On this date:
In 1298, the Genoese captured Marco Polo in a sea battle. While imprisoned, the explorer and trader met writer Rustichello of Pisa and together they began a book on Marco’s travels.
In 1566, Turkish sultan Suleiman the Magnificent died in Hungary.
In 1909, American explorer Robert Peary sent word from Labrador that he had reached the North Pole five months previously.
In 1953, 30 Canadians were released in the final exchange of Korean War prisoners.
In 1957, former prime minister Louis St. Laurent stepped down as leader of the Liberal party. He served as prime minister from 1948 until his party’s defeat in a general election three months before.
In 1990, one of Canada’s biggest political upsets saw Ontario elect its first NDP government. Bob Rae’s New Democrats ousted David Peterson’s Liberals, winning 74 of 130 seats. The Rae government lasted only one term, losing the 1995 election to the Conservatives under Mike Harris.
In 2011, former media baron Conrad Black returned to a low security Miami prison to complete the last 13 months of his sentence. He had been free on bail for about a year after an appeal court reversed two of his three fraud convictions.