In 2,348 B.C., according to Archbishop James Ussher's Old Testament chronology, the Great Deluge (Noah's Flood) began.


Also on this date:


In 1715, a patent was granted to Thomas Masters for his wife's invention to clean and cure Indian corn. That made Sybilla Masters the New World's first female inventor.


In 1735, the Tsar Kolokol bell was cast in Moscow. Weighing nearly 200 tonnes, it's probably the world's heaviest bell. During a great fire a few years after casting, firemen poured water onto it, causing an 11-tonne section to split off. The bell stands on a platform in the Kremlin.


In 1758, during the French and Indian War, the British captured Fort Duquesne in present-day Pittsburgh.


In 1783, the British evacuated New York, their last military position in the United States during the Revolutionary War.

In 1851, the first North American chapter of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) opened in Montreal.

In 1884, John Mayenberg of St. Louis received a patent for evaporated milk.

In 1885, Rocky Mountain Park was established at Banff, Alta. It was the first national park in Canada and only the third in the world. Two years earlier, three men working on the Canadian Pacific Railway stumbled across a cave containing hot springs on the slopes of Alberta's Rocky Mountains. The park spans 6,641 square kilometres of valleys, mountains, glaciers, forests, meadows and rivers. It is now called Banff National Park.

In 1908, the first issue of “The Christian Science Monitor” was published.

In 1914, baseball player Joe Di Maggio was born in Martinez, Calif. His 56-game hitting streak in 1941 endures as one of the most remarkable records in baseball or any sport. He died March 8, 1999.

In 1963, the body of U.S. President John F. Kennedy was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.

In 1971, the CRTC approved a licence for Channel 79 in Toronto. CITY-TV became Canada's first commercial UHF television station.

In 1973, U.S. President Nixon announced measures to reduce energy consumption, including the prohibition of Sunday sales of gasoline and lower highway speed limits.

In 1980, Sugar Ray Leonard was officially granted the World Boxing Council's welterweight championship after defeating Roberto Duran when Duran retired from the fight in the eighth round.

In 1985, Ontario Attorney-General Ian Scott and federal Indian Affairs Minister David Crombie announced a $16.7 million settlement agreement to compensate two northern Ontario aboriginal bands for mercury pollution that devastated their communities.

In 1986, the Iran-Contra affair erupted in the U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Attorney General Edwin Meese revealed that profits from secret arms sales to Iran had been diverted to Nicaraguan rebels. The same day, National Security Adviser John Poindexter resigned and his aide, Lt.-Col. Oliver North, were fired for their involvement in the scandal.

In 1988, the largest earthquake to hit eastern Canada in more than 50 years occurred. The quake, measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale, was centred near Chicoutimi, Que., and was felt from the Maritimes to Michigan. No deaths or injuries were reported.

In 1988, executives of the United Church of Canada asked congregations to discuss the issue of ordaining homosexuals. At the church's General Council meeting a few months earlier, the policy was changed to allow homosexuals to become full members of the church, including ordination. The policy was reaffirmed in 1990.

In 1992, the Czechoslovakian parliament approved the division of the country into two nations as of Dec. 31.

In 1993, Anthony Burgess, novelist, linguist, composer, translator and critic, author of “A Clockwork Orange,” died in London at the age of 76.

In 1997, about 2,000 noisy but non-violent human rights demonstrators protested at the site of APEC summit in Vancouver. Pepper spray and police dogs were used to control demonstrators.

In 1998, euthanasia crusader Dr. Jack Kevorkian was charged with first-degree pre-meditated murder over his video-taped mercy-killing of a terminally ill patient.

In 1998, in India's state elections, the Congress Party led by Sonia Gandhi, widow of Rajiv Gandhi, won a landslide victory.

In 1999, MP Jack Ramsay was ousted from the Reform Party caucus, one day after being convicted of attempted rape.

In 1999, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the law protecting the confidential counselling records of sexual-assault complainants.

In 2000, seven rejuvenated Eatons stores, now owned by Sears Canada Inc., opened.

In 2001, the RCMP finally nabbed John Bjornstrom, who had roamed the area near B.C.'s Lake Shuswap for two years. Bjornstrom, who was known as the “Bushman of the Shuswap,” escaped from a Kamloops jail in 1999 while serving time for breaking and entering.

In 2002, a Nova Scotia court fined Canadian ship owner CSL Atlas $125,000 for dumping 92 litres of oil into the sea about 80 nautical miles south of Halifax. The fine ranked among the highest in Canadian history for a marine pollution offence.

In 2002, U.S. President George W. Bush signed into law the creation of new Department of Homeland Security, the largest U.S. government overhaul since the Second World War, aimed at preventing terrorist attacks. The agency would have $40-billion in funding and 170,000 employees from 22 different agencies.

In 2008, playwright and novelist William Gibson, author of such Broadway hits as “The Miracle Worker” and “Two for the Seesaw,” died at the age of 94.

In 2009, shareholders voted 99 per cent to approve the split of Calgary-based EnCana into two new companies. One, focused on natural gas exploration and production, would retain the EnCana name. The other, Cenovus, would become an integrated heavy oil producer.

In 2009, Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout, 28, and an Australian colleague were freed, 15 months after they were abducted in Somalia in August, 2008.

In 2009, Toyota said it would replace the gas pedals on 3.8 million vehicles in the United States because the pedals could get stuck in the floor mats and cause sudden acceleration.

In 2010, Steven Chand, 29, convicted of trying to raise funds for the so-called Toronto 18 terror plotters, was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He had been in jail since June, 2006 but because of credit for time served, he only had to serve another seven months and 10 days.

In 2010, artist Doris McCarthy, best known for her Canadian landscapes and depictions of arctic icebergs, died at age 100.