On this day in 1958, Signal Hill declared the first National Historic Park in Newfoundland. St. John’s, Newfoundland
“The final battle of the Seven Years’ War in North America was fought in 1762 at the Battle of Signal Hill, in which the French surrendered St. John’s to a British force under the command of Lt. Colonel William Amherst. Lt. Colonel Amherst renamed what was then known as “The Lookout” as “Signal Hill,” because of the signalling that took place upon its summit from its flag mast. Flag communication between land and sea would take place there from the 17th century until 1960.
During the 19th century, Signal Hill was manned specifically during the Napoleonic Wars and the American Civil War. A second construction period in Signal Hill’s history saw the construction of the Queen’s Battery Barracks, which has been completely restored to the period of 1862.
Construction on Cabot Tower began in 1897 to commemorate both Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 and the 400th anniversary of John Cabot’s landfall which took place in 1497. The building was declared officially open in 1900. The practical uses of the building were flag mast signalling and a Marconi wireless station which has since been moved to St. John’s International Airport.
On 12 December 1901, the first transatlantic wireless transmission was received here by Guglielmo Marconi in an abandoned fever and diphtheria hospital, which has since been destroyed by fire. The transmission, in Morse code, originated from his Poldhu Wireless Station, Cornwall, UK.”