Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - Aug. 28

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - Aug. 28

Article excerpt

Today in History - Aug. 28


Today in History for Aug. 28:

On this date:

In 430, St. Augustine of Hippo, the great early Latin Church father and one of the outstanding theological figures of the ages, died at age 76. It was St. Augustine who wrote: "Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in thee." His greatest work was "City of God."

In 1619, Ferdinand II was crowned Holy Roman Emperor.

In 1749, German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born.

In 1789, Enceladus, one of Saturn's moons, was discovered. Scientists think the moon may have underground fluids, making it one of the top planets in the solar system where extraterrestrial life might exist.

In 1828, Count Leo Tolstoy, one of the world's great classical writers, was born at Yasnaya Polyana, in Russia. Tolstoy did not distinguish himself in university, but began making his mark as a writer in 1854 with his brilliant sketches of the Crimean War. After his return from the war, Tolstoy freed the serfs at his estate and became a social reformer. His masterpieces include "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina."

In 1833, an act abolishing slavery throughout the British Colonies received royal assent. It came into force on Aug. 1, 1834. It was the result of a campaign by abolitionists internationally, and in the British Parliament by an alliance of Evangelical Anglicans and Quakers led by MP William Wilberforce.

In 1846, the British Possessions Act gave the provinces power to enact their own tariff and other agreements. The act, which was passed in London, allowed colonial legislatures to reduce or repeal imperial customs duties they were subject to, and allowed them to have free trade.

In 1861, William Lyon Mackenzie, a central figure of his time, Toronto's first mayor and leader in the Upper Canada rebellion of 1837, died in 1861. He was 66. After three years in the Upper Canada legislature, he was expelled for breach of privilege and not allowed to resume his seat, although his constituents re-elected him five times. In December 1837, he led about 750 rural supporters in an uprising that took the form of two skirmishes near Toronto. When they were put down, he fled to the United States but returned under amnesty in 1849. He was re-elected in 1851, but retired from politics in 1858.

In 1872, the world's first "Wild West Show" was staged at Niagara Falls, Ont. The main attraction was American frontiersman James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickock who appeared in "Buffalo Bill's" show until 1874. Hickock's reputation as a marksman made him a celebrity in the travelling show.

In 1904, the first jail sentence for speeding was handed down in Newport, R.I. -- five days -- for driving 32 km/h.

In 1907, United Parcel Service had its beginnings as the American Messenger Company of Seattle.

In 1913, author Robertson Davies was born at Thamesville, Ont. He died Dec. 2, 1995.

In 1914, British and German forces fought the first major naval battle of the First World War, the Battle of Heligoland Bight.

In 1916, Italy declared war on Germany during the First World War.

In 1919, Sir Godfrey Hounsfield, the British electrical engineer who invented the CAT (computerized axial tomography) scanner, was born. The scanner, first used in a London hospital in 1972, revolutionized health care by producing photographs 100 times more detailed than X-rays. Hounsfield's work earned him a share of the 1979 Nobel Prize in medicine. He died Aug. 12, 2004.

In 1922, radio station WEAF in New York City aired the first radio commercial -- a 10-minute pitch for a new co-op apartment house. …

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