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.

Political Conventions – Happy 43rd Birthday, America

Today in History: February 13th

1983: A fire at a theatre in Turin, Italy, kills 74 people. The fire began on the ground floor of the two-story theatre, and is thought to be caused by either a cigarette or faulty wiring. To make matters worse, the seats had plastic covers that produced toxic smoke when they caught fire. The crowd panicked and ran toward the exits, causing a stampede in which several people were crushed to death. The emergency exits were locked, as managers wanted to prevent people from sneaking in without paying.

1974: The Washington Energy Conference concludes with the creation of the International Energy Agency. Representatives from 13 major oil consuming countries, including Canada, create the organization to meet the industrial countries’ energy needs in the wake of the 1973–1974 oil crisis. The mandate of the Paris-based IEA has since expanded to focus on energy security, economic development and environmental protection.

1971: William Davis succeeds John Robarts as Ontario Conservative leader and Premier of Ontario. During his 14 years as Premier, Ontario’s public health and education systems expanded. Davis later played a role in the successful negotiations to merge the federal Progressive Conservatives with the Canadian Alliance, to create the new Conservative Party of Canada.