80px|Canoe River cairn, erected to the memory of the 17 soldiers who
died in the Canoe River train crash
The Canoe River train crash occurred on November 21, 1950, near
Valemount in eastern British Columbia, Canada, when a westbound troop
train and the eastbound Canadian National Railway (CNR) Continental
Limited collided head-on. Twenty-one people were killed: 17 Canadian
soldiers being deployed in the Korean War (memorial to them pictured)
and the two-man locomotive crew of each train. The post-crash
investigation found that the order given to the troop train differed
from the intended message. Crucial words were missing, causing the
troop train to proceed on its way rather than halt on a siding, causing
the collision. A telegraph operator, Alfred John "Jack" Atherton, was
charged with manslaughter; the prosecution alleged he was negligent in
passing an incomplete message. His family hired his Member of
Parliament, John Diefenbaker, as defence counsel. Diefenbaker joined
the British Columbia bar in order to take the case, and obtained
Atherton's acquittal. (more...)
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Turco-Mongol conqueror Timur captured and sacked the Georgian capital
of Tbilisi, forcing King Bagrat V to convert to Islam.
First Sino-Japanese War: The Japanese Second Army killed an estimated
20,000 Chinese servicemen and civilians in the city of Lüshunkou.
The crews of the Brazilian warships Minas Geraes, São Paulo, Bahia, and
Deodoro mutinied in what became known as the Revolt of the Lash .
"God Defend New Zealand" became New Zealand's second national anthem,
on equal standing with "God Save the Queen", which had been the
traditional one since 1840.
United States Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard was arrested
for espionage after being caught giving Israel classified information
on Arab nations.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. An animal that lives in the nest, burrow, gall, or dwelling place of
an animal of another species.
2. An organism that lives within a reservoir of water collected in the
hollow of a plant stem or leaf
Wikiquote quote of the day:
"Man's inhumanity to man" is not the last word. The truth lies deeper.
It is economic slavery, the savage struggle for a crumb, that has
converted mankind into wolves and sheep.
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