Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - April 23: Today in History - April 23

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - April 23: Today in History - April 23

Article excerpt

Today is April 23:

On this date:

In 34, Jesus Christ was crucified, according to mathematician and physicist Sir Isaac Newton, one of the foremost scientific intellects of all time.

In 303, St. George was beheaded on the orders of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. This martyred soldier is not only the patron saint of England and Portugal, but also of soldiers and the Boy Scouts of America.

In 1348, King Edward III established the Order of the Garter, which is still Britain's highest honour.

In 1564, English dramatist William Shakespeare was born. He died on the same day 52 years later.

In 1616, Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes, who wrote "Don Quixote," died in Madrid.

In 1616, English poet and dramatist William Shakespeare, 52, died on what has been traditionally regarded as the anniversary of his birth in 1564.

In 1851, the first Canadian postage stamp, the three-penny beaver, was issued.

In 1879, the city of Guelph, Ont., was incorporated.

In 1896, the Vitascope system for projecting movies onto a screen was demonstrated at a music hall in New York City.

In 1897, Lester Pearson was born in Newtonbrook, Ont. The Nobel Peace Prize winner served as Canada's 14th prime minister from 1963-68. He died on Dec. 27, 1972.

In 1915, Lance-Cpl. Fred Fisher of St. Catharines, Ont., won a posthumous Victoria Cross during the Second Battle of Ypres during the First World War. Three other Canadians also won V.C.'s for valour during the battle around the Belgian city.

In 1928, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that women were not persons under the British North America Act and therefore could not hold office. In 1929 the British Privy Council reversed the decision, saying the exclusion of women from public office was "a relic of days more barbarous than ours."

In 1940, about 200 people died in the Rhythm Night Club fire in Natchez, Miss.

In 1954, Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves hit the first of his 755 home runs, in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals. (Barry Bonds broke Aaron's major league record in August, 2007. )

In 1968, the first public hearings of the newly-formed CRTC were held in Ottawa.

In 1969, Sirhan Sirhan was sentenced to death in Los Angeles for the assassination the previous June of U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy. The sentence was later reduced to life imprisonment when the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily outlawed the death penalty.

In 1969, John Sinclair completed the greatest recorded feat of continuous marathon walking. He walked over 354 kilometres in nearly 48 hours near Simonstown, South Africa.

In 1978, British scientists Bob Edwards and Patrick Steptoe announced they had successfully carried out the first documented "test tube" pregnancy. Lesley Brown had become pregnant in November, 1977 through in vitro fertilization. The process involves fertilizing an egg outside the mother's body, then implanting the embryo in her womb. Louise Brown was born on July 25, 1978.

In 1981, the House of Commons approved the final form of Canada's proposed constitution.

In 1985, Coca-Cola announced it was changing the formula for Coke. The public uproar resulted in two Cokes being sold -- "new" Coke and Coca-Cola "Classic." The "new" Coke didn't last long.

In 1989, the Roman Catholic Church in Newfoundland set up an inquiry into the sexual abuse of children during the 1970's at the Mount Cashel Orphanage.

In 1992, a divorce was granted to Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips. They were married for 18 years before separating in August, 1989.

In 1995, American sportscaster Howard Cosell died of cancer at age 75. His flamboyant, caustic style made him the most celebrated, and imitated, sportscaster of his time.

In 1996, fierce bidding sent prices through the roof as Sotheby's in New York began auctioning some of the belongings of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The $32 million raised by the three-day sale went to the Kennedy family. …

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