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On this date: July/August 2020

1 July 2020
Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill are replaced with virtual celebrations due to COVID-19.

2 July 1940
HMCS St. Laurent rescues 868 German and Italian internees and PoWs bound for Canada, survivors of the torpedoed liner SS Arandora Star, in one of the largest rescue operations of the war.

From top left to bottom right, Capt. Jefferson Francis, Capt. Matthew Johnathan Dawe, Master Cpl. Colin Bason, Cpl. Jordan Anderson, Cpl. Cole Bartsch and Pte. Lane Watkins.

4 July 2007
Six Canadian soldiers and an Afghan interpreter are killed when their vehicle is struck by a roadside bomb southwest of Kandahar City, Afghanistan.

5 July 1900
By saving a wounded comrade, Sergeant Arthur Richardson of the Lord Strathcona’s Horse earns the Victoria Cross at Wolve Spruit, South Africa.

6 July 2009
A Griffon helicopter clips a security wall and crashes at a forward operating base in Afghanistan, killing two Canadian soldiers and a British officer.

9-10 July 1943
The Allied invasion of Sicily begins.

10 July 1940
The Battle of Britain begins.

14 July 1915
The first aircraft to roll off a Canadian production line—a Curtiss JN-3—has its maiden flight in Toronto.

15 July 1870
The Hudson’s Bay Company transfers Rupert’s Land to Canada; price: $1.5 million.

17 July 1944
Canadian Spitfire pilot Charley Fox strafes a black car, injuring German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, known as the Desert Fox.

18 July 2010
Master Corporal Paul Douglas Mitchell is instrumental in the defeat of a sustained insurgent attack in Afghanistan. He is awarded the Medal of Military Valour.

21 July 1812
Black loyalist Richard Pierpoint persuades the Upper Canada government to raise a company of black troops to help protect the Niagara frontier.

23 July 1917
Troops from 116th (Ontario County) Battalion conduct a successful raid against German dugouts and trench mortars near Lens, France.

24 July 1927
The Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing is inaugurated in Ypres, Belgium.

26 July 1845
Sir John Franklin is hailed by European whalers in Baffin Bay, the last sighting of the explorer and his crew.

28 July 1914
Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia, igniting the First World War.

31 July 1942
The Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRENS) is established; by war’s end nearly 6,500 have joined up.


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