On This Day

February 17

maple leaf Today's Canadian Headline...
1932 MOUNTIES GET THEIR MANRat River Yukon – Albert Johnson, ‘the Mad Trapper of Rat River,’ killed by RCMP in shoot-out after 48-day 240 km manhunt in 40 below weather; charged with killing one Mountie, Constable Edgar Millen and wounding two others. The Mounties enlisted World War I air ace/bush pilot Wop May to help them track Johnson.

Also On This Day...

Ottawa Ontario – Sir Wilfrid Laurier 1841-1919 dies of a stroke at age 77; Canada’s first Prime Minister of French ancestry; spent 45 uninterrupted years in the House of Commons; Canada’s 7th PM 1896 to 1911, longest unbroken tenure in Canadian history. Here is his funeral procession in Ottawa.


Also On This Day...

Quebec Quebec – Augustin-Norbert Morin & Louis-Joseph Papineau draft Ninety-Two Resolutions demanding responsible government; adopted 56 to 32 by Lower Canada Assembly. Here is Papineau at an electoral meeting promoting reform.


And in Today's Canadian Birthdays...

Martha Henry 1938-
actor, born on this day at Detroit Michigan in 1938. Henry started her Canadian career at the Crest Theatre in Toronto, studied at the National Theatre School and became a fixture at the Stratford Festival for many years, starting with Miranda in The Tempest in 1962. She has one several Genies and Geminis for more recent stage and TV work. In 1994 she treturned to Stratford to play Mary Tyrone in O’Neill’s Long Day’s Jounrney into Night.

In Other Events…
1996 Ottawa Ontario – Michel Gauthier appointed interim Leader of the Bloc Québecois; replacing BQ founder Lucien Bouchard, who moves to provincial and PQ politics.
1989 Ottawa Ontario – Ottawa temporarily blocks import of Salman Rushdie’s novel, The Satanic Verses; the Ayatollahs of Iran considers the novel to be blasphemous to the Koran, and demand that Rushdie be assassinated.
1986 Versailles France- Canadian and Quebec delegations attend the first Francophone Summit – la francophonie.
1983 St John’s Newfoundland – Newfoundland Supreme Court rules the province owns offshore resources as far as the territorial limit, but not to the edge of the continental shelf.
1982 London England – British Parliament gives approval in principle to proposed Canadian Constitution.
1982 Alberta – Gordon Kessler 1942- wins Alberta provincial by-election for separatist Western Canada Concept party.
1981 Ottawa Ontario – Start of final round of constitutional debates in the House of Commons.
1973 Newfoundland – Temperatures on the island hit record low of -51 degrees Celsius.
1970 London England – Joni Mitchell plays her final concert, in the Royal Albert Hall.
1968 Springfield Massachusetts – Opening of the James Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, to honour the Almonte, Ontario, born inventor of the game.
1967 Ottawa Ontario – Parliament founds Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation; supporting all federally incorporated trust & loan companies; pays out $4 billion from 1967-1988, with the collapse of 20 institutions.
1967 Quebec Quebec – Quebec passes Bill 25, ordering teachers to return to classrooms within 48 hours; right to strike suspended until May 30, 1968
1965 Ottawa Ontario – Lester B. Pearson 1897-1972 reduces age at which Old Age Pensions will be paid to 65 instead of 70; change to be phased in over five years.
1960 Ottawa Ontario – John George Diefenbaker 1895-1979 opens new National Gallery of Canada.
1937 St. John’s Newfoundland – Newfoundland sets up a commission to examine future; Dominion on the verge of financial collapse.
1923 Ottawa Ontario – Ottawa Senator Cy Dennehy becomes the NHL’s all time leading scorer to date with 143 goals.
1869 Toronto Ontario – Founding of the Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; today’s Humane Society
1764 Quebec – William Gregory appointed first Chief Justice of Quebec.
In World Events…
1989 Arctic – Six-week study of Arctic atmosphere shows no ozone ‘hole’.
1972 London England – British House of Commons votes to join the European Community.
1945 Peenemunde Germany- Wernher von Braun and other rocket scientists evacuate the V2 rocket site at Peenemunde before advancing Soviet troops arrive.
1909 USA – Geronimo dies in custody at about age 79; last Apache chief to surrender to US forces.
1904 Milan, Italy – Giacomo Puccini premieres his opera Madame Butterfly at La Scala.
1867 Port Said Egypt – First ship passes through the Suez Canal.
1864 Charleston South Carolina – Confederate States Ship H.L. Hunley, a hand-propelled submarine armed with a ram torpedo, sinks the Union’s Houstanic in harbor; the first successful attack by a submarine warship.
1859 Naples Italy – Giuseppi Verdi premieres his opera Un Ballo in Maschera.
1854 Pretoria South Africa – Britain recognizes the independence of the Orange Free State.
1817 Baltimore Maryland – Baltimore the first US city lit by gas.
1801 New York City – US House breaks electoral college tie, choosing Thomas Jefferson President over Aaron Burr.
1673 Paris France – Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (Moliere) collapses and dies on stage on the third night of his play Le Malade Imaginaire (The Imaginary Invalid).
Today’s Global Birthdays…
1961 USA – Michael ‘Air’ Jordan, NBA guard, forward, Chicago Bulls.
1934 England – Alan Bates, actor, Zorba the Greek, An Unmarried Woman.
1925 Cleveland Ohio – Hal Holbrook, actor, All the President’s Men, Mark Twain.
1924 Missouri – Margaret Truman, President’s daughter, writer, pianist.
1902 Philadelphia Pennsylvania- Marian Anderson, operatic contralto.
1874 USA – Thomas J. Watson Sr, founder of IBM.
1867 England – William Cadbury, chocolate manufacturer.
1653 Fusignano Italy – Arcangelo Corelli, violinist, composer of concerti grossi.

Today in Canadian History is written, compiled, edited and produced by Ottawa Researchers © 1984-2002.

All Rights Reserved.

Please email your comments & suggestions to at: Ottawa Researchers


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