TODAY IN HISTORY
In AD 374, Ambrose, an early church father, was consecrated Bishop of
Milan, Italy. His influential works on theology and ethics made him — along with Jerome, Augustine, and Gregory the Great — one of the “four doctors” of the Western (Latin) Church.
In 1661, under pressure from the British Parliament, the American colony of Massachusetts suspended its Corporal Punishment
Act of 1656, which had imposed harsh penalties on Quakers and other religious Nonconformists.
In 1729, 1.2 million hectares — including Norfolk, Wentworth and Haldimand counties of Ontario — were surrendered by the Mississauga Indians.
In 1770, Samuel Hearne left the Prince of Wales
Fort at Hudson Bay on an expedition that would make him the first European to see the Arctic Ocean.
In 1787, Delaware became the first U.S. state.
In 1829, the British rulers of India outlawed the custom of suttee — the immolation of widows on their husbands’ funeral pyres.
In 1837, the rebellion in Upper Canada erupted into violence when government officials were shot at Montgomery’s Tavern just outside Toronto.
In 1876, the Canadian steamship Northern Light began the first regular service from P.E.I. to the mainland.
In 1877, the first successful gramophone was demonstrated. It was invented by Thomas Edison and built by his mechanic, John Kruesi.
In 1995, British Columbia’s NDP government became the first in Canada to order automakers to produce less-polluting vehicles.
In 1907, Christmas Seals were sold for the first time in the United States to help fight tuberculosis. The seals went on sale for the first time ever in Denmark in 1904 and were the idea of Copenhagen postman Einar Holboell.
The seals first appeared in Canada in 1908.
In 1916, David Lloyd George became prime minister of Britain.
In 1941, Japanese planes began their attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor (Hawaii). Over 300 Japanese planes from aircraft carriers attacked in waves. Eight battleships were sunk or disabled, and almost 200 planes were destroyed before they could get off the ground. About
2,500 soldiers and civilians were killed. Hours later, Canada declared war on Japan -- the first of the Western allies to do so. The United States, Britain and other allied countries followed the next day. The United States declared war on Japan’s allies Germany and Italy on Dec. 11.
In 1953, the Ford Motor Company announced regular production of the first transparent top automobile.
In 1960, the RCMP told Justice Minister Davie Fulton that Defence Minister Pierre Sevigny was having an affair with East German prostitute Gerda Munsinger. Sevigny ended the affair, no further action was taken and the incident remained secret for six years when it became a major scandal.
In 1960, more than 20 economists from Canadian universities urged the federal government to fire James Coyne, governor of the Bank of Canada. In an open letter addressed to Finance Minister Donald Fleming, the economists cited their lack of confidence in the policies of the central bank. Coyne initially refused to quit, but when confronted with a bill firing him, he stepped down on July 13, 1961.
In 1965, the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches formally reconciled themselves by reversing a mutual excommunication of each other, dating back over 900 years to July 1054.
In 1972, America’s last Moon mission began, as “Apollo 17” blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla.
In 1972, Imelda Marcos, wife of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, was stabbed and wounded by an assailant who was then shot dead by her bodyguards.
In 1975, Calgary’s Ken Read became the first Canadian male to win a World
Cup Alpine ski race when he captured the downhill in Val-d’Isere, France.
In 1982, Charles Brooks Jr., a prisoner on death row at a Huntsville, Texas, prison, became the first person in the U.S. to be executed by lethal injection.
In 1982, Canadian sprinter Harry Jerome died at age 42. He was the first man to hold both the world 100-yard and 100-metre records, and won the 100-metre bronze medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
In 1983, in Madrid, Spain, an Aviaco DC9 collided on a runway with an Iberia Air
Lines Boeing 727 that was accelerating for takeoff, killing all 42 people aboard the DC9 and 51 aboard the Iberia jet.
In 1985, Robert Graves, the English poet and novelist who wrote more than 135 novels and books of poetry and criticism, including the historical novels “I, Claudius” and “Claudius the God,” died in Spain at age 90.
In 1987, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev set foot on U.S. soil for the first time, arriving for a Washington summit with President Ronald Reagan.