Pages of history: The News Journal archives, week of June 26



King of Pop dead at 50

Michael Jackson, the “King of Pop” who reigned over the music world like no other, died June 25 as he prepared for a comeback bid to vanquish nightmare years of sexual scandal and financial calamity. He was 50.

Jackson died at UCLA Medical Center after being stricken at his rented home in Holmby Hills. Paramedics tried to resuscitate him at his home for nearly three-quarters of an hour, then rushed him to the hospital where doctors continued to work on him.

“It is believed he suffered cardiac arrest in his home. However, the cause of his death is unknown until results of the autopsy are known,” his brother Jermaine said….

Jackson’s death brought a tragic end to a long, bizarre, sometimes farcical decline from his peak in the 1980s when he was popular music’s premier all-around performer, a uniter of black and white music who shattered the race barrier on MTV, dominated the charts and dazzled even more on stage.

His 1982 album “Thriller” – which included the blockbuster hits “Billie Jean,” “Beat It” and “Thriller” – is the best-selling album of all time, with an estimated 50 million copies sold worldwide….

LOCAL ENTERTAINMENT NEWS:Nitro Nitra shined light on Delaware on ‘American Song Contest.’ Her fans crave more music

June 28, 1948, Wilmington Morning News
Rationing imposed to conserve food in Western Berlin; Transport planes rushed to Reich to buck blockade

The Air Force is sending a fleet of big transport planes to Germany to help supply the Berlin area which the Russians have cut off from normal surface contacts.

About 39 C-54 Skymasters, capable of carrying about seven tons per flight on the Berlin run, will be dispatched….

The planes will start within 24 hours, Air Force officers said, leaving their bases singly or in groups as they are readied….

Americans and Britons in Berlin were subjected to partial rationing today as the Russian land blockade of the city went into its second week….

However, the U.S. Air Force’s emergency cargo service into Templehof Airport will be expanded to 100 planes daily, bringing in as many essential items as possible for the German population in addition to supplies for Americans here….

Federal budget surplus will set record

The budget surplus at the end of the fiscal year Wednesday will set a new record. It may run close to $8 billion. The previous high was $1.155 billion of 21 years ago.

Most of the money, $6.683 billion, already has been used to lower the federal debt to about $251.6 billion, an analysis of Treasury records showed today.

The rest, about $1.4 billion, has come into the Treasury’s cash coffers, swelling its cash balance to $4.8 billion.

June 30, 1995, The News Journal
U.S. shuttle docks with Russian space station

Americans and Russians clasped hands, kissed and hugged after their two spacecraft linked high above Earth on Thursday and began a historic five-day voyage as a single unit. It was a triumph for both space-faring nations.

The seven men and women aboard shuttle Atlantis were greeted with salt and bread, a Russian tradition, when they entered space station Mir through a 3-foot-long pressurized docking tunnel. In turn, Atlantis commander Robert “Hoot” Gibson gave the three Mir men fresh oranges, grapefruit, chocolate, three carnations and three silk roses.

President Clinton said he felt the docking was a reinforcement that the Cold War had ended.

Together, Atlantis and Mir formed the largest spacecraft ever, an awesome half-million pounds hurtling around Earth at 17,500 mph….

July 1, 1997, The News Journal
China exults as British rule ends in Hong Kong

With a midnight change of flags, an anxious, excited Hong Kong ended its 156-year British colonial era and embarked today on an uncertain new age under the sovereignty of an exultant Communist China.

The brief ceremony, seen worldwide on TV, was the coup de grace to 19th-century colonialism and erased what China has regarded as a fundamental humiliation – Britain’s seizure of Hong Kong in 1841 from a Chinese emperor too weak to defend his country. The broad smile of Chinese President Jiang Zemin summed up China’s triumph.

The few pro-democracy protests were sparse and peaceful….

For Britain, it was a melancholy reminder of its shrunken role on the world stage, although Prince Charles, along with Chris Patten, the last British governor, managed to turn their retreat into a dignified, restrained spectacle of British patriotism.

For Hong Kong’s 6.3 million people, the biggest question was unanswered: Can a free capitalist society survive in the embrace of a Community power, even one that has promised to keep Hong Kong politically and economically free?

At dawn, the Chinese army poured in 4,000 troops in convoys of trucks, jeeps, buses and armored personnel carriers. But they were met by hundreds of people lining the road in pelting rain, waving flags, banging cymbals and applauding. Some vehicles stopped, Chinese officers got out beaming, and were garlanded with flowers….