On this date:
In 1661, female actors appeared on an English stage for the first time.
In 1777, the United States adopted the Stars and Stripes as its official flag.
In 1793, slavery was abolished in Canada.
In 1800, Upper Canada Attorney-general John White died in a duel with John Small, the province’s top civil servant, at the government building in York (now Toronto). White had called Small’s wife a duke’s discarded mistress.
In 1863, Canada’s first covered skating rink opened in Halifax.
In 1901, British politician Winston Churchill spoke at Toronto’s Massey Hall on the Boer War in South Africa.
In 1912, the first Canadian hockey game played on artificial ice saw the New Westminster Royals beat the host Victoria Aristocrats 8-3.
In 1935, federal wildlife conservation officials expressed concern the beaver was in danger of following the musk-ox and buffalo to near-extinction. They suggested setting up beaver farms to augment the shrinking population of Canada’s symbol.
In 1945, the first Canadian troops conscripted for overseas duty in the Second World War left Halifax for Britain.
In 1959, Alaska became the 49th state of the United States.