Tuesday, October 25, 2005
1154: Nineteen bloody years of civil war and constant upheaval finally come to an end with the death of King Stephen and the ascension of his longtime rival and adopted heir, Henry II.
1495: King João II of Portugal dies at age 40. He refused to sponsor Columbus’s voyage to the west, not because he thought the world was flat, but because Portuguese mariners knew that that the globe was much bigger than Columbus estimated.
1683: Lord Chief Justice Sir William Scroggs (“perhaps the worst of the judges who disgraced the English bench at a period when it had sunk to the lowest degradation”) dies at London.
1828: The St. Katharine Docks open in London. Their inadequate size means that they’ll always be something of a failure as commercial docks, but in the 1970s they’ll become a very nice marina for pleasure boats.
1861: Twenty-four men gather at the local Masonic Hall to create the Toronto Stock Exchange. Today it’s the fourth biggest in North America.
1938: The Archbishop of Dubuque denounces “swing” music as degenerate and says that it will create a “primrose path to hell.” No one believes him, but World War II breaks out just months later.
1993: The little guy from Shawinigan, Jean Chrétien (Laval Law 1958), becomes Prime Minister of Canada.