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Today in History for June 24: In 541, Attila the Hun laid siege to Orleans, France. In 1099, the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, parent body of St. John Ambulance, was founded. It is the oldest order of chivalry in the Commonwealth.

Today in History for June 24:

In 541, Attila the Hun laid siege to Orleans, France.

In 1099, the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, parent body of St. John Ambulance, was founded. It is the oldest order of chivalry in the Commonwealth.

In 1497, explorer John Cabot sighted the North American coast -- either Newfoundland or Cape Breton.

In 1509, Henry VIII was crowned king of England to start a tumultuous 38-year reign. Best know for his six wives, Henry split the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church in his efforts to divorce his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. He changed religious ceremonies, made himself head of the Church of England and dissolved the monasteries. Despite his efforts to leave a male heir, he sired only one son, Edward, who lived only six years after Henry.

In 1534, French explorer Jacques Cartier discovered Prince Edward Island.

In 1611, English explorer Henry Hudson, his son and several sick men were set adrift by mutineers in what is now Hudson Bay.

In 1615, Fathers Jamany and Le Caron celebrated the first Roman Catholic mass in the province of Quebec.

In 1812, the French army, under Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, began its advance on Moscow.

In 1813, natives and British troops ambushed an invading American force at Beaver Dams (now Ontario's Niagara region). They had been warned of the pending attack by Laura Secord, who had overheard some American soldiers discussing the plan while dining at her house two days earlier. She walked 30 kilometres from Queenston to Beaver Dams to warn the British. Monuments to the War of 1812 heroine stand in the Ontario communities of Lundys Lane, Niagara Falls and Queenston Heights. The Massachusetts-born Secord died in Niagara Falls, Ont., in 1868 at age 93.

In 1880, "O Canada," with music by Calixa Lavallee and French lyrics by Judge A.B. Routhier, was performed for the first time at the Skaters' Pavilion in Quebec City.

In 1904, King Edward VII allowed the North-West Mounted Police (now the RCMP) to use the prefix "Royal."

In 1916, Toronto-born Mary Pickford became the first Hollywood star to produce her own movies.

In 1918, airmail service was inaugurated in Canada with a biplane flight from Montreal to Toronto by Royal Air Force Capt. Brian Peck.

In 1944, RCAF Flight Lieutenant David Hornell won a posthumous Victoria Cross after his anti-submarine patrol plane tangled with a German U-boat near the Shetland Islands, off Scotland. Hornell and his crew sank the sub with depth charges but had to ditch their plane. They were rescued the next day from a life raft, but Hornell died of hypothermia.

In 1957, "Front Page Challenge" made its debut. Intended as a 13-week summer replacement program, it became North America's longest-running game-interview television program of its kind. The CBC cancelled the show in 1995.

In 1968, golfer Sandra Post of Oakville, Ont., won the LPGA Championship, beating Kathy Whitworth in an 18-hole playoff in Sutton, Mass. Post was the first non-American and the first LPGA Tour rookie to capture the major title.

In 1968, a Montreal St-Jean Baptiste Day celebration exploded into a riot in front of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Around 300 people were arrested and 130 were treated in hospital for injuries. Trudeau refused to leave the reviewing stand, even after a thrown bottle narrowly missed his head. He led the Liberals to victory in the next day's federal election.

In 1977, the national leader of the Social Credit party, Andre Fortin, died in a car accident in Quebec.

In 1984, former NHL president Clarence Campbell died at age 78.

In 1987, the Montreal Alouettes football club folded. The franchise was revived in 1997.

In 1990, one day after the failure of the Meech Lake accord, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney said there would be no more conferences concerning Canadian unity without Quebec's participation.

In 2001, Karrie Webb became the youngest woman golfer to capture a career Grand Slam when the 26-year-old Australian won the LPGA Championship in Wilmington, Del.

In 2003, Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in London for a historic four-day state visit. He was the first Russian leader to pay a state visit to Britain in 129 years.

In 2007, 25-year-old Emma-Jayne Wilson of Bramalea, Ont., made Canadian thoroughbred history at Woodbine Racetrack, becoming the first female jockey to win the Queen's Plate in its 148-year history.

In 2007, Canada's Anglican bishops narrowly overturned a vote to approve homosexual unions.

In 2009, Romeo LeBlanc, the first Acadian to be appointed governor general of Canada and a central figure in the Liberal party for more than two decades, died after a lengthy illness. He was 81.

In 2010, the longest tennis match in history ended as American John Isner defeated Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68 in their first round match at Wimbledon. Their 183-game match took 11 hours and 5 minutes and was spread over three days, beating the previous record of 112 and 6:33. The 138 games and eight hours and 11 minutes of the fifth set alone, also set records. Isner had 112 aces in the match and Mahut 103 -- both smashing the old mark of 78.

In 2011, a U.S. judge ordered Canadian-born former press magnate Conrad Black to return to prison at a resentencing hearing and serve another 13 months of a 42-month term on fraud convictions. He had already served 29 months but was free on bail.

In 2011, the UN Court trying suspects of the 1994 Rwanda genocide found former government minister Pauline Nyiramasuhuko and her son guilty of war crimes and gave both life sentences, marking the first time a woman had been convicted of genocide.

In 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously ruled that the Crown can renege on a plea bargain, the first time the justices had ruled on the discretion allowed prosecutors in plea agreements.

In 2011, at the NHL draft in St. Paul, Minn., it was announced that the Winnipeg franchise would again be named the Jets and then the organization selected Mark Scheifele with the seventh overall pick. (The Edmonton Oilers took Ryan Nugent-Hopkins with the first overall pick.)

In 2012, Egypt's election commission declared Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood the winner of Egypt's first free elections by a narrow margin over Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister under deposed leader Hosni Mubarak.

In 2013, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup with a 3-2 last-minute comeback victory over the Boston Bruins in Game 6. It was the team's fifth title and second since 2010.

In 2013, a Milan court convicted former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, 76, of paying for sex with an under-age prostitute and then using his influence to try to cover it up. He was sentenced to seven years in prison and a lifetime political ban. (In July 2014, an appeals court overturned the convictions and in 2015 Italy's highest court upheld the acquittal.)

In 2014, a London jury convicted former News of the World editor Andy Coulson of phone hacking, conspiring to bribe officials and obstruct police, but fellow editor Rebekah Brooks was acquitted of those charges after a lengthy trial centring on illegal activity at the heart of Rupert Murdoch's newspaper empire.

In 2018, a dozen Canadian Forces members arrived at an isolated UN base in Mali to take part in the world's most dangerous peacekeeping mission, beginning Canada's year-long commitment to help bring peace and stability to the strife-riven African nation.

In 2019, Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques returned to Earth - setting a record for the longest single spaceflight by a Canadian. Saint-Jacques spent 204 days in orbit, beginning his mission on December 3rd. He said it was a bit enotional leaving the International Space Station even as he looked forward to reuniting with his family and friends.

In 2021, the chief of Saskatchewan's Cowessess First Nation said the community found 751 unmarked graves at the site of a former residential school. Chief Cadmus Delorme said there may have been markers on some at one point.

In 2021, authorities said 160 people were still unaccounted for after part of a 12-storey beachfront condo building collapsed in a town outside Miami. Rescuers pulled dozens of survivors from the tower. It wasn't immediately clear what caused the structure to fail.

In 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court's conservative majority ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place since 1973. It overturned Roe v. Wade in a decision that was unthinkable before former U.S. president Donald Trump appointed three justices to the bench.


The Canadian Press