today in history
In 1752, the Gregorian calendar was officially adopted by the British Empire and its colonies in America.
In 1814, the poem “Defence of Fort McHenry’’ (later becoming the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner’’) was written by Francis Scott Key following the British shelling of Fort McHenry in Maryland. The morning after, Key saw the American flag still flying over the fortress and wrote his poem. It was set to the tune of an English drinking song and it was designated as the U.S. national anthem in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson, and his order was confirmed by an act of Congress in 1931.
In 1982, Princess Grace of Monaco, formerly U.S. actress Grace Kelly, died of head injuries when the car she was driving plunged off a mountain road after the brakes failed. Her daughter, Stephanie, who was in the front passenger seat, escaped with minor injuries. Grace was 52. She became an actress despite the opposition of her family and first appeared in 1951’s “Fourteen Hours.’’ She became a favourite of director Alfred Hitchcock, starring in three of his films. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for “The Country Girl’’ in 1955 but she retired from acting in 1956 after her marriage to Prince Rainier. The couple had three children.
In 1989, the RCMP replaced striking Dartmouth, N.S., police officers in maintaining law and order.