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Today-History-Jun04

Today in History for June 4: In 1783, the Montgolfier brothers first publicly demonstrated their hot-air balloon, which did not carry any passengers, over Annonay, France.

Today in History for June 4:


In 1783, the Montgolfier brothers first publicly demonstrated their hot-air balloon, which did not carry any passengers, over Annonay, France.

In 1784, opera singer Elizabeth Thible became the first woman to fly aboard a Montgolfier hot-air balloon, over Lyon, France.

In 1838, North America's first officially recorded baseball game took place in Beachville, Ont., between the Beachville and Zorra amateur teams.

In 1843, the city of Victoria, B.C., was founded.

In 1873, Charles Parham, who helped found the Pentecostal movement, was born in Muscatine, Iowa.

In 1896, Henry Ford took his first automobile for a test run in Detroit.

In 1940, the evacuation of Allied troops from the French port of Dunkirk came to an end. About 337,000 troops were safely transported to British ports as the German army completed its conquest of France during the Second World War.

In 1942, the "Battle of Midway" began as Japanese fighter planes attacked the U.S. fortress on the strategic Pacific island. The American victory was a turning point in the Second World War in the Pacific.

In 1944, Allied troops liberated Rome during the Second World War.

In 1948, in Manila, the first missionary radio station built in the Philippines by the Far East Broadcasting Co., first went on the air.

In 1976, the Canadian government announced it was extending its 12-nautical-mile coastal fishing zone to 200 miles. Canada made the change in part because fish stocks were being depleted by new technologies aboard modern fishing vessels, including fish-finding sonar and freezing facilities which allowed the ships to stay at sea longer. By 1976, mature northern cod were estimated at 75 million, down from 900 million in 1962.

In 1979, Joe Clark became Canada's youngest prime minister when he was sworn in one day before his 40th birthday. Lincoln Alexander was also sworn in as the first black federal cabinet minister, and 29-year-old Perrin Beatty as the youngest federal minister. Clark's government lost a Commons budget vote the following December and the ensuing election to Pierre Trudeau's Liberals.

In 1980, hockey great and Floral, Sask., native Gordie Howe announced his retirement from the Hartford Whalers at age 52.

In 1988, a week-long, record-breaking heat wave began in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

In 1989, hundreds of people died when Chinese troops stormed Tiananmen Square in Beijing to crush a seven-week pro-democracy protest. Tanks rumbled through the streets of the capital and the military randomly fired on unarmed protesters. The ferocity of the attack was condemned around the world. No official tally of the dead was released and estimates of the death toll range from the hundreds to as high as 2,000.

In 1989, Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Khomeini died at age 86. He guided the Islamic regime that ousted the country's monarchy in 1979.

In 1990, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney called a first ministers conference in a final -- but doomed -- effort to ensure passage of the Meech Lake Accord before the June 23rd ratification deadline.

In 1995, Garth Drabinsky's Canadian-bred production of "Show Boat" won five Tony Awards, including one for the best musical revival of the year on Broadway. The show had opened in Toronto in 1993. Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Sunset Boulevard" won seven Tonys, including best musical.

In 1998, Terry Nichols was convicted of plotting with Timothy McVeigh in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that claimed 168 lives. The 43-year-old was sentenced to life in prison.

In 2003, at a landmark summit in Aqaba, Jordan, Israel pledged to dismantle Jewish settlements built on Palestinian territory and the Palestinian prime minister called for an end to violence.

In 2003, Martha Stewart was indicted on nine criminal charges stemming from an investigation of alleged illegal stock trades. She stepped down as head of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and was convicted the following year of lying to investigators about a stock sale. She served five months in a West Virginia prison camp and began a successful effort to return her media empire to profitability after her release.

In 2004, Canadian television personality and celebrity interviewer Brian Linehan died at age 58.

In 2005, Bernard Landry resigned as leader of the Parti Quebecois after getting a below 80 per cent approval rating at the party's annual policy convention in Quebec City.

In 2009, "Kung Fu" star David Carradine, 72, was found hanging in the closet of his Bangkok hotel room.

In 2012, Luka Rocco Magnotta, wanted in Montreal for the brutal slaying and dismemberment of Concordia University foreign student Jun Lin, was arrested in Berlin less than a week after international police launched a worldwide manhunt.

In 2013, Britain's royal family gathered at Westminster Abbey for a ceremony of pomp and prayer to mark the 60th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, who was crowned in the abbey on June 2, 1953 at age 27.

In 2014, a heavily armed gunman killed three Mounties and injured two others in Moncton, N.B. Justin Bourque, 24, was apprehended nearly 30 hours later after a city-wide manhunt that left the city at a virtual standstill. (He pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder and was sentenced to serve 75 years in prison before he could apply for parole.)

In 2018, Bloc Quebecois Leader Martine Ouellet announced she was stepping down, effective June 11, after a resounding defeat in a leadership vote.

In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled for Colorado baker Jack Phillips who wouldn't make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, citing his religious beliefs.

In 2020, New Brunswick public health officials reported the province's first death from COVID-19. In social media posts, the family of a man in his 80s who had been living in the Manoir de la Vallee long-term care home in Atholville, N.B., said he died from the virus.

In 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said new federal modelling showed that COVID-19 was in decline across Canada, but the country was not out of the woods. He said the country would have to do better at testing and contact-tracing to stamp out flare-ups.

In 2021, Newfoundland and Labrador moved ahead with plans to drop references to Indigenous people as "savages" from its 400-year-old coat of arms. Premier Andrew Furey said a formal notice was submitted to the legislature. It had been almost three years since the province's governing Liberals said they would drop the archaic description and redesign the coat of arms.

In 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called on the Catholic Church to take responsibility for its role in Canada's residential school system. Trudeau said as a Catholic, he was deeply disappointed by the position that the church had taken. The government-sponsored, church-run schools for Indigenous children operated in Canada for more than 120 years.

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The Canadian Press