Today in Newfoundland and Labrador History

Newfoundland and Labrador: St. John's

Historical Events

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1497-08-06 Italian explorer John Cabot returns to Bristol from North America (Newfoundland) - first European to do so since the Vikings

Explorer John Cabot
John Cabot
  • 1527-08-03 First known letter was sent from North America by John Rut while at St. John's, Newfoundland.

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1534-05-10 French navigator Jacques Cartier reaches Newfoundland

French Explorer Jacques Cartier
French Explorer
Jacques Cartier
  • 1583-08-05 Humphrey Gilbert claims Newfoundland for the British crown - first English colony in North America and the beginning of the British Empire
  • 1610-07-05 John Guy sets sail from Bristol with 39 other colonists for Newfoundland.
  • 1613-03-27 The first English child born in Canada at Cuper's Cove, Newfoundland to Nicholas Guy.
  • 1774-05-20 Britain gives Quebec, Labrador & territory north of Ohio
  • 1805-10-23 Sailing ship "Aeneus" sinks off Newfoundland killing 340
  • 1871-06-13 Hurricane kills 300 in Labrador
  • 1883-12-26 The Harbour Grace Affray between Irish Catholics and Protestant Orangemen causes five deaths in Newfoundland.
  • 1892-07-08 St. John's, Newfoundland is devastated in the Great Fire of 1892.

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1901-12-12 Guglielmo Marconi sends the first transatlantic radio signal, from Poldhu in Cornwall to Newfoundland

Inventor and Nobel Laureate Guglielmo Marconi
Inventor and Nobel Laureate
Guglielmo Marconi
  • 1907-09-26 New Zealand and Newfoundland each become dominions within the British Empire.
  • 1910-09-07 In the Hague, the International Court arbitrates a fishing-rights dispute between Newfoundland (still seperate from Canada) and the US
  • 1912-04-14 RMS Titanic hits an iceberg at 11.40pm off Newfoundland
  • 1912-04-15 RMS Titanic sinks at 2:27 AM off Newfoundland as band plays on
  • 1919-06-14 1st nonstop air crossing of Atlantic (Alcock & Brown) leaves Newfoundland

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1928-06-17 Amelia Earhart leaves Newfoundland to become 1st woman (passenger) to fly Atlantic (as a passenger in a plane piloted by Wilmer Stultz)

Aviation Pioneer Amelia Earhart
Aviation Pioneer
Amelia Earhart
  • 1931-12-11 Statute of Westminster gives complete legislative independence to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland (Free State), and Newfoundland (which was not at that time part of Canada)
  • 1932-04-05 Dominion of Newfoundland: 10,000 rioters seize the Colonial Building leading to the end of self-government.
  • 1932-05-20 Amelia Earhart leaves Newfoundland 1st woman fly solo across Atlantic
  • 1933-12-21 Newfoundland reverts to being a crown colony of Great Britain
  • 1934-02-16 Commission of Government is sworn in as form of direct rule for the Dominion of Newfoundland.
  • 1935-03-30 Newfoundland changes time to 3½ hrs W of Greenwich, repeats 44 sec
  • 1940-09-03 US gives Britain 50 destroyers in exchange for Newfoundland base lease
  • 1941-01-03 Canada & US acquire air bases in Newfoundland (99 yr lease)

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1941-08-09 Winston Churchill reaches Newfoundland for talks with FDR

Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill
32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd US President
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1941-08-10 FDR & Churchill's 2nd meeting at Placentia, Newfoundland

32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd US President
Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • 1942-12-12 A fire in a hostel in St. John's, Newfoundland, kills 100 people.
  • 1949-03-31 Newfoundland becomes Canada's 10th province
  • 1956-09-25 First transatlantic telephone cable goes into operation (Newfoundland-Oban)
  • 1972-06-16 The largest single-site hydro-electric power project in Canada starts at Churchill Falls, Labrador.
  • 1979-07-20 44-kg Newfoundland dog pulls 2293-kg load, Bothell, Wash
  • 1980-04-12 Terry Fox begins his "Marathon of Hope" at St. John's, Newfoundland.
  • 1982-02-15 Ocean Ranger oil-drilling platform lost off Newfoundland, 84 die
  • 1985-09-01 US-French expedition locates wreckage of Titanic off Newfoundland
  • 1985-12-12 DC-8 crashes near Gander, Newfoundland; 258 die
  • 2001-12-06 The Canadian province of Newfoundland is renamed Newfoundland and Labrador.

Famous Birthdays

  • 1753-07-09 William Waldegrave, 1st Baron Radstock, Governor of Newfoundland (d. 1825)

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1879-03-18 Cluny MacPherson, St. John's Newfoundland, Canadian doctor (inventor of the gas mask)

  • 1900-12-24 Joey Smallwood, Canadian politician, Premier of Newfoundland (d. 1991)
  • 1954-10-21 Brian Tobin, Canadian premier of Newfoundland

Famous Deaths

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1596-01-28 Francis Drake, English pirate, Admiral and Governor of Newfoundland (Porto Bello West Indies), dies of dysentery at 50

Vice Admiral and Navigator Francis Drake
Vice Admiral and Navigator
Francis Drake
  • 1780-05-18 Charles Hardy, British governor of Newfoundland
  • 1825-08-20 William Waldegrave, 1st Baron Radstock, Governor of Newfoundland (b. 1753)
  • 1940-10-09 Wilfred Grenfell, English medical missionary to Newfoundland and Labrador (b. 1865).
  • 2005-11-12 William G. Adams, former mayor of St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada (b. 1923)
  • 2008-02-23 Douglas Fraser, Scottish pilot, first to land at Newfoundland Airport on January 11, 1938 (b. 1916)