On This Day

December 09

maple leaf Today's Canadian Headline...
1851 MONTREAL GETS NORTH AMERICA'S FIRST YMCAMontreal Quebec – George Williams opens Young Men’s Christian Association [YMCA] branch; first in North America.

Also On This Day...

Ottawa Ontario – André Laurendeau and Davidson Dunton issue their second Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism Report; recommends more English Canadian children take French language courses. Here’s a portrait of Laurendeau, editor of Le Devoir.


And in Today's Canadian Birthdays...

Rick Danko 1943-
rock singer, bassist, songwriter, born on this day at Simcoe, Ontario in 1943. Danko started off with a high school band called Rick And The Starliners, then moved to Toronto to play in a backup band for Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks. In 1965 The Hawks accompanied Bob Dylan on a world tour, as the Band, and they never looked back. Check out Danko’s bass playing in the Band’s Rag Mama Rag, with more of their music on this great Norwegian Band fan site. Danko is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Here he is with Bob Dylan at the Clinton Inaugural Gala in Washington Jan 17 1993.Also Esteban José Martínez 1742-1798
naval captain, born on this day at Seville, Spain, in 1742; died at Loreto, Mexico, Oct. 28, 1798. Martínez accompanied Juan Hernandez on his 1774 exploratory voyage from San Blas, Mexico, to the Queen Charlotte Islands and Nootka Sound; 1778 examined Russian fur-trading posts in the Aleutian Islands, and learned that they planned to build a post at Nootka; 1789 sent to build a post at Nootka by Mexican Viceroy Flórez; found John Meares and his British fur traders already there; seized their ships and crews and built a summer military post to control the territory. Meares demanded compensation; after 5 years of the Nootka Sound Controversy, Spain and Britain signed the third Nootka Convention of Jan. 11, 1794, recognizing each other’s rights of trade at Nootka Sound.

Also John Inglis 1777-1850
Anglican minister, bishop, born on this day at New York City in 1777; died at London, England Oct. 27, 1850. Inglis was the son of Charles Inglis, the Church of England’s first bishop of Nova Scotia; 1802 ordained after studying at King’s College, Windsor; 1825 bishop of Nova Scotia, PEI, Newfoundland and Bermuda (until 1839), and New Brunswick (until 1845).

Also François-Louis Lessard 1860-1927
soldier, born on this day at Quebec City in 1860; died at Meadowvale, Ontario, Aug. 07, 1927. Lessard joined the Quebec Garrison Artillery in 1880; 1885 served in the North West Rebellion as Lt in the Cavalry School Corps; 1899 Lt-Col of the Corps; volunteered for service in the South African War and given command of the 1st Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles (Royal Canadian Dragoons); 1912 promoted Maj.-Gen., but Minister of Militia Sam Hughes would not give him World War I command overseas; 1914 Inspector General for eastern Canada and CO of Halifax; 1918 restored order in Quebec City after conscription riots.

Also George Blewett 1873-1912
philosopher, professor, born on this day at St Thomas, Ontario, in 1873; died at Go Home Bay, Ontario, Aug. 15, 1912. Blewett taught at Victoria College, University of Toronto 1906-12; author of The Study of Nature and The Vision of God (1907) and The Christian View of the World (1912).

Also Jean-Olivier Chénier 1873-1912
MD, rebel, born on this day at Lachine, Quebec, in 1806; killed in combat at St-Eustache, Quebec, Dec. 14, 1837. Chénier started practicing medicine in 1828 at St-Benoît [today’s Mirabel]; 1836 moved to St-Eustache; 1836-37 took active role in Patriote assemblies, which called for popular elections and the boycott of British goods; 1837 organized the St-Eustache camp of the Patriotes du Nord; killed during battle with the British regulars under the command of Sir John Colborne.

Also Berton Churchill 1876-1940
stage and film actor, was born on this day in 1876 at Toronto, Ontario; died Oct. 10 1940 in New York. Churchill played in almost 140 B movies in the 1930s and 1940s.

Also Laura Salverson 1890-1970
novelist, born Laura Goodman at Winnipeg in 1890, daughter of Icelandic immigrants; died at Toronto July 13, 1970. Salverson married George Salverson in 1913; novels include The Viking Heart (1923), When Sparrows Fall (1925), Johann Lind (1928) and The Dark Weaver (1937, Governor General’s Award); her autobiography, Confessions of an Immigrant’s Daughter (1939), also won the Governor General’s Award.

Also Eugene Brosseau 1895-1968
boxer, born on this day in 1895. Brosseau won his first Canadian amateur boxing title at age 20; 1916 took both Canadian and US title; 1917 won middleweight title; 1919 partially paralyzed by a blow to the neck; won 24 out of 27 matches, with 17 knockouts.

Also Gordon Fisher 1928-1985
publisher, born at Montreal in 1928; died at Toronto Aug. 08, 1985. Fisher studied engineering at McGill; built his family’s Southam Inc. into one of the largest newspaper chains in Canada; diversified into broadcast media and printing.

Also Christopher Pratt 1935-
painter, printmaker, born at St John’s, Nfld. in 1935. Pratt studied at the Glasgow School of Art (1957-59) and at Mount Allison (1959-61, with Alex Colville); 1961 taught at Memorial University; 1963 full time painter; husband of artist Mary Pratt.

Also Dana Murzyn 1966-
NHL defenseman, born at Regina, Saskatchewan, in 1966; selected as an underage junior by the Hartford Whalers in the first round (fifth pick overall) of the 1985 NHL Entry Draft; traded by the Calgary Flames to the Vancouver Canucks for Ron Stern, Kevan Guy and future considerations on March 5, 1991.

In Other Events…
1990 Ottawa Ontario – Pope John Paul canonizes Marie-Marguérite d’Youville, founder, in 1755, of the Sisters of Charity of the Hôpital Général (Soeurs grises or Grey Nuns); born Marie-Marguérite Dufrost de La Jemmerais at Varennes, Quebec, Oct. 15, 1701; educated by the Ursulines of Quebec; died in Montreal Dec. 23, 1771.
1979 Ottawa Ontario – Finance Minister John Crosbie introduces ‘tough’ budget (‘no pain, no gain’); leads to Clark ministry’s defeat in the House.
1977 Montreal Quebec – Canadair Ltd. wins $100 million contract to build components for Lockheed Aurora and P-3C planes.
1977 Labrador – Executive jet crashes in Labrador, killing eight people, including four executives of Churchill Falls Corp.
1973 Toronto Ontario – The Royal Canadian Air Farce first airs on CBC Radio.
1973 Montreal Quebec – Official opening of Place Radio-Canada.
1972 NWT – Martin Hartwell found alive 32 days after his bush plane crashed in the Arctic; 3 passengers died in crash.
1971 Montreal Quebec – Montreal subway trains collide, killing one passenger and destroying 36 Metro cars.
1963 Hamilton Ontario – Studebaker Corp. announces plan to move car plant from South Bend, Indiana to Hamilton.
1957 Oslo Norway – Canada’s Lester B. Pearson accepts the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo; awarded for his work in setting up the UN peacekeeping force used in Suez.
1956 BC – Trans Canada Air Lines plane crashes on Mt. Selesse, BC, killing 62 people.
1955 Montreal Quebec – Mob of almost 3,000 demonstrates against higher transit fares; rioting causes $100,000 in damage to city buses and streetcars.
1953 Montreal Quebec – Montreal Canadiens (with 106) and Toronto Maple Leafs (with 98) amass 204 penalty minutes in an NHL game.
1950 Ottawa Ontario – Canada suspends export permits for Korea, China, Hong Kong, and Macao.
1947 Lethbridge Alberta – Lethbridge woman and her 13 year old daughter return home after being trapped in Bulgaria with relatives since 1938; unable to leave when war erupted in 1939; Communist government refused to let her leave in 1945.
1944 Montreal Quebec – Victor Barbeau and others found the Académie canadienne-française; changed its name to the Académie québécoise in 1992.
1944 Fort McMurray, Alberta – Abasand Oils Ltd. refinery completed; starts operating on Dec. 16; Bituminous Sands Permit No. 1 originally granted to Max Ball and associates’ Canadian Northern Oil Company in 1930.
1943 Moro River Italy – Canadian troops cross Moro River; push through San Leonardo towards Ortona; open bloody new campaign.
1941 Whitby Ontario – British Special Operations Executive (SOE) opens Camp X (STS – Special Training School – 103) as a special school for spies and special operatives, mostly Canadians or Americans; SOE also operates Hydra station, to handle top-secret British transatlantic radio intelligence; closes in 1943; James Bond author Ian Fleming one of the graduates.
1941 Hong Kong – Japanese ground forces attack across the frontier of the New Territories; capture the key position of Shing Mun Redoubt; D Company of The Winnipeg Grenadiers dispatched to the mainland to strengthen this sector.
1941 Victoria BC – John Hart sworn in as BC Premier, replacing Thomas Dufferin Patullo, in power since Nov. 15, 1933.
1941 BC – Fear of Japanese invasion spreads on west coast; government orders blackouts; closes Japanese-Canadian newspapers, schools.
1939 Winnipeg Manitoba – Arthur Meighen officially resigns as leader of the Conservative Party at a convention; replaced on Dec. 11 by John Bracken.
1939 Toronto Ontario – Winnipeg Blue Bombers beat Ottawa Rough Riders, 8-7, to win the 27th Grey Cup game.
1939 Quebec Quebec – Quebec adopts a new coat of arms and the motto, ‘Je me souviens’ [I Remember].
1936 Ottawa Ontario – Canada told that King Edward VIII 1894-1972 intends to abdicate; he is assisted by his financial advisor, Torontonian Sir Edward Peacock.
1933 Toronto Ontario – Toronto Argonauts beat Sarnia Imperials, 4-3, to win the 21st Grey Cup game.
1926 Ottawa Ontario – First session of 16th Parliament meets until April 17, 1927; will establish the Department of National Revenue; system of old age pensions.
1916 Revelstoke BC – Canadian Pacific inaugurates the 8 km long Connaught Tunnel through Macdonald Mountain in the Selkirk Range, eliminating the old climb over Rogers Pass and 8 km of snowsheds that protected the main CPR line from frequent avalanches caused by up to 15 metres of snow each winter; Canada’s longest rail tunnel took two years to blast, and cost $2 million.
1908 Toronto Ontario – Standard Stock and Mining Exchange sets up a clearing house; later absorbed by TSE.
1880 Ottawa Ontario – Opening of the 3rd Session of the 4th Parliament of Canada.
1878 Winnipeg Manitoba – First St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba railway train arrives at Winnipeg late this evening after 30 hour trip from St. Paul, Minnesota; end of Kitson’s Red River Transportation Company stern wheelers.
1862 Montreal Quebec – Numismatic Society of Montreal founded; Canada’s first coin club; Adélard Boucher named first president.
1858 Toronto Ontario – Robert Baldwin dies; attained responsible government with Louis LaFontaine in their Great Ministry of 1848-1851.
1843 Lennoxville Quebec – George Mountain 1789-1863 founds Bishop’s University at Lennoxville, as a liberal arts college; Anglican Bishop of Montreal.
1757 Quebec Quebec – Famine in New France due to a poor harvest causes the inhabitants to butcher their horses.
1755 Halifax, Nova Scotia – First post office in Canada opens, along with subsidized direct mail communication with Great Britain by ship; origin of Cunard Line.
1657 Trois-Rivières, Quebec – The Jesuit Relations reports that on this day in Three Rivers, ‘M. de la Poterie opened an establishment where wine was sold to the Natives: two pots for a winter beaver and one pot for a summer beaver. And since the troubles were not resolved by these means, people complained about the existence of the establishment, to the extent that M. de La Poterie was forced to send to Quebec for the will of the Governor regarding said establishment. The Governor concluded that it should not remain opened, but he did not force him to close it down’.

Today in Canadian History is written, compiled, edited and produced by Ottawa Researchers © 1984-2002.


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