In 1942, the RCMP ship “St. Roch,” under the command of Sgt. Henry Larson, arrived in Halifax after completing the first west-to-east crossing of the Northwest Passage. The “St. Roch,” a 31-metre motor schooner, began its voyage in Vancouver in 1940. One member of the eight-man crew died of a heart attack while the ship wintered in the ice less than 80 kilometres from the magnetic pole.
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On this date in 1521, Pope Leo X gave Henry VIII of England the title “Fidei Defensor,” or Defender of the Faith. Thirteen years later, Henry severed all ties with Rome to establish the Church of England.
In 1776, the first naval battle of Lake Champlain was fought during the American Revolution. American forces under Brig.-Gen. Benedict Arnold suffered heavy losses but managed to stall British forces led by Guy Carleton.
In 1797, British forces defeated the Dutch at the battle of Camperdown.
In 1809, just over three years after the famous Lewis and Clark expedition ended, Meriwether Lewis was found dead in a Tennessee inn, an apparent suicide. He was 35.
In 1811, inventor John Stevens put into operation the first steam ferry line in the world, running between New York City and Hoboken, N.J.
In 1868, American inventor Thomas Edison patented an electric voting machine.
In 1869, the Red River Rebellion began when a group led by Adam Clark Webb attempted to survey a field belonging to Andre Nault, a Metis, at St. Vital, Man. About 20 Metis led by Louis Riel prevented the work and forced Webb to leave, an act which sparked confrontations between Riel and the Canadian government.
In 1881, David Henderson Houston patented the first roll film for cameras.
In 1899, the Boer War began.
In 1900, Winston Churchill was first elected to the British House of Commons.
In 1911, the Ontario Hydro-Electric Power Commission's transmission system was incorporated at Berlin, now Kitchener.
In 1914, Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the most noted Gothic cathedrals in Europe, was damaged during a First World War air raid.
In 1917, an order-in-council prohibited strikes and lockouts in Canada during the First World War.
In 1949, Wilhelm Pieck became the first president of the East German Republic.
In 1952, CFBT in Montreal carried the first televised hockey game in Canada -- Montreal versus Detroit.
In 1960, Ottawa announced a program to help low-income families obtain rental housing.
In 1968, “Apollo 7” was launched by the U.S. The first manned Apollo mission was the first in which live television broadcasts were received from orbit. Wally Schirra, Don Fulton Eisele and R. Walter Cunningham were the astronauts aboard.
In 1968, the founding convention of the Parti Quebecois began in Montreal. The new party, headed by Rene Levesque, said it would declare Quebec a sovereign state if it gained a majority of seats in the Quebec legislature. The 809 delegates adopted a program that guaranteed French as the only official language of Quebec.
In 1975. NBC's “Saturday Night Live” was broadcast for the first time. George Carlin was the guest host.
In 1976, Mao Tse-tung's widow, Chiang Ching, and three of her associates, were arrested in Peking on charges of plotting to overthrow the Chinese government.
In 1979, Cuban President Fidel Castro visited New York for the first time in 19 years.
In 1984, Kathryn Sullivan became the first U.S. woman to walk in space when she and astronaut David Leestma spent three hours working in the cargo hold of the space shuttle “Challenger.”
In 1984, Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh Penguins) made his debut in the National Hockey League against the Boston Bruins. He scored a goal on his first shot on his first NHL shift.
In 1986, Barker Fairley, scholar, painter, poet and peace-activist, died in Toronto at the age of 99.
In 1996, three days after winning the Nobel Prize in economics, Canadian-born William Vickrey died in a car accident in New York at the age of 82.
In 1998, Pope John Paul II decreed the first Jewish-born saint of the modern era: Edith Stein, a nun killed in the gas chambers of Auschwitz.
In 2004, Finn Kydland of Norway and American Edward Prescott won the Nobel Prize for economics for groundbreaking theories that persuaded the Bank of Canada and other central banks to set long-term inflation targets and stamp out “stagflation.”
In 2005, Ontario Finance Minister Greg Sorbara resigned following revelations that he was the subject of a criminal investigation by the RCMP into Royal Group Technologies.
In 2005, Canadian mining giants Inco and Falconbridge announced plans to merge in a $12.5 billion deal -- creating the world's largest nickel firm.
In 2008, the Canadian Olympic Committee rewarded Beijing Olympic medal winners with cash for the first time in its history, presenting 34 athletes with cheques for their accomplishments. A total of $515,000 was handed out under the Athlete Excellence Fund, a new financial incentive fund unveiled in November, 2007. Under the program, Canadian Olympians received $20,000 for each gold medal won, $15,000 for each silver and $10,000 for each bronze.
In 2010, Montreal Alouettes slotback Ben Cahoon caught the 1,007th pass of his career, breaking the CFL receiving record held by Terry Vaughn. (He retired at the end of the season with 1,107).
In 2010, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre reached two milestones -- he became the first NFL player to throw 500 touchdown passes and to reach 70,000 yards passing, though his three turnovers led to a 29-20 loss to the New York Jets on Monday Night Football.
In 2010, two Americans and a British-Cypriot economist won the 2010 Nobel economics prize for developing a theory that helps explain why many people can remain unemployed despite a large number of job vacancies.