Time” premiered on TV. This sitcom about a divorced mother raising two girls in Indianapolis starred Bonnie Franklin as Ann Romano, Mackenzie Phillips and Valerie Bertinelli as daughters Julie and Barbara Cooper. Other regulars included Pat Harrington, J., as too-belt-wearing maintenance man Dwayne Schneider, Richard Masur as David Kane, Ann's boyfriend, Mary Louise Wilson as neighbor GinnyWroblicki, John Hillerman and Charles Siebert as Ann's bosses, John Putch as Barbara's boyfriend and Nanette Fabry as Ann's mother. During the course of the series, all three female leads got married and Ann opened her own ad agency.
    1976-Andrew Young named Ambassador and Chief US Delegate to the United Nations. He resigns his congressional seat on January 29, 1977 to take the position.
    1977---Top Hits
You Light Up My Life - Debby Boone
How Deep is Your Love - Bee Gees
Blue Bayou - Linda Ronstadt
Here You Come Again - Dolly Parton1978- Cleveland, Ohio, become the first city in the post-Depression era to default on its loans. Plagued by political sniping between its mayor and city council, as well as an eroding economic base, Cleveland managed to pile up $14 million in debt to a number of local banks.
    1982-Operating Capacity of Factories Plummets. Heading in to the 1980s, America's economy was hardly in the best shape. Indeed, years of mounting debt and rising inflation had taken their toll on the nation's fiscal health. Alas, the first few years of the '80s provided little change, as the economy did not take well to Reaganomics, President Ronald Reagan's strategy of tax cuts and spending hikes. And, throughout 1982, the government released a stream of financial statistics that suggested that the situation was only growing worse. In July, the Census Bureau announced that the poverty rate had risen to 14 percent, which marked a rapid-fire 7.4-percent increase over its mark in 1980. That same November, the Labor Department revealed that the cost of living had suffered a 6-percent increase during the past twelve months. And, on December 16, the Federal Reserve released a report indicating that the operating capacity of U.S. factories had plummeted to 67.8 percent, the nation's lowest mark since the indicator was introduced in 1948.
    1983- Replacing Billy Martin (91-71, third place), Yogi Berra is hired for the second time to manage the Yankees.
    1985---Top Hits
Broken Wings - Mr. Mister
Say You, Say Me - Lionel Richie
Party All the Time - Eddie Murphy
Nobody Falls Like a Fool - Earl Thomas Conley
    1987 - A Pacific storm battered the coast of California with rain and high winds, and dumped heavy snow on the mountains of California. Winds along the coast gusted to 70 mph at Point Arguello, and winds in the Tehachapi Mountains of southern California gusted to 100 mph at Wheeler Ridge. Snowfall totals ranged up to 24 inches at Mammoth Mountain. Snow fell for two minutes at Malibu Beach, and Disneyland was closed due to the weather for only the second time in twenty-four years. A winter storm which began in the Southern Rockies four days earlier finished its course producing snow and high winds in New England. Snowfall totals ranged up to 19 inches at Blanchard ME.
    1989 - Fifty-seven cities from the Southern and Central Plains to the Appalachians reported record low temperatures for the date, including North Platte NE with a reading of 17 degrees below zero. Squalls in the Great Lakes Region produced 18 inches of snow at Syracuse NY, and 30 inches at Carlisle IND. Low pressure brought heavy snow to northern New England, with 18 inches reported at Derby VT and Saint Johnsbury VT.
    1992- IBM said it would make its first layoffs in fifty years. The company announced it would trim its staff by 25,000 employees and dispose of some of the assets of its mainframe business. IBM had long been the leading maker of mainframe computers, but in the late 1990s, demand declined as personal computers became increasingly powerful.
    1992- Dusty Baker, 44, is selected replace Roger Craig in the dugout as manager of the Giants. During his ten-year tenure, the former hitting coach will compile a 840-715(.540) record and will be named the National League Manager of the Year three times.
    1993 -- Woman-harassing Senator Robert Packwood (R-OR) finally surrenders his diaries to a judge who turned them over to the Senate Ethics Committee. Some of the tapes had been altered. Women's groups had argued for years that Packwood should be brought up on charges of sexual harassment. According to information released to the press, Packwood had a long history of groping women, forcing himself on them using his political power, and in general being a leech. He would eventually resign from the Senate.
    1998 - Hundreds of missiles were fired on Iraq in response to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's refusal to comply with the mission of United Nations weapons inspectors.
    2000 - An F4 tornado hits communities near Tuscaloosa, AL, killing 11 people and injuring 125 others. It was the strongest December tornado in Alabama since 1950. 
    2002- After being invited to the Dominican Republic by President Hipolito Mejia, Japanese home run king Sadaharu Oh meets one his favorite players, island resident Sammy Sosa. The Dominican outfielder, who is one homer shy of the coveted 500, will have to hit several hundred more to reach the mark of 868 set by the 62-year old during his 22 seasons playing for the Yomiuri Giants.



Football Poem

Dear Santa
All I want for Christmas is a pair of nice young men,
A football team . League or Union . I don't mind,
A determined man with plenty of gysm,
Broad shoulders. Hairy chest. And a tight behind.

Dear Santa,
I promise that I won't hurt them,
I just have a few games I'd like to play,
They'll be well fed and cared for. Truly appreciated,
And I'll return them to you on New Year's Day.

But Dear Santa,
If you can't provide any of the above,
Dear Santa. You've got such a kindly face,
Just harness up your reindeer to your sleigh Dear,
And drop on over . I'll be waiting at my place.

Copyright; Robyn Scott





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?



Daily Puzzle

How to play:

Refresh for current date:






See USA map, click to specific area, no commercials



Traffic Live---

Real Time Traffic Information

You can save up to 20 different routes and check them out with one click,
or type in a new route to learn the traffic live