Thursday, December 26, 2013


From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1960--

 January 1: The national nose count, according to the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, adds up to 18,238,000 of us.  Of that number 4.2 million are kids in elementary or high school, 178,991 students are enrolled in vocational schools and 1,002,000 attend universities.

January 2: Paul Sauve, Premier of Quebec, dies in office. The World War Two veteran has served as Premier for only 112 days.

January 12: Oliver Platt is born in Windsor, Ontario. He will grow up to be an actor starring in such films as The Three Musketeers and Bicentennial Man.

January 16: Gordie Howe surpasses Maurice “Rocket” Richard as the leading scorer in NHL history.

February 12: George Elliot Clarke is born in Windsor Plains, Nova Scotia. He will grow up to become an author, poet and playwright who celebrates his African-Canadian heritage. His gripping novel, George and Rue, tells the story of two New Brunswick brothers who murdered a taxi cab driver in 1949.

February 19:  Figure skaters Robert Paul and Barbara Wagner perform flawlessly at  the Olympic Games in Squaw Valley and skate to Olympic gold at the winter games. A minute into their programme they approached the judges and asked to start over because a skip in the record threw them off balance. . All seven judges give the couple first place scores, marking the first time in Olympic history that the gold medal has been awarded to a non-European pair.

February 22: Paul-Emile Borduas has died in Paris of a heart attack at the age of 54. Born in St-Hilaire, Quebec, he was an artist of world renown, known as a member of the Automatiste school of painting.

February 28: Dorothy Hoogstraten is born in Vancouver. She will grow up, change her last name to Stratten and be Playboy magazine’s Playmate of the year for 1980. She will star in two movies before being murdered by her husband at the age of 20. Her life will be made into the movies, Star 80 and Death of a Centrefold. Bryan Adams will pay tribute to her with his songs, Cover Girl and The Best Was Yet to Come.

Voting in a federal election on a reservation in 1960.
March 10: Indians are given the right to vote in federal elections. Most Aboriginals are fearful this is just one more trick to get native Canadians to give up their independent status, granted by Queen Victoria.

March 28: Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario receives its charter. The institution of higher learning will be officially bilingual.

March 29: Pop singer Paul Anka’s Puppy Love hits number one on the Billboard music chart. The smooth, crooning heartthrob hails from Ottawa.

April 4: The CBC launches a new bilingual FM service for listeners in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. It airs weeknights from 7 pm until midnight and from noon to midnight on weekends.

April 14: The Montreal Canadiens beat the Toronto Maple Leafs four games to zip. The Habs skate home with Lord Stanley’s Cup for the fifth year in a row.

April 24: Folks in Winnipeg have something new they to do; they can warm up their television sets and watch CBWFT, the newest station to sign on as part of the Radio-Canada network.

April 28: John Cerutti is born in Albany, New York. He will grow up to pitch for the Toronto Blue Jays. When he retires he will be a sports broadcaster on the CBC and later Rogers Sportsnet.

April 29: Robert J. Sawyer is born in Ottawa. He will grow up to be a Top Ten science fiction writer. His books will include Hominids and Mindscan.

By 1980 we will consume 18 million kilos of Kraft peanut butter a year.
April 30: Kraft peanut butter appears on supermarket shelves for the first time. The bears on the label are Crunchie and Smoothie. Two years from now Kraft peanut butter will be the number one selling peanut butter in Canada and hold that spot for the next 50 years.

Prime Minister Meighen was our ninth Prime Minister.
June 5: Former Prime Minister Arthur Meighen dies at home at the age of 86. Though PM twice in the 1920s he never held a seat in Parliament. He was appointed to the Senate but came back to lead the Tories in 1941. When he lost yet another time, the Right Honourable member retired from politics for good. He will be buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery. Mt. Meighen will be named for him in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia as well an island in the Northwest Territories.

July 9: Seven-year old Roger Woodward is swept over Niagara Falls when the 4-metre aluminum boat he is riding in capsizes. Wearing only a swimsuit and a life preserver, he will miraculously live to tell the tale because he is rescued by the captain of The Maid of the Mist.

July 12: New Brunswickers turf out John Flemming’s Conservatives this election day. The Liberals will form the government in Fredericton for the next decade. Louis Robichaud, the new Acadian premier, is on record as being in favour of making the Picture Province officially bilingual.

July 19: Atom Egoyan is born in Egypt. His family will move to Canada when he is three. He will grow up to become a film maker, best known for Exotica and Where the Truth Lies.

July 25:  It is an age of experimentation. The ten premiers and the Prime Minister will meet for the first time in what will become a regular yearly consultation called The First Ministers Conference.

August 10: Prime Minister John Diefenbaker’s Bill of Rights is given royal assent and becomes law. The eloquently simple document spells out the rights of citizens.

August 25: The six-lane wide Second Narrows Bridge is dedicated in Vancouver. Three years in the building, 18 men lost their lives when the centre span collapsed on June 17, 1958.

The Great Slave Highway will become part of the Yellowknife Highway. The 188-kilometre road will be paved in 2006.
September -- The Great Slave Highway opens, connecting Yellowknife with southern Canada. This important artery is part of the federal government’s $150 million Roads to Resources program.

September – Bilingual York University in Toronto is open for classes for the first time as does the bilingual Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario.

Glen Ivey is host of The Nature of Things. David Suzuki will begin to host the show in 1979.
September – Folks with television sets can warm them up and watch a new show on the CBC called The Nature of Things. Other popular programs broadcast on the people’s network are Don Messer’s Jubilee, Juliette and Front Page Challenge.

September 10: The Halifax International Airport opens. Equipped to handle 180,000 passengers a year, the terminal will expand to accommodate 2.9 million visitors by the end of the century. In 2005 the name will be changed to the R.L. Stanfield International Airport, in honour of former Premier and Leader of the Queen’s Loyal Opposition, Robert Lorne Stanfield.

September 21: David William Smith is born in Milton, Ontario. He will grow up, change his name to David James Elliot and become an actor, starring in TV shows like Street Legal, the Untouchables, Melrose Place, JAG and Close to Home.

September 23: Smokers die sooner than non-smokers says a survey released by the federal Ministry of Health. The startling stats were compiled after studying World War One veterans.

October 6: Maurice “Rocket” Richard’s jersey, the immortal Number 9, is retired by the Montreal Canadiens.

Introduced in World War One, Canada War Bonds will become Canada Savings Bonds in 1946.
October 11: It’s time to buy Canada Savings Bonds. Interest this year is 4.71 percent and the maximum limit has been raised to $10,000 per person.

October 24: Jean Drapeau bests Sarto Fournier at the polls to become Mayor of Montreal. Drapeau had been mayor from 1954 to 1957. His Worship promises clean government and a subway system. The 37-year old visionary will preside over City Hall for 29 years, outlasting nine premiers in Quebec City and seven Prime Ministers in Ottawa.

October 25: Eight women and one man are killed and another 81 people injured when an explosion rips through the Metropolitan Department store in Windsor, Ontario at 2.10 in the afternoon. Investigators will lay the blame on a leaky gas furnace.

November 2: The National Theatre opens in Montreal. Founded by Michel St-Denis, the school offers degrees in French and English. For more than fifty years, the school's alumni are a genuine Who’s Who in the world of performing arts.

November 5: Mack Sennett has died at the age of 80 in his Hollywood Hills, California home. “The King of Comedy” was born in Richmond, Quebec. He moved to Hollywood. He acted but was better known as the founder of the Keystone Studio and producer of more than 1,000 silent films and 25 talkies. He received an Oscar in 1938 for his slaptick comedy technique.

November 27: Prime Minister Diefenbaker attends the 11th annual Grey Cup match at the Empire Stadium in Vancouver.  The Edmonton Eskimos lose the Grey Cup to the Ottawa Rough Riders. The final score is 16 to 6. The game has to be cut short because fans flood the icy field only 41 seconds before the end of the period. Edmonton won't be in another playoff until 1973.

December 6: A Danish teenager is the two-millionth immigrant to arrive in the country since the end of World War Two. One out of every nine people living in Canada today is a post-war immigrant.

December 9: Canadian and Cuban trade officials meet and do business in Ottawa. The $15 million worth of goods that Cuba buys from Canada is expected to jump tenfold now that the Americans have adopted a trade embargo against the Caribbean nation.

December 15: Dorval International Airport has a new name and a $30-million terminal to go with it. The revamped airport is officially opened as a Trans-Canada Air Vanguard touches down on the freshly paved landing field. Dorval is called “the best airport in the world.” Many complain it’s too large to be any good. The airport will be renamed in honour of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in 2004.

Homegrown in 1961, the Rambler Classic 6 Super four-door sedan sells for $2,833 and the Classic 8 Super four-door sedan costs $2,995, fob Brampton, Ontario.

December 24:  Studebaker, Ford, Chrysler and GM all take notice as the first Rambler Classic leaves the new American Motors plant in Brampton, Ontario.  Exactly 11,500 imported Ramblers sell during the 1961 calendar year. Had they been made in Canada in 1960, Rambler would have bumped Ford of Canada's compact Frontenac to third place in the domestic compact car race.

December 31: Clarence Decatur Howe is dead at the age of 74. The second most powerful man in politics, the economic genius earned the nickname of “The Minister of Everything" as he guided the nation through World War Two.  He will be buried in the Mount Royal Cemetery in Montreal. The C.D. Howe think tank will be instituted in his honour.

 The $25 bill was issued in 1935 to mark the Silver Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary. Windsor Palace is engraved on the obverse side.
December 31:  The Bank of Canada reports there are still 46 $25 bills in circulation and 41 $500 bills, even though they were withdrawn years ago.

Built in Oshawa, Ontario, Chevrolet's rear-engined compact Corvair was innovative but not a hit with consumers.

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