Canada; key historical events


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29/1/2017, A White Supremacist student went to a mosque in Quebec and shot six Muslim worshippers. He was later captured by police.

1/4/1999, Nunavut, an Inuit homeland, part of the Northwest territories, was formed.

30/10/1995. Quebec separatists narrowly lost a referendum to regain independence from Canada.

25/6/1993, Kim Campbell (born 1947) became Canada’s first female Prime Minister (Progressive Conservative Party). In October 1993 her Party were defeated in an election by the Liberal Party, led by Jean Chretien, and in December 1993 Campbell resigned as Party leader.

13/1/1993. Official statistics from Canada showed that Chinese was the country’s third most common language, after English and French.

17/12/1991, Joseph Robert Smallwood, Canadian politician who took Newfoundland into the Canadian Federation in 1949 and became its first Prime Minister, died just before his 91st birthday.

19/1/1990. Free love guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh died of a heart attack at his commune in Poona, India. Aged 58, he owned nearly 100 Rolls Royces, and was banned from nearly 20 countries; including the US where his commune in Oregon was closed down.

1/1/1987, (+15,213) The town of Frobisher Bay in Canada’s Northwest territories changed its name to Iqaluit. In 1999 it became capital of Nunavut.

15/2/1982, 84 died when a storm wrecked an oil rig off the coast of Newfoundland.

20/5/1980. Quebec voted against seceding from Canada.

18/2/1980, Pierre Trudeau returned to power in the Canadian General Election, after nine months out of office.

16/8/1979, John George Diefenbaker, Canadian Prime Minister (born 18.9.1895 in rural Ontario) died.

24/1/1978, A Soviet nuclear-powered satellite, Cosmos 954, crashed in north-western Canada, spilling radioactive debris. The Canadian government presented Moscow with a 6 billion dollar bill for the clean-up, of which Moscow eventually paid half.

21/11/1977, Yolande James, Canadian lawyer and politician, was born.

15/11/1976. The secessionist Party Quebecois won the Quebec provincial elections.

27/10/1975, 18 year old Robert Poulin began shooting at the Pius X High School in Ottawa, Canada, killing 1 and injuring 5. He then shot himself.

27/12/1972, Death of Lester Pearson, Canadian politician and Liberal Prime Minister 1963-8.

16/10/1970. State of insurrection proclaimed in Quebec. The Quebec Liberation Front (FLQ) was outlawed and 250 of its members arrested.

6/4/1968, Pierre Trudeau became Prime Minister of Canada.

31/10/1967, The Expo ’67 exhibition in Montreal closed; it had opened on 27/4/1967.

25/7/1967, During a State visit to Canada, General Charles de Gaulle of France encouraged French-speaking Quebec citizens to break away; he was rebuked for this breach of etiquette by the Canadian Prime Minister and returned to France.

27/4/1967, The Expo ’67 exhibition opened in Montreal. It closed on 31/10/1967.

15/2/1965, Canada flew the newly-adopted maple leaf flag for the first time.

19/11/1962, The Newfoundland general election was won by the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador, led by Joey Smallwood.

1961, The New Democratic Party was founded, through a merger of the Commonwealth Co-operative Federation and the Canadian Labour Congress.

31/3/1949. Newfoundland, with its dependency Labrador, joined Canada as the 10th province of the dominion.

10/9/1948, Margaret Trudeau, former Canadian 1st lady, was born in Vancouver, British Columbia.

1942, In Quebec the Bloc Populaire Party was founded. The Party was founded by Liberals who were opposed to Canadian participation in World War Two, and to conscription, and also contained Catholic radicals such as Andre Laurendeau who wanted to base indurtrial relations on Papal encyclicals and ban foreign capital from Quebec. The Bloc Populaire disintegrated after winning four seats in the 1944 elections.

7/1/1941, A special committee of the Canadian government recommended that Japanese Canadians not be allowed to volunteer for the armed forces on the grounds of strong public opinion against them.

For main events of World War Two in Europe see France-Germany. For main events of World War in the Pacific see China-Japan

11/1/1934, Jean Chretien, Canada’s 20th Prime Minister, was born.

1931, The Statute of Westminister made Canada a fully independent State.

31/10/1929, Nova Scotia voted to repeal Prohibition. This left Prince Edward Island as the only ‘dry’ region in Canada.

30/10.1929, General Election in Ontario. The Conservatives, led by Howard Ferguson, won with an increased majority.

2/6/1925. The Canadian government claimed all land between Greenland and Alaska up to the North Pole.

1/2/1920, The North West Mounted Police changed their name to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

18/10/1919, Pierre Trudeau, Canadian Liberal and Prime Minister, was born in Montréal, Quebec.

17/2/1919, Sir Wilfird Laurier, Canada’s first French-speaking Prime Minister, died.

29/3/1918, In Quebec, Canada, the Compulsory Military Service Act of September 1917 provoked such severe rioting from this day until 2/4/1917 that 4 civilians were killed.

22/2/1911, Canada voted to remain a part of the British Empire.

1/6/1909, The Seattle World Fair opened.

22/5/1906, The last British troops left the Dominion of Canada.

30/8/1905, The Province of Alberta was constituted a province of Canada, created out of part of the North West Territories.

23/7/1900. Canada forbade immigration of paupers and criminals.

26/4/1900, Major fire in Ottawa and Hull area of Canada; 12,000 made homeless.

31/3/1897, Gold was discovered in The Klondike, Canada.

6/6/1891, Sir John Alexander Macdonald, first Prime Minister of Canada, died.

1887, The Canadian Commercial Union movement proposed an economic union with the USA. However there were fears that this would lead to total union with, and thereby political dominance by, the USA.

16/11/1885, Louis Riel, leader of the Canadian Metis Rebellion, was hanged by the British.

1880, The contract for construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway was signed (ratified by the Canadian Parliament in 1881),

1879, Canada, under a Conservative government, raised customes duties against imports from the US, to protect Canadian industry.

1878, The Liberal Prime Minister, A. Mackemzie, was defeated.

20/6/1877, The first commercial telephone service in Canada was started by Hugh Cossart Baker, in Hamilton, Ontario.

1873, The Conservative Prime Minister, Sir John Macdonald, was defeated, over the Pacific Railway affair.

1/7/1873, Prince Edward Island was made part of the Dominion of Canada.

23/5/1873. The North West Mounted Police were established in Canada. Their name was changed to The Royal Canadian Mounted Police on 1 February 1920.

1871, Canada signed the Treaty of Washington with the USA, settling fisheries rights and the usage of certain canals.

12/5/1870, Manitoba, previously called the Red River Colony and controlled by the Hudson Bay Company, was bought by Canada and made a province.

9/4/1869, The Hudson Bay Company ceded its territory to Canada.

1/7/1867. Britain granted Canada self-governing dominion status. Britain still maintained control over foreign policy. The Dominion of Canada was set up by the British North America Act. It comprised four million people and four provinces, Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.

29/3/1867, The British North America Act created the dominion of Canada, comprising the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.

7/8/1858, Ottawa was selected as capital of Canada.

2/8/1858, British Columbia was constituted a British Colony; it became part of the Dominion of Canada in 1871.

1849, A.T.Galt of the Montreal Tory Party issued the Annexation Manifesto, calling for the USA to take over the Canadian Colonies. The Canadian economy had been suffering since Britain ended its colonial trading preferneces. However the Canadian French were strongly opposed, and the US showed little interest, so the policy was abandoned.

11/6/1847, Sir John Franklin, the British Arctic explorer, died in Canada attempting to discover the north-west passage.

20/11/1841, Sir Wilfird Laurier, Canada’s first French-speaking Prime Minister, was born.

23/7/1840. London announced that Canada was to be a self-governing union.

10/2/1840. An Act was passed reuniting the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, 50 years after they were divided by Britain.

14/12/1837, British troops crushed a rebellion in Canada.

11/1/1815, Sir John Alexander, Canada’s first Prime Minister, was born.

10/5/1798, George Vancouver, British explorer who surveyed the Pacific coast of America, died.

1794, The city of Toronto was founded by Governor Simcoe, on the site of an American-Indian village of the same name.

1794, Fort Augustus was established on the site of what is now Edmonton, Alberta.

24/5/1793. The British recaptured the archipelago of St Pierre et Miquelon, off Canada, which was a severe blow to the French cod fishing fleet.

1791, The Constitutional Act set aside one seventh of the public land in Upper and Lower Canada for the support of the Protestant clergy. In practice these lands served to enrich the already-wealthy clerical elite whilst beong of no benefit to lower-status clergy, and were secularised in 1841.

19/3/1791, French and English speaking settlers in Canada were granted equal rights.

28/10/1790, The Nootka Sound Convention, between Britain and Spain. Spain, claiming the entire Pacific coastline of North America, had seized four British ships at Nootka Sound, Vancouver Island, Canada. Britain disputed the Spanish claim because Spain had not actually settled the coastline it claimed; at the Convention, Spain backed down, opening up the area to British settlement.

1783, About 50,000 ‘Loyalists’ arrived in Canada, having left the newly-independent United States of America to live in the British colony of Canada.

11/5/1783, The first British-loyalist refugees from the newly-independent United States of America arrived at the estuary of the St John’s River, Canada, having set sail from New York on 16/4/1783. They founded the city of St Johns.

11/7/1776. Explorer Captain James Cook set sail from Plymouth on his third and last voyage of discovery. He was looking for a passage around the north west side of America from the Pacific side.

22/6/1774, The Quebec Act received Royal Assent. This safeguarded the French-speaking inhabitants of Quebec the right to maintain their own langiage and customes, legal and religious, within a British-governed Canada,

10/2/1763. France ceded Canada to Britain at the Treaty of Paris. See 26/7/1758 and 13/9/1759. The same treaty gave Florida to Britain in exchange for Britain returning Cuba, which it had invaded on 12/8/1762, to Spain; Spain also regained Louisiana and the Philippines. Britain gained all of America east of the Mississippi. Britain also gained Minorca, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Tobago, St Vincent, Grenada, Dominica, and Senegal.

8/9/1760. The French surrendered Montreal to the British under General Jeffrey Amherst. This completed the British conquest of Canada. Britain had declared war in France in 1756 as part of the Seven Years War; Amherst won in Canada in 1758 when he took the French fortress at Louisbourg, opening up the way to Montreal.

13/9/1759. General James Wolfe killed in the siege of Quebec; in a fight on the Plains of Abraham near the city, although the British won the siege. See 26/7/1758 and 10/2/1763. The French commander, Louis Montcalm, was also killed, dying of his wounds on 14/9/1759. The British won the surrender of Quebec on 18/9/1759.

24/7/1759, In Canada, the British captured Fort Niagara from the French.

26/7/1758. A British force authorised by William Pitt to attack the French in North America had its first success with the capture of Louisburg. See 13/9/1759 and 10/2/1763.

2/6/1758, A British war fleet anchored in Gabarus Bay, off Canada, to fight the French.

28/5/1758, Amherst, Wolfe, and Lawrence arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia, see 19/2/1758.

19/2/1758, The British General Amherst, recalled from Germany by Pitt, sailed this day from Portsmouth with Brigadier-General Lawrence and Brigadier James Wolfe, for Canada, to pursue the war against the French.  See 28/5/1758.

22/6/1757, George Vancouver, English naval captain who surveyed the Pacific coast of North America, was born in Kings Lynn, Norfolk.

1756, Martin Frobisher explored Newfoundland.

9/7/1749, The British founded the naval settlement of Halifax, Nova Scotia, as an answer to the French base of Louisburg.

11/2/1747, A combined force of French and American Indians under Captain Coulon de Villiers attacked the British at Grand Pre, Nova Scotia.

1691, Henrey Kelsey of the Hudson Bay Company reached what is now the eastern border of Alberta.

8/1/1679, La Salle, French explorer, reached the Niagara Falls.

2/5/1670, Charles II chartered the Hudson Bay Company.

1669, The French discovered Lake Erie. Penetration by Europeans into this area had been delayed by hostile Iriquois Indians.

18/5/1642. Montreal in Canada was founded.

1639, The earliest European settlement in New Brunswick, on the Bay of Chaleur, was founded by the French.

20/7/1629, English adventurer Sir David Kirke seized Quebec from the French.

23/1/1622, William Baffin, British explorer who searched for the North West passage and gave his name to Baffin Island and Baffin Bay, died.

28/7/1615, Samuel de Champlain discovered Lake Huron.

1611, The French discovered Lake Ontario.

23/6/1611. The navigator Henry Hudson and eight of his men were cast adrift in a small boat in Hudson Bay after the crew mutinied on his ship Discoverie; they were never seen again.

3/8/1610, Henry  Hudson discovered Hudson Bay.

5/7/1610, John Guy set sail from Bristol with 39 other colonists, for Newfoundland.

17/4/1610, Henry Hudson set sail from England aboard The Discovery to attempt to find a North West Passage to the Orient.

3/7/1608.The French explorer Samuel de Champlain founded the city of Quebec. See 1535.

20/7/1605, French cartographer Samuel de Champlain reached Cape Cod in search of a spot for French setlement in the New World.

9/9/1583, Sir Humphrey Gilbert (see 5/8/1583) was drowned when his ship, The Squirrel, sank off The Azores drowning all on board.

5/8/1583. Sir Humphrey Gilbert landed on Newfoundland and claimed it for Britain.  He founded the colony of St Johns there.

11/8/1576, Martin Frobisher entered ‘Frobisher Strait’, Baffin Island. Now known as Frobisher Bay, the long inlet was then thought to be a strait separating two islands.

1/9/1557, Jacques Cartier, French explorer of the North American coast and the St Lawrence river (born 1491), died in St Malo.

1535, Jacques Cartier first visited the site of what is now the city of Quebec. At that time, it was an Indian village called Stadacona. See 3/7/1608.

24/7/1534, Jacques Cartier landed in Canada, claiming the territory for France.

10/5/1534, Jacques Cartier explored Newfoundland while searching for the Northwest Passage.

20/4/1534, Jacques Cartier sailed from St Malo, to explore the Canadian coast.

21/10/1520, The islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon were discovered by Portuguese explorer João Álvares Fagundes off Newfoundland. He named them "Islands of the 11,000 Virgins" in honour of Saint Ursula.

6/8/1497. The Genoese navigator John Cabot returned from an expedition across the Atlantic. King Henry VII financed his travels. Though he was Genoese and had Venetian citizenship, Cabot came to England in 1487 to raise support for a transatlantic voyage and settled in Bristol. He sailed from Bristol on 2/5/1497 and landed on 24/6/1497 on the coast of Labrador. There he planted the Tudor banner, in defiance of the Treaty of Tordesillas, which divided up the western world between Spain and Portugal (see 6/12/1492, Papal backing for gold to finance a war against the Moslems). Under this treaty, signed on 7/6/1494, all land west of a line in the western Atlantic would belong to Spain; any land east of it would be Portuguese. He explored the coastline from Labrador to Cape Breton.

24/6/1497, John Cabot, in his exploration of north America, arrived at Cape Breton Island.

2/5/1497,  John Cabot set sail from Bristol

31/12/1491, Jacques Cartier, French explorer of the St Lawrence area of north America, was born in St Malo, northern France.


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