Today in History - Sept. 21

Today in History for Sept. 21:

On this date:

In 1522, Martin Luther first published his German translation of the New Testament.

In 1776, the first naval battle of the American Revolutionary War was fought by British and American ships on Lake Champlain.

In 1792, the French National Assembly voted to abolish France's monarchy.

In 1866, novelist and social critic H. G. Wells was born in Kent, England. He died Aug. 13, 1946.

In 1883, the first electric tram car in Paris went into service.

In 1897, responding to a letter from eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon, the "New York Sun" ran its famous editorial by Francis P. Church that declared, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy."

In 1911, the federal Conservatives under Robert Borden ousted Sir Wilfrid Laurier's Liberals in a hotly contested election, winning 133 of 221 seats. The key issue was free trade with the U.S., which the Liberals supported. More than 75 years later, a free-trade deal took effect after Brian Mulroney's Conservative government retained power in a divisive election over the same issue.

In 1921, more than a thousand people were killed in an explosion at a dye plant in Oppau, Germany.

In 1928, Canada introduced airmail stamps.

In 1933, in Germany during Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, Martin Niemoeller began organizing the Pastors’ Emergency League. More than 7,000 churches joined, although about 2,500 later withdrew under Nazi pressure. The league gave birth to the more famous Barmen Synod, formed in May 1934.

In 1937, J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" was first published.

In 1938, a deadly hurricane slammed into the south coast of New England. It killed more than 600 people, injured 32,000, left 93,000 homeless and caused an estimated $300 million in property damage.

In 1939, Romanian premier Armand Calinescu was assassinated in Bucharest.

In 1942, the loss of the Canadian destroyer "Ottawa," with 113 men listed as dead or missing, was announced after a German submarine attack during the Second World War.

In 1949, the Federal Republic of Germany formally came into existence.

In 1956, George Drew, a former premier of Ontario, resigned as the leader of the federal Progressive Conservatives.

In 1964, Malta became independent after 164 years of British rule.

In 1970, "NFL Monday Night Football" debuted on ABC television as the Cleveland Browns defeated the visiting New York Jets 31-21.

In 1971, cigarette manufacturers in Canada announced the end of broadcast advertising, effective Jan. 1, 1972.

In 1981, the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed the nomination of Sandra Day O'Connor to become the first female justice on the Supreme Court.

In 1982, National Football League players began a 57-day strike, their first regular-season walkout ever.

In 1987, NFL players went on a 24-day strike, mainly over the issue of free agency. The 24-day walkout prompted football owners to hire replacement players.

In 1988, Montreal Conservative MP Suzanne Blais-Grenier became an independent after being removed from caucus following her allegation of kickbacks on government contracts in Quebec.

In 1991, the Soviet republic of Armenia voted overwhelmingly to dissolve its 71-year union with the Soviet Union.

In 1993, the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Chicago White Sox 6-3 to win their second consecutive American League championship in six games. The Jays went on to beat Philadelphia in the World Series, also in six games.

In 1995, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the federal law that banned tobacco advertising, arguing the law went too far and violated the industry's constitutional right to free speech. Two years later, in 1997, the federal government passed a new law which stopped most tobacco advertising and denied companies the right to sponsor sporting and cultural events. In August, 2005, the Quebec Court of Appeal struck down the part of the law which prohibits tobacco companies from using their corporate names to sponsor events.

In 1995, the Canadian government announced the design for a new $2 coin. (It went into circulation on Feb. 19, 1996.)

In 1998, U.S. sprint star Florence Griffith Joyner, considered the greatest female sprinter in world history, died at age 38 of a heart attack in Mission Viejo, Calif. She was a triple gold medalist at the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul. She smashed the world records for the 100 and 200-metre runs at the Olympics. She also won a gold medal anchoring the U.S. 4x100-metre relay team.

In 1998, the U.S. Congress released raw footage of President Bill Clinton's grand jury testimony and 2,800 pages of evidence detailing his relationship with Monica Lewinsky in explicit detail.

In 1998, Cal Ripken Jr.'s major league baseball consecutive-game streak ended at 2,632 when he elected to sit out a game against the New York Yankees. The Baltimore third baseman eclipsed Yankee great Lou Gehrig's ironman record of 2,130 straight games on Sept. 6, 1995. Ripken's amazing run began May 30, 1982.

In 1999, the strongest earthquake in 64 years in Taiwan killed more than 2,000 people and destroyed hundreds of buildings and homes across the island.

In 2003, NASA's aging "Galileo" spacecraft deliberately plunged into Jupiter's turbulent atmosphere, bringing a fiery conclusion to a 14-year exploration of the solar system's largest planet and its moons.

In 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper made his maiden address to the UN General Assembly in New York. He appealed for more help in Afghanistan, saying the future of the United Nations depended on success there.

In 2007, the Rev. Rex Humbard, whose televangelism ministry once spanned the globe, died in Atlantis, Fla., at age 88.

In 2010, hurricane Igor ripped across eastern Newfoundland with a savagery that forced flooded, wind-battered towns to declare states of emergency, isolating some communities as rivers overflowed and washed away roads. It dumped nearly 240 mm of rain in some areas and caused over $150 million in total damages. Military personnel and equipment arrived on Sept. 25 and spent 10 days helping Newfoundlanders rebuild.

In 2013, 61 civilians, including two Canadians, were killed in a raid on Nairobi's Westgate Mall by the Somali-based, al-Qaida-linked group al-Shabab. It took Kenyan forces four days to end the hostage-taking and siege.

In 2017, the Canada-European Union trade agreement, known as CETA, came into effect after taking a decade to complete.

In 2018, tornadoes caused a wide swath of damage as well as lengthy power outages in eastern Ontario and western Quebec. Cars were overturned on Highway 50 in Gatineau and homes suffered extensive damage in Ottawa's western area of Dunrobin. Environment Canada later confirmed six twisters touched down, three in each province. Several people were injured when they were hit by flying debris.

In 2018, the Federal cabinet gave the National Energy Board 22 weeks to redo its environmental review of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, this time taking into account the impact of additional oil tanker traffic off the coast of British Columbia. The lack of such an assessment was one of the reasons cited by the Federal Court of Appeal when it overturned approval of the expansion project in August.

In 2019, Sid Haig, the bearded character actor best known as Captain Spaulding in the "House of 1000 Corpses" trilogy, died.  Haig's representative said he had recently fallen in his home. He was 80.  The actor's other credits ranged from George Lucas' "T-H-X 1138'' to the Quentin Tarantino movies "Jackie Brown" and "Kill Bill, Vol. 2."

In 2020, B.C. premier John Horgan called a provincial election for Oct. 24. Horgan said he believed the vote should happen in the middle of a pandemic due to the health and economic challenges facing the province with an unstable minority government. Opposition leaders accused him of putting politics ahead of the province's response to the virus.

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(The Canadian Press)

The Canadian Press


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