In 1979, a Canadian Pacific freight train carrying deadly combustible chemicals derailed in the heart of Mississauga, Ont. Deadly chlorine gas leaked from a punctured tanker and within 24 hours, 220,000 people, most of the city's population, had been evacuated. No lives were lost in the largest single movement of people in Canada in peacetime.
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In 1483, Martin Luther, the Augustinian monk who became the founder and leader of the German Reformation, was born in Eisleben, Saxony.
In 1775, the U.S. Marines were organized under the authority of the Continental Congress.
In 1796, Russian Empress Catherine the Great died.
In 1852, Parliament was dissolved at Quebec, owing to an outbreak of cholera.
In 1853, the Great Western Railway line, running 69 kilometres from the Niagara Suspension Bridge to Hamilton, was opened.
In 1856, a telegraph line was opened between Newfoundland and New York.
In 1871, one of history's greatest searches ended when American newsman Henry Morton Stanley found British explorer Dr. David Livingstone at Ujiji in central Africa. Stanley's famous question, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” were the first words Livingstone had heard from a white man in five years. Stanley had been commissioned by the New York Herald to find Livingstone, who had been feared dead for four years.
In 1932, Foster Hewitt made his first Hockey Night in Canada broadcast. Boston and Toronto tied 1-1.
In 1940, the Trans-Atlantic Ferry Service began operations, transporting planes, men, and supplies from Canada via Goose Bay and Gander, Nfld. to Britain.
In 1951, the world's first “no operator” long-distance telephone call was made by Mayor Leslie Dennying of Englewood, N.J., to Mayor Frank Osborne of Alameda, Calif.
In 1953, Canada's military base in Soest, Germany was opened.
In 1954, the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial, depicting the raising of the American flag on Iwo Jima in 1945, was dedicated by President Eisenhower in Arlington, Va.
In 1960, the deepest oil or gas well in Canada at the time was completed at Fording Mountain, B.C.
In 1969, the children's educational program “Sesame Street” made its debut on National Educational Television (later P.B.S.)
In 1975, the iron-ore carrier “Edmund Fitzgerald” sank in a storm on Lake Superior with the loss of 29 crewmen. The 222-metre-long ship battled 7.5 metre waves and record 125 km/h winds before sinking. The tragedy was commemorated in a song, “The Wreck of Edmund Fitzgerald,” by Gordon Lightfoot.
In 1982, Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev died at 75.
In 1983, Amway of Canada Ltd., and Amway Corp., the U.S. parent company, pleaded guilty to a charge of defrauding the federal government by misstating the value of their imported products. The companies were fined $25 million, the heaviest fine in Canadian history.
In 1986, Francis Michael “King” Clancy, vice-president of the Toronto Maple Leafs, former NHL player (Toronto Maple Leafs), first referee-in-chief of the NHL and former coach, died in Toronto at the age of 83.
In 1987, Pierre Marc Johnson announced that he was quitting as the Leader of Parti Quebecois and resigning his seat in the National Assembly. The reason given was the party dissension over the issue of sovereignty.
In 1989, Polish Solidarity Leader Lech Walesa arrived in Montreal for a 10-day visit to Canada.
In 1989, workers began punching a hole in the Berlin Wall, one day after East Germany abolished its border restrictions.
In 1994, Alan Eagleson, once the most prominent man in professional hockey, was charged with 40 counts of cheating his clients. He was later disbarred and served six months in jail for fraud.
In 1995, Ken Saro-Wiwa, a Nigerian writer and minority rights activist, was hanged by the country's military regime.
In 2000, Jacques Chaban-Delmas, French prime minister from 1969-72, died at age 85.
In 2003, David Miller was elected mayor of Toronto. He succeeded outgoing Mayor Mel Lastman who ended a 34-year run in local politics.
In 2007, Miami ended its 70-year stay at the famed Orange Bowl with the biggest shutout loss in the stadium's history -- a 48-0 rout to Virginia.
In 2008, the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor was awarded posthumously to comedian George Carlin. He died on June 22nd at the age of 71, just a few weeks after the announcement that he had won the prize.
In 2009, 21-year-old Joe Cada won the World Series of Poker main event in Las Vegas, winning US$8.55 million and becoming the youngest player to win the tournament in its 40-year history.
In 2009, Linden MacIntyre, co-host of CBC's “The Fifth Estate,” won the $50,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize for his book “The Bishop's Man,” which deals with the sensitive topic of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests.
In 2009, Washington area sniper John Allen Muhammad was executed by injection at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Md. Muhammad and his teenage accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, went on a three-week shooting spree that left 10 dead across Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., in October 2002. Malvo is serving a life sentence in Maryland.
In 2010, Clara Hughes, Olympic medallist in both the Summer and Winter Games, was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. Other inductees were: race car driver Jacques Villeneuve, gymnast Kyle Shewfelt, former NHL goaltender Patrick Roy, Paralympian Chantal Petitclerc, freestyle skier Jean-Luc Brassard as well as Roger Jackson and the late Bob Ackles in the builder category.
In 2010, Nicolo Rizzuto, the patriarch of a notorious Mafia family, which for decades wielded power within Canada and internationally, was shot and killed in his own home in Montreal. He was 86.