Canton waterfront fire of 1953.
Canton waterfront fire of 1953. (Walter McCardell / Baltimore Sun files)

In 1953, an 18-alarm fire raged through Canton after a worker from Chesapeake Marine Railway Co. at Philpot and Point streets sent a cloud of sparks into 40-mph winds while using an acetylene torch to repair an oil barge. The first six alarms sounded from Kenwood Avenue and Boston Street, then the next six came from Boston Street and Luzerne Avenue. The final series of alarms was pulled at O'Donnell Street and Linwood Avenue. Although the fire was put out in just over two hours, it caused an estimated $2,000,000 in damages. (Walter McCardell, Baltimore Sun photo, 1953)

1621: Miles Standish was named military captain of the Pilgrim colony at Plymouth, Mass.

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1817: A street in Baltimore became the first to be lighted with gas from America's first gas company.

1865: Columbia, S.C., burned as the Confederates evacuated and Union forces moved in. (It's not known which side set the blaze.)

1897: The forerunner of the National PTA, the National Congress of Mothers, was founded in Washington.

1933: Newsweek was first published.

Compiled by Laura Lefavor and Paul McCardell.

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