Monday, February 10, 2014


  From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1949-

January 15: An RCAF Northstar DC-4 flies the Great Circle route across the Arctic from Vancouver to Halifax. This marks the first non-stop flight across the Dominion. The trip takes eight-and-a-half hours, covers 4,630 kilometres and shows both the Americans and the Soviets that the Canadian military can and will look after our own back yard.

January 24: Guy Charron is born in Verdun, Quebec. He will grow up to play for the Montreal Canadiens, the Detroit Red Wings, the Kansas City Scouts and the Washington Capitols before hanging up his skates in 1981.

February 1: The Saskatchewan Power Corporation is created. The new crown corporation is responsible for generating, transmitting and selling hydro-electricity throughout the province.

The Johns-Mansville mine in Asbestos, Quebec will close in 2011.

February 14: Some 5,000 asbestos miners walk out in a wildcat strike against employer Johns-Mansville in the town of Asbestos, Quebec. Those walking the lines want to earn $1 an hour, have two weeks’ paid holidays, a significant reduction in asbestos dust in the factories and arbitration according to the Rand Formula. Management thinks the requests are ridiculous and Premier Maurice Duplessis declares the strike to be illegal.

February 23: Marc Garneau is born in Quebec City. He will grow up to be a Captain in the Royal Canadian Navy and the first Canadian to blast off into outer space in 1984. Marc will be elected to Parliament in 2008.

March 10: Aviator Eric Blackwood of Brookfield, Bonavista Bay, Newfoundland founds Eastern Provincial Airways. EPA will start modestly, taking to the skies with a single Twin Cessna 50. Eric will sell his hugely successful airline to Canadian Pacific in 1984 and the EPA name will fade into history two years later.

March 11: Delegates from Canada are in Brussels along with counterparts from the UK, the US, Belgium, France, Holland, Luxembourg and Norway to write the North Atlantic Security Treaty. This pact will lead to the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, better known as NATO. 

March 16: Victor Joseph Garber is born in London, Ontario. He will grow up to become a singer and actor. He will star as Jesus in Godspell and John Wilkes Booth in Assassins but he is best known for his role as Jack Bristow in the TV series, Alias.

Joseph R. Smallwood signs the agreement that makes Newfoundland and Labrador part of Canada. Smallwood will be the province's first premier.
March 31: A full 82 years after refusing to join New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario in Confederation, the British colony of Newfoundland and Labrador becomes part of Canada. Home to the largest and richest fish stocks in the world the once-independent Dominion becomes Canada’s tenth province.

The March of Dimes launches its first Easter Seals campaign in Sydney, Nova Scotia. The rest of the province will join the cause in 1952.
April 1: Polio sweeps the nation. No one   anywhere seems to be immune from this crippling disease. The Ontario Ministry of Health quarantines victims living in Toronto.

April 4: The North American Treaty Organization is a new military alliance created to thwart Soviet plans to dominate the world. Lester B. Pearson, Minister of External Affairs, inks the deal in Washington, DC, making Canada a charter member of NATO.

April 16: The Toronto Maple Leafs shut out the Detroit Red Wings to earn Lord Stanley’s Cup. This is the second year in a row that the Leafs have beaten the Red Wings and it's the third consecutive Stanley Cup win for Toronto.

Toller Cranston will be the most influential skater of the Twentieth Century.
April 20: Toller Shalitoe Montague Cranston is born in Hamilton, Ontario. He will grow up in Kirkland Lake and be the Canadian national figure skating champion from 1971 to 1976. He will earn bronze at the 1974 and 1976 Olympics and become World Professional Champion in 1988. His autobiography, When Hell Freezes Over Should I Bring My Skates? will be published in 2000.

April 28: The British Empire is a thing of the past as King George VI signs the London Declaration, creating the British Commonwealth of Nations.  There will be 53 member nations in 2008.

May 5: Some 5,000 striking workers at the Johns-Manville plant in Asbestos, Quebec go on a rampage throughout the sleepy Eastern Townships village when they learn that management has hired scab workers.  Homes are trashed and people are beaten. Premier Duplessis sends 400 heavily armed police who arrest hundreds of men. This is the worst strike in Quebec history. The Archbishop of Quebec will step in to arbitrate and finally put an end to the bloody strike on July 1st.

May 18: Bill Wallace is born in Winnipeg. He will grow up to be a musician playing base and singing for The Guess Who. He will write classic rock hits such as Bus Rider, Hand Me Down World, Clap for the Wolfman, Road Food and Follow Your Daughter Home.

May 18: A full 18 percent of the citizens of Windsor, Ontario are members of the United Auto Workers. Chrysler and Ford have their national headquarters Canada’s southwestern city.
Dave Thomas will be best known for his Doug Mackenzie character on SCTV.

May 20:  It’s a boy for John and Moreen Thomas of St. Catherines, Ontario. Dave will grow up to become an Emmy and Juno-winning actor who will star in many movies.

June 13: The mercury shimmies up the thermometer scale to reach 36.1C, making this the hottest day ever in the Yukon.

June 15: Alberta will never be the same. The provincial government sells a gas lease to the private sector for $3 million. Gas and oil will make the Wild Rose Province rich.

June 21: Jane Urquhart is born in Little Longlac, Ontario—some 380 kilometres north of Thunder Bay. She will grow up to become a writer, winning the Governor General’s Award for her novel, The Underpainter.
The Right Honourable Louis St. Laurent is our 12th Prime Minister.

June 27: Led by Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent, the Liberals romp to victory in the biggest majority ever given to a political party. This is the fourth back-to-back majority the electorate has handed to the Grits.

July 11: Liona Boyd is born in London, England. When she is eight, her family will move to Canada. She will grow up to become one of the world’s most accomplished guitarists. The “First Lady of the Guitar” will be made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1981.

July 19. The village of Cheneville, Quebec is wiped out by a tornado that wreaked its havoc in three minutes.
The Avro C-102 will be commemorated by Canada Post in 2013.

August 10: Avro is the world’s most advanced jet airplane builder. The company makes aviation history with the first flight of its C-102 passenger jet. The jetliner takes off from Malton Airport, west of Toronto, carrying 50 passengers at nearly 1,000 kilometres an hour.

August 12: Planet Earth becomes a much more dangerous place to live as the Soviet Union tests its first atomic bomb.

August 21: Much of British Columbia is rocked by a large earthquake, centred on the Queen Charlotte Fault. Cows are knocked off their feet and in Terrace, standing on the street was “like being on the heaving deck of a ship at sea. Effects are felt as far away as Whitehorse. Although this is the largest earthquake to ever hit the country, there are no deaths and very little damage.

September – Hundreds of thousands of listeners tune in to a new 'flagship show' that debuts on the Trans-Canada network of the CBC. The Wednesday Night series features dramas, music, intellectual discussions and more.  Folks can still tune in to hear old favourites including Don McNeil’s Breakfast Show sponsored by Quaker Oats, the Russ Titus Show, sponsored by Toni Home Permanents and Wayne and Shuster brought to you by RCA Victor.

September 7: Jack hammers, steam shoves and backhoes rip up Yonge Street in Toronto as construction begins on a subway system. The project is estimated to cost $50 million.

September 9: A Canadian Pacific Airlines DC-3, bound from Quebec City to Baie-Comeau, is blown out of the sky near the town of St-Joachim. All 32 on board perish. The RCMP will determine the bomb was made by a watchmaker to punish his wife for cheating on him. Albert Guay will be hanged for the murders. The tragic tale will become a best-seller, The Crime of Ovide Plouffe. The book will be made into a movie in 1984.

September 16: The 110-metre long, 1095-tonne SS Noronic is destroyed by fire while docked at Pier Nine in Toronto. The largest and most beautiful passenger ship on the Great Lakes was on a seven-day cruise that started in Detroit. It is estimated that between 118 to 139 passengers were killed. An inquiry will show the fire started in a linen closet, probably started by a dropped cigarette.

October 25: Laurie Skreslet is born in Calgary. In 1982 He will become the first Canadian to climb Mt. Everest.

November 26: This is the 37th match and the Montreal Allouettes beat the Calgary  Stampeders 28 to 15 to take home the Grey Cup.

November 28: Paul Shaffer is born in Thunder Bay. He will grow up to be a bandleader, appearing for many years on The David Letterman Show.

November 29: It’s a boy for Nathan “Al” Rogers and wife Valerie who have moved up to Hamilton, Ontario from Nova Scotia to look for work. Son Stan will grow up to become a folk singer, famous for his rich baritone ballads. He will die at the age of 33 in a fire on board Air Canada flight 797.

December 11: The federal government’s new criminal code is so restrictive that it all depictions of crime are forbidden. This includes the current issues of Batman and Superman comic books.

Workers at Studebaker in Hamilton, Ontario built 11,998 passenger cars this calendar year.

December 31: Workers built 193,826 automobiles this year.

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