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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

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

Ascentium Capital Sued in Worthless $45 Million
  Equipment Ponzi Scheme
       by Tom McCurnin, Leasing News Legal Editor
Position Wanted – Operations
  Work Remotely or Relocate for Right Opportunity
Top Stories: March 14 - March 17
   (Opened Most by Readers)
Leasing Industry Ads---Help Wanted
    Positions Available
“Network in Seeking Employment”
     Career Crossroad---By Emily Fitzpatrick/RII
10 Signs You are Headed for a Sales Slump
    Sales Makes It Happen by Jim Acee
National Equipment Finance Association Conference
    Full Report
American Bulldog Mix
   Des Moines, Iowa   Adopt-a-Dog
Leasing News Classified
   Back Office
News Briefs--- 
Prosper’s Loss Increases to $118M in 2016/Falling 33%
 as it struggled to obtain loan funding from investors
General Electric Company Still Has a Capital Arm
     Here's Why It Matters
G. A. Baird & Company Announces New Financial
  Technology Initiative in Stamford CT

Broker/Funder/Industry Lists | Features (writer'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---
Trump Winery, other vineyards depend on foreign-worker program
  Spring Poem by Barry Marks, Esq.
  Sports Brief----
   California Nuts Brief---
   "Gimme that Wine"
     This Day in American History
       Daily Puzzle
         Weather, USA or specific area
          Traffic Live----

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

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Ascentium Capital Sued in Worthless $45 Million
  Equipment Ponzi Scheme

by Tom McCurnin
Leasing News Legal Editor

Equipment Lessor Sued for Alleged Bogus Equipment Scam
Similar to NorVergence Scam

Ascentium Capital was sued last month in two Texas District Court lawsuits over financing worthless collateral for doctors. The collateral was a few iPads, a license to use a home health care product whereby the doctor would sell home health care, administered by nurse practitioners hired by the vendor. I note parenthetically that Ascentium financed $45,000,000 of these deals. The vendor, MHT sold these licenses for $300,000 to doctors and allegedly promised the doctors: 

•  Start-up costs (line of credit) is supplied by Ascentium, in the amount $75,000;
•  No physician ever has to make payment on these lines of credit;
•  The license can be returned at any time through a “novation” in which it is resold to another doctor; Proprietary software is included for CMS requirements (Medicare and Medicaid) 
•  There are no fees or interest associated with the license.

Sounds like no doctor could refuse this “no risk” opportunity. Do you think it might sound too good to be true? It also sounds like the NorVergence, Royal Links and the Brican programs, doesn’t it? The Plaintiffs seek damages and certification of a class action. In another surprising twist, former employees of MHT are coming out of the woodwork offering evidence against MHT and the lessor. 

The “equipment,” if it can be called as such, consisted of three iPads, a license and some off the shelf software for billing purposes. The cost was $300,000. While a few of doctors had some marginal success with the nurse practitioners, it is alleged that the majority of the deals never got off the ground. The doctors were left with sizable personal guaranties to Ascentium. While the documents contain a standard “hell or high water” clause, will that clause hold up?  Read on, perhaps not. 

Cliff McKenzie, CFLP, was a senior officer of Ascentium. The complaint alleges that McKenzie knew about the fraudulent practices and was receiving kickbacks and payments from the vendor, about $20,000 per month. If this allegation is true, it may make MHT the agent of Ascentium and might arguably defeat the hell or high clause.

Mr. McKenzie is no longer with Ascentium. According to LinkedIn, he left the company and since February, 2017, is Senior Vice President of Sales and Strategic Vendor Services at Alliance Funding Group, Orange, California (he is based out of Dallas/Fort Worth Area.)

It gets worse for Ascentium. There is also a companion lawsuit in which a group of doctors seek an injunction (and early discovery) against Ascentium, to prohibit the company from enforcing the obligations. In this companion lawsuit, the doctors seek a deposition of Ascentium CEO Tom Depping and Mr. McKenzie, a fairly narrow and seemingly reasonable request. Presumably, to find out whether Ascentium knew about the collateral and McKenzie’s side deal. 

Ascentium has moved to dismiss the companion lawsuit on the grounds that the doctors are attempting to avoid their financial obligations because they chose to do business with an unrelated entity, MHT. Curiously, Ascentium does not deny that Mr. McKenzie had a side deal with MHT. 

Ascentium has also opposed the request for early discovery for the depositions, claiming that while it had sent collection letters, it now promises not to do so in the future. I note that they are not promising to walk away from their $45 million dollar receivable. 

The case is just an allegation, but in extraordinary detail. It remains to be seen if the allegations are true. That said, what are the takeaways from this lawsuit?

•  First, Financing Worthless Collateral is not a Good Practice. $300,000 for a few iPads and some software is ridiculous. Factually, it is unclear whether the MHT program existed at all. I get it that there is a hell and high water clause, but I saw these evaporate in NorVergence and Royal Links cases. 

•  Second, Was Cliff McKenzie, CLFP, really on the payroll of the vendor MHT? If true, this is a bombshell. Come on guys, you can’t have your SVP getting under the table payments from the vendor. This may also cause the hell or high water clause to evaporate. 

•  Fourth, As stated, Ascentium is owed $45,000,000 in lease payments on this program. If these obligations are disallowed, can Ascentium survive? 

•  Finally, The equipment had no tangible value. I don’t understand why when the Ascentium salesperson brought this business opportunity up, someone in the conference room didn’t raise their hand and scream “NorVergence!” “Royal Links!” or “Brican!” None of these cases ended up well for the lessor. Is this case much different?

The bottom line to this case is that hell and high water clauses will protect the equipment lessor in most situations, but it remains to be seen whether these clauses in this case will hold up. They certainly evaporated in the NorVergence and Royal Links cases. 

The bottom line to this case is Ascentium just may be itself in hell or high water. It remains to be seen whether their clause will get it out of this predicament.

Kumar Complaint (32 pages)

Jerry Noon, Sr. VP, Portfolio Services, Ascentium Declaration
    (7 pages)

Kumar Other Complaint (25 pages)

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

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

Leasing News Biography

Previous Tom McCurnin Articles:



Position Wanted – Operations
Work Remotely or Relocate for Right Opportunity

Each Week Leasing News is pleased, as a service to its readership, to offer completely free ads placed by candidates for jobs in the industry. These ads also can be accessed directly on the website at:

Each ad is limited to (100) words and ads repeat for up to 6 months unless the candidate tells us to stop. Your submissions should be received here by the end of each week.


5 time Presidents Club Franchise Player with 20+ years in Logistics, Collections, Technology Pricing/Appraisal ( NAPA) Certified, Portfolio Appraisal Inventory receivable proficient, Management Control System Developer & Specialist. Proactive communications & Equipment Dealer Specialist for Healthcare/Printing/Office Equipment & Industrial portfolios. Specialist in ALL Inventory receivable channels.

 Dallas/Fort Worth or Will Work Remotely
Leasing Superstar! Unmatched work ethic and positive energy - strong attention to detail - have taken transactions from application through funding.  Have worked as both a broker and a funder. Problem solver - strong sales and customer service personality. I keep the deals moving and alive!  Will relocate for the right opportunity. Let's Talk!
Resume: Laura Noblin Resume Operations


(Leasing News provides this ad as a trade for appraisals
and equipment valuations provided by Ed Castagna)


Leasing Industry Ads---Help Wanted
Join a Company Utilizing Latest Advantages of Financial Technology


Top Stories: March 14 - March 17
(Opened Most by Readers)

(1) Major Change in Consumer Credit Reporting
Certainly will Affect Small Ticket Deals with More Write Offs

(2)  New Hires---Promotions in the Leasing Business
and Related Industries

(3) 10 Sales Tips for Attending Trade Shows
Sales Makes It Happen by Jim Acee

(4) “Being Fired after Giving Notice”
Career Crossroad---By Emily Fitzpatrick/RII

(5) LendIt 2017 Conference Report – 5,800 in Attendance
   By Patricia M. Voorhees, The Alta Group

(6) Very Brief Highlights Marlin 10K Year 2016
          by Christopher Menkin

(7) FinTech Pressure on Equipment Finance Companies
   Serving SMB Market by B. Boehm/P.Voorhees

(8) The Financial Industry Needs to Start Creating
       More Video Content
FinTech #102 by Brittney Holcomb

(9) U.S. Subprime Auto Loan Losses Reach Highest Level
   Since the Financial Crisis

(10) Sales---Channel Partners Last 20 Deals
  Business Type/Fico/TIB/Annual Revenues/Term/Funding



“Network in Seeking Employment”
Career Crossroad---By Emily Fitzpatrick/RII

I know in developing my career, I should be attending networking events; however, I am anxious about meeting new people, any ideas?

Networking can be nerve racking if you tend to shy away from meeting new people.  There is the tendency for some to feel that networking is self-serving, but it is about creating and building professional relationships.   

Connecting with new people may not come easily to you, but there are some strategies:

  • Remember the value of networking (particularly if in job search mode)
  • First, attend smaller events, and build yourself up to attend larger events such as association conferences
  • Focus on groups where you have common interests
  • Before attending your event, create a list of ice-breaker questions, e.g. questions that are industry related such as future trends
  • Know how to close a conversation as many people find this awkward | Develop a closing line that will allow you to move on and don’t forget to ask for business cards
  • Practice or role play
  • Make sure you have clothing and accessories that make you look professional, however, don’t cause you to fuss or fidget

Networking is an important part of developing your career and may open doors that would not have otherwise been available to you.  Social networking sites are also a way to network successfully; however, nothing beats meeting interacting in person.

Emily Fitzpatrick
Sr. Recruiter
Recruiters International, Inc.
Phone:  954-885-9241
Cell:  954-612-0567
Invite me to Connect on LinkedIn
Also follow us on Twitter #RIIINFO

Career Crossroads Previous Columns



10 Signs You are Headed for a Sales Slump

Sales Makes It Happen by Jim Acee

Sooner or later all sales reps hit a slump. A sales slump is defined as a temporary drop in sales volume caused by a lack of focus or dedication to signing new customers.

There are two basic types of sales slumps. The first and the best reasons I’ve seen, if there is such a thing, are life changing events like marriage, the birth of a child or the purchase of a new home. In my experience, while the focus on these life changing events have led to a drop in sales, it’s always been short term (not more than two months). These slumps are followed by sustainable long term growth driven by the financial stress that comes with the reality that the house and baby need to be paid for. Sales managers don’t need to necessarily worry about this type of slump. If it lasts more than 2 months, sales managers, it’s time to turn up the heat.

The second type of sales slump is driven by job boredom and complacency. You know, same crap, different day. This is harder to recognize because the slump is slower in developing, but can have a longer-term effect on the sales rep. Only a shock to the system, like a 90-day PIP (Performance Improvement Plan) will break the slump.

Below are 10 warning signs you are headed for trouble:

1 - Less than 10% of last month’s bookings came from new customers

New customers are the life blood of any sales rep. Plan on losing at least 20% of your current customer base each year. The reasons for losing customers are varied and most of them are beyond your control. If you don’t have replacements lined up, you are headed for sure trouble.

2 - The ‘new kid’s’ bookings are nipping at your heels and worse yet, you don’t care

The worst thing that can happen to a seasoned sales rep is complacency. It’s not just dumb luck the new kid’s bookings are being noted at the weekly sales meeting. The ‘new kid’ is working harder and willing to do whatever it takes to make their mark, while you are spending your time tangled up in busy work.

3 - You’ve strung together 2 bad months in a row

One bad month can be an anomaly, two bad months is a trend. It’s going to take you 90 days to get things turned around. Start now!

4 - Your boss has ‘joked’ about your slipping sales

While it was just a passing jab, there’s likely a lot of truth behind it. It’s a sure sign that your boss is concerned about your lack of sales.

5 - You weren’t recognized with any awards at the last national sales meeting

You were once the ‘star’ sales rep with all the awards and now the ‘also ran’ are kicking your butt. Wake up, and smell the coffee, past glories don’t matter.

6 - You don’t have a top 10 prospect/target list

If you don’t know what the target is, how are you going to hit it. An active target/prospect list is a constant reminder of the need to add new customers. You should also have a strategic plan for each of the prospects to help guide you.

7 - If you have a Top 10 prospect list, no one has moved off in months

I’ve seen it time and again where a sales rep will have a top 10 prospect list, but in name only. It is not actively worked to move prospects into customers.

8 - You spend more time at work on Facebook than in CRM

Your CRM system should dictate what you do all day. You should schedule all future appointment, calls and follow-ups along with updated notes of your calls and meetings. It should be the primary program you use to generate your to do’ list. When you boot up in the morning your CRM should tell you all the appointment, calls and tasks you have for the day/week.

9 - You haven’t done any cold calling in more than a month because you’ve been too busy

Oldest excuse in the book. No cold calling means no new customers which leads no new sales which will eventually equal looking for a new job.

10 - The loss of just one of your top 10 customers would devastate your territory Numbers 1 through 9 above lead to number 10.

Jim Acee  
 (m) 484-883-9618
He has a rich background, serving as
DLL Country Sales Manager;
Vice President, Syndication Buy Desk; 
Vice President, Field Sales, Wells Fargo Capital Finance;
Managing Director, Vendor Leasing, US Bank;
Director of Sales, US Bancorp (formerly BCL).

Previous Jim Acee columns plus Sales Makes it Happen  



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

National Equipment Finance Association Leasing Conference
Full Report

Mood Upbeat and Forward Thinking at NEFA Finance Summit.

Long Beach, California – Over 260 commercial equipment finance professionals from across North America gathered at the 2017 National Equipment Finance Summit, March 15th through 17th, at the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel in Long Beach, California.

Chairperson for this year’s Summit was Frank Peretore, of Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC.  Working with an active group of NEFA Member Volunteers, Frank put together an educational program for the conference with sessions ranging from growing your business to the next level, to preparing it for sale ─and all the stages in between.  “It’s a pleasure to work on NEFA programs” said, Frank Peretore, “because the membership is so passionate about education and so willing to share information.”

Included among the attendees were some 70 first-time Summit participants and 15 new NEFA Members.  “We’re always excited and gratified when our emphasis on Community, Education and Professionalism attracts new attendees and members” said Stephanie Hall, CLFP, of BlackRiver Business Capital, NEFA’s current President and Chairperson of the Board.

In addition to the full range of educational breakout sessions and discussions, the Summit’s largest and most varied array of table-top exhibits ever, and lots of great networking, attendees enjoyed the wonderful Southern California weather.
Randy Haug, of LeaseTeam, Inc., Chris Lerma, CLFP, of AP Equipment Finance, Nancy Geary, CPA, CLFP, of ECS Financial Services, Inc., and Chris Enbom, CLFP, of AP Equipment Finance, helped organize a Golf Networking and Fundraiser, on Wednesday, the 15th, to benefit the Chris Walker Education Fund and were on hand to thank the golfers and speak to attendees about the Fund.  Randy Haug recognized the event’s winners and then presented some other prizes to some of the other golfers at the luncheon on the next day. 

Over 100 attendees boarded the Queen Mary Thursday evening, March 16th, looking for the ghosts it’s famous for while exploring one of America’s top 10 most haunted places (as voted by Time Magazine) for a charity networking tour. Net proceeds are being donated to support the fight against domestic violence, supporting a local Long Beach, California, non-profit organization, Su Casa (

Shawn Smith, of Dedicated Commercial Recovery, Mae Philpott, of Quality Leasing Co., and Lovern Gordon, of Love Life Now Foundation, spearheaded and supported this event and cause. Shawn Smith spoke at the luncheon, emphasizing the networking and recognizing the charity tour sponsors and attendees, Thursday, March 16th.

Also at the luncheon on Thursday, Reid Raykovich, CLFP, Executive Director of the CLFP Foundation, was presented the 2016 Leasing News Person of the Year Award.  The award was presented to her on behalf of Leasing News by NEFA President and Chairperson of the Board, Stephanie Hall, CLFP, of BlackRiver Business Capital.

The CLFP Foundation, with whom NEFA has a long and close relationship, also presented some of their own awards during the Finance Summit. Jared Keepman, CLFP, Tom Lockhart, CLFP, Matt Crawley, CLFP, John Pitre, CLFP and Dan Nelson, CLFP were formally announced as the newest Certified Leasing & Finance Professionals by Reid Raykovich, CLFP, Executive Director of the CLFP Foundation, during the lunch on Thursday, March 16th.

The lunch wrapped up with a lot of positive momentum and excitement as NEFA Executive Director, Gerry Egan, formally announced NEFA’s new full scale online education center. Egan emphasized the expression “Each One, Teach One” in his talk and encouraged Summit attendees to reach out and share their knowledge with others.

“This is a long-term, strategic initiative that NEFA is proud to embark on,” said Gerry Egan, “which will benefit current and future NEFA Members and the whole industry in support of our core values of Community, Education and Professionalism.  We’re very excited about the future for this.”

The whole conference wrapped up on Friday afternoon with prize drawings which included two, very popular, Amazon Echo’s (Alexa); two free attendee certificates to upcoming NEFA conferences and an Amazon gift card.

NEFA’s next full scale conference is the 2017 Funding Symposium which will be held October 4th through the 6th, at the JW Marriott Atlanta Buckhead Hotel in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, Georgia.

About National Equipment Finance Association

The National Equipment Finance Association (NEFA) is a national association serving small to mid-sized independent equipment finance companies, lessors and brokers.  NEFA is a strong association offering enhanced educational programs and premium networking opportunities with broad geographic and industry segment diversity.  The mission of NEFA is to provide a forum for members to pursue personal and professional growth and promote ethical business practices through advocacy, networking and industry involvement.  For more information, visit: or call: 847-380-5050.

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




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Back Office: Laughlin, NV
20 years experience on funder/broker sides. Looking for a relationship where I act as credit shop for smaller brokers when financial statements are involved.
Back Office: National Property Tax Compliance Services to the leasing industry. Over 60-years experience and fifty Lessors as clients. References and free quotes available,
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News Briefs---

Prosper’s Loss Increases to $118M in 2016/Falling 33%
 as it struggled to obtain loan funding from investors

General Electric Company Still Has a Capital Arm;
     Here's Why It Matters

G. A. Baird & Company Announces New Financial
  Technology Initiative in Stamford CT





You May Have Missed---

Trump Winery, other vineyards depend on foreign-worker program



Winter Poem

Spring Poem






words move in the air

your hands move

time moves

but not here



you are talking

but my ears stopped at 10:46

when your kind

caring executioner’s eyes

met mine

and that word from your lips

cut like a scalpel through my breast.


Barry Marks


"Dividing by Zero"  108 Pages $15.26 Paperback



Sports Briefs----

Suspected thief of Tom Brady jersey sought autographs, selfies

Barry Bonds Joins Giants Front Office as Special Adviser to CEO

Jim Harbaugh says Colin Kaepernick will have Great career, Win Super Bowls

Shaq blames Knicks players for failing Phil Jackson’s blueprint


California Nuts Briefs---

Bridge closure leaves California's Big Sur community reeling



“Gimme that Wine”

The Tough Question Wine Clubs Face

 Wine Opportunities Ripe in California Central Coast

Split Napa County Planning Commission approves Raymond Vineyards changes

Free Mobile Wine Program

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page


This Day in American History

    1526 - The first North American Slave Revolt: Nearly 40 years before the first permanent European settlement in North America, Spanish explorers bring enslaved Africans to what are now the Carolinas. The Africans escape in what is the first recorded slave revolt in North America. In 1501, Spanish settlers brought slaves from Africa to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. There was a slave revolt in 1522 on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, which now comprises Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Most of Columbus’ bounty were Indian slaves as this was large commerce for basically “free labor.” In 1562, John Hawkins, the first Briton to take part in the slave trade, makes a huge profit hauling human cargo from Africa to Hispaniola.
    1619 - Africans brought to Jamestown are the first slaves imported into Britain's North American colonies. Like indentured servants, they were probably freed after a fixed period of service.
    1621 - A peace treaty and defensive alliance between the Wampanog Indians, led by Chief Massassoit, and the Pilgrims was concluded at Strawberry Hill, Plymouth, Mass. Arranged by Squanto, an English-speaking Indian, it was one of the earliest recorded treaties between Europeans and Indians in North America. Squanto had been kidnapped and sold as a slave in Spain. He escaped to England, where he learned English, and lived in Newfoundland for a time before returning to Massachusetts in 1619.
    1622 - The Powhatan Confederacy massacred 350 colonists in Virginia, a quarter of the population. On Good Friday, over 300 colonists in and around Jamestown were massacred. The massacre was led by the Powhatan chief Opechancanough and began a costly 22-year war against the English. Opechancanough hoped that killing one quarter of Virginia’s colonists would put an end to the European threat. The result of the massacre was just the opposite, however, as English survivors regrouped and pushed the Powhatans far into the interior. Opechancanough launched his final campaign in 1644, when he was nearly 100 years old and almost totally blind. He was then captured and executed.  In 1644, another Indian uprising, led by Opechancanough, threatened Jamestown, but was surprised by the colonists and resulted in a treaty which forced the Indians to cede additional territory and effected a peace until 1675. Remains of the successful English settlement were found in 1996, including wood stains showing where the original wall was, the skeleton of a settler, and glass beads used for trading with the local Indians.
    1630 - The first legislation prohibiting gambling was enacted in Boston, Massachusetts.
    1713 - The Tuscarora War ended with the fall of Fort Neoheroka, effectively opening up the interior of North Carolina to European colonization.  The conflict was between the British, Dutch, and German settlers and the Tuscarora Native Americans after nearly 50 years of peaceful co-existence.  The Europeans enlisted the Yamasee and Cherokee as Indian allies against the Tuscarora, who had amassed several allies themselves. This was considered the bloodiest colonial war in North Carolina.  Defeated, the Tuscarora signed a treaty with colonial officials in 1718 and settled on a reserved tract of land in what became Bertie County.  After their defeat, most of the Tuscarora migrated north to New York where they joined their Iroquoian cousins, the Five Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. They were accepted as the sixth nation. Their chief said that Tuscarora remaining in the South after 1722 were no longer members of the tribe.
    1765 - Britain enacted a requirement to buy revenue stamps – “The Stamp Act” - for every pair of dice, every pack of playing cards, and every newspaper, document, and pamphlet. The purpose of the tax was to raise funds to pay for the upkeep of the British army in America. Colonists mounted a sustained boycott of British goods until the tax was repealed.      
    1790 - Thomas Jefferson became the first U.S. Secretary of State.
    1794 - Congress banned U.S. vessels from supplying slaves to other countries.
    1812 - Birthday of Stephen Pearl (d. 1886), author, born in Templeton, Massachusetts. He was an ardent abolitionist, and in 1839, moved to Texas, where he converted many of the slave-owners, who were also large land-owners, by showing them that they would become rapidly rich from the sale of land if immigration were induced by throwing the country open to free labor. Here he acquired considerable wealth in the practice of his profession. He also had a dedicated following around a “universal” philosophy and language.
    1820 - Naval hero Stephen Decatur died from a duel. One of Decatur's colleagues, Commodore James Barron had been the subject of scandal in 1807 when he commanded the frigate Chesapeake and failed to prepare it for battle to British warship Leopold. Barron's disgraceful defeat lead to his court martial in 1808. One of Decatur's naval duties was to sit on the trial of Barron's court martial. Although Decatur and Barron had been friends, Decatur agreed to a verdict that expelled Barron from the Navy for five years. This event began the thirteen year dispute that would end on the dueling grounds in Maryland. Barron was overseas at the end of his five year expulsion from the Navy and did not return to help defend his country during the War of 1812. Upon Barron's return to the United States in December 1818, Decatur challenged his absence during the war. In his defense, Barron claimed he had no money, and therefore could not get back to his country. Back and forth over four years, letters were written and both men stood their ground. Eventually, the quarrel became a fatal battle of honor. 
Although dueling was illegal in the city of Washington, it was still common for naval officers to challenge one another. Commodore Stephen Decatur and Commodore James Barron met on the dueling ground in Bladensburg, Maryland. Both men were shot, but Decatur was mortally wounded. He was brought back to his home on Lafayette Square and died several hours later. The nation mourned the death of a great naval hero.
        1842 - Publisher/abolitionist Josiah Warren (1798-1874) opens 2nd Time Store in New Harmony. Warren founded several “equity” stores, founded three utopian colonies, and wrote “True Civilization.” These stores based sales on the hours of labor and worked on the trade of these goods for the time of labor, utilizing a “clock” formula. He is considered America's first anarchist.
    1862 - The Confederate cruiser Oneto, built in England, sailed from Liverpool, England, bound for the Bahamas. The ship was transferred to Captain John Newland Maffitt of the Confederate Navy. He is considered one of the best known naval commanders of the Confederate Navy. The guns and stores were sent in another ship that followed. Maffitt organized blockade-running operations from the West Indies. The high point of his career, however, was his captaincy of the commerce-raider C.S.S. Florida. In only two cruises, Maffitt took 57 prizes, wreaking over $4 million worth of damage to Union shipping. Reassigned to blockade-running in 1863, Maffitt continued to baffle Yankee captains and bring vital military cargoes into Southern ports until nearly the end of the war. Maffit was a true Naval hero known for his ingenuity, courage, seamanship and high-spirited leadership.

    1871 - In North Carolina, William W. Holden became the first governor of a US state to be removed from office by impeachment.  Appointed by President Andrew Johnson in 1865 for a brief term, and then elected in 1868, serving until 1871, he was the leader of the state's Republican Party during Reconstruction.  The main charges against Holden were related to the rough treatment and arrests of North Carolina citizens by state militia officer Col. George W. Kirk during the enforcement of Reconstruction civil rights legislation. Holden had formed the state militia to respond to the assassination of a Republican senator, the lynching of Wyatt Outlaw, an African-American police officer, and numerous attacks by the KKK.   After the Democratic Party regained majorities in both houses of the state legislature in 1870, he was impeached and convicted on six of the eight charges against him by the Democrats of the North Carolina Senate in straight party-line votes.  In 2011, Holden was posthumously pardoned by the North Carolina Senate.
    1872 - The State of Illinois was the first to pass a law banning sex discrimination in employment: “no person shall be precluded or debarred from any occupation or employment (except military) on account of sex.”  100 years later, the Senate passed the passed a law to prohibit sex discrimination, but it never received the necessary votes to become law. Ironically, only 35 states ratified the 1972 amendment. Among the ones that ironically did not were Illinois, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia,
Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.
    1874 - The Young Men's Hebrew Association originated in the 1840s as the Young Men's Hebrew Literary Association. The first YMHA opened in Baltimore, MD, in 1854, but was unsuccessful.  The first permanent YMHA was founded this day in 1874 by a group of German-Jewish businessmen and professionals headed by Dr. Simeon Newton Leo. The first president was Lewis May. A second club was started in Philadelphia in 1875.
    1882 - The Edmunds Act is passed by Congress making polygamy a felony offense, disenfranchising polygamists and barring them from public office. Apparently the only US law to deprive citizens of their civil rights without trial. More than 1,300 men were imprisoned under the terms of this measure. It was specifically enacted to halt the growth of the Mormon religion in Utah.
    1887 - Leonard "Chico" Marx (d. 1961) was born in NYC.  He was the oldest of the Marx Brothers. In addition to his work as a performer, he played an important role in the management and development of the act, at least in its early years.
    1893 - The first women's collegiate basketball game was played at Smith College at Northampton, MA. Senda Berenson, then Smith's director of physical education and "mother of women's basketball," supervised the game, in which Smith's sophomore team beat the freshman team 5-4.
    1899 - Ruth Page (d. 1991) was born at Indianapolis, IN. American dancer and choreographer.  She was a leading figure in Chicago dance with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Chicago Opera Ballet and the Chicago Ballet.
    1907 - Trumpeter player Rex Stewart (d. 1967) was born in Philadelphia.
    1908 - Birthday of Louis L'Amour (d. 1988), Jamestown, ND.  American writer of western fiction. After the 1950s, L'Amour published, at the peak of his career, several westerns a year. Best known is “Hondo.”
    1912 – Character actor Karl Malden (d. 2009) was born Malden George Sekulovich in Chicago.  He was in such classic films as “A Streetcar Named Desire,” for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, “On the Waterfront” and “One Eyed Jacks.”  Malden later played in high-profile Hollywood movies such as “Baby Doll,” “How the West Was Won,” and “Patton.” He starred with a young Michael Douglas as Lt. Mike Stone in the 1970s TV crime series “The Streets of San Francisco.”  Douglas freely credited Malden for the fame Douglas has received as an actor.
    1920 – James Brown (d. 1992) who played Lt. Rip Masters in “The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin,” was born in Desdemona, TX.
    1920 - A spectacular display of the Northern Lights was visible as far south as Bradenton, FL, El Paso, TX, and Fresno, CA. At Detroit, MI, the display was described "so brilliant as to blot out all stars below first magnitude".
    1931 - Yesterday was James T. Kirk’s birthday; today is William Shatner's birthday, Montreal, QC, Canada.
    1936 - Great floods were at their crest on rivers from Maine to Ohio. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania reached 6.1 feet, Harrisburg hit 3.5 feet, and Hartford hit 8.6 feet, a depth greater than ever before. 107 lives were lost and damage was placed at $270 million.
    1943 - Singer/guitars/song writer George Benson was born in Philadelphia. Benson began as a jazz guitarist, playing and recording with organist Brother Jack McDuff, and recording a series of mainstream jazz LPs on his own for several labels. In 1975, Benson signed with Warner Brothers, where he was encouraged to sing. The result was "Breezin'," which became the biggest-selling jazz album of all time. His hit singles, all vocals in the Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway mold, include "On Broadway," "This Masquerade," "Give Me the Night" and "Turn Your Love Around."
    1943 - Birthday of Keith Relf (d. 1976), vocalist, guitarist and harmonica player with the legendary British band, the Yardbirds, was born in Richmond, England. The group gave birth to three major guitar heroes of the 1960's - Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. For his part, Relf is credited with being one of the first to use guitar feedback. After the Yardbirds broke up in 1968, Relf and another member of the group, Jim McCarty, formed a duo called Together. Relf then organized a classical rock band, Renaissance, and a heavy rock group, Armageddon. In 1976, Keith Relf was found dead in his London home with a guitar in his hands. He had died of an electric shock.
    1945 - Top Hits
“A Little on the Lonely Side” - The Guy Lombardo Orchestra (vocal: Jimmy Brown)
“Accentuate the Positive” - Johnny Mercer
“My Dreams are Getting Better All the Time”- The Pied Pipers
“There's a New Moon Over My Shoulder” - Jimmie Davis
    1948 - Andrew Lloyd Webber birthday, London, England.  Composer of such smash musicals as "Jesus Christ, Superstar," "Evita," "Cats," "Phantom of the Opera," "Starlight Express" and "Aspects of Love."  Webber, the son of a composer, studied music at the Guildhall School and the Royal College, as well as attending Oxford. With lyricist Tim Rice, Webber was asked to write a children's show for EMI Records. The result was a version of an Old Testament story, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," which was a moderate success.  With manager David Lands underwriting their efforts, Webber and Rice started work on a rock opera, "Jesus Christ, Superstar," which tells the story from the viewpoint of children who might have known Christ. The recording of the opera was released on two LP's in October, 1970, and four years later had sold 5.5 million copies. "Jesus Christ, Superstar" opened on Broadway in 1971 and in London a year later.   A film version, directed by Norman Jewison, was made in 1973.
    1953 - Top Hits
“Till I Waltz Again with You” - Teresa Brewer
“Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes” - Perry Como
“Doggie in the Window” - Patti Page
“Kaw-Liga” - Hank Williams
    1955 - Disc Jockey Alan Freed joins the staff of Coral records as an A&R man. His two year deal calls for him to work with Coral's parent Company, Decca, as a producer.
        1956 - Sammy Davis, Jr. starred in the play, "Mr. Wonderful," in New York City. The critics were unkind, saying that they didn't care for the production. Audiences, however, gave it ‘thumbs up' and the show went on to be one of Broadway's more popular musicals, catapulting Davis into the limelight. He appeared with Frank Sinatra in Las Vegas, as Sinatra was also making a comeback, having won the Academy Award in 1954 as best supporting actor in “From Here to Eternity.” They became fast friends. The public black and white relationship was ahead of its time.
    1956 - Perry Como became the first major TV variety show host to book a rock and roll act on his program. The ‘Incomparable Mr. C.' booked Carl Perkins for the show and Perkins sang "Blue Suede Shoes."
    1958 - Movie producer Mike Todd and three other passengers were killed when the Lockheed Lodestar aircraft they were in exploded while in midair. Mike Todd was Elizabeth Taylor's third husband, and she took his untimely death very hard. It was reported that Taylor had planned to be on board as well, but her husband discouraged her from the trip due to an illness she was getting over. Todd produced the Oscar-winning movie from two years earlier, “Around the World in 80 Days,” and introduced innovative methods of filming to the industry.
    1958 - At the urging of his mother, Hank Williams, Jr. makes his stage debut in Swainsboro, Georgia. He is the eight-year-old son of the late country singer (who passed away New Year's Day, 1953) and his wife, Audrey Williams. It would take years and a near-fatal accident before he could develop a style of his own and come to terms with being the son of one of country music's greatest performers
    1960 - The first patent for a laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) granted to Arthur Schawlow and Charles Townes.  Schawlow shared the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physics with Nicolaas Bloembergern and Kai Siegbahn for his work on lasers. He also was married to Townes’ sister.  He then took a position with Townes at the physics department of Columbia University in the fall of 1949. Schawlow coauthored “Microwave Spectroscopy” (1955) with Townes. Also with Townes, they prepared a much disputed, by Gordon Gould, laser patent filed by Bell Labs in 1958.  Townes was known for his work on the theory and application of the maser, on which he got the fundamental patent, and other work in quantum electronics connected with both maser and laser devices.  He shared the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics with Nikolay Basov and Alexander Prokhorov.
    1961 - Top Hits
“Surrender” - Elvis Presley
“Where the Boys Are” - Connie Francis
“Dedicated to the One I Love” - The Shirelles
“Don't Worry” - Marty Robbins
    1961 - Industrial designer Raymond Loewy made this sketch of a futuristic sports car at the request of Sherwood Egbert, the recently appointed president of the ailing Studebaker Corporation. Egbert charged Loewy to design a new car bold enough to capture the popular imagination and boost the company's sagging fortunes. Loewy and his team of designers produced a prototype in record time, and the Avanti debuted in the spring of 1962 to rave reviews. My parents liked it so much they sold their Olds to get a red Avanti.
    1962 - The play, "I Can Get It For You Wholesale", opened on Broadway. It featured a 19-year-old named Barbara Streisand. She stopped the show at the famed Shubert Theatre in New York City. Streisand starred as Miss Marmelstein. Audiences kept coming back for more of Barbara for 300 performances.    
    1962 - A former member of the New York Giants, requesting anonymity, revealed that Bobby Thomson's home run in the 1951 National League playoffs against the Brooklyn Dodgers – the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” - was helped by a sign-stealing clubhouse spy. The spying is claimed to have gone on for the last three months of the season. Thomson, along with former Giants manager Leo Durocher, vehemently denied that he received help, but a source close to the team confirmed the spy operation. Wiki: “At the urging of manager Leo Durocher, coach Herman Franks, a catcher in his 11-year Major League career, took a seat behind the scoreboard and watched the opposite catcher's signals through a telescope.  Using an electric buzzer, he relayed what he saw through an electrical signal to the dugout, where the Giants' batter would be informed of what pitch was coming. According to the book “The Echoing Green” that revealed the scheme, the system was installed on July 20. What is known is that the Giants were nearly unbeatable at home after that date closing the season with a 37-7 record. However, before one jumps to the conclusion that they "stole" the pennant through this devious tactic, it should also be noted that they were also a tremendous team on the road, and that their improvement between the first part of the season was in fact almost entirely based on improved pitching, and not by any better hitting. The pitching staff, which was the second worst in the National League in the first half, was the stingiest over the second half, leading to their tremendous record and ability to catch an excellent Brooklyn team down the stretch.”
    1963 - "Our Day Will Come" by Ruby and The Romantics topped the Billboard Hot 100.
    1966 - Sopwith Camel appears at the Matrix in the San Francisco Marina District.
    1967 - McNERNEY, DAVID H., Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: First Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company A, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division. Place and date: polei Doc, Republic of Vietnam, 22 March 1967. Entered service at: Fort Bliss, Tex. Born: 2 June 1931, Lowell, Mass. Citation: 1st Sgt. McNerney distinguished himself when his unit was attacked by a North Vietnamese battalion near polei Doc. Running through the hail of enemy fire to the area of heaviest contact, he was assisting in the development of a defensive perimeter when he encountered several enemy at close range. He killed the enemy but was painfully injured when blown from his feet by a grenade. In spite of this injury, he assaulted and destroyed an enemy machinegun position that had pinned down 5 of his comrades beyond the defensive line. Upon learning his commander and artillery forward observer had been killed, he assumed command of the company. He adjusted artillery fire to within 20 meters of the position in a daring measure to repulse enemy assaults. When the smoke grenades used to mark the position were gone, he moved into a nearby clearing to designate the location to friendly aircraft. In spite of enemy fire he remained exposed until he was certain the position was spotted and then climbed into a tree and tied the identification panel to its highest branches. Then he moved among his men readjusting their position, encouraging the defenders and checking the wounded. As the hostile assaults slackened, he began clearing a helicopter landing site to evacuate the wounded. When explosives were needed to remove large trees, he crawled outside the relative safety of his perimeter to collect demolition material from abandoned rucksacks. Moving through a fusillade of fire he returned with the explosives that were vital to the clearing of the landing zone. Disregarding the pain of his injury and refusing medical evacuation 1st Sgt. McNerney remained with his unit until the next day when the new commander arrived. First Sgt. McNerney's outstanding heroism and leadership were inspirational to his comrades. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.
    1967 - Elvis Presley begins filming his 25th movie, “Clambake,” in Los Angeles.
    1967 - The Who make their US stage debut, performing at the Paramount Theater in New York City.     
1968 - For the real trivia buffs: President's daughter, Lynda Bird Johnson, ordered off cable car for eating ice cream cone, of course, only in San Francisco.
   1969 - UCLA defeated Purdue 92-72 to win the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s basketball championship. The Bruins were the first team to win three consecutive championships -- all under legendary head coach John Wooden. UCLA went on to dominate the college basketball title through the 1973 season.
    1969 - Top Hits
“Dizzy” - Tommy Roe
“Traces” - Classics IV featuring Dennis Yost
“Indian Giver” - 1910 Fruitgum Co.
“Only the Lonely” - Sonny James
    1972 - The Senate passed the 27th Amendment, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex, sending it to the states for ratification. Hawaii led the way as the first state to ratify and by the end of the year, 22 of the required states had ratified it. On Oct 6, 1978, the deadline for ratification was extended to June 30, 1982, by Congress. The amendment still lacked three of the required 38 states for ratification. This was the first extension granted since Congress set seven years as the limit for ratification. The amendment failed to achieve ratification as the deadline came and passed and no additional states ratified the measure.
    1972 - The Yankees trade first baseman Danny Cater to the Red Sox for lefty reliever Albert Walter Lyle. Over the next seven years, Sparky will pitch in 420 games in relief with 57-40 record and a 2.41 ERA notching 141 saves as he helps the Bronx Bombers to appear in three World Series, winning two.  A three-time All-Star, he won the American League Cy Young Award in 1977, the first relief pitcher ever so honored in the AL.  He led the in saves in 1972 and 1976.  In only a move George Steinbrenner could make, right after Lyle won the Cy Young, he signed free agent Goose Gossage and Lyle was traded to Texas after the 1978 season and the 1978 World Series in which he did not appear.  Teammate Graig Nettles: “He went from Cy Young to sayonara.”
    1975 - Barry Manilow makes his first US television appearance, performing "Mandy" and "It's A Miracle" on ABC-TV's American Bandstand.
    1975 - Frankie Valli's "My Eyes Adored You" hits #1.
    1976 - Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter tells the audience at the National Association of Record Merchandisers' Scholarship Foundation Dinner that Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin and other bands inspired him while working late nights when he was the Governor of Georgia. To prove he would never lie to them, he quoted lines from the Beatles' "Yesterday" and Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind.
    1977 - A blockbuster coastal storm lashed New York and New England. Norfolk, Connecticut was buried under 33 inches of snow. 24 inches was reported at Pittsfield, Massachusetts and 18 inches piled up at Gardner, Massachusetts. Snow amounts exceeded 30 inches in the Catskills in southeastern New York. 3 to 5 inches of rain deluged south coastal New England and wind gusts reached 60 to 90 mph. A 450 foot radio tower in Framingham, Massachusetts was toppled by the high winds.
    1977 - Top Hits
“Love Theme from ‘A Star is Born’ " (Evergreen) - Barbra Streisand
“Fly like an Eagle” - Steve Miller
“Rich Girl” - Daryl Hall & John Oates
“Southern Nights” - Glen Campbell
    1977 - Comedienne Lily Tomlin made her debut on Broadway, as "Lily Tomlin on Stage" opened in New York.
    1977 - Stevie Wonder releases the single, "Sir Duke." The tune was a tribute to Duke Ellington and would spend 3 weeks at #1
    1977 - The John Denver TV special, “Thank God, I'm A Country Boy” aired on ABC-TV. Guests included Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell and Roger Miller.
    1982 - Diana Ross' first solo album for RCA, "Why Do Fools Fall in Love," goes platinum less than three months after its release.
    1985 - Top Hits
“Can't Fight This Feeling” - REO Speedwagon
“The Heat is On” - Glenn Frey
“Material Girl” - Madonna
“Crazy for Your Love” – Exile
    1988 - Rain and high winds battered the Northern Pacific Coast Region, with wind gusts to 78 mph at Ocean Shores, WA. The high winds uprooted trees and down power lines. Ten cities in the northeastern U.S. reported new record low temperatures for the date. Eight cities in the central U.S. reported record highs. Southerly winds gusting to 60 mph helped push the mercury at Ottumwa, IA to a record warm reading of 83 degrees    1989 - Dick Clark announces he'll no longer host "American Bandstand," ending a 33-year run.
    1989 - Six cities in the Great Lakes Region, and three in southern Texas, reported new record low temperatures for the date, including Alpena, MI with a reading of 9 above zero, and Brownsville, TX with a reading of 38 degrees.
    1990 - A surge of arctic air kept temperatures in the teens and 20s during the day in the north central U.S., and heavy snow fell over parts of Montana. Record warmth was reported in the western U.S., and in Alaska. Phoenix, AZ reported a record high of 94 degrees, and the town of Barrow, located along the arctic coast of Alaska, reported a record high of 20 degrees.
    1991 - At Sotheby's in NYC, a 1909-10 baseball card in mint condition of Honus Wagner sold for $451,000, with the 10% auction house premium. Ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky and Los Angeles Kings owner Bruce McNall purchased the rare card. On the same day, a 1952 Topps card of Mickey Mantle sold for $49,500, tripling the pre-auction estimate, while a baseball signed by 12 players at the 1939 Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony, sold for $20,900.
1993 – Intel shipped the first Pentium chips (80586), featuring a 60 MHz clock speed, 100+ MIPS, and a 64-bit data path.
   1999 - Top Hits
“Believe” - Cher
“Heartbreak Hotel” - Whitney Houston Feat. Faith Evans
“Angel Of Mine” - Monica
“I Still Believe” - Mariah Carey
    2011 - South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard signed an abortion bill that requires women to undertake counseling and wait 72 hours, the longest period in the U.S.
    2014 - Mt. Gox, the Bitcoin exchange that filed for bankruptcy, announced that it found 200,000 of the 800,000 missing bitcoins belonging to customers. The missing bitcoins were overlooked because they had been stored in an older format in a 'wallet' presumed to be empty.

NCAA Basketball Champions:
    1958 - Kentucky
    1969 - UCLA



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