In 1918, an order-in-council united government railways, leading to the creation of Canadian National Railways. The five individual railways -- the Grand Trunk and its subsidiary, the Grand Trunk Pacific, the Intercolonial, the Canadian Northern and the National Transcontinental -- had all been financed by heavy borrowing from English banks. When the First World War diverted the banks' credit, the Canadian government had to nationalize them.

 

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In 1794, the United States and Britain signed the “Jay Treaty” concerning trade boundaries and commerce.

 

In 1858, the Crown Colony of British Columbia was formally proclaimed by Vancouver Island Governor James Douglas at the Hudson's Bay Company trading post of Fort Langley. Britain united the colonies of British Columbia and Vancouver Island eight years later.

 

In 1863, U.S. President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address as he dedicated a national cemetery at the site of the Civil War battlefield in Pennsylvania.

 

In 1867, the British government rejected a request that British Columbia be allowed to join Confederation.

In 1869, the first of two Metis rebellions under Louis Riel broke out in the Red River Colony, now Manitoba. The Metis were alarmed at the possibility of mass immigration by Canadians when the Hudson's Bay Company handed over the colony to the government of Canada. The Red River Uprising led to the formation the following year of the province of Manitoba. After a few years in exile, Riel led the failed Northwest Rebellion of 1885 but was captured, convicted of treason and hanged.

In 1874, the Women's Christian Temperance Union was founded in Cleveland.

In 1906, Niagara Falls began to provide electric power to Toronto.

In 1910, Pentecostal missionaries Daniel Berg and Adolf Vingren of Sweden arrived in Brazil. Eight years later they established Brazil's first Pentecostal church, the forerunner to the Assemblies of God, the country's largest Protestant body.

In 1919, the U.S. Senate rejected the “Treaty of Versailles” by a vote of 55 in favour, 39 against, short of the two-thirds majority needed for ratification.

In 1942, during the Second World War, Russian forces launched their winter offensive against the Germans along the Don front.

In 1954, the United States and Canada announced the construction of a radar warning system across northern Canada.

In 1959, the Ford Motor Company announced it was halting production of the Edsel, a medium-priced automobile that proved to be a poor seller.

In 1961, businessman and sports promoter Thomas F. Ryan, who's credited with inventing five-pin bowling in 1909, died in Toronto at 89. After introducing 10-pin bowling to Canada, Ryan introduced the smaller ball and pins following complaints from his clientele about arm strain.

In 1969, “Apollo 12” astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean made the second manned landing on the moon.

In 1969, the Canadian scientific vessel “Hudson” left Halifax on an 11-month voyage of the Atlantic, Antarctic, Pacific and Arctic oceans to examine currents and resources.

In 1977, Egyptian president Anwar Sadat became the first Arab leader to visit Israel.

In 1983, Bruce Hood became the first NHL referee to officiate in 1,000 games.

In 1984, a series of massive explosions in a complex of natural gas storage tanks north of Mexico City killed 452 people and injured 2,000.

In 1985, U.S. President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev met for the first time as they began their summit in Geneva.

In 1988, billionaire heiress Christina Onassis died at the age of 37.

In 1990, NATO and the Warsaw Pact signed a treaty on conventional armed forces in Europe. They also signed a non-aggression declaration. Under the treaty, more than 100,000 pieces of military hardware would be scrapped, prompting some to call the pact the formal end of the Cold War.

In 1993, Toronto-born Reverend Victoria Mathews was elected assistant bishop in Toronto -- the first woman to become an Anglican bishop in Canada.

In 1995, the Baltimore Stallions became the only American-based team to win the Grey Cup. The Stallions beat the Calgary Stampeders 37-20 in the CFL final in Regina.

In 1996, the United States vetoed Boutros Boutros-Ghali for re-election as secretary general of United Nations.

In 1997, Bobbi McCaughey of Carlisle, Iowa gave birth to the first septuplets in recorded history to survive more than a month.

In 1997, about 45,000 postal workers, members of Canadian Union of Postal Workers walked off the job across the country over issues of job security, wages and changes to letter carriers' routes, one hour before a threatened lockout of the union by Canada Post. It was the country's first mail stoppage in six years.

In 2001, Nelson Mandela became the first living recipient of honorary Canadian citizenship. The former South African president was honoured at a ceremony at the Museum of Civilization in Hull, Que.

In 2002, B.C.'s conflict commissioner's report concluded that former premier Glen Clark broke conflict of interest rules when he accepted free home renovations from a neighbour seeking a provincial casino licence in 1999.

In 2002, billionaire Ken Thomson made a $370 million donation in cash and art to the Art Gallery of Ontario and said he would donate in trust an estimated 2,000 works to the AGO.

In 2003, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission subpoenaed Hollinger International Inc., controlled by Conrad Black, to answer questions on some of the firm's dealings.

In 2003, the Ontario legislative assembly picked Alvin Curling its first black Speaker.

In 2004, the British House of Commons ended almost 700 years of fox hunting in England and Wales.

In 2006, the B.C. Lions defeated the Montreal Alouettes 25-14 in the Grey Cup. The trophy was broken during the celebrations.

In 2009, former TV journalist Gerard Deltell was crowned the leader of the struggling Action Democratique du Quebec after its embattled head, Gilles Taillon, resigned abruptly only weeks after his election as party leader by a razor-thin margin when the party lost two of its six caucus members.

In 2009, Emrah Bulatci was convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting death of RCMP Const. Chris Worden in Hay River, N.W.T., on Oct. 6, 2007.

In 2009, Hamid Karzai was inaugurated Afghanistan president for a second five-year term amid doubts over his legitimacy after an election tainted by fraud.

In 2010, Pat Burns, the only man to win the Adams Trophy as the NHL's top coach with three different teams (Montreal in 1989, Toronto in 1993 and Boston in 1998), died after a long battle with cancer. He was 58.

In 2010, a gas explosion ripped through the Pike River coal mine in New Zealand. Five workers stumbled to the surface while 29 others were missing.(After a second explosion four days later, the rescuers changed their mission to that of a recovery.)