Tuesday, March 25, 2014


From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1929--

The Marquette is a new car built by workers at General Motors Canada in Oshawa. A total of 1,959 of the upscale Buick companion cars will be built this year but the brand doesn't sell well and will disappear after only two years.

January 2:  Ottawa and Washington sign a treaty to preserve the beauty of Niagara Falls and to divert water from the Niagara River for the purposes of generating hydro-electricity.

January 23:  John Charles Polanyi is born in Berlin. He will emigrate to Canada in 1952 and work for the National Research Council and then teach at the University of Toronto. The scientist will win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1986 for his development of the technique of infrared chemiluminescence that has led to a better understanding of chemical kinetics.

March 18: Workmen put the first shovel into the ground in Windsor, Ontario for construction of a 1,573-metre long highway tunnel that will connect with Detroit, Michigan when the engineering marvel opens in November of 1930. 

March 20: The British Columbia Telephone Company sets up a wholly owned subsidiary—the North-West Telephone Company—to serve remote parts of the province. This is the world's first radiotelephone company.

March 22: The Canadian schooner I’m Alone is sunk by the US Coast Guard off the coast of Louisiana. The crew is arrested. The ship is carrying a load of liquor--illegal in the United States. The problem is that the ship is 321 kilometres off the coast. far more than the 19.3 kilometres the United States claims as its coastal limit. The American government will pay $50,000 in fines and damages before the case comes to court.

March 29: The Boston Bruins sweep the New York Rangers to win the Stanley Cup.
Lee Patterson will appear in SurfSide 6, a 1960-1962  TV detective drama set in Miami.

March 31: Lee Patterson is born in Vancouver. He will grow up to be a soap opera star, best known for his role as Joe Riley in One Life to Live. He will die of congestive heart failure in 2007.

April 3:  The Hudson Bay Line is open. The railway stretches 819 kilometres from The Pas to Churchill, Manitoba. The railway makes it easy to haul grain to the port on Hudson Bay for shipment to Europe.

May 5: The first phone call made from a moving train took place today at 3.45 PM on the Canadian National Railway. Present are reporters from Canadian, American and European news agencies. The fascinating technology uses radio frequencies to make the two-way conversation possible.

May 10:  Antonine Maillet is born in Bouctouche, New Brunswick. She will grow up to become of this country’s most beloved novelists and playwrights. Her 1971 washerwoman character ‘La Sagouine’ will be known the world over for her wry observations on life and her sidesplitting malapropisms in both official languages.

May 10: It is also the birthdate of Peter C. Newman, born in Vienna, Austria. His family will flee Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia in 1940 and come to Canada. Newman will edit Maclean’s magazine for many years and write books, including The Secret Mulroney Tapes: Unguarded Confessions of a Prime Minister, for which the former PM will sue the author in 2005.

May 23: Canada’s vast distances mean little in the Twentieth Century. For the first time ever, a plane flies from Winnipeg to Edmonton—non-stop—in only six hours and 48 minutes.

June 7: It’s a boy for Leonard Turner and wife Phyllis. John Napier is born in Richmond, Surrey, England. The family will come to Canada in 1932. John will grow up to be this country’s 17th Prime Minister, governing for two months and 17 days before going down to defeat in a federal election.
Bliss Carmen in 1921.
June 8: Bliss Carmen is dead at the age of 68, the result of a brain haemorrage. He was considered by many to be the nation’s ‘poet laureate’ though no such title existed at the time. The famed poet will be buried in the Forest Hill Cemetery in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Schools in Toronto and Fredericton will be named after him.
Seagram's will become the world's largest distiller of spirits.

June 20: Edgar Miles Bronfman is born in Montreal to Sam and Saidye Bronfman. Edgar will grow up in the liquor business and take over Seagram’s from father Sam in 1971. The billionaire will retire in 1994.

July 10: Murray Irwin (Moe) Norman is born in Kitchener, Ontario. He will grow up to become a professional golfer. Considered to be a genius by many, shyness will keep him from travelling. The sportsman will die of heart failure in 2004.

July 18: The voters have spoken in a province-wide vote.  Prince Edward Island will continue to be a ‘dry’ province.
CHNC broadcasts to folks in the Gaspe from studios in in New Carlisle, Quebec.

September 1:  The Aird Report is released in Ottawa. The commission has looked at the future of radio. There are more than 60 private stations throughout the Dominion and the report urges Parliament to fund a publicly owned national broadcasting system.
September 12: The game of Canadian football is forever changed as the first legal forward pass is executed by Jack Jacobs of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

October 1: To hear an operator say, “Number please,” will soon be a thing of the past. C. M. Reynett of the Bell Telephone Company of Canada Limited announces the conversion of all 12,000 telephones in Windsor, Ontario to self-dial. The project will be complete next January. If the experiment is successful, the self-dialing scheme will spread throughout the Dominion.

October 10:  Elijah McCoy is dead at the age of 85. Born in Colchester, Ontario, Elijah’s parents were slaves who escaped the US on the Underground Railroad. MCoy studied engineering in the UK and the railroad man invented the automatic engine oiler.

October 18: Overturning the Supreme Court’s decision made last April, the Privy Council has debated for three days and ruled that women living in Canada are persons. Women may hold property, vote in elections and stand for Parliament.

October 29: The Toronto Stock Exchange experiences its worst crash in history. The Montreal Stock Exchange is right behind it. The market in New York doesn’t look good either.  The event will mark the beginning of The Great Depression.

November -- The first commercial broadcast is heard in the Dominion of Newfoundland as radio station 8BSL (Bible Study League) takes to the airwaves from 106 Freshwater Road in St. John's. The station will have its call letters changed to VOAR—Voice of Adventist Radio--in 1938 and in 2008 the Christian Family station will be heard Canada-wide courtesy of Bell ExpressVu.

November 3:  Spanning the Detroit River between Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario, the Ambassador Bridge opens. The papers have been full of articles about coming prosperity as “a river of money” will flow south into Windsor from Detroit.

November 13:  The chartered banks announce plans to ease call loan rates to brokers in an attempt to shore up the stock market and give the economy some breathing room.

November 18: an earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter Scale has its epicentre beneath the Laurentian Slope of the Grand Banks off the coast of Newfoundland. Tremors are felt as far west as Ottawa, Ontario and as far south as Claymont, Delaware. The resulting tsunami is clocked at 125 kilometres (78 miles) per hour. It takes a little more than two hours for the three killer waves to reach the Burin Peninsula on the south coast of Newfoundland, where 36 people are drowned, 500 homes are destroyed and 10,000 left homeless.

November 21: Laurier LaPierre is born in Lac Megantic, Quebec. He will grow up to become a broadcaster, most famous for co-hosting with Patrick Watson--This Hour Has Seven Days—a programme that will be yanked from the air by the government. He will become a politician, author and eventually a Senator before his death in 2012.

November 30:  The Regina Roughriders go home empty handed as the Hamilton Ti-Cats snatch the Grey Cup out of their collective hands.

December 23:  Patrick Watson is born in Toronto. He will grow up to be a broadcaster and share fame with Laurier LaPierre when Parliament yanks their show—This Hour Has Seven Days—off the air. Watson will become an author and be head of the CBC from 1989 to 1994. He will be made a Companion in the Order of Canada in 2002.

December 28: Terry Sawchuk is born in Winnipeg. He will grow up to be the greatest goalie in NHL history before a blood clot to the heart claims his life in 1970.

 Workers at Chrysler Canada in Windsor, Ontario built 6,091 units of the DeSoto passenger car in 1929.  DeSoto will be part of the Canadian automotive scene through the 1960 season.

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