In 1867, the first session of Canada's first Parliament opened at the new Parliament buildings in Ottawa. The first speech from the throne was read by the country's first governor general, Sir Charles Stanley Monck, 4th Viscount Monck. The first government was led by the country's first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. Members earned $6 a day.
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In 1689, blacks arrived by ship to Quebec -- probably the first recorded use of black slaves in Canada.
In 1789, following the American Revolution, Father John Carroll was appointed the first Roman Catholic bishop in the newly organized and independent United States of America.
In 1814, Adolphe Sax, inventor of the saxophone, was born in Belgium.
In 1854, John Philip Sousa, the king of American march music, was born in Washington, D.C. He died in 1932.
In 1860, oil was struck at Petrolia, Ont.
In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected the 16th president of the United States.
In 1861, the inventor of basketball, Dr. James Naismith, was born in Almonte, Ont.
In 1879, Thanksgiving Day was first observed in Canada. On Jan. 31, 1957, Parliament proclaimed Thanksgiving as a holiday on the second Monday in October.
In 1889, the Eiffel Tower opened in Paris.
In 1893, Russian composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky died at 44 of cholera after drinking contaminated water in St. Petersburg.
In 1901, Kate Greenaway, English writer and illustrator of children's books, died.
In 1906, the first long-distance telephone line was completed from Winnipeg to Regina.
In 1923, Colonel Jacob Schick received a U.S. patent for the first electric shaver.
In 1947, NBC's “Meet The Press” went on the air.
In 1956, France and Britain ordered their invasion forces at the Suez Canal to cease fire. Canadian External Affairs Minister Lester Pearson had presented a Suez peacekeeping plan, which was adopted by the UN and won Pearson the next year's Nobel Peace Prize.
In 1959, the Royal Canadian Humane Association awarded its Gold Medal to the citizens of Springhill, N.S. The award is the Society's highest recognition for bravery in life-saving. It was the first time the award had been made to a community. And it followed the disaster of Oct. 23rd, when 74 miners died after a deep underground “bump” in a coal mine. The last survivors were brought to the surface on Nov. 1.
In 1968, the first plastic cornea implant in a human eye was performed in Toronto.
In 1969, Ottawa announced a $50-million program to promote language training across the country.
In 1970, Pierre Laporte suspension bridge, a new bridge over the St. Lawrence River connecting the north and south shore at Quebec City, was officially opened.
In 1970, Bernard Lortie was arrested in the kidnapping and murder the previous month of Quebec Labour Minister Pierre Laporte.
In 1974, at the World Food Conference in Rome, External Affairs Minister Allan MacEachen pledged $785 million in Canadian food aid over a period of three years.
In 1978, the Shah of Iran put his country under military control after two days of heavy rioting by revolutionaries.
In 1981, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and nine premiers, all except Quebec's, announced a deal had been reached on patriating the Constitution from Britain. The agreement also included an amending formula and a two-tiered Charter of Rights. The Queen officially proclaimed the Constitution on April 17, 1982.
In 1984, Colin Thatcher, a former Saskatchewan cabinet minister, was found guilty in Saskatoon of murdering his ex-wife. He was sentenced to life in prison. He was granted full parole on Nov. 30, 2006.
In 1987, a man demanding FBI protection from the Mafia held a cockpit fireaxe over an Air Canada pilot's head but gave up after more than three hours. In the incident at San Francisco International Airport, James Barrett Drake of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., made rambling demands to be flown to Dublin or London.
In 1987, an iceberg 225 metres thick broke away from Antarctica. Scientists estimated the iceberg had enough water to supply a city the size of Los Angeles for nearly 700 years.
In 1990, fire swept through the backlot at Universal Studios in California, destroying sets used in “Dick Tracy,” “Back to the Future Part II” and other films. Damage was estimated at $25 million.
In 1991, a Canadian team extinguished the last of the 732 oil fires that had been started by Iraqi troops at the end of the Gulf War. It had been the world's worst oil field disaster. Kuwait says it paid US$1.5 billion to put out the fires but world leaders estimated the cost at closer to $2 billion. Smoke from the fires formed a 1,000-kilometre plume that covered much of the Persian Gulf for several months after Iraq's defeat in February.
In 1994, John Ross Taylor, one of the leaders of the white supremacist movement in Canada, died at the age of 80.
In 1997, the Ontario government announced plans to split Ontario Hydro into three Crown-owned companies to end its monopoly and to lower energy prices for consumers.
In 1999, Laurence Decore, former leader of the Alberta Liberal party and one-time mayor of Edmonton, died at 59.
In 1999, Australians voted in a national referendum to keep the British monarch as their head of state.
In 2002, actress Winona Ryder was convicted of grand theft and vandalism for stealing more than $5,500 worth of high-fashion merchandise from a Saks Fifth Avenue store in Beverly Hills, but was acquitted of burglary.
In 2002, aggressive American border controls went into effect. U.S. agents started fingerprinting and photographing Canadian citizens born in certain Mideast countries. Critics called it racial profiling.
In 2003, George Radwanski, the former privacy commissioner, became the first Canadian to be found guilty of contempt of Parliament in 90 years, although he escaped penalty with an apology after five months of denying any wrongdoing. He had been accused of deliberately misleading Parliament by altering documents and misrepresenting his lavish expense claims.
In 2007, Ottawa writer Elizabeth Hay won the Giller Prize, Canada's richest literary award, for her book “Late Nights on Air.”
In 2008, Ara Abrahamian, the Swedish wrestler who dropped his bronze medal at the podium and walked away in protest at the Beijing Olympics, was banned for two years along with his coach, Leo Myllari, for “scandalous behaviour.” Abrahamian disputed a penalty call which decided his semi-final bout against Andrea Minguzzi in the Greco-Roman 84-kilogram division. The Italian went on to win the gold medal.
In 2009, Marie Fontaine, from the Sagkeeng First Nation northeast of Winnipeg, won the $50 million Lotto Max jackpot. It was the largest jackpot ever won by a single person in the country. (In 2011, Franco Varone of Ontario, also won a $50-million Lotto Max jackpot.)
In 2009, Toronto won the bid to host the 2015 Pan Am Games, beating out Lima, Peru, and Bogota, Colombia.
In 2010, Michael Seifert, a former Nazi SS prison guard known as “the beast of Bolzano” for his cruelty, died in an Italian hospital at age 86. The Ukrainian-born Seifert was serving a life sentence at the Santa Maria Capua Vetere prison in southern Italy.