Today in History: July 16th

1992: Statistics Canada says inflation dropped to an annual rate of 1.1% in June, which is the lowest in 30 years, since John Diefenbaker was Prime Minister in 1962.

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1990: More than 1,000 people are killed when a 7.7-magnitude earthquake strikes Luzon Island in the Philippines. Heroic rescue efforts saved many, but some victims who did not die as buildings collapsed were found dead later from dehydration because they were not pulled out in time.

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1969: Apollo 11, the spaceflight which first landed humans on the Moon, takes off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, crewed by commander Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin, and Michael Collins.

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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: 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.

Today in History: June 16th

1984: John Turner is chosen as Liberal Party leader on second ballot, with 1,862 votes, to Jean Chretien’s 1,368. Turner is sworn in to replace retiring Pierre Trudeau as Prime Minister on June 30, but loses the September election to Brian Mulroney and the Conservatives.

1963: For the first time, a woman travels in space. She’s Soviet Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova. After 48 orbits and 71 hours, she returned to earth, having spent more time in space than all U.S. astronauts combined to that date. The first American woman in space was Sally Ride on the space shuttle Challenger in 1983.

1896: A tsunami in Japan overnight leaves about 25,000 people dead. Entire villages all along the coast are washed away. Fishermen who were working at sea and people living several miles inland, though, had no clue about the destruction until the following morning, when they arrived at the shore to find miles of the coast lined with wreckage and corpses.

Today in History: June 15th

1993: Ralph Klein leads the Progressive Conservatives to a seventh consecutive majority win in Alberta. The Conservatives were trailing in opinion polls under former leader and Premier Don Getty, before electing Klein, a former Liberal and mayor of Calgary.

1962: Canada becomes the third power to reach space with the launch of a scientific satellite by NASA.

1215: King John of England is forced by his barons to sign the Magna Carta.

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Today in History: June 14th

1967: Mariner 5 in launched towards Venus. Arriving near the surface of Venus in October, Mariner 5 showed that it was clear that Venus had a very hot surface and an atmosphere even denser than expected. Mariner 5 continues to send back data until November 1967.

1922:  President Warren Harding becomes the first president to have his voice transmitted by radio. He was speaking at a dedication of a memorial site for Francis Scott Key, the composer of the “Star Spangled Banner.” Harding was also the first president to own a radio and was the first to have one installed in the White House.

1903: A flash flood in Oregon leaves 324 people dead and caused millions of dollars in damage. A third of the town of Heppner is destroyed. The rainstorm lasts only one hour, but it overflows small streams of the area and causes a 20-foot wave of water to gush through the town, sweeping away the victims.

Today in History: May 19th

1967: The Soviet Union ratifies an agreement banning nuclear weapons from outer space. With the advent of the space race in 1957, some begin to fear that outer space might be the next frontier for the expansion of nuclear weapons. With this action, outer space is officially declared off-limits for nuclear weapons.

1958: United States and Canada military formally establish the North American Air Defence Command (NORAD) to coordinate continental defence.

1939:  King George VI becomes the first reigning monarch to address the Canadian Parliament.

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.

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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.

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Today in History: March 16th

1988: President Ronald Reagan orders more than 3,000 U.S. soldiers to Honduras, claiming that Nicaraguan soldiers had crossed it borders.

1978: One of the world’s worst supertanker disasters occurs off the coast of France. When the Amoco Cadiz suffers a steering failure, she runs aground and breaks in half. With no emergency plan, none of the 68 million gallons oil can be recovered. This is the first time that TV images of oil-coated sea birds are seen. The fishing and tourism industries suffer over $250 million in damages.

1966: Gemini 8 is launched, and during the ten-hour mission the crew completes the first docking of two spacecraft while in orbit, with the Agena Target Vehicle. The mission is cut short due to a thruster malfunction on the Gemini spacecraft. The incident results in changes in procedures for investigating mission failures.