Around the world in 21 days: Graf Zeppelin completes historic flight 93 years ago

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On this date, Aug. 29, in history:

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In 1583, the Delight, one of Sir Humphrey Gilbert’s ships, ran aground and was lost at Sable Island, drowning 85 people, in one of Canada’s first marine disasters. Gilbert was an early publicist for the idea of a Northwest Passage. He was experienced in colonizing Ireland and received letters patent in June 1578 from Queen Elizabeth authorizing him to colonize the coast of North America. His first attempt was frustrated by poor organization, desertion and bad weather. He set out again in June 1583 with five vessels. One ship turned back but the other four, including Delight, arrived in St. John’s, Nfld. in August. Gilbert formally took possession of Newfoundland a couple of days after arriving — the first English possession in the New World. On Sept. 9, Gilbert went down with the Squirrel, another of the ships on the expedition.

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In 1632, philosopher John Locke was born in Wrington, England.

In 1782, nearly 1,100 people drowned when the British warship Royal George sank off Portsmouth while its hull was being repaired.

In 1809, American author Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., was born in Cambridge, Mass.

In 1833, the British Factory Act was passed, regulating child labour.

In 1842, Hong Kong was ceded to the British at the end of the first Opium War. In 1839, China enforced its prohibitions on the importation of opium at Canton by destroying a large quantity of the drug confiscated from British merchants. Britain responded by attacking several coastal cities. China was defeated and forced to sign the Treaty of Nanjing, ceding Hong Kong and opening coastal ports to British trade. Hong Kong was restored to Chinese rule on July 1, 1997.

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In 1876, auto engineering pioneer Charles Kettering was born in Ohio. His personal inventions included the first electrical ignition system for auto engines and the first practical engine-driven generator. Kettering also headed General Motors’ main research lab for 31 years, overseeing such inventions as the refrigerant Freon, four-wheel brakes and safety glass. He died Nov. 25, 1958.

In 1877, Mormon leader Brigham Young died of acute appendicitis in Salt Lake City. He was 76. Sixteen of Young’s 27 wives and 44 of his children attended his funeral.

In 1883, the first Salvation Army service in Canada was held at London, Ont.

In 1885, German inventor Gottlieb Daimler patented the first motorcycle.

In 1892, guests at the Windsor Hotel in Ottawa ate the first dinner cooked on an all-electric stove.

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In 1896, chop suey was invented in New York City by the chef to the visiting Chinese ambassador.

In 1897, the Zionist movement adopted the Star of David as its official emblem.

In 1907, the Quebec Bridge on the St. Lawrence River collapsed and 75 workmen were killed. Situated 10 kilometres above Quebec City, the structure was begun in 1900 and was one of the largest cantilevered bridges of its time. After the 1907 mishap, work was continued and both riverbank sections were completed. Then, in 1916, the centre span fell into the river and 13 people were killed. When it was completed in September, 1917, the Quebec Bridge was the largest bridge in the world. Some engineers wear a ring on their baby finger in memory of those who died building the Quebec Bridge.

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In 1917, Sir Robert Borden’s government introduced conscription to bolster the Canadian Expeditionary Force in France. The Military Services Act caused French dissent within Canada and managed to send only 24,132 additional recruits to the First World War front.

In 1919, Prince Edward Island removed its ban on automobiles.

In 1929, the airship Graf Zeppelin completed its first trip around the world.

In 1933, Canadian sculptor Sorel Etrog was born in Romania.

In 1935, Queen Astrid of Belgium was killed and King Leopold injured in a motor accident in Switzerland.

In 1949, Russia exploded its first atomic bomb.

In 1959, Winnipeg Blue Bombers receiver Ernie Pitts set a CFL record with five touchdown catches against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Regina.

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In 1962, Saudi Arabia and Jordan announced an agreement to merge their armed forces and establish a joint military high command.

In 1965, American astronauts L. Gordon Cooper and Charles Conrad made a safe landing in the Atlantic Ocean after a record eight-day orbit around the earth.

In 1967, the last episode of The Fugitive aired. It was, at the time, the largest audience in TV history.

In 1968, anti-Vietnam War demonstrators and police clashed outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

In 1974, the United States and East Germany agreed to establish diplomatic relations.

In 1979, WBNO in Bryan, Ohio, became the first solar-powered commercial radio station in the U.S.

In 1980, Judge Harold Gyles of the Manitoba provincial court ruled that the province’s statutes did not need to be written in both English and French. He dismissed a motion that English-only speeding tickets and the Manitoba statutes on which they were based were invalid because they were not bilingual. The Supreme Court of Canada upheld Gyle’s decision in 1986.

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In 1982, Ranulph Fiennes and Charles Burton completed their historic expedition in London. The two Britons had taken nearly three years to sail around the world by way of both poles aboard the Benjamin Bowring.

In 1983, Tory opposition leader Brian Mulroney won a byelection in the Nova Scotia riding of Central Nova.

In 1990, OPEC authorized its members to increase oil production to maintain normal supplies during the Persian Gulf crisis. Worldwide oil prices skyrocketed in August.

In 1991, a Manitoba aboriginal justice inquiry report said disadvantaged Canadian Indians had been systematically discriminated against by the legal system. It recommended universal self-government and a separate justice system for Aboriginal Peoples.

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In 1994, Mel Hurtig, founding chairman of the Council of Canadians, resigned as leader of the National Party of Canada.

In 1994, Toronto swimmer Carlos Costa became the first disabled athlete to achieve a double crossing of Italy’s Straits of Messina. The 21-year-old athlete, born with no bones below his knees, finished the 60-kilometre swim in 23-and-a-half hours.

In 2000, federal fisheries boats carrying 100 armed fisheries officers in riot gear moved into Miramichi Bay in New Brunswick, seizing about 900 lobster traps, ramming three native boats, sinking two of them, after native fishermen continued to illegally set lobster traps.

In 2001, more than half of South Africa’s workforce of 10.4 million walked off the job in the largest public protest since the end of apartheid in 1994. They were protesting government economic policies.

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In 2002, former B.C. New Democrat premier Glen Clark was acquitted of breach of trust and corruption charges in a case involving casino licence application by one-time friend and neighbour, Dimitrios Pilarinos. Pilarinos was convicted of six charges.

In 2004, the 28th Summer Olympic Games concluded in Athens, Greece. Canada won 12 medals — 3 gold, 6 silver and 3 bronze. The U.S. won the highest number of medals followed by China, Russia and Australia.

In 2005, the costliest hurricane ever to hit the U.S., hurricane Katrina, slammed into the Gulf Coast with 225 km/h winds, and blinding rain — submerging entire neighbourhoods in New Orleans and flooding Mississippi’s strip of beachfront casinos and causing widespread damage to offshore oil facilities. An estimated 80 per cent of New Orleans was flooded with water up to six metres deep in places after two levees gave way. The death toll attributed to Katrina across the Gulf Coast region was over 1,800.

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In 2008, the Governor General announced the creation of a new award, the Sacrifice Medal, for members of the Canadian military killed or injured in combat, similar to the U.S. Purple Heart, back-dated to October 2001.

In 2009, post-tropical storm Danny caused havoc through many parts of southern New Brunswick as heavy rains pounded the area and flooded dozens of basements.

In 2009, former Montreal Alouettes quarterback Sam Etcheverry died following a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 79. Nicknamed The Rifle, he led Montreal to three straight Grey Cup appearances and was named the league’s top quarterback in 1954. Two years later, he became the first quarterback in league history to pass for more than 4,000 yards in a season. In 1969, he was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

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In 2011, the residual power of hurricane Irene stormed through southern Quebec and the Maritimes, downing trees in some areas and knocking out power. One motorist in Montreal was swept into a river and drowned. Irene blew threw the Caribbean and up the U.S.-Canada eastern seaboard killing 55 people, including 47 people in 13 U.S. states.

In 2019, Terrance Dicks, author of children’s books and a longtime script editor for the popular British T-V series Doctor Who, died at 84. His death was announced on the Dr. Who series website. No cause of death was given for Dicks, who lived in north London. He was script editor for the show from 1968 to 1974 and later adapted many Dr. Who episodes into books for young people. The show’s website said Dicks was responsible for shaping key aspects of the show.

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In 2020, Montreal’s mayor said acts of vandalism would not be tolerated, after protesters brought down and defaced a statue of Sir John A. Macdonald. Valerie Plante condemned the incident, which happened at the end of a peaceful march. The statue of Canada’s first prime minister was unbolted, pulled down and sprayed with graffiti, and its head ended up falling off the body.

In 2021, two Afghan athletes, Zakia Khudadadi and Hossain Rasouli, arrived in Tokyo, after what was described as a harrowing journey from Kabul to Paris, to compete in the Paralympics.

In 2021, Jacques Rogge, the Olympic sailor and orthopedic surgeon from Belgium who led the International Olympic Committee as president for 12 years, died. He was 79. The IOC announced his death without giving details. Rogge’s health had visibly declined when he attended Olympic events since his presidency ended in 2013. Rogge represented Belgium in rugby and was a world champion in sailing.

In 2021, actor Ed Asner, the blustery but lovable Lou Grant in two successful television series, died. He was 91. Asner was a journeyman actor in films and TV when he was hired in 1970 to play the grumpy TV news boss Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. He won Emmys for both shows as well as for Rich Man, Poor Man and Roots.


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