Today in History: February 21st

1982: David Peterson is elected leader of the Ontario Liberal Party succeeding Stuart Smith. Peterson will go on to defeat Frank Miller’s Conservatives and become Premier of Ontario.

1972: President Richard Nixon visits the People’s Republic of China, marking an important step in formally normalizing relations between the U.S. and China, and ending 25 years of separation between the two countries. The visit shifts the Cold War balance, pitting China with the U.S. against the Soviet Union.

1891: A fire at the Springhill coal mine in Nova Scotia kills 129 miners and injures dozens more. Some of the victims are 10 to 13 years old. An inspection a few days earlier found everything to be in excellent condition, and the cause of the fire remains a mystery.