Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - June 24

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - June 24

Article excerpt

Today in History - June 24

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Today in History for June 24:

On this date:

In 541, Attila the Hun laid siege to Orleans, France.

In 1099, the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, parent body of St. John Ambulance, was founded. It is the oldest order of chivalry in the Commonwealth.

In 1497, explorer John Cabot sighted the North American coast -- either Newfoundland or Cape Breton.

In 1509, Henry VIII was crowned king of England to start a tumultuous 38-year reign. Best know for his six wives, Henry split the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church in his efforts to divorce his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. He changed religious ceremonies, made himself head of the Church of England and dissolved the monasteries. Despite his efforts to leave a male heir, he sired only one son, Edward, who lived only six years after Henry.

In 1534, French explorer Jacques Cartier discovered Prince Edward Island.

In 1611, English explorer Henry Hudson, his son and several sick men were set adrift by mutineers in what is now Hudson Bay.

In 1615, Fathers Jamany and Le Caron celebrated the first Roman Catholic mass in the province of Quebec.

In 1812, the French army, under Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, began its advance on Moscow.

In 1813, natives and British troops ambushed an invading American force at Beaver Dams in what is now Ontario's Niagara region. They had been warned of the pending attack by Laura Secord, who had overheard some American soldiers discussing the plan while dining at her house two days earlier. She walked 30 kilometres from Queenston to Beaver Dams to warn the British. Monuments to the War of 1812 heroine stand in the Ontario communities of Lundys Lane, Niagara Falls and Queenston Heights. The Massachusetts-born Secord died in Niagara Falls, Ont., in 1868 at age 93.

In 1880, "O Canada," with music by Calixa Lavallee and French lyrics by Judge A.B. Routhier, was performed for the first time at the Skaters' Pavilion in Quebec City.

In 1904, King Edward VII allowed the North-West Mounted Police (now the RCMP) to use the prefix "Royal."

In 1916, Toronto-born Mary Pickford became the first Hollywood star to produce her own movies.

In 1918, airmail service was inaugurated in Canada with a biplane flight from Montreal to Toronto by Royal Air Force Capt. Brian Peck.

In 1944, RCAF Flight Lieutenant David Hornell won a posthumous Victoria Cross after his anti-submarine patrol plane tangled with a German U-boat near the Shetland Islands, off Scotland. Hornell and his crew sank the sub with depth charges but had to ditch their plane. They were rescued the next day from a life raft, but Hornell died of hypothermia.

In 1957, "Front Page Challenge" made its debut. Intended as a 13-week summer replacement program, it became North America's longest-running game-interview television program of its kind. The CBC cancelled the show in 1995.

In 1958, former Quebec Premier Jean Charest was born. Educated as a lawyer, he was first elected as an MP in the Quebec riding of Sherbrooke in 1984. Charest served in several portfolios and ran for the Conservative leadership when Prime Minister Brian Mulroney retired in 1993. He lost to Kim Campbell and then replaced her after the disastrous election that reduced the Tories to two seats. In 1998 he switched parties and politics when he was asked to accept the leadership of the Quebec Liberals. He was elected premier in 2003.

In 1968, golfer Sandra Post of Oakville, Ont., won the LPGA Championship, beating Kathy Whitworth in an 18-hole playoff in Sutton, Mass. Post was the first non-American and the first LPGA Tour rookie to capture the major title.

In 1968, a Montreal St-Jean Baptiste Day celebration exploded into a riot in front of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Around 300 people were arrested and 130 were treated in hospital for injuries. Trudeau refused to leave the reviewing stand, even after a thrown bottle narrowly missed his head. …

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