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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, September 26, 2018

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

  Shades of Manifest:
U.S. Bank Enters Business Loan FinTech Fray
   Small Business Loans Up to $250,000 "Often within an Hour"
Massachusetts Hold that for Purposes of Establishing
  a Deficiency, it is "Fair Market Value" not "Fair Market Retail Value"
    By Tom McCurnin, Leasing News Legal Editor
Centra Funding/4 Hour Funding
   Searching for Professional Exclusive Sales Personnel
Sales Makes it Happen by Scott Wheeler, CLFP
   Believe in Yourself
August, 2018  -  The List
   "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"
Barry Marks, Esq., CLFP on ELFA SB 1235 Position
   Ralph Petta Reaction to Tom McCurnin’s Response
"Groups" Changes Choices in LinkedIn
     Be Aware You Need to Update Respond
Orion First Surpasses $1 Billion
   in Assets Under Management
   Minneapolis, Minnesota  Adopt a Dog
deBanked Events Mobile App
  Connect Networking/Direct Message to Attendees
News Briefs---
American Credit Scores Hit a Record High
   bad news is bank card, mortgage, auto loan debt are all flashing red
U.S. consumer confidence hits 18-year high;
     house prices slowing
Trump's $250 billion in China tariffs are now in effect
   —here's what could get more expensive
NAFTA freight experiences largest year-to-year increase
      in more than six years
Fed expected to raise interest rates
   and signal more hikes are coming
Bank of America's Cathy Bessant:
   The Most Powerful Woman in Banking
Harley Is Winning in Europe—Without a Trade War
   almost doubled its market share in Germany

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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Shades of Manifest:
U.S. Bank Enters Business Loan FinTech Fray
Small Business Loans Up to $250,000 "Often within an Hour"

Minneapolis, Minnesota Headquarters

U.S. Bank has entered the digital process, aiming at "Single-owner businesses within U.S. Bank’s 25-state footprint can qualify for up to $250,000 business loan through the all-digital process.” The press release further stated, “The application can be completed on any device – mobile, tablet or computer – and if approved, it will allow the borrower to review their loan details and electronically sign their closing documents.”

Reportedly, interest rates will range from 4.99% – 11.99% on the loans and lines of credit will be available from 6.25% to 13%.

The website states, “The program is available for businesses of at least two years.  Quick Loans for Equipment and Vehicles cannot be completed online (bottom of page:

It appears the FinTech program does not pertain to leases, and the lending structure is a Loan Agreement or Equipment Finance Agreement, which may be signed online.

US Bank press release stated, "The entire process, from application to funding, can be completed same day, often within an hour or less, dramatically speeding up the experience for busy entrepreneurs. It provides access to existing U.S. Bank lending products, which carry the same attractive rates, full-service support and deep resources of the nation’s fifth-largest bank."

Tim Walsh, Vice Chairman, Consumer Banking Sales and Service, said, “This is the first of several exciting digital initiatives we’re pursuing that we believe will better serve the needs of small businesses and consumers. We created this new digital experience to deliver on our commitment to continuously improve the way we serve our customers.”

Reportedly, using regular feedback from small business owners, U.S. Bank developed the new process entirely in-house, allowing the bank to maintain strict security for business owners throughout the process.

U.S. Bank continues its Equipment Finance program with loans up to $500,000 with "Simple application process and credit decisions within hours (for amounts up to $250,000). 125% financing when including soft costs. Pre-approval option. Secured by equipment only."




Massachusetts Hold that for Purposes of Establishing a Deficiency,
it is "Fair Market Value" not
"Fair Market Retail Value"

By Tom McCurnin
Leasing News Legal Editor

Federal Court Asks Massachusetts the Question,
 and It Appears a Class Action on the Issue is Going Nowhere

Williams v. Am. Honda Fin. Corp., 479 Mass. 656, 662, 98 N.E.3d 169, 174 (2018)

It is textbook, black letter law that a secured creditor may obtain a deficiency judgment based on the fair market value of the collateral, minus the payments made on the loan. In today’s case, a debtor tried to argue that “fair market value” really means “fair market retail value.” The debtor sued Honda Finance claiming that what vehicles are sold for on a retail basis is the proper measure, not a wholesale auction. The action was a putative class action. The First Circuit court of appeals was unsure about the issue, and therefore asked the Massachusetts Supreme Court to answer this question for the court. 

My assumption is that this would be an easy question to answer, but apparently Massachusetts has some particular language in their commercial code. The five judge panel ruled 4 - 1 that fair market value, not fair market retail value is the proper standard. The Court ruled that the Massachusetts legislature did not dictate a particular market and left the determination of fair market value to the courts in contested cases.  Thus, while a retail value of the used car might be probative, it not the only measuring stick, and the wholesale auto auction sale history can be relevant to determining fair market value. 

What was surprising to me is that there was a well-argued dissent, which cited Massachusetts General Law § 20B (e) (2), a consumer protection statute enacted in 2001, which recognized the commercial realities of the motor vehicle market when it established a presumption providing that in deficiency proceedings, “periodically published trade estimates of the retail value of goods shall … be presumed to be the fair market value of the collateral”

The majority of the court simply blew off that language and construed the statute in conjunction with other laws and the practicalities of establishing fair market value.  The obvious point was that requiring a creditor to liquidate the collateral on a retail basis would require storage, overhead, reconditioning, additional capital, facilities, and personnel to sell at retail.  The majority though the existing markets work sufficiently to establish a fair market value. 

Secured creditor won, borrower lost—and automobile auctions are sufficient to establish the fair market value.  The borrower’s class action is likely doomed. 

What are the takeaways here?

• First, I Was Surprised Massachusetts Has Such a Law. Requiring a secured creditor to sell at retail, or at least calculate the deficiency at retail is a novel idea, and certainly for consumer obligations, not a completely unreasonable idea. 

Second, I Was Surprised that the Massachusetts Supreme Court Ignored the Law. I get it that whole auto auctions are typical, but the Supreme Court just blew off the whole statute. 

• Third, I Support the Result, But Not the Process. I’m certainly no expert on Massachusetts law, but if the state has such a strong presumption enacted by the legislature, it is not the courts to sweep the statute under the rug.

The bottom line to this case is that establishing deficiencies through fair market value through wholesale auto auctions is acceptable in Massachusetts.  You are now free to ignore the legislature. 

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

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

Previous Tom McCurnin Articles:





Sales Makes it Happen by Scott Wheeler, CLFP

Believe in Yourself

Top producers are willing to invest in themselves. They understand their value and take calculated risks, because they trust their ability to deliver results.

Tom felt passionate about a new niche that he was exploring for his company. He was convinced there was real potential for him and his company to succeed in the new niche. His manager and company weren't as convinced and were not willing to spend thousands of dollars for Tom to attend a trade show, until the company funded significantly more business and established a track record in this niche. Tom made the following proposition to his company - he would pay for the expenses of attending the trade show out of his own pocket and use his personal time off to attend. He was convinced that it would help him expedite his ability to fund significantly more transactions in the new niche. In exchange, he wanted to be paid a slightly higher commission on all niche transactions over the next year, as well as exclusivity in this niche. Tom's manager and the owner of the independent commercial equipment leasing and finance company loved Tom' passion and enthusiasm and signed on to the agreement.

Upon returning from the trade show the company realized the potential opportunity and fully reimbursed Tom for his expenses. They honored the additional commission and gave him exclusivity in the niche. Tom now has a team working under him in the niche. Tom is a top producer. Tom is a leader. Tom believes in his ability to deliver high quality results. Tom has passion.

Invest in Yourself!

Order via Amazon: 

Scott A. Wheeler, CLFP
Wheeler Business Consulting
1314 Marquis Ct.
Fallston, Maryland 21047
Phone: 410 877 0428
Fax: 410 877 8161

Sales Makes it Happen articles:



August, 2018  -  The List
"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"

Certified Lease & Finance Profession, Northbrook, Illinois (08/18) Adds 40 New CLFPs, Membership Now 615

ATEL Capital Group, San Francisco, California (08/18) Funds Transportation Equipment for Matson Valued at $9,826,665 MM

Chesswood Group Limited, Toronto, Canada (08/18)  Announces New $250 Million Warehouse Facility (08/18)Announces Portfolio Growth First Six Months More than $100 Million/Operating Income Up

Ascentium Capital, Kingwood, Texas (08/18) MHT Class Action Settlement Approved by Texas Court (08/18) Ascentium Capital Crew in Place in Scottsdale, Arizona

Dominion Leasing Software LLC, Powhatan, Virginia (08/18) Announces Acquisition of Seritus Solutions’ Seritus-CoS and Seritus-CRM

Balboa Capital, Costa Mesa, California (08/18) Jury Disbelieves Testimony of Balboa’s Employees  Slams Lessor on Million Dollar Action
(08/18) Gets Sued Quarterly Interim Rent in California Class Action Lawsuit

ECN Capital, Toronto, Canada (08/18) Reports Adjusted Net Income of $13.4 Million versus Previous 3 month $4.9 Million

Marlin Business Services Corp., Mount Laurel, New Jersey (08/18) Earnings Call Transcript 2nd Quarter, 2018 (08/18) Marlin Completes $201.7 Million Term Debt Securitization - Why?

North Mill Equipment Finance, Norwalk, Connecticut (08/18) Acquired By Leading Specialty Finance Investor

Amur Financial Group, Grand Island, Nebraska (08/18) Reactions to Inside Amur Financial Group (08/18) Delaware Appeals Court Affirms Judgment in Amur Finance Case  (08/18) The Inside on What is Going On at Amur Financial Group




Barry Marks, Esq., CLFP on ELFA SB 1235 Position
Ralph Petta Reaction to Tom McCurnin’s Response

The subject line from Barry’s email read: PLEASE PRINT THIS


"I was not at the negotiations but I participated remotely, as did two dozen of the industry’s top lawyers. ELFA did everything it possibly could and all of us were invited by ELFA to share our opinions. The final bill was the best we could hope for and it was substantively changed for the better by ELFA’s participation.

"Senator Glazer is simply lying...oh, sorry, being a politician.... ELFA opposed the bill until it was obvious further opposition would only result in further adverse action. When the drafters tried to understand the industry they looked for more things to attack. ELFA pared the bill down until it hit uncompromising resistance. At that point, ELFA backed down and accepted that it did the best it, or anyone, could.

"I will decline to write more about that lest I give the bill’s supporters ideas for future interference in our business. Anyone who wants more info can call me next week.

Barry S. Marks
Marks & Weinberg, P.C.
Phone: 205.251.8302
Fax: 205.251.8305

From Kit Menkin, cc: Tom McCurnin

Senator Glazer is not lying. As stated in my response to Ralph, Senator Glazer said in the Question and Answer section, page 2, as quoted in Tom’s column:

"One other note: we worked very closely with the Equipment Leasing and Finance Assn. on the part of the bill that deals with lease financing. In the end they were satisfied that the language was fair and workable for the leasing industry, and they did not oppose the bill." (2)

Ralph in his response said, "We have decided not to oppose it." He did first say, “ELFA does not support the final bill," but he is confirming what Senator Glazer said in the question and answer session, "they did not oppose it."

Ralph was quite articulate in his email and explained ELFA’s position in detail.

In our masthead, our policy is explained in every news edition:

"When an article is signed by the writer, it is considered a “byline". It reflects the opinion and research of the writer."

In this regard, I am forwarding your email to Tom McCurnin, should he wish to respond.

From Tom McCurnin, cc: Barry Marks

The California Financial Code applies to loans only and exempts true leases. The original language of the bill concerned only loans. The bill was changed in June to clarify that leases with fixed price purchase options were loans, although the language was clumsy. Given the fact that the California Financial Code does not govern true leases, I was not concerned. The bill was later amended in August to make that point clear. If ELFA contributed to that clarity, then all the better, but it was unnecessary, and Senator Glazer cheerfully changed the language to make the bill’s coverage clear and consistent with the Financial Code. 

Given the vociferous opposition to the final bill, I was surprised at ELFA’s lack of opposition to the final bill. It simply surrendered to Sen. Glazer. 

Sen. Glazer is an effective politician who garnered widespread bipartisan support for the bill. The lopsided vote is a testimony to his hard work.

The bill has two silver linings: (1) Giving California small businesses more choice in loan products; and (2) Encouraging competition ompletion amongst lenders. These are both two excellent goals. 

(1) Ralph Petta Reaction to Tom McCurnin’s
“Is the Disclosure Too Complicated? of SB 1235 (1)

(2) Page 2, Question and Answers


Be Aware You Need to Update LinkedIn “Respond Groups”
 ---Changes in Location, Choices and Format

Group postings are no longer on the tool bar, but they are still accessible. Settings have changed.

In the section called "Work," upper right, click on it and you will see the groups icon to click. It will bring you to "My Groups."

The system has changed and is similar to posting on the main page. Click on the group and then go to the upper right corner, and click on the three dots. Choose Update My Settings.

You will see your settings. They are automatically on NO. If you want to received message on what you post, move it to Yes. If you want to display this group on your profile, more it to Yes.

What the Heck Do I Do with My LinkedIn?
FinTech #102 by Alex Vasilakos




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

Orion First Surpasses $1 Billion
in Assets Under Management

Gig Harbor, WA: Orion First announces that it has surpassed $1 billion in assets under management. The assets under management consist of small business commercial loans and leases for which Orion provides all the back-office portfolio management and servicing duties on behalf of its clients. This is a significant long-term goal achieved by Orion First, who has been in the commercial loan, lease and contract management space since 2001.

David T. Schaefer, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Orion First, said, “We are proud to celebrate this milestone because Orion has worked hard for our position in the industry and we are honored by the level of trust our clients place in us.”

“Passing $1 billion under management is a true testament to the strength of our team and demonstrates the value we strive to deliver. Be it by providing transparency through our client portal, by improving risk assessment through our proprietary scoring tool, SAIPH™, or by offering unmatched portfolio management services, Orion will continue to lead the small business lending industry in risk management.”


Orion First is the leading full-service commercial loan and lease portfolio servicer which provides a suite of services and products to manage the complete life cycle of a borrower. Orion has built a servicing platform that includes systems to support lease and loan accounting, credit application processing, scoring and decisioning products, and collection management.

Orion First is committed to serving those who fund small business by protecting their investments and portfolios from initial engagement to payoff. Orion is, to its core, a manager of risk in the small business lending marketplace. Our goal is to empower clients by taking care of the details so that they can focus their entrepreneurial energy on their largest value– funding small business.

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



Minneapolis, Minnesota  Adopt a Dog

Vaccinations up to date/neutered
Good in a home with other dogs

Luke recently arrived into rescue and we will post updates as we get to know him. Luke is estimated to be 11 weeks old and 7 lbs. Since we don't know at all what doggy genes are in the dogs make up (we don't know who mom and dad are!), we are just guessing on breed and size when grown.

All dogs are spayed or neutered prior to adoption. They have all had a vet exam, are up to date on vaccinations, have been given a dewormer, are treated for fleas, have a heartworm test if over 6 months old and are up to date on a heartworm preventative.

Please note that because we require a home visit at the time of adoption we can only place animals in homes within a 60 mile radius of Minneapolis .If you are interested in meeting this dog please fill out the pre-adoption application on our website at
and we will get back to you to arrange a meeting in the foster home.

We are also having an adoption event at Laura Ingalls Wilder School, located at 3345 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407 (Parking is across the street - Enter through door 1) on Saturday, September 29, from 12-2pm. Please bring a copy of your pre-adoption application.

Safe Hands Animal Rescue
P.O. Box 19623
Minneapolis, MN 55407

Our dogs live in foster homes while waiting to find their own forever homes.  This gives us better information on the dog’s personality, needs and what sort of home might be the best fit.  Our goal is to make good matches for both adopters and animals.  We want happy pets and happy people!

Adopt a Pet



 deBanked Events Mobile App
Connect Networking/Direct Message to Attendees

Sean Murray, President and Chief Editor of deBanked and the founder of Broker Fair Conference and Connect, announces CONNECT San Diego on October 4th, has gone mobile.  One-on-on messaging, full agenda view, personal event schedule, real-time event updates and more.

"deBanked affiliated events will now be accessible through our new mobile app! (iPhone | Android), "Murray announced. “ Whether it’s deBanked CONNECT networking events or Broker Fair, you’ll be able to get all the information you need in one place.
See who’s attending!

"While we don’t distribute attendee lists, you’ll be able to view all attendees that opt-in to our “Community” and even be able to direct message them. You can choose to get push notifications or email alerts when someone views your profile or sends you a message.

"The app is only accessible to people registered for events beginning with deBanked CONNECT San Diego on October 4th. Use the email address tied to your registration to log in. No password is required. If you can’t remember what email address you used for your ticket, contact for assistance."

App is available at Apple App Store and get it on Google Play


Thursday, October 4, 2018
3:00 PM - 8:00 PM PDT
$129  Limited Attendance
Andaz San Diego
a concept by Hyatt
600 F Street
San Diego, CA 9210
At the Andaz in San Diego, deBanked will bring together brokers, funders, and folks from the MCA and small business lending industry for an evening of education, networking, and cocktails.
Register: Space is Limited 


News Briefs----

American Credit Scores Hit a Record High
 bad news is bank card, mortgage, auto loan debt are all flashing red 

U.S. consumer confidence hits 18-year high;
     house prices slowing

Trump's $250 billion in China tariffs are now in effect
   —here's what could get more expensive

NAFTA freight experiences largest year-to-year increase
      in more than six years

Fed expected to raise interest rates
   and signal more hikes are coming

Bank of America's Cathy Bessant:
   The Most Powerful Woman in Banking

Harley Is Winning in Europe—Without a Trade War
   almost doubled its market share in Germany



You May Have Missed---

National retailers are struggling to remain open
Here are the companies that have taken a hit


Baseball Poem

Fifth Place Baseball in September

Because of drought and a few bad trades
the leaves have fallen too soon
and the crowd is sparse
and spaced like the remaining pieces
at the end of a long chess match
gridiron battle lines have been drawn
like grill marks across the brown diamond
 and the ball follows the fifty
high and toward right
till the sun strikes the fielder
like a peyton stiff arm
and you forgive random rookie
for his bad judgment
for all rookies must be forgiven

once in September
when fifth place is sewed up
and attendance is amazingly over a million.

by Tim Peeler
from “Touching All the Bases”
with permission of the author.
available at:


Sports Briefs---

Athletics clinch playoff berth with Rays’ loss to Yankees

With Garoppolo going down, Shanahan can show his coaching chops

Matt Moore turns down workouts with 49ers, Titans

NFL ratings continue upward trend

Report: Raiders signing kicker Matt McCrane with Mike Nugent injured

Update on Las Vegas Raiders stadium progress — VIDEO


California Nuts Briefs---

Think your commute is bad? These Central Valley residents
    have it worse than almost anyone in U.S.

Transbay Transit Center closed after crack found in steel beam

Officials order another street closure underneath
   Transbay Transit Center:   Fremont, First streets shut down

Top 20 SF tourist traps: Chosen by The Chronicle, reader approved

Oregon man sentenced for stealing $1.5 million
   of California's unclaimed property

LinkedIn Workforce Report | San Francisco Bay Area |
   September 2018



“Gimme that Wine”

Sonoma County Wine Auction raised over $5.7M

Announcing the 2018 Wine Compliance Workshops

Monsanto's global weed killer harms honeybees, research finds

New Napa Resort Brings Wineries to Its Front Yard

Why I Grapple With Grappa

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page


This Day in History

      1774 - Birthday of John Chapman (d. 1847), better known as Johnny Appleseed, at Leominster, MA.   Planter of orchards and friend of wild animals, he was regarded as a great medicine man by the Indians.  The remarkable career of Johnny Appleseed began about 1800. He moved to Pennsylvania, where he sold or gave away saplings and apple seeds to settlers moving west. Chapman then moved on to Ohio, sowing and giving away apple seeds en route. For more than 40 years, he traveled through Ohio, Indiana, and western Pennsylvania. He pruned trees he had previously planted and helped pioneers care for the orchards grown from his seeds. His work bore fruit, literally, over an area of perhaps 100,000 square miles. Chapman was ragged in dress and eccentric in his ways. He made his living selling the shoots of young Apple trees as the most popular drink, especially
over the winter, was hard apple cider.  He was more a businessman
than an environmentalist.  He was also an itinerant preacher, expounding his faith in the Church of the New Jerusalem, the religious organization that grew out of the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg, the Swedish mystic whose teachings had been introduced to the U.S. in 1784 and whose empathy with the natural world apparently appealed to Chapman. During the War of 1812, Chapman traveled 30 miles to bring troops to Mansfield, Ohio, to forestall a raid by Indian allies of the British. Chapman also introduced and encouraged the raising of many useful medicinal herbs.
(lower half of: )
    1777 - Philadelphia was occupied by British forces under Gen. Howe. General George Washington realizes the war is going badly for the colonials.
    1789 - John Jay was appointed America's first acting Secretary of State and the first Chief Justice of the United States; Thomas Jefferson became the first Secretary of State in 1790.  Samuel Osgood, the first Postmaster-General; and Edmund Jennings Randolph, the first Attorney General.
    1814 - With over 1,000 delegates from 17 churches, the Flint River Association was established -- the first official Baptist organization of its kind in the history of Alabama.
    1835 - The Suwanee Association was formed in Florida. Comprised of eight member churches, it was the first official Baptist organization in Florida history.    1888 - Birthday of T.S. Eliot (Thomas Stearns Eliot), Nobel prize winner, poet, playwright and critic, at St. Louis, MO. “There never was a time,” he believed, “when those that read at all, read so many more books by living authors than books by dead authors; there never was a time so completely parochial, so shut off from the past.” Eliot died at London, England, January 4, 1965.
    1890 – The US Mint stops minting the $1 and $3 gold coins and the 3 cent piece.
    1892 - The ‘King of Marches' was introduced to the general public. John Philip Sousa and his band played the "Liberty Bell March" in Plainfield, New Jersey. Most of his compositions were written in Great Lakes, Illinois, where his Navy marching band was based.
    1896 – Cleveland’s Jesse Burkett finished the season at .410, thus becoming the first player to hit .400 in consecutive seasons.
    1898 – Composer and pianist George Gershwin’s (d. 1937) birthday in Brooklyn.  He had a varied, stellar career writing concertos, movie themes and scores, and for television.
    1907 - After Cleveland’s Addie Joss fired a one-hitter against the Highlanders yesterday, teammate Heinie Berger matched him today, also against hapless New York. This is the second time this century that teammates have thrown back-to-back one-hitters.
    1908 - An ad for the Edison Phonograph appeared in "The Saturday Evening Post". The phonograph offered buyers free records by both the Democratic and Republican U.S. presidential candidates!
    1914 - Federal Trade Commission formed.  Its principal mission is the promotion of consumer protection and the elimination and prevention of anticompetitive business practices, such as monopolies.  This was one of President Woodrow Wilson’s major legislative initiatives against trusts during this progressive era in American history.
    1914 – Jack LaLanne’s (d. 2011) birthday in San Francisco.  Born Henri Francoise LaLanne, he was a fitness, exercise, and nutritional expert and motivational speaker who is sometimes called "the godfather of fitness" and the "first fitness superhero.  In 1936, he opened what is considered the nation's first health and fitness club in Oakland that grew into a national chain that he sold to Bally Fitness.  Among his many feats of strength:  In 1979 at age 65, he towed 65 boats in a lake near Tokyo. He was handcuffed and shackled, and the boats were filled with 6,500 lbs. of wood pulp.  LaLanne who often said, “I'd hate dying; it would ruin my image,” died of pneumonia at age 96 in Morro Bay, CA.
     1918 - The “Battle of Meuse,” Argonne Forest. As part of four major efforts to break the Hindenburg line, a Franco-American offensive began on this date, with the US First Army striking between the Meuse River and the Argonne Forest and the French Fourth Army to their west. After four taxing weeks of attack, the Germans were gradually pushed back. By Oct 31, the Americans had advanced 10 miles, the French had reached the Aisne River 20 miles away and the Argonne Forest was rid of the Central Power forces. This was the final great battle of World War I.
    1918 – Birthday of TV ghoul, John Zacherle (d. 2016) in Philadelphia.  Known for his long career as a television horror show host, broadcasting horror movies on TV in Philadelphia and New York City in the 1950s and 1960s, mostly on Friday nights.  “Shock Theater” and “Chiller Theater” were among the favorites of the day in that time slot.
    1919 - President Wilson actually suffered a stroke while traveling to Wichita, Kansas from Pueblo, Colorado. His national tour was halted and he was taken back to Washington, DC. History was changed as the seriousness of Wilson's condition was not made public, even to his immediate cabinet. For quite a period of time, Mrs. Wilson with a few key people kept his disabilities a secret.  Legislation did not happen, foreign policy was greatly affected, and Wilson's ability to communicate with the public was gone. The presidential election of 1920 was in part a referendum on whether the U.S. should join the League of Nations. Its main proponent was too incapacitated to continue and all the opponents had a field day. The Democratic nominee, James M. Cox, pledged to do his best to take American into the League, but found little support or backing, even from his own party, due to the indecision by the many factions. The Republican platform straddled the issue; candidate Warren G. Harding did not seem to feel strongly either way (ironically, he would die in San Francisco from a heart attack, August 2, 1923). Harding's election was an indicator that the American people wanted to forget the war. They rejected Woodrow Wilson's idealism and returned to everyday pursuits. This was the first presidential election in which women could vote, and they apparently voted the same way as the men---overwhelmingly Republican.  The saying that “We gave the women the vote, and they voted for handsome Warren G. Harding,” a well-known womanizer at the time, haunted the female vote for years.

    1921 – Babe Ruth, on his way to a record-setting 59, hits home runs 57 and 58 to beat Indians 8-7.     
    1925 – Country and rock ‘n’ roll singer, songwriter Marty Robbins (d. 1982) was born in Glendale, AZ.  Among his many hits are “A White Sport Coat and a Pink Carnation,” “My Woman, My Woman, My Wife,” “Don’t Worry,” “El Paso.” 
    1926 – Birthday of singer, actress Julie London (Peck) (d. 2000) in Santa Rosa, CA.  Her hits included “Cry Me a River” and she starred in “Emergency” on TV. 
    1926 – The Majors’ shortest double header was played with the Yankees, having clinched the pennant, losing 6-1 in 72 minutes and again 6-2 in 55 minutes to the St. Louis Browns.  That was before TV brought us 3+ hour games.
     1936 - Denver, CO, was buried under 21.3 inches of snow, 19.4 inches of which fell in 24 hours. The heavy wet snow snapped trees and wires causing seven million dollars damage. (26th-27th)
    1937 - Bessie Smith, 43, one of the world's great jazz singers, dies in Clarksdale, Miss., from an auto accident. The closest hospital refused to admit her because she was black.
    1937 – Film producer Jerry Weintraub (d. 2015) was born in Brooklyn.  His producing credits include “Nashville,” “Diner,” “Happy New Year,” “The Karate Kid,” “Oh, God,” “National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation,” and the remake of “Ocean’s Eleven.”  Prior to his film career, he managed singers Frank Sinatra, Elvis, and John Denver.
    1944 - Top Hits
“I'll Walk Alone” - Dinah Shore
“Is You is or is You Ain't” - Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
“I'll Be Seeing You” - Bing Crosby
“Smoke on the Water” - Red Foley
    1946 – Birthday of former New Jersey Governor and EPA Administrator during 9/11, Christine Todd Whitman in NYC.  Raised in suburban New Jersey where her parents were both active in Republican politics, she worked for Nelson Rockefeller’s presidential campaign after college.  She was New Jersey’s 50th Governor and the only female to hold that post.  She was the second woman and first Republican woman to defeat an incumbent governor in a general election in the United States. She was also the first Republican woman to be reelected governor. Whitman was appointed by President George W. Bush as Administrator of the EPA, taking office on January 31, 2001. Whitman appeared twice in New York City after the 9/11 attacks to inform New Yorkers that the toxins released by the attacks posed no threat to their health.   A 2003 report by the EPA inspector general determined that the assurance was misleading, because the EPA "did not have sufficient data and analyses" to justify it.  She has not lived this down since.
    1947 – Lynn Anderson (d. 2015), country singer and songwriter, was born in Grand Forks, ND. Dozens of her songs crossed over into mainstream fame.  Her “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” went gold and won the Grammy for best female vocal. Her mother is Liz Anderson, a country singer and songwriter in her own right. Liz wrote Lynn’s famed “Ride, Ride, Ride” (1966) and had her songs recorded by top male vocalists in the business.
    1948 – Birthday of singer Olivia Newton-John, Cambridge, England.  She is a four-time Grammy Award winner who has amassed five number-one and ten other Top Ten Billboard Hot 100 singles, and two number-one Billboard 200 solo albums. Eleven of her singles (including two platinum) and fourteen of her albums (including two platinum and four double platinum) have been certified gold by the RIAA. She has sold an estimated 100 million records, making her one of the world’s best-selling music artists of all-time.  She starred in “Grease,” which featured one of the most successful soundtracks in Hollywood history.
    1949 - Jane Graves Smiley’s birthday, Los Angeles.  U.S. novelist and Pulitzer Prize winner. She won the Pulitzer honor for her devastating “One Thousand Acres” that was later made into a movie but is best known for her novel “Moo” which has almost become a cult favorite. Her mother was also a writer and journalist.
   1950 - OBREGON, EUGENE ARNOLD, Medal of Honor.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, Company G, 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.). Place and date: Seoul, Korea, 26 September 1950. Entered service at: Los Angeles, Calif. Born: 12 November 1930, Los Angeles, Calif. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company G, in action against enemy aggressor forces. While serving as an ammunition carrier of a machine gun squad in a marine rifle company which was temporarily pinned down by hostile fire, Pfc. Obregon observed a fellow marine fall wounded in the line of fire. Armed only with a pistol, he unhesitating dashed from his covered position to the side of the casualty. Firing his pistol with 1 hand as he ran, he grasped his comrade by the arm with his other hand and, despite the great peril to himself dragged him to the side of the road. Still under enemy fire, he was bandaging the man's wounds when hostile troops of approximately platoon strength began advancing toward his position. Quickly seizing the wounded marine's carbine, he placed his own body as a shield in front of him and lay there firing accurately and effectively into the hostile group until he himself was fatally wounded by enemy machine gun fire. By his courageous fighting spirit, fortitude, and loyal devotion to duty, Pfc. Obregon enabled his fellow marines to rescue the wounded man and aided essentially in repelling the attack, thereby sustaining and enhancing the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
    1952 - Top Hits
“You Belong to Me” - Jo Stafford
“Wish You Were Here” - Eddie Fisher
“Half as Much” - Rosemary Clooney
“Jambalaya (On the Bayou)” - Hank Williams
    1953 - The Ames Brothers' "You You You" hits #1
    1953 – Billy Hunter becomes the last St. Louis Brown to homer in a game.  The following year, the team was moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles.
    1954 - In his second start, rookie Brooklyn lefty Karl Spooner shut out Pittsburgh, 1-0. He fanned 12 for a total of 27 strikeouts in his first two Major League games, establishing a new record. Arm problems would render 1955 as his final season in the Majors.
    1955 - Debbie Reynolds married singing idol Eddie Fisher. The couple made it through four tempestuous years. Fisher gave her up for Elizabeth Taylor, and “jump the shark” on his career.
    1956 - Fats Domino's "Blueberry Hill" enters the US Pop chart, where it will reach number four.
    1956 - The mayor of Tupelo, MS declares today Elvis Presley Day in honor of its favorite son; among others, a young Tammy Wynette is in the audience at the concert Elvis gives later.
    1957 - "West Side Story" opened in at the Winter Garden Theatre, New York. The musical ran for 734 performances. The loose adaptation of William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" produced several hit songs, including "Maria" and "Tonight."
    1960 - The first of four television debates between Richard Milhous Nixon, the Republican candidate, and John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the Democratic candidate, took place today in a Chicago studio; the second on October 8 in a Washington, DC, studio; the third of October 13, with Kennedy in New York City and Nixon in Hollywood, CA; and the fourth on October 21, in a New York city studio.  Many credit his performance in these debates as a major reason for JFK’s victory in November.
    1960 - Top Hits
“My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own” - Connie Francis
“Chain Gang” - Sam Cooke
“Mr. Custer” - Larry Verne
“Alabam”- Cowboy Copas
    1960 - Connie Francis becomes the first female singer in the Rock and Roll era to have two consecutive number one singles when "My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own" went to the top of the Billboard chart. It followed "Everybody's Somebody's Fool."
    1961 – New York Yankees’ Roger Maris hit his 60th home run of the season to tie Babe Ruth's record. Maris's homer came off pitcher Jack Fisher of the Baltimore Orioles in the Yankees' 159th game.  Long considered one of baseball’s most treasured records, Maris became a villain in New York for approaching and now tying the great Bambino.  Earlier in the season, Commissioner Ford C. Frick, a sports writing friend of The Babe, declared that the record, if not set within the 154 games of Ruth’s 1927 season, would be asterisked. In 1991, a committee headed by MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent voted to remove the mythical asterisk and declared Maris the record-holder.  Although there have been more home runs hit in a single season since, all those who exceeded Maris's single season record did so during baseball's so-called "steroid era," and every one of those players who surpassed 61 has been linked to steroids. As such, many baseball fans still consider Roger Maris's 61 HRs in 1961 to be baseball's legitimate single season home run record and Henry Aaron’s 755 the career record.   
    1963 - San Diego, CA, reached an all-time record high of 111 degrees. Los Angeles hit 109 degrees.
    1964 - Roy Orbison's "Oh, Pretty Woman" reaches the top of the Billboard Hot 100. It would be the last of a string of nine straight Top Ten records for The Big O.
    1964 - “Gilligan’s Island” premiered. This series was about seven people who set sail aboard the Minnow for a three-hour tour and became stranded on an island. They used the resources on the island for food, shelter and entertainment. The cast included Bob Denver as Gilligan, Alan Hale, Jr, as the Skipper Jonas Grumby, Jim Backus as Thurston Howell Ill, Natalie Schafer as Mrs. “Lovey” Howell, Russell Johnson as the Professor Roy Hinkley, Dawn Wells as Mary Ann Summers and Tina Louise as Ginger Grant, the movie star. Denver was not the first choice to play Gilligan; actor Jerry Van Dyke was offered the role, but he turned it down, believing that the show would never be successful. He chose instead to play the lead in “My Mother the Car,” which premiered the following year and was cancelled after one season. By the way, no first name of Gilligan was mentioned in
any of the 98 episodes. The last telecast aired on Sept 4, 1967.  The eternal question that endures, “Ginger or Mary Ann?”  
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty: Captain Hubert R. Versace distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism during the period of 29 October 1963 to 26 September 1965, while serving as S-2 Advisor, Military Assistance Advisory Group, Detachment 52, Ca Mau, Republic of Vietnam. While accompanying a Civilian Irregular Defense Group patrol engaged in combat operations in Thoi Binh District, An Xuyen Province, Captain Versace and the patrol came under sudden and intense mortar, automatic weapons, and small arms fire from elements of a heavily armed enemy battalion. As the battle raged, Captain Versace, although severely wounded in the knee and back by hostile fire, fought valiantly and continued to engage enemy targets. Weakened by his wounds and fatigued by the fierce firefight, Captain Versace stubbornly resisted capture by the over-powering Viet Cong force with the last full measure of his strength and ammunition. Taken prisoner by the Viet Cong, he exemplified the tenets of the Code of Conduct from the time he entered into Prisoner of War status. Captain Versace assumed command of his fellow American soldiers, scorned the enemy's exhaustive interrogation and indoctrination efforts, and made three unsuccessful attempts to escape, despite his weakened condition which was brought about by his wounds and the extreme privation and hardships he was forced to endure. During his captivity, Captain Versace was segregated in an isolated prisoner of war cage, manacled in irons for prolonged periods of time, and placed on extremely reduced ration. The enemy was unable to break his indomitable will, his faith in God, and his trust in the United States of America. Captain Versace, an American fighting man who epitomized the principles of his country and the Code of Conduct, was executed by the Viet Cong on 26 September 1965. Captain Versace's gallant actions in close contact with an enemy force and unyielding courage and bravery while a prisoner of war are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect the utmost credit upon himself and the United States Army.    1968 - Top Hits
“Harper Valley P.T.A.” - Jeannie C. Riley
“Hey Jude” - The Beatles
“Hush” - Deep Purple
“Mama Tried” - Merle Haggard    1969 - The Beatles' 13th album, “Abbey Road,” was released in the United Kingdom. The album zoomed to number one on the record charts and stayed there for 11 weeks. It was the last album the Beatles made together.
    1969 - “The Brady Bunch.” This popular sitcom starred Robert Reed as widower Mike Brady who has three sons and is married to Carol (played by Florence Henderson), who has three daughters. Housekeeper Alice was played by Ann B. Davis. Sons Greg (Barry Williams), Peter (Christopher Knight) and Bobby (Mike Lookinland) and daughters Marcia (Maureen McCormick), Jan (Eve Plumb) and Cindy (Susan Olsen) experienced the typical crises of youth. The program steered clear of social issues and portrayed childhood in a time of innocence. The last episode was telecast on Aug 30, 1974. The program continues to be popular in reruns in the after-school time slot. There were also many spin-offs: “The Brady Kids” (1972—74), a Saturday morning cartoon; “The Brady Bunch Hour” (1976—77), a variety series; “The Brady Brides” (1981), a sitcom about the two older daughters adjusting to marriage and “The Brady's” (1990), a short-lived dramatic series. “A Very Brady Christmas” (1988) was CBS's highest rated special for the season. In 1995, “The Brady Bunch Movie” appealed to fans who had watched the program 25 years before.    1970 - Motown announces that its newest singing sensation, The Jackson 5, have sold ten million records worldwide in just nine months.
    1970 - Returning to Abbey Road studios in London, ex-Beatle John Lennon begins work on his first proper solo album, “John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band.”
    1975 – “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, and a young unknown singer who goes only by the name of Meat Loaf, opens in Westwood, CA. A film version of the popular off-Broadway musical hit, it is an instant flop nationwide, and is miraculously resuscitated some time later when audiences at the midnight showings in New York City begin to talk back to the screen, creating a cult phenomenon that lasts to this day.

    1976 - Top Hits
“Play That Funky Music” - Wild Cherry
“I'd Really Love to See You Tonight” - England Dan & John Ford Coley
“A Fifth of Beethoven” - Walter Murphy & The Big Apple Band
“If You've Got the Money, I've Got the Time” - Willie Nelson
    1978 - NY District Court Judge Constance Baker Motley rules that women sportswriters cannot be banned from locker rooms of professional sports teams.
    1979 - In the midst of a hot September for Death Valley, California, the afternoon high was 104 degrees for the second of three days, the coolest afternoon highs for the month.
    1981 - Nolan Ryan of the Houston Astros became the first pitcher to throw five career no-hitters. He blanked the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-0, at the Astrodome. Ryan ended his career with seven no-hitters, the all-time record by far.
    1981 – Birthday of tennis great Serena Williams in Saginaw, MI
    1982 - “Knight Rider” premieres. David Hasselhoff starred in this one-hour adventure series about a copy who was nearly killed, then brought back to live with a new identity (Michael Knight) by a mysterious millionaire. Together with a car that talked, a Pontiac Trans Am called KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand), Knight had various adventures.  Other cast members included Edward Mulhare as Devon Miles, aid to the deceased millionaire, Patricia McPherson as mechanic Bonnie Barstow, Rebecca Holden as April Curtis, William Daniels as the voice of KITT, and Peter Parros as Reginald Cornelius III, truck driver/chauffeur for KITT.
    1983 – St. Louis Cardinals’ Bob Forsch throws his second career no-hitter, beating the Montreal Expos, 3-0.
    1984 - Liz Taylor starred in the season opener of the TV soap, "Hotel." Despite incredibly biting bits from John Belushi on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" regarding her plumpness at the time, viewers were quite amazed when Ms. Taylor appeared in a gown -- with a 24-inch waistline. Definitely no more, “I followed Liz Taylor to McDonald's to watch the numbers change,” from Joan Rivers.
    1984 - Top Hits
“Missing You” - John Waite
“Let's Go Crazy” - Prince & The Revolution
“Drive” - The Cars
“Let's Chase Each Other Around the Room” - Merle Haggard
    1984 - Paul Anka is awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6840 Hollywood Blvd.   
    1986 - "Dallas," on CBS-TV, smashed NBC's "Miami Vice" in the overnight ratings. The episode, from Southfork Ranch, had Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) returning from the dead -- in the shower, no less! Pam Ewing (Victoria Principal) was a bit perplexed. So were the viewers. Somebody had stayed up very, very late writing this episode.
    1987 - Whitney Houston's fifth consecutive #1 U.S. single hit the top. "Didn't We Almost Have It All" was a cut from her LP, "Whitney", which was number one on the album charts from June 27 to Sep 11 that year.
    1987 - Freezing temperatures were reported in the Northern and Central Appalachians, and the Upper Ohio Valley. The morning low of 27 degrees at Concord, NH tied their record for the date. Temperatures soared into the 90s in South Dakota. Pierre, SD reported an afternoon high of 98 degrees.
    1988 - Unseasonably warm weather prevailed across Florida. Afternoon highs of 92 degrees at Apalachicola and 95 degrees at Fort Myers were records for the date
    1988 - NYC's Rockefeller Center declared a national landmark.
    1989 - Rain spread from the southeastern states across New England overnight. Cape Hatteras, NC reported measurable rainfall for the fourteenth straight day, with 15.51 inches of rain recorded during that two week period. Phoenix, AZ reported a record high of 108 degrees, and a record 134 days of 100 degree weather for the year. Afternoon temperatures were only in the 40s over parts of northwest Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.
    1991 - A group of scientists, four men and four women began a two-year stay inside "Biosphere 2", a sealed structure in Oracle, AZ. They had planned to have no contact with the outside world; to grow their own food and live peacefully together as future pioneers in a harsh and alien world. Unfortunately, the outside world had to intervene a few times; to get rid of an ant invasion, to pump in oxygen, to tend to a health emergencies, to bring in forgotten necessities like makeup. The scientific team managed to last out the term, but they were half-crazy and half-starved when U.S. marshals led them out two years later.
    1993 – Seattle Mariners’ Randy Johnson records his 300th strikeout for the season.
    1996 - U.S. astronaut Shannon Lucid returns to Earth in the U.S. space shuttle Atlantis following six months in orbit aboard the Russian space station Mir. On March 23, 1996, Lucid transferred to Mir from the same space shuttle for a planned five-month stay. A biochemist, Lucid shared Mir with Russian cosmonauts Yuri Onufriyenko and Yuri Usachev and conducted scientific experiments during her stay. She was the first American woman to live in a space station. Beginning in August, her scheduled return to Earth was delayed by more than six weeks because of last-minute repairs to the booster rockets of Atlantis and then by a hurricane. Finally, on September 26, 1996, she returned to Earth aboard Atlantis, touching down at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Her 188-day sojourn aboard Mir set a new space endurance record for an American and a world endurance record for a woman.
    1998 - With a 6-1 win over the Devil Rays, the Bronx Bombers set an AL record with their 112th win. The 1906 Cubs, who went 116-36, were the only team with more victories than the 1998 Yankees.  The Yanks went on to win 114 games, a record that lasted until the Seattle Mariners won 116 in 2001.  The Yankees’ total of 125 wins, including the playoffs and World Series, are a season record.
    1998 - By hitting a 462-foot blast at the Astrodome, Sammy Sosa hits #66 (and his final homer of the season) to take the lead in the HR race. Less than an hour later, however, Mark McGwire also hits his 66th in the Cardinals' 6-5 victory over the Expos to tie the Cub outfielder in the historic home run race.
    1998 - Ken Griffey, Jr. hits his league-leading 56th homer of the season and 350th of his career becoming the youngest player ever to reach the 350 mark.
    2007 - As the result of an internet poll conducted by Marc Ecko, who owns the historic horsehide, the record-breaking 756th home run baseball belted by Barry Bonds, will be donated to the Baseball Hall of Fame branded with an asterisk. The fashion designer, who made the announcement on the 'Today' show, revealed 47% voted for the ball to be marked with another 34% voting to donate it unchanged, and 19% elected to send the special sphere into outer space.
    2009 - Bronx native Sonia Sotomayor, the Supreme Court's newest member, throws the ceremonial first pitch at Yankee Stadium, a strike right down the middle of the plate, prior to watching her team defeat the Red Sox, 3-0. In 1995, Justice Sotomayor, as a U.S. District Judge, issued an injunction which led to ending the nearly eight month-long baseball strike.
    2013 - U.S. accountant Paul Konigsberg is charged for complicity in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme that fell apart in 2008
    2013 - An agreement is made between the U.S. and Russia to draw up a UN Security Council resolution to eliminate chemical weapons in Syria.



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