Today in History - June 20: Today in History - June 20

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Today is June 20:

On this date:

In 1529, Clement VII and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V signed the "Peace of Barcelona," which ended attacks on Rome by the Lutheran armies.

In 1599, the "Synod of Diamper" reunited a church in India with Rome. Discovered in 1498 by Portuguese explorers, the isolated pocket of worshippers traced their Christian origins back to the missionary efforts of the Apostle Thomas.

In 1756, a group of British soldiers in India were captured and imprisoned in a suffocating cell that became known as the "Black Hole of Calcutta." Most of the men died.

In 1837, Queen Victoria ascended to the British throne following the death of her uncle, King William IV. During her 64-year reign, the British Empire reached the height of its power.

In 1872, the Public Archives of Canada were created.

In 1877, more than two-thirds of Saint John, N.B., was destroyed by fire.

In 1882, the Conservatives under Sir John A. Macdonald won a federal election.

In 1893, a New Bedford, Massachusetts jury found Lizzie Borden, an unmarried Sunday school teacher, not guilty of the axe murders of her father and stepmother.

In 1923, Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa was assassinated on his farm.

In 1940, the Canadian government passed a conscription law.

In 1942, a Japanese submarine fired 25 to 30 shells at the lighthouse at Estevan Point, B.C. Thanks to poor aim, there were no casualties and little damage from the first shelling of Canadian territory since 1812.

In 1943, the New Quebec Crater was sighted in Ungava. At 403 metres deep and nearly 11 kilometres wide, it is one of the world's largest craters.

In 1945, the Canadian government issued its first family allowance cheques.

In 1946, Montreal communist MP Fred Rose was sentenced to six years in prison and barred from the House of Commons for spying for the Soviet Union.

In 1947, Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel was shot dead at the Beverly Hills mansion of his girlfriend, Virginia Hill, apparently at the order of mob associates.

In 1948, Ed Sullivan's TV variety show, called "Talk of the Town," premiered on CBS. Among the guests on the first show was the comedy team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. It was later renamed "The Ed Sullivan Show" and ran until 1971.

In 1955, the longest eclipse of the Sun ever recorded lasted seven minutes and eight seconds, as seen from the Philippines. The maximum time an eclipse can take is seven minutes, 31 seconds.

In 1959, 35 fishermen died in a storm in the Northumberland Strait between New Brunswick and P.E.I.

In 1960, Floyd Patterson won a rematch from Sweden's Ingemar Johansson to become the first two-time winner of the world heavyweight boxing title.

In 1963, the U.S. and the Soviet Union agreed to set up a superpower hotline.

In 1964, "Northern Dancer" won the Queen's Plate in Toronto. He's the only horse to win both the Plate and the Kentucky Derby.

In 1966, Canada and the Soviet Union signed what was then the world's biggest wheat deal. It involved 336 million bushels of wheat and flour.

In 1967, boxer Cassius Clay, later Muhammad Ali, was convicted of refusing induction into the U.S. army. He was sentenced to five years in prison and fined $10,000. The verdict was eventually overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, but Ali was kept out of the ring until 1970.

In 1985, Rene Levesque announced his resignation as Quebec premier and leader of the Parti Quebecois after nearly nine years in office and two election wins.

In 1988, Lucien Bouchard won a byelection for the federal Tories in Lac St. Jean. Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Bouchard's close friend at the time, had made more than $1 billion worth of promises in the Quebec riding. Bouchard left the Conservative party following the 1990 failure of the Meech Lake constitutional accord and formed the Bloc Quebecois. It became the Official Opposition following the 1993 general election. …