Today in history: Dec. 19

1813: Fur trader James McGill dies in Montreal. He leaves 10,000 pounds to establish the university that would bear his name.

1843: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is first published in England.

1846: The mayors of Toronto and Hamilton exchange greetings in Canada’s first telegraph message.

1941: Sgt.-Maj. John Osborn of the Winnipeg Grenadiers earns a Victoria Cross for throwing himself on a grenade during the battle for Hong Kong. He is killed but saves the lives of comrades.

1956: Steven Lane two days old!

1966: United Nations approves a treaty banning weapons in space.

1972: The last U.S. manned mission to the moon ends with the safe landing of the Apollo 17 spacecraft.

1975: Bertha Wilson becomes the first woman in Canada appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal.

1977: Canada withdraws government support for trade with South Africa to protest apartheid.

1984: Britain agrees with China to return Hong Kong to Chinese rule on July 1, 1997.

1998: U.S. President Bill Clinton is impeached by the House of Representatives. He is later acquitted by the Senate.

2011: Kateri Tekakwitha, a Mohawk woman who died in 1680, is the first Indigenous woman from North America to pass the last test for sainthood by the Vatican. She is canonized the following October.

(With files from CBC and The Canadian Press)

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