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Today in History - Jan. 13

The Canadian Press logoThe Canadian Press 2021-01-13

Today in History for Jan. 13:


In 1691, Englishman George Fox, founder of the Society of Friends, or Quakers, died.

In 1695, satirist Jonathan Swift, author of "Gulliver's Travels," was ordained an Anglican priest in Ireland.

In 1837, a fire destroyed almost half of the business district of Saint John, N.B.

In 1849, the Hudson's Bay Company signed a lease with the British government acquiring control of Vancouver Island -- for seven shillings a year.

In 1885, Alfred Carl Fuller, who founded the Fuller Brush Company, was born in Nova Scotia.

In 1893, Britain's Independent Labour Party, a precursor to the current Labour Party, held its first meeting.

In 1898, French novelist Emile Zola published his article "J'accuse." Zola made serious charges against the French government with respect to the Alfred Dreyfus affair.

In 1906, the first advertisement for a radio, a Telimco selling for $7.50, appeared in the magazine "Scientific American." Not until the 1920s, though, would commercial radio be widespread.

In 1915, a major earthquake in Avezzano, Italy, left about 30,000 people dead.

In 1918, a ferocious winter storm crippled southwestern Ontario around Sarnia and London for over a week. Snow 30 centimetres deep was whipped by brisk winds into four-metre-high drifts, crippling trains and rescue snowplows.

In 1920, the "New York Times" ridiculed aviation pioneer Robert Goddard for saying that rockets would work in outer space. The paper issued an apology and retraction after the 1969 "Apollo 11" Moon landing.

In 1941, Irish writer James Joyce died in Zurich, Switzerland, less than a month before his 59th birthday.

In 1945, during the Second World War, Soviet forces began a huge, successful offensive against the Germans in Eastern Europe.

In 1947, Britain's Privy Council ruled that Ottawa was within its rights to pass legislation making the Supreme Court of Canada the country's final court of appeal. Until then, Canadians could take their cases to the Privy Council.

In 1949, Prince Edward Island banned the sale and manufacture of margarine.

In 1964, Canadian and American negotiators reached agreement on a hydro and flood control project on the Columbia River. It allowed B.C. to build dams and sell electrical power to the United States for 30 years.

In 1966, African-American Robert C. Weaver was named U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development by President Lyndon B. Johnson -- making him the first-ever black Cabinet member.

In 1971, a force of 13,000 Cambodian and South Vietnamese troops launched a movement to rout enemy troops from a major Cambodian highway.

In 1982, an Air Florida 737 crashed into Washington, D.C.'s 14th Street Bridge after takeoff during a snowstorm and fell into the Potomac River, killing a total of 78 people, four of them on the bridge.

In 1983, a storm dumped a record 141 millimetres of rain in one day on St. Alban's, Nfld. A dam on the Exploits River burst, causing an estimated $60 million in damage to Grand Falls and Bishop's Falls.

In 1984, Toronto social worker Anne Cooles became the first black senator when she was appointed to the Upper Chamber by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

In 1985, a crowded train hurtled off a curve and plunged into a ravine, 240 kilometres east of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, killing about 450 people.

In 1986, nearly 24 million cans of Star-Kist tuna were detained for re-examination by fisheries inspectors. A government report later criticized federal inspection procedures and noted serious quality problems with the Star-Kist plant's products.

In 1990, L. Douglas Wilder of Virginia became the first elected black U.S. governor as he took the oath of office in Richmond.

In 1992, mass immunization programs against meningitis were announced by the Ontario and Quebec governments after an unusually severe outbreak of the disease in some regions. They were aimed mostly at children and teenagers in Ottawa, several regions in Quebec and all of Prince Edward Island. It was the largest mass inoculation in Canadian history since the 1950s when millions of children got polio shots.

In 1992, Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian negotiators began historic talks in Washington on Palestinian autonomy.

In 1992, Japan's government apologized for forcing thousands of Korean women to serve as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during the Second World War.

In 1996, former Ontario premier Bob Rae announced he was quitting politics, saying it was time to focus on family. His resignation took effect Feb. 7, 14 years to the day after he won the provincial NDP leadership. In 2006, Rae applied for membership in the Liberal Party. He won the federal riding of Toronto-Centre in a 2008 byelection, later became the interim party leader and in June 2013, announced he was again leaving politics.

In 2000, medical history was made in Lyon, France, when doctors grafted two new arms onto a man during a 17-hour operation.

In 2002, Canadian comedy legend Frank Shuster died in Toronto at age 85. He was half of the "Wayne and Shuster" comedy team that performed for more than half a century until Johnny Wayne's death in 1990.

In 2004, Harold Shipman, the British doctor blamed for killing more than 200 mostly elderly patients, was found hanged in his prison cell, in an apparent suicide.

In 2004, the Quebec government reached a tentative agreement with the Kanesatake police commission to end a potentially explosive Mohawk standoff at Kanesatake reserve near Oka, Que., allowing 60 besieged officers from various native bands to leave the station. Grand Chief James Gabriel, whose house was burned down during the protest, had invited aboriginal officers from outside the reserve to crack down on crime and marijuana growing operations in the community.

In 2005, Toronto recorded an all-time high temperature of 18 C.

In 2009, cold weather broke records in six Manitoba towns, with morning lows ranging between the -35 to -40 C range in most localities.

In 2011, days of heavy rains caused a mudslide down steep mountainsides and directly into towns located 65 km north of Rio de Janeiro, killing at least 900 people.

In 2011, in its first expansion outside of the U.S., retailer Target announced it would spend $1.83 billion to take over the leases of as many as 220 Zellers stores of its choosing from the 279 locations currently owned by the storied Hudson's Bay Company. In March 2013, the first stores opened in three communities west of Toronto - Guelph, Fergus and Milton. (In 2015, Target announced it would close all of its 133 money-losing Canadian stores.)

In 2012, cruise ship Costa Concordia slammed into a reef off the coast of the tiny Italian island of Giglio after Capt. Francesco Schettino made an unauthorized diversion. More than 4,000 people were forced to evacuate and 32 were killed as the vessel listed and ended up half-submerged. Schettino was convicted and sentenced to 16 years in prison for manslaughter, causing the shipwreck and abandoning ship while many of the passengers and crew were still aboard.

In 2012, ABC soap opera "One Life to Live" aired its last episode after a 43-year run. (It was reborn online on April 29, 2013, by The Online Network but was again cancelled in November.)

In 2016, Shaw Communications announced it was selling its media division to Corus Entertainment for $2.65 billion, dividing the Shaw telecom empire into separate media and network companies. The move followed Shaw's acquisition in 2015 of Wind Mobile for $1.6 billion.

In 2017, Lord Snowdon, one of Britain's most famous photographers who married Princess Margaret and continued to mix in royal circles even after their divorce, died at age 86.

In 2018, a cellphone and TV alert sent by a Hawaii emergency official that warned of a ballistic missile headed for the state sent the islands into a panic. It took security officials 38 minutes to correct the error. (The worker was reassigned.)

In 2019, at the Critics Choice Awards, Canada's Sandra Oh won best actress in a drama series for her role in "Killing Eve," following up on her success at the Golden Globes earlier in the month.

In 2020, Queen Elizabeth II agreed to let Harry and Meghan move part-time to Canada after a "constructive" royal summit. She said she would have preferred Harry and Meghan remain full-time royals but respects the couple's wish for an independent life.

In 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he spoke to U.S. President Donald Trump about the need to de-escalate tensions with Iran. Trudeau said the victims of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 would be home in Canada with their families if the animosity between Washington and Iran had not been heightened.


(The Canadian Press)

The Canadian Press

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