Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - June 9

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - June 9

Article excerpt

Today in History - June 9

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Today in History for June 9:

In 68 AD, the brutal and paranoid Roman emperor Nero committed suicide at age 31. Nero is regarded as one of the worst of Rome's emperors, better known for devoting himself to horse racing, singing, dancing and sexual exploits than administrative duties. He is often accused of "fiddling while Rome burned" although historians generally agree that he did in fact try to control the fire that destroyed much of the city in 64 AD.

In 597, St. Columba, as he was known to the Irish, died. He spread the gospel from Ireland to the northern British Isles.

In 1549, the Church of England adopted "The Book of Common Prayer," compiled by Thomas Cranmer.

In 1672, Peter I of Russia, known as "Peter the Great," was born. As Tsar of Russia from 1682-1725, he turned his country into a major European power. He founded St. Petersburg, which he made the new capital.

In 1793, the importation of slaves into Upper Canada was prohibited.

In 1829, 30 people attended Canada's first temperance meeting in Montreal.

In 1846, a fire ravaged St. John's, Nfld., leaving nearly 12,000 people homeless.

In 1866, a 20-year-old Irish soldier won the only Victoria Cross awarded for an act of valour on Canadian soil. Private Timothy O'Hea saved 800 German immigrants locked in converted boxcars on a train stopped at Danville, Que. All by himself, O'Hea put out a fire in another boxcar filled with ammunition before it exploded.

In 1870, British author Charles Dickens died at age 58. He wrote 15 major novels, including "A Tale of Two Cities" and "Great Expectations," as well as countless short stories and articles. The inscription on his tombstone in Poet's Corner, Westminster Abbey, reads: "He was a sympathiser to the poor, the suffering, and the oppressed; and by his death, one of England's greatest writers is lost to the world."

In 1881, Cap. Angus Walters, skipper of the famed schooner "Bluenose," was born in Nova Scotia. Walters took command of the "Bluenose" in 1921 and raced against other East Coast schooners until 1938.

In 1902, the Automat Restaurant, the first restaurant with food vending machines, opened in Philadelphia.

In 1934, the first successful field test of FM radio was conducted by Edwin Howard Armstrong in Alpine, N.J.

In 1940, during the Second World War, Norway decided to surrender to the Nazis, effective at midnight.

In 1947, wartime control and rationing of all dairy products in Canada ended.

In 1959, one of Canada's most sensational criminal cases began when 12-year-old Lynne Harper was murdered near the southwestern Ontario community of Clinton. Fourteen-year-old Steven Truscott was convicted and served 10 years in prison. In 2007, the Ontario Court of Appeal unanimously overturned that conviction, declaring the case "a miscarriage of justice."

In 1964, Lord Beaverbrook, the Canadian-born British cabinet minister and media magnate, died at age 85.

In 1968, the first national televised debate of Canadian political leaders was held. It featured Pierre Trudeau, Robert Stanfield, Tommy Douglas and Real Caouette. …

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