Friday, March 21, 2014


From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1933--

  The thrifty 1933 Willys 77 Sedan lists for $610 and promises to deliver 10.6 to 12.3 kilometres per litre  (30 to 35 miles per Imperial gallon). This will be the last year for the marque to be built in the Toronto factory.

January 1: The year gets of to a dismal start. There are 1.35 million Canadians on the dole; many more who are too weary to keep looking. The average income has plummeted by 48 percent since 1929 to just $247 a year.

January 8: A five-hour riot at the Dorchester Penitentiary in Dorchester, New Brunswick pits the 476 inmates against the 40 guards. Rumours have it that the fracas began because cells are overcrowded and there is not enough food to go around.

January 25:  Alden Nowlan is born in Windsor, Nova Scotia. He will grow up and move to New Brunswick where he will distinguish himself as one of the world’s great poets. He will win the Governor General’s Award for poetry in 1967 and be the Writer in Residence at the University of New Brunswick from 1969 until his death in 1983.

January 31: Camille Joseph Wilfred Henry is born in Quebec City. He will grow up to be an NHL player. “The Eel” will retire in 1970 and die at the age of 64 in a Quebec City hospital from complications resulting from diabetes.

February 23: As a result of a controversial ruling, Canadians may now be sent to prison for expressing a belief in Communism. 

March 2:  King Kong opens in New York City. The celluloid drama is a smash hit and stars Fay Wray who is a native of Cardston, Alberta.

March 9:  Melvin Douglas (Mel) Lastman is born in Toronto. He will grow up and enter politics. He will serve as mayor of North York and then Toronto from 1972 to 2003--a record unbroken as the longest-serving mayor in any city on the planet.

April 13:  The Stanley Cup goes home with the New York Rangers who stomp the Toronto Maple Leafs three games to one.

April 24: Alan Eagleson is born in St. Catherines, Ontario. He will grow up to be lawyer and hockey promoter.  He will be convicted of fraud and embezzlement in the 1990s. He will be disbarred from the legal profession and stripped of membership in the Order of Canada.

Cheerio yo-yos are made in Toronto. They are the hands-down favourite of Canadian and British players.

May 6: The yo-yo craze hits town as the Vancouver Sun organizes a competition. The first prize is $50 and it goes to Jimmy Wigglesworth. Harvey Lowe is the best in the land. He will teach and compete until his death at the age of 90 in 2009.

May 8: An RCMP Inspector is killed and three other Mounties are injured in Saskatoon as police do battle with some 300 unemployed men.

May 15: Thousands flock to the port of Montreal to see the Bluenose—the fastest schooner in the world. The undefeated Queen of the North Atlantic is skippered by Angus Walters who is piloting the ship to the World’s Fair in Chicago where the Bluenose will represent Canada as a floating pavillion at the Century of Progress.

May 16: Winnipeg police raid the Canadian Fascist Party’s headquarters. The party makes no bones about being pro-Hitler and openly anti-Jewish.

May 23: Parliament orders the CPR and the CNR to cooperate in order to make passenger rail services more economical to the public. The two railways will lose their passenger train services in 1975 when VIA Rail is created as a new Crown corporation.

May 24: Marian Engel is born in Toronto. She will grow up to become one of the nation’s foremost and most controversial writers. She will win the Governor General’s Award in 1976 for Bear, her unusual love story about a librarian and a bear. She will die in 1985.

May 27: The World’s Fair opens in Chicago. Canada is represented by the Bluenose—the finest and fastest schooner the sea has ever known. More than 22 million people will visit the Century of Progress and many will tour the Bluenose.

May 29:  Marc Carbonneau is born in Quebec. He will grow up to become a political activist who believes in using violence for change. As a member of the Front de Liberation du Quebec, he will be convicted of kidnapping British Trade Commissioner James Cross and exiled to Cuba. He will return to Canada in 1981 and serve his sentence. In 2006 he will run a construction company.

July 14: Robert Bourassa is born in Montreal. He will grow up to become a politician and Premier of Quebec. His whole career will be pitted against political opponents who want Quebec to become a sovereign state. He will step down from office in 1994 and die of skin cancer in 1996.

July 19: The Cooperative Commonwealth Federation holds its first convention. Delegates debate change at its convention in Regina. They vote that the party will not endorse violent change. The Regina Manifesto plans to nationalize key industries in transportation, commerce and hydroelectric power when elected.

July 20: Police in Winnipeg are injured as they clash with protesters who demand that the Winnipeg General Hospital reopen its outpatient clinic. The riot is fierce and reserves are called up. With the help of batons and tear gas they break up the conflict.

August 7: Hollywood’s Number One box office star, Marie Dressler is the first woman to appear on the cover of Time magazine. The Oscar winning actress is from Coburg, Ontario.

August 17:  The Mayor of Toronto orders police to arrest anyone wearing a swastika. The symbol has already become synonymous with troublemaking and racial hatred.

October-- Lord Amulee releases his Royal Commission report on the state of affairs in the Dominion of Newfoundland. He blames all problems on fiscal mismanagement and corruptions. He does not take into account the worldwide depression.

October 17: Emily Murphy dies in her sleep at home in Edmonton. She is 65 years old. She was active in the women’s rights movement and the first woman to be appointed as a judge in the British Empire. She will be honoured with a statue on Parliament Hill and her likeness will be engraved on the back of the $50 bill issued in 2004.
Squares, by Guido Molinari will sell for $21,850 in 2002.

October 23:  Guido Molinari is born in Montreal. He will grow up to become a highly successful abstract artist, have exhibitions worldwide and win prestigious prizes for his colourful works. He will die in Montreal in 2004.

November 11: Wreaths are laid at cenotaphs across the country on the 15th anniversary of the end of the Great War. There may be trouble brewing in Europe as Adolph Hitler was made Chancellor of Germany in March. His National Socialist Party is on the extreme right.

November 26: Robert Goulet is born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, the son of French-Canadian parents. He will move with his mother to Alberta and grow up to become a great singer and movie star with a career that spans six decades.
Colonial House in St. John's has been the seat of government and House of Assembly since 1850.

November 28: It is a black day in St. John’s as legislators vote to give up Newfoundland’s Dominion status. In light of the island nation’s bankruptcy, the country will return to colonial status and be administered by Britain.

November 30:  General Sir William Arthur Currie is dead in Montreal at the age of 57. As the first Canadian commander of the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the Great War, Currie is by all accounts considered to be one of the most successful Allied generals and one of the best strategists in military history.

December 5: Canadian breweries and distilleries gear up for anticipated big business orders as US President Franklin Roosevelt officially revokes Prohibition.

December 9:  The Toronto Argonauts trounce the Sarnia Imperials to earn the Grey Cup. The final score is 4 to 3.

1933 Ford V-8 De Luxe  Fordor Sedan

December 21:  Ford will issue a dividend to stockholders, despite a $1.7 million loss. President W.R. Campbell says the company is in a strong position with $6 million in the bank. The company has produced only 9,177 passenger cars for the domestic market. Sixteen Ford automobiles were shipped to the Dominion of  Newfoundland though only three had V-8 engines.
1932 Frontenac

December 22: Dominion Motors Limited shutters the factory doors forever, its Frontenac automobile yet another victim of the Great Depression.

Workers at General Motors in Oshawa build 2,266 Pontiacs in 1933. Shown here is a Special Four-door Sedan.

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