Today in History - July 20

The Canadian Press, July 5, 2013 | Go to article overview

Today in History - July 20


Today in History - July 20

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Today in History for July 20:

On this date:

In 1576, English explorer Martin Frobisher discovered the bay off Baffin Island that now bears his name. He thought it was a passage dividing America from Asia.

In 1648, the Westminster Larger Catechism was adopted by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland at Edinburgh. This and the Shorter Catechism have both been in regular use among Presbyterians, Baptists and Congregationalists ever since.

In 1810, Colombia declared independence from Spain.

In 1814, eight U.S. citizens were hanged as spies at Ancaster, Ont.

In 1837, the first railway station in London -- Euston Sation -- was opened.

In 1845, 300 buildings in New York City were destroyed by fire.

In 1847, German artist Max Liebermann was born in Berlin.

In 1859, in the first baseball game for which admission was charged, 1,500 people paid 50 cents each to see New York play Brooklyn.

In 1871, British Columbia became Canada's sixth province. Gold rushes of 1858 and 1860 had brought thousands of settlers to B.C., but the colony was always on the verge of bankruptcy. One condition for joining Canada was the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway within 10 years.

In 1877, the University of Manitoba was established.

In 1883, the first rail for the Pacific section of the CPR was laid at Port Moody, B.C.

In 1885, the trial of Louis Riel, leader of the Metis and founder of Manitoba, began. Riel was charged with treason for his role in two Metis rebellions. He refused to plead insanity, as his lawyer suggested, and was convicted. He was hanged later that year.

In 1919, mountain climber Sir Edmund Hillary was born in Auckland, New Zealand.

In 1937, Guglielmo Marconi, the Italian physicist who was the inventor and pioneer of modern radio telegraphy, died in Rome. He was 63.

In 1944, a bombing attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler failed as the last remnants of the German opposition sought to overthrow the Nazis.

In 1951, King Abdullah of Jordan was assassinated.

In 1960, Sirimavo Bandaranaike became the world's first female prime minister after her husband, Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Solomon Dias Bandaranaike, was killed by a deranged Buddhist monk in 1959.

In 1962, Pope John XXIII sent invitations to all "separated Christian churches and communities," asking each to send delegate-observers to the upcoming Vatican II Ecumenical Council in Rome.

In 1963, northern North America experienced a total eclipse of the sun.

In 1963, a collision in dense fog between a Bermudian ore carrier and a British freighter in the St. Lawrence River killed 33 people.

In 1969, "Apollo 11" astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin became the first men to set foot on the Moon. Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface at 10:56 p.m. ET and proclaimed, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Aldrin and Armstrong collected nearly 22 kilograms of lunar rock and soil before blasting off 21 hours, 36 minutes and 21 seconds after they landed and rejoining crewmate Michael Collins orbiting above. American astronauts would land on the Moon five more times in the following three years.

In 1974, Turkish forces invaded northern Cyprus.

In 1975, fire destroyed the main street of Springhill, N.S., demolishing 25 buildings and causing damage estimated at more than $3 million.

In 1976, the "Viking 1" space robot made the first landing on Mars. It sent back the first pictures ever taken on the planet's surface.

In 1977, a flash flood hit Johnstown, Pa., killing more than 80 people and causing $350 million worth of damage.

In 1982, Irish Republican Army bombs exploded in two London parks, killing 11 soldiers, along with seven horses belonging to the Queen's Household Cavalry.

In 1984, reigning Miss America Vanessa Williams was asked by pageant officials to resign because of nude photos of her that appeared in "Penthouse" magazine. …

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