Today in History - Jan. 11

The Canadian Press, December 27, 2013 | Go to article overview

Today in History - Jan. 11


Today in History - Jan. 11

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Today in History for Jan. 11:

On this date:

In 1569, England's first state lottery was held to raise money for the construction of harbours.

In 1693, an earthquake at Catania, Italy, killed 60,000.

In 1759, America's first life insurance company was founded. It was called the Corporation for Relief of Poor and Distressed Widows and Children of Presbyterian Ministers.

In 1787, Sir William Herschel discovered the moons of the planet Uranus.

In 1805, the Michigan Territory was created by an act of U.S. Congress.

In 1815, Sir John A. Macdonald's birth was registered in Glasgow, Scotland. While he was actually born the day before, on Jan. 10, this is the day commonly cited to commemorate the birth of Canada's first prime minister. The leading figure in promoting Confederation, Macdonald served as prime minister from 1867-73 and from 1878 until his death in 1891. He advocated reciprocal trade agreements with the United States, worked for strong bonds with Britain and oversaw the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

In 1842, William James, the American psychologist and philosopher and author of "The Varieties of Religious Experience," was born.

In 1861, Vassar College for women was incorporated at Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

In 1896, Sir William Stephenson was born in Winnipeg. After careers as a wartime fighter pilot, inventor and businessman, Stephenson headed British counter-espionage in the Western Hemisphere during the Second World War. His telegraphic address, "Intrepid," became popularized as his code name. Stephenson died in 1989.

In 1897, Britain and the United States concluded a treaty to arbitrate the boundary between Alaska and Canada.

In 1908, the Grand Canyon National Monument was created with a proclamation by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. (It became a national park in 1919.)

In 1909, Britain and the United States signed a treaty establishing the International Joint Commission. The commission, made up of delegates from Canada and the United States, manages the waters of the Great Lakes with particular attention paid to pollution issues.

In 1913, the first sedan-type automobile, a Hudson, went on display at a New York automobile show.

In 1914, the "Karluk," one of three ships commissioned by Canadian explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson, was crushed by ice in the Bering Sea near Herald Island, north of Siberia. Stefansson had left the ship before the accident. Capt. Robert Bartlett led the crew to safety on the vessel "Wrangel I" which struggled through ice to Alaska, where the survivors were rescued on Sept. 7, 1914. Sixteen died during the ordeal.

In 1922, the discovery of insulin, used in the treatment of diabetes, was announced in Toronto. It was discovered by a research team composed of Frederick Banting, Charles Best, James Collip and J.J. Macleod.

In 1928, English writer Thomas Hardy died at age 87.

In 1933, in Hamburg, Germany, the Altona Confession was issued by area pastors, offering scriptural guidelines for the Christian life, in light of the confusing political situation and the developing Nazi influence on the state church.

In 1935, aviator Amelia Earhart began a trip from Honolulu to Oakland, Calif., that made her the first woman to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean.

In 1942, Japan declared war against the Netherlands, the same day Japanese forces invaded the Dutch East Indies during the Second World War.

In 1943, the United States and Britain signed treaties relinquishing extraterritorial rights in China.

In 1944, Count Galeazzo Ciano, son-in-law of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, and four others were executed in Verona for treason.

In 1947, the Canadian government lifted price controls on a wide list of goods, but retained controls on food, clothing, fuel and rent.

In 1949, San Diego, Calif., had the first snowfall in its 99-year weather history. …

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