Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - Feb. 20: Today in History - Feb. 20

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - Feb. 20: Today in History - Feb. 20

Article excerpt

Today is Feb. 20:

In 1666, explorer Rene-Robert La Salle arrived in New France and settled at Montreal.

In 1725, the earliest recorded scalps were taken in New Hampshire, when white bounty hunters killed 10 sleeping natives.

In 1790, Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II died. This left a leadership vacuum that eventually led to a series of revolutions that resulted in the end of the Christian empire.

In 1792, U.S. President George Washington signed an act creating the U.S. Post Office.

In 1887, future diplomat and governor general Vincent Massey was born in Toronto. He died Dec. 30, 1967.

In 1906, an appeal court upheld the conviction of a Woodstock, Ont., woman on a charge of practising voodoo.

In 1930, the federal government transferred responsibility for British Columbia's natural resources to the province.

In 1938, British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden resigned to protest the Munich Pact with Germany's Adolf Hitler.

In 1945, the federal government issued Canada's first family allowance cheques.

In 1958, Secretary of State Ellen Fairclough became the first female acting prime minister when John Diefenbaker was away campaigning in Newfoundland.

In 1959, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker cancelled the Avro Arrow jet program. The decision resulted in the layoff of nearly 14,000 people at the Avro plant at Malton, Ont. Developed by Canadian AV Roe, the Arrow (also known as the CF-105) was an advanced, all-weather supersonic interceptor jet.

In 1962, astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth after blasting off aboard the "Friendship 7" Mercury capsule. He completed three orbits.

In 1980, U.S. President Jimmy Carter formally advised the Soviet Union the U.S. would boycott the Summer Olympics in Moscow. Canada also boycotted the Games.

In 1985, the first U.S. cruise missile test took place in Canadian airspace. The unarmed missile was released from a B-52 bomber over the Beaufort Sea. The self-propelled projectile took less than an hour to reach the Primrose Weapons Range in northern Alberta.

In 1992, painter A.J. Casson, who immortalized small Ontario towns in watercolour, died in Toronto at age 93. Casson was the last surviving member of the Group of Seven artists.

In 1993, after 21 years as an MP, Joe Clark announced he would not seek re-election. The constitutional affairs minister led the Tories for seven years and was prime minister from June, 1979 to March, 1980. He became Tory leader again in 1998 and regained a Commons seat in 2000.

In 1993, downtown Auckland, New Zealand was turned into a ghost town as the last of four underground cables stressed by a heat wave failed. Full power was not restored for a month.

In 2000, Ujjal Dosanjh was elected leader of the British Columbia NDP, becoming the country's first Indo-Canadian premier. But he was defeated in an election the following year by the Liberals under Gordon Campbell. …

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