Today in History – Jan. 1

Published: January 1, 2014

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THE CANADIAN PRESS

Today in History for Jan. 1:

On this date:

In 1622, the Roman Catholic church adopted Jan. 1 as the beginning of the year, rather than March 25.

In 1653, Newfoundland’s Coat of Arms was granted by King Charles the First.

In 1743, Francois Chevalier de la Verendrye reached the Rocky Mountains. Earlier, the French fur trader also discovered the Saskatchewan River.

In 1801, Ireland and Britain were united.

In 1801, Italian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi discovered the asteroid “Ceres.”

In 1804, Haiti declared independence from France, becoming the New World’s first black republic.

In 1808, a law prohibiting the importation of slaves into the United States went into effect.

In 1823, Nova Scotia became the first province to issue coinage.

In 1835, Joseph Howe published in the “Nova Scotian” a letter signed “The People” which denounced the magistrates of Halifax for maladministration. Charged with criminal libel, Howe was acquitted, advancing press freedom.

In 1849, New Brunswick’s electric telegraph opened.

In 1851, the Canadian government abolished the law of primogeniture, under which the eldest son received a greater share of his deceased father’s property. The new law called for all property to be divided equally among all children if there is no will.

In 1855, Ottawa was incorporated as a city.

In 1856, New Brunswick’s second prohibition law took effect. The first had banned imported alcohol, while this one made it illegal to drink alcohol.

In 1858, the decimal system of currency was adopted in Canada.

In 1863, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which ordered an end to slavery. It was issued as a “necessary war measure” during the American civil war. It did not immediately free a single slave because it applied only to states still under control of the Confederate army. But it did help to cripple the agricultural economies of Confederate states as thousands of slaves fled plantations for the North.

In 1871, the Church of Ireland was formally disestablished. Aligned with Anglicanism from 1537, the Irish Church represented the faith of only 12 per cent of the populace by the mid-19th century.

In 1882, William Cornelius Van Horne was appointed the first general manager of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

In 1885, Canadian Sandford Fleming’s proposal for Standard Time and time zones was implemented by 25 countries.

In 1886, the Chinese Immigration Act took effect. It imposed a $50 tax — later $500 — on each person of Chinese origin entering Canada. The law was replaced in 1923 by one that virtually suspended Chinese immigration. That law stayed on the books until 1947, although some restrictions on Chinese immigration remained until 1967.

In 1890, the first Tournament of Roses was held in Pasadena, Calif.

In 1892, the Ellis Island Immigrant Station in New York formally opened.

In 1898, New York City was consolidated into five boroughs.

In 1901, the Commonwealth of Australia was proclaimed.

In 1917, eight years of prohibition began in Newfoundland.

In 1922, British Columbia changed to driving on the right side of the road.

In 1923, The Department of National Defence was created in an amalgamation of the departments of naval services, militia and defence, and the Air Board.

In 1940, Yellowknife became the first municipal government in the Northwest Territories.

In 1941, the CBC introduced its own national news service with Lorne Greene as its first announcer.

In 1947, Canadians became “Canadian citizens” rather than “British citizens” as the Canadian Citizenship Act took effect.

In 1948, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the world’s largest multilateral trade arrangement, took effect.

In 1952, the Canadian Old Age Security Act took effect, giving universal pensions to those 70 and over. An additional Old Age Assistance Act gave pensions to the needy from 65 to 69.

In 1953, the National Library of Canada was established in Ottawa.

In 1959, Fidel Castro took power in Cuba.

In 1961, Willie O’Ree became the first black player to score an NHL goal.

In 1964, a new Electoral Act went into effect in Quebec, reducing the minimum voting age in the provincial elections to 18 years.

In 1965, the name change of Trans-Canada Airlines to Air Canada took effect.

In 1966, the Canada Pension Plan came into being.

In 1967, to mark the first centenary of Confederation, and the birth of the second, Prime Minister Lester Pearson ignited the centennial flame on Parliament Hill.

In 1968, the United Church of Canada’s union with the Evangelical United Brethren was formalized.

In 1970, the Ontario cities of Fort William and Port Arthur, at the head of Lake Superior, united to form Thunder Bay.

In 1974, the Montreal Stock Exchange came into being with the merger of the Montreal and Canadian exchanges.

In 1975, H. R. Haldeman, J. K. Ehrlichman, John Mitchell and Robert Mardian were convicted on charges in the Watergate coverup trial.

In 1976, the Queen announced the appointment of former prime minister John Diefenbaker as a Companion of Honour, an order limited to the sovereign and 65 members.

In 1977, Canada’s fishing boundary was extended to 200 nautical miles (370 kilometres) in a bid to manage the Atlantic groundfish industry.

In 1979, the United States and China held celebrations in Washington and Beijing to mark the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

In 1984, the oil-rich sultanate of Brunei became an independent nation, ending nearly a century of British rule.

In 1984, the break-up of AT&T took place as the telecommunications giant was divested of its 22 Bell System companies under terms of an antitrust agreement.

In 1989, the Canada-U.S. free-trade agreement took effect. The agreement called for the elimination of tariffs on trade between the two countries within a 10-year period.

In 1991, the federal government’s seven per cent goods and services tax came into effect.

In 1992, 71 New Year’s revellers died after drinking contaminated liquor in Mumbai, India.

In 1993, Czechoslovakia was peacefully split into two new countries — the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

In 1993, the European Community’s single market came into force.

In 1994, a Japanese iron ore carrier “Marika 7″ sank in a storm about 1,450 kilometres east of St. John’s, Nfld., with its 36 crew members.

In 1994, regulations governing the practice of midwifery in Ontario came into effect.

In 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement, the continental trade deal known as NAFTA, kicked in.

In 1998, Helen Wills Moody who won eight Wimbledon singles titles during 1920s and 1930s, died in Carmel, Calif., at age 92.

In 1998, six municipalities and Metro Toronto became a unified city of Toronto. Former North York mayor Mel Lastman was sworn in as mayor the next day.

In 1999, a freak avalanche crashed into a school gymnasium filled with 400 people celebrating the New Year in Kangiqsualujjuaq, in Quebec’s Ungava Bay region, killing nine people and injuring 25.

In 2000, control of the Panama Canal was officially transferred from the United States to Panama.

In 2002, 12 European countries dropped their national currencies and adopted the euro.

In 2004, Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf won an unprecedented vote of confidence from a parliamentary electoral college, legitimizing his military presidency after 14 months of noisy opposition protests that had paralyzed the parliament.

In 2007, an Indonesian jetliner crashed on the northern tip of Sulawesi Island in stormy weather, killing all 102 people on board.

In 2007, Romania and Bulgaria officially joined the European Union, raising its membership to 27 states.

In 2008, new no-smoking rules went into effect in France, prohibiting people from lighting up in cafes, bars and restaurants.

In 2008, Erich Kaestner, who was believed to be Germany’s last veteran of the First World War, died at age 107.

In 2009, the United States formally transferred control of the Green Zone to Iraqi authorities. The Iraqi government also took over control of American troops’ actions and of the country’s airspace under a new security agreement between the United States and Iraq.

In 2011, Bill C-31 went into effect, preventing federal prisoners 65 or older who are serving two years or more from collecting Old Age Security cheques. It was passed after reviled child killer Clifford Olson boasted in 2010 that he was receiving the pension benefit in prison.

In 2011, Dilma Rousseff, a former Marxist guerrilla who was tortured under Brazil’s dictatorship as a student rebel, was sworn in as the first female president of Latin America’s largest nation.

In 2011, a suicide bomber killed 21 people and wounded 97 others in front of a Coptic Christian church in Alexandria, Egypt as a crowd of worshippers emerged from a New Year’s Mass.

—-

(The Canadian Press)

10:15ET 20-12-13

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