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On this date: May 2022

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1 May 1918 

Private Robert Cruickshank is awarded the Victoria Cross for actions under heavy fire east of the Jordan River in Palestine.

2 May 1915 

Lieutenant Alexis Helmer is killed by shellfire near Ypres, Belgium. His death inspires Major John McCrae to write In Flanders Fields.

4 May 1951 

The 27th Canadian Infantry Brigade Group is formed for service in
West Germany.

Library of Congress

6 May 2008 

Warrant Officer David Schultz plunges into enemy fire to extract casualties after an ambush in Afghanistan. He is awarded the Star of Military Valour and is appointed to the Order of Military Merit.

7 May 1945 

Nazi Germany unconditionally surrenders to the Allies in Europe.

9 May 2007

Dwight Wilson, one of the last surviving Canadian veterans of the First World War, dies in Toronto at the age of 106.

National Museum of the U.S. Navy

10 May 1990

The Canadian Space Agency Act receives royal assent.

LAC

11 May 1943 

In an attempt to expel Japanese invaders, the 7th Division of the U.S. army deploys to Attu Island in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska.

12 May 1870 

The Manitoba Act is given royal assent, creating the province of Manitoba.

15 May 1918 

In Ottawa, 5,000 farmers protest the government’s breach of promise to exempt their sons from conscription. The policy is maintained.

17 May 2006 

Captain Nichola Goddard dies in a firefight in the Panjwaii District of Afghanistan. She is the first female Canadian combat soldier killed in action.

18 May 1974

As part of Operation Smiling Buddha, India detonates its first nuclear bomb at a test site in Pokhran, Rajasthan, becoming the sixth nation to do so. 

20 May 1932

Amelia Earhart departs Harbour Grace, Nfld., and flies non-stop for nearly 15 hours before landing in Northern Ireland, making her the first woman to make a solo transatlantic flight. 

21 May 1939 

King George VI unveils the National War Memorial in Ottawa before 100,000 spectators, calling the memorial the “spontaneous response of the nation’s conscience.”

25 May 2009

North Korea tests its second nuclear weapon, causing tension with the international community.

26 May 1972

The U.S. and the Soviet Union sign the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. 

Alamy

28 May 1916 

The Canadian government is advised to abandon the Ross rifle after it proves unreliable in combat.

29 May 1982 

The National War Memorial in Ottawa is rededicated to include the Second World War and Korean War.

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