Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - July 23

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - July 23

Article excerpt

Today in History - July 23

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Today in History for July 23:

On this date:

In 1621, the Virginia colony was granted the New World's first written constitution.

In 1767, the Prince Edward Island land lottery was held in London, England. The Earl of Egmont had asked King George III to grant him Prince Edward Island forever. The Earl wanted to build armed castles and moats for himself and about 400 lesser lords. His request was turned down, and instead the land was divided up for colonization among people who had claims for military or other public service.

In 1829, William Austin Burt of Mount Vernon, Mich. received a patent for his "typographer" -- a forerunner of the typewriter.

In 1840, the British Parliament passed the "Act of Union," providing for the union of Upper and Lower Canada under a single government.

In 1904, Charles Menches of St. Louis is said to have conceived the ice cream cone. The walk-away cone debuted at that year's St. Louis World's Fair. (Note: the same fair also saw the premiere of another hot-weather staple. Richard Blechyden, an Englishman who had a tea concession at the fair, invented and sold iced tea.)

In 1908, Hamilton's Bobby Kerr won the gold medal in the 220-yard sprint at the Olympic Games in London.

In 1935, the Liberals under Walter Lea won all 30 seats in the P.E.I. legislature. It was the first Commonwealth parliament elected without any sitting opposition. Frank McKenna's New Brunswick Liberals repeated the feat in 1987.

In 1942, MPs approved a measure allowing the Canadian government to impose conscription by cabinet order, rather than having to call Parliament into session. The Liberals under William Lyon Mackenzie King, who had been elected on a promise not to impose conscription, held a plebescite in April asking voters to release them from that promise. In Quebec, the vote was 72.9 per cent against, while in the rest of Canada, the Yes side won 80 per cent of the votes. King then promised that none of the conscripts would be sent overseas. Due to a manpower shortage in 1944, however, and the pro-conscript mood in his own government, King announced Nov. 22 that they would indeed be sent to war. Only 12,908 conscripted soldiers were actually sent abroad during the Second World War.

In 1943, Trans-Canada Air Lines inaugurated transatlantic service.

In 1944, the Canadian Army went into action in northern France during the Second World War as a separate unit for the first time. Until then, it had been under British command.

In 1945, Marshal Petain, France's hero of the First World War, went on trial as a traitor to France during the Second World War.

In 1962, the first live TV broadcast linking North America and Europe via the "Telstar" satellite included programming from the CBC.

In 1962, an agreement was signed settling Saskatchewan's medicare dispute between the provincial government and doctors. Canada's first universal health care plan had come into effect in Saskatchewan on July 1, but its implementation was delayed by controversy, including a strike by the province's doctors. The problem was solved when a special session of the legislature passed amendments satisfactory to both parties.

In 1967, the Pan-American games opened in Winnipeg. Canada won 92 medals, including 12 gold. On the same day in 1999, the 13th Pan Am Games also opened in Winnipeg.

In 1967, a week of deadly race-related rioting that claimed 43 lives erupted in Detroit after police raided a black-owned night spot.

In 1975, Saskatchewan Roughriders fullback George Reed set a pro football record by scoring his 127th career touchdown against the Calgary Stampeders. Reed retired after the season with 137 TDs. Edmonton Eskimos running back Mike Pringle tied the record in the last game of the 2004 regular season before retiring in 2005.

In 1982, the International Whaling Commission voted overwhelmingly to phase out commercial whaling by 1985. …

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