In 1920, the Canadian Air Board, forerunner of the Royal Canadian Air Force, began its first flight across Canada. Wing Cmdr. Robert Leckie flew from Halifax to Winnipeg, arriving Oct. 11. From there, Air Commodore A. K. Tylee and three other pilots flew to Vancouver, arriving Oct. 17. Total elapsed time was 45 hours, 20 minutes for 5,488 kilometres, as opposed to 132 hours by rail.

Also on this date:

In 1535, the printing of the first English-language Bible was completed in London.

In 1669, Dutch painter Rembrandt died.

 

In 1824, the Federal Republic of Mexico was proclaimed.

In 1830, Belgium seceded from the Netherlands and became independent.

In 1851, a freak gale off the coast of Prince Edward Island destroyed 100 U.S. fishing vessels and killed at least 130 fishermen.

In 1905, Orville Wright made the first flight of over 30 minutes.

In 1909, the cornerstone of Saskatchewan's legislative building was laid in Regina.

In 1910, Portugal became a republic when a revolution forced King Manuel II to flee.

In 1922, a fire at Haileybury, Ont., killed 43 people and destroyed property valued at $6 million.

In 1923, actor Charlton Heston was born in Evanston, Ill. With his baritone voice, Heston portrayed Moses, Michelangelo, El Cid and other heroic figures in films of the 1950s and 1960s. His film credits include “The Greatest Show on Earth,” “El Cid,” “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” “The Ten Commandments,” and “Planet of the Apes.” He won an Academy Award in 1959 for his starring role in the film epic “Ben-Hur.” He was leader of the National Rifle Association from 1998-2003. He died in Los Angeles on April 5, 2008.

In 1927, the first air-mail service in Canada was inaugurated.

In 1931, the comic strip “Dick Tracy,” created by Chester Gould, debuted.

In 1939, Premier Maurice Duplessis of Quebec declared in an election campaign that a vote for him would be a “vote for autonomy against conscription.”

In 1952, the first external pacemaker was fitted to David Schwartz to control his heartbeats. The first internal pacemaker was not fitted until 1958.

In 1957, Jimmy Hoffa was elected president of the Teamsters Union.

In 1957, the space age began as the Soviet Union put the first spacecraft into orbit around earth. “Sputnik I,” the first man-made object to enter space, orbited the earth from a height of 902 kilometres at a speed of 29,000 kilometre per hour. The 83-kilogram, 58-centimetre-thick satellite carried only radio equipment.

In 1958, British Overseas Airways Corp. began transatlantic jet passenger service with a New York-to-London flight.

In 1963, a strike of 1,300 longshoremen began at the St. Lawrence River ports.

In 1963, Hurricane Flora killed 5,000 people in Haiti and 1,000 in Cuba.

In 1965, Pope Paul VI visited New York and made a plea for peace to the United Nations. At the same time, he published a document exonerating the Jews of all blame in the death of Jesus Christ.

In 1966, Basutoland became an independent and sovereign member of the Commonwealth under the name of Kingdom of Lesotho.

In 1968, the government of Alexander Dubcek in Czechoslovakia acceded to Soviet demands to abolish liberal reforms and station Soviet troops within the country.

In 1971, it was announced that oil and natural gas had been discovered on Sable Island, Nova Scotia.

In 1978, funeral services were held at the Vatican for Pope John Paul the first, who died five days earlier after only 34 days in office.

In 1980, Islamic representatives from 38 countries moved to have the United Nations General Assembly call for a Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan.

In 1981, Pope John Paul the Second celebrated Mass in St. Peter's Square in Rome. It was his first appearance there since he was shot five months earlier.

In 1982, Canadian pianist Glenn Gould died in Toronto at the age of 50, eight days after suffering a severe stroke.

In 1988, anti-abortion crusader Joe Borowski asked the Supreme Court of Canada to rule on whether a fetus had the constitutional right to life from the moment of conception. The court, which reserved its decision, had ruled Canada's abortion law unconstitutional the previous January.

In 1988, nine Canadians who were unknowing guinea pigs during C.I.A.-financed brainwashing experiments in the 1950's reached an out-of-court settlement, sharing 750-thousand dollars.

In 1991, in Madrid, 26 countries signed the Antarctic Treaty, which imposed a 50-year ban on oil exploration and mining in Antarctica.

In 1992, 43 people died when an Israeli El Al cargo jet crashed into a suburban apartment complex after taking off from Amsterdam.

In 1993, activists closed their anti-logging protest camp at Clayoquot (KLAK'-waht) Sound on Vancouver Island for the winter. During the three-month demonstration, more than 700 people were arrested.

In 1994, the bodies of 48 members of a cult called the Order of the Solar Temple were found in a burned-out farmhouse and three chalets in Switzerland. The bodies of two cult members had been found a day earlier at a burned-out condominium north of Montreal. Three more bodies were found at the condo two days later. Sixteen more people died a year later in a second murder-suicide in France.

In 1999, M.C.I. WorldCom Inc. announced plans to buy Sprint in a US$115 billion deal, in the largest corporate takeover in history.

In 2000, Prime Minister Jean Chretien announced that Canada's highest mountain, Mount Logan, in Kluane National Park in the Yukon, would be renamed Mount Pierre Elliott Trudeau after the late Liberal prime minister. After extensive public support to keep it Mount Logan, Chretien backed down. A formerly unnamed peak in the B.C. interior, just west of Valemount, was named after Trudeau on June 10, 2006.

In 2000, the federal government announced that the Canada-U.S. Auto Pact would expire the following February under orders from the World Trade Organization.

In 2002, Richard Reid, 29, a British citizen who boarded an American Airlines flight on Dec. 22, 2001, with a bomb in his shoe, pleaded guilty to trying to blow up the jet.

In 2004, American researchers Dr. Richard Axel and Linda Buck shared the 2004 Nobel Prize in medicine for discovering how people can recognize and remember an estimated 10,000 odours.

In 2004, U.S. entry “SpaceShipOne,” a combination of rocket and glider, won the US$10 million Ansari X Prize when it completed its second flight into space, paving the way for commercial flights to space.

In 2004, Louise Charron and Rosalie Abella were sworn in as Supreme Court judges, bringing the number of women on the bench to four for the first time in Canadian history.

In 2004, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was officially declared the next president of Indonesia after final results were announced from the Sept. 20 runoff election.

In 2005, Americans John Hall and Roy Glauber and German Theodor Haensch won the Nobel Prize in physics for their work in advancing optic technology to make lasers, GPS technology and other methods more accurate and concise in their readings.

In 2007, in a rare meeting, North Korean President Kim Jong-il and his South Korean counterpart Roh Moo-hyun agreed to replace a 1953 armistice with a permanent peace treaty.

In 2008, Montreal Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo set a CFL record for pass completions in a game, making 44 of 53 attempts. That surpassed Winnipeg's Dieter Brock (1981) and Saskatchewan's Kent Austin (1993) who were tied with 41.

In 2008, Montreal Alouettes Ben Cahoon caught 10 passes to become the top Canadian receiver in CFL history with 834 receptions. He surpassed Ray Elgaard who had 830 receptions for Saskatchewan.

In 2009, Greece's opposition Socialists won a landslide election, ousting conservative Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

In 2010, Robert Edwards of Britain, an 85-year-old professor emeritus at the University of Cambridge, was awarded the Nobel prize in medicine for developing in-vitro fertilization, a technique that has helped millions of infertile couples have children.

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