Wednesday, January 1, 2014


From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1958--

January 1: A cashier at a Dominion Store in Vancouver earns $65.41 a week. Her counterpart at a Safeway supermarket in Winnipeg earns $50.59 a week. A woman cashier at a Miracle Food Mart in Toronto earns $60.59 weekly and a female cashier at a Steinberg store in Montreal earns $50.16 a week.

Dief the Chief on the campaign trail in Quebec City.
January 12: For the second time in two years, Prime Minister Diefenbaker stumps the Dominion, looking for votes. He outlines his dream of a strong Canada before a crowd of 5,000 in Winnipeg. Among his election promises he pledges $175 million to build roads to the Arctic.

January 16: Lester B. Pearson replaces Louis St. Laurent as leader of the federal Liberal Party.

February 1: The first Native Canadian is appointed to the Senate. The honour goes to James Gladstone, former president of the Indian Association of Alberta. He is 71.

February 6: Lucie Wheeler becomes the first Canadian to win the World Ski Championship, held in Austria. The 23-year old native of St. Jovite, Quebec modestly tells the press, “My skis carried me in the right direction.”

Countries in red show member states in the British Commonwealth.
March 12: Queen Elizabeth II declares the second Monday in March be observed and marked as Commonwealth Day. This replaces the old name of Empire Day—observed in Canada since 1898--as a day to honour the association and friendship of all the member nations in the British Commonwealth.

March 31: John Diefenbaker leads the Progressive Conservatives to the largest landslide in electoral history.

April 3: An Avro Arrow breaks the sound barrier on a test flight at Malton Airport, west of Toronto. The world’s most advanced fighter jet is capable of travelling 2,400 kilometres an hour. The company has spent $200 million to develop the new plane.

April 5: In North America’s largest non-nuclear explosion, Ripple Rock is blown up with 1 247 Metric tonnes (1,375 short tonnes) of Nitramex 2H explosives. Located between Vancouver Island and Quadra Island, the explosion enlarges Seymour Narrows. The twin-peak mountain lays only three metres below the water’s surface. It had sunk 114 vessels and taken 119 lives. The event is broadcast live on the CBC.

April 15: The Queen Elizabeth Hotel opens in Montreal. The elegant landmark is the flagship of the Canadian National Railway and boasts 1,037 first class rooms. Just a few of the distinguished guests who will check in include Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen Mother, Prince Charles, Fidel Castro, Charles de Gaulle, Princess Grace of Monaco, Indira Gandhi, Jacques Chirac, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Mikhail Gorbachev, Jimmy Carter, Henry Kissinger, Perry Como, Joan Crawford, John Travolta, Mikhail Baryshnikov, John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

April 20: The Montreal Canadiens beat the Boston Bruins four games to two. This is the third year in a row that the Habs bring home the Stanley Cup.

May 3: Citizens of Brockville, Ontario are shocked when Giuseppe Cotroni, Rene Martin and Peter Stepanoff drill through the wall of the Brockville Trust and Savings Company Trust in the evening hours to steal $3.75 million worth of cash, bonds and jewellery.

May 4: Famed comedy duo Wayne & Shuster appear on the Ed Sullivan Show in New York City for the first time. The comedians will become one of Ed’s favourites, invited back 66 more times—more than any other act.

May 10: Gaetan Boucher is born in Charlesbourg, Quebec. He will grow up and skate his way to five Olympic medals, setting two world records along the way.

May 12: The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) pact is signed between Canada and the United States. We will come to each other’s defence in time of attack by foreign enemies.

May 22: Lisa Dal Bello is born in Toronto. She will grow up to become a songwriter and recording artist, best known for her single Pretty Girls.

May 25: No longer will a telephone operator say, “Number please” to Torontonians. As of today telephone users may dial direct to long distance locations thanks to a new, state-of-the-art machine called the 4XB that replaces the need for a phone operator.

June 17: Tragedy strikes in Vancouver when the not-quite-completed Second Narrows Bridge collapses, killing 18 workmen and injuring another 20. Design flaw is cited as the reason for the disaster.

June 24: It’s a boy for Claude “Red” Charest and wife Rita. Born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, son Jean will grow up to be a politician. He will be leader of the federal Progressive Conservative Party before stepping down to be the Liberal Premier of Quebec.

July 1: The CBC begins coast-to-coast television transmission. From Victoria to Sydney folks can warm up their Electrohomes and Northern Electrics for live homegrown entertainment. Newfoundland and Labrador will be added next year. At the same time the Trans-Canada Telephone System is operational. The microwave relay network is the longest in the world. State-of-the-art technology permits 2,400 phone calls and two television programmes to be carried across the country at the same time.

Dominion Day: The ten Lost Villages, located near Cornwall, Ontario disappear forever, deliberately flooded by engineers at eight o’clock this morning to make way for the new St. Lawrence Seaway. It takes four days for the communities to be completely submerged.

July 10: US President Dwight D. Eisenhower is in Ottawa to discuss a comprehensive joint defense plan with Prime Minister Diefenbaker. The two leaders agree to undertake joint studies for a continental response in the event of nuclear attack from the Soviet Union.

July 16: The Manitoba Theatre Centre opens in Winnipeg. It plays host to the oldest theatre festival in North America and is the third most attended today.
The practical Volvo Amazon will be rebadged as Canadian and carry special design cues.

July 21: Volvo Canada Limited is incorporated. The Swedish automaker will open an assembly plant in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia in June of 1963.
In 1205 The Royal Mint will honour Terry Fox with a loonie to commemorate his heroism.

July 28: Terrance Stanley Fox is born in Winnipeg. When cancer takes a leg, the inspired teenager will raise money for cancer research by attempting to run across the country. He will start in St. John’s, Newfoundland and rack up 5,373 kilometres on the Marathon of Hope before cancer reaches his lungs. He will die at the age of 23. His legacy will be the annual Terry Fox Run, marked throughout the nation. Terry will be voted the most influential Canadian of the 20th Century.
The Friendly Giant's castle was seen in more than 3,000 episodes of the show. More than 500,000 viewers watch each day.
September 30: Look up. Look w-a-y up! The Friendly Giant debuts on the CBC. Rusty the Rooster and Jerome the Giraffe will help the Friendly Giant entertain generations of kids for more than 3,000 episodes until the show is cancelled in 1985.

September 6: The National Capital Commission is established by the federal government to promote, preserve and protect the land around Ottawa and Hull.

September 11: Poet Robert W. Service is dead at the age of 84. He was world famous for his tales of the Yukon, including his poems the Shooting of Dan McGrew and the Cremation of Sam McGee.

September 16; Jennifer Tilly is born in Los Angeles. She will grow up in British Columbia and become an Oscar-nominated Hollywood star as well as a successful high-stakes poker player.
The PM (third from the right) is in Haines Junction, YT.

September 26: The first Prime Minister to visit the Arctic, John Diefenbaker promises to build roads and infrastructure as he looks for Progressive Conservative votes in Whitehorse.

October 5: The M.V. William Carson docks in Port-aux-Basques, Newfoundland for the first time. Having come from North Sydney, Nova Scotia, the enormous icebreaking ferry holds 260 passengers and 60 automobiles. The 107-metre long ship will strike an iceberg off the coast of Battle Harbour and sink 150 metres to the bottom of the ocean on June 3, 1977.

October 23: Yet another coalmine explosion in Springhill, Nova Scotia brings more sorrow and tragedy to this small Maritime town. This time 74 men are killed in the No. 2 Cumberland mine. The shaft will be sealed shut forever.
The 1958 Mercury Park Lane Phaeton Sedan

November 7: The new “super” Mercury lineup is unveiled at Lincoln-Mercury-Meteor dealers across the land. The “Big M” is nine inches longer than last year’s offering.

November 29: Some 33,000 fans watch as the Hamilton Tiger Cats lose the Grey Cup to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in Vancouver. The final score is 35 to 28. This is the first time the teams have played under the banner of the Canadian Football League, even though the Grey Cup has been the ultimate football prize since 1909.

Christmas Day: Alannah Myles is born in Toronto. She will grow up to become a singer-songwriter, whose recordings will include Love Is, Lover Of Mine, Still Got This Thing, as well as her number one smash hit, Black Velvet.

December 31: We’ve got 639,523 kilometres of highways and byways throughout the country and 4,723,825 are vehicles lawfully registered to operate on them. Cops handed out 2.2 million traffic tickets this year. Citizens in Ontario got 52 percent of all tickets issues throughout the Dominion. Statistics show that 85 percent of all women breaking the Federal Liquor Act are arrested while operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

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