On This Day

December 18

maple leaf Today's Canadian Headline...
1988 FRENCH ONLY OUTSIDEQuebec Quebec – Robert Bourassa 1933-1996 passes Bill 178 requiring French only on outside signs; permits bilingual signs inside; exercises Quebec’s constitutional right, Clause 33 of the Charter of Rights, the ‘notwithstanding clause’, to override the Dec. 15 decision of the Supreme Court, striking down sections of Quebec’s Bill 101 requiring that commercial signs be in French only; a decision that called these sections an unreasonable violation of freedom of expression.

Also On This Day...

Pusan Korea – 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, lands at Pusan; first Canadian troops in Korea.


And in Today's Canadian Birthdays...

Brian Orser 1961-
figure skater, born on this day in Belleville, Ontario. Orser started skating at age 6; 1979 Canadian junior champion; 1981 Canadian men’s title, first of seven in a row; 1983 bronze medal at the world championships; 1984 silver medal at Sarajevo Olympics; 1987 gold at World Championship in Cincinnati Ohio, the first Canadian male in 24 years; silver medal at the 1988 Calgary Olympic Games behind American Brian Boitano, losing the famous Battle of the Brians by the smallest of margins; 1988 retired to a professional career after 1988 World Championships, where he won three perfect 6.0s for artistic impression; 1990 won an Emmy for role in Carmen on Ice; has done live commentary on CTV; 1992 covered the Olympics for Macleans magazine; has produced a number of benefit shows, including Skate the Dream (1992, 1994), Rekindle the Flame (1993), Rhapsody in Blue, and The Big Skate with Brian Orser (1995). Check out his official Web page.Also James Dumaresq 1840-1906
architect, born at Sydney, Nova Scotia, in 1840; died at Halifax Dec. 20, 1906. Dumaresq studied at Acadia and started his practice in 1870; work includes the Forrest Building at Dalhousie University, the Pine Hill Library and St Mary’s Girls’ School in Halifax, and the Legislative Buildings in Fredericton.

Also Aaron Allan Edson 1846-1888
artist, born at Standbridge, Quebec in 1846; died at Glen Sutton, Quebec May 01, 1888. Edson studied in the 1860s with Robert Duncanson, an American artist living in Montreal, and in London, England; 1868 founding exhibitor of the Society of Canadian Artists; lived in Cernay-la-Ville, France, in the early 1880s, 1886-87 in London; 1887 settled in the Eastern Townships; landscapes include Sheep in Landscape (1869), and The Coming Storm, Lake Memphremagog (1880).

Also Henrietta Edwards 1849-1931
women’s rights activist, born Henrietta Muir at Montreal in 1849; died at Fort Macleod, Alberta, Nov. 10, 1931. Edwards founded the Working Girls’ Association in 1875 to provide vocational training; edited the journal, Women’s Work in Canada; 1893 helped Lady Aberdeen found the National Council of Women and the Victorian Order of Nurses; one of Alberta’s ‘Famous Five’ in the Persons Case that went before the British Privy Council; author of The Legal Status of Women in Alberta (1921).

Also Wilf Carter 1904-1996
country singer, songwriter, born at Port Hilford, Nova Scotia, on this day in 1904, son of a Baptist minister; died Dec. 5, 1996 in Scottsdale, Arizona at age 91. Carter worked as a logger in the woods of West Leichester, NS; moved to Alberta in the 1920s; worked as a cowboy, CPR trail ride and barn dance entertainer; 1930 made radio debut on Calgary’s CFCN, which hired him to sing on a popular Friday night show, The Old Timers; 1934 recorded ‘My Swiss Moonlight Lullaby’ and ‘The Capture of Albert Johnson’ with RCA Victor in Montreal; became a US radio star using the stage name Montana Slim; 1937 left New York and bought a ranch near Calgary; 1940 seriously injured in a car crash, which stopped live performing until 1949; had a six decade long career live and on radio and TV; 1984 Calgary Stampede parade marshal.

Also Roméo LeBlanc 1927-
journalist, politician, Governor General of Canada, born at L’Anse-aux-Cormiers, Memramcook, New Brunswick in 1927. LeBlanc studied at St Joseph’s University (now University of Moncton) and the Sorbonne; 1950s taught in New Brunswick; 1960 joined Radio-Canada as a journalist; 1967-71 press secretary to Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau; 1971 returned to the University of Moncton as director of public relations; 1972 elected to the House of Commons as a Liberal; 1974 Minister of State for fisheries, overseeing expansion of Canada’s territorial waters to its current 200-mile limit; 1976 first Minister of Fisheries and Environment; 1980 Minister of Fisheries and Oceans; 1982 Minister of Public Works; 1984 called to the Senate by Pierre Trudeau; 1995 appointed Governor General to succeed Ray Hnatyshyn, the first Maritimer and first Canadian of Acadian descent to hold the office.

Also Gratien Lapointe 1931-1983
poet, professor, publisher, born at Sainte-Justine-de-Dorchester, Quebec in 1931; died at Trois-Rivires Sept. 15, 1983. Lapointe studied at the Petit Séminaire de Québec, theécole des arts graphiques in Montréal, l’Université de Montréal, the Collège de France and the Sorbonne; works include Jour malaisé (1953) Otages de la joie (1955), Ode au Saint-Laurent (1963), and, in the 1980s, Arbre-radar, Barbare inou•, Corps et graphies, Corps de l’instant and Le Premier Paysage; taught at Collge militaire royale Saint-Jean and l’Université Québec à Trois-Rivières (1969), while operatingécrits des Forges, a publishing house for poets.

Also Martha Johnson 1950-
singer, songwriter, of Martha and the Muffins, was born on this day in 1950 at Toronto.

Also James Thompson 1960-
speedboat racer, designer, builder of Miss Supertest series of unlimited hydroplane boats; 1959, 1960 and 1961 won the Harmsworth Trophy with Miss Supertest III; 1961 retired from racing when his friend and driver Bob Hayward was killed in the Detroit River Silver Cup.

Also Jeff Nielsen 1972-
NHL centre with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, born on this day at Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

Also Daniel Cleary 1978-
NHL lefwinger with the Chicago Blackhawks, born on this day in 1978 at Carbonear, Newfoundland.

In Other Events…
1997 Ottawa Ontario – Supreme Court of Canada hears arguments of amicus curiae André Joli-Coeur, since the Quebec government had refused to comment on the legality of a unilateral declaration of sovereignty.
1997 Montreal Quebec – Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte says in Le Devoir that it is up to the Quebec people, not the Supreme Court, to choose their own future; in response to protest from English Catholics, he later says his remarks lacked ‘prudence’.
1997 Halifax, Nova Scotia – Nova Scotia government apologizes for 1992 Westray mine explosion that killed 26 miners.
1993 Canada – Grace Hartman dies at age 75; former national president of CUPE, first woman in Canada to lead a major national union.
1992 Halifax, Nova Scotia – John Crosbie cuts groundfish quotas up to 70%; says there are ‘too many plants, too many boats, too many people chasing fish’; National Sea Products to close North Sydney and Lunenburg plants.
1992 Montreal Quebec – Air Canada President Hollis Harris says airline will post record loss of $300 m in 1992; will cut staff by 2,000.
1991 Quebec Quebec – Quebec completes major overhaul of Civil Code, governing all non-criminal law; after 35 years of reform.
1991 New York City – Céline Dion signs a $10 million contract with Sony Music.
1980 Montreal Quebec – Provigo acquires 87 grocery stores from Dominion Stores for $100 million.
1979 Ottawa Ontario – Liberal leader Pierre Trudeau decides to postpone his retirement; will lead he Party back to power in majority win over Conservatives.
1975 Ottawa Ontario – Ottawa abolishes Information Canada, Company of Young Canadians, and Opportunities For Youth program; due to cuts in government spending.
1974 Mississauga Ontario – Peter Demeter sentenced to life imprisonment for hiring unknown person to kill wife Christine and collect $1 million insurance money.
1971 Windsor Ontario – Thieves steal over $1 million from Windsor branch of the Royal Bank; 6 arrested several days later.
1969 Montreal Quebec – FLQ activist Pierre Vallières sentenced to 30 months in prison.
1968 Toronto Ontario – Henry Moore British sculptor donates 400 to 600 of his works to Art Gallery of Ontario.
1968 Cornwall Ontario – St. Regis Mohawks block Seaway International Bridge to protest customs duties on their US purchases; claim exemption under Jay’s Treaty of 1794.
1968 Quebec Quebec – Quebec abolishes its Legislative Council.
1968 Quebec Quebec – Quebec government founds the multi-campus Université du Québec; Quebec’s first public university and its fourth French language institution; includes six constituent universities, in Montreal, Trois-Rivières, Chicoutimi, Rimouski, Hull and Rouyn; two research institutes – the Institut national de la recherche scientifique and the Institut Armand-Frapper in Laval; as well as two superior schools, l’École nationale d’administration publique in Quebec City and l’École de technologie supérieure in Montreal; also Télé-université, which offers distance learning programs.
1954 Montreal Quebec – Canadiens star Maurice Richard gets his 400th career NHL goal in his 690th game.
1946 Bagotville Quebec – Daniel Johnson, père, elected MNA for Bagot; later Quebec Premier.
1946 Lethbridge Alberta – Four German prisoners of war hanged at the Lethbridge Provincial Jail for the murder of fellow prisoner Cpl. Karl Lehmann at the Medicine Hat POW camp in Sept. 1944.
1941 Kowloon, Hong Kong – Japanese troops cross the Lye Mun Passage after dark, in assault boats, landing craft and small boats towed by ferry steamers, to attack Hong Kong island; two platoons of the Winnipeg Grenadiers deployed to seize the hills known as Jardine’s Lookout and Mount Butler where they engaged in intense fighting; heavily outnumbered, they are cut to pieces and both platoon commanders killed; the following day Brigadier Lawson is killed when the Japanese surround his West Brigade headquarters. All British and Canadian forces in Hong Kong will surrender on Christmas Day; Canadians lose 290 dead in battle, with 493 wounded; a total of 557 were killed or later died in Japanese prison camps.
1940 Britain – Munitions Minister Clarence Decatur ‘CD’ Howe 1886-1960 joins 152 other survivors of torpedoed liner ‘Western Prince’ in arriving safely in England.
1901 Indian Head, Saskatchewan – William Richard Motherwell 1860-1943 founds Territorial (later Saskatchewan) Grain Growers’ Association at a meeting in the Indian Head Planing Mill; adopted resolutions dealing with such important matters as the appointment of a warehouse commissioner, loading platforms and car shortages; among those who attended that first convention were: Geo. Brown and G. Spring Rice, Regina; J. A. Brown, Spy Hill; Messrs. Barwell, Stevens, Invarson and McKinnon, Balcarres; H. Dorrell, Moose Jaw; George Lang, Indian Head; D. D. McFarlane, Welwyn; M. Snow, W. Gibson, J. Nix, Wolseley; R. J. Phin, Moosomin; Messrs. Wright and Fitzgerald, Grenfell; W. H. Ellis, J. B. Gordon and R. J. Campbell, Ellisboro; Robert Mills, W. P. Osler, I. Tinnel, Summerberry; Thomas Smith and E. Shaw, Kinlis; R. G. Ward, Firndale; W. M. Tate, Chickney; H. Oldors, Torlie; today a co-op of 75,000 farmers known as United Grain Growers.
1897 Ottawa Ontario – Cabinet creates Geographic Board of Canada by order-in-council.
1893 Toronto Ontario – Robert Machray 1831-1904 elected first Anglican Primate of all Canada; he is Archbishop of Rupertsland.
1892 Quebec Quebec – Louis Taillon replaces de Boucherville as Quebec Premier.
1889 Canso Nova Scotia – CPR telegraph links up with the Atlantic Cable at Canso.
1854 Quebec Quebec – Founding of the Quebec & Saguenay Railroad.
1813 Lewiston New York – John Murray leads 500 British and Canadians in capture of old Fort Niagara from the Americans in the War of 1812; Fort Niagara; captures 300 prisoners; Phineas Riall leads party of Indians in 2 week raid on Manchester, Fort Schlosser, Black Rock and Buffalo.
1792 Quebec Quebec – Jean-Antoine Panet 1751-1815 elected first President of the Lower Canada Assembly, which met in the Bishop’s Palace at the top of Côte de la Montagne; already Speaker; first Quebec elections.
1603 Paris France – Pierre de Monts receives royal letters patent giving him trading rights in the territory north of peninsular Nova Scotia.

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

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