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.

Political Columns – Pugnacious Pierre — Trudeau

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.

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.

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: June 9th

1979:  A fire destroys and amusement ride in Sydney Australia, killing six children and one adult. Inadequate fire-fighting measures and low staffing meant the fire destroyed the ride.

1972:  A flash flood in Rapid City, South Dakota, kills more than 200 people after 15 inches of rain to come down in only six hours. Damages reached $160 million. As a result, it was decided that the floodplain should no longer be used as a residential area. It is now a golf course and a park with several ponds.

1968: Canada’s political party leaders – Pierre Trudeau, Robert Stanfield, Tommy Douglas and Réal Caouette – hold the first policy debate on television.

Today in History: June 8th

1995: Mike Harris wins a majority for the Progressive Conservatives in the Ontario election, defeating Bob Rae of the NDP, in power since 1990. The Conservatives win 82 of the 130 seats.

1992: World Oceans Day is proposed by Canada at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, and though celebrated unofficially, ever since, it was formally adopted by the UN as an international day of recognition 16 years later in 2008.

1966: The city of Topeka, Kansas, is devastated by a tornado that registers as an “F5” – which is the most devastating type of tornado, with wind speed between 419 and 512 km/h. This was the first tornado to exceed $100 million in damages. Sixteen people are killed, hundreds more injured, and thousands of homes damaged or destroyed.

Today in History: June 2nd

1997: Prime Minister Jean Chretien is re-elected, with the Liberals taking 155 of the 301 seats. The Reform party wins 60 seats; the Bloc Québecois, 44; the NDP, 21; the Progressive Conservatives, 20; and there was 1 Independent.

1953: Queen Elizabeth II is formally crowned in a lavish ceremony, with 1,000 dignitaries and guests at London’s Westminster Abbey. Hundreds of millions listened on radio and for the first time watched the proceedings on television. In five decades of rule, Queen Elizabeth II’s popularity has hardly subsided. She has traveled more extensively than any other British monarch.

1921: Torrential rains slam Colorado, causing a flash flood and the Arkansas River overflows. Earth levees prove no match for the extremely heavy rains and 120 people lost their lives. Further, a massive mudflow caused by the floods knocks over homes and causes $25 million in damages. The flood waters take nearly a week to recede.

Today in History: May 3rd

2001: Saskatchewan authorities announce that contaminated drinking water in North Battleford caused the deaths of three people and illness of more than100 other people.

1999: The southwestern portion of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is devastated by an F5 tornado killing forty-five people, injuring 665, and causing $1 billion in damage. The tornado is one of 66 from the 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak. This is the strongest tornado ever recorded with wind speeds of up to 318 mph. — Risk Society (audio)

1962: Two commuter trains and a freight train collide near Tokyo, killing more than 160 people and injuring more than 300. A freight train went through a red signal, causing it to jump the track and collide with one commuter train. Minutes later, a second commuter train came down the tracks and plowed into the back of the first commuter train.

Today in History: May 1st

2003: A record-breaking number of tornadoes begin across the southern and mid-western United States. By the end of the month, more than 500 tornadoes are recorded, breaking the previous record by more than 100. In all, 38 people are killed by the tornadoes, well below the record 163 killed during May 1953.

1997: It’s the worst flood in southern Manitoba since 1950, as the Red River crests. The  floodway and 6.5 million sand bags protect Winnipeg, but other communities are flooded.

1956: The polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk is made available to the public.

Today in History: April 30th

2009: Chrysler files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. By May 2011, Chrysler repaid $7.6 billion loans to the United States and Canadian governments.

1939: NBC begins its regularly scheduled TV service, broadcasting President Roosevelt’s opening day ceremonial address at the New York World’s Fair.

1888: A hail storm devastates a farming town of in India, killing 230 people and many more farm animals.

Today in History: April 29th

1991: A devastating cyclone hits Bangladesh, killing more than 135,000 people.

1974: President Richard Nixon announces to the public that he will release transcripts of 46 taped White House conversations in response to a Watergate trial subpoena. The House Judiciary committee accepted 1,200 pages of transcripts the next day, but insisted that the tapes themselves be turned over as well.

1970: Robert Bourassa leads Liberals to 72 seats and victory in the Quebec provincial election, defeating the Union Nationale under Jean-Jacques Bertrand, who win just 17 seats. As well, 12 Social Credit and 7 members of the Parti Québecois are elected to National Assembly.