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October 13: Today in History

October 13, 2013

The Canadian Press

On this date:

In A.D. 54, Roman Emperor Claudius I died after being poisoned, apparently at the behest of his wife, Agrippina.

In 1399, King Henry IV of England was crowned. He had usurped the crown from Richard II, beginning the Lancastrian dynasty and planting the seeds of the Wars of the Roses.

In 1710, England gained control of Nova Scotia when the French surrendered Port Royal.

In 1792, U.S. president George Washington laid the cornerstone of the White House.

In 1812, British and Canadian forces under General Sir Isaac Brock defeated the U.S. army at Queenston Heights on the Niagara frontier. Brock was killed during the fighting. Almost 1,000 Americans were taken prisoner while the victors lost only 28 killed and 77 wounded. The victory helped to raise the morale of the inhabitants of Upper Canada and convince them that they could resist conquest by their larger neighbour.

In 1843, the Jewish organization B’nai Brith was founded in New York City.

In 1860, J.B. Black took what was probably the first aerial photograph, from a balloon over Boston.

In 1866, fire destroyed 2,500 buildings in Quebec City.

In 1905, the Ontario Provincial Police force was established.

In 1916, General Motors was incorporated.

In 1943, Italy declared war on Germany, its former Axis partner.

In 1953, Sir Winston Churchill was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature.

In 1960, Bill Mazeroski’s ninth-inning homer gave the Pittsburgh Pirates a 10-9 win over the visiting New York Yankees in Game Seven of the World Series. It was the first homer to end a World Series. (Toronto’s Joe Carter accomplished the feat in 1993).

In 1967, Sheila Scott, a 39-year-old British pilot, set out from Shannon, Ireland, and crossed the Atlantic in 17 hours and 14 minutes. At the time, it was a record for an east-to-west crossing in a single-engine plane.

In 1969, the Soviet Union sent a third spacecraft into orbit in as many days, bringing the number of Soviets in space to seven.

In 1970, External Affairs Minister Mitchell Sharp announced the resumption of diplomatic relations with China. The Nationalist Chinese government in Taiwan severed ties with China after the Beijing government was recognized.

In 1972, a charter plane carrying 45 people — members of an amateur Uruguayan rugby team, plus friends and relatives — crashed in the Andes Mountains. Ten weeks later, two of the 18 survivors reached civilization and the others were rescued shortly after. The story became the subject of the Piers Paul Read book, “Alive,” and at least two movies.

In 1974, longtime television host Ed Sullivan died in New York City at age 72.

In 1975, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau announced what came to be known as the “six-and-five” program. The federal Anti-Inflation Act established a three-year control system on wages and prices. It was Canada’s only peacetime experience with such controls, instituted to rein in rampant inflation.

In 1982, the International Olympic Committee agreed to restore the pentathlon and decathlon gold medals American athlete Jim Thorpe won at the 1912 Stockholm Games. Thorpe was stripped of the medals because he had played semi-pro baseball in 1911.

In 1984, the “Challenger” and its seven-member crew glided to a perfect landing at Cape Canaveral, Fla. The landing capped two historic firsts during its eight-day mission: Marc Garneau became the first Canadian to fly in space and Kathy Sullivan became the first woman to walk in space.

In 1986, Expo 86 closed in Vancouver after a 172-day run. It drew 22 million people.

In 1987, Frank McKenna’s New Brunswick Liberals won all 58 seats in a provincial election, defeating Richard Hatfield’s Conservatives, who had been in power for 17 years.

In 1992, Toronto author Michael Ondaatje became the first Canadian to win the Booker Prize for Commonwealth Literature, sharing the prize with British author Barry Unsworth. Ondaatje was honored for his novel “The English Patient.”

In 1993, Canadian biochemist Dr. Michael Smith and U.S. scientist Kary Mullis were awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their contributions in the field of DNA-based chemistry.

In 1997, in what is believed to be the worst road accident in Canada, 43 seniors from Saint-Bernard-de Beauce, near Quebec City, and their young driver from Sherbrooke died when their bus plunged into a ravine on a hairpin curve in the mountainous region of Charlevoix, about 110 kilometres northeast of Quebec City, while on an outing to view fall colours. In June 1974, 13 people were killed in an accident on the same hill.

In 1997, a jet-propelled car broke the sound barrier on land in Nevada.

In 1998, it was announced that carbon-dating had proved the “Shroud of Turin” was not the cloth in which Christ was buried. For centuries, Catholics had regarded the shroud as a sacred relic. Tests put the shroud at around 700 years old.

In 1998, the National Basketball Association wiped out the first two weeks of the 1998-99 season after collective bargaining talks broke off.

In 1999, Robert Mundell, a native of Kingston, Ont., and a professor at Columbia University in New York who helped create a common currency for the European Union, won the Nobel Prize for economic sciences.

In 1999, Philip Morris, the world’s biggest tobacco company, finally admitted cigarette smoking was a health hazard by posting a warning on its Internet site.

In 2003, Bertram Brockhouse, a Canadian physicist who shared the 1994 Nobel prize in physics for his work developing a technique to measure the atomic structure of matter, died in Hamilton, Ont., at age 85.

In 2004, the Bank of Canada unveiled a new $50 bill.

In 2006, golf legend Arnold Palmer announced he was giving up competitive golf.

In 2009, environmentalist David Suzuki, 73, received a prestigious award known as the “alternative Nobel” for his work to raise awareness about climate change with three other activists.

In 2010, shortly after midnight local time, the first of 33 miners was rescued after languishing for 69 days in a collapsed Chilean mine almost a half-mile underground.

In 2010, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that witnesses who wear a niqab must remove it on the stand, but only if wearing it truly jeopardizes the accused’s right to a fair trial.

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