Friday, May 24, 2013

May 24 - Heat Awareness Day

Heat causes more fatalities per year than floods, lightning, tornadoes, and hurricanes combined. On average from 2002 to 2011, excessive heat claimed an average of 119 lives per year, while in 2011 there were 206 heat-related deaths.

North American summers are hot, as we all know. East of the Rockies, they tend to combine both high temperature and high humidity, although some of the worst heat waves have been catastrophically dry.

We are thankful for the rain that has finally come, and hope it sticks around for a while!

Remember, our summers are short, but very hot! Wear sunscreen and hats, and stay hydrated! Most importantly, remember how hot vehicles can get in the sun - don't leave children or pets alone in a vehicle, even if you think you'll only be gone a minute. You never know what might happen!

Today is also Brother's Day, Don't Fry Day (coinciding with Heat Awareness Day), International Tiara Day, Morse Code Day, and National Wig Out Day!

Here are some interesting things that happened on this day in history:

- The future Queen Victoria was born in Kensington Palace, London in 1819.

 - The Pottawatomie Massacre occurred the during the night of May 24th and morning of May 25th, 1856, when John Brown and a group of abolitionist settlers killed five settlers north of Pottawatomie Creek in Franklin County, Kansas, in reaction to the sacking of Lawrence (Kansas) by pro-slavery forces.
- The first documented match of "football" (soccer) was introduced to mainland BC by the Royal Engineers stationed at New Westminster in 1862.
- The Canadian ferry, Princess Victoria, sank near London Ontario in 1881, killing 200.
- The first Victoria Day was observed throughout Canada in 1902. Prime Minister  Wilfrid Laurier designated the holiday to fall on the birthday of Queen Victoria.

- The Canada Elections Act first enfranchised all Canadian women over the age of 21 for federal elections in 1918.
- Prohibition ended in Alberta when the Alberta Liquor Act was amended in 1924. Albertans had chosen to have the liquor trade controlled by the government.
- Marian Engel, first chair of the Writers' Union of Canada, was born in Toronto in 1933.
- With the completion of construction of the Lethbridge Herald Building, the most modern newspaper facility in Western Canada opened in 1952, replacing the old facility that had stood for 42 years.

- A lethal strain of E. Coli bacterium killed a child and 3 adults in Walkerton, Ontario in 2000. By June 1, 5 more had died and 1000 had been made ill from the tainted drinking water.

Stay tuned for our next, "On This Day in History"!

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