In 1950, the Canadian government announced its decision to free the
exchange rate of the Canadian dollar. The dollar was pegged at 92.5
cents U.S. in 1962, then allowed to float again about a decade later.

Also on this date:

1399, King Henry IV ascended the throne of England. He had usurped the
crown from Richard II, beginning the Lancastrian dynasty and planting
the seeds of the “Wars of the Roses.”


In 1846, ether was used as
an anesthetic for the first time. Dr. William Morton, a Massachusetts
dentist, used the gas experimentally to make Eben Frost unconscious so
he could extract an ulcerated tooth.

In 1871, British garrison troops throughout Canada were called home, to be replaced by Canadian militia.

In 1880, the first photograph was taken of a nebula, or space cloud.

In 1901, car registration in France became compulsory for vehicles driving over 28 kilometres per hour.

1907, Alexander Graham Bell formed the Aerial Experiment Association at
Baddeck, N.S. The group built several successful gasoline-powered
biplanes. McCurdy made the first manned flight in Canada on Feb. 23,
1909. The group also worked on hydrofoil boats.

In 1924, American novelist and short-story writer Truman Capote was born in New Orleans.

In 1927, Babe Ruth of the New York Yankees hit his 60th homer of the season, establishing a record that stood for 34 years.

In 1929, the first British Broadcasting Corporation television broadcast took place in London.

1938, the Munich agreement, which ceded a large section of
Czechoslovakia to Germany, was signed by the leaders of Britain,
France, Germany and Italy. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain
said it would guarantee “peace in our time,” but it did not prevent
Adolf Hitler from seizing the rest of Czechoslovakia in March, 1939.

In 1944, Canadian troops captured the port of Calais, France, during the Second World War.

In 1946, an international military tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany found 22 top Nazi leaders guilty of war crimes.

1947, Canada was elected to the United Nations Security Council to fill
one of the elected two-year terms vacated by Australia, Poland and
Brazil. In addition to the 10 elected, non-permanent members, the
Council has five permanent members -- Britain, China, Russia, the
United States, and France.

In 1949, the Berlin Airlift officially ended.

1953, John Galt's Canada Co. was formally liquidated at London,
England. Chartered in 1826, the company played an important role in
colonizing the western part of Upper Canada.

In 1953, McGill University in Montreal, announced the development of a radar defence system for North America.

In 1954, nine of the world's most powerful nations agreed at Bonn on the arming of West Germany.

In 1954, the first nuclear-powered submarine, the “USS Nautilus,” was commissioned by the U.S. Navy.

In 1963, the republic of Nigeria was proclaimed.

In 1966, the Bechuanaland Protectorate became independent and was renamed the Republic of Botswana.

In 1966, Canadian-born Lord Thomson of Fleet bought control of the “Times of London” newspaper.

In 1966, the Republic of Botswana became an independent and sovereign member of the Commonwealth.

1970, Telesat Canada and Hughes Aircraft Co. of California signed a
$31- million contract to build Canada's first telecommunications

In 1974, RCMP officers prevented about 200 natives,
members of the Native People's Caravan, from entering Parliament. The
natives had attempted to break through a single line of police
stationed 50 metres in front of Parliament. The Caravan, which began
Sept. 15 in Vancouver, demanded settlement of territorial claims and
better social conditions for native people.

In 1981, the International Olympic Committee chose Calgary as the site of the 1988 Winter Olympic Games.

1985, the Calgary-based Northland Bank collapsed -- the second failure
of a western bank in a month. The Edmonton-based Canadian Commercial
Bank closed its doors on September 1st.

In 1988, Carolyn Waldo
won a gold medal in solo sychronized swimming at the Seoul Olympics.
Two days later she won gold in the duet competition, becoming the first
Canadian female to win two golds at a Summer Olympics.

In 1993,
Canada's Supreme Court voted 5-4 to deny a Victoria woman's bid for a
doctor-assisted suicide. The high court ruled Criminal Code sanctions
against assisting in a suicide did not infringe on the rights of Sue
Rodriguez. The following February, Rodriguez -- who had Lou Gehrig's
disease -- committed suicide with the help of an unidentified doctor.

1993, the most deadly earthquake to strike India in half a century, hit
across several villages across Maharashtra state in southwestern India,
killing more than 20,000 people.

In 1994, the Supreme Court of
Canada ruled a man accused of sexual assault could use the defence that
he was too drunk to know what he was doing.

In 1997, France's
Roman Catholic Church apologized for its silence during the systematic
persecution and deportation of Jews by the pro-Nazi Vichy regime.

2000, In Sydney, Australia, Marion Jones of the U.S. won Olympic gold
in the women's 1,600-metre relay and bronze with the 400-metre squad -
making her the first woman to win five track medals at one Olympics.
(However, in 2007, Jones forfeited the three gold and two bronze medals
she'd won in Sydney after she admitted taking a designer steroid.)

2004, Merck & Co. Inc. pulled its arthritis drug Vioxx from
pharmacies worldwide after discovering, in a new clinical trial, that
the drug increased the risk of heart attack and stroke.

In 2004,
the Russian government approved the Kyoto climate-change accord, which
after ratification in parliament, would bring the treaty into legal
force for member nations.

In 2004, Air Canada emerged from 18 months of bankruptcy protection.

2008, a Tory campaigner resigned after the discovery of a plagiarized
speech delivered in the House of Commons by Stephen Harper in 2003.
Large chunks were taken from a speech given by then Australian prime
minister John Howard in the Australian parliament two days earlier.

2008, The Guinness World Records website listed Labatt Park in London,
Ont. as the oldest baseball park in the world. The diamond opened in
1877 at the forks of the Thames River as Tecumseh Park.

In 2009,
at least 1,100 people died in Indonesia after two large earthquakes hit
240 kilometres south of Padang, on Sumatra Island, in two days.

2009, Guy Laliberte, the creator of the famed Cirque de Soleil, became
Canada's first “space tourist” aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
Laliberte paid $35 million for the privilege and hoped his 12-day stay
aboard the International Space Station would help raise awareness of
drinking water problems around the world. He hosted the first
multimedia event from the station on Oct. 9 to highlight that crisis.

In 2010, Fisher-Price recalled more than 10 million tricycles, toys and high chairs over safety concerns.

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