TODAY IN HISTORY
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-anda-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.
In 1889, New York World reporter Nellie Bly set sail from New York on a trip around the world. She was trying to beat the 80 days it took Phileas Fogg to go around the world, as described in Jules Verne’s classic novel. She filed stories during her travels, and a competition for readers to guess how long the trip would take attracted one-million entries. It took Bly 72 days, six hours, 11 minutes and 14 seconds to circle the globe by sea, horseback, rail and road.