Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - Aug. 1

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - Aug. 1

Article excerpt

Today in History - Aug. 1

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Today in History for Aug. 1:

On this date:

In 1534, French explorer Jacques Cartier sighted the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Charged by King Francois I to look for gold in the New World and a passage to China, Cartier left St-Malo, France, on April 20, 1534, with two ships and 61 men, arriving off Newfoundland 20 days later. Before heading home on Aug. 15, he claimed Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the lands adjacent for France.

In 1714, Britain's Queen Anne died at age 49. She was succeeded by George I.

In 1774, British scientist Joseph Priestley succeeded in isolating oxygen from air.

In 1778, the world's first savings bank opened in Hamburg, Germany.

In 1790, the first U.S. census showed a population of almost four million.

In 1793, France became the first country to use the metric system of weights and measures.

In 1798, the "Battle of the Nile" between the British and the French isolated Napoleon's army in Egypt. One of the greatest victories of British admiral Horatio Nelson, it ensured the ultimate disintegration of the French army and secured Britain's possession of the Mediterranean and India.

In 1824, John Galt proposed the formation of the Canada Land Co. for settlement in Ontario.

In 1834, slavery was abolished in all British possessions. But it was not until the victory of the Union in the U.S. Civil War in 1865 that slaves were freed in the United States. Opening up of the West Indies and the southern states of America had made slavery a lucrative trade. But in the latter part of the 18th century and early 19th century, public conscience was aroused over the issue.

In 1834, Robert Morrison, the first English Protestant missionary to reach China, died at age 52. Sent by the London Missionary Society in 1807, in 1823 he completed a Chinese translation of the Bible. It filled 23 volumes.

In 1876, Colorado was admitted as the 38th state.

In 1885, a six-man jury in Regina found Metis leader Louis Riel guilty of treason. He was hanged the following November.

In 1890, Walther Eichrodt, German Reformed Old Testament scholar, was born. He taught at Basel and Erlangen universities, and is highly regarded among Christian evangelicals for his book Theology of the Old Testament.

In 1909, the British ship "Waratah" vanished after leaving London with 300 aboard.

In 1914, Germany declared war on Russia in the First World War.

In 1928, Vancouver sprinter Percy Williams earned his second gold medal of the Amsterdam Olympics. He won the 200 metres, two days after winning the 100.

In 1930, the British airship "R100" crossed the Atlantic and arrived in Montreal. The trip was financed by Britain and Canada, part of a plan to provide airship service throughout the Commonwealth. The flight took 78 hours and 52 minutes. But airships were too vulnerable to the elements, and after the explosion of the Hindenburg in 1937, airship travel ceased.

In 1932, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, a democratic socialist political party and the forerunner of the New Democratic Party, was formed in Calgary. Under the leadership of J. S. Woodsworth, the CCF brought into one federation a number of farm and labor groups and socialist parties in Western Canada. Their avowed aim was the transforming of the competitive capitalist economic system into a co-operative commonwealth through democratic means.

In 1933, Bell Telephone's first unattended dial exchange went into service in Oka, Que.

In 1936, French fashion designer Yves St. Laurent was born in Oran, Algeria. He died June, 1, 2008.

In 1936, the Olympic Games opened in Berlin with a ceremony presided over by Adolf Hitler. American Jesse Owens went on to win four gold medals in track and field.

In 1944, an uprising broke out in Warsaw against Nazi occupation forces during the Second World War. …

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