In 1849, Toronto became the seat of the Canadian government after a mob burned the Parliament buildings in Montreal earlier in the year.
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In 1606, “The Theatre of Neptune,” a form of dramatic spectacle known as a masque, was performed by Frenchmen and Indians in barges and canoes on the waters off Port Royal, now Annapolis Royal, N.S. Directed by its author, Marc Lescarbot, it was the earliest known entertainment conceived and performed in New France by Europeans. The masque included a four-part song, “Great God Neptune,” which was the first choral work either written or arranged in Canada. “The Theatre of Neptune” was written to welcome Port Royal's founders, Samuel de Champlain and Jean de Biencourt de Poutrincourt, on their return from coastal explorations.
In 1832, the world's first horse-drawn streetcar hit the streets in New York. It held 30 passengers who paid 12-and-a-half cents for the fare.
In 1851, American author Herman Melville's “Moby Dick” was published.
In 1889, New York World reporter Nellie Bly set sail from New York on a trip around the world. She was trying to beat the 80 days it took Phileas Fogg to go around the world, as described in Jules Verne's classic novel. She filed stories during her travels, and a competition for readers to guess how long the trip would take attracted one-million entries. It took Bly 72 days, six hours, 11 minutes and 14 seconds to circle the globe by sea, horseback, rail and road.
In 1891, Sir Frederick Banting, co-discoverer of insulin and Nobel Prize winner, was born in Alliston, Ont.
In 1907, children's writer Astrid Lindgren was born in Sweden. The creator of the braided, free-thinking Pippi Longstocking, died Jan. 28, 2002.
In 1922, the BBC began sending out its first daily radio program from Alexandra Palace in London.
In 1940, during the Second World War, German bombers destroyed most of the English city of Coventry.
In 1955, a four-month strike ended at the de Havilland Aircraft plant in Toronto.
In 1960, the National Research Council announced the formation of a Medical Research Council.
In 1962, Sioux Rock, depicting Indian legends, was found at Port Arthur, Ont. (now part of Thunder Bay).
In 1963, an underwater volcanic eruption started near Ireland. Eventually, it formed an island nearly two kilometres in length.
In 1969, the annual Santa Claus parade in Montreal was cancelled because of youth and separatist violence.
In 1969, “Apollo 12,” with three astronauts aboard, was launched for a second lunar landing.
In 1970, a chartered Southern Airways DC-9 crashed while trying to land in Huntington, W.Va., killing all 75 on board, including the Marshall University football team and its coaching staff.
In 1972, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above the one-thousand mark for the first time.
In 1973, the wedding of Princess Anne to Capt. Mark Phillips took place in Westminster Abbey, London. They announced their separation in 1989, and the marriage was dissolved in 1992.
In 1981, the Canadian-made robot arm performed flawlessly in four hours of tests onboard the space shuttle “Columbia.”
In 1982, the inflatable roof of Vancouver's B.C. Place was raised, completing Canada's first domed stadium.
In 1982, Jean Drapeau was elected to an eighth term as mayor of Montreal.
In 1983, the House of Commons passed legislation ending the 86-year-old Crowsnest Pass grain freight rates. The new rates meant higher costs for farmers, but put $3.7 billion into upgrading the rail transportation system.
In 1991, Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk returned to his homeland after 13 years of exile.
In 1995, a budget deadlock between President Bill Clinton and the U.S. Republican Congress forced much of the government to shut down for a week.
In 1998, former prime minister Joe Clark was elected leader of the federal Conservative party for the second time. He had retired from politics five years earlier, supposedly for good.
In 1999, the United Nations imposed sanctions on Afghanistan, including the freezing of overseas assets and flight bans. The action followed the ruling Taliban's refusal to hand over suspected terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.
In 1999, William Ziegler, one of the youngest brigadier-generals in the Canadian army during the Second World War, died in Edmonton at age 88.
In 2002, Nancy Pelosi was elected House Minority Leader of the Democratic Party, the first woman to lead a major party in the history of U.S. politics.
In 2002, Pope John Paul II made a historic speech to Italy's parliament, urging Italians to work for world peace, uphold their Christian values and have more babies. It was the first time that a pope had appeared before the Italian parliament.
In 2002, Irv Rubin, a Canadian-born Jewish extremist, leader of the Jewish Defence League, committed suicide in California.
In 2002, Derek King, 14, and his brother Alex, 13, were sentenced to eight years and seven years in prison respectively, after pleading guilty to reduced charges of third-degree murder in killing of their father with a baseball bat in November, 2001 in Florida.
In 2003, Paul Martin was elected leader of the federal Liberals at a convention in Toronto. The former finance minister received an unprecedented 94 per cent of the vote. His only competitor was Heritage Minister Sheila Copps.
In 2004, more than 100,000 homes and businesses were left without power after heavy snow and freezing rain brought down about a dozen electrical transmission towers in Nova Scotia's first snowstorm of the season.
In 2008, Eva Aariak, first-time member of Nunavut's legislative assembly defeated incumbent Paul Okalik in the leadership forum to become the second premier, and the northern territory's first female premier.
In 2009, the slick CTV cop drama “Flashpoint” was the big winner at the Gemini Awards. Nominated in a record 19 categories, it snagged six including best actor (Enrico Colantoni), best director (Kelly Makin) and best drama. CBC's “Rick Mercer Report” took the award for best comedy and George Stroumboulopoulos repeated as best talk show host.
In 2010, five Canadian tourists from B.C. and Alberta and two Mexican employees were killed when a massive explosion ripped through the lobby of the Grand Princess Riviera Hotel in the city of Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
In 2010, Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP Billiton officially withdrew its US$38.6 billion hostile takeover bid for Saskatchewan-based fertilizer giant PotashCorp after Ottawa had rejected the offer as not having enough net benefit for Canada.