TODAY IN HISTORY: Henry Hudson sets sail
I n 1492, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain granted Christopher Columbus a commission to seek a westward ocean passage to Asia. Columbus considered himself a missionary who would carry Christ across the ocean to people who had never heard the gospel.
In 1521, Martin Luther went before the Diet of Worms to face charges stemming from his religious writings.
In 1610, English explorer Henry Hudson sailed from London. Two months later, he reached what is now the Hudson Strait in the Canadian Arctic.
I n 1754, French troops from Montreal captured the British fort at the confluence of the Ohio and Allegheny rivers. The city of Pittsburgh now stands on the site.
I n 1892, Alexander Mackenzie, Canada’s second prime minister (1873-78), died at age 70.
In 1960, rock ‘n’ roll singer Eddie Cochran died of severe head injuries following a car crash on his way to the London airport following a British tour. The other passengers, rocker Gene Vincent and Cochran’s fiancee, Shari Sheeley, were seriously injured. Cochran was only 21, and had just begun to realize his potential. His two biggest hits were 1957’s “Sittin’ in the Balcony” and 1958’s “Summertime Blues.”
In 1964, the Ford Motor Co. unveiled the Mustang at the New York World’s Fair. It caused a sensation and 22,000 orders were taken the first day for the sporty vehicle, priced at an affordable $2,368.
I n 1967, Prime Minister Lester Pearson announced the creation of the Order of Canada, a decoration to honour outstanding citizens.
I n 1970, in a visit to the White House, country star Johnny Cash refused to perform “Okie from Muskogee” at U.S. President Nixon’s request because it wasn’t his song. He performed “A Boy Named Sue” instead.
In 1970, the three Apollo 13 astronauts splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, four days after their capsule was crippled by an oxygen tank explosion. The mishap caused their planned moon landing to be cancelled.
In 1983, musician-producer Felix Pappalardi was shot and killed by his wife in New York City. He was 44. His first claim to fame was as a producer for The Youngbloods, Joan Baez and Cream. His band Mountain, had a 1970 hit with “Mississippi Queen.”
I n 1986, a truck containing equipment belonging to the Canadian rock band “Honeymoon Suite” was stolen in New Jersey. They had to borrow instruments from rock group “Heart” to play their next gig. When the truck was finally recovered, only the band’s costumes and drum kit remained.
I n 1998, Linda McCartney, the wife of former Beatle Paul McCartney, died of breast cancer at age 56 on a family-owned ranch near Tucson, Ariz. She was the keyboard player in her husband’s band, Wings.
I n 2011, Adrian Dix was voted the new leader of B.C.’s New Democrats, replacing Carole James.
In 2013, a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, killed 15 people and injured more than 200 others. The blast left the factory a smouldering ruin and levelled buildings in a four-block radius.