Today in History for January 4th:
In 1493, Columbus sailed for Spain from the New World on his ship, the ‘Nina.’
In 1581, James Ussher, archbishop of Armagh, was born in Dublin, Ireland. He published a chronology which dated creation from 4004 BC.
In 1785, German folklorist Jacob Grimm was born.
In 1790, U.S. president George Washington delivered his first annual presidential message.
In 1809, Louis Braille, inventor of the braille system of reading for the blind, was born in Paris.
In 1813, Sir Isaac Pitman, who invented a standardized form of shorthand writing, was born.
In 1817, stage-coach service between Kingston, Ont., and York (now Toronto) began. The fare was $18.
In 1821, the first native-born American saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton, died in Emmitsburg, Md.
In 1830, Upper Canada College was opened at York (Toronto).
In 1885, Dr. William Grant of Davenport, Iowa, performed what is believed to have been the first appendectomy. The patient was 22-year-old Mary Gartside.
In 1896, Prime Minister Mackenzie Bowell saw seven members of his cabinet resign over the Manitoba Schools Question.
In 1896, Utah was admitted as the 45th state.
In 1902, the Carnegie Institute was founded in Washington to promote research in the humanities and sciences.
In 1908, Canadian rowing champion Edward (Ned) Hanlan died. Born in Toronto in 1855, Hanlan was Ontario’s best sculler by 1873 and four years later, he won the Dominion championship. The next year, he won the American title, and held the world title for five years until 1884. Hanlan was Canada’s first world sports champion. Hanlan’s Point on the Toronto Islands is named after him.
In 1912, the Moon made its closest approach to Earth in the 20th century, 348,249 kilometres.
In 1932, the National Congress in India was declared illegal and Mahatma Gandhi was arrested.
In 1948, Burma (now Myanmar) became independent from Britain.
In 1951, North Korean and Communist Chinese forces captured Seoul, the capital of South Korea.
In 1953, Stanley Thompson, considered Canada’s greatest golf course architect, died at age 59.
In 1960, Albert Camus, author of “The Outsider,” died in a car crash outside Paris. He was 46.
In 1961, the world’s longest labour strike ended after 33 years. It concerned employment of barbers’ assistants in Copenhagen.
In 1964, Pope Paul VI began a visit to the Holy Land — becoming the first pontiff to travel by airplane.
In 1965, Montreal newspaper “La Presse” was published for the first time after a seven-month strike by typographers in a dispute that included the issue of automation in the composing room.
In 1965, T.S. Eliot, one of the most influential English writers in the 20th century, died at age 76. He was a devout Christian who wove his religious convictions into his work. Among his most famous works are the poems “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and “The Waste Land.”
In 1966, following a kidney ailment, 17-year-old June Clark of Miami began a sneezing attack that lasted 155 days. Electric treatment finally stopped the sneezing.
In 1970, Canada withdrew from international hockey competition to protest a ban on Canadian pros. The decision caused the Canadian national team to disband, and the cancellation of that year’s world championship tourney in Winnipeg and Montreal. Apart from various special series, Canada did not return to international play until 1976.
In 1974, U.S. President Richard M. Nixon refused to hand over tape recordings and documents subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee.
In 1983, a new Criminal Code law came into effect, replacing rape with three categories of sexual assault. The new law gave equal protection to men and women, and allowed husbands and wives to charge each other with sexual assault.
In 1986, Wayne Gretzky of the Edmonton Oilers became the first NHL player to score 100 or more points in seven consecutive seasons.
In 1987, 16 people were killed when an Amtrak train bound from Washington, D.C. to Boston collided with Conrail locomotives that had crossed into its path from a side track in Chase, Md.
In 1990, a passenger train switched to the wrong tracks and crashed into a stationary freight train near Sukkur, Pakistan, killing at least 307 people.
In 1995, Denis Lortie was released on parole after serving 10 years in prison for killing three people at the Quebec legislature in 1984.
In 1999, former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura took the oath of office as Minnesota’s governor. He served until Jan. 6, 2003, without seeking a second term.
In 2004, Mikhail Saaskashvili, who led a peaceful protest campaign to oust Eduard Shevardnadze, won in a landslide in Georgia’s presidential election.
In 2004, NASA’s Mars rover, “Spirit,” touched down on Mars.
In 2007, the Anglican Church of Canada introduced Mark MacDonald as its first indigenous bishop.
In 2008, five-time Grand Slam winner Martina Hingis was banned by the International Tennis Federation for two years for testing positive for cocaine.
In 2010, Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper, formally opened in Dubai. It is more than 160 storeys high, rising 828 metres into the sky — about 250 metres higher than Toronto’s CN Tower.
In 2012, disgraced Roman Catholic Bishop Raymond Lahey was sentenced in Ottawa to 15 months in jail and two years probation for importing child pornography. He was released from custody after receiving credit for pre-sentencing time served.
In 2013, 15-year-old Malala Yousufzai of Pakistan left a Birmingham, England, hospital three months after she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman for daring to say girls should be able to get an education. She became a symbol of the struggle for women’s rights in Pakistan as her case won worldwide attention and she shared the Noble Peace prize in 2014.
In 2018, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer booted Sen. Lynn Beyak out of the party’s caucus after she refused to remove offensive content in letters she posted to her Senate website expressing support for her controversial comments last year in praise of the residential school system.
In 2018, the Dow Jones Industrial Average traded and closed above 25,000 for the first time.
In 2020, an outbreak of a mysterious infectious disease in a mainland China city revived memories of the SARS epidemic. At least 44 people were infected in the city of Wuhan, and five possible cases of the viral pneumonia had been reported in Hong Kong, prompting authorities there to activate a newly created “serious response” level. The city’s health department added an additional thermal imaging system at the airport to check the body temperature of arriving passengers.
In 2020, Canada’s defence minister said a Canadian-led NATO training mission in Iraq had been temporarily suspended in the wake of the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. Harjit Sajjan confirmed a statement released by NATO earlier in the day, which said the security of personnel must be a top priority.
(The Canadian Press)