Saturday, February 15, 2014


From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1946--

 New on the automotive scene for 1946 is the Monarch. The four-door sedan costs $1,526 f.o.b Windsor, Ontario. Sold by Ford dealers, Monarch will rack up 3,858 sales during the calendar year.

January 14: The first post-war Ford is built in Windsor, Ontario now that the bitter 99-day strike is over. A new dealer network is announced: Lincoln and Mercury will be sold through one while Ford and a new, Canada-only passenger car, the Monarch, will be sold through the other. Monarch is slotted between Mercury and Lincoln on the Ford company's ladder. This doubles the company’s presence throughout the Dominion.

January 15: It is the birth date of Veronica Tennant who will grow up to be the prima ballerina at the National Ballet of Canada.

January 21: The world’s fastest schooner, the Bluenose, strikes a reef and sinks off the coast of Haiti. The America Cup winner has been immortalized on the back of our dime since 1937.

January 22: Serge Savard is born in Montreal and hockey will run through his blood. “The Senator” will spend 17 years with the Canadiens and three more with the Winnipeg Jets before retiring in 1983.

January 29, Supreme Court Justice Ivan Rand rules that while Ford employees may not have a closed shop union, all workers must pay union dues since they benefit from the UAW’s efforts on their behalf.

February 6: Kate McGarrigle is born in Saint-Sauveur-des-Monts, Quebec. She will grow up to become a folk singer and songwriter. Her duo act with sister Anna will be unforgettable. Kate will give birth to music stars Rufus Wainright and Martha Wainright.

February 15: In light of startling information about Soviet spies in Canada, Mounties are already arresting Canadians who have passed secrets to the Soviets. Prime Minister Mackenzie King orders a royal commission to gather all the facts.

March 4: The SS Empire Brent docks in Halifax Harbour. Aboard are 800 war brides, ready to begin their new life in Canada. Yesterday 1,046 war brides arrived, and last Friday another 800 disembarked. One out of every five bachelor Canadian soldiers married overseas during World War Two.

March 16: Two boys out playing on Hamilton Mountain discover human remains. The arms, legs and head appear to have been sawn off. Identified as streetcar conductor John Dick, a police investigation will lead to his beautiful and estranged wife, Evelyn. She will be acquitted of the grisly murder but convicted of manslaughter when police find the couple’s mummified baby boy buried in cement in a suitcase. After serving 11 years, she will be released from prison and disappear. The movie Torso will tell the lurid tale in 2002 and a film noir musical Black Widow will be released in 2005.

March 20: Ford announces a new line of Mercury trucks. They are for Canada only and will be sold through Lincoln-Mercury dealers.

March 23: The nation’s 750 Ford dealers take the wraps off the sparkling new Monarch automobile. The posh companion car is most welcome since the Mercury-Lincoln dealer body stand alone, now.

March 29: The Royal Commission on Espionage releases its third interim report. It names Canadians who have been involved in spying on Canada for the Soviet Union.

March 30: Ira Thompson of Truro, Nova Scotia closes his blacksmith and horeshoeing shop. He has been in the business for 55 years.

April 2: Kurt Winter is born. When he grows up he will be the guitarist for The Guess Who. He will die of kidney failure in 1997 at the age of 51.

The Al-Can Highway will be completely paved in 1992.
April 3: Ottawa cuts a cheque for $108 million. We now own the 1,966-kilometre stretch of the Al-Can, a.k.a. the Alaska Highway that runs through British Columbia and the Yukon. Included in the deal are the buildings, airports and telephone lines, too. The gravel military road starts in Dawson Creek, British Columbia ends in Fairbanks, Alaska. Built in eight months by 37,000 workers in 1942, the supply route was a vital overland link should the Imperial Japanese army invade of Alaska.

April 3: Richard George Manuel is born in Stratford, Ontario. He will grow up to be a rock star, singing, playing keyboards and drums with the great ones until he hangs himself in a motel room on October 28, 1986.

April 9: The Boston Bruins give up their chance for the Stanley Cup in the fifth game against the Montreal Canadiens.

April 12: Lord Athlone steps down as our 16th Governor General. The King’s representative in Ottawa will be Sir Harold Alexander, the First Earl Alexander of Tunis . The military genius is a popular choice among Canadians.

April 18: Alexander “Skip” Spence is born in Windsor, Ontario. He will grow up to be a
rock singer, guitarist and drummer for Jefferson Airplane and Moby Grape. He will be diagnosed with schizophrenia and die of lung cancer on April 16, 1999, two days shy of his 53rd birthday.

April 28: Ginette Reno is born in Montreal. Her beautiful singing voice will make her a much loved pop idol and she will move to the silver screen with roles in the Laura Cadieux movies and Mambo Italiano.

His Majesty's Royal  Canadian Post Office will issue this stamp next year to commemorate our citizenship as Canadians.
May 14: Parliament passes the Canadian Citizenship Act. When it comes into effect next year, we will no longer be “Britons born abroad.” We will still be loyal subjects of His Majesty but we will be Canadians first, citizens of an independent state and no longer a British colony.

June 13: The Canadian Library Association is chartered today at a gathering in Ottawa.

June 17: A little after six o’clock in the evening a tornado with a force of F4 skips across the Detroit River and roars into Windsor, Ontario, destroying everything in its 30-metre wide path. There are 17 dead and damage is estimated at more than $10 million. Ironically, another deadly twister will take the same path again in 1974.

 June 21: Gordon Macdonald arrives in St. John's to serve as Newfoundland's last 
Governor. The 1st Baron Macdonald of Gwaenysgor, will return to the UK in 1949 when Newfoundland joins Canada in confederation.

The twin towns of Fort Frances, Ontario and International Falls, Minnesota will become the fictitious town of Frostbite Falls when the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon series appears on TV in 1959.
June 25: An F3 tornado strikes International Falls, Minnesota and Fort Frances, Ontario.

July 10: It is the birth date of Roger Abbott. He will grow up in Montreal and as a budding comic he will “enlist” in The Royal Canadian Air Farce in 1973. For 40 years he will make millions laugh at his sidesplitting impressions of Prime Minister Chretien and US President George W. Bush on CBC Radio and CBC Television. The comedian will die of leukemia in 2011.

July 16: There is violence on the picket line at the Stelco plant in Hamilton, Ontario. Workers want union recognition, a rise in wages and they want the workweek cut from 48 to 40 hours. Stelco responds with some 300 thugs with painted black faces who attack the strikers with chains, pipes and pick handles.

August: The 2-millionth Canadian built Ford rolls out the factory doors.

August 3: A deal is struck with Britain to purchase vast amounts of our wheat. Farmers aren’t happy; they will be paid a sum well below world market prices.

September 11: The National Convention opens in St. John’s, Newfoundland to determine the future of the government. Most delegates are anxious to return to self-governing Dominion status that was lost in 1933 when the country went bankrupt and reverted to colonial rule  from London.

October 14: The war is over. War Savings Bonds give way to the very first Canada Savings Bonds. They are available in $50, $100 and $500 denominations and carry an interest rate of 2.75 percent.

October 28: Delegates in St. John’s are shocked when Joseph R. Smallwood proposes the National Convention send delegates to Ottawa to find out what the terms and conditions might be if Newfoundland and Labrador were to join Canada.

1,029,510 brave men and women went to war for King and Empire and 30,808 gave their lives to keep Canada free.
November 25: The war interrupted their studies but now 35,000 veterans have enroled in the country’s 29 universities.

November 30: The Governor General kicks the opening ball at the 36th Grey Cup match. In front of 18,960 fans the Toronto Argonauts whip the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 28 to 6 to claim victory at the end of the day.

November 30: The National War Labour Board is disbanded. The economy is stable and Ottawa will permit unions and the private sector to negotiate wages and working conditions without federal interference.

Workers build 79,657 haulers this year including GM Canada's Maple Leaf trucks.
December 4: The City of Toronto retires the last 25 Clydesdales used to haul garbage. The draft horses are replaced with trucks.

December 6: Max Ferguson begins his broadcasting career. He starts as a staff announcer at CBH in Halifax. Known and loved by millions of listeners from coast to coast, the brilliant comic will entertain us on the CBC for nearly 52 years, signing off for the last time on September 5, 1998. Max will die in 2013 at the age of 89.

Eugene Levy speaks to the graduating class of 2012.
December 17: Eugene Levy is born in Hamilton, Ontario. He will grow up to be a standup comic and an actor. He will star in SCTV and many Hollywood flicks including American Pie, Splash and Cheaper by the Dozen 2.

The 1946 Dodge Special Deluxe Coupe sells for $1,464 f.o.b Windsor, Ontario. Dealers sold 8.624 Dodge passenger cars throughout the Dominion during calendar 1946.

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