In 1895, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel established his prizes for achievement in medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and peace. The inventor of dynamite specified the first prizes were to be awarded five years after his death. He died the following year, and the first Nobel Prizes were handed out in 1901.

 

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In 1095, in France, Pope Urban II solemnly proclaimed the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont. Urban's twin purpose was to relieve the pressure by the Seljuk Turks on the Eastern Roman Empire, and to secure free access to Jerusalem for Christian pilgrims.

 

In 1701, Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius was born in Uppsala, Sweden. He originated the centigrade temperature scale.

 

In 1822, John McLeod of the Hudson's Bay Company began his journey through the Rockies and descended the Fraser River to the Strait of Georgia.

 

In 1829, the final section of Ontario's original Welland Canal from Port Dalhousie to Port Robinson was opened. Before the canal was built over a period of five years, all freight moving between lakes Erie and Ontario was transported overland. The canal was deepened and enlarged over the years before being replaced by the new canal in 1932.

In 1851, Charles Dow, the co-founder of the Dow Jones stock indexes, and the first editor of the “Wall Street Journal,” was born.

In 1896, Sir Clifford Sifton, minister of the interior in Wilfrid Laurier's cabinet, launched Canada's first immigration drive. He made the railways choose from among the lands granted to them so he would know what land could be allocated to settlers. He streamlined the process of land grants and put agents in every district to cut the red tape. Pamphlets were sent out, offering free land in Western Canada. They attracted settlers from the U.S., Britain and, most controversially, central and eastern Europe. Agents in foreign lands received $5 for every head of a family signed to come to Canada, and $2 for every family member. In 1897, 32,000 settlers took up the offer.

In 1898, a severe storm near Yarmouth, N.S., sank the “SS Portland,” killing 190 people. The steamship sailed from Boston before the storm reached its full intensity. The storm was later named the Portland Gale after the ship.

In 1944, Major David Currie, an officer of the South Alberta Reconnaissance Regiment, became the seventh Canadian to win the Victoria Cross in the Second World War. Currie and his soldiers fought continously for three days and nights to block a German escape route and stopped them from breaking through Canadian lines at St. Lambert sur Dives, Normandy. After a business career, Currie was appointed sergeant-at-arms of the House of Commons. He died in 1986 at the age of 73.

In 1956, a University of British Columbia rowing crew -- Donald Arnold, Ignace d'Hondt, Lorne Loomer and Archie McKinnon -- won the coxless fours gold medal at the Melbourne Olympics. They also won silver medals in the eights at the 1960 Games in Rome.

In 1960, J. Erroll Boyd, a Toronto pilot who flew the first non-stop Canadian air mail to the United Kingdom, died.

In 1961, Gordie Howe of the Detroit Red Wings became the first NHL'er to play in 1,000 games.

In 1970, the Canadian destroyer “HMCS Athabaskan” was launched.

In 1970, Pope Paul VI was slightly wounded in the chest during a visit to the Philippines by a dagger-wielding Bolivian painter disguised as a priest.

In 1977, three Grey Cup records fell as the Montreal Alouettes trounced the Edmonton Eskimos 41-6 in the CFL title game in Montreal. The Alouettes' Don Sweet kicked a record six field goals and scored a record 23 points. The game was also played before the largest crowd in Grey Cup history -- 68,318 -- at Olympic Stadium.

In 1982, Frances Shelley Wees, a poet and writer of romantic novels and detective fiction, died at Denman Island, B.C., at the age of 80.

In 1983, a Colombian Avianca Airlines Boeing 747 airliner, on its final approach to Madrid's airport, crashed into a muddy field and exploded, killing 183 of the 194 people on board.

In 1985, the British House of Commons overwhelmingly approved a historic agreement signed Nov. 15 by British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and Ireland's prime minister Garret Fitzgerald that would allow the Irish Republic to have a consultative role and official presence in Northern Ireland.

In 1986, legislation allowing the Hong Kong Bank of Canada to take over almost all assets and liabilities of the financially-troubled Bank of British Columbia was given royal assent in the Senate, after having been passed by the House of Commons earlier in the day.

In 1987, Air Canada shut down its domestic and international operations, locking out 8,500 workers. A rotating strike organized by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers had been disrupting flights in and out of major Canadian airports.

In 1989, a Colombian airliner exploded three minutes after takeoff and crashed in Bogota, killing 110 people. The Medellin cocaine cartel claimed responsibility.

In 1990, John Major was chosen to succeed Margaret Thatcher as the 18th Prime Minister of Britain.

In 1995, keeping his Quebec referendum promise, Prime Minister Jean Chretien announced proposals to recognize Quebec as distinct, give Quebec, Ontario, the East and the West region a constitutional veto, and hand all provinces more control over job training.

In 1998, Hells Angels kingpin Maurice “Mom” Boucher was acquitted of killing two Quebec prison guards.

In 2000, Prime Minister Jean Chretien won his third consecutive majority government, virtually sweeping Ontario and regaining seats in Atlantic Canada and his home province of Quebec in the federal election. He joined Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Mackenzie King as one of the few Canadian leaders to win three consecutive majorities.

In 2000, an inquest report into the deaths of 12 babies blamed the Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre pediatric cardiac surgery program for mismanagement, surgical error and inexperienced doctors. It was one of Canada's longest inquests.

In 2002, Tiger Woods won the Grand Slam of Golf, on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. Woods finished 17-under par, 14 strokes ahead of Justin Leonard and Davis Love III, for the two-day tournament.

In 2003, U.S. President George W. Bush made a secret, surprise trip to Iraq to serve troops turkey on the American Thanksgiving holiday.

In 2006, Chief Warrant Officer Bobby Girouard and Cpl. Albert Storm were killed in Afghanistan.

In 2006, a rare winter storm dumped up to 50 centimetres of snow on B.C.'s Lower Mainland.

In 2006, a motion recognizing the Quebecois as a nation in a united Canada, introduced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, passed in the Commons by a vote of 222-16.

In 2006, in byelections, Liberals retained the Ontario riding in London North centre while a male-prostitute-turned-priest won for the Bloc Quebecois in the Quebec riding of Repentigny.

In 2007, Dr. J. Robert Cade, the inventor of Gatorade, died at age 80.

In 2007, Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor died after being shot a day earlier in his Florida home by an intruder.

In 2007, B.C. novelist Jane Rule, considered a pioneer of lesbian-themed novels and non-fiction and an advocate for homosexual rights, died at age 76.

In 2008, the Ontario Hockey League's Oshawa Generals retired the No. 2 jersey worn by legendary defenceman Bobby Orr from 1962-66, in which he posted eye-popping totals of 116 goals, 205 assists and 321 points, including 38 goals and 94 points in his final season in 1965-66.

In 2008, Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal, world's biggest steel maker whose holdings include Dofasco of Hamilton, announced 9,000 job cuts or three per cent of its global workforce, in a bid to reduce spending in response to the global economic downturn.

In 2008, Thailand's government imposed a state of emergency at Bangkok's two airports where thousands of anti-government protesters had camped out, demanding the government's ouster.

In 2009, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Wal-Mart Canada Corp., was within its rights when it shut down a store in Jonquiere, Que., in 2005 that had been unionized seven months earlier.

In 2009, Tiger Woods crashed his SUV outside his Florida mansion, sparking widespread attention to reports of marital infidelity.