Today in History for May 26:

In 735, Bede the Venerable, known as the father of English church history, Benedictine monk, priest, writer, hymn writer, died at about age 62. He was educated at Jarrow and spent the rest of his life in the monastery in Northumberland, in the north of England.

In 1232, Pope Gregory IX sent the first Inquisition team to Aragon in Spain, after turning its details over to the Dominicans the previous year.

In 1538, Geneva expelled Protestant church reformer John Calvin. His rigorous plans for reform of church and city clashed with the Swiss city's long-standing moral indifference.

In 1805, Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned King of Italy.

In 1858, In Pittsburgh, the Associate Presbyterian and the Associate Reformed Presbyterian churches merged to form the United Presbyterian Church in North America.

In 1874, the Dominion Elections Act became law. It introduced the secret ballot and simultaneous elections, and abolished property qualifications for MPs.

In 1887, Canada was given the power to negotiate commercial treaties with foreign countries.

In 1887, the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway was opened for public traffic -- 18 months after the last spike was driven at Craigellachie, B.C. Trains had been running from Montreal to Vancouver for a year, but passengers now could ride all the way on 4,700 kilometres of CPR track.

In 1896, the Imperial Privy Council gave the Canadian government power over fisheries.

In 1896, 55 occupants of a streetcar died when a bridge collapsed in Victoria.

In 1906, the city of Saskatoon was incorporated.

In 1908, the first major oil strike in the Middle East occurred in Masjid-i-Suleiman, Persia (Iran).

In 1913, the first woman magistrate in Britain was appointed.

In 1913, the Actors' Equity Association was organized.

In 1919, actor Jay Silverheels was born Harold J. Smith on the Six Nations Reserve near Brantford, Ont. Silverheels, who was also a star boxer and lacrosse player, gained fame as "The Lone Ranger's" sidekick "Tonto" on television and in movies during the 1950s. He died on March 5, 1980.

In 1940, the evacuation of allied troops from Dunkirk, France, began during the Second World War.

In 1943, Quebec passed a law requiring free and compulsory education in the province.

In 1946, physicists Janos Von Neumann and Klaus Fuchs were granted a patent for the fusion or "H-bomb."

In 1966, British Guiana became independent and took the name Guyana.

In 1969, the "Apollo 10" astronauts returned to Earth after an eight-day dress rehearsal for the first manned moon landing by the U.S.

In 1972, U.S. President Richard M. Nixon and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in Moscow.

In 1981, 14 people were killed when a Marine jet crashed onto the flight deck of the aircraft carrier "USS Nimitz" off Florida.

In 1989, riding "Commander Bond" to victory at New York's Yonkers Raceway, Canada's Herve Filion became the first harness racing driver to win 10,000 races.

In 2001, Eric Fairclough was acclaimed leader of the Yukon NDP, becoming the first aboriginal to head a major political party in Canada.

In 2003, a CF-18 jet crashed during training exercises near Cold Lake, Alta., killing the 38-year-old pilot.

In 2003, Prime Minister Jean Chretien announced the creation of the Canadian History Centre, a $90 million institution in Ottawa that would display Canada's political and civic history.

In 2003, an airplane carrying Spanish peacekeepers back home from Afghanistan crashed into fog-shrouded mountains near the Black Sea port of Trabzon in Turkey, killing all 75 people on board.

In 2004, the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement signed peace accords with the Sudan government to end their 21-year war, in which two million people died.

In 2004, Labrador Inuit voted overwhelmingly to accept a historic land claim that would create a region of self-government on 15,800 square kilometres of northern Labrador, to be called Nunatsiavut. The agreement granted Inuit jurisdiction over areas ranging from natural resources, social services, justice, education and health.

In 2004, nine years after after the Oklahoma City bombing, Terry Nichols was found guilty of 161 state murder charges for helping carry out the attack. He later received 161 consecutive life sentences.

In 2008, Ethiopia's Supreme Court sentenced exiled former president Mengistu Haile Mariam and 18 other officials to death for the murder of thousands of people during Mengistu's 17-year rule.

In 2008, Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier was forced to resign over a security breach involving classified documents left in his former girlfriend's Montreal apartment.

In 2011, Gen. Ratko Mladic, Europe's most wanted war crimes fugitive, was arrested in Serbia. He had been on the run since 1995 when he was indicted by the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague for genocide in the slaughter of some 8,000 Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica and other crimes committed by his troops during Bosnia's 1992-95 war.

In 2011, the Huffington Post news website launched its first international incarnation, HuffPost Canada, with blog posts written by environmental activist David Suzuki, Green Party leader Elizabeth May and Victoria-raised, Oscar-nominated actress Meg Tilly.

In 2014, Narendra Modi took the oath of office as India's new prime minister. Modi's inauguration was the first to which India invited leaders from across South Asia, including Pakistan.

In 2016, Conservatives bid a formal farewell to Stephen Harper, whose speech at the Conservative party convention was his first since stepping down as leader after his party's October election defeat. (Harper resigned as an MP in August.)

In 2019, one of the most iconic players in N-F-L and Green Bay Packers history died at the age of 85. The Packers cited the family of Bart Starr in announcing that the Hall of Fame quarterback had died. Starr had been in failing health since suffering two strokes and a heart attack in 2014. Starr was an ordinary quarterback until teaming with Vince Lombardi on the powerhouse Packers teams that ruled the 1960s and ushered in the NFL as America's most popular sport. Starr led Green Bay to six division titles, five NFL championships and wins in the first two Super Bowls.

In 2020, a military report on five long-term care homes in Ontario detailed troubling allegations such as rooming COVID-19 positive patients with uninfected ones, insect infestations and aggressive resident feeding that led to choking. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the report "deeply disturbing."

In 2020, the Quebec government pledged to loan up to US$200 million to support Cirque du Soleil, the live entertainment giant whose operations were devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic forced Cirque to cancel all 44 shows and lay off about 4,700 employees, the vast majority of its workforce.

In 2021, Wayne Gretzky signed a multi-year contract with Turner Sports and ESPN to become a studio analyst.

In 2022, Canada Soccer cancelled a planned friendly match with Iran in the face of growing criticism. The governing body gave no reason for the cancellation of the game scheduled for June 5 in Vancouver. But the idea had drawn criticism since it was first announced, given the Canadians who died on Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752. The plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile minutes after taking off from Tehran in January 2020.

In 2023, the National Council of Canadian Muslims and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association filed a motion seeking a judicial review of the Quebec government's decree banning prayer rooms in public schools. Education Minister Bernard Drainville said that he can't ban prayer altogether and that students who want to pray should do so discreetly and silently.


The Canadian Press