The Longest Day

This is a notable day in many respects:

  • 1944 – Normandy, France: 14,000 Canadian troops, 11,000 RCN sailors, 126 ships and countless RCAF aircraft pound Juno Beach as the  2d Canadian Armoured Brigade, 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, and several flotillas and squadrons tear the Third Reich a new one by opening up the Western Front.  The combined Allied effort, known as Operation Overlord, is the greatest amphibious assault ever organised by the hand of man.
  • 1813 – Stoney Creek, Ontario: 700 British infantry assault 1,400 Americans in a night battle.  The night conditions breed massive confusion on both sides.  British commander Brigadier General John Vincent gets thrown from his horse and wanders, lost, missing the battle.  The two American commanders,  Brigadiers General John Chandler and William Winder, are captured.  Chandler is wounded, and Winder blundered across a British patrol and mistook them for American troops.  British deputy, Lieutenant-Colonel John Harvey, manages to hang on till daylight and secures a victory for the home team.
  • 1829 – St. John’s, Newfoundland: Shanawdithit (Nancy April), last surviving member of the Beothuk nation, dies at the age of 28.  Described as a “princess of Terra Nova” by the Newfoundlander, a local paper.
  • 1891 – Ottawa, Ontario: Sir John Maxwell Alexander Macdonald, founder of the Conservative Party and Canada’s first Prime Minister, expires at Earnscliffe around 10:15pm.  The bells of the capital toll 76 times in his honour, one for each year of his life.  He is the only Canadian Prime Minister to win six majority governments.  Macdonald was later buried in Kingston, Ontario — his Canadian hometown since leaving Scotland as a wee lad.
  • 1910 – Rome, Italy: Canada signs reciprocity (mutual tariff reduction) agreement with Italy, 82 years before it finally agrees to do the same with its largest trading partner, the United States.
  • 1970 – Ottawa, Ontario: The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada is retired from the Regular Force’s order-of-battle.  From 1953 to 1970, the regiment had two battalions in the Regular Force and one in the Militia.  In 1972, the regiment reverted to a one-battalion Militia unit.
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2 Responses
  1. Alan says:

    He lay in state downstairs from my office. City hall flew flags that were at least 20 by 40. Looked bitchin.

  2. Nathan B. says:

    I believe Canada had a short-lived free trade agreement with the US in either the late 19th or early 20th century, but I’m not sure.