Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - June 21

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - June 21

Article excerpt

Today in History - June 21

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Today in History for June 21:

On this date:

In 1639, Increase Mather, an early American theologian, was born. He published nearly 100 books, and is credited with helping end executions for witchcraft in colonial America.

In 1749, Halifax was founded by Gov. Edward Cornwallis. First called Chebucto, it was renamed soon after in honour of George Dunk, the Earl of Halifax, who was the guiding force behind the settlement.

In 1788, the U.S. constitution took effect as New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify it.

In 1919, in what became known as "Bloody Saturday," gunfire broke out after police charged a group of participants in the five-week-old Winnipeg General Strike. Two strikers were killed and 20 were wounded. The strike was called off five days later.

In 1932, heavyweight Max Schmeling lost a title fight rematch in New York by decision to Jack Sharkey, prompting Schmeling's manager, Joe Jacobs, to exclaim: "We was robbed!"

In 1948, the world's first modern computer -- which used cathode-ray tubes -- worked successfully for the first time at the University of Manchester in England. "The Baby," as it was nicknamed, was six metres long, weighed half a tonne and could store only 32 words.

In 1957, John Diefenbaker was sworn in as Canada's first Conservative prime minister in 22 years. The same day, 52-year-old Ellen Fairclough became Canada's first female cabinet minister when she was sworn in as secretary of state. The Hamilton-born accountant also served as Immigration Minister and Postmaster General before she and the Tories were defeated in the 1963 election.

In 1963, Giovanni Cardinal Battista Montini was chosen to succeed Pope John XXIII as head of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Pope Paul VI until his death in 1978.

In 1977, a flash fire killed 21 prisoners in the police lock-up in Saint John, N.B.

In 1982, a Washington jury found John Hinckley Jr. not guilty by reason of insanity in the shooting of U.S. President Reagan and three others more than a year earlier.

In 1984, the first amendment to Canada's constitution became law. It added new rights for aboriginals.

In 1985, American, Brazilian and West German scientists announced that skeletal remains exhumed from a graveyard in Brazil were indeed those of Nazi death-camp Dr. Josef Mengele. He had died in 1979.

In 1990, an estimated 50,000 Iranians were killed by an earthquake.

In 1997, the G7 became the G8 when Russia fully participated for the first time at the annual summit of the world's leading industrial countries. The meeting took place in Denver.

In 1999, American forest giant Weyerhaeuser announced it would buy British Columbia-based MacMillan Bloedel for $3. …

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