Saturday, December 04, 2010

POPnews - December 4th

[It was Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle who pioneered the field of the celebrity mugshot with this particularly sombre example; his acquittal - on this day in 1921, for the murder of Virginia Rappe - was the third of three.]

771 CE - Austrasian King Carloman died, leaving his brother Charlemagne sole ruler of the now complete Frankish Kingdom.

1783 - At New York City's Fraunces Tavern US General George Washington formally bid his officers farewell at the end of the American Revolution - an event commemorated there since 1976 by a plaque.

1791 - The world's first Sunday newspaper, The Observer, was first published in London by W. S. Bourne.

1872 - The American brigantine Mary Celeste was found - crewless and adrift in the Strait of Gibraltar - by the British crew of the Dei Gratia; the vessel had been abandoned for nine days when it was discovered, but the fate and whereabouts of the crew remains unknown.

1875 - Notorious New York City politician and Tammany Hall sachem Boss Tweed escaped from prison and fled the US, first to Cuba, then later to Spain.

1881 - The first issue of the Los Angeles Times rolled off the presses.

1918 - Woodrow Wilson sailed for Europe, the first serving US President to do so: his first stop was London, then it was on to Paris for the Peace Conference at Versailles - the events of which are thrillingly described in Margaret Macmillan's landmark book Paris 1919.

1921 - Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle's third and final trial for causing the September death of starlet Virginia Rappe ended in a hung jury; despite an unconditional acquittal, Arbuckle's once-envied career was in ruins. He died of a heart attack in June 1933 on the eve of his comeback.

1943 - FDR shut down the WPA... OMG, WTF!

1954 - The first Burger King opened in Miami.

1956 - The Million Dollar Quartet made their legendary recordings.

1969 - Fred Hampton and Mark Clark of the Black Panther Party were killed in their sleep during a raid by 14 members of the Chicago Police Department.

1971 - A fan who brought a flare gun to a Frank Zappa concert at the Montreux Casino in Switzerland somehow managed to burn the place down; it has since been rebuilt. The event is immortalized in the Deep Purple song Smoke on the Water.

1977 - President Jean-Bédel Bokassa of the Central African Republic proclaimed himself Emperor Bokassa I of the Central African Empire.

1978 - Dianne Feinstein was sworn in as Mayor of San Francisco to replace the assassinated George Moscone; she was the first woman to become mayor of that city, a post which she held for a decade before her election to the US Senate.

1979 - The Hastie Fire in Hull, set by serial arsonist Bruce George Peter Lee, killed 3 schoolboys.

1980 - Led Zeppelin formally announced its breakup following the September death of founding member and drummer John Bonham.

1991 - Journalist Terry Anderson was released from captivity in Beirut; he'd been held there for seven years by members of Hezbollah.

1998 - The Unity Module - 2nd phase of the International Space Station - was launched.
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