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Today in History for June 23: In 1683, English Quaker William Penn signed his famous treaty with the Indians of Pennsylvania that became a universal symbol of religious and civil liberties.

Today in History for June 23:

In 1683, English Quaker William Penn signed his famous treaty with the Indians of Pennsylvania that became a universal symbol of religious and civil liberties.

In 1757, forces of the East India Company led by Robert Clive won the "Battle of Plassey," which effectively marked the beginning of British colonial rule in India.

In 1817, the Bank of Montreal was founded as Canada's first chartered bank.

In 1847, Liberia became the first independent African nation.

In 1868, Christopher Latham Sholes received a patent for an invention he called a typewriter.

In 1870, Rupert's Land and the Northwest Territories joined Confederation, and Manitoba was made a province.

In 1887, Parliament passed legislation creating Banff National Park, which launched Canada's national parks system.

In 1896, the Liberals under Wilfrid Laurier won Canada's eighth federal election. Laurier, the first prime minister of French descent, remained in office for 15 years.

In 1908, fire destroyed half the city of Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. The blaze left 1,000 people homeless and caused $2 million in damage.

In 1923, Manitoba voted for government control of liquor and repealed the "Prohibition Act" of 1916 by a narrow margin.

In 1931, aviators Wiley Post and Harold Gatty took off from New York on the first flight around the world in a single-engine plane that lasted eight days and 15 hours.

In 1943, Trans-Canada Airlines (now Air Canada) inaugurated transatlantic service.

In 1967, Pope Paul VI issued the encyclical "Sacerdotalis Caelibatus," reaffirming the Roman Catholic Church's requirement of celibacy with the priesthood.

In 1972, U.S. President Richard Nixon and his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, agreed on a plan to use the CIA to obstruct the FBI's Watergate probe. Revelation of the White House tape recording of this discussion sparked Nixon's resignation in 1974.

In 1974, former prime minister John Diefenbaker was sworn in as an MP for a record 12th consecutive time. The Saskatchewan Tory made it 13 in 1979, shortly before his death.

In 1978, the House of Commons passed legislation giving everyone the right to a trial in either French or English.

In 1985, 329 people, including 280 Canadians, were killed when a bomb exploded aboard an Air India jet off the Irish coast. The flight had originated in Toronto and stopped at Montreal before heading to London and Bombay. Two men were eventually arrested and went on trial 20 years later but were acquitted after an investigation and prosecution that cost an estimated $130 million. Twenty-five years after the bombing, an inquiry headed by retired justice John Major concluded there was a "cascading series of errors" by various agencies both before and after the bombing. Major said it could have been prevented and warned there were still holes in Canada’s security systems.

In 1990, Jean Chretien became leader of the federal Liberal party. He defeated Paul Martin Jr. on the first ballot of the party's Calgary convention. Chretien succeeded John Turner, who beat him for the leadership in 1984. He became prime minister in 1993 and remained in office until 2003 when he informed the party he would not lead them in the next election.

In 1990, the deadline for ratifying the Meech Lake accord expired, crushing efforts to incorporate Quebec in the constitution. The accord failed to win the required unanimous support from the provincial legislatures. Passage was blocked first in Manitoba by native New Democrat Elijah Harper, who said the accord did not recognize the rights of first nations. Newfoundland Premier Clyde Wells then refused to allow his legislature to vote, cementing the accord's demise.

In 1993, the Senate approved the North American Free Trade Agreement.

In 1993, in Virginia, Lorena Bobbitt used a kitchen knife to sever her husband's penis while he slept, later telling police he had repeatedly abused her. That November, John Bobbitt was acquitted of marital sexual abuse. The following January, Lorena Bobbitt was found not guilty by reason of insanity of mutilating her husband.

In 1994, Ontario passed the toughest tobacco-control bill in North America. It raised the legal smoking age to 19, banned cigarette sales in drug stores and restricted smoking in public places.

In 1995, Jonas Salk, who developed the polio vaccine, died in California at age 80.

In 1997, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip arrived at St. John's, Nfld., for a 10-day Canadian tour. The next day, they were on hand in Bonavista for the arrival of the "Matthew," a replica of the ship used by European John Cabot to travel to the New World about 500 years earlier.

In 1999, Wayne Gretzky was voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame along with former referee Andy Van Hellemond and Ian (Scotty) Morrison in the builder category.

In 2001, Yvonne Dionne, one of the three remaining Dionne quintuplets, died of cancer in Montreal at age 67.

In 2003, The World Health Organization removed Hong Kong from its list of SARS-infected areas, and Beijing the following day. SARS killed 296 people in Hong Kong and 174 in Beijing.

In 2010, a magnitude 5.0 earthquake left Gracefield, Que., in a state of emergency. The municipality of just over 2,300 was not far from the epicentre of the temblor, which was located about 60 kilometres north of Ottawa.

In 2010, Asad Ansari and Steven Chand, the last two men in the Toronto 18 case, were found guilty of participating in a terrorist group. The verdicts in effect marked the end of the mammoth case, which saw 18 people charged with terrorism offences -- seven others had their charges dropped or stayed, two were found guilty at trial by judge and seven pleaded guilty. (Chand was sentenced to 10 years in prison and Ansari to time served with three years of probation.)

In 2012, two women were killed and 20 others were hurt when part of the roof-top parking deck at the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake, Ont. collapsed into the shopping centre.

In 2016, Britain narrowly voted to leave the 28-nation European Union after a bitterly divisive Brexit referendum campaign, sending global markets plunging and the pound falling to a 31-year low.

In 2019, the co-writer and producer of some of Fats Domino's most famous hits died. Rock n' roll pioneer and New Orleans music legend Dave Bartholomew was 100 years old. Bartholomew got his start as a trumpet player and bandleader in the 1930s. He befriended Domino in the late 1940s and collaborated with the singer-piano player on such classics as "Ain't That a Shame," "Let the Four Winds Blow," and "I'm Walkin'."

In 2020, top-ranked Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the fourth player to test positive after taking part in a tennis exhibition series he organized in Serbia and Croatia. Djokovic was criticized for organizing the tournament and bringing in players from other countries, who were seen hugging and partying in night clubs and restaurants after the matches.

In 2021, the Trans-Canada Highway was shut down in both directions at the New Brunswick boundary, with cars, trucks and transports backed up for kilometres. A blockade went up to protest Nova Scotia's decision to impose modified COVID-19 rules for New Brunswick residents as it reopened to travellers from the Atlantic provinces.

In 2021, Canadian Derrick Rossi was one of seven researchers who won Spain's prestigious Princess of Asturias award for scientific research. The founder of Moderna and researchers from Hungary, the U.S., Germany and Britain were being recognized for their work that contributed to creating COVID-19 vaccines.

In 2021, Canisia Lubrin of Whitby, Ont., won the $65,000 Griffin Poetry Prize for her work "The Dyzgraphxst." Jurors hailed Lubrin's sophomore collection as a spectacular feat of architecture called a poem. The Griffin is billed as the world's largest prize for a first-edition single collection of poetry written in or translated into English.

In 2022, the European Union's leaders agreed to make Ukraine a candidate for EU membership, setting in motion a potentially years-long process that could draw the embattled country closer to the West. Ukraine applied for membership less than a week after Russia invaded on Feb. 24. The decision by the 27-nation bloc also granted candidate status to Moldova, which borders Ukraine. Gaining membership could take years or even decades.


The Canadian Press