TO­DAY IN HIS­TORY

Tillsonburg News - - NEWS -

In 1484, Pope In­no­cent

VIII is­sued his Witch Bull, or­der­ing an in­qui­si­tion to sys­tem­at­i­cally dis­cover, tor­ture and ex­e­cute witches through­out Europe. It led to the ease with which witch­craft was charged and pun­ished, even in the Amer­i­can colonies two cen­turies later. In 1776, the first scholas­tic fra­ter­nity in the United States, Phi Beta Kappa, was or­ga­nized at the Col­lege of Wil­liam and Mary in Wil­liams­burg, Va. In 1837, Lower Canada (now Que­bec) was placed un­der mar­tial law dur­ing a re­bel­lion that had bro­ken out largely over con­sti­tu­tional is­sues. The un­rest was sparked in part by the con­trol ex­er­cised by the largely English-speak­ing ex­ec­u­tive gov­ern­ment over the elected -- and pre­dom­i­nantly French-speak­ing -leg­isla­tive as­sem­bly.

In 1837, Wil­liam Lyon Mackenzie, jour­nal­ist and politi­cian, led a rebel force down Yonge Street from Mont­gomery’s Tav­ern hop­ing to cap­ture Toronto. The force was re­pelled by Loy­al­ist guards who eas­ily de­feated the rebels two days later. Mackenzie fled to the United States for 10 years but re­turned to Canada af­ter re­ceiv­ing a gov­ern­ment par­don. He re­sumed his jour­nal­is­tic and po­lit­i­cal ca­reers. In 1848, U.S. pres­i­dent James K. Polk trig­gered the Gold Rush of ’49 by con­firm­ing that gold had been dis­cov­ered in Cal­i­for­nia.

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