Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - March 12

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - March 12

Article excerpt

Today in History - March 12

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Today in History for March 12:

On this date:

In 1664, England's King Charles II granted an area of land in present-day North America known as New Netherland to his brother James, the Duke of York.

In 1795, William Lyon Mackenzie, who led the 1837 rebellion in Upper Canada, now Ontario, was born in Toronto. He became the city's first mayor in 1834.

In 1820, Alexander MacKenzie, the first explorer to reach the Pacific Ocean over land, died in Scotland at 56.

In 1821, John Abbott, Canada's third prime minister, was born in St-Andre-Est, Lower Canada -- now Quebec. He died in 1893.

In 1832, Charles Boycott was born in England. In 1880, as an estate agent in Ireland, he issued eviction notices to a group of tenants who had requested lower rents. The tenants retaliated by refusing to deal with him, and the term boycott was born.

In 1879, Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald introduced his National Policy. It included protective tariffs, plans to complete the transcontinental railway and encouraging immigrants to settle in Western Canada.

In 1883, the first steel arrived in Port Moody, B.C., for construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

In 1903, the third session of the ninth Parliament opened; measures included authority for the Grand Trunk Railway to build a transcontinental line and putting a head tax of $500 on Chinese immigrants.

In 1908, Canadian Frederick Baldwin became the first British subject to fly an airplane. It crashed in Lake Keuka, N.Y.

In 1912, Juliette Gordon Low of Savannah, Ga., founded the Girl Guides, which later became the Girl Scouts of America.

In 1912, Canadian poet Irving Layton was born in Romania. He published more than 40 books of poetry and prose over more than five decades, was named to the Order of Canada in 1976 and was nominated for a Nobel Prize in literature in 1982. He died Jan. 4, 2006.

In 1921, the Canadian Authors Association was founded in Montreal.

In 1930, First World War flying ace Billy Barker was killed in a plane crash in Ottawa. Barker shot down 53 enemy planes during the war and was awarded the Victoria Cross for his single-handed combat against some 60 German aircraft in October, 1918.

In 1930, Indian political and spiritual leader Mohandas K. Gandhi began a 320-km march to the Indian ocean to protest a British tax on salt.

In 1933, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered the first of his 30 radio "fireside chats," telling Americans what was being done to deal with the nation's economic crisis.

In 1933, the swastika became the official flag of Germany.

In 1938, Germany invaded Austria.

In 1945, Anne Frank, the Dutch Jewish teenager who kept a diary of her wartime experiences, died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. She was 15.

In 1951, the "Dennis the Menace" comic strip first appeared.

In 1959, the U.S. Senate voted to admit Hawaii as the 50th state.

In 1964, Ontario Education Minister Bill Davis abolished the law segregating white and black schools.

In 1966, Bobby Hull, then playing with the Chicago Blackhawks, became the first player in the NHL to score more than 50 goals in a season, getting his 51st goal against the New York Rangers. Hull was the highest-scoring left wing in hockey history with 1,018 goals and 2,017 points when he retired in 1980 at the age of 41.

In 1980, a Chicago jury found John Wayne Gacy Jr. guilty of the murders of 33 men and boys. The next day, Gacy was sentenced to death; he was executed in May, 1994.

In 1985, three men stormed the Turkish Embassy in Ottawa, killing the embassy security guard. They occupied the embassy for four hours, holding hostage the wife and daughter of the ambassador and embassy staff, before surrendering to police. The attackers, who said they were members of the Armenian Revolutionary Army, told police they staged the attack "to make Turkey pay for the Armenian genocide" of 1915. …

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