Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - June 23

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - June 23

Article excerpt

Today in History - June 23

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Today in History for June 23:

On this date:

In 1683, English Quaker William Penn signed his famous treaty with the Indians of Pennsylvania that became a universal symbol of religious and civil liberties.

In 1757, forces of the East India Company led by Robert Clive won the "Battle of Plassey," which effectively marked the beginning of British colonial rule in India.

In 1817, the Bank of Montreal was founded as Canada's first chartered bank.

In 1847, Liberia became the first independent African nation.

In 1868, Christopher Latham Sholes received a patent for an invention he called a typewriter.

In 1870, Rupert's Land and the Northwest Territories joined Confederation, and Manitoba was made a province.

In 1887, Parliament passed legislation creating Banff National Park, which launched Canada's national parks system.

In 1896, the Liberals under Wilfrid Laurier won Canada's eighth federal election. Laurier, the first prime minister of French descent, remained in office for 15 years.

In 1908, fire destroyed half the city of Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. The blaze left one-thousand people homeless and caused $2 million in damage.

In 1923, Manitoba voted for government control of liquor and repealed the "Prohibition Act" of 1916 by a narrow margin.

In 1931, aviators Wiley Post and Harold Gatty took off from New York on the first flight around the world in a single-engine plane that lasted eight days and 15 hours.

In 1943, Trans-Canada Airlines (now Air Canada) inaugurated transatlantic service.

In 1967, Pope Paul VI issued the encyclical "Sacerdotalis Caelibatus," reaffirming the Roman Catholic Church's requirement of celibacy with the priesthood.

In 1972, U.S. President Richard Nixon and his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, agreed on a plan to use the CIA to obstruct the FBI's Watergate probe. Revelation of the White House tape recording of this discussion sparked Nixon's resignation in 1974.

In 1974, former prime minister John Diefenbaker was sworn in as an MP for a record 12th consecutive time. The Saskatchewan Tory made it 13 in 1979, shortly before his death.

In 1978, the House of Commons passed legislation giving everyone the right to a trial in either French or English.

In 1985, 329 people, including 280 Canadians, were killed when a bomb exploded aboard an Air India jet off the Irish coast. The flight had originated in Toronto and stopped at Montreal before heading to London and Bombay. Two men were eventually arrested and went on trial 20 years later but were acquitted after an investigation and prosecution that cost an estimated $130 million. Twenty-five years after the bombing, an inquiry headed by retired justice John Major concluded there was a "cascading series of errors" by various agencies both before and after the bombing. Major said it could have been prevented and warned there were still holes in Canada's security systems.

In 1990, Jean Chretien became leader of the federal Liberal party. He defeated Paul Martin Jr. on the first ballot of the party's Calgary convention. Chretien succeeded John Turner, who beat him for the leadership in 1984. He became prime minister in 1993 and remained in office until 2003 when he informed the party he would not lead them in the next election.

In 1990, the deadline for ratifying the Meech Lake accord expired, crushing efforts to incorporate Quebec in the constitution. The accord failed to win the required unanimous support from the provincial legislatures. …

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