ON THIS DAY

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY ANN FOTHER­ING­HAM

1912: Italian air­craft dropped the first-ever pro­pa­ganda leaflets dur­ing the Italo-Turk­ish War. They of­fered a coin and a sack of ce­real to ev­ery Arab in Tripoli­ta­nia (Libya) who sur­ren­dered.

1912: The first sick­ness ben­e­fit (10 shillings per week), un­em­ploy­ment ben­e­fit (seven shillings) and ma­ter­nity ben­e­fit (30 shillings) were in­tro­duced in

Bri­tain.

1929: Martin Luther King, Amer­i­can civil rights leader, was born in At­lanta, Ge­or­gia.

1963: The BBC ended its ban on men­tion­ing pol­i­tics, roy­alty, re­li­gion and sex in com­edy shows.

1992: The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion recog­nises the in­de­pen­dence of Croa­tia and Slove­nia, sig­nalling the end of Yu­goslavia as one na­tion.

2009: Dozens of pas­sen­gers had a “mirac­u­lous” es­cape as a US air­liner plunged into the Hud­son River in New York.

2014: Ac­tor Roger Lloyd-Pack, above, for­ever known to mil­lions for his role as ami­able dimwit Trig­ger in Only Fools And Horses, died at the age of 69.

ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: En­gage­ment rings were spot­ted on sale at a high street pound shop, a month be­fore Valen­tine’s Day.

AMER­I­CAN singing sensation Eartha Kitt got more than she bar­gained for when she ‘bumped into’ John Kee­man back in De­cem­ber 1960.

The Glas­gow teenager sent the fa­mous star fly­ing – and she was not im­pressed.

John re­calls: “The fa­mous Rangers player Ge­orge Young used to have a café in Ren­field Street and some of the squad were reg­u­lars – Jim Bax­ter, Alec Scott, Ian MacMil­lan and so on. I worked in Hope Street and went to the café with my work­mates dur­ing my lunch hour.

“One day, we got into a con­ver­sa­tion with some of the Rangers team and when I looked at the time, I re­alised we were go­ing to be late.”

He adds: “We took off and ran down the stairs into the street, where I bumped into a lady who was wear­ing re­ally fancy furs.

“When I stopped to help her to her feet, I was con­fronted by a re­ally an­noyed Eartha Kitt who was in Glas­gow for a three-week run at the Em­pire.”

John, who was 16 at the time, laughs: “My boss didn’t be­lieve a word of my ex­cuse and docked my wages any­way….”

The Evening Times cap­tured Ms Kitt, then aged 33, in pho­tos taken at Ge­orge Square, on a chilly af­ter­noon.

She had flown in from Scan­di­navia the pre­vi­ous day. She was to be top of the bill in the Em­pire’s Christ­mas show, Stars in Your Eyes, which opened on Christ­mas Eve, but by the sounds of the Evening Times re­port, the press were not ex­pect­ing her to be par­tic­u­larly friendly.

We re­ported: “Miss Eartha Kitt gave the press a big sur­prise yes­ter­day. At the re­cep­tion she talked…and talked…and talked.

“At her last press con­fer­ence in Glas­gow four years ago, Eartha looked in­for­mal enough – she wore mata­dor pants and her bare feet were perched on a cof­fee ta­ble – but her replies to ques­tions were la­conic and although she is said to speak nine lan­guages, she did most of the talk­ing with her eyes. “Yes­ter­day how­ever, Eartha was pos­i­tively vol­u­ble and the most af­fa­ble of per­sons, as she curled up in her stockinged feet on a set­tee in her ho­tel suite which over­looks the Christ­mas lights in Ge­orge Square.”

The re­porter de­scribed her as “witty and in­tel­li­gent” and said she “dis­closed she was writ­ing a novel which is about three

Eartha Kitt in 1973, and main pic­ture, in Ge­orge Square in 1960

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