Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - Feb. 6: Today in History - Feb. 6

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - Feb. 6: Today in History - Feb. 6

Article excerpt

Today is Feb. 6:

In 1519, Sir Walter Raleigh left England to explore South America.

In 1721, Christian Heinecker was born. At age 10 months, Heinecker was reported to have been capable of repeating every word said to him. At age three, he began to speak Latin and French. Before he died in 1725, he was proclaimed a "wonder" by the court of Copenhagen.

In 1722, in Quebec City, abandoning children became a death penalty offence.

In 1813, Americans from Ogdensburg, N.Y., raided Brockville, Ont., and took 52 hostages.

In 1894, Ontario residents voted for the prohibition of alcohol.

In 1895, baseball legend Babe Ruth was born in Baltimore. He died Aug. 16, 1948.

In 1899, a peace treaty between the United States and Spain was ratified by the U.S. Senate. It ceded Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines to the U.S. for $20 million.

In 1901, the federal Conservative caucus elected Robert Borden as their new leader. Borden, who was born in Nova Scotia but over his political career had constituencies both there and in Ontario, served as prime minister from 1911 to 1920, guiding the country through World War I. He won greater independence from Britain and established Canada's reputation as a neutral entity in international affairs. He died June 10, 1937.

In 1902, the first independent Young Women's Hebrew Association was organized in New York City. It combined religious, social, and cultural recreational activities for young women, especially working girls.

In 1943, American General Dwight Eisenhower was named commander of Allied forces in North Africa during World War II.

In 1948, Ottawa teenager Barbara Ann Scott became the first North American woman to win an Olympic figure skating title. Scott, who was also the 1947 world champion, took the gold medal in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Immediately after the Olympics, Scott turned professional and received a yellow Buick convertible from her hometown.

In 1952, King George VI died of cancer at the age of 56. His eldest daughter succeeded him as Queen Elizabeth II.

In 1958, seven Manchester United soccer players were among those killed when their plane crashed during takeoff in Munich. The team was returning from a European Cup game in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.

In 1959, the United States successfully test-fired for the first time a Titan intercontinental ballistic missile from Cape Canaveral.

In 1967, Manitoba introduced a five-per-cent sales tax. That left Alberta as the only province without such a levy.

In 1971, astronaut Alan Shepard used a six-iron to hit golf balls on the Moon during the "Apollo 14" mission.

In 1977, Quebec Premier Rene Levesque drove over a man lying on a Montreal street. A coroner ruled there was no criminal responsibility, and Levesque was fined $25 for not wearing his glasses at the time.

In 1988, the first Canadian quints conceived outside their mother's womb -- Remington, Wade, Lance, William and Maxine Collier -- were born in Toronto. …

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