In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize in a stunning decision designed to encourage his initiatives to reduce nuclear arms, ease tensions with the Muslim world and stress diplomacy and co-operation rather than unilateralism. Obama donated the $1.4 million prize to charity.

Also on this date:

In 1668, Canada's first institution of higher education, The Quebec Seminary, later called Laval University, was founded by Bishop Francois de Laval.

In 1811, Sir Isaac Brock became president and administrator of the government of Upper Canada.


In 1820, a proclamation rejoining Cape Breton to Nova Scotia was issued. Cape Breton became part of the colony of Nova Scotia in 1763 but it remained largely undeveloped until 1784, when it became a separate colony for Loyalist refugees. Successive waves of Scottish immigrants and the return of Acadians were followed by the reuniting of the two colonies.

In 1845, the co-founder of the Oxford Movement in England, churchman John Henry Newman, made his celebrated conversion from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism. From 1845-1862, nearly 250 other English clergy followed Newman into the Roman Catholic faith.

In 1867, Russia formally handed over Alaska to the United States.

In 1874, the Northwest Mounted Police arrived at Fort Whoop-Up in the Cypress Hills area straddling southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, bringing law and order to Canada's new western territories.

In 1875, the Universal Postal Union was founded at Berne, Switzerland.

In 1877, the first steam locomotive on the Prairies, the “Countess of Dufferin,” arrived in Winnipeg by barge down the Red River.

In 1890, flamboyant evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson was born in Ingersoll, Ont. Raised by strict parents, the former Aimee Kennedy was married three times and had two children. She toured Canada, the United States, Britain and Australia and, with her highly dramatic presence on the pulpit, became one of the most publicized religious revivalists in the world. McPherson died of an accidental drug overdose in 1944.

In 1919, the Cincinnati Reds won the World Series, 5 games to 3, defeating the Chicago White Sox 10-5 at Comiskey Park. (The victory turned hollow amid charges eight of the White Sox had thrown the Series in what became known as the “Black Sox” scandal.)

In 1930, Laura Ingalls became the first woman to fly across the United States as she completed a nine-stop journey from Roosevelt Field, N.Y., to Glendale, Calif.

In 1934, Yugoslavia's King Alexander was assassinated in Marseilles, France.

In 1938, the St. Clair River bridge from Point Edward, Ont., to Port Huron, Mich., was dedicated.

In 1940, Sir Wilfred Grenfell, a medical missionary in Labrador and Newfoundland, died at his retirement home on Lake Champlain.

In 1940, compulsory military training began for 29,750 Canadians.

In 1950, U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur ordered the invasion of North Korea.

In 1953, Ottawa announced the establishment of Canada's first peacetime army division -- the 1st Canadian Division.

In 1958, Pope Pius XII died, 19 years after he was elevated to the papacy in 1939 near the start of the Second World War. His leadership of the Roman Catholic Church during the war and the Holocaust remains the subject of continued historical controversy.

In 1963, Prime Minister Lester Pearson announced in the Commons that Canada had given the United States permission to store defensive nuclear warheads for jet interceptors at American bases in Newfoundland. The Opposition complained because Pearson would not make the agreement public for security reasons.

In 1967, Latin American guerrilla leader Che Guevara was executed while attempting to incite revolution in Bolivia.

In 1974, Canadian Herve Fillion became the first North American harness driver to win 5,000 races.

In 1974, businessman Oskar Schindler, credited with saving about 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust, died in Frankfurt, West Germany (at his request, he was buried in Jerusalem).

In 1975, Andrei Sakharov became the first Soviet citizen to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1984, Toronto art student Peter Greyson was sentenced to 89 days in jail for pouring red ink on an original copy of the 1982 Constitution Act to protest the former Liberal government's decision to test cruise missiles in Canada.

In 1987, Clare Boothe Luce, writer of hit Broadway plays and a former U.S. ambassador to Italy, died at the age of 84.

In 1990, construction began on the Hibernia mega oil project off the coast of Newfoundland.

In 1990, Air Canada chairman Claude Taylor announced that the airline was laying off 2,900 employees from ramp handlers to customer service agents and pilots due to escalating oil prices and recession.

In 1997, in a major victory for the disabled, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that provinces must pay for sign language interpreters for the deaf when they receive medical treatment.

In 2000, Kenneth Dyer, a retired admiral who acted on his own and sent Canadian warships to sea to help the United States during the Cuban missile crisis, died. He was in his early 80's.

In 2004, the first direct presidential election was held in Afghanistan. President Hamid Karzai was declared the winner on Nov. 3 after a final vote count.

In 2004, Prime Minister John Howard won a historic fourth term in Australia's election.

In 2006, North Korea set off its first nuclear test, becoming the eighth country in history to join the club of nuclear weapons states.

In 2007, Danny Williams and his Progressive Conservatives won a landslide victory in the Newfoundland and Labrador election.

In 2007, France's Albert Fert and German Peter Gruenberg won the Nobel Prize in physics for a discovery that lets computers, iPods and other digital devices store reams of data on ever-shrinking hard disks.

In 2008, Montenegro and Macedonia recognized Kosovo's independence, despite opposition from Serbia, which called the moves by its Balkan neighbours a betrayal and expelled the Montenegrin ambassador from Belgrade.

In 2008, Iceland's government took control of the country's three largest banks as it struggled to prevent a collapse in its entire banking system. The Prime Minister closed the stock market and said the country was on the verge of “national bankruptcy.”

In 2009, the International Olympic Committee reinstated golf and rugby for the 2016 and 2020 Summer Games. Rugby and golf both made their Olympic debuts at the second modern Games in Paris in 1900. Golf was only played again at the 1904 St. Louis Games, while rugby featured three more times, making its last appearance in the 1924 Paris Olympics.

In 2009, former NHL star Theoren Fleury said he was sexually abused by his junior hockey coach, Graham James. James was jailed in 1997 after admitting to sexually abusing two players on his junior hockey team -- ex-NHL'er Sheldon Kennedy and another plaintiff who was not identified. Rumours swirled at that time the other victim was Fleury, but he refused to address the matter.

In 2009, former Norbourg CEO Vincent Lacroix, whom the judge described as the biggest fraudster in Canadian history, was sentenced to 13 years in prison for defrauding thousands of small-time investors of an estimated $115 million.

In 2009, Douglas Graham Taylor, a populist cabinet minister in Saskatchewan premier Grant Devine's Conservative government who as health minister was consumed by his crusade to build geriatric hospitals and integrated care homes for seniors, the infirm and the mentally challenged, died in Wolseley, Sask., at age 73.

Latest From ...