Monday, March 17, 2014


From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1938.

Hupmobile sales will increase considerably from 14 in 1937 to 78 sales in eastern Canada during the 1938 calendar year. The estimate for sales in all nine provinces will be fixed at 98 sales by Might Directories Limited.

January 1: The new price for the Toronto Star is five cents.

January 10: It is the birth date of Frank Mahavlich in Timmons, Ontario. He will play hockey for the NHL and be on six Stanley Cup winning teams. The Big M will be appointed to the Senate in 1998.

January 11: The first airplane lands at the brand new airport in Gander, Newfoundland. The honour goes to a Fox Moth VO-ADE belonging to Imperial Airways, piloted by Captian Douglas Cowan Fraser.

January 13: It the birth date of William B. Davis. He will grow up to be an acclaimed actor best known for playing the mysterious smoking man in the popular X-Files television drama.

January 27:  The Honeymoon Bridge over Niagara Falls collapses under the weight of an ice jam. The disaster was expected and thousands watch as the 372-metre roadway is destroyed.

February 23: There is trouble on the usually peaceful Fraser River in British Columbia as Japanese-Canadian fishermen are accused of assaulting white fishermen, cutting their nets and wrecking their boats.

March 8: Hans Fogh is born in Copenhagen, Denmark. He will immigrate to Canada when he is 29.  As one of the most successful sailors in history, the superb yachtsman will bring home a bronze medal from the 1984 Summer Olympics.

March 16: British Columbia Premier Duff Pattullo urges a ban be placed on Oriental immigration into this country and that as many Asians as possible be expelled and sent home. Since 1928 only 150 Japanese may come to Canada in a calendar year but some folks on the west coast think that is far too many.

March 19: It is an unforgettable moment in hockey as the Toronto Maple Leafs score eight goals in just under five minutes in the third period of a game against the New York Rangers.

March 31: The CBC and Radio-Canada announces that the public broadcaster's programmes now reach 76 percent of homes from Sydney to Victoria. That is up from the 49 percent reported in 1936.

April 12: The Toronto Maple Leafs lose to Chicago in the fourth game of the playoffs. The Blackhawks go home triumphantly with the Stanley Cup.

April 13: The nation’s most famous conservationist, Grey Owl, is dead. He was in charge of the beaver conservation programme in two national parks and the author of  four books.

April 22: It is revealed that Grey Owl is not native at all, that he is Archibald Stansfeld Belaney, a Briton who came to Canada and masqueraded as an Indian.


May 13: Lucille Starr is born in St. Boniface, Manitoba. She will become one of the public’s most loved country singers and appear on such hit shows as National Barn Dance on WLS in Chicago. In 1964 she will be the first Canadian female artist to sell a million records with her smash hit, The French Song/Quand le Soleil.

May 24: It’s a boy for Stanley and Lorna Jean Chong of Edmonton. Thomas will grow up to sing and write hits for Motown before heading to Hollywood and fame as Chong in the hippy-dippy Cheech and Chong movies.

May 25: Anastasia Stratakis is born in Toronto. She will grow up to become an opera singer—change her name to Teresa Stratas. Her career will span nearly four decades at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City where the lyric soprano will make 385 appearances, playing 41 different roles. She will spend time in India working with Mother Theresa. The Order of Canada recipient will win both a Grammy and a Tony for her unforgettable performances.

May 27: Ottawa nationalizes the Bank of Canada. Founded three years ago as a private institution, the bank will now be a Crown corporation with a governor appointed by Cabinet decision.

May 30: The decade-long Great Toronto Stork Derby is over. Charles Vance Millar left his estate to the woman who delivered the most children within ten years after his death. In the Dirty Thirties this prize was a dream-come-true. Four women each registered nine live births and the court ruled today the four must share the jackpot, estimated at $750,000. The true-life tale will be made into a movie, The Stork Derby, in 2002.

June 1: Superman appears for the first time as an Action Comic available at stores for 10 cents. The Man of Steel is the brainchild of Toronto artist Joe Shuster and his American friend Jerry Siegel. Collectors can expect to pay in the neighbourhood of $100,000 for that first issue should they ever find one.

June 1:  Federal Defense Minister Mackenzie urges the Canadian Manufacturers’ Association to start producing war materiel. He notes the Dominion’s arsenal is woefully in need of replenishing.

June 18: The Vancouver Sun reports the new Ford factory in Burnaby, BC has an air-conditioned lunchroom for workers. The plant will be closed in 1946 and sold in 1960. In 2006 the site will be home to the Metro Town Shopping Centre.

June 19:  RCMP and Vancouver city police use tear gas to remove 1,200 angry unemployed men from the Main Post Office and the Art Gallery.  They have been part of a sit-down strike since May 20th. Once routed, the men march down Hastings Street and break plate glass windows along the way. Damage is estimated at $35,000.  The incident will be remembered as ‘Bloody Sunday.’

Heinz Canada Limited will close its factory doors in 2014.
June 25: Workers at the Heinz factory in Leamington, Ontario have finished installing new equipment. The largest tomato processing plant in the British Empire is now ready to take on the biggest tomato crop on record. Heinz employs 3,000 workers and ships 50,000 tonnes of canned food throughout the Empire.

 Women who qualify as stewardesses must be Registered Nurses, be no taller than 157 centimetres and pay for their own uniforms. Miss Garner is seen here in a uniform she designed for Trans-Canada Airlines.

On July 1, 1938, TCA’s hires the company's first flight attendant: Lucile Garner Grant, a trained nurse. Her duties include designing a uniform, monitoring weather patterns, handling radio communications, and devising food services. Always adventurous and a bit of a daredevil, she will die in 2013 at the age of 102.

July: Wilfrid Pelletier conducts the Montreal Symphony Orchestra on the slopes of Mount Royal as some 5,000 gather on the grassy hillside to enjoy the first ever historic, outdoor concert.

July 4: Police are busy in Toronto today as there 10,000 supporters of the League for Decency and Democracy flock to an anti-fascist rally at  Maple Leaf Gardens while 2,500 fascists from the Unity Party meet in Massey Hall. Meanwhile, another 850 protesters gather to attack the anti-fascists who promote hatred against Jews. 

July 29:  In Toronto, it’s a boy for CBC broadcaster Charles Jennings and wife Elizabeth. Peter Stewart Jennings will be a broadcaster like his famous dad, cutting his teeth at the CBC as host of a kids’ show when he is nine. Peter will never graduate from high school or university but he will be reporter and serve as the evening newsreader at ABC World News Tonight in the United States for more than 20 years. He will die of cancer in 2005.

July 30: John de Chastelain is born in Bucharest, Romania. His parents are spies for Britain. He will grow up to become a soldier and rise to be a general, appointed twice as Chief of the Defense Staff and our Ambassador to the United States.

August 18: American President Franklin Roosevelt receives an honourary degree from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He pledges that the United States will not stand idly by “if domination of Canada is threatened by any other empire.”

August 18: The Ivy Lea Bridge is open to the public. Only 15 metres in length, it is the smallest international span ever built. It connects Collins Landing, New York to Gananoque, Ontario in the picturesque Thousand Islands.

August 22: The RCMP destroy a good tonne of marijuana in the Tecumseh District of Ontario.

August 25: Colin Thatcher is born in Toronto. He will grow up to be a cabinet minister in the Saskatchewan provincial government. He will stand the entire nation on its collective ear when he bludgeons his ex-wife to death in 1983. Sentenced to life for her murder, Thatcher will be released from Her Majesty’s prisons in 2009.

August 28: It is a boy for Member of Parliament Paul and Eleanor Martin of Windsor, Ontario. Paul Edgar Phillipe will grow up to lead the Grits and be this country’s twenty-first Prime Minister. After losing the 2006 federal election, he will step down as Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.

September 30: Fears that Europe will go to war are quieted as France and Britain agree that Germany has a right to occupy the Sudentenland district of Czechoslovakia. PM Mackenzie King cables London to approve of the international pact with the Nazis.

October 26: The 259-tonne Bluenose wins the International Fisherman’s Trophy, just three minutes ahead of the Gertrude L. Thebaud. It is the 21st year that the schooner from Nova Scotia has raced for the title and won. To honour the mighty vessel, the Royal Mint issued  the Bluenose dime last year.

Codfish are important to our national economy.
November 17: Prime Minister Mackenzie King inks a new trade deal with Britain, Canada and the USA. Our fish catch will cost less when sold in the States but American wheat will be more competitive here at home.

November 17: Gordon Lightfoot is born in Orillia, Ontario. He will learn to play the guitar and sing. He will record songs that will become classics including, Alberta Bound, If You Could Read My Mind, Sundown and The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald. Gordon will rack up 15 Juno Awards and become a Companion in the Order of Canada in 2003.

Ste-Agathe-des-Monts is a small village in the Laurentians approximately two hours from Montreal.
November 19: The Canadian Corps Association sends a letter to the Prime Minister urging that Jews not be permitted to come to Canada despite turmoil in Europe. Laws must “ensure that our future citizens will be predominately British, the remainder to be those whose racial origins permit rapid and complete assimilation.”

November 19: German newspapers accuse the Government of Canada of treating Indians far worse than the Third Reich treats Jews.

November 26:  Richard Caruthers Little is born in Ottawa. "The Man of a Thousand Voices" will grow up to be a Hollywood star, famous for his celebrity impersonations. He will appear regularly in Las Vegas in 2006.

December 10: The Toronto Argonauts whip the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 30 to 7 and claim Lord Grey’s Cup for their own.

Buckley's. Since 1919. It tastes awful. And it works.
December 14: The Great Depression lingers on. The Chatham (Ontario) Times advises mothers that a bottle of cough syrup can be stretched into three by mixing two tablespoons of sugar to half a teacup of water and then stirring in a bottle of tried-and true Buckley’s Cough Mixture.

December 22: It is the birth date of Lucien Bouchard in Saint-Coeur-de-Marie, Quebec. He will grow up to create the Bloc Quebecois when the Meech Lake Accord fails and be Leader of the Queen’s Loyal Opposition in Parliament. He will leave Ottawa to serve as Premier of Quebec and return to private life in 2001.

 The Pontiac Special Six Coach is unique to Canada. It rides on the 2 851.15-millimetre (112.25-inch) Chevrolet wheelbase. Built in GM plants in Ontario and Saskatchewan, the Coach lists for $1,087.

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