In 1999, Wayne Gretzky was named the Male Athlete of the Century in The Canadian Press/Broadcast News survey of newspaper sports editors and broadcasters.
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In 1530, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, adviser to King Henry VIII of England, died. He had fallen out of the king’s favour because of his failure to secure an annulment from the pope for the king’s marriage to Catharine of Aragon.
In 1760, France formally transferred Detroit to British control.
In 1798, the legislature of the Island of St. John voted to change its name to Prince Edward Island. The name was chosen in honour of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent who was stationed with the army in Halifax at the time. It was felt that the change was necessary because the Island was being confused with Saint John, N.B. and St. John’s, N.L.
In 1814, the “London Times” became the first newspaper to be printed by a steam-powered press.
In 1818, George Brown, journalist and Father of Confederation, was born at Alloa, Scotland.
In 1832, Louisa May Alcott, author of “Little Women,” was born in Germantown, Penn.
In 1855, the Grand Trunk Railway completed the line between Montreal and Brockville.
In 1864, a Colorado militia killed at least 150 peaceful Cheyenne Indians in the Sand Creek Massacre.
In 1898, British academic and children’s author C.S. Lewis was born.
In 1916, the National Research Council of Canada was established at Ottawa.
In 1924, in the first hockey game played in the Montreal Forum, the Canadiens beat Toronto 7-1.
In 1929, U.S. Admiral Richard Byrd became the first man to fly over the South Pole. Three years earlier, Byrd made the first flight over the North Pole.
In 1945, the monarchy was abolished in Yugoslavia and a republic was proclaimed.
In 1947, Canada voted with 32 other countries in the United Nations in favour of the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states. Israel proclaimed its independence the following May 14th — the day British control of the region ended.
In 1948, the sport of roller derby made its U.S. television network debut on CBS.
In 1949, British eye surgeon Dr. Harold Ridley performed the first operation to replace a cataract-scarred lens. The first patient was a 45-year-old woman.
In 1952, Archbishop Paul-Emile Leger of Montreal was named cardinal — the sixth cardinal in the history of the Roman Catholic church in Canada. In 1967 he resigned as archbishop to do missionary work among the lepers and handicapped children in Cameroon, Africa. He died in 1991.
In 1961, “Enos” the chimp was launched from Cape Canaveral aboard the “Mercury-Atlas Five” spacecraft, which orbited earth twice before returning.
In 1963, a Trans-Canada Airlines jet crashed near Ste. Therese, Que., killing all 118 on board.
In 1963, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson named a commission headed by Earl Warren to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
In 1976, the first commercial flight landed at Mirabel International Airport.
In 1979, model Anita Pallenberg, Keith Richard’s common-law wife, was cleared of murder charges. Her young male companion had been found shot to death in her home in New York state.
In 1982, Canadian athlete Percy Williams, winner of the 100-metre and 200-metre races at the 1928 Olympics, died in Vancouver at age 74.
In 1987, Gwendolyn MacEwan, poet and recipient of the Governor General’s Award for English-language poetry, died in Toronto at age 46.
In 1988, Sir Victor Hubert Tait, one of the few Canadians to hold a knighthood, died in London at age 96. Born in Winnipeg, he served in the air force during both world wars, reaching the rank of air vice-marshal in the Royal Air Force. He played a key role in the planning of the Normandy invasion. He later worked for British Airways.
In 1989, veteran New Democrat MP Lorne Nystrom was charged with stealing a $7.79 container of contact lens cleaner from a drugstore. He was acquitted of a shoplifting charge on Jan. 9, 1990, after an Ontario judge accepted his explanation that he must have put the container into his pocket in a moment of distraction.
In 1989, Czechoslovakia’s National Assembly overwhelmingly passed three constitutional amendments, ending the Communist Party’s 40-year monopoly, opening the way for new parties and removing Marxist-Leninism from the basis of education.
In 1990, the UN Security Council, led by the United States, voted 12-2 to authorize military action if Iraq did not withdraw its troops from Kuwait and release all foreign hostages by Jan. 15, 1991. The hostages were taken when Iraq invaded Kuwait on Aug. 2.
In 1994, Guelph, Ont., became the first Canadian city to pick a woman police chief with the appointment of Lenna Bradburn.
In 1995, Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government embarked on one of Canada’s most extensive cost-cutting programs, vowing to slash $6.2 billion in spending over three years for hospitals, schools, universities and municipalities and balance the budget by the year 2000.
In 1996, Sydney Melbourne Pozer, a Canadian who helped engineer the “Great Escape” during the Second World War from prison camp Stalag Luft 3, died in Prince George, B.C.
In 1998, Swiss voters overwhelmingly rejected legalizing heroin and other narcotics.
In 2001, lawyers for Steven Truscott submitted a brief to the federal justice minister calling for their client to be exonerated for the 1959 murder of 12-year-old Lynne Harper near Clinton, Ont. In 2007, he was acquitted of the crime and in 2008 was awarded $6.5 million in compensation.
In 2002, Maurice Chretien, elder brother and father figure to Prime Minister Jean Chretien, died at age 91.
In 2007, Karlheinz Schreiber appeared before a federal ethics committee to testify about his dealings with former prime minister Brian Mulroney.
In 2007, AbitibiBowater Inc. announced the permanent or indefinite closure of eight money-losing mills across Canada as part of a massive reduction in newsprint production capacity.
In 2009, the Montreal Alouettes erased a 16-point deficit in the final 10:52 of play to defeat the Saskatchewan Roughriders 28-27 and win the Grey Cup. Damon Duval missed a last second field goal from the 43 but Saskatchewan was called for too many men on the field. Duval made no mistake on his second attempt. Montreal’s Avon Cobourne and Ben Cahoon were named the MVP and top Canadian respectively.
In 2009, six people, including an infant, died and two people survived when a floatplane crashed near Saturna Island off the coast of British Columbia just after takeoff.
In 2010, Federal Court Justice Michael Kelen ordered Ottawa to make its websites accessible to visually impaired users within the next 15 months.