Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - Aug. 27

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - Aug. 27

Article excerpt

Today in History - Aug. 27

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Today in History for Aug. 27:

On this date:

In 1612, landing in his ship "The Discovery," Captain Thomas Button became the first European to winter in Manitoba.

In 1758, Fort Frontenac, now Kingston, Ont., was captured and destroyed by the British. The site of the present city was picked by LaSalle in 1673, and the explorer was named commandant of the French camp. Later, the site was occupied by United Empire Loyalists from New York state and renamed Kingston. It later became the chief naval base of Ontario.

In 1776, the British defeated the Americans at Long Island during the American Revolution.

In 1783, the first hydrogen-filled balloon was flown to a height of more than 914 metres in Paris.

In 1793, John Graves Simcoe changed the name of Toronto to York, but it was later renamed Toronto when it became a city in 1834.

In 1859, Edwin L. Drake drilled the first successful oil well in the United States, at Titusville, Pa.

In 1883, the largest explosion in recorded history occurred when the volcano on the Indonesian island of Krakatoa erupted. The explosion, which was heard 5,000 kilometres away, hurled rock 26 kilometres into the air and obliterated the tiny island, leaving behind a 300-metre cavity in the ocean floor. Shock waves disrupted worldwide weather patterns and caused tidal waves that killed more than 36,000 people.

In 1896, the shortest war in recorded history ended with a British victory over Zanzibar. The British fleet bombarded Sultan Sa'id Khalid's palace for 38 minutes until he surrendered.

In 1917, Canada's Military Service Act was passed, putting conscription into effect.

In 1928, the Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact was signed by 62 countries. The pact "outlawed" war, with the countries vowing to find diplomatic means to solve future world disagreements. The agreement was initiated by the French and the U.S. secretary of state, Frank Kellogg. Kellogg received the Nobel Peace Prize a year later for his efforts but neither he, nor the pact, could prevent the outbreak of the Second World War 10 years later.

In 1939, the world's first jet-propelled plane, the Heinkel He 178, made its first flight in Marienehe, in northern Germany.

In 1945, Allied troops began landing in Japan following the surrender of the Japanese government.

In 1962, the United States launched the "Mariner 2" space probe, which flew past Venus in December 1962.

In 1964, comedienne Gracie Allen died of cancer at the age of 62.

In 1973, the largest hailstone documented in Canada, weighing 290 grams and measuring 114 millimetres in diameter -- almost three times the size of a golf ball -- fell at Cedoux, Sask.

In 1973, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that native women marrying non-Indians would lose Indian status. Once removed from the government roll of registered Indians, the women would not be able to occupy land on Indian reserves, share in band funds or be eligible for special federal benefits such as housing and welfare. A bill reversing this loss of status was given royal assent in June 1985.

In 1975, Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia's 3,000-year-old monarchy, died in Addis Ababa at 83. He was overthrown in a military coup the previous year.

In 1979, Earl Mountbatten of Burma, former chief of Britain's defence staff and an architect of India and Pakistan's independence in 1947, was assassinated when his boat was blown up on Donegal Bay. He was 79. He was also an uncle of Prince Philip. Thomas McMahon, a member of the Irish Republican Army fighting to end British rule in Northern Ireland, was sentenced to life for the crime.

In 1980, the Ottawa Journal and Winnipeg Tribune were shut down with a loss of 745 jobs, as Canada's two largest newspaper groups, Southam Inc. …

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