Today in History - Jan. 18: Today in History - Jan. 18

The Canadian Press, January 6, 2012 | Go to article overview

Today in History - Jan. 18: Today in History - Jan. 18


Today is Jan. 18:

In 1535, Francisco Pizarro, Spanish conquistador, founded Lima, Peru.

In 1562, the Council of Trent, a counter-reformation commission established by the Vatican and headquarterd in the northern Italian city, reconvened after a decade-long break following the revolt of Protestant princes against Emperor Charles V. In the meantime, all hope of reconciliation between Roman Catholics and Protestants had vanished.

In 1778, English navigator Captain James Cook reached the Hawaiian Islands, which he dubbed the "Sandwich Islands."

In 1801, James Evans, who created the Cree alphabet, was born in Kingston-upon-Hull, England. The Methodist minister served in various missions in Upper Canada (now Ontario), learning Ojibwa and translating and printing various texts.

In 1815, Konstantin von Tischendorf, who discovered and deciphered the Codex Sinaiticus (a fifth-century manuscript of Paul's epistles), was born in Germany.

In 1854, the other half of one of the most important conversations in history was born. American engineer Thomas A. Watson was summoned by Alexander Graham Bell via the first telephone on March 10th, 1876.

In 1882, A. A. Milne, the English author best known for his children's classic "Winnie the Pooh," was born.

In 1904, Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier delivered perhaps the most misquoted speech in Canadian history. Laurier told the Canadian Club of Ottawa the 19th century was the century of the United States, then added, "I think we can claim that it is Canada that shall fill the 20th century." To this day, Laurier is often quoted -- erroneously -- as saying, "the 20th century belongs to Canada."

In 1908, the Sovereign Bank, the first Canadian bank to advertise for business, closed its doors. Eventually, all depositors were paid off.

In 1911, the first landing of an aircraft on a ship took place as Eugene Ely landed his plane on the deck of the "USS Pennsylvania" in San Francisco Harbour.

In 1912, British explorer Robert Falcon Scott reached the South Pole. Delayed by sickness and bad weather, he and four companions arrived to learn they'd been beaten to the Pole by a month by Norwegian Roald Amundsen. Scott and his men died on the return journey.

In 1917, the Canadian government introduced income tax as a temporary wartime measure.

In 1919, the Paris Peace Conference to end the First World War opened in Versailles, France. The conference was charged with remaking the map of Europe as well as dealing with the devastation of the war.

In 1936, English novelist-poet Rudyard Kipling died at 70. His writings reflected a romantic view of British imperialism -- his best-known works are "The Jungle Book" and "Captains Courageous."

In 1943, the Soviet Union announced it broke the Nazi siege of Leningrad that began in September, 1941.

In 1949, Charles Ponzi, engineer of one of the most spectacular swindles in history, died destitute in the charity ward of a hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at age 66.

In 1950, Canadian auto racer Gilles Villeneuve was born in Berthierville, Que. He won six Formula One races for Ferrari before being killed in a crash during qualifying for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix. In 1997, his son Jacques became the first North American to win the Formula One title.

In 1957, a trio of B-52's completed the first non-stop, round-the-world flight by jet planes, landing at March Air Force Base in California after more than 45 hours aloft.

In 1960, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker confirmed that Canada would control the use of nuclear weapons stored in this country. But Diefenbaker told the Commons that the nuclear weapons would be under U.S. ownership.

In 1967, Albert DeSalvo, who claimed to be -- but was never convicted of being -- the Boston Strangler, was convicted in Cambridge, Mass., of armed robbery, assault and sex offences. Sentenced to life in prison, he was stabbed to death by a fellow inmate in 1973. …

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Today in History - Jan. 18: Today in History - Jan. 18
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