Today in history
On this date:
In 1606, “The Theatre of Neptune,” a form of dramatic spectacle known as a masque, was performed by Frenchmen and Indians in barges and canoes on the waters off Port Royal, now Annapolis Royal, N.S. Directed by its author, Marc Lescarbot, it was the earliest known entertainment conceived and performed in New France by Europeans. The masque included a four-part song, “Great God Neptune,” which was the first choral work either written or arranged in Canada. “The Theatre of Neptune” was written to welcome Port Royal’s founders, Samuel de Champlain and Jean de Biencourt de Poutrincourt, on their return from coastal explorations.
In 1832, the world’s first horse-drawn streetcar hit the streets in New York. It held 30 passengers who paid 12-and-a-half cents for the fare.
In 1849, Toronto became the seat of the Canadian government after a mob burned the Parliament buildings in Montreal earlier in the year.
In 1851, American author Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick” was published.