MRO Magazine

Today in History: Sept. 18


September 18, 2015
By The Canadian Press

Of the many things that happened on this date in history, here are a few that those with a technical bent may find interesting.

On this date:

In 1788, the first ship built on the Pacific coast, the ‘North West America’, was completed by Captain Meares at Nootka, Vancouver Island.

In 1829, London’s reorganized police force, which became known as Scotland Yard, went on duty.


In 1877, the first spike was driven for the Canadian Pacific Railway.

In 1901, Italian-born U.S. physicist Enrico Fermi was born in Rome.

In 1913, German engineer Rudolf Diesel, inventor of the diesel engine, died. He was 55. Although his family refused to accept his death as suicide, he’s said to have thrown himself over the rail of an English Channel steamer after having lost control over his invention.

In 1962, Canada became the third nation to have a satellite in space with the launch of Alouette 1 from Cape Kennedy, Fla. The satellite cost $3 million and weighed 146 kilograms. It spent a decade studying the ionosphere from an altitude of one-thousand kilometres before being deactivated.

In 1988, the space shuttle Discovery blasted off from Cape Canaveral, FL, the first American shuttle mission since the Challenger disaster in January, 1986.

In 2004, Imperial Oil Ltd. announced it would shift its head office to Calgary from Toronto, affecting 1,500 employees.