Today in History: June 21st

1990: An 7.7 magnitude earthquake in Iran kills more than 50,000 and injures another 135,000 people. An estimated 400,000 people were left homeless by the earthquake. Worldwide relief efforts are undertaken, but the Iranian government refuses help from Israel and South Africa. Many relief workers from western nations are sent home after a brief time and before critical assistance can be provided.

1977: A fire at a police lockup at City Hall in Saint John, New Brunswick, kills 21 prisoners and injures seven others, as well as six police officers and a fireman. A prisoner, John Kenney, is later convicted of arson and sentenced to five years in jail.

1957: John Diefenbaker is sworn in as Canada’s first Conservative Prime Minister in 22 years, replacing Louis St. Laurent. He serves as Prime Minister until April 1963.

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