Today in History - Aug. 31

The Canadian Press, August 18, 2017 | Go to article overview

Today in History - Aug. 31


Today in History - Aug. 31

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Today in History for Aug. 31:

On this date:

In 12 AD, the Roman Emperor Caligula, whose many unusual acts included naming his horse a senator of Rome, was born.

In 1290, a proclamation from King Edward I exiled all Jews from England, under penalty of death.

In 1673, all beggars in Quebec were ordered to leave.

In 1674, Rhode Island outlawed the sale of liquor to natives.

In 1870, doctor and educator Maria Montessori was born at Chiaravalle, Italy. Montessori developed a system of education for children aged three to six based on spontaneity and freedom from restraint, without formal rewards or punishments. Her system, later expanded to include older children, became popular throughout the world.

In 1873, the first detachment of the North West Mounted Police, forerunner of the RCMP, was formed. It was created by Parliament as a paramilitary force similar to the Royal Irish Constabulary. In October 1873, the first detachment of 150 recruits left Collingwood, Ont., for Fort Garry, Man., under Commissioner George French.

In 1886, Charleston, S.C., was almost completely destroyed and at least 60 people were killed by a 7.3-magnitude earthquake that struck the eastern United States.

In 1887, American inventor Thomas Edison received a patent for his "Kinetoscope," a device that produced moving pictures.

In 1888, London prostitute Mary Ann "Polly" Nicholls became the first victim of Jack the Ripper.

In 1894, the Japanese fleet attacked Port Arthur, China's largest naval base.

In 1898, the first professional football game was played at Latrobe, Pa.

In 1936, Elizabeth Cowell became the first female television announcer. She took to the air on the fledgling BBC television service.

In 1946, the Atomic Energy Commission of Canada was established.

In 1952, French-Canadian nationalist Henri Bourassa died at age 84. The grandson of Louis-Joseph Papineau, Bourassa was a central figure in the Quebec nationalist movement this century. He was a member of the House of Commons from 1896-1907, when he entered the provincial legislature, and from 1925-35. In 1899, Bourassa became a foe of Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier when he left the Liberal party over Laurier's decision allowing Canadians to fight in the Boer War. In 1910, he helped found Le Devoir, a Quebec daily newspaper. He resigned from Le Devoir in 1932, but came out of retirement in 1943 to help found the Bloc populaire Canadien, a Quebec wartime party.

In 1954, hurricane Carol ripped through the northeastern United States, killing 68 people and causing millions of dollars in damage. An offshoot of the hurricane rocked southern Quebec, with two storm-related deaths recorded. Winds gusting up to 120 km/h caused more than $1 million worth of damage in Quebec City.

In 1954, the Canadian government eased restrictions on trade with Soviet bloc countries. The move eliminated the need for export permits for a large group of goods such as synthetic rubber, freight cars and dynamite.

In 1955, the Church of England in Canada changed its name to the Anglican Church of Canada.

In 1957, the Federation of Malaya entered the British Commonwealth as an independent country.

In 1962, Trinidad and Tobago became an independent member state of the British Commonwealth.

In 1965, the United States made it illegal to burn draft cards.

In 1969, American Rocky Marciano, the only world heavyweight boxing champion to retire undefeated, died in a plane crash near Newton, Iowa. He was headed to a party to be held the next day marking his 46th birthday. Marciano held the crown for three years before retiring in 1955 with a 49-0 record.

In 1976, Carallyn Bowes became the first woman to run across Canada. It took her 133 days to run from Halifax to Burnaby, B.C.

In 1978, William and Emily Harris pleaded guilty to the 1974 kidnapping of American newspaper heiress Patty Hearst. …

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