31 years ago today, Ukraine declared full independence

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On this date, Aug. 24, in history:

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In 79, Mount Vesuvius erupted and buried the Italian cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, killing 20,000 people.

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In 410, the Visigoths sacked Rome, disillusioning Christians who were trusting in God’s protection of the ecclesiastical centre of early Christianity. St. Augustine later tackled this religious problem in his monumental work, City of God.

In 1456, in Mainz, Germany, volume two of the famed Gutenberg Bible was bound, completing a two-year publishing project, and making it the first full-length book to be printed using movable type.

In 1572, thousands of Protestants were massacred throughout France by the Roman Catholics during what is known as the Massacre of St. Bartholomew.

In 1660, Pierre Radisson and his brother-in-law Chouart des Groseillers decided to form the Hudson Bay Co. after having a fortune in furs confiscated because they went west without the governor general’s permission. The company was finally awarded a royal charter in the fur trade in 1670. Now known by the corporate nickname HBC, the company is in its fourth century of operations.

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In 1791, the British Parliament passed the Constitutional Act, which divided Canada into two provinces, Upper and Lower, each with its own lieutenant-governor and legislature. The act was made necessary with the great influx of United Empire Loyalists after the American Revolution. The English-speaking settlers did not want to live under French law or the Roman Catholic church.

In 1814, British troops burned the White House in Washington, D.C., during the War of 1812. The British action was taken in retaliation for the American sacking and burning of York, now Toronto. A British fleet had landed earlier that August in Chesapeake Bay, and the troops under Gen. Robert Ross easily routed the 5,000 militiamen assembled to defend Washington. Ross’s troops were unsuccessful in a later attempt to take Baltimore.

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In 1870, Metis leader Louis Riel abandoned Fort Garry when troops led by Col. Garnet Wolseley arrived to put down the Red River Rebellion. Riel, who had set up a provisional government that had put Ontario Orangeman Thomas Scott to death, fled to the United States. He later returned to Canada to organize the North-West Rebellion in 1885.

In 1872, caricaturist and writer Sir Max Beerbohm was born in London.

In 1876, Cree from central Alberta and central Saskatchewan agreed to live on reserves.

In 1877, Alexander Graham Bell obtained the Canadian telephone patent.

In 1891, Thomas Edison filed for the first patent on a motion picture camera. The camera, called a kinetoscope, took motion pictures on a band of film to be viewed by peeping into a box. Although the film lasted only 13 seconds, some of the camera’s features are still in use today.

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In 1920, celebrated Canadian artist Alex Colville was born in Toronto. His family moved to Amherst, N.S. in 1929, and he studied at Mount Allison University, in Sackville, N.B. After graduation in 1942, he joined the army and was sent to Europe as a war artist. After the war, he taught at Mount Allison until 1963, when he resigned to paint full time. Colville went back to teaching a few years later working as visiting professor at University of California in 1967 and as a visiting artist in Berlin in 1971. He designed the coin that marked Canada’s Centennial in 1967. On July 16, 2013, he died at his home in Wolfville, N.S. from a heart condition after years of coping with a variety of health issues.

In 1922, Rene Levesque was born in New Carlisle, Que. Following a career in journalism, Levesque became a minister in Jean Lesage’s Quebec Liberal government in 1960 and guided the nationalization of the province’s private electric utilities, which became Hydro-Quebec. Levesque quit the Liberals in 1967 to found the pro-independence movement, which became the Parti Quebecois. Following the PQ’s stunning 1976 election, Levesque’s government passed Bill 101, which strengthened the status of French as Quebec’s official language. But its sovereignty-association proposal was defeated in a 1980 referendum. The PQ was re-elected in 1981, but Levesque resigned under fire from sovereigntists within his party four years later. He died on Nov. 1, 1987.

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In 1932, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to make a non-stop flight across the United States, flying from Los Angeles to Newark, N.J., in 19 hours and five minutes.

In 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization — NATO — was created by Canada, the U.S. and 10 European countries.

In 1950, the first Canadian unit to reach the Far East in the Korean War arrived in Tokyo.

In 1968, France became the world’s fifth thermonuclear power when it exploded a bomb at a South Pacific testing site.

In 1969, the American supertanker Manhattan left Chester, Pa., embarking on the first crossing of the Northwest Passage by a commercial ship. The aim was to prove the feasibility of that route for transporting Arctic oil. With the help of two other ships, including a Canadian icebreaker, the Manhattan reached Sachs Harbour, N.W.T., on Sept. 15.

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In 1974, the first Francophone International Youth Festival, with 25 French-speaking countries participating, ended at Quebec City.

In 1980, Poland’s government bowed to demands from striking workers and announced democratic trade union elections, as well as a liberalization of Poland’s one-party political system.

In 1981, Mark David Chapman was sentenced in New York to 20 years to life in prison for shooting music icon John Lennon to death the previous Dec. 8.

In 1988, the general council of the United Church of Canada voted to consider all members for ordination, regardless of sexual orientation. It was the first time a Canadian church had made such a decision and caused great division within church ranks.

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In 1989, baseball great Pete Rose was banished for life from the game over allegations he bet on the sport.

In 1990, three Canadian warships set sail for the Persian Gulf to participate in the blockade of Iraq over its invasion of Kuwait three weeks before.

In 1991, Ukraine declared full independence.

In 1991, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as leader of the Soviet Communist party. His resignation effectively ended the world’s first Communist state 71 years after it was born. Gorbachev ordered the seizure of all assets of the ruling Communist Party and appointed a new interior government composed of anti-communist reformers.

In 1992, hurricane Andrew ripped across south Florida with walls of water and winds gusting to 265 km/h. More than one-million residents of southern Florida were ordered to flee their homes. At least 40 people were killed in Florida and Bahamas and damage to property was estimated at $20 billion.

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In 1992, engineering professor Valery Fabrikant opened fire on colleagues at Montreal’s Concordia University. Four people died and Fabrikant was convicted of first-degree murder in 1993. At his trial he claimed he was driven to it because his work was being appropriated.

In 1992, China and South Korea established diplomatic relations.

In 1994, the PLO and Israel signed an agreement giving autonomy to Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on education, health, taxation, social welfare and tourism.

In 1998, Gillian Guess was sentenced in Vancouver to 18 months in jail for obstructing justice. She had an affair with a defendant while serving on the jury that acquitted him and five other men charged in two gang-style slayings.

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In 1999, Onex Corp. chief executive Gerald Schwartz announced a $5.7-billion plan to buy Air Canada and its rival Canadian Airlines and merge them into a giant new Air Canada. The offer was killed by opposition from Air Canada, which later took over Canadian.

In 2001, an Air Transat Airbus 330, on a Toronto-Lisbon flight, made a safe emergency landing on Terceira Island in the Azores after it ran out of fuel over the Atlantic Ocean because of a leak. Pilot Robert Piche, who glided the plane skillfully for 18 minutes over the ocean, was hailed as hero.

In 2005, Prime Minister Paul Martin formally acknowledged the wrongs inflicted on Ukrainian-Canadians who were interned and stripped of basic civil liberties during the First World War and allocated $2.5-million for commemorative plaques and educational tools.

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In 2006, the International Astronomical Union approved a new definition of a planet, stripping Pluto of its status and placing it in a new category known as dwarf planets.

In 2007, two women died and 11 other people were injured after a hot air balloon caught fire and crashed in a trailer park in Vancouver.

In 2011, Steve Jobs, the mind behind the iPhone, iPad and other devices that turned Apple Inc. into one of the world’s most powerful companies, resigned as the company’s CEO, saying he could no longer handle the job. Apple’s chief operating officer, Tim Cook, was named CEO. (Jobs died on Oct. 5 at age 56. He had battled cancer since 2004 and had taken three leaves of absences).

In 2012, confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik was declared sane by a Norwegian court and sent to prison for bomb and gun attacks that killed 77 people and injured 200 others in 2011. He received a 21-year sentence that can be extended for as long as he’s considered a menace to society.

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In 2012, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency erased 14 years of Lance Armstrong’s cycling career — including his record seven Tour de France titles — and banned him for life from the sport after concluding he used banned substances. (In October, cycling’s governing body, Union Cycliste Internationale, accepted the USADA’s findings.)

In 2015, Canadian Shawn Barber won the country’s first ever gold in pole vault at the world track and field championships in Beijing, and the first gold since Perdita Felicien won the 100-metre hurdles in 2003 in Paris.

In 2016, a pre-dawn 6.2 magnitude earthquake levelled the central Italian towns of Amatrice, Accumoli and Pescara del Tronto, killing 299 people — including one Canadian — and leaving thousands homeless.

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In 2017, Sen. Mike Duffy sued the Senate and the RCMP for the way they handled accusations about his expenses, seeking millions of dollars in damages and compensation for loss of income and benefits. Duffy was acquitted in 2016 on all 31 counts of fraud, breach of trust and bribery.

In 2017, Montreal Alouettes receiver Nik Lewis became the CFL’s all-time pass receptions leader with 1,030, surpassing B.C. Lions great Geroy Simon.

In 2018, Robin Leach, whose voice crystalized the opulent 1980s on the TV show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, died at 76.

In 2020, Erin O’Toole became the new leader of the federal Conservative party, winning the contest on the third ballot count. Peter MacKay placed second after coming out on top in the first round. Upwards of 175,000 party members cast a ballot.

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In 2020, Donald Trump was re-nominated as the Republican presidential candidate during a scaled-back roll-call vote at the Charlotte Convention Center in North Carolina. The vote was scaled back in observance of health protocols to control the spread of COVID-19.

In 2020, the partner of a Black man shot and wounded by police in Kenosha, Wis., said she was sitting in the back seat of an SUV with their children when an officer opened fire. Laquisha Booker said Jacob Blake was not armed and that the children were screaming. Police responding to a call about a domestic dispute fired seven shots as Jacob Blake opened the door to the SUV and leaned into the vehicle with his back turned to the officers. The shooting set off a night of violent protests.

In 2021, Democrat Kathy Hochul became New York’s first female governor. Hochul picked up the reins following what many described as a disastrous exit by her predecessor Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo submitted his resignation letter weeks after he faced a potential impeachment trial connected to multiple reports of sexual harassment.

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31 years ago today, Ukraine declared full independence Source link 31 years ago today, Ukraine declared full independence

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