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On this date : May 2023

5 May 1862

Mexico repels the French forces of Napoleon III at the Battle of Puebla, a victory now celebrated as the national holiday Cinco de Mayo.

7 May 1944 

HMCS Valleyfield is hit by a homing torpedo from U-548 and sinks southeast of Cape Race, Nfld., leaving 125 dead.

8 May 1945 

As the Allies accept Germany’s surrender, Europeans erupt in celebration of the end of the Second World War on the continent. 

9 May 2014 

A National Day of Honour marks the end of Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan.

10 May 1990 

The Canadian Space Agency is created.

11 May 1944 

Canadian tanks support the attack on German lines in Italy’s Liri Valley.

12 May 1937 

The Canadian military participates in the coronation of King George VI after his brother, Edward, abdicated.

13 May 1945

German submarine U-899 officially surrenders to the Royal Canadian Navy near Shelburne, N.S., becoming the only German sub to surrender in Canadian waters during the Second World War.

16 May 1945 

HMCS Matane is sent to escort 14 surrendered U-boats from Norway to Scotland.

17 May 1929 

Test pilot Jack Caldwell becomes the first Canadian to save his life by parachute when his Vedette suffers engine failure and he is forced to jump.

18 May 1966

Terrorist Paul-Joseph Chartier is killed in the Parliament Buildings by a bomb he intended to throw into the House of Commons.

19 May 1845

John Franklin begins his ultimately doomed voyage in search of a Northwest Passage.

21 May 1939 

The National War Memorial is unveiled by King George VI in Ottawa.

23 May 1944 

Canadians break through the Hitler Line in Italy’s Liri Valley.

26 May 2004 

Labrador Inuit overwhelmingly support a land-claim agreement that leads to establishing Nunatsiavut, a regional Inuit government in Newfoundland and Labrador.

30 May 2007

MCpl. Darrell J. Priede of Burlington, Ont., is among seven NATO soldiers killed in a Chinook helicopter crash in Afghanistan. The chopper was reportedly attacked by Taliban fighters.

31 May 1997 

Prince Edward Island and the Canadian mainland are officially linked by the Confederation Bridge.


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An informative primer on Canada’s crucial role in the Normandy landing, June 6, 1944.