Today in History for Oct. 15:
On this date:
In 1542, the great Mogul emperor Jalaluddin Akbar was born in India.
In 1582, the Gregorian calendar was introduced in Catholic countries. As a result, 10 days were lost as the calendar jumped from Oct. 4 to Oct. 15.
In 1701, Mother Marie d’Youville, founder of the Grey Nuns, was born near Montreal.
In 1730, Antoine de Lamother Cadillac, founder of Detroit, died.
In 1754, Anthony Henday sighted the Rocky Mountains, near Red Deer, Alta.
In 1785, writs were issued for the election of the first representative assembly in New Brunswick.
In 1851, Lady Elgin, wife of the governor general of Ontario, turned the first sod of the Ontario, Simcoe and Huron Union Railroad.
In 1872, the Canadian Pacific Railway Company was formed.
In 1878, the Edison Electric Light Company, the first electric company, was incorporated.
In 1880, after 600 years of construction, the Grand Cathedral in Cologne, Germany was completed.
In 1884, the first issue of “La Presse” appeared in Montreal.
In 1885, Jumbo, an elephant owned by P. T. Barnum’s circus, was killed by a train at St. Thomas, Ont.
In 1908, Canadian-born economist John Kenneth Galbraith, was born in Iona Station, Ont. Among his influential books are “The Affluent Society and The New Industrial State.” An activist liberal, Galbraith was personal adviser to U.S. presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson. He died on April 29, 2006.
In 1917, Germany’s famed First World War spy, Mata Hari, was executed by an Allied firing squad.
In 1932, the Winnipeg Auditorium, the city’s main concert hall until 1968, was opened by Prime Minister R. B. Bennett. The building was remodeled in 1975 to house the Provincial Archives and Library.
In 1944, German radio announced the death of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel.
In 1945, former French premier Pierre Laval was executed for betraying his country to Nazi Germany during the Second World War.
In 1946, Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering fatally poisoned himself hours before he was to have been executed.
In 1953, the Trans-Mountain oil pipeline was completed between Edmonton and Vancouver.
In 1954, hurricane Hazel roared into central and eastern Canada killing 82 people in the Toronto area alone. The hurricane did its worst in Ontario, causing more than $24 million in damage during its two-day rampage. Hazel had been blowing itself out south of the border when a cold front from the north reactivated it over Lake Ontario.
In 1957, a $31 million, 24-kilometre throughway bisecting Ottawa was dedicated by Queen Elizabeth as the Queensway.
In 1962, Hamilton quarterback Joe Zuger set a CFL record with eight touchdown passes versus the visiting Saskatchewan Roughriders.
In 1964, Roger Jackson and George Hungerford won Canada’s only gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics, in the coxless pairs rowing event.
In 1967, the “Queen Mary” ended a career as a transatlantic liner and became a floating hotel and museum at Long Beach, Calif.
In 1969, Herbert Gray, an MP for Windsor West, became Canada’s first Jewish cabinet minister when he was appointed as a minister without portfolio by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.
In 1969, Canada and the Vatican established diplomatic relations.
In 1986, University of Toronto professor John Polanyi was named a joint winner of the Nobel Prize for chemistry. He shared the award with Americans Dudley Herschbach and Yuan Lee for their study of energy produced by chemical reactions.
In 1989, Wayne Gretzky of the Los Angeles Kings surpassed Gordie Howe’s NHL scoring record of 1,850 points. (He retired in 1999 with 2,857 points).
In 1990, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was named the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
In 1990, the pillar of South Africa’s apartheid system was scrapped as the white government repealed the Separate Amenities Act. Exactly three years later, President F.W. de Klerk and African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize.
In 1993, the Conservatives touched off howls of protest with a series of election ads attacking Liberal leader Jean Chretien. Critics — including some Tory candidates — said the ads made fun of Chretien’s face, which was disfigured by a childhood disease.
In 1999, Doctors without Borders, the French medical aid group, won the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of the organization’s pioneering humanitarian work on several continents.
In 2003, China launched its first manned spacecraft, “Shenzhou 5,” joining the exclusive club of space-travelling nations that previously included only the United States and Russia. The spacecraft landed safely after orbiting the Earth 14 times in 21 hours.
In 2003, 11 people were killed when a Staten Island ferry slammed into a maintenance pier. The ferry’s pilot, who’d blacked out at the controls, later pleaded guilty to 11 counts of manslaughter and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
In 2003, doctors removed the feeding tube of Terri Schiavo, a severely brain-damaged woman at the centre of a right-to-die battle. The tube was reinserted six days later after the Florida Legislature rushed through “Terri’s Law,” which was later struck down by the Florida Supreme Court. The feeding tube was again removed on March 18, 2005 and she died on March 31.
In 2010, a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled that a B.C. woman who was conceived through sperm donation won the right to proceed with a lawsuit aimed at getting information about the donor. (In 2012, the B.C. Court of Appeal overturned the decision.)
In 2011, Occupy Canada protests to decry corporate greed and financial inequality began in 20 cities across the country. Protesters in Toronto set up an encampment at a downtown park, inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement that began the previous month in the U.S. Occupations also occurred in Halifax, Montreal, Quebec City, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria and lasted weeks before authorities moved to remove tents and other shelters erected by the protesters.
In 2013, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck the central Philippine island of Bohol, killing over 200 people and toppling buildings and heavily damaging a dozen or more churches, some of them hundreds of years old.
In 2015, former Canadian diplomat Ken Taylor, whose role in the 1979 “Canadian Caper” made him a hero on both sides of the border for helping shelter six U.S. citizens at the height of the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis, died after a battle with cancer. He was 81.
In 2017, Tom Brady set the NFL record for regular-season victories by a quarterback, getting his 187th as the New England Patriots held on for a 24-17 win over the New York Jets. (Brady already held the record for career wins, including playoffs).
In 2018, plagued by falling sales and heavy debt, Sears Holdings in the U.S. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization and announced plans to close 142 stores by the end of the year.
In 2018, just months after they were married, Prince Harry and Meghan, the duchess of Sussex, announced they were expecting their first child.
In 2019, Canada struck back after years of watching from the cheap seats as the U.S. ruled CONCACAF alongside Mexico. John Herdman’s team registered a famous 2-0 victory over the 21st-ranked Americans, with goals from Alphonso Davies and substitute Lucas Cavallini ending a 34-year, 17-match winless run for No. 75 Canada against their North American rivals. The Canadian men moved into the driver’s seat in Group A of CONCACAF Nations League A play. The U.S. came into the match leading the overall series 14-8-11 and had not lost to the Canadians since a 2-0 decision in April 1985 in Vancouver. None of the Canadians on the 2019 team had even been born then.
In 2019, the Washington Nationals advanced to the World Series for the first time in franchise history. Washington beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-4, completing a four-game sweep to win the National League Championship Series at home.
(The Canadian Press)