Monday, August 18, 2014


From the big scrapbook of time, here’s a look at Canada in 1920-

January 16: Delegates from Ottawa are in Geneva, Switzerland to place Canada’s signature on a document as a charter member of the League of Nations. The international body plans to preserve national independence and put an end to war forever more.

January 31: “Phantom” Joe Malone, centre for the Quebec Bulldogs, scores seven goals tonight in front of the home team crowd in Quebec City. The final score is Quebec 10, the Toronto St. Pat’s earn six.

February 1: The Dominion Police Force and the Northwest Mounted Police are merged into a single federal law enforcement unit, known as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

February 5: The government has decided that Canada does not need a peacetime air force. The Number One Squadron was dismantled last week. Today, the Number Two Squadron is decommissioned, its de Havilland DH9 bombers will be sold off.

February 19: The Grand Trunk Railway is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Shareholders agree to negotiate a sale to Ottawa, who intends to incorporate the sprawling, 13,000-kilometre railway system into the already existing Crown Corporation, Canadian National Railways.

February 24: Ottawa releases the last of the 8,579 Ukrainians, Germans Poles, Italians, Bulgarians, Croatians, Turks, Serbians, Hungarians, Russians, Jews, and Romanians from the 26 internment camps spread across the Dominion. They have been held as “enemy alien” prisoners since the outbreak of the war in1914 because they were born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

February 25: Folks in Kings County, Nova Scotia can light up and plug in; the new hydro plant at Stiver’s Falls started functioning today. It will bring electricity to a dozen communities in the Annapolis Valley including Wolfville and Kentville.

February 26: The new Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings is opened. The original was destroyed in a fire in 1916.

March 3: James Doohan is born in Vancouver. He will grow up to be an actor playing chief engineer Commander Montgomery Scott (Scotty) in Star Trek, Damon Warwick in The Bold and the Beautiful and Pippin in Homeboys In Outer Space.

March 20: It is announced that the nation’s peacetime Royal Canadian Navy will be pared from 1,303 men to 521. The Royal Naval College will be closed. Two submarines, two destroyers and a cruiser are deemed sufficient for coastal defense.

Chalmers is a luxury car built in Windsor, Ontario.
March 21: Spring is here and that is good for automobile agents right across the Dominion because more than 60 percent of all cars are bought after Easter and before Labour Day. This year’s domestically-built automotive offerings include Briscoe, Chalmers, Chevrolet, Ford, Forster, Galt, Gray-Dort, McLaughlin, Maxwell, Overland, Studebaker and Willys.

April 1: The Ottawa Senators whip the Seattle Metropolitans in the fifth game to take the Stanley Cup.

April 6: A judge in Winnipeg sentences five of the six men convicted of spearheading the Winnipeg General Strike to one year as guests of His Majesty’s Canadian prison.

April 15: The Royal Canadian Mint strikes a new penny—much smaller than those previously minted.

April 18: The average cost of living has doubled since the war. The Department of Labour reports that a typical family needs $15.98 a week for basic needs.

April 20: There is worldwide excitement as athletes from 29 countries gather in Antwerp, Belgium; Interrupted by the Great War, it is the first time the Olympic Games have been held since 1912. Germany and Austria are not invited. Hundreds of doves are released during the opening ceremony to symbolize the hope for world peace.  The five-ring Olympic flag is unfurled for the first time. It is also the first time in the event’s history that hockey is played as an Olympic sport.  The Winnipeg Falcons will face off against Sweden to win hockey Gold.

May 1: Employees of The Bell Telephone Company of Canada Limited may now buy stocks in the company.

May 7: The Art Gallery of Ontario opens an exhibition with paintings by men named Carmichael, Harris, Jackson, Johnston, Lismer, MacDonald and Varley. The exhibition is called The Group of Seven. The name will stick and they artists will strongly influence art for years to come.

Heavyweight champ Jack Dempsey (centre) speaks into a microphone during an interview at CFCF in 1922.
May 20: Radio station XWA in Montreal, licensed last year by the government as the first private broadcast station in the world, begins airing musical programmes today. It is the first commercial radio broadcast ever heard in North America. On November 4 the station will change its call letters to CFCF, “Canada’s First, Canada’s Finest.” Radio 600 will sign off the air forever in June of 1999.

Arthur Lismus' Isles of Spruce.

May 7: An exhibition of 114 paintings done by the Group of Seven opens in Toronto. It is the first time that the artists’ works have ever been seen by the public. The exhibit is considered unusual because the paintings are representations of the country as interpreted by homegrown artists.

July 1: The Dominion Elections Act takes effect today. Women may now stand for Parliament. Within 18 months, the first woman will be elected to the House of Commons.

July 10: Arthur Meighen is at Rideau Hall to be sworn into office as prime minister by the Governor General. The former teacher is the ninth Prime Minister of the Dominion of Canada. He takes over the helm of government because Sir Robert Borden has retired from public office.

July 12: Pierre Berton is born in Whitehorse, Yukon. He will grow up to become a writer and editor best remembered for his superb historical books, The National Dream and The Last Spike.

This is the current--unofficial--Coat of Arms.

July 13: Ottawa has a formal proposal for an official Canadian Coat of Arms. Today the finalized design is sent through diplomatic channels to London for presentation to His Majesty, who will approve it next year.
July 23: the Province of Alberta takes over operation of the troubled Alberta and Great Waterways Railway Company that runs from Edmonton to Fort McMurray.

July 15: The price of a domestic postage stamp rises to ten cents today.

July 31: Ford of Canada closes out its fiscal year with sales of 55,616 automobiles and 2,335 tractors during the past 12 months.

September 12: The Olympic Games close. The gold medal winning Winnipeg Falcons will be treated to a heroes’ welcome when they get home.

October 1: The 52nd Regiment, a.k.a. Prince Albert Volunteers, are amalgamated with the 105th Regiment, a.k.a. the Saskatoon Fusiliers, to form The North Saskatchewan Regiment.

October 31: Alphonse Desjardins is dead at the age of 65. The Quebecker founded the credit union movement and was invited to Washington by President Woodrow Wilson to spread the concept throughout the United States.

December 4: The Grey Cup game is played for the first time since 1916, cancelled because of the war and then, last year's rules' dispute. The Argonauts beat the University of Toronto 16 to 3 to take home the prized trophy.

December 31: General Motors of Canada closes out the year with production of 13,995 Chevrolet cars and 1,852 trucks. Workers in Oshawa have also built 6,499 McLaughlins.

December 31: Domestic sales for Ford of Canada’s calendar year totals 31,805 passenger cars.

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