Today in History – Dec. 28

Published: December 13, 2013

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THE CANADIAN PRESS

Today in History for Dec. 28:

On this date:

In 1065, Westminster Abbey was founded by Edward the Confessor.

In 1694, Queen Mary II of England died after more than five years of joint rule with her husband, King William III.

In 1763, brewer-banker-steamship builder-politician John Molson was born in Spalding, England. He died in 1836.

In 1795, plans for building Toronto’s Yonge Street were first proposed. The 48-kilometre road, from York (now Toronto) north to Lake Simcoe, was one of the earliest highways in Canada and is still one of the most important roads in Ontario. It was named for Sir George Yonge, then secretary of state for war in the British government. The road was completed in April, 1796.

In 1832, John C. Calhoun became the first vice president of the United States to resign, stepping down over differences with President Andrew Jackson.

In 1841, street lights in Toronto were lit by gas for the first time.

In 1842, Calixa Lavallee, the composer of “O Canada,” was born in Vercheres, Lower Canada (now Quebec). The song, with words by Judge A.B. Routhier, was composed for a national convention of French Canadians held in Quebec City in June, 1880. With the exception of “O Canada,” Lavallee’s work remains largely unknown. He apparently gave little thought to preserving his compositions, more than half of which have been lost or destroyed. Nevertheless, Lavalle is considered one of Canada’s musical pioneers. He died in Boston in 1891.

In 1846, Iowa became the 29th state to be admitted to the Union.

In 1859, the first edition of “The Nor’Wester,” the first newspaper in the Red River district (now Manitoba), appeared.

In 1869, William Semple of Mount Vernon, Ohio, was granted the first patent for chewing gum.

In 1879, the Tay railway bridge in Scotland collapsed when the Edinburgh to Dundee train was crossing. The engine and carriages plunged into the icy river below, killing 90 people.

In 1895, the first public showing of a movie took place at the Hotel Scribe in Paris.

In 1905, Fanny “Bobbie” Rosenfeld was born in Russia. Rosenfeld was a star for Canada in numerous sports, but is best-known for her track and field accomplishments. At the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, she won the silver medal in the 100 metres and was the lead runner for Canada’s gold medal-winning 400-metre relay team. Rosenfeld was elected to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1949, one year before she was voted Canada’s female athlete of the first half of the 20th century. She died in Toronto in 1969.

In 1908, up to 83,000 people died after Messina, Italy, was levelled by an earthquake. A tidal wave that followed caused more devastation.

In 1923, Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, the French designer and builder of the famous tower, died in Paris. He was born in 1832 in Dijon.

In 1943, the 1st Canadian Division captured the Italian town of Ortona after a week of fierce fighting against German paratroopers during the Second World War. Canadian troops had attacked Ortona, a medieval seaport impregnable from three sides, from the south on Dec. 20. In the fighting, 1,372 Canadians were killed.

In 1944, Maurice Richard became the first player to score eight points in an NHL game. The Rocket had five goals and three assists in the Montreal Canadiens’ 9-1 romp over Detroit. Toronto’s Darryl Sittler broke Richard’s record with 10 points against Boston on Feb. 7, 1976.

In 1945, the U.S. Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance.

In 1947, Italy’s last ruling monarch, Victor Emmanuel III, died in exile in Egypt.

In 1970, Francis Simard and brothers Paul and Jacques Rose were arrested at a farmhouse near Montreal and charged with the kidnap-slaying of Quebec Labour Minister Pierre Laporte two months earlier.

In 1973, Alexander Solzhenitsyn published “The Gulag Archipelago,” an expose of the Soviet prison system that shocked the Soviet elite, helped destroy lingering support for the Soviet experiment in the West and inspired a generation of dissidents inside the Soviet Union. The publication led to his expulsion from the Soviet Union.

In 1974, an earthquake in northern Pakistan killed 5,200 people.

In 1981, Allan Dwan, Toronto-born director of “Heidi” and more than 400 motion pictures from the days of silent films to the 1960s, died at age 96.

In 1986, American mystery writer John D. MacDonald, author of 77 books, including 21 mystery novels featuring detective Travis McGee, died at age 70.

In 1986, Terence Michael Shortt, former chief artist of the Royal Ontario Museum’s ornithology department, considered to be the finest bird artist in Canada, died at age 75.

In 1992, Pudlo Pudlat, one of Canada’s best-known Inuit artists, died in Cape Dorset, Baffin Island, at the age of 76.

In 1995, Newfoundland premier Clyde Wells quit politics.

In 1997, a woman was killed and more than 100 people were injured when a United Airlines jumbo jet, en route to Honolulu from Tokyo, hit severe air turbulence over the Pacific Ocean.

In 1997, the Hong Kong government ordered the killing of 1.3 million chickens as well as ducks, geese and quail kept near them to prevent the spread of the bird flu that had killed four people.

In 2000, departmant store retailer Montgomery Ward filed for bankruptcy and announced it would close its 250 stores after 128 years.

In 2003, ultranationalists won the largest number of seats in Serbia’s parliamentary elections, including former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic, who was on trial for war crimes at the World Court in The Hague.

In 2006, Somali troops backed by Ethiopian forces entered Mogadishu, ending six months of domination of the city by an Islamic movement.

In 2008, Minnesota Twins first baseman, Canadian Justin Morneau, was named The Canadian Press male athlete of the year. He hit .300, had 23 home runs and 129 RBI’s. With 97 runs scored, he was directly responsible for 27 per cent of his team’s 829 runs.

In 2009, Nick Rizzuto, the 42-year-old son of Canada’s most powerful mobster Vito Rizzuto, was gunned down in Montreal.

In 2009, Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was named The Canadian Press male athlete of the year.

In 2010, the Minnesota Vikings defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 24-14 in the first Tuesday night game in the NFL since 1946. The game was orginally scheduled for Dec. 26 but was postponed due to a snowstorm.

In 2010, Canadian Leslie Nielsen’s classic comedy “Airplane” was among 25 “culturally significant” films to be preserved at the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress. Other films added: “Saturday Night Fever,” “The Exorcist,” “The Empire Strikes Back,” “The Pink Panther,” “All the President’s Men” and “Malcolm X.”

In 2011, figure skater Patrick Chan was named The Canadian Press male athlete of the year. His undefeated season was highlighted with his first world title where he set three world scoring records in one of the most dominant victories ever in men’s figure skating.

In 2011, North Korea’s power brokers publicly declared Kim Jong Un the supreme leader for the first time at a massive public memorial for his father Kim Jong Il, cementing the family’s hold on power for another generation.

In 2012, the Canadian women’s soccer team won The Canadian Press Team of the Year Award. It was honoured for its spectacular season, capturing a bronze medal at the London Games – the country’s first Olympic medal in a traditional team sport since 1936.

(The Canadian Press)

10:38ET 13-12-13

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