TO­DAY IN HIS­TORY

The Chatham Daily News - - OPINION -

In 1949, sci­en­tists at the Mayo Clinic an­nounced they’d suc­ceeded in syn­the­siz­ing a hor­mone found to be use­ful in treat­ing rheuma­toid arthri­tis. The sub­stance was named “cor­ti­sone.”

In 1963, 65-year-old Mon­treal night watch­man Wil­fred O’Neill was killed by a bomb planted by a newly-formed ter­ror­ist group, the FLQ (le Front de lib­er­a­tion du Que­bec).

In 1968, Pierre Trudeau was sworn in as Canada’s 15th prime min­is­ter, two weeks af­ter win­ning the Lib­eral Party lead­er­ship. He went on to win a ma­jor­ity gov­ern­ment in a gen­eral elec­tion that was swept by the “Trudeau-ma­nia” craze. Trudeau was Canada’s third-long­est serv­ing PM, be­hind Wil­liam Lyon Macken­zie King and John A. Macdon­ald.

In 1968, a Canada-U.S. ex­pe­di­tion led by JeanLuc Bombardier and Ralph Plais­tead reached the North Pole on four snow­mo­biles. Bombardier, a nephew of snow­mo­bile in­ven­tor Joseph-Ar­mand Bombardier, was the first Cana­dian to reach the Pole. In 1972, the manned lu­nar mod­ule from “Apollo 16” landed on the moon.

In 1973, “Anik II” Canada’s sec­ond com­mu­ni­ca­tions satel­lite, was launched.

In 1982, Ed­mon­ton mil­lion­aire Peter Pock­ling­ton was held hostage in his home for al­most 12 hours by a gun­man de­mand­ing $1 mil­lion. Both were slightly in­jured when po­lice rushed the house.

In 1989, the New­found­land Lib­er­als un­der Clyde Wells won the provin­cial elec­tion, end­ing 17 years of Con­ser­va­tive rule.

In 1989, the last Cana­dian $1 bill was printed by the Cana­dian Bank Note Com­pany.

In 1999, the Columbine High School mas­sacre took place in Colorado as two stu­dents, Eric Har­ris and Dy­lan Kle­bold, shot and killed 12 class­mates and one teacher be­fore tak­ing their own lives.

In 2008, Dan­ica Pa­trick be­came the first fe­male win­ner in IndyCar his­tory, cap­tur­ing the Indy Ja­pan 300 in her 50th ca­reer start.

In 2009, Ja­maican troops stormed a hi­jacked Cana­dian char­ter flight at Mon­tego Bay air­port, took the lone gun­man into cus­tody and safely re­leased six Cana­dian crew mem­bers. All 159 pas­sen­gers and two other crew mem­bers were able to es­cape less than an hour into the hi­jack­ing of Can­Jet Flight 918, with help of a quick-think­ing flight at­ten­dant.

In 2010, Gen­eral Mo­tors Co. an­nounced it re­paid the $8.1 bil­lion loan-por­tion of the $61.5 bil­lion aid pack­age it re­ceived from the U.S. and Cana­dian gov­ern­ments as it went through bank­ruptcy pro­tec­tion in 2009.

In 2010, Rey­naldo Bignone, Ar­gentina’s last dic­ta­tor, was con­victed and sen­tenced to 25 years in prison for tor­ture and kid­nap­pings com­mit­ted dur­ing the na­tion’s 1976-1983 mil­i­tary regime.

In 2010, a mas­sive ex­plo­sion caused by a meth­ane gas bub­ble rocked the Bri­tish Pe­tro­leum-leased Deep­wa­ter Hori­zon off­shore oil plat­form in the Gulf of Mex­ico. Eleven work­ers were killed. The rig was sit­u­ated 66 km from the mouth of the Mis­sis­sippi River. It burned vi­o­lently for nearly two days be­fore sink­ing on April 22. It took BP 85 days to choke the flow of crude oil spew­ing from the dam­aged well lo­cated on the sea floor. The U.S. gov­ern­ment es­ti­mated be­tween 354 mil­lion to 698 mil­lion litres of oil spilled into the Gulf, mak­ing it the big­gest off­shore oil spill in U.S. his­tory and the worst ever in the Gulf of Mex­ico. The en­vi­ron­men­tal dis­as­ter killed wildlife and threat­ened the liveli­hoods of fish­er­men, restau­ran­teurs, and oil in­dus­try work­ers from Texas to Florida forc­ing BP to set up a $20-bil­lion com­pen­sa­tion fund.

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