In 1864, the Fathers of Confederation met in Quebec to discuss the feasibility of a political union of British North America. The 33 delegates from Upper and Lower Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island passed 72 resolutions as an outline to the proposed federal union. These eventually formed the core of the 1867 British North America Act.
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In 1582, the Spanish Carmelite nun Teresa of Avila died in Alba de Tormes. After entering the Convent of the Incarnation of Avila in 1536, she went on to found 16 other Carmelite convents between 1567 and 1582. She was canonized in 1622. Her order claimed descent from hermits who had lived on the holy mountain of Carmel in biblical times.
In 1710, Canada's first Anglican church service was held in Chebucto, N.S.
In 1801, the Sable Island Humane Establishment was set up as a year-round lifeguard settlement on the sandbar off Nova Scotia known as a deathtrap to seafarers.
In 1886, a tail-less dress coat was first worn at the Tuxedo Club in Tuxedo, N.Y.
In 1911, Sir Robert Borden succeeded Sir Wilfrid Laurier as prime minister of Canada.
In 1913, the Panama Canal was effectively completed as U.S. President Woodrow Wilson sent a signal from the White House by telegraph, setting off explosives that destroyed a section of the Gamboa dike.
In 1920, the Cleveland Indians accomplished three World Series “firsts” in an 8-1 victory over the Brooklyn Dodgers in Game Five. Indians outfielder Elmer Smith smacked the first World Series grand slam, Jim Bagby became the first pitcher to homer in a Series game, and second baseman Bill Wambsganss pulled off an unassisted triple play. That remains the only triple play -- unassisted or not -- in World Series history.
In 1930, playwright Harold Pinter was born in Hackney, East London, England. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005. He was praised as the most influential British playwright of his generation and a longtime voice of political protest. He died Dec. 24, 2008 at age 78.
In 1938, Nazi Germany completed its annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland.
In 1949, Radio Corporation of America made the first public showing of its all-electronic television system.
In 1967, the Outer Space Treaty, which prohibits the placing of weapons of mass destruction on the moon or elsewhere in space, entered into force.
In 1970, Quebec labour minister Pierre Laporte was kidnapped by FLQ terrorists in Montreal. He was found dead a week later.
In 1970, Fiji became independent after nearly a century of British rule.
In 1971, Britain's historic London Bridge, transported across the Atlantic, opened as a tourist attraction in Arizona.
In 1973, U.S. Vice-President Spiro Agnew resigned in disgrace after an investigation found he'd been involved in criminal activity while governor of Maryland. Agnew pleaded no contest to income tax evasion.
In 1974, Harold Wilson's Liberal party won a narrow majority in Britain's general election.
In 1977, Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan, peace activists in Northern Ireland, received the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize.
In 1978, female pages were allowed in the House of Commons for the first time.
In 1982, Pope John Paul II proclaimed Maximilian Kolbe a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. The Polish priest volunteered to die in the place of another inmate at the Auschwitz death camp.
In 1985, two entertainment legends died -- Orson Welles at age 70 and Yul Brynner at age 65. Welles was the man behind the radio play “War of the Worlds” and the film “Citizen Kane.” Brynner made his mark as the King of Siam in the stage and screen productions of “The King and I.”
In 1997, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and its co-ordinator, U.S. activist Jody Williams.
In 1997, Israel apologized to Canada for using Canadian passports in its spy operations.
In 2000, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound's Medical Officer of Health concluded in his report that a combination of long-standing problems, exacerbated by bad luck and a freak of nature contributed to the six deaths in Walkerton, Ontario the previous spring from E.coli-contaminated water.
In 2000, the former prime minister of Sri Lanka, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, who 40 years earlier became the world's first female prime minister, died at the age of 84.
In 2003, Iranian lawyer and human rights advocate Shirin Ebadi, won the Nobel Peace Prize for her focus on human rights. She was the first Iranian and the first Muslim woman to win. Ebadi was one of the first women judges in Iran, but was forced to resign following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
In 2004, “Superman” star Christopher Reeve died at age 52. Reeve became a force for spinal cord research after a 1995 horse-riding accident left him a quadriplegic.
In 2006, the Yukon Party won the territorial election, taking 10 of 18 ridings, double that of the Opposition Liberals, in the Yukon. The NDP won three ridings.
In 2007, Dalton McGuinty's Liberals cruised to a second straight majority term in Ontario's general election.
In 2007, former NHL player Rob Ramage was found guilty on all five charges he faced including impaired driving causing death in a fatal crash that killed former Chicago Blackhawk Keith Magnuson on Dec. 15, 2003.
In 2007, an inquiry report cleared the RCMP of a cover-up in its investigation of sexual abuse of boys at Kingclear training school in New Brunswick but concluded sloppy investigative techniques created the perception of a cover-up.
In 2007, a Russian spacecraft blasted off for the international space station, carrying Sheikh Muszaphar, Malaysia's first astronaut, and Peggy Whitson, an American who became the first woman to command the orbital outpost.
In 2007, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a deal with Nova Scotia over offshore revenue sharing.
In 2008, the Canadian dollar posted its biggest intra-day decline -- falling 4.87 cents against the American dollar. It recovered somewhat near the end of the business day to close down 2.59 cents to 84.69 cents U.S.
In 2008, former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari was awarded the Nobel peace prize for his decades of work trying to build lasting peace in various parts of the world.
In 2008, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced the federal government planned to buy $25 billion in Canadian mortgage-backed securities in a bid to ease a growing credit crunch faced by the country's banks and other financial institutions.
In 2009, it was announced that the five Alberta women who won the right for women to be legally recognized as “persons” in the landmark 1929 court ruling had been posthumously named honorary senators. It was the first time the Senate had named anyone an honorary senator.
In 2009, Turkey and Armenia signed an accord in Zurich to establish diplomatic ties in an effort to set aside a century of animosity between the neighbouring countries.
In 2009, Joan Orenstein, the Nova Scotia actor best known for her work on the stage, died at age 78. She was a familiar face at Halifax's Neptune Theatre and also played lead roles on stages across Canada, including at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and the Shaw Festival in southern Ontario. In television, she appeared on the show “Emily of New Moon” and the mini-series “Shattered City.”
In 2010, Virgin Galactic's space tourism rocket SpaceShipTwo achieved its first solo glide flight, marking another step in the company's eventual plans to fly paying passengers. It flew freely for 11 minutes in the Mojave Desert before landing at an airport runway.