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[March 15, 2014]
Today in History - March 15
(Canadian Press Broadcast Wire (Canada) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Today in History for March 15: In 44 BC, Roman General Julius Caesar was assassinated in Rome by a group of nobles that included Brutus and Cassius.
In 453, Attila the Hun died of a nose bleed.
In 1493, Christopher Columbus returned to Spain from his first voyage to the Western Hemisphere.
In 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived in the Philippines during his round-the-world voyage. He died in a battle with natives on April 27th.
In 1603, French explorer Samuel de Champlain made his first voyage to New France as a member of a fur-trading expedition. The expedition explored the St. Lawrence River as far as the rapids at Lachine. In 1604, Champlain returned with the Sieur de Monts, who had a monopoly of trade in the region, to found a colony in what is now Port Royal, Nova Scotia.
In 1657, Mother Giffard de Saint-Ignace, the first Canadian woman to take religious vows, died.
In 1862, a Canadian commission recommended the conscription of 50,000 men in case of war with the United States, which was in the midst of the Civil War.
In 1869, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first professional baseball team, was organized.
In 1871, the Manitoba legislature opened its first session.
In 1892, the first escalator -- the Reno Inclined Elevator -- was patented by Jesse W. Reno of New York.
In 1906, the Alberta government opened its first session. It was held at the Thistle skating rink in Edmonton.
In 1913, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson held the first White House news conference.
In 1917, Czar Nicholas II of Russia abdicated after a four-day revolt by the armed forces. He and his family were murdered by the Bolsheviks the following year.
In 1943, Canadian Pacific's ``Empress of Canada,'' retooled as a troop ship, was sunk off the coast of West Africa after being torpedoed by the Italian submarine ``Leonardo da Vinci.'' Of the 1,800 people aboard, 400 were Italian prisoners of war and 200 Poles who had been released by the Soviet Union after Germany invaded. There were 392 fatalities: 340 passengers, including a majority of the Italian prisoners, 44 crew and eight gunners.
In 1945, after three weeks of fierce fighting, the United States took control of the Japanese island of Iwo Jima, although sporadic fighting continued. The battle for Iwo Jima was one of the deadliest of the war, resulting in the deaths of about 20,000 Japanese and 6,800 Americans.
In 1961, Prime Minister Hendrick Verwoerd led South Africa out of the Commonwealth, announcing it would become a republic on May 31st.
In 1962, Donald Jackson of Oshawa, Ont., won the world men's figure skating championship in Prague. During his free skate, Jackson landed the first triple lutz jump in competition.
In 1973, aboriginals in Alberta won a settlement of nearly $200,000 in so-called ``ammunition money'' because an 1877 treaty stipulated they should have been paid $2,000 annually.
In 1975, Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis died near Paris at age 69.
In 1990, the federal government decided that Sikh members of the RCMP could wear turbans and other religious garb while on duty. Many, including Western MPs, were opposed, but Solicitor General Pierre Cadieux said it was the right decision in terms of human rights, in terms of multiculturalism policy, and because it's just smart to have visible minorities represented on the force.
In 1992, the United Nations officially embarked on its largest peacekeeping operation with the arrival of a diplomat in Cambodia.
In 1996, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved, in a record 42 days, the anti-AIDS drug Indinavir, which wipes out much of the deadly virus from a patient's blood.
In 1998, Dr. Benjamin Spock, the world's most famous baby doctor, died in San Diego. He was 94. His common-sense books on baby care helped guide parents around the world. Telling parents to trust themselves, Spock's 1946 ``Baby and Child Care'' and its revised editions have sold more than 50 million copies in 40 languages. Spock was also an Olympic rowing champion in 1924, and became a vocal opponent of the Vietnam War in the 1960s.
In 2003, the World Health Organization issued a global travel advisory and named the mysterious pneumonia that hit China, Hong Kong, Vietnam Singapore and Canada ``severe acute respiratory syndrome'' -- or SARS.
In 2004, astronomers announced the discovery of the furthest known object in the solar system at 16 billion kilometres away, a ``planetoid'' provisionally named ``Sedna.'' In 2004, 10 days after being convicted in a stock scandal, Martha Stewart resigned from the board of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.
In 2005, Bernard Ebbers, the Alberta-born former CEO of WorldCom, was convicted on all nine charges of engineering the colossal accounting fraud that sank the telecom company.
In 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the longstanding legal ban on reporting early vote results on federal election nights in regions of the country where the polls are still open. In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled the ban could be justified under the Charter of Rights.
In 2009, Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean threatened by rising water levels, announced plans to become the world's first carbon-neutral country within the next 10 years.
In 2009, Maricio Funes, a leftist television journalist, won El Salvador's presidential election, bringing a party of former guerrillas to power for the first time since a bloody civil war and ending two decades of conservative rule.
In 2010, a Saskatchewan court ruled that convicted wife killer Colin Thatcher couldn't make any money from ``Final Appeal: Anatomy of a Frame,'' the book he wrote proclaiming his innocence in the 1983 murder of JoAnn Wilson. Thatcher had taken the Saskatchewan government to court to challenge a law enacted in 2009 that stated criminals couldn't profit from recounting their crimes.
In 2013, Canadian Patrick Chan won his third consecutive world figure skating title, becoming the first men's singles skater in 13 years to win three straight.
(The Canadian Press) (The Canadian Press) (c) 2014 The Canadian Press
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