April 16: R.M. of Fort Garry formed; MTS Centre ground breaking.

April 16, 1912 - The R.M. of Fort Garry is incorporated. It had been part of the R. M. of St. Vital.

MTS Centre
April 16, 2003 - The official groundbreaking ceremony for the MTS Centre takes place.

April 15: Fort Garry Horse; Mary Dunn retires; former Mayor dies; 10 Manitobans sink on Titanic.

April 15, 1912 - The Fort Garry Horse Cavalry Regiment is organized in Winnipeg.

April 15, 1920 - Is the final day of work for Constable Mary E. Dunn, the first female police constable of the Winnipeg Police Service. For more on the history of women in the WPS.

April 15, 1859 - “The International” is the first steamboat to run on the Red River bringing freight and passengers between Fort Garry and St. Paul, Minnesota.

April 15,1917 - Sir Lyman Melvin Jones, 11th Mayor of Winnipeg (1887, 1888) dies in Toronto. He was partner in an implements firm that became Massey Harris. 

April 15, 1912 - The RMS Titanic sinks. Ten Manitobans were aboard and at least sixteen new immigrants who had Manitoba listed as their final destination. Read about them here.

April 15, 1956 - A fire seriously damages the Saratoga Building on Donald Street.

April 15, 1901 - The city agrees to create a cycle path board, similar to the parks board, that would be in change of constructing and patrolling bicycle paths in Winnipeg.

April 14: Casa Loma fire; The Sun goes 7 days; Dominion Lands Act; Titanic damaged.

April 14, 1872 - The Dominion Lands Act is passed by Parliament to grant free land to settlers coming to the West.

Winnipeg Ad to sail the S.S.Titanic, WFP July 29, 1911

April 14, 1912 - At 11:40 p.m. the RMS Titanic is damaged when it strikes an iceberg 640 km south of Newfoundland and begins to sink. The 1,517 dead include 16 immigrants coming to the province and Manitobans Leonard Hickman, Mark Fortune, Charles Fortune, George Graham, Thomson Beattie, Hugo Ross and J.J. Borebank. For more about Manitoba's Titanic connections.

April 14, 1992 - The Winnipeg Sun prints its first Saturday edition making it a seven-day a week newspaper.

April 14, 1942
- Virden-born Harry "Bud" Sketchley makes his debut in Major League Baseball for the Chicago White Sox, one of few Manitobans ever to do so. His career lasted 13 games.

April 14, 1933 - Pioneer Sir Daniel H. McMillan dies.
Described as a colourful character, he came to Manitoba as a member of the Wolseley Expedition. He was also a decorated war veteran and an important figure in Winnipeg's grain trade as the first president of the Winnipeg Grain Exchange. McMillan Avenue is named for him.

Casa Loma Building
April 14, 1928 - The Casa Loma apartments fire at Sherbrook and Portage kills five and injures 12.

April 13: Winnipeg's first officer down; "Singing Cowboy" Bob Nolan.

April 13, 1911- Constable John Beattie, 27, is the first member of the Winnipeg Police Service to die in the line of duty. He was only days into the job when he touched a live wire at a fire scene and was electrocuted.

Five hundred people paid their respects at the viewing and thousands lined the streets to watch the procession to Elmwood Cemetery where he was buried in an unmarked grave. In 1994, thanks to research by a retired officer, the grave was discovered and a ceremony was held to dedicate a proper headstone.

More on the life and death of Constable Beattie at the Winnipeg Police Museum site.

April 13, 1908 - Bob Nolan is born in Winnipeg. He spent much of his childhood in Winnipeg before moving east, then eventually to California. There, he became a songwriter, stunt man and an actor in 'B' Western movies. 

He was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005. For film clips, lyrics and poems. Also see this recent History Detectives story.

April 12: New Iceland ends; Marathon of Hope begins; Helen Dallas; Free Press / Tribune "divorce".

April 12, 1876 - The federal government transfers the territory of New Iceland to the newly created District of Keewatin. (Also see New Iceland Museum.)

April 12, 1980 - Winnipeg-born Terry Fox begins his Marathon of Hope by dipping his artificial leg into the Atlantic Ocean at St. John's, Newfoundland. Sadly, he would never reach his birthplace.

April 12, 1872 - Winnipeg receives a record 33 cm of snow in a single day.

April 12, 2004 - CHUM announces that they have purchased Craig Media and their A-Channel stations in Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg as well as CKX in Brandon.

April 12, 1946 - The final joint edition of the Winnipeg Tribune / Winnipeg Free Press rolls off the presses. The two former rivals started the joint publication in November 1945 after a typographers strike crippled their press rooms. For more.

April 12 2008 - Fire guts the K.U.B. Bakery on Stella Avenue.

April 12, 1930 - The village of Makinak, Manitoba burns leaving 150 people homeless. Today Makinak is a ghost town.

April 12, 1898 - Helen Dallas is born in Hastings England. She moved to Winnipeg in 1919 to study music and went on to become a popular local singer and actress. She gave her final recital at the Winnipeg Art Gallery at the age of 85. For more on the life and career of Helen Dallas.

April 11: Remembering John J. Moncrieff

April 11, 1939 - John J. Moncrieff dies. He was owner of the original Winnipeg Sun (1881-1885) and in 1890 a co-founder of the Winnipeg Tribune where worked until his retirement in 1936.  Moncrieff was also an accomplished musician and choirmaster. 

For the Winnipeg Tribune's obituary.

April 10: Winnipeg goes automatic dialing; Brandon Court House; RMs created; Isaac Colish.

“Close up of new auto-toll dialing switchboards, Fort Rouge exchange”

April 10, 1920 - The first automatic telephone exchange in Winnipeg is put into service.

Within six years the conversion of the city's exchanges from manual to automatic switchboards is complete giving Winnipeg the distinction of being the first large city in Canada to have a completely automated service.
Operator-dialing in rural Manitoba continued into the 1970s. 

April 10, 1996 - The Detroit Red Wings defeat the Winnipeg Jets to become the second team in NHL history to win 60 regular-season games, ( the '76-'77 Canadiens were first).

April 10, 1985 - The original Brandon Court House is designated a Provincial Heritage Site.

April 10, 1920 - The Rural Municipality of Glenella  and Rural Municipality of Lakeview are incorporated.

April 10, 1977 - Isaac Colish dies. The businessman was a community leader in the early decades of West Kildonan's history. For more.

April 9: RWB's Jurriens; Vimy Ridge invasion begins.

Image: Anybody Want a Peanut

April 9, 1917 - At 5:30 a.m. the first wave of 20,000 Canadian soldiers storm German positions along Vimy Ridge, France. The Battle of Vimy Ridge (also) was won but at the cost of 3,598 Canadian lives and another 7,004 wounded.

Vimy Ridge Park
In December 1966 the City of Winnipeg renamed St. James' Park on Portage Avenue "Vimy Ridge Memorial Park."

April 9, 1989 - RWB’s artistic director Henny Jurriens and his wife are killed in an automobile accident in southern Manitoba. For his NY Times obituary.

April 8: Manitoba's first female M.P.; first female United Church moderator; Lord Selkirk dies.

April 8 1963 - Margaret Konantz (née Rogers) is the first woman elected as a Member of Parliament in Manitoba. For more about her see my West End Dumplings post. 

April 8, 1927 - Lois Miriam Freeman Wilson is born in Winnipeg.

A graduate of U of M, she was the first woman moderator of the United Church in Canada and the first Canadian to serve as president of the World Council of Churches. She also served as a Senator (now retired) giving her the verbose official title of
"The Honourable The Very Reverend Senator Lois Wilson" !

April 8, 1820 - Thomas Douglas, Fifth Earl of Selkirk, dies in the South of France.

April 7: Happy Birthday Winkler; Budweiser's Clydesdales; Souris' Plaindealer.

Winnipeg Rail Museum
April 7, 1933 - August A. Busch’s sons give their father a gift of a six-horse Clydesdale hitch purchased from Winnipeg’s Shea’s Brewery. This, and additional teams from Shea's, stables went on to become advertising icons for Busch's Budweiser beer. (For more on Shea, his brewery and horses.)

April 7, 1892 - The Souris Plaindealer newspaper is published by George Perry, a Cleveland businessman, and local A. T. Curtis.

April 7, 1954, 1906, 2002 - Winkler is incorporated as a village on April 7, 1906, a town on April 7, 1954 and a city on April 7, 2002.

April 6: Brandon fireman down; Transcona's birthday; Thomas Creighton.

April 6, 1918 - Constable Bernard W. Snowden, 30, of the Winnipeg Police Department is shot and killed while investigating a break-in.

April 6, 1953 - Brandon firefighter Frederick J Brown,(57), becomes Brandon's only fireman killed in the line of duty while fighting the Olympia Cafe fire.

According to the 7 April 1953 Free Press, Brown was “...trapped in the basement of the building housing the Olympia Café during the early stages of the fire and the blaze spread so quickly that the other members of the brigade could not reach him”.

April 6, 1912 - The Town of Transcona is incorporated. The name was chosen from thousands of contest entries and is a combination of the names ‘Transcontinental’ (after the railway) and ‘Strathcona’ (after Lord Strathcona, one of the founders of the railway.)

Transcona celebrates its centenary this summer ! Also see the Transcona Historical Museum at the Virtual Museum of Canada.

April 6, 1949 - Thomas Creighton dies. In 1915 the prospector staked a claim to the ore body that became the Flin Flon mine. Neighbouring Creighton, Saskatchewan is named for him.

April 5: Farewell Mr. Ashdown; Brandon's Joe Hall dies; Wpg aqueaduct flows.

Ashdown 1
April 5, 1924 - James Ashdown, dies at the age of 80. Born in London, he arrived in Winnipeg before the city was incorporated and began a hardware business. He was a founder of the city and served as mayor in 1907-08.

Ashdown is buried in St. John's cemetery.

April 5, 1919 – Water from the Greater Winnipeg Aqueduct begins to flow to some homes and businesses via the McPhillips reservoir. It and the accompanying railway cost $13,050,000 and can supply 386.4 million litres of water a day.

April 5, 1924- The Winnipeg Electric Railway Company (WERCo.), formerly the Winnipeg Electric Street Railway Company, changes it's name to the Winnipeg Electric Company.

April 5, 1919 - Part way thought the 1919 Stanley Cup final, 37 year-old Brandoner and Canadiens defenseman Joe Hall dies of influenza in Seattle. The illness had been sweeping through the lineups of both teams and the series postponed. Hall's death put off any thoughts of playing the remaining game and no cup was awarded that year.

For more on the death of Brandon's Joe Hall.

April 8 1913, Winnipeg Free Press

April 5, 1913 - The Winnipeg Free Press move into their new building at 300 Carlton Street.

April 4: Evelyn Hart; WSO's new home; General Strike leaders sentenced.

April 4, 1956 - Evelyn Hart is born in Toronto. She came to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s school in 1973, joined the company in 1976 and spent nearly three decades as its prima ballerina.  

In 1983 she became an Officer of the Order of Canada, elevated to Companion in 1992. In 1990 she was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame.

April 4, 1920 - Most of the leaders of the 1919 General Strike are sentenced. Ivens, Pritchard, Queen, Armstrong and Johns were found guilty and sentenced to a year in Headingley. Bray received 6 months. A. A. Heaps was acquitted.

Above: Opening night ad (April 3, 1968, Winnipeg Free Press)
Below: Opening night photo (Winnipeg Tribune Archives)

April 4, 1968 - The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra hold their first concert at their new home, the Manitoba Centennial Concert Hall. Victor Feldbrill was the Musical Director and Conductor. (Also see their CBC Music channel.)

April 3: HudBay Railway opens; Avenue Building revived; Juno Awards in 'Peg.

Churchill, Manitoba
April 3, 1929 - The official opening ceremony of the 1,300 km long Hudson Bay Railway takes place. (Also see.)

April 3, 1966
– Manitoba Conservation Officer Charles Morrish drowns when his vehicle breaks through ice while on a trap-line patrol.

April 3, 2005 - The
Juno Awards are held in Winnipeg for the first time.

A highlight of the show was to be a performance by former Winnipegger Neil Young, who always maintained that he would perform at the awards if they were ever held in the 'Peg.

Young, however, suffered a brain aneurysm weeks before the show and could not attend. Fellow Canadian k d Lang, already scheduled to perform Leonard Cohen's Halleluiah, stood in for Young and sang Helpless.

April 3, 1942 - Charlie Regelous dies. He was a founder of the West End Orioles Athletic Club, a 1940s Manitoba junior hockey powerhouse. The club was a forerunner to Orioles Community Centre.

The Avenue Building
April 3, 2012 - The Avenue Building reopens as a mixed-use apartment building. It had been vacandt for a decade.

April 2: Mall Centre preview; golfer Dan Halldorson.

April 2, 1963 - A full-page ad in the Free Press introduces the design for the Mall Centre to be constructed at Portage and Colony. It featured a seven storey office tower, 300 car parkade, retail mall and the city's central bus station.

April 2, 1952 - Golfer Dan Halldorson is born in Winnipeg. He qualified for the PGA Tour in 1975 and played on the tour for over 20 years. He won events in 1980 and 1986. He now lives in Illinois.