today in history
In 1492, Christopher Columbus noted in his journal the use of tobacco among the Indians. It was the first recorded reference to tobacco.
In 1708, British statesman William Pitt (the Elder) was born in London.
In 1926, the National Broadcasting Company made its debut with a radio network of 24 U.S. stations. NBC had been formed by General Electric, Westinghouse and RCA, with David Sarnoff as its leading organizer. NBC was the first of the major radio networks, with the Columbia Broadcasting System following in 1927 and the Mutual Broadcasting System in 1934.
In 1976, Rene Levesque led the separatist Parti Quebecois to a stunning victory in a Quebec general election. The PQ won 69 of 110 seats in the National Assembly, ousting Robert Bourassa’s Liberals after six years in power.
In 1990, figure-skating great Robert McCall of Dartmouth, N.S., died of AIDS at age 33. McCall and partner Tracy Wilson won seven straight Canadian championships from 1982-88. They also won a bronze medal at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.
In 2012, oil giant BP agreed to pay US$4.5 billion, including a record US$1.3 billion in criminal fines, in a wideranging settlement with the U.S. government over the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It also agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges.