ON THIS DAY
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
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