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January

JANUARY 1

1743 – Sons of Pierre de la Vérendrye were the first recorded white men to see the Rockies.
1748 – François Bigot, perhaps Canada’s top ranking criminal, was appointed Intendant of Quebec.
1776 – United States forces under Montgomery and Arnold attacked Quebec.
1823 – Nova Scotia became the first province to issue coinage.
1833 – Newfoundland’s first representative assembly met at St. John’s.
1855 – Ottawa was incorporated as a city.
1894 – Ontario voted for prohibition.
1922 – British Columbia changed to driving on the right-hand side of the road.
1947 – Canadians became “Canadian citizens” rather than “British citizens.”
1952 – Old Age Security Act took effect.
1958 – British Columbia celebrated its Centennial.
1964 – A new electoral act became law in Quebec; the minimum age for voting in provincial elections was reduced to eighteen.

 

JANUARY 2

1826 – The Supreme Court of Newfoundland was established by Royal Charter.
1895 – The Privy Council reversed a Supreme Court decision on Manitoba separate schools.
1908 – The Royal Mint opened at Ottawa.
1929 – Canada and the United States signed an agreement to preserve Niagara Falls.
1942 – Canada promised to use its full resources against the Axis Powers.

JANUARY 3

1800 – Attorney-General John White of Upper Canada was killed in a duel by John Small, Clerk of the Council.
1802 – Three hundred Highlanders from Scotland settled in Sydney, Nova Scotia.
1862 – Eight hundred and fifty officers and men of the Rifle Brigade of Britain landed at Saint John, New Brunswick and were transported to Quebec in sleighs. There was danger of war between Britain and the United States and a total of 3,000 troops were sent to defend Canada.
1863 – The first covered skating rink in Canada opened at Halifax, Nova Scotia. It is claimed that the first ice hockey game was played on the Dartmouth Lakes. Kingston, Ontario, disputes this claim.

JANUARY 4

1717 – Marks the beginning of the Seven Years War; England declares war on Spain and Naples.
1817 – Stagecoach service began between Kingston and York, Ontario; the fare was $18.
1830 – Upper Canada College was opened at York.
1879 – The Winnipeg Board of Trade is officially registered.
1904 – An explosion kills seven people at Michel Mine at Michel (British Columbia).

JANUARY 5

1680 – La Salle built Fort Crèvecoeur on the Illinois River.
1805 – The first issue of the Quebec Mercury was published.
1870 – The first issue of Ottawa’s Le Courier went on sale.
1874 – Winnipeg held its first civic election; 331 votes were cast, even though there were only 308 on the voters’ list!

JANUARY 6

1685 – Sieur de La Salle, Robert Cavelier, reached the mouth of the Mississippi River.
1789 – Lord Dorchester (formerly Sir Guy Carleton) established the first agricultural college at Quebec.
1807 – Reine Lajimonière was the first (it is thought) white child born in Western Canada.
1877 – Canada’s first flour mill (McLean’s) was established in Manitoba.
1915 – Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry went into action in France.

JANUARY 7

1608 – Henry IV of France renewed de Mont’s fur trade monopoly that temporarily saved the colony at Port Royal, N.S.
1691 – A second issue of money was made from playing cards to finance a garrison at Quebec.
1765 – French-speaking citizens appealed to King George to change the legal system.
1827 – Sir Sandford Fleming was born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland. He is best known as the creator of “standard time” and designer of the first Canadian postage stamp.
1859 – Canadian silver coinage was first issued. (Nova Scotia had issued coins earlier but was not then a part of Canada.)
1955 – The opening ceremonies of the Canadian Parliament were broadcast on television for the first time.
1960 – Antonio Barrette became Premier of Quebec.
1963 – Contracts for flood prevention in the Red River area were contracted. This was the largest earth-moving job in Canadian history.
1983 – Per Statistics Canada, the nation’s unemployment rate was 12.8 per cent in December 1982; it was the highest level since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

JANUARY 8

1801 – The Lower Canada Assembly began the session that ordered the walls around Montreal to be demolished. It also licensed billiard tables!
1814 – Selkirk settlers put an embargo on supplies leaving the Red River.
1830 – The Upper Canada Assembly began the session that rejected an act legalizing marriages by Methodist Ministers.
1879 – The first issue of La Gazette d’Ottawa was published.
1948 – W. L. Mackenzie King established a record for being prime minister longer than any other government leader in the British Commonwealth.
1948 – General A. G. L. McNaughton was appointed permanent delegate from Canada to the United Nations and Representative of Canada on the Security Council.
1954 – The world’s longest crude-oil pipeline flow, starting from Alberta, reached Sarnia, Ontario, at 2,848 km (1,770 miles)

 

JANUARY 9

1666 – New France’s Governor Daniel de Remy de Courcelle led a journey from Quebec to attack the Mohawks.
1760 – The Nova Scotia Micmac Indians made peace with settlers.
1786 – The first legislature of New Brunswick opened at Saint John.
1862 – The Grenadier Guards landed at Halifax because of the possibility of a war with the United States of America.
1885 – An international bridge crossing the St Mary’s River opened at Sault Ste Marie (Ontario).
1886 – T.P. “Tommy” Gorman was born in Ottawa. He was one of the five men who founded the National Hockey League in 1917.
1889 – The Niagara Suspension Bridge, located just above the Niagara River, collapsed during a storm described as “one of the greatest storms that has ever passed over any part of Canada.”

 

JANUARY 10

1811 – Explorer David Thompson crossed the Rocky Mountains via the Athabaska Pass.
1815 – Britain prohibited American citizens from settling in Canada.
1817 – Selkirk’s forces recaptured Fort Douglas on the Red River.
1842 – Sir Charles Bagot arrived in Canada to take up his post as Governor-General of British North America (Canada).
1876 – The British Columbia Legislature petitioned Queen Victoria about its grievances.
1910 – Henri Bourassa published Le Devoir in Montreal.
1920 – On this day Canada became one of the founding members of the League of Nations, an organization set up to preserve peace after World War I. The United Nations replaced it after World War II.
1923 – John Cunningham McLennan of Ingersoll, made a Knight Commander of the British Empire for the discovery of cosmic rays, successfully manufactured the first substantial quantity of liquid helium.
1950 – Prime Minister St. Laurent met the premiers of the ten provinces in Ottawa to discuss constitutional amendments.
1969 – The Muskoka Lakes steamer Sagamo ( translated as Big Chief) was scortched by fire at dockside in Muskoka Bay while being refurbished.

 

JANUARY 11

1726 – The Marquis de Beauharnois was appointed Governor of New France.
1815 – Sir John A. Macdonald was born in Glasgow, Scotland. He became the first prime minister elected after Confederation.
1849 – A fire in Bytown (now Ottawa) destroyed Colonel John By’s former home, built behind the Château Laurier of today.
1905 – The Tenth Parliament opened; members’ sessional indemnities were increased to $2,500.
1909 – Canada and the United States formed an International Joint Commission.
1914 – Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson’s ship Karluk was crushed by ice.
1939 – Anne Heggtveit was born in Ottawa. She was the winner of Canada’s first gold medal in skiing in 1960.
1952 – British Prime Minister Winston Churchill visited Ottawa until January 15.
1956 – Mrs. Ann Shipley was the first woman to move the address in reply to the Speech from the Throne in the House of Commons.

 

JANUARY 12

1700 – The death of Marguerite Bourgeoys was announced. She was one of the women pioneers of Montreal who founded a school for girls there.
1819 – St. Boniface College was founded at Red River.
1842 – The first issue of Prince Edward Island’s The Islander was published under the editorship of John Inge.
1885 – A Supreme Court decision assigned liquor licensing to the federal government.
1916 – An Order-in-Council increased the number of troops fighting in World War I to 500,000.
1961 – A federal-provincial conference agreed to changers in the B.N.A. Act.
1964 – Malton Airport, founded in 1938, officially became the Toronto International Airport.
1984 – A snow storm caused a massive 200-car pile-up on the Queen Elizabeth Way near Burlington, resulting in eighty-nine people injured and $1 million damage to vehicles.

 

JANUARY 13

1825 – The legislative session opened in Upper Canada at York. Amongst other measures, it set the price of bread.
1837 – Fire destroyed a large part of Saint John, N.B.
1838 – W. L. Mackenzie abandoned the base on Navy Island (Ontario) from which he had proclaimed a provisional government of Canada.
1864 – Joseph Wright Sr. was born in Toronto. He was named in 1950 as Canada’s outstanding oarsman of the Half-century.
1865 – Joseph Howe began daily attacks on Confederation in a Halifax paper.
1947 – The British Privy Council agreed that the Supreme Court of Canada was to be the court of final appeal.
1951 – The first group of Royal Air Force aircrew trainees arrived at Dorval, Quebec.

 

JANUARY 14

1645 – The Company of New France transferred its trading rights to the Community of Habitants, which consisted of colonists in Canada.
1875 – There were serious riots at Caraquet ( New Brunswick) over an act providing for free, non-sectarian schools that lasted until January 28, after the militia had to be sent to restore order.
1875 – The first issue of the Halifax Herald was published.
1898 – Canada was asked to contribute one third of the cost of the Pacific cable.
1902 – The Prince Edward Island Prohibition Act was declared valid by the Supreme Court.
1947 – Canada was elected to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
1976 – The T. Eaton Company stops publishing their catalogue. The first publication was issued in 1884.

 

JANUARY 15

1634 – Robert Giffard secured the seigneury at Beauport (Quebec).  It was the first in Canada.
1635 – Charles de La Tour was granted land at Saint John (New Brunswick).
1852 – Trinity College in Toronto (Ontario) was officially opened.
1878 – The Conservative convention adopted the “National Policy.”
1901 – The Northern Pacific Railway Got a 999-year lease on a railway line in Manitoba. The lease transferred to the Canadian Northern Railway on February 11.
1915 – The Canadian Railway between Quebec and Vancouver was completed. The last spike was driven at Basque (British Columbia).
1962 – The R.C.M.P. musical ride was placed on a full-time basis.

 

JANUARY 16

1642 – French settlers were given land in Acadia.
1694 – The French at Quebec, under Governor Frontenac, wished to disrupt an agreement between the English and Abenaki tribes. Frontenac sent Claude-Sébastien de Villieu to lead the invasion in present-day Maine (United States). 104 inhabitants were killed and 27 taken captive, with half the dwellings, including the garrisons, pillaged and burned to the ground. Crops destroyed and livestock killed, causing famine and destitution for survivors.
1869 – The first issue of the Montreal Star was published.
1908 – The Government of Manitoba took over the telephone system.
1958 – Lester B. Pearson succeeded Louis St. Laurent as leader of the Liberal Party.
1961 – The Canadian Nuclear Plant, a gift from Canada to India, was opened.

 

JANUARY 17

1651 – Jean de Lauzon was appointed Governor of New France.
1694 – Bishop St. Valier condemned theatrical performances staged at Quebec by Frontenac and Cadillac.
1839 – Sir John Colborne took the oath of office as governor-general.
1861 – A mass gathering in Montreal protested the return of slaves to the United States.
1881 – An inter-provincial bridge was opened between Ottawa and Hull.
1933 – Newfoundland asked Britain to appoint a Royal Commission to investigate its financial problems.
1961 – Canada returned Polish treasures that was stored for safekeeping during the war.

 

JANUARY 18

1820 – An expedition under Captain John Franklin left Cumberland House (Saskatchewan) to explore the Arctic by land.
1839 – Rebels were hanged at Montreal following the Lower Canada Rebellion.
1849 – Parliament met at Montreal. This session included measures dealing with the Rebellion Losses Bill, dual language, and trade with the United States.
1905 – John J. McLaughlin, a Canadian businessman, was awarded a patent for a new beverage, “Canada Dry Ginger Ale.”
1910 – A French-Canadian Congress was opened in Ottawa.
1917 – The income tax was introduced on this day as “a temporary wartime measure”!

 

JANUARY 19

1824 – The Welland Canal Company was incorporated.  Today, very little of the First Canal is evident. Much of it, however, is still present today in Wainfleet township (Ontario).
1843 – Mount Allison Wesleyan Academy was opened in Sackville ( New Brunswick).
1857 – The Lord Ashburton was wrecked on Grand Manan Island while travelling from France to Saint John (New Brunswick), with a loss of twenty-one souls. Two men saved themselves by climbing an icy cliff – a difficult feat even in summer!
1865 – Parliament met in Quebec and adopted proposals for Confederation. The New Brunswick Legislature dissolved to hold an election on the Confederation issue, which was defeated.
1960 – The announcement was made that Canada’s second nuclear research centre, to be known as the Whiteshell Nuclear Research Establishment, would be built on the east bank of the Winnipeg River, 96 km (60 miles) northeast of Winnipeg.

 

JANUARY 20

1783 – Britain and the United States signed a peace agreement. Fighting stopped on February 4.
1831 – The United States rejected the New Brunswick-Maine boundary award mediated by the King of the Netherlands.
1850 – Captain McClure sailed to search for the Franklin expedition; he discovered the Northwest Passage.
1904 – The federal government rejected a British Columbia act restricting immigration.
1936 – The death of King George V was announced.

 

JANUARY 21

1757 – A French Canadian force defeated the British at Ticonderoga, New York.
1796 – General Robert Prescott became Governor of Lower Canada.
1807 – Ezekiel Hart, a Jewish member elected three times at the Lower Canada Assembly, was not allowed to take his seat because he could not take the oath of office, which included the words “on the true faith of a Christian.”
1826 – A session of the Lower Canada Assembly opened. Measures included enabling the courts to abstain from imposing the death penalty for certain crimes.
1839 – Acadia College was opened in Wolfville (Nova Scotia).
1910 – Canadian Pacific Railway’s westbound Soo Express derailed as it crossed the bridge over the Spanish River ( near the settlement of Nairn in Northern Ontario).  Forty-four people died, and many more were injured.
Conductor Thomas Reynolds of North Bay made a daring escape from the submerged dining car into the freezing water. After surfacing, he hauled out several passengers through the roof hatch. Some construction workers who were working nearby also assisted saving some passengers.
1914 – The death of Lord Strathcona in London (England) was announced.

 

JANUARY 21

1690 – The Iroquois signed a peace treaty with the British and the Great Lakes tribes.
1699 – Bishop St. Valier established an elementary school in Quebec which opened in October of that year.
1864 – The first session of the Legislative Council of British Columbia opened at Sapperton.
1873 – The Liberals under Alexander Mackenzie won a general election following the resignation of the Macdonald government because of the C.P.R. scandal.
1878 – Canada was given the right to decide whether or not it wanted to be included in British treaties.
1901 – It was announced that Queen Victoria died.
1906 – The United States steamer Valencia was lost off Vancouver Island with 126 souls.
1951 – H.M.C.S. Huron was placed under United Nations command.
1962 – Federal grants to universities were increased by one-third.
1964 – Canada and the United States signed the Columbia River agreement.

 

JANUARY 23

1831 – The Lower Canada Assembly voted for legal rights for Jewish people.
1883 – The first ice palace carnival was held in Montreal (Quebec).
1888 – Natural gas was found at Kingsville (Ontario).
1897 – William Stephenson (industrialist, scientist, inventor, businessman, soldier, and spy – codename Intrepid), was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He died at age 92 in Bermuda.
1919 – Frances Goffman, actress, was born in Mannville, Alberta on this day. She appeared as Mrs. Hamilton in the Christmas television special Christmastime with Mister Rogers. Goffman went on to play roles in films including The Karate Kid, and Twins. Her first major television appearance occurred playing the grandmother to the character of Arthur Fonzarelli (aka “The Fonz”) on Happy Days. She described Henry Winkler as “just a sweet guy. He lost his own grandmother in the Holocaust, and he wrote me a letter saying I was his virtual grandmother.” Goffman died of pneumonia on September 15, 2011 at age 92.
1935 – A town of about 5,000 people on the banks of the Abitibi River in northern Ontario, Iroquois Falls holds the record for the lowest temperature ever recorded in Ontario, and the fifth lowest ever recorded in Canada of -58.3°C!
1962 – Old age and disability pensions were increased by $10 a month.
2014 – A fire at the L’Isle Verte (Quebec) elderly home killed 28 people.

 

JANUARY 24

1797 – The first session of the Assembly of Lower Canada opened and dealt with agreements with Upper Canada.
1885 – The C.P.R. telegraph was completed from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
1903 – Britain and the United States referred the Alaska boundary dispute to a committee of “impartial” judges. In October, it made a decision which was unfavourable to Canada.
1923 – George H. Murray resigned as Premier of Nova Scotia after twenty-seven years in office.
1946 – The Atomic Energy Commission of Canada was established and officially recognized.
1955 – A plan was announced to build the first Canadian atomic energy power plant at Rapides des Joachims (Ontario).
1978 – The Soviet satellite Kosmos 954, with a nuclear reactor on board, burns up in Earth’s atmosphere. It scattered radioactive debris over Canada’s Northwest Territories, and only 1% was ever recovered.

 

JANUARY 25

1627 – Canada‘s first doctor is often credited with being the first European to farm in Canada. Louis Hebert was thought to be born in about 1575 in France. He died in Quebec, from an injury that occurred when he fell on a patch of ice on January 25, 1627.
1688 – A plague took a heavy toll of lives at Fort Niagara.
1835 – Sir Francis Bond Head was made Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada.
1870 – A convention of Red River rebels considered proposals from the federal government put forward by Donald A. Smith on January 19.
1905 – The Liberal government under G.W. Ross was defeated in Ontario.
1909 – Premier McBride announced a deal to bring a third transcontinental railway to British Columbia.

 

JANUARY 26

1604 – Jean de Biencourt de poutrincourt sailed for Port Royal with Jesuit missionaries.
1657 – The Viscount d’Argenson was made Governor of New France.
1679 – The keel of La Salle’s ship Griffon was laid. It was the first ship built above Niagara Falls.
1911 – A Reciprocity Agreement with the United States was made public. The American Senate ratified it in July 1911, but in the Canadian general election of September, the Liberals were defeated on the issue and trade was dropped.
1917 – The biggest electric steel plant in the world opened in Toronto (Ontario).
1924 – The Canadian Red Ensign was approved as the official flag for government buildings at home and abroad.
1951 – General Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of NATO, visited Ottawa.

 

JANUARY 27

1721 – A mail stagecoach service was established between Quebec City and Montreal.
1826 – Upper Canada was made a separate diocese by the Pope, with Kingston as its seat.
1847 – Nova Scotia appointed a committee to study postal operations. Its report resulted in a special conference arranged by Lord Elgin. This led to standardization of postal services in the Maritime Provinces and Canada.
1854 – The Great Western Railway opened between London and Windsor, Ontario.
1858 – On this day it was officially announced that Ottawa would be the capital of Canada, which then consisted of Ontario and Quebec.
1916 – Manitoba gave women the right to vote.
1961 – The city of Montreal authorized the building of a subway.
1980 – Through cooperation between the American and Canadian governments, six U.S. diplomats secretly escaped hostilities in Iran. The operation became known as the Canadian Caper.

 

JANUARY 28

1689 – A French force left Trois Rivières (Quebec)  to attack New England.
1832 – The Commercial Bank was incorporated in Upper Canada.
1870 – The City of Boston sailed from Halifax (Nova Scotia) and disappeared with 191 passengers.
1916 – The Manitoba Legislature passed a Temperance Act.
1952 – Viscount Alexander ended his term as governor-general.

 

JANUARY 29

1820 – George III died, and George IV succeeded him on the throne.
1820 – The Bank of New Brunswick was founded.
1829 – McGill University opened in Montreal (Quebec).
1847 – Lord Elgin, the new Governor-General of Canada, arrived in Montreal (Quebec).
1856 – The Victoria Cross was instituted by Queen Victoria, and Alexander R. Dunn was the first Canadian to receive it for gallantry in the Crimean War (1854).
1885 – A statue of Sir George Étienne Cartier was unveiled at Ottawa (Ontario).
1921 – Canada and France signed a trade agreement.

 

JANUARY 30

1815 – Bishop Strachan of York wrote to ex-President Jefferson of the United States protesting the actions of American forces in the War of 1812.
1869 – Joseph Howe joined the Macdonald government as President of the Privy Council.
1923 – The Grand Trunk Railway was taken over by the Canadian Government, beginning the organization of the Canadian National Railways.
1934 – The constitution of Newfoundland was suspended. On February 16, 1934, the Commission of Government was sworn in, and was made up of seven people. There were no legislature assembled nor elections, for the next fifteen years.
1991 – Lise Thibault was elected as the 27th Lieutenant Governor of Québec. She was the first woman, and first handicapped person, to hold the post. On June 7, 2007, after she stepped down, was criticized for her office’s excessive hospitality expenses.

 

JANUARY 31

1690 – The Duchess d’Aiguillon gave 18,000 francs for a hospital at Quebec.
1821 – The Upper Canada Parliament opened the session that dealt with uniform currency.
1839 – New Brunswick and Maine lumbermen fought along the border.
1839 – It was on this day that the most celebrated study of Canada, the Durham Report, was delivered in London.
1906 – Britain and Japan signed an agreement concerning Japanese trade with Canada.
1955 – A 109-day strike ended at Ford plants in Ontario.

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