Today in History: July 7th

1996: Canadian Space Agency astronaut Dr. Bob Thirsk lands with his Shuttle mission crew mates at the Kennedy Space Center, after Columbia completed 272 revolutions of the earth, and a record 16-day, 21-hour, 48-minute and 30-second flight.

1975: Ed Broadbent is chosen leader of New Democratic Party on fourth ballot in Winnipeg, replacing David Lewis. Finishing in second place was Rosemary Brown.

1887: Blyth built a cloth-sailed wind turbine (or “windmill”) in the garden of his holiday cottage in Marykirk and used the electricity it produced to charge accumulators; the stored electricity was used to power the lights in his cottage, which thus became the first house in the world to be powered by wind-generated electricity.

Today in History: July 5th

1998: Japan launches a probe to Mars, joining the U.S. and Russia as a space exploring nation.

1971: President Richard Nixon formally certifies the 26th Amendment, which lowers the voting age in the U.S. from 21 to 18 years. To learn more: Click Here

1970: An Air Canada DC-8 going from Montreal to Los Angeles makes a heavy landing at Malton Airport in Toronto, bounces and loses one engine. As the pilot tries to take off and land again, another engine falls off and the airplane crashes, killing all 109 people on board.

Today in History: April 22nd

1994: Richard Nixon, 37th President of the United States, dies.

2001: Chris Hadfield become the first Canadian astronaut to perform a spacewalk.

Political Conventions – He’s Tanned, He’s Fit, He’s Ready

1992: Dozens of sewer explosions in Mexico kill more than 200 people and damage 1,000 buildings. The series of explosions was caused by a gas leak, the warning signs of which were ignored by the Mexican government and the national oil company.

Today in History: April 19th

2001: Space Shuttle Endeavour launches, bearing Canadarm2. A robotic system, it’s used in station assembly and maintenance and moves equipment and supplies around the station. The Canadarm2 also supports astronauts working in space.

1904: A fire in Toronto rages for two days fed by high winds. The city’s 200 firefighters call on crews from nearby cities. Bitter cold and a lack of adequate water pressure makes the fire hoses almost ineffective. No people or horses perish, but the fire does an estimated $12 million damage and destroys 104 buildings.

1902: The last in a series of earthquakes rocks Western Guatemala. More than 2,000 people are killed and 50,000 left homeless. Fleeing to the streets was dangerous because of flooding and mudslides.

See also Canada in Space

Today in History: February 1st

2003: The Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates during re-entry, killing all seven astronauts on board.

An Ounce of Prevention – Space Shuttle Challenger

1992: The Chief Judicial Magistrate of Bhopal court declares Warren Anderson, ex-CEO of Union Carbide, a fugitive under Indian law for failing to appear in the Bhopal Disaster case from 1984. The official death toll was 2,255, and as many as 25,000 deaths were ultimately attributed to the gas leak at a pesticide plant.

An Ounce of Prevention – Bhopal

1983: Pay TV launches in Canada, including such new channels as First Choice and Superchannel.

Today in History: January 4th

1998: A destructive ice storm begins to hit eastern Canada and the northeastern United States, continuing through to January 10th.  35 people died and 945 were injured as a result.  Massive damage occurred to trees and electrical infrastructure (including 1000 pylons) leaving millions without power for days to weeks. The damage is estimated at between $5 – 7 billion USD. The storm led to the largest Canadian military deployment since the Korean War.

1987: An Amtrak train traveling from Washington, D.C. to Boston collides with engines in Chase, Maryland, killing 16 people. See also Learning from Past Disasters.

1974: U.S. President Richard Nixon refuses to hand over materials subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee.

Today in History: November 13th

1985: A volcano erupts and melts a glacier in Columbia, causing a volcanic mudslide that buries the community of Armero, killing approximately 23,000 people.

1981: The Canadarm is deployed for the first time. Canada’s $100 million robot arm is made by Spar Aerospace in Toronto. Tests include manual and automatic modes of operation, ease of control, operation of joints and positioning accuracy. Its wrist-mounted camera is also put through its paces.

See also Canada in Space

1970: An immense tidal wave caused by a powerful cyclone kills more than 200,000 people in East Pakistan, now known as Bangladesh. Nearly one million people were left homeless. In the aftermath, George Harrison organized the Concert for Bangladesh at New York City, the first-ever rock concert held to raise money for disaster relief.