Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - Aug. 18

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - Aug. 18

Article excerpt

Today in History - Aug. 18

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Today in History for Aug. 18:

In 1227, Mongol emperor Genghis Khan died. He became one of the most significant and successful military leaders in history. He united the Mongol tribes and founded the Mongol Empire (1206-1368), the largest contiguous empire in world history. He was reputed to have killed 20 million people.

In 1587, in Roanoke, N.C., Virginia Dare became the first child born of European parents in the New World.

In 1670, Jean Talon arrived at Quebec for his second term as France's Intendant of Justice, Police and Finance in the new colony. Talon conducted the first census in Canada, in the winter of 1665-66. During his tenure he instituted the "filles du roi" program, bringing single women to Canada to marry the single men here. Along with increasing the population, he diversified the colony's economy, established factories, a shipyard, a brewery and a lumber trade.

In 1688, Puritan clergyman John Bunyan preached his last sermon before dying 13 days later. In 1678 he had authored "Pilgrim's Progress," an allegory describing the difficulties encountered in the Christian life while journeying through this world.

In 1850, French novelist Honore de Balzac died.

In 1869, William Hamilton was granted the first Canadian patent. It was for a fluid meter that measured gasses and liquids.

In 1914, a Peruvian destroyer became the first warship to pass through the newly opened Panama Canal.

In 1914, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed American neutrality in the First World War - the same day Germany declared war on Russia.

In 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guaranteed the right of all American women to vote, was ratified as Tennessee became the 36th state to approve it.

In 1932, Scottish aviator Jim Mollison made the first westbound trans-Atlantic solo flight, from Portmarnock, Ireland to Pennfield, N.B.

In 1938, Prime Minister Mackenzie King and U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt formally opened the Thousand Islands International Bridge. It spans the St. Lawrence River between Collins Landing, N.Y., and Ivy Lea, Ont.

In 1942, General Bernard Montgomery was named commander of the British Eighth Army in Egypt. Under Montgomery, the Allied armies started a massive offensive from El Alamein, which pushed the Germans out of North Africa during the Second World War.

In 1944, a three-day battle began in which Major David Currie of the South Alberta Reconnaissance Regiment won the Victoria Cross. The Saskatchewan native led a successful effort to stop German troops from breaking through Canadian lines at St-Lambert-sur-Dives, France. Currie later served for 17 years as the House of Commons' sergeant at arms. He died in 1986.

In 1954, Canada and the United States agreed to jointly build the St. Lawrence Seaway.

In 1956, the Alexander Graham Bell Museum was dedicated at Baddeck, N.S.

In 1960, the first commercially-produced oral contraceptive, "Enovid 10," was launched.

In 1964, South Africa was banned from the Olympic Games because of its apartheid policies. It returned to competition in 1992.

In 1968, more than 100 women and children were killed when a landslide swept two sightseeing buses into a river on Japan's Honshu Island. …

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