Today in History - May 4

The Canadian Press, April 25, 2014 | Go to article overview

Today in History - May 4


Today in History - May 4

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Today in History for May 4:

On this date:

In 1493, Spanish-born Pope Alexander VI divided the non-Christian world between Spain and Portugal.

In 1626, Dutch colonist Peter Minuit bought Manhattan Island from local natives for cloth, beads and brass buttons said to be worth $24.

In 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte became emperor of France.

In 1859, the Royal Bank of Canada, the Bank of Western Canada and La Banque Nationale were incorporated.

In 1873, Father Damien, a Flemish missionary, joined the lepers of Molokai Island in the Hawaiian archipelago. He transformed the miserable conditions of the colony before he contracted the disease and died. His quiet heroism won worldwide renown.

In 1890, Group of Seven painter Franklin Carmichael was born in Orillia, Ont.

In 1910, the Royal Canadian Navy was formed.

In 1927, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences -- the group that gives out the Oscars -- was founded.

In 1932, American mobster Al Capone, convicted of income tax evasion, entered the federal penitentiary in Atlanta. He was later transferred to Alcatraz Island.

In 1938, German Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler and Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini exchanged a pledge of eternal friendship at a meeting in Rome.

In 1945, Allied Gen. Dwight Eisenhower said the Germans had been beaten on land, sea and air. Russians liberated Slovakia. The British declared the Japanese were "decisively defeated" in Burma.

In 1958, Canadian comedians Johnny Wayne and Frank Shuster made the first of a record 67 appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

In 1961, the first wave of Freedom Riders left Washington for New Orleans to challenge racial segregation in the American South.

In 1966, Dr. Jean Sutherland Boggs was appointed director of the National Art Gallery of Canada. She became the first woman to head an agency with the status of deputy minister.

In 1970, four students were killed by National Guardsmen during an anti-war rally at Ohio's Kent State University.

In 1971, a landslide eliminated the Quebec village of Saint-Jean Viannay, killing 31 people and destroying 38 houses. The area was later declared unfit for habitation.

In 1973, the Anglican Church of Canada allowed women to become ordained ministers.

In 1980, Josip Broz Tito, Yugoslavia's leader since the Second World War, died three days before his 88th birthday.

In 1982, Poland's military renewed a curfew and slapped other restrictions on selected regions following riots in Warsaw and nine other cities.

In 1988, Pepsi-Cola became the first advertiser to buy commercial time on Soviet television. It purchased five minutes.

In 1990, Latvia's parliament voted unanimously to declare the country's independence from the Soviet Union.

In 1992, hundreds of people went on a four-hour vandalism and looting rampage on Toronto's Yonge Street. It followed a peaceful rally to protest the Toronto police shooting of a black man, as well as the acquittals in the Los Angeles police beating of motorist Rodney King.

In 1992, residents of the Northwest Territories voted narrowly in favour of a move to re-draw the map of Canada. They endorsed dividing the territory into two sections by the turn of the century. The creation of Canada's third territory -- Nunavut -- was part of a massive land-claims settlement with Inuit in the eastern Arctic. Nunavut, which came into being on April 1st, 1999, is more than five times the size of Alberta.

In 1994, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO President Yasser Arafat signed a historic accord on Palestinian autonomy that granted self-rule in the Gaza Strip and the Jericho area in the West Bank. The signing took place in Cairo during a special ceremony.

In 1997, Pope John Paul II beatified a gypsy, Ceferino Jimenez Malla. …

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