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On this date in 1982, the oil rig “Ocean Ranger” sank in a storm 315 kilometres east of St. John’s, Nfld. All 84 crew members died, most of them from Newfoundland. An American inquiry found the rig’s U.S. owners had failed to provide adequate training and safety equipment.
On this date in 1965, the very first Canadian Maple Leaf flag was unfurled at an Ottawa ceremony. Days later it was given to Lucien Lamoureux, who served as Speaker of the House of Commons and in several diplomatic posts before retiring to Belgium in the 1980s. The historic flag stayed in Belgium in possession of Lamoureux’s widow until 2005, when she turned it over to Canadian officials in time for Canada Day ceremonies at Parliament Hill on July 1, 2005.
On this date in 1946, the federal government said a Soviet spy ring existed in Canada. The revelations — from Igor Gouzenko, a former clerk at the Soviet embassy in Ottawa – led to charges against 21 people. Eleven were convicted.