In 2008, European leaders agreed in Paris to a massive taxpayer buyout of stakes in banks across Europe, following a plan launched by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, that would result in the highest level of state ownership of the financial sector in modern history. The agreement was reached in hopes of stopping the panic selling of shares that erased trillions of dollars in equity a week earlier.
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In 451, nearly 600 bishops of the Christian church began meeting at the Second Ecumenical Council. After several days of debate, the Chalcedonian creed, which affirmed that Christ was both fully divine and human, was adopted.
In 1492, Christopher Columbus sighted land on his first voyage to the New World. His discovery, an island in the Bahamas chain, was named San Salvador and was claimed in the name of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain.
In 1810, the German festival Oktoberfest was first held in Munich to celebrate the wedding of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.
In 1822, Brazil proclaimed its independence.
In 1860, Elmer Sperry, inventor of gyroscopic flying instruments, was born in New York.
In 1870, General Robert E. Lee died in Lexington, Va., at age 63.
In 1871, American President Ulysses S. Grant condemned the Klu Klux Klan and ordered the arrest of several hundred people believed to be involved in Klan activities.
In 1915, after admitting she helped 200 patriots escape from occupied Belgium, British nurse Edith Cavell was executed as a spy by the Germans during the First World War.
In 1917, Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden announced the formation of a Unionist government, made up of 12 Conservatives, nine Liberals and one Labor representative. Borden formed the government in order to stand by the conscription bill his Conservative government had passed. In the subsequent election, the Unionist government won a large majority.
In 1918, the Cloquet Fire erupted in Minnesota, claiming some 450 lives.
In 1930, the Montreal Orchestra, the city’s first professional symphony, gave its first concert at the Orpheum Theatre.
In 1933, bank robber John Dillinger escaped from a jail in Allen County, Ohio, with the help of his gang, who killed the sheriff, Jess Sarber.
In 1934 at the age of 11, Peter II was proclaimed king of Yugoslavia.
In 1937, public schools in Toronto opened after a six-week delay caused by a polio epidemic which claimed 150 lives.
In 1945, the Allied Control Council in Germany ordered the dissolution of the Nazi party.
In 1960, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev pounded on a desk with his shoe in the United Nations General Assembly.
In 1963, B.C. Lions defensive back Neil Beaumont set a CFL record with a 120-yard interception return against the visiting Saskatchewan Roughriders.
In 1970, the Quebec cabinet appointed Montreal lawyer Robert Demers to negotiate terms with the FLQ (Front de liberation du Quebec) for the release of hostages James Cross and Pierre Laporte. However, negotiations soon broke down and resulted in the federal proclamation of the War Measures Act on Oct. 16. Laporte’s body was found in the trunk of a car a week later. Cross was freed unharmed in early December.
In 1973, Juan Peron was sworn in as president of Argentina and his wife Isabel became the country’s first female vice-president.
In 1975, the first Irish-born saint in seven centuries, archbishop Oliver Plunkett, was canonized.
In 1984, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher escaped unhurt but four others were killed when a bomb exploded in the upper floors of her hotel in Brighton, England, during a Conservative party convention.
In 1986, a two-day summit between U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev ended.
In 1989, Montreal-born Yale University molecular biologist Sydney Altman was named a co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Altman and an American colleague (Thomas Cech) were honoured for discovering catalytic properties of the biomolecule RNA (ribonucleic acid).
In 1992, Montreal-born Cal Tech researcher Rudolf Marcus received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his contributions to the theory of electron transfer reactions in chemical systems.
In 1994, a retired professor at McMaster University in Hamilton was named a co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics. Bertram Brockhouse and American Clifford Shull were honoured for the development of neutron-scattering techniques for studies of condensed matter.
In 1994, Michael Ignatieff became the first Canadian to receive the $50,000 Gelber Prize for his book “Blood and Belonging,” at the 15th International Festival of Authors in Toronto.
In 1999, a baby boy born in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina was symbolically designated as the six billionth baby by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to mark the day the world’s population hit six billion.
Also in 1999, NBA Hall of Fame centre Wilt Chamberlain died at 63. He scored 100 points in a game in 1962.
In 2000, Gao Xingjian became the first Chinese writer ever to win the Nobel Prize for literature, in the Nobel’s 100-year history.
In 2000, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously upheld the country’s rape-shield law, further solidifying a woman’s right to keep her sexual history out of sexual assault cases.
In 2001, the United Nations and its secretary-general, Kofi Annan, were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
In 2003, Hall of Fame jockey Bill Shoemaker, who racked up 8,883 victories and rode four Kentucky Derby winners, died at age 72.
In 2003, British wartime hero Patrick Dalzel-Job, whose exploits made him a model for James Bond, died in Plockton, Scotland, at age 90.
In 2003, Minaki Lodge, a sumptuous wilderness resort in northern Ontario since 1927, burned to the ground in a massive blaze, a mere six weeks after it was abruptly closed amid controversy. This was the second time that the lodge, 50 kilometres north of Kenora, built in 1914 by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, was destroyed.
In 2004, Jacqueline Rossiter Matheson became the first female chief justice of the trial division of the Supreme Court of P.E.I. since it was established.
In 2007, former U.S. vice-president Al Gore and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for their work to combat climate change.
In 2008, Pope Benedict named India’s first female saint — Sister Alphonso — who had lived in southern Kerala state as a nun until her death six decades earlier.
In 2009, Americans Elinor Ostrom and Oliver Williamson won the Nobel economics prize for their analyses of economic governance. Ostrom was the first woman to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science since it was founded in 1968.
In 2010, Canada withdrew in defeat from a bid to rejoin the mighty United Nations Security Council — the first time in the powerful panel’s 64-year history that the country had failed to secure a seat.
In 2010, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced Ottawa posted a $55.6 billion deficit in 2009, the biggest in Canadian history. It was about $13 billion more than the previous high in 1993-94.