Today is September 18th

Today's highlight in history:

In 1759, the French formally surrendered Quebec to the British following the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.

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In 52, Marcus Trajan, emperor of Rome from 98-117, was born. He was the third Roman emperor to rule, after Nero (54-68) and Domitian (81-96), who persecuted the early Church. During Trajan's reign, the apostolic Father Ignatius of Antioch was martyred, in 117.

In 1762, the French garrison at St. John's, Nfld., surrendered to the British in the last battle between the French and English in Canada.

In 1810, Chile declared independence from Spain.

In 1839, Nova Scotia politician Joseph Howe published his famous letters to Lord John Russell on the subject of responsible government.

In 1841, an act was passed to establish and maintain public schools in Canada.

In 1851, the New York Times was published for the first time.

In 1875, the Supreme Court of Canada was organized under Chief Justice William Buell Richards. The court held its first session the following year, but did not become Canada's final court of appeal until 1949.

In 1885, compulsory vaccination caused riots in Montreal.

In 1888, the writer-conservationist known as Grey Owl was born Archibald Stansfield Belaney in Hastings, England. After an unhappy childhood during which he dreamed of becoming a North American native, Belaney moved to Canada at 17 and claimed to be the son of a Scot and an Apache. Using the name Grey Owl, Belaney became a popular author and lecturer on the need for wilderness conservation. His true identity was not discovered until after his death in Prince Albert, Sask., on April 13th, 1938. Grey Owl was the subject of a 1999 movie starring Pierce Brosnan.

In 1893, Stanley Thompson, considered Canada's finest golf course architect, was born. His world-renowned designs include Jasper Park Lodge and Banff Springs in Altberta, Capilano in Vancouver, and St. George's in Toronto. He died in 1953.

In 1895, John Diefenbaker, Tory prime minister from 1957 to '63, was born in Neustadt, Ont. He died Aug. 16, 1979.

In 1899, built at a cost of $2.5 million, the original Toronto City Hall was formally opened by Mayor John Shaw.

In 1928, the “Graf Zeppelin,” considered the finest airship ever built, had its first flight. It flew more miles than any airship had done to that time or would in the future.

In 1931, the Japanese army invaded Manchuria in northern China.

In 1934, the Soviet Union was admitted to the League of Nations.

In 1949, actor Frank Morgan died at the age of 59. He's probably best known for playing the wizard in “The Wizard of Oz.”

In 1959, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev proposed at the United Nations that all nations disarm within four years.

In 1961, UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold and 12 others died in a plane crash near the border between Congo and Rhodesia. He was 56.

In 1975, American newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst was captured by the FBI in San Francisco, 19 months after she was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army.

In 1984, Team Canada defeated Sweden 6-5 in Edmonton to sweep the Canada Cup hockey tournament final in two games. Canada had knocked off the Soviet Union in a thrilling semi-final on an overtime goal by Mike Bossy.

In 1984, thousands of aboriginal Canadians were disappointed when heavy fog prevented Pope John Paul from visiting them at Fort Simpson, N.W.T. The Pope kept a promise to visit them when he held mass in Fort Simpson on Sept. 20, 1987.

In 1987, the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to eliminate intermediate-range nuclear weapons from their arsenals.

In 1989, Ontario NDP Premier Bob Rae was among 15 people arrested during an anti-logging protest near a stand of old-growth pines at Temagami in northern Ontario.

In 1992, nine miners were killed in a violent explosion inside the strike-torn Giant gold mine in Yellowknife, N.W.T. RCMP believed the explosion was deliberately set. A miner, Roger Warren, was later convicted of first-degree murder.

In 1995, the World Bank rated Canada the second richest country in the world. Australia was the global leader according to an index which measured the real and intrinsic value of countries. Canada's ranking came as the result of an assessment system which was still in the preliminary stage, but under which the World Bank estimated Canada's wealth at US$704,000 per person. Canada had ranked 16th in the world under the old system, which just measured income.

In 1997, voters in Wales voted 50.3 per cent in favour of setting up their own parliament, after four centuries of direct rule from London.

In 1997, media mogul Ted Turner pledged US$1 billion to create a foundation to benefit United Nations causes such as helping refugees, fighting diseases and clearing landmines.

In 2000, former Manitoba premier Gary Filmon resigned his seat in the legislature, formally ending a 25-year political career.

In 2001, Ernie Coombs, CBC television's beloved “Mr. Dressup” who retired in 1996 after 31 years on the air, died at age 73.

In 2004, John Tory was elected leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party, succeeding Ernie Eves at the party's convention in Toronto.

In 2004, Kathleen Smith, a leading Maritime poet, died at age 93.

In 2005, parliamentary elections were held in Afghansitan for the first time in four decades amid reports of violence.

In 2005, hockey came back after a 15-month hiatus as NHL teams in Montreal, Toronto and Edmonton staged their first pre-season games.

In 2006, a suicide bomber on a bicycle killed four Canadian soldiers and injured dozens of civilians while the soldiers were on foot patrol in the Panjwaii district in Afghanistan. Private David Byers, Corporal Shane Keating and Corporal Keith Morley were based in Shilo, Man., and Corporal Glen Arnold was based in Petawawa, Ont.

In 2006, a public inquiry exonerated Syrian-born Canadian engineer Maher Arar, who was deported from the United States to Syria in 2002, where he was tortured as a terrorist suspect. Justice Dennis O'Connor said inexperienced RCMP investigators wrongly provided Americans with inaccurate evidence about Arar. It said there was no evidence Arar had committed any offence or was a threat to Canadian security.

In 2006, Bernard Lord's two-term Conservative government was ousted by the Liberals in the New Brunswick election. Shawn Graham led the Liberals to 29 seats. The Conservatives won 26.

In 2007, a storm in Minnesota knocked Saskatchewan's power system off-line, leaving more than 60 per cent of the province in the dark.

In 2008, Ron Lancaster, a CFL Hall of Famer known during his playing days as “The Little General,” died. He was 69. His illustrious CFL career began in 1960 in Ottawa where he won a Grey Cup in his rookie year. After the 1962 season, the Rough Riders dealt him to Saskatchewan where he spent 16 years, leading the Roughriders to their first-ever Grey Cup title in 1966. He finished his 19-year playing career with 3,384 passes for 50,535 yards and 333 touchdowns.

In 2008, O.J. Simpson was charged with seven felonies, including kidnapping, in the alleged armed robbery of sports memorabilia collectors in a Las Vegas casino-hotel room. He was convicted in October and in December was sentenced to 33 years in prison with eligibility for parole after nine years.

In 2009, longtime political columnist Douglas Fisher, the former CCF and New Democrat MP dubbed the “dean of the parliamentary press gallery,” died in Ottawa on the eve of his 90th birthday. In 1965, he chose to move into journalism full-time, retiring as an MP, but remaining on Parliament Hill as a political columnist. After the Telegram folded in 1971, he joined the upstart Toronto Sun, where he remained a columnist until his retirement in July, 2006. He also appeared on television with his show, “Insight with Doug Fisher” and as a commentator on programs including CTV's Question Period.

In 2009, CBS aired the final episode of the soap opera “Guiding Light” after a 72-year run that predates television. The Guinness Book of World Records had cited it as the longest-running television drama. It began as a 15-minute serial on NBC Radio on Jan. 25, 1937, and debuted on CBS TV on June 30, 1952, focusing on the fictional town of Springfield and the Spaulding, Lewis and Cooper families.

In 2010, Inderjit Singh Reyat, the only man convicted in the bombings of Air India Flight 182 and at Japan's Narita Airport in 1985, was found guilty of perjury during the trial of two other men acquitted of mass murder and conspiracy charges. (He was handed a nine-year sentence, but has appealed it.)

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