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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

Credit Analyst
Norwalk, Ct.
Remote Location Considered

2 Years Min. Experience

Collateral knowledge of over-the-road trucking assets, construction equipment, material handling,
vocational units and machine tools is desired

Call Maria Borges-Lopez: (203) 354-6090 or e-mail
your resume to

Please click
for more information
Providing small-ticket equipment financing for businesses across the country through our dedicated referral source network

Monday, March 18, 2019

Today's Leasing News Headlines

Leasing Industry Job Wanted
Leasing News Top Stories
  March 11 - March 15
Electronic Signature: What Happens When the Signer
  Disavows  Signing It or Claims He/She Did Not Read It?
   By Tom McCurnin, Leasing News Legal Editor
Leasing News Ads - Credit Analyst
   Work Norwalk, CT or Remote Location Considered
Leasing News Help Wanted Rates
   How to Advertise
Back Office Companies
Happiest and Saddest U.S. States
  Map with Story
Statement on  Settlement Dissent
 PricewaterhouseCoopers  Accounting Malpractice at Colonial Bank
Labrador Retriever
  Lincoln, California   Adopt a Dog
ELFA Funding Source—Hotel Cutoff Service Today
   Largest Gather on Leasing Funding Sources in USA
News Briefs---
Investigators find 'similarities' between Ethiopian

  and Lion Air crashes, official says
Boeing's safety analysis 737 MAX flight control crucial flaws:
   Seattle Times
19,000 truck drivers just scored up to $100 million
  from one of America's biggest trucking companies
Carriers Should Act Now to Keep Trucking Through a Downturn
   By, @trucksdotcom
Beyond the wall: Why fewer foreign students
   are coming to Texas
Facebook removed 1.5 million videos of New Zealand attack
   within 24 hours

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

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

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

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Leasing Industry Job Wanted


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


San Francisco Bay Area - Able to work remotely 
An experienced sales professional with 11 years total sales experience, 7 of those years which are in the equipment finance and working capital space.  Experience in training, mentoring, and leading team of sales reps.  Consistently a leader in origination volume, gross margin, and deal profitability.  Knowledge of credit and funding processes will allow me to hit the ground running and drive revenue immediately.  Available for immediate hire. 

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.


Leasing News Top Stories
March 11 - March 15

(Stories most opened by readers)


(1) Stupid Law Firm. Greedy, Unhelpful Bank…
    Guess Who Won?
       By Tom McCurnin, Leasing News Legal Editor

(2) A Fourth Instance Out of State Lender Fined
 Auto/Truck Pre-Qualifying Lead Sources is Illegal
    By Tom McCurnin, Leasing News Legal Editor

(3) Lying to DBO about Prior ISO Relationships
  Can Cause Your DBO License to be Denied
     By Tom McCurnin, Leasing News Legal Editor

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

(5) Funders Taking "New" Broker Business List

(6) 360 Equipment Finance
   Joins Funder/Funder Looking for Brokers List

(7) Ten of Gibb's Fifty Rules

(8) New York City is edging toward financial disaster, experts warn
     Long-term debt is now more than $81,100 per household

(9) Boeing 737 Max Hit Trouble Right Away,
     Pilot’s Tense Radio Messages Show

(10) Bad News, Chief



Electronic Signature: What Happens When the Signer
 Disavows Signing It or Claims He/She Did Not Read It?

By Tom McCurnin
Leasing News Legal Editor

Five Cases Demonstrate That Electronic Signatures May Be Disavowed
or Hacked. Your Documents Should Be in a Large Font, and
You Should Have Direct Contact With the Signer

By Tom McCurnin

State v. Merritt  2019 Wash. LEXIS 128 (Feb. 21, 2019, No. 95115-2)
Dooley v. Bnsf Ry. Co., 2019 Mont. Dist. LEXIS 1 (2019) 2019, No. 2:17-cv-03071-JAD-PAL)
Moses v. Lending Club 2019 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 19761 (D.Nev. Feb. 6, 2019, No. 2:17-cv-03071-JAD-PAL)
Gilgar v. Public Storage, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1220 (Feb. 20, 2019, No. B288270)
Perez v. Ruby Tuesday, Inc. 2019 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 13527 (N.D.N.Y. Jan. 28, 2019, No. 6:16-CV-795)

Electronic signatures are all well and fine, but what if your borrower denies signing the document or reading the document? Today’s five cases, demonstrate that it is not too difficult for a borrower to deny the signature or to deny reading the document. Therefore, if a creditor wants to protect itself, it needs to have documents prepared in a large font and have direct contact with the signer. The facts follow.

In State v Merritt, an appraiser “borrowed” the electronic signature and password of the senior appraiser and used the appraisals to conduct mortgage fraud. His colleague was convicted. 

The lessons for those electronically signing documents is to zealously protect your credentials for electronic signatures. The lesson for those receiving electronic signatures is that the company must verify the signature in some way, even in an after the fact email to the signer. 

In Dooley v Bnsf Ry.Co., the insured claimant allegedly made a statement to the insurer about pre-existing shoulder claims, but he denied electronically signing the statement. Given the lack of proof that he actually electronically signed the document, the court reserved the issue for another time. Again, the lesson for those relying on electronic signatures is that one should verify the signature with some contact with the signer, by phone or email, to insure the information is correct.

In Moses v Lending Club, the borrower signed a loan document. He didn’t exactly deny signing it electronically, he merely stated that he did not recall electronically signing it. While the court threw out his claim that he should not arbitrate the claim, verifying the signature in some manner would have prevented this lawsuit.

In Gilgar v. Public Storage, an employee electronically executed an arbitration agreement for an employment agreement, but was told to hurry up and sign the seven large documents in less than four minutes. There was only one document acknowledging the others, and the font was miniscule.  The employee admitted signing them but not reading them. The court threw out the arbitration clause. 

The lessons here are to have your document in a large font, have a stand-alone electronic signature for each document, and don’t rush your signer. 

In Perez v. Ruby Tuesday, Inc., the employee executed an arbitration clause, but the documents were in a large font, and each document had its own electronic signature prominently displayed. Although the employee said she did not sign the document, the court ruled otherwise and enforced the electronic signature. 

What are the takeaways from these three cases? 

• First, While Electronic Signatures Are All the Rage, They Do Not Eliminate Claims of Unauthorized Signatures. Indeed, those claims are easier to make. 

• Second, Verify the Signature in Some Fashion. Send an email, send a letter, get the signer on the phone—do anything that would confirm that the person purportedly signing the document did in fact sign it. The guy’s driver’s license does nothing to verify the electronic signature, by the way. In the Merritt case, it was unclear whether the signer was held responsible for the unauthorized signature and hack of his computer. 

• Third, Don’t Rush the Signer. This is probably not an issue for documents sent by email, but if signed in person, don’t rush the signer. In the California case, the arbitration clause was invalidated for this reason. 

• Fourth, Put the Electronic Signature on Each Page of the Document. Having a handful of documents electronically signed through one click on a summary page (like the California case) may not work. Each document should have stand alone electronic signature.

• Fifth, The Documents Should be a Large Font. Miniscule fonts with electronic signatures did not work in the California case.

The bottom line to these cases is that while electronic signatures are pretty much the norm now, they do not replace hard, blue ink signatures with impunity. The equipment lessor still has to protect itself from claims of unauthorized signatures just like it did in the old days.

Dooley v. Bnsf Ry
State v Merritt
Perez v. Ruby Tuesday
Moses v. Lending Club
Gilgar v. Public Stories

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

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

Previous Tom McCurnin Articles:



Leasing Industry Help Wanted

Credit Analyst
Norwalk, Ct.
Remote Location Considered

2 Years Min. Experience

Collateral knowledge of over-the-road trucking assets, construction equipment, material handling,
vocational units and machine tools is desired

Call Maria Borges-Lopez: (203) 354-6090 or e-mail
your resume to

Please click
for more information
Providing small-ticket equipment financing for businesses across the country through our dedicated referral source network


Leasing News Help Wanted Rates
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Back Office Companies

Advance Property Tax Compliance Group 88 Systems, Inc.  
Barrett Management Corp. Haws Consulting Group Phoenix Leasing Portfolio Srvcs., Inc.
Bank of the West JDR Solutions Portfolio Financial Servicing Co.
ECS Financial Services Lease Broker Assistant, LLC LeaseDimensions, Inc.
RPC Property Tax Advisors, LLC Madison Capital, LLC
GreatAmerica Portfolio 
Services Group LLC
Orion First Financial, LLC

Full List



The Aloha state ranked the highest on overall well-being. States in the Midwest got significantly higher well-being scores on the poll

Full Story:



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

Statement on  Settlement Dissent
PricewaterhouseCoopers  Accounting Malpractice at Colonial Bank

FDIC Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg

FDIC as receiver for the failed Colonial Bank announced today a settlement with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) of $335 million. This settlement resolves professional negligence claims brought by the FDIC against PwC arising out of audits of Colonial Bank of Montgomery, Alabama. Colonial Bank failed on August 14, 2009, with $24.455 billion in assets and a loss to the Deposit Insurance Fund estimated at $2.958 billion as of December 31, 2017.

I voted against authorizing the settlement because the settlement did not include a written admission of liability by PwC.

In the lawsuit, the FDIC alleged that PwC failed to follow required auditing standards which, if followed, would have led PwC to detect a massive multi-year fraud perpetrated on Colonial by the bank's biggest customer, Taylor Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corporation, a large mortgage originator. As a result of its failure to follow required auditing standards, PwC did not detect that hundreds of millions of dollars of assets claimed by Colonial did not in fact exist, had been sold to others, or were worthless. If PwC had complied with auditing standards, it would have discovered the fraud, the fraud would have been stopped, and the damages to Colonial Bank would have been limited.

On December 28, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, following a four-week bench trial, concluded that PwC did not design its audits to detect fraud and PwC's failure to do so constituted a violation of auditing standards. On July 2, 2018, the district court awarded damages to the FDIC of $625 million on its claims.

As noted, the settlement announced today did not include a written admission of liability by PwC. Given PwC's professional negligence, which contributed directly to the failure of Colonial Bank and large losses to the Deposit Insurance Fund, I voted against authorizing the settlement without a written admission of liability by PwC

Martin J. Gruenberg, Member, Board of Directors, FDIC

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


Labrador Retriever
Lincoln, California   Adopt a Dog

Crate Trained
Good with Children
Good with Other Dogs
House Trained

"Baja is a 6 year old purebred chocolate female, weighing about 53 pounds. She was used as a breeder but her mommy days are over. She sweet, silly, happy, and friendly. She is bit of a Velcro girl right now with everything that has happened in her life. Baja is more English lab with the blocky head, thick body and otter tail. Baja lived in a kennel but is quickly learning house manners. She’s easy on a leash and sleeps quietly on her dog bed. Baja needs some slow easy walks to get her back into shape, her left hip bothers her at times but with some exercise this sweet girl will feel better and be a great companion".

Labs 2 Love Rescue, Inc
Lincoln, California  65648 0232

Adopt a Lab Process

To Find a Specific Breed near where you live,
 from more than 17,000 animal shelters & rescues:


ELFA Funding Source—Hotel Cutoff Service Today
Largest Gather on Leasing Funding Sources in USA

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association Largest gathering of major Funding Sources is updated. This will be the top opportunities for professionals to gain two days insight on new programs, directions, and attract the top producers in the leasing and finance industry. The top veterans will be here as well as those new to the industry.

Leasing News Advisor, Hugh Swandel, The Alta Group, will be covering the conference for Leasing News readers.

All suites have been reserved. Meeting rooms and booths are still available for Funding Sources. Register today to reserve your meeting room or booth Funding Sources!
2019 Funding Sources as of 03/15/2019

  • 36th Street Capital
  • ATEL Capital Group
  • AvTech Capital, LLC
  • Banc of America Leasing
  • Bank of the West
  • Baystone Government Finance/KS State Bank
  • BB&T Commercial Equipment Capital Corp.
  • BB&T Equipment Finance
  • BMO Harris Equipment Finance
  • Boston Financial & Equity Corporation
  • Brean Capital, LLC
  • Bridge Funding Group, Inc.
  • Capital Guidance
  • CapitalSource, Inc.
  • CapX Partners
  • Channel Partners Capital
  • CIT
  • Citizens Asset Finance, Inc.
  • Crestmark Vendor Finance, A division of MetaBank
  • Customers Commercial Finance, LLC
  • ECS Financial Services, Inc.
  • ENGS Commercial Finance Co.
  • Equipment Leasing Group of America, LLC
  • First American Equipment Finance, an RBC / City National Company
  • First Bank of Highland Park
  • First Eagle Bank
  • First Midwest Equipment Finance Co.
  • Flagstar Bank
  • Flushing Bank
  • Fuyo General Lease (USA) Inc.
  • GE Capital Markets Group
  • Hanmi Bank
  • Hitachi Capital America Corp.
  • Huntington Equipment Finance
  • IBERIA Corporate Asset Finance, Inc.
  • Innovation Finance USA LLC
  • J.P. Morgan Equipment Finance
  • Key Equipment Finance
  • LEAF Commercial Capital Inc.
  • MB Equipment Finance
  • MB Financial Bank
  • MB Financial Bank - Paying Agent
  • Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance (U.S.A.) Inc.
  • Moody's Analytics
  • Nations Equipment Finance, LLC
  • NFS Leasing, Inc.
  • Odessa
  • Peapack Capital Corporation
  • People's Capital and Leasing Corp.
  • PNC Equipment Finance, LLC
  • Prime Alliance Bank
  • Santander Bank Equipment Finance
  • SCG Capital Corporation
  • Securcor Financial Group
  • Signature Financial
  • Societe Generale Equipment Finance
  • Sterling National Bank Equipment Finance Division
  • Stonebriar Commercial Finance
  • Sumitomo Mitsui Finance & Leasing Co., Ltd.
  • SunTrust Equipment Finance & Leasing Corp.
  • TCF Equipment Finance, a division of TCF National Bank
  • TIAA Commercial Finance, Inc.
  • Tokyo Century (USA) Inc.
  • U.S. Bank Equipment Finance
  • Verdant Commercial Capital LLC
  • VFI Corporate Finance
  • Wells Fargo Equipment Finance
  • Wintrust Commercial Finance
  • Wintrust Specialty Finance

March 18, 2019 Hotel Cutoff for Room Reservations
(After this date, based on availability)

Full Event Brochure:



News Briefs----

Investigators find 'similarities' between Ethiopian
  and Lion Air crashes, official says

Boeing's safety analysis 737 MAX flight control crucial flaws:
   Seattle Times

19,000 truck drivers just scored up to $100 million
  from one of America's biggest trucking companies

Carriers Should Act Now to Keep Trucking Through a Downturn
   By, @trucksdotcom

Beyond the wall: Why fewer foreign students
   are coming to Texas

Facebook removed 1.5 million videos of New Zealand attack
   within 24 hours


You May Have Missed---

Is Amazon killing retail? Or is retail killing itself?


Winter Poem
Walking Alone in Late Winter
By Jane Kenyon

How long the winter has lasted -- like a Mahler
symphony, or an hour in the dentist's chair.
In the fields the grasses are matted
and gray, making me think of June, when hay
and vetch burgeon in the heat, and warm rain
swells the globed buds of the peony.

Ice on the pond breaks into huge planes. One
sticks like a barge gone awry at the neck
of the bridge. . . . The reeds
and shrubby brush along the shore
gleam with ice that shatters when the breeze
moves them. From beyond the bog
the sound of water rushing over trees
felled by the zealous beavers,
who bring them crashing down. . . . Sometimes
it seems they do it just for fun.

Those days of anger and remorse
come back to me; you fidgeting with your ring,
sliding it off, then jabbing it on again.

The wind is keen coming over the ice;
it carries the sound of breaking glass.
And the sun, bright but not warm,
has gone behind the hill. Chill, or the fear
of chill, sends me hurrying home.


Sports Briefs---

It’s official: Raiders back at Coliseum next seasonl

Johnny Manziel coming back to play football in the US

Giants quarterback Manning receives $5 million roster bonus

Dolphins sign veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick


California Nuts Briefs---

New luxury SF apartment complex green-lights Airbnb rentals

Hillsborough suing over ‘Flintstone House,’
  calling additions an eyesore

As Hearst Castle turns 100, visitors roam freely



“Gimme that Wine”

The world’s oldest planting of Cinsault is in ... Lodi

The uniquely ethereal Cinsaults of Lodi’s Bechthold Vineyard

Big Vintners Face Challenges as Market Growth Slows

Free Wine App

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page


This Day in History

     1543 - The first record of a flood in the United Sates was observed by the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto.  He noted the Mississippi River began overflowing its banks and continued until it crested on April 20.  By the end of May, the flood had receded. de Soto introduced wild pigs into the wilderness that environmentalists say changed the animal population considerably, including introducing smallpox that killed millions of Indians.  When expeditions returned a hundred years later, they questioned de Soto's reports because of the major changes to the landscape. 
    1644 – The third and final Anglo-Powhatan War, between the Powhatan Indians of Chief Opechancanough and the English settlers in Virginia Colony began and was not settled until 1646 when Opechancanough was captured and killed.   The First Anglo–Powhatan War, between the Powhatan and the English colonists, lasted from 1610 to 1614.  The second was 1622-28.  The Powhatan were forced to give up all the land between the James and York Rivers. The Third war resulted in a boundary being defined between the Indians and English lands that could only be crossed for official business with a special pass. The war's end ushered in 30 years of relative peace between the colonists and the Powhatan, shattered only by the attacks of Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676.  This resulted in the Treaty of Middle Planation signed by Cockacoeske, Opechancanough’s matrilineal successor.  Under her next two successors, lands within the original Pamunkey reservation, which was coterminous with King William’s County, would be sold to the English, resulting in the relatively small Pamunkey and Mattaponi reservations of the present.
    1673 - Lord Berkeley sold half of his holdings in New Jersey to the Quakers. He and Sir George Carteret were the founders of the Province of New Jersey.  Berkeley's personal relationships with Charles II and the Duke of York led to his receiving an interest in New Jersey, in addition to that in Carolina previously received. Berkeley was co-proprietor of New Jersey from 1664 to 1674. In 1665, Berkeley and Carteret drafted the Concession and Agreement, a proclamation for the structure of the government for the Province that also provided freedom of religion in the colony. Berkeley sold his share to a group of Quakers because of the political difficulties between New York Governor Richard Nicolls, Carteret, and himself. This effectively split New Jersey into two colonies: East Jersey, belonging to Carteret, and West Jersey. The division remained until 1702 when West Jersey went bankrupt; the Crown then took back and subsequently re-unified the colony.
    1692 - Following the accession of William III to the English throne, Pennsylvania is declared a royal colony and New York governor Benjamin Fletcher is declared governor of Pennsylvania, depriving William Penn of his proprietary powers. The Crown takes over Pennsylvania because the pacifist Quakers refused to involve themselves in the war against France and because William Penn had maintained friendly relations with the former English monarch, James II.
    1741 - The Conspiracy of 1741, also known as the Negro Plot of 1741 or the Slave Insurrection of 1741, was a purported plot by slaves and poor whites in the British colony of New York in 1741 to revolt and level New York City with a series of fires.  Manhattan had the second-largest slave population of any city in the Thirteen Colonies after Charleston, SC. Rumors of a conspiracy arose against a background of economic competition between poor whites and slaves; a severe winter; war between Britain and Spain, with heightened anti-Catholic and anti-Spanish feelings; and recent slave revolts in South Carolina and St. John in the Caribbean. In March and April 1741, a series of 13 fires erupted in Lower Manhattan, the most significant one within the walls of Ft. George, the home of the governor. After another fire at a warehouse, a slave was arrested after having been seen fleeing it. A 16-year-old Irish indentured servant, Mary Burton, arrested in a case of stolen goods, testified against the others as participants in a supposedly growing conspiracy of poor whites and blacks to burn the city, kill the white men, take the white women for themselves, and elect a new king and governor. 
    1748 - George Washington visited the public spa at a mineral spring deeded to the colony of Virginia in 1756 by Thomas Fairfax, sixth Baron Fairfax “to be forever free to the publick for the welfare of suffering humanities.” The spa was located in Bath, Berkeley County, VA (now Berkeley Springs, Morgan County, WV). 
    1766 - Opposition to the Stamp Act was not limited to the colonies. British merchants and manufacturers, whose exports to the colonies were threatened by colonial boycotts, pressured Parliament. The Act was repealed on March 18, 1766 as a matter of expedience, but Parliament affirmed its power to legislate for the colonies "in all cases whatsoever" by also passing the Declaratory Act. There followed a series of new taxes and regulations, likewise opposed by the colonistsThe episode played a major role in defining the grievances - later clearly stated within the text of the ‘Indictment of George III section of the Declaration of Independence’ - and enabling the organized colonial resistance that led to the American Revolution in 1775.
    1782 - Birthday of John Calhoun (d. 1850) at Abbeville District, SC.  American statesman and first Vice President of the US to resign that office (Dec 28, 1832). He was considered the South's strongest advocate for slavery. The Vice-Presidents ran as separate offices in his day and he served under John Quincy Adams from March 4, 1825 to March 4, 1829 and under President Andrew Jackson from March 4, 1829 to December 28, 1832. He resigned to fill the vacancy in the Senate caused by the resignation of Robert Young Hayne, senator form South Carolina. Calhoun was elected to fill the vacancy on December 12, 1832. He had been Secretary of War and Secretary of State. He was too weak and ill to read his speech or oppose Daniel Webster's brilliant oratory that brought about the “Missouri Compromise” regarding limited slavery in the Western territory. Senator Daniel Webster argued in favor of the compromise. He both cautioned Southerners that disunion would lead to war and advised Northerners to forgo antislavery measures. The Compromise of 1850 was passed and Calhoun died soon after on March 31, 1850. 
    1806 - Birthday of African-American Norbert Rillieux (d. 1894), New Orleans.  Inventor of sugar refining. 
    1813 - David Melville of Newport, Rhode Island patented the gas streetlight. He first installed these lights in front of his own house on Pelham Street.  Soon everyone in the neighborhood wanted one. 
    1818 – Congress approved the first pensions for government service.  Public pensions got their start with various promises, informal and legislated, made to veterans of the Revolutionary War.  They were expanded greatly, and, more extensively, the Civil War and began to be offered by a number of state and local governments during the early Progressive Era in the late nineteenth century. 
    1837 - The 22nd and 24th president of the US was born Stephen Grover Cleveland (d. 1908) at Caldwell, NJ. Terms of office as president: March 4, 1885—March 3, 1889 and March 4, 1893—March 3, 1897. He ran for president for the intervening term and received a plurality of votes cast but failed to win in the Electoral College. Only president to serve two nonconsecutive terms. Also the only president to be married in the White House. He married 21-year-old Frances Polsom, his ward. Their daughter, Esther, was the first child of a President to be born in the White House.
    1848 - "California Star" reported that non-Native population of San Francisco was 575 males, 177 females and 60 children 
    1850 - Henry Wells and William Fargo formed American Express in Buffalo.  Wells had formed Wells, Butterfield & Company as the successor of Butterfield & Wasson. That same year, the American Express Company was formed as a consolidation of Wells & Company, Livingston, Fargo & Company, and Wells, Butterfield & Company. Wells was president of American Express from 1850 to 1868.  When John Butterfield and other directors of American Express objected to extending the company's service to California, Wells organized Wells, Fargo & Company on March 18, 1852, to undertake the venture. Edwin B. Morgan was the company's first president, and Wells, William Fargo, Johnston Livingston and James McKay were on the boards of both Wells Fargo and American Express.   
    1858 - Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel (d. 1913), the inventor of the diesel engine, was born in Paris.
    1865 – The Congress of the Confederate States of America adjourned for the last time.  One of its final acts was the passage of a law allowing for the emancipation and military induction of any slave willing to fight for the Confederacy.
    1869 – Neville Chamberlain (d. 1940) was born in Birmingham, England.  UK Prime Minister from May 1937 to May 1940. Chamberlain is best known for his appeasement foreign policy, and in particular, for his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938, conceding the German-speaking Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia to Germany. However, when Hitler later invaded Poland, the UK declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939, and Chamberlain led Britain through the first eight months of World War II.   His premiership was dominated by the question of policy toward the increasingly aggressive Germany, and his actions at Munich were widely popular among Britons at the time. When Hitler continued his aggression, Chamberlain pledged Britain to defend Poland's independence if the latter were attacked, an alliance that brought Britain into war when Germany attacked Poland in 1939. Chamberlain resigned the premiership on May 10, 1940 after the Allies were forced to retreat from Norway, as he believed a government supported by all parties was essential, and the Labour and Liberal parties would not join a government headed by him. He was succeeded by Winston Churchill but remained very well regarded in Parliament, especially among Conservatives. Before ill health forced him to resign he was an important member of Churchill's War cabinet, heading it in the new premier's absence. Chamberlain died of cancer six months after leaving the premiership. 1870 – The first wildlife preserve in the US was established at Lake Merritt in Oakland, CA.
    1874 - Hawaii signed a treaty with the United States granting exclusive trade rights.
    1886 - Edward Everett Horton (d. 1970) was born in Brooklyn.  Narrator: “Fractured Fairy Tales” on “The Bullwinkle Show;” actor: “It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,” “Lost Horizon,” “Sex and the Single Girl,” “Arsenic and Old Lace.” 
    1901 - William H. Johnson (d. 1970) was born in Florence, SC. Johnson spent many years in Europe painting expressionist works. He was strongly influenced by the vivid styles and brushstrokes of Henry O. Tanner, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Edward Munch and Otto Dix. He left Europe when Hitler began destroying art that had primitivist or African themes. Back in the US, Johnson developed a new, flatter style and delved into subjects of his own experience as well as historical African-American figures and events. “Going to Church” (1940—41) and “Mom and Dad” (1944) are examples of his later work. 
    1902 - 29-year-old Italian opera singer Enrico Caruso was paid $50 each to record 10 songs on wax for the Gramophone and Typewriter Company in Italy; $500. He would go on to become the world's first recording star. Two years later, he began recording in America for the Victor Talking Machine Company (later RCA Victor). Over a 16-year span, he would earn millions of dollars in royalties from the retail sales of his 260 recordings. 
    1907 - The lawyers prosecuting alleged grafters score point after point in the proceedings before the grand jury and announce that they have sufficient evidence to prove that the United Railroads, the Pacific States Telephone Co., Home Telephone Co., the Prize-Fight Trust and the Gas Co., have bribed San Francisco supervisors and other city officials. 
    1909 – Ernest Gallo (d. 2007) was born in Jackson, CA.  He co-founded with brother Julio, E&J Gallo Winery in Modesto, CA shortly after the repeal of Prohibition. 
    1911 - Deane Kinkaide’s (d. 1992) birthday in Austin, TX.  Noted big band arranger, Dorsey's “Boogie Woogie,” Goodman's “Bugle Call Rag.” Had many of his arrangements in my high school/college gig.
    1919 - The Order of DeMolay was founded in Kansas City with nine members, as an international fraternal organization for young men ages 12 to 21. It was named for Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar who was burned at the stake on Mar. 18, 1314.
    1925 - The 'Great Tri-state Tornado' tore a 219 mile path through Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana, resulting in the greatest US tornado disaster ever. 695 people were killed, the largest death toll from a single tornado in US history. 234 deaths occurred at Murphysboro, Illinois, the biggest death toll within a single city from a tornado on record. At one point, the tornado was moving at a record setting 73 mph. This tornado was easily an F5 on the Fujita scale with winds exceeding 260 mph. Instead of occurring along a cold front or in a squall line, the tornado was closely associated with a surface low pressure area. In all respects, it was a remarkable tornado and stands alone in tornadic events. 
    1926 – Actor Peter Graves was born Peter Duesler Aurness (d. 2010) in Minneapolis, MN.  TV credits include:  “Fury,” “Mission Impossible,” “The Winds of War.”  Film credits include:  “Airplane,” “Airplane 2,” “Stalag 17,” “The President's Plane is Missing,” “The Night of the Hunter.”  He was the brother of actor James Arness, who lived near us and took my brother and I to University High School often.  Our next door neighbor James Whitmore turned down the “Gunsmoke” role and recommended Arness instead.   He earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2009.
    1927 – Author George Plimpton (d. 2003) was born in NYC.  He is widely known for his sports writing and for helping to found “The Paris Review.”  He was also famous for "participatory journalism" which included competing in professional sporting events, acting in a Western movie, performing a comedy act at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, and playing with the New York Philharmonic, and then recording the experience from the point of view of an amateur. Outside the literary world, Plimpton was famous for competing in professional sporting events and then recording the experience from the point of view of an amateur.  In 1958, prior to a post-season exhibition game at Yankee Stadium between teams managed by Willie Mays (National League) and Mickey Mantle (American League), Plimpton pitched against the National League. His experience was captured in the book “Out of My League.” Plimpton sparred for three rounds with boxing greats Archie Moore and Sugar Ray Robinson while on assignment for Sports Illustrated.  In 1963, Plimpton attended preseason training with the Detroit Lions as a backup quarterback, and ran a few plays in an intra-squad scrimmage. These events were recalled in his best-known book “Paper Lion”, which was later adapted into a feature film, released in 1968. Another sports book, “Open Net,” saw him train as a goalie with the Boston Bruins, even playing part of a NHL preseason game.  Plimpton's classic “The Bogey Man” chronicles his attempt to play professional golf on the PGA Tour during the 960s. Among other challenges for Sports Illustrated, he attempted to play top-level bridge, and spent some time as a high-wire circus performer.  In the April 1, 1985 issue of Sports Illustrated, Plimpton pulled off one of the greatest April Fools’ Day pranks of all time. With the help of the New York Mets organization and several Mets players, Plimpton wrote a convincing account of a new unknown pitcher in the Mets spring training camp named Siddartha Finch who threw a baseball over 160 mph, wore a heavy boot on one foot, and was a practicing Buddhist with a largely unknown background. The prank was so successful that many readers believed the story, and the ensuing popularity of the joke resulted in Plimpton writing an entire book on Finch.
    1931 - The first electric razor was manufactured by the Schick Dry Razor Company of Stamford, CT. Remington had introduced the dual-headed electric shaver in 1940. The electric shaver was invented by Colonel Jacob Schick (1877-1937), who recognized that soldiers in the field needed a razor that did not require soap or hot water.  He patented a tiny electric motor in 1923 and received patents on his “shaving implement” on November 6, 1928. He could not convince anyone to manufacture his invention so raised money himself to start his own company.  Jacob Schick's first business venture, the Magazine Repeating Razor Co, founded 1925, sold a razor with injection cartridge blades designed much like a repeating rifle, where the blades were sold in clips that could be loaded into the razor without touching the blade. This business provided the necessary capital to develop his electric razor concept when he sold it to the American Chain & Cable Company in 1928. Schick became a Canadian citizen in 1935 to avoid an investigation by the Joint Congressional Committee on Tax Evasion & Avoidance after he moved most of his wealth to a series of holding companies in the Bahamas.
    1932 - Author John Updike (d. 2009) was born in Reading, PA and was raised in nearby Shillington.  An American novelist, poet, short story writer, and art and literary critic, Updike's most famous work is his "Rabbit" series.  The novels “Rabbit, Run;” “Rabbit Redux;” “Rabbit is Rich;” “Rabbit at Rest;” and the novella “Rabbit Remembered,” chronicled the life of the middle-class everyman Harry ‘Rabbit’ Angstrom over the course of several decades, from young adulthood to death. 
    1932 - Casa Loma Band cuts “Smoke Rings.”
    1938 – Singer and former minor league baseball player, Charley Pride, was born in Sledge, MS. He is considered to be the most successful black entertainer in country music. By the early 1970's, Pride had become RCA Victor's biggest-selling artist since Elvis Presley, with hits such as "Is Anybody Going to San Antone?" "Kiss and Angel Good Morning" and "Wonder Could I Live There Anymore." In total, he has garnered 39 No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. When his first record, "Snakes Crawl at Night," was released in 1965, there was almost no publicity and few people realized that Pride was black. But by the following year, Pride had gained a huge hit and a Grammy Award nomination for "Just Between You and Me."  And in 1967, he was introduced on the Grand Ole Opry by Ernest Tubb.  From 1952-60, Pride pitched for several minor league teams after stints in the Negro Leagues.  Arm trouble forced him out of the game and into the music business. 
    1938 – New York became the first to require serological blood tests of pregnant women.  
    1939 - Frank Sinatra makes his very first recording, a demo called "Our Love," recorded with the Frank Mane band.
    1940 - Casa Loma Band cuts “No Name Jive,” (Decca)
    1941 - Wilson Pickett (d. 2006), one of the great soul singers of the 1960's, was born in Prattville, AL. Pickett joined a Detroit group called the Falcons in 1962, and sang lead on their hit, "I Found a Love." But Pickett, on the suggestion of the Falcons' producer, soon began a solo career. He signed with Atlantic in 1964, and had the first of his many hits with "In the Midnight Hour." His backup group on this record was Booker T. and the MG's. Pickett's other successes included "Land of 1,000 Dances," "Funky Broadway" and "I'm a Midnight Mover." 
    1942 - The War Relocation Authority was established in the United States to take Japanese Americans into custody. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, authorizing military commanders to create zones from which certain persons could be excluded if they posed a threat to national security. Military Areas 1 and 2 were created soon after, encompassing all of California and much of Washington, Oregon and Arizona, and subsequent civilian exclusion orders informed Japanese Americans residing in these zones they would be scheduled for "evacuation." The WRA was formed via Executive Order 9102, with Milton S. Eisenhower as the original director.
    1942 – Jackie Robinson and Nate Moreland requested a tryout with the Chicago White Sox during spring training in Pasadena, CA. Sox manager Jimmy Dykes allowed the two to work out but later dismissed them.
    1943 - MATHIS, JACK W., (Air Mission) Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Corps, 359th Bomber Squadron, 303d Bomber Group. Place and date: Over Vegesack, Germany, 18 March 1943. Entered service at: San Angelo, Tex. Born: 25 September 1921, San Angelo, Tex. G.O. No.: 38, 12 July 1943. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy over Vegesack, Germany, on 18 March 1943. 1st Lt. Mathis, as leading bombardier of his squadron, flying through intense and accurate antiaircraft fire, was just starting his bomb run, upon which the entire squadron depended for accurate bombing, when he was hit by the enemy antiaircraft fire. His right arm was shattered above the elbow, a large wound was torn in his side and abdomen, and he was knocked from his bomb sight to the rear of the bombardier’s compartment. Realizing that the success of the mission depended upon him, 1st Lt. Mathis, by sheer determination and willpower, though mortally wounded, dragged himself back to his sights, released his bombs, then died at his post of duty. As the result of this action the airplanes of his bombardment squadron placed their bombs directly upon the assigned target for a perfect attack against the enemy. 1st Lt. Mathis’ undaunted bravery has been a great inspiration to the officers and men of his unit.
    1945 - MURPHY, FREDERICK C., Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Medical Detachment, 259th Infantry, 65th Infantry Division. Place and date: Siegfried Line at Saarlautern, Germany, 18 March 1945. Entered service at: Weymouth, Mass. Birth: Boston, Mass. G.O. No.: 21, 26 February 1946. Citation: An aid man, he was wounded in the right shoulder soon after his comrades had jumped off in a dawn attack 18 March 1945, against the Siegfried Line at Saarlautern, Germany. He refused to withdraw for treatment and continued forward, administering first aid under heavy machinegun, mortar, and artillery fire. When the company ran into a thickly sown antipersonnel minefield and began to suffer more and more casualties, he continued to disregard his own wound and unhesitatingly braved the danger of exploding mines, moving about through heavy fire and helping the injured until he stepped on a mine which severed one of his feet. In spite of his grievous wounds, he struggled on with his work, refusing to be evacuated and crawling from man to man administering to them while in great pain and bleeding profusely. He was killed by the blast of another mine which he had dragged himself across in an effort to reach still another casualty. With indomitable courage, and unquenchable spirit of self-sacrifice and supreme devotion to duty which made it possible for him to continue performing his tasks while barely able to move, Pfc. Murphy saved many of his fellow soldiers at the cost of his own life.
    1945 - TREADWELL, JACK L., Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Army, Company F, 180th Infantry, 45th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Nieder-Wurzbach, Germany, 18 March 1945. Entered service at: Snyder. Okla. Birth: Ashland, Ala. G.O. No.: 79, 14 September 1945. Citation: Capt. Treadwell (then 1st Lt.), commanding officer of Company F, near Nieder-Wurzbach, Germany, in the Siegfried line, single-handedly captured 6 pillboxes and 18 prisoners. Murderous enemy automatic and rifle fire with intermittent artillery bombardments had pinned down his company for hours at the base of a hill defended by concrete fortifications and interlocking trenches. Eight men sent to attack a single point had all become casualties on the hare slope when Capt. Treadwell, armed with a submachine gun and hand grenades, went forward alone to clear the way for his stalled company. Over the terrain devoid of cover and swept by bullets, he fearlessly advanced, firing at the aperture of the nearest pillbox and, when within range, hurling grenades at it. He reached the pillbox, thrust the muzzle of his gun through the port, and drove 4 Germans out with their hands in the air. A fifth was found dead inside. Waving these prisoners back to the American line, he continued under terrible, concentrated fire to the next pillbox and took it in the same manner. In this fort he captured the commander of the hill defenses, whom he sent to the rear with the other prisoners. Never slackening his attack, he then ran across the crest of the hill to a third pillbox, traversing this distance in full view of hostile machine gunners and snipers. He was again successful in taking the enemy position. The Germans quickly fell prey to his further rushes on 3 more pillboxes in the confusion and havoc caused by his whirlwind assaults and capture of their commander. Inspired by the electrifying performance of their leader, the men of Company F stormed after him and overwhelmed resistance on the entire hill, driving a wedge into the Siegfried line and making it possible for their battalion to take its objective. By his courageous willingness to face nearly impossible odds and by his overwhelming one-man offensive, Capt. Treadwell reduced a heavily fortified, seemingly impregnable enemy sector.
    1945 - The first professional hockey player to score 50 goals in one season was Joseph Henri Maurice “Rocket” Richard of the National Hockey League's Montreal Canadiens, who scored his 50th goal at 17:45 of the third period against the Boston Bruins at the Boston Garden. He retired in 1960 with 544 goals in 16 regular seasons. 
    1945 - The Japanese released mechanized flying bombs piloted by young Japanese men. These suicide bombs, directed against the US aircraft carrier fleet attacking the Japanese fleet in the Kure-Kobe area, inflicted serious damage on the Enterprise, Intrepid and Wasp
    1945 - About 1300 American bombers, with some 700 escorting fighters, drop 3000 tons of bombs on Berlin, despite heavy anti-aircraft defenses, including numerous jet fighters. The US fleet loses 25 bombers and 5 fighters.
    1945 - *WILKIN, EDWARD G., Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Company C, 157th Infantry, 45th Infantry Division. Place and date: Siegfried Line in Germany, 18 March 1945. Entered service at: Longmeadow, Mass. Birth: Burlington, Vt. G.O. No.: 119, 17 December 1945. Citation: He spearheaded his unit's assault of the Siegfried Line in Germany. Heavy fire from enemy riflemen and camouflaged pillboxes had pinned down his comrades when he moved forward on his own initiative to reconnoiter a route of advance. He cleared the way into an area studded with pillboxes, where he repeatedly stood up and walked into vicious enemy fire, storming 1 fortification after another with automatic rifle fire and grenades, killing enemy troops, taking prisoners as the enemy defense became confused, and encouraging his comrades by his heroic example. When halted by heavy barbed wire entanglements, he secured bangalore torpedoes and blasted a path toward still more pillboxes, all the time braving bursting grenades and mortar shells and direct rifle and automatic-weapons fire. He engaged in fierce fire fights, standing in the open while his adversaries fought from the protection of concrete emplacements, and on 1 occasion pursued enemy soldiers across an open field and through interlocking trenches, disregarding the crossfire from 2 pillboxes until he had penetrated the formidable line 200 yards in advance of any American element. That night, although terribly fatigued, he refused to rest and insisted on distributing rations and supplies to his comrades. Hearing that a nearby company was suffering heavy casualties, he secured permission to guide litter bearers and assist them in evacuating the wounded. All that night he remained in the battle area on his mercy missions, and for the following 2 days he continued to remove casualties, venturing into enemy-held territory, scorning cover and braving devastating mortar and artillery bombardments. In 3 days he neutralized and captured 6 pillboxes single-handedly, killed at least 9 Germans, wounded 13, took 13 prisoners, aided in the capture of 14 others, and saved many American lives by his fearless performance as a litter bearer. Through his superb fighting skill, dauntless courage, and gallant, inspiring actions, Cpl. Wilkin contributed in large measure to his company's success in cracking the Siegfried Line. One month later he was killed in action while fighting deep in Germany
    1949 - Top Hits 
“Far Away Places” - Margaret Whiting
“Powder Your Face with Sunshine” - Evelyn Knight
“Cruising Down the River” - The Russ Morgan Orchestra (vocal: The Skyliners)
“Don't Rob Another Man's Castle” - Eddy Arnold
    1950 - Teresa Brewer's "Music! Music! Music!" hits #1
    1951 – Bennett Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s, was born in Merrick, Long Island, NY.  He first met his partner, Jerry Greenfield in 7th grade.
    1953 - In baseball's first franchise shift in half a century, the Boston Braves announced that they would become the Milwaukee Braves. The team remained in Milwaukee through the 1965 season after which it moved to Atlanta.
    1957 - Top Hits
“Young Love” - Tab Hunter
“Round and Round” - Perry Como 
“Little Darlin'” - The Diamonds 
“There You Go” - Johnny Cash 
    1957 - “Tales of Wells Fargo” premiered on TV. This half-hour western starred Dale Robertson as Jim Hardie, agent for Wells Fargo Transport Company. In the fall of 1961, the show expanded to an hour. Hardie bought a ranch, and new cast members were added, including Jack Ging as Beau McCloud, another agent, Virginia Christine as Ovie, a widow owning a nearby ranch, Lory Patrick and Mary Jane Saunders as Ovie's daughters and William Demarest as Jeb, Hardie's ranch foreman. Jack Nicholson appeared in one of his first major TV roles in the episode "The Washburn Girl." My father Lawrence Menkin wrote many of the episodes.
    1957 - In what is believed to be the largest offer for a player to date, Cleveland Indians GM Hank Greenberg rejected a million-dollar offer for left-handed pitcher Herb Score from Boston Red Sox GM Joe Cronin. Greenberg refused, saying that Cleveland is interested in building for the future, not in selling its premier ballplayers. Score won 20 games in 1956 and led the AL with 263 strikeouts.  Unfortunately, six weeks later, Score will be struck in the eye by a batted ball by the Yankees’ Gil McDougald and would win only 19 more games over the rest of his career.
    1958 - Jerry Lee Lewis becomes the first musician to appear on American Bandstand actually singing and not lip-synching his performance. Singing "Great Balls Of Fire," "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," and "Breathless" live, he also becomes the first guest to perform three songs on the program.
    1959 - Bill Sharman of the Boston Celtics began what was to be the longest string of successful consecutive free throws (56 in a row) to set a new National Basketball Association record.
    1959 - President Eisenhower signed the Hawaii statehood bill
    1959 - EMI announces its intention to halt production of 78 rpm records.
    1960 – “Rio Bravo,” the classic Howard Hawks/John Wayne Western that also stars Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson, opens in US theaters.
    1962 - Gary "U.S." Bonds appears on The Ed Sullivan Show performing his latest hit, "Twist, Twist, Senora," which will reach #9 in April.
    1963 – Construction began on the first domed sports stadium that was fully enclosed. The Astrodome, Houston, TX, formally known as the Harris County Domed Stadium. The overall cost was $35.5 million. The arena could accommodate 66,000 people. The first baseball game under the dome was played on April 9, 1965 between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees, who lost 2-1. In the game, Mickey Mantle hit the first home run there, off Turk Farrell.  The first football game was played on September 11, 1965, when the University of Tulsa defeated the University of Houston 14-0. 
    1964 - Birthday of Bonnie Blair in Cornwall, N.Y. She moved with her parents to Champaign, Ill., when she was 2 and began skating. In 1988, Blair won the gold medal in the 500 meters at the Winter Olympics in Calgary, and a bronze in the 1,000 meters. In the 1992 games in Albertville, France, she won two gold medals at the same distances, becoming the first American Woman to win three gold medals in the Winter Olympics and in 1994 she added more.
    1965 - Top Hits 
“Eight Days a Week” - The Beatles 
“Stop! In the Name of Love” - The Supremes 
“The Birds and the Bees” - Jewel Akens
“I've Got a Tiger by the Tail” - Buck Owens
    1966 - Robert C. Weaver became first Black presidential cabinet member when sworn in as Secretary of Housing and Urban Affairs in the Johnson Administration.
    1967 - The Beatles went gold, receiving a gold record for the single, "Penny Lane." The ‘B' side of hit record was the also-popular "Strawberry Fields Forever."
    1967 - After three minor chart makers, an Oklahoma group called Five Americans release their biggest hit, "Western Union," which would rise to #5 on The Hot 100. 
    1968 - Congress repealed the requirement for a gold reserve to back US currency. In the 1780s, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Morris, and Alexander Hamilton recommended to Congress the value of a decimal system. This system would also apply to monies in the United States. The question was what type of standard: gold, silver or both.  The United States adopted a silver standard based on the Spanish milled dollar in 1785.  In 1792, Congress passed the Mint and Coinage Act, authorizing the federal government's use of the Bank of the United States to hold its reserves, as well as establish a fixed ratio of gold to the U.S. dollar. Gold and silver coins were legal tender, as was the Spanish Real. In 1792, the market price of gold was about 15 times that of silver.  Silver coins left circulation, exported to pay for the debts taken on to finance the American Revolution.  Passage of the Independent Treasury Act of 1848 placed the U.S. on a strict hard-money standard. Doing business with the American government required gold or silver coins.  Congress passed the Gold Reserve Act on 30 January 1934; the measure nationalized all gold by ordering Federal Reserve banks to turn over their supply to the U.S. Treasury. In return, the banks received gold certificates to be used as reserves against deposits and Federal Reserve notes. The act also authorized the President to devalue the gold dollar. Under this authority, President Roosevelt, on 31 January 1934, changed the value of the dollar from $20.67 to the troy ounce to $35 to the troy ounce, a devaluation of over 40%.  After the World War II, a system similar to a gold standard and sometimes described as a "gold exchange standard" was established by the Bretton Woods Agreements. Under this system, many countries fixed their exchange rates relative to the U.S. dollar and central banks could exchange dollar holdings into gold at the official exchange rate of $35 per ounce; this option was not available to firms or individuals. All currencies pegged to the dollar thereby had a fixed value in terms of gold.  Starting in the 1959–1969 administration of President deGaulle and continuing until 1970, France reduced its dollar reserves, exchanging them for gold at the official exchange rate, reducing US economic influence. This, along with the fiscal strain of federal expenditures for the Vietnam War and persistent balance of payments deficits, led President Nixon to end international convertibility of the U.S. dollar to gold on August 15, 1971.  
    1969 – The United States began secret bombing of the Sihanouk Trail in Cambodia used by communist forces to infiltrate South Vietnam.
    1970 - Country Joe McDonald is convicted for obscenity and fined $500 for leading a crowd in his infamous Fish Cheer ("Gimme an F..!") at a concert in Massachusetts.
    1970 - Brook Benton received a gold record for the hit single, "Rainy Night in Georgia." It was Benton's first hit since 1963's "Hotel Happiness." 
    1970 - A wild-cat strike of postal employee locals of the National Association of Letter Carriers that began in New York City spread to parts of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. On March 23, President Richard Nixon decaled a state of national emergency and called out 30,000 troops to move the mail. The strike ended on March 24.
    1970 – Queen Latifah was born Dana Owens in Newark, NJ. 
    1971 - High winds accompanied a powerful low pressure system tracking from the Rocky Mountains to the Great Lakes. Winds gusted to 100 mph at Hastings, Nebraska and to 115 mph at Hays, Kansas. High winds caused 2 million dollars in property damage in Kansas.
    1972 - The Knox-class ocean destroyer escort, the Jesse L. Brown, was named at the Avondale Shipyards, Westwego, LA, becoming the first naval ship to be named for an African-American naval officer. Jesse Leroy Brown of Hattiesburg, MI, was commissioned an ensign on April 15, 1949. He died near the Changjin Reservoir in Korea, becoming the first African-American flier in the Naval Reserve to be killed in combat.
    1972 - The Chicago vocal group, The Chi-Lites make their second appearance on TV's Soul Train, where they perform their newest release, "Oh Girl." The tune will go on to top the Billboard Pop and R&B charts and reach #14 in the UK. Not bad for a song that writer Eugene Record would later say he was surprised that the record company even wanted to issue as a single. 
    1972 - Neil Young enjoyed his only solo, US number one hit with "Heart of Gold."  Backup vocals were provided by James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt.
    1972 - Paul Simon's self-titled debut album topped the chart on the strength of the singles "Mother and Child Reunion" and "Me and Julio Down By The School Yard." 
    1973 - Top Hits 
“Killing Me Softly with His Song” - Roberta Flack 
“Love Train” - O'Jays Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001) - Deodato
“Teddy Bear Song” - Barbara Fairchild
    1974 - Most OPEC nations ended a five-month oil embargo against the United States, Europe and Japan.
    1978 - The Bee Gees started an eight-week stay at the top of the pop music charts with "Night Fever" (they had a total of nine #1 hits) from the "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack.
    1981 – In a monumental contract misstep by the Red Sox that allowed C Carlton Fisk to become a free agent, he signed contract with the Chicago White Sox. The five-year pact will pay Fisk $2.9 million.
    1981 - Top Hits
“9 to 5” - Dolly Parton
“Keep on Loving You” - REO Speedwagon 
“Woman” - John Lennon 
“Guitar Man” - Elvis Presley 
    1985 - History was made in the short-lived United States Football League. A pro football record was set by Denver and Houston of the USFL with a total of 112 passes thrown in the game. Houston went airborne 69 times, Denver took to the air 43 times.
    1985 – New MLB Commissioner Peter Ueberroth reinstated Hall of Famers Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle, who had been banned from association with organized baseball by former commissioner Bowie Kuhn due to their employment by Atlantic City casinos. Ueberroth's ruling allowed both men to pursue employment with Major League teams.
    1989 - Top Hits 
“Lost in Your Eyes” - Debbie Gibson 
“The Living Years” - Mike & The Mechanics 
“Roni” - Bobby Brown 
From a Jack to a King - Ricky Van Shelton
    1989 - A storm in the western U.S. produced heavy rain in California, with heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada Range. Venado, CA was drenched with 5.40 inches of rain in 24 hours. A dozen cities in the eastern U.S. reported new record high temperatures for the date, including Baltimore, MD with a reading of 82 degrees.
    1990 - Heavy rain caused extensive flooding of rivers and streams in Georgia, with total damage running well into the millions. Flooding also claimed six lives. Nearly seven inches of rain caused 2.5 million dollars damage around Columbus, and up to nine inches of rain was reported over the northern Kinchafoonee Basin in Georgia.
    1992 - Disco Queen, Donna Summer gets a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
    1995 - Michael Jordan, considered one of the NBA'S greatest all-time players, made history again when he announced that he was returning to professional play after a 17-month break. The 32-year-old star had retired just before the start of the 1993—94 season, following the murder of his father, James Jordan. Jordan, who averaged 32.3 points a game during regular season play, had led the Chicago Bulls to three successive NBA titles. While retired, he tried a baseball career, playing for the Chicago White Sox minor league team. On his return to the Bulls, he led them to three more NBA titles in 1996, 1997 and 1998.   
    2012 - The Washington Nationals assigned top prospect Bryce Harper to the AAA Syracuse Chiefs in anticipation of a call-up to Washington expected before the end of the summer. Indeed, the call-up occurred on April 29, at the insistence of manager Davey Johnson, and Harper will never look back, earning Rookie of the Year honors in the NL.  He was the 2015 NL MVP.   
    2013 - The FBI reported they have discovered who stole $580 million in masterpieces from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990, the greatest art heist in American history.  In the early morning hours of March 18, 1990, a pair of thieves disguised as Boston police officers gained entry to the museum and stole thirteen works of art. The total worth of the stolen pieces has been estimated at $500 million, making the robbery the greatest single property theft in world history.[7] Among the stolen works was “The Concert”, one of only 34 known works by Vermeer and thought to be the most valuable unrecovered painting at over $200 million. Also missing is “the Storm on the sea of Galillee,” Rembrandt’s only known seascape.  Despite efforts by the FBI, the works have not yet been recovered. The case remains unsolved, with the museum offering a reward of $5 million for information leading to recovery of the art. Empty frames hang in the Dutch Room gallery as placeholders for the missing works, in hopeful expectation of their return. The selection of stolen works puzzled experts, as more valuable artworks were present in the museum.  The FBI believe the thieves were members of a criminal organization based in the Mid-Atlantic and New England.



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