In 1945, the Nuremberg war crimes trials of 22 major Nazi figures opened in Germany. Judges from Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States presided over the hearings, which lasted for 218 days. When verdicts were announced on October 1st, 11 prominent Nazis were sentenced to death, seven others received prison sentences and three were acquitted. Martin Bormann was tried in absentia and also sentenced to death. It was not confirmed until 1972 that he had died before the trial began.


Also on this date:


In 1789, New Jersey became the first state to ratify the U.S. Bill of Rights.


In 1841, Wilfrid Laurier, Canada's seventh prime minister, was born. He was Canada's first prime minister of French ancestry, serving from 1896-1911.


In 1871, John and David McDougall arrived in Alberta to become the province's first farmers.


Also in 1871, telegraph lines linked Winnipeg and Eastern Canada, via the United States.

In 1877, Edmonton obtained its first telegraph service.

In 1893, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Great Lakes and their connecting waters constituted the “high seas.” The U.S. and Canada signed a treaty in 1909, which guaranteed the lakes be free and open to both countries on equal terms.

In 1903, the Saskatchewan city of Moose Jaw was incorporated.

In 1910, revolution broke out in Mexico, led by Francisco I. Madero.

In 1925, future U.S. attorney general and senator Robert F. Kennedy was born in Brookline, Mass. He was assassinated in 1968.

In 1946, Alberta's oil boom began when the initial drilling was done at the famous Leduc well south of Edmonton. Leduc began producing Feb. 13, 1947. Four-fifths of Canada's sedimentary basins in which petroleum is found are located in the Prairies, especially Alberta.

In 1947, Britain's future queen, Princess Elizabeth, married navy Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey.

In 1959, the United Nations issued its “Declaration of the Rights of the Child.”

In 1960, Lester Pearson was presented with Medallion of Valour of the State of Israel for his “outstanding role in the deliberations of the United Nations which led to the judicious considerations between the State of Israel and the Arab nations.” Earlier in 1957, he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his proposal of a UN peacekeeping force to ease the British and French out of Egypt.

In 1962, the United Nations approved a Canadian plan to measure worldwide atomic radiation.

In 1968, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down a portion of the “Indian Act” which said it was illegal for aboriginals to be drunk off their reserve. The ruling on the case of Joseph Drybones was a victory for the 1960 Bill of Rights, which said Canadian laws should not violate the rights or freedoms listed in it. In this case, the rule on drunkenness only applied to aboriginals.

In 1969, the U.S. government announced a halt to residential use of DDT as part of a total phase-out of the pesticide.

In 1975, after nearly four decades of absolute rule, Spain's General Francisco Franco died, two weeks before his 83rd birthday.

In 1977, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat became the first Arab leader to address Israel's parliament.

In 1978, the Progressive Conservatives won 11 of 16 seats in the first Yukon election contested by political parties.

In 1979, a group of armed, fundamentalist Muslims from Iran seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Islam's holiest place.

In 1980, China began the trial of 10 radicals, including Mao Tse-tung's widow Jiang Qing, on charges of attempting to kill Mao, staging an armed rebellion in Shanghai, attempting to overthrow state power and persecuting thousands of Chinese during the Cultural Revolution in the mid-1960's.

In 1985, the first version of Microsoft's Windows operating system, Windows 1.0, was officially released.

In 1986, Canadian-based Bata Ltd., one of the world's largest shoemakers, announced it was selling its operations in South Africa to foreign investors.

In 1987, during a visit to Canada, King Olav V of Norway named the Little Norway park in Toronto in honour of Norwegian servicemen. The site had been the Royal Norwegian training camp during the Second World War. It was the 84-year-old monarch's first visit to Canada since 1942. During the war, the then-crown prince visited Toronto where Norway's army and naval air force had set up a training base at a location on Toronto Island provided by the Canadian government.

In 1989, the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted the first Convention on the Rights of the Child, creating the most comprehensive treaty for the protection of children in history.

In 1989, more than 200,000 people in Prague, Czechoslovakia, rallied to demand democratic reforms and the ouster of the country's Communist leaders. The government fell a few days later.

In 1990, Justice Bertha Wilson retired from the Supreme Court of Canada after nine years on the bench. The first woman elected to the Supreme Court, Wilson previously spent seven years on the Ontario Court of Appeal.

In 1991, Ontario became the first province to regulate and recognize the midwife profession.

In 1992, fire seriously damaged the northwest side of Windsor Castle, Queen Elizabeth's favorite weekend home.

In 1995, former prime minister Brian Mulroney filed a $50-million lawsuit against the RCMP and the Justice Department. The suit claimed Mulroney's reputation and stature had been hurt by a letter the Mounties sent to Swiss authorities alleging Mulroney had taken kickbacks in the 1988 sale of 34 Airbus jets to Air Canada. Mulroney dropped the case after reaching a settlement with Ottawa. On Oct. 7, 1997, an arbitrator ruled that the RCMP must pay Mulroney $2 million to cover his legal expenses.

In 1995, CP Rail announced it would move its headquarters from Montreal to Calgary.

In 1995, Russian pairs skater and reigning Olympic champion Sergei Grinkov collapsed and died during practice in New York at the age of 28.

In 1999, China launched its first recoverable space capsule, Shenzou, in the province of Gansu.

In 2002, the RCMP announced the results of its five-year investigation into the tainted-blood scandal of the 1980's, the worst public health disaster in Canada in which contaminated blood and blood products infected thousands of patients with HIV and hepatitis. Four doctors, the Canadian Red Cross Society and an American drug company were criminally charged.

In 2002, the federal government and the Anglican Church of Canada reached a deal that would see the religious group pay up to $25 million to those abused in native residential schools.

In 2003, two suicide bombings, at the British consulate and a London-based bank, killed 27 people and injured hundreds in Istanbul. The attacks were blamed on al-Qaida.

In 2004, Daniel Andrea Iannuzzi, founder of Canada's foremost Italian-language newspaper, “Corriere Canadese,” and founder of the world's first multilingual television station, died in Rome at age 70.

In 2007, Ian Smith, Rhodesia's last white prime minister whose attempts to resist black rule dragged the country now known as Zimbabwe into isolation and civil war, died at age 88.

In 2007, the archbishop of Quebec City, Cardinal Marc Ouellet sought forgiveness for the Catholic Church's handling of sex scandals and its treatment of minorities.

In 2007, the federal government announced the creation of a new national park in the Northwest Territories, covering 10 million hectares.

In 2007, scientists in Japan and the U.S. reported creating the equivalent of embryonic stem cells from ordinary skin cells.

In 2008, a double-barrelled shot of tumbling oil prices and more bad news from one of Canada's big banks pushed the S&P/TSX composite index briefly below 8,000 points for the first time in almost five years.

In 2008, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld a regulatory ruling requiring airlines to offer a free extra seat to certain disabled and obese people. Canada's top court rejected an application by Air Canada and WestJet for permission to appeal a Canadian Transportation Agency ruling issued earlier in the year.

In 2008, New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner's colourful 35-year reign of pronouncements, threats and bluster ended when he passed control of baseball's most famous and successful franchise to his youngest son, Hal.

In 2009, Gilles-Andre Gosselin, a key player in the federal sponsorship scandal, pleaded guilty to several charges related to fraud totalling $655,276, committed between 1997 and 2000, and was sentenced to two years in jail, plus a day.

In 2009, the vampire romance “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” set an all-time U.S. high for opening day with $72.7 million. (In July 2011, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” surpassed it with $92.1 million.)

In 2009, hundreds of people were forced from their south Vancouver Island homes by flooding due to heavy rain and high tides.

In 2009, Oprah Winfrey announced that her day-time talk show would end in 2011 after a quarter-century. (Her OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, a joint venture with Discovery Communications Inc. debuted in January, 2011).

In 2010, Laurie “Bambi” Bembenek, a former Milwaukee police officer and Playboy Club bunny who gained national notoriety after she was convicted in 1982 of the murder of her then-husband's ex-wife and escaped from prison and fled to Thunder Bay, died of liver failure in Oregon. She was 52.