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John’s Believe It Or Not… June 1st

In 1876 – Opening of The Military College of Canada in Kingston. In 1938 – Toronto-born cartoonist Joe Shuster creates Superman comic book. In 1980 CNN launches. In 1958 De Gaulle reassumes French leadership. In 1990 Superpowers to destroy chemical weapons.

John Fioravanti Stands at the front of his classroom in 2006

It’s Therapeutic Thursday! Did you know…

* 1876 – Opening of The Military College of Canada in Kingston. (The Royal Military College of Canada commonly abbreviated as RMCC or RMC, is the military college of the Canadian Armed Forces and is a degree-granting university training military officers. RMC was established in 1876 and is the only federal institution in Canada with degree-granting powers. The Royal Military College of Canada Degrees Act, 1959 empowers the College to confer degrees in arts, science, and engineering. Programs are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels both on campus as well as through the College’s distance learning program via the Division of Continuing Studies. Located on Point Frederick, a 41-hectare (101-acre) peninsula in Kingston, Ontario, the college is a blend of older, historic buildings, as well as more modern academic, athletic, and dormitory facilities. Officer cadets of the Royal Military College of Canada are trained in what are known as the “four pillars” of academics, officership, athletics, and bilingualism.)

Members of the graduation class of Royal Military College of Canada stand in the square at RMC during graduating ceremony in Kingston, Ont.,
Members of the graduation class of Royal Military College of Canada stand in the square at RMC during graduating ceremony in Kingston, Ont., (CTV News)

* 1938 – Toronto-born cartoonist Joe Shuster creates Superman comic book. (Joe Shuster, cartoonist (born 10 July 1914 in Toronto, ON; died 30 July 1992 in Los Angeles, California). In 1933, along with writer Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster created the Superman comic book character. In the original version, Superman’s mild-mannered alter ego, Clark Kent, worked for the Daily Star, which was patterned after the Toronto Star. The newspaper’s name in the strip was changed later to The Daily Planet. Shuster, first cousin of comedian Frank Shuster (see Wayne and Shuster), moved to Cleveland, Ohio, with his family when he was nine years old. He studied art at John Huntington Polytechnical Institute and the Cleveland School of Art, where he met his collaborator, Siegel. The pair began publishing science fiction magazines and in 1936 broke into the comic book business by drawing lackluster adventure tales. Shuster’s illustrations were rudimentary but well conceived. In 1938, the duo sold Superman for $130 to Action Comics but failed to copyright the character. They were paid to draw the series as staffers until 1947 when the Man of Steel became the most famous hero in comic book history. When they sued for a more equitable percentage of royalties, they were fired and Shuster stopped drawing completely. By the mid-1970s he was blind and living in an apartment in Queens, NY. When the first Superman movie, starring Christopher Reeve, made $82.5 million, Siegel sued, and DC comics restored their creators’ credits and agreed to pay each of them $20,000 a year for life.)

The very first Superman comic book from June 1938.
The very first Superman comic book from June 1938. (Windsor Star)

* 1980 CNN launches. (On this day in 1980, CNN (Cable News Network), the world’s first 24-hour television news network, makes its debut. The network signed on at 6 p.m. EST from its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, with a lead story about the attempted assassination of civil rights leader Vernon Jordan. CNN went on to change the notion that news could only be reported at fixed times throughout the day. At the time of CNN’s launch, TV news was dominated by three major networks–ABC, CBS and NBC–and their nightly 30-minute broadcasts. Initially available in less than two million U.S. homes, today CNN is seen in more than 89 million American households and over 160 million homes internationally. CNN was the brainchild of Robert “Ted” Turner, a colorful, outspoken businessman dubbed the “Mouth of the South.” Turner was born on November 19, 1938, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and as a child moved with his family to Georgia, where his father ran a successful billboard advertising company. After his father committed suicide in 1963, Turner took over the business and expanded it. In 1970, he bought a failing Atlanta TV station that broadcast old movies and network reruns and within a few years Turner had transformed it into a “superstation,” a concept he pioneered, in which the station was beamed by satellite into homes across the country. Turner later bought the Atlanta Braves baseball team and the Atlanta Hawks basketball team and aired their games on his network, TBS (Turner Broadcasting System). In its first years of operation, CNN lost money and was ridiculed as the Chicken Noodle Network. However, Turner continued to invest in building up the network’s news bureaus around the world and in 1983, he bought Satellite News Channel, owned in part by ABC, and thereby eliminated CNN’s main competitor. CNN eventually came to be known for covering live events around the world as they happened, often beating the major networks to the punch. The network gained significant traction with its live coverage of the Persian Gulf War in 1991 and the network’s audience grew along with the increasing popularity of cable television during the 1990s. In 1996, CNN merged with Time Warner, which merged with America Online four years later. Today, Ted Turner is an environmentalist and peace activist whose philanthropic efforts include a 1997 gift of $1 billion to the United Nations.)

On June 1, 1980, Turner launched CNN
On June 1, 1980, Turner launched CNN (

* 1958 De Gaulle reassumes French leadership. (During a French political crisis over the military and civilian revolt in Algeria, Charles de Gaulle is called out of retirement to head a new emergency government. Considered the only leader of sufficient strength and stature to deal with the perilous situation, the former war hero was made the virtual dictator of France, with power to rule by decree for six months. A veteran of World War I, de Gaulle unsuccessfully petitioned his country to modernize its armed forces in the years before the outbreak of World War II. After French Premier Henri Petain signed an armistice with Nazi Germany in June 1940, de Gaulle fled to London, where he organized the Free French forces and rallied French colonies to the Allied cause. His forces fought successfully in North Africa, and in June 1944 he was named the head of the French government in exile. On August 26, following the Allied invasion of France, de Gaulle entered Paris in triumph and in November was unanimously elected provisional president of France. He resigned two months later, claiming he lacked sufficient governing power. He formed a new political party that had only moderate electoral success, and in 1953 he retired. However, five years later, in May 1958, the Algerian revolt created a political crisis in France, and he was called out of retirement to lead the nation. A new constitution was passed, and in late December he was elected president of the Fifth Republic. During the next decade, President de Gaulle granted independence to Algeria and attempted to restore France to its former international stature by withdrawing from the U.S.-dominated NATO alliance and promoting the development of French atomic weapons. However, student demonstrations and workers’ strikes in 1968 eroded his popular support, and in 1969 his proposals for further constitutional reform were defeated in a national vote. On April 28, 1969, Charles de Gaulle, at 79 years old, retired permanently. He died the following year.)

Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970) French General and first President of The Fifth Republic.
Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970) French General and first President of The Fifth Republic. (

* 1990 Superpowers to destroy chemical weapons. (At a superpowers summit meeting in Washington, D.C., U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev sign a historic agreement to end production of chemical weapons and begin the destruction of both nations’ sizable reserves of them. According to the agreement, on-site inspectors from both countries would observe the destruction process. The treaty, which called for an 80 percent reduction of their chemical weapon arsenals, was part of an effort to create a climate of change that would discourage smaller nations from stockpiling and using the lethal weapons. First developed during World War I, most countries in the world were in possession of the technology needed to build chemical weapons by 1990, and some, such as Iraq, had engaged in chemical warfare in preceding years. The United States and Russia began destroying their chemical weapons arsenals in the early 1990s. In 1993, the U.S., Russia, and 150 other nations signed a comprehensive treaty banning chemical weapons. The U.S. Senate ratified the treaty in 1997.)

The U.S. cargo ship Cape Ray in Portsmouth, Va. Destroying Syrian chemical weapons agents
The U.S. cargo ship Cape Ray in Portsmouth, Va. Destroying Syrian chemical weapons agents (Articles From The latimes – Los Angeles Times)

Acknowledged Sources:

* Canadian History Timeline – Canada’s Historical Chronology

* This Day In History – What Happened Today

* Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia 


Author: John Fioravanti

I'm a retired History teacher (35 years), husband, father of three, grandfather of three. My wife, Anne, and I became business partners in December 2013 and launched our own publishing company, Fiora Books (, to publish my books. We have been married since 1973 and hope our joint business venture will be as successful as our marriage.

14 thoughts on “John’s Believe It Or Not… June 1st”

    1. I think some kids have had dry and boring history classes where the emphasis was on memorizing dates. Once you understand the nature of historical study it becomes fascinating. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jennie!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thanks for the wide coverage, John. I especially like the discussion of Communist News Network (CNN). Ted and Jane pretty much dictated the angle of stories. (You remember Hanoi Jane, don’t you?) Also enjoyed the Superman story. Too bad about the royalty issues. Thanks, Again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CNN wasn’t available in Canada for a while – I first remember it from the coverage of the Gulf War. Thanks for commenting, Mr. John!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It is interesting – and I didn’t know that either until I put that together. As a kid, I remember watching his cousin, Frank Shuster, on TV doing his comedy routine. Thanks for your comment, Robbie!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoy these posts, John. I feel like I always learn something new.

    I read recently that Superman was originally conceived to be a villain, but then the creators went the other way with him (thank goodness). Do you know whether there’s any truth to that?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Staci, I’m glad you enjoy them. Yes, you are correct about Superman. In 1933, Gerry Siegel wrote a short story “The Reign of the Superman” (illustrated by Shuster) where a vagrant acquired superpowers temporarily and used them for his own amusement (not for good) – then became a vagrant again. That story went nowhere, so the duo decided to create a hero Superman in comic book form in early 1934. That character went through several transformations until they settled on the Superman we know and love. Thanks for the question, Staci!

      Liked by 2 people

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