TODAY IN HISTORY
In 1788, Connecticut became the fifth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
In 1793, Frenchman Jean Pierre Blanchard, using a hot-air balloon, flew between Philadelphia and Woodbury, N.J.
In 1802, Canadian author and pioneer Catherine Parr Traill was born in England.
In 1805, the Lower Canada parliament began a session that dealt with prohibiting Sunday shopping and assessing a tax to pay for jails. In 1816, the safety lamp invented by Britain’s Sir Humphrey Davey was first used in coal mines.
In 1861, the first shots in the U.S. Civil War were fired when the steamship
“Star of the West” was attacked by Confederate troops in Charleston.
In 1863, the dome of the Church of La Madonna
Del Sasso in Switzerland crashed through the roof, killing 53 praying women.
In 1889, the Niagara Suspension Bridge collapsed during a storm.
In 1899, Manitoba reached a record low of -52.8 Celsius (63-below Fahrenheit).
In 1927, 77 children died in a fire at the Laurier Palace theatre in Montreal. It started as a small fire and firemen extinguished the blaze in a few minutes, but in the panic to escape the building, many children piled up at the bases of stairways. Twelve of them were crushed to death and 64 were asphyxiated.
In 1949, marathon runner
Tom Longboat died on the Ohsweken reserve near Brantford, Ont. He was 61. Longboat won the 1907
Boston Marathon and went on to a successful professional running career. During the First World War, he served as a dispatch runner in France.
In 1953, Marguerite Pitre, a Quebec widow, was hanged in Montreal for her part in a plot to bomb an airplane. All 23 people on a Canadian DC-3 died when the plane exploded over Sault-au Cochons, Que., on Sept. 9, 1949. Pitre’s brother, Albert Guay, and another man were also hanged for the death of Guay’s wife, a passenger on the plane.