Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - Feb. 19

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - Feb. 19

Article excerpt

Today in History - Feb. 19

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Today in History for Feb. 19:

In 1377, John Wycliffe went on trial in London's St. Paul's Cathedral after arguing against the sale of indulgences, the worship of saints and the veneration of relics. He was never convicted as a heretic.

In 1473, the founder of modern astronomy, Nicolaus Copernicus, was born in Poland. His theory established the Sun as the centre of the planetary system.

In 1732, religious houses in New France were forbidden to shelter fugitives from justice.

In 1878, Thomas Edison was issued a U.S. patent for his phonograph, less than two months after he applied. In the autumn of 1877, Edison had successfully tested a crude cylinder phonograph that recorded his voice on a piece of tinfoil wrapped around a cylinder. He had shouted into the mouthpiece of the instrument the nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb." When he played back the recording, and a recognizable reproduction of his voice emerged, Edison was quoted as saying: "I was never so taken aback in my life." Before the patent was even granted, the Edison Speaking Phonograph Company had been formed to control the manufacture and exhibition of the instruments. However, the phonograph's commercial value at the time lay solely in its appeal as a novelty.

In 1889, Saskatchewan Metis leader Gabriel Dumont was pardoned by the federal government for his actions during the 1885 Northwest Rebellion led by Louis Riel.

In 1897, in Stoney Creek, Ont., Adelaide Hunter Hoodless formed the Women's Institute, a group that spread throughout the English-speaking world. Hoodless was jolted out of her comfortable middle-class existence when her infant son died after drinking impure milk. She became devoted to educating women for motherhood and household management. Hoodless also helped found the National Council of Women, the Victorian Order of Nurses and the national YWCA. She died in Toronto on her 53rd birthday in 1910.

In 1906, Michigan doctor William Kellogg formed the Battle Creek Cornflake Company to make a breakfast cereal he had developed for patients suffering from mental disorders.

In 1920, shareholders of the Grand Trunk Railway ratified its sale to the federal government. It became part of the Canadian National Railway system.

In 1930, the Quebec legislature rejected a bill to admit women to the practice of law.

In 1945, U.S. Marines landed on the Japanese-held island of Iwo Jima during the Second World War. The island was eventually taken on March 26 at a cost of more than 6,800 American lives.

In 1959, an agreement was signed by Britain, Turkey and Greece granting Cyprus its independence.

In 1960, Queen Elizabeth became the first reigning British monarch in more than a century to have a baby, Prince Andrew.

In 1968, the federal Liberal minority government lost a tax vote in the Commons. The Opposition Conservatives demanded, without success, that the government resign. On Feb. 28, the Liberals won a vote of confidence.

In 1970, Canada claimed jurisdiction over all waters of the Northwest Passage, and between the islands of the Arctic archipelago.

In 1974, the National Hockey League and World Hockey Association reached an out-of-court settlement in their litigation. The agreement, signed in Philadelphia, struck down the NHL's reserve clause, which bound a player to a team for life unless he was traded or released.

In 1983, Joe Clark resigned as Conservative leader, although he remained in control of the party until successor Brian Mulroney was chosen at a June convention.

In 1993, two British explorers became the first to cross the Antarctic on foot without outside support. Sir Ralph Fiennes and Dr. Michael Stroud dragged their supplies on sledges weighing 196 kilograms across more than 2,100 kilometres. …

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