Today in History: July 4th

1911: A heat wave with record-high temperatures begins in the northeastern U.S., killing 380 people during the next few weeks. The end of the 1911 heat wave was marked by a severe thunderstorm that killed five people. For more on Crisis Management: Click Here

1886: A crowd of 1,500 British Columbians cheers as the Pacific Express, the CPR’s first scheduled transcontinental passenger train from Montreal, rolls into Port Moody, the western terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway, after a five-and-a-half day journey.

1776: In the midst of war with Britain, the Second Continental Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence, announcing that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as independent and no longer part of the British Empire.

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Today in History: July 3rd

1970:  A British airplane crashes into the sea near Barcelona, Spain, killing all 112 people on board. As the plane approached Barcelona, the pilot called the air-traffic controller and said he was 12 miles away. This was the last anyone heard from the jet.  The remains of the wreckage provided no clues as to the cause of the sudden crash.

1958: President Dwight Eisenhower signs the Rivers and Harbors Flood Control Bill, which allocates funds to improve flood-control and water-storage systems. The bill was introduced in the wake of disastrous and deadly floods caused by Hurricanes Connie and Diane.

1957:  Nikita Khrushchev takes control in the Soviet Union by orchestrating the ouster of his most serious opponents from positions of authority in the Soviet government. Khrushchev’s action delighted the U.S., which viewed him as a more moderate figure in the communist government of Russia.

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Today in History: July 2nd

1990: A stampede of religious pilgrims in Mecca leaves more than 1,400 people dead. To followers of Islam, traveling to Mecca is one of the five pillars of the religion, and must be one at lease once in a follower’s lifetime. They were crushed or suffocated in a long tunnel.

1964:  President Lyndon Johnson signs into law the historic Civic Rights Act in a nationally televised ceremony at the White House. The Act prohibited racial discrimination in employment and education and outlawed racial segregation in public places such as schools, buses, parks and swimming pools.

1926:  Arthur Meighen, who became Prime Minister on June 29, 1926, is defeated by one vote on a non-confidence motion, so he calls a federal election for September 14, 1926.

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Today in History: July 1st

2002: A Russian passenger plane with 69 passengers and crew collides in the air over Germany with cargo plane with a crew of two, killing all 71 people on both planes. As they approached each other, an automated system told one pilot to go up, and the other to go down. However, a Swiss air-traffic controller ordered both pilots to descend.

1958:  CBC starts nationwide TV broadcasting as new Trans-Canada microwave relay system goes into operation.

1867: The British North America Act creates the Dominion of Canada, uniting the British colonies of the Province of Canada (now Ontario and Quebec), the Province of New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.

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Today in History: June 30th

1984: Pierre Trudeau steps down as Prime Minister of Canada and retires from politics.

1997: The United Kingdom hands over control of Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China.

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1912: The deadliest tornado in Canadian history roars through downtown Regina at 4:50 pm, killing 28 people. In all, 2,500 people are left homeless. Mayor Peter McAra cancels Dominion Day celebrations.

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Today in History: June 29th

1995: A department store in Seoul, South Korea, collapses, killing more than 500 people. The tragedy occurs due to a series of errors made by the designers and contractors who built the store and the criminal negligence of the store’s owner. Rescue efforts continue for weeks and one survivor is pulled out 16 days after the collapse.

1995: The American space shuttle Atlantis docks with the Russian space station Mir to form the largest man-made satellite ever to orbit the Earth. This was an historic moment of cooperation between former rival space programs. Daniel Goldin, chief of NASA, called it the beginning of “a new era of friendship and cooperation” between the U.S. and Russia.

1974: With Argentine President Juan Peron on his deathbed, Isabela Martinez de Peron, his wife and vice president, is sworn in as the leader of the South American country. President Isabela Peron, a former dancer and Peron’s third wife, was the Western Hemisphere’s first female head of government.

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Today in History: June 28th

2004: Paul Martin of the Liberals wins the federal election with a minority against Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party.

1992: Two of the strongest earthquakes ever in California hit just east of Los Angeles. Just before 5 a.m. on a Sunday morning, a 7.3-magnitude quake strikes 160 kilometres east of Los Angeles. Three hours later, a second tremor hits nearby, causing fires to break out and leaves three people dead.

1896: An explosion at a coal mine in Pittson, Pennsylvania, kills 58 miners. Testimony later reveals that the pillars inside the mine had been creaking, a sign that the pillars were weakening. The disaster played a role in pushing for a stronger union.

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Today in History: June 27th

1984: Pierre Elliot Trudeau is named the winner of the Albert Einstein Peace Prize for his global campaign to ease East-West tensions.

1969:  U.S. President Richard Nixon begins a starts visit to Canada. He speaks in Montreal, and marks the tenth anniversary of the St. Lawrence Seaway, which he said is a lesson “ how two nations can work together; how they can dream together, and make those dreams come true.”

1949: Louis St. Laurent leads the Liberal Party to re-election  in 21st federal general election, winning 190 of 262 seats, an increase of 65 seats. It’s the fourth consecutive majority for the Liberals.

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Today in History: June 26th

1995: Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leader Mike Harris is sworn in as the 22nd Premier of Ontario, replacing Bob Rae of the NDP, who had been in power since 1990. Harris won 82 out of 130 seats.

1963: US President John F. Kennedy delivers his famous “Let them come to Berlin” speech in West Berlin, West Germany. Also from this speech is the quote “Ich bin ein Berliner”.

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1807: Lightning hits a gunpowder factory in Luxembourg, killing more than 300 people. This may have been the most deadly lightning strike in history. Usually, victims of lightening strikes are killed one at a time. Luxembourg was occupied by Napoleon’s army, and the country was used to stockpile weapons and ammunition.

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Today in History: June 25th

1997: A volcano on the Caribbean Island of Montserrat erupts and leaves 19 people dead. The airport was destroyed, which greatly damaged the tourism industry.

1993: Kim Campbell sworn in as Canada’s 19th Prime Minister, and Canada’s first woman Prime Minister. She replaces Brian Mulroney, who resigned. A few months later, in October, 1993, the Conservatives were reduced to just two seats, and Campbell lost her seat in Vancouver.

1957: A hurricane watch is declared for Texas and Louisiana, as a tropical depression from the Gulf of Mexico heads toward the U.S. The storm soon becomes Hurricane Audrey, which kills 431 people and leaves 40,000 people homeless. As the storm moves through Ontario and Quebec a week later, 27 people were killed from the storm, or accidents related to the storm.

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