August 29: Man-Pop rocks Arena; 'Cartoon Charlie' is born; Bomber CFL records.

August 29, 1970 – Man-Pop, Winnipeg’s first outdoor rock festival, begins at the Winnipeg Stadium.

The twelve hour long concert ended soon after it began when an intense downpour damaged the sound system and destroyed some musical equipment. Organizers hastily moved the crowd into the Winnipeg Arena and the concert resumed. Headliner Led Zeppelin finally took to the stage 2 a.m..

For more on Man-Pop see my West End Dumplings post !


August 29, 1959 – The Bombers break two CFL records in single a game against Saskatchewan. Bomber quarterback Jim Van Pelt throws seven touchdown passes, a record that would stand until 1962. Five of those catches are made by Ernie Pitts and that is still a CFL record.

August 29, 1890 - Artist and illustrator Charles Thorson is born in Winnipeg.

Part of the West End's Icelandic community, Thorson worked locally as an editorial cartoonist and an illustrator with Eaton's catalogue. In 1935 he landed a job with Disney, then went on to other Hollywood studios.

Thorson is credited with creating hundreds of characters, most recognizable are Snow White, The Seven Dwarfs, Elmer the Safety Elephant, Elmer Fudd and a prototype for Bugs Bunny.

Thorson died near Vancouver B.C. in August 1966. His fonds are at the University of Manitoba.

August 28: Brandon dismisses police force; Andy Bathgate; Jacob Penner; Gilbert Plains' quadruple murder.

Manitoba Free Press, August 29, 1919

August 28
, 1919 – Brandon's City Council fires the entire police force, including the chief, after growing tired of mismanagement, financial improprieties and infighting among senior members. This is the second time in five years that the entire force was canned.



Morning Telegram, August 29, 1899 (source)

August 28, 1899
- A mass murder-suicide claims four lives in Gilbert Plains, MB. Read the Morning Telegram article here.


August 28, 1932 - Andy Bathgate is born in Winnipeg. In his 20-year NHL career, most of it with the Rangers, he scored 973 points in 1,069 games and won the Hart Trophy in 1958-59.

August 28, 1903 - Robinson's has a back to school sale !

August 28, 1965 - Jacob Penner dies. He was city councillor for the North End from 1934 to 1961 with the exception of 22 months when he was interred by the Canadian government for being a Communist. In 2000 Jacob Penner Park was named for him.

August 27: Tribune closes; "Your Pet, Juliette"; Pidhorney hangs.


August 27, 1980The Winnipeg Tribune ceases publication after 90 years. It was born from the ashes of the defunct Winnipeg Daily Sun after Robert L. Richardson and D.L. McIntyre purchased the old presses. In 1920 Richardson sold the Tribune to the rapidly expanding Southam News chain.

For more on the Tribune see my West End Dumplings Post.


Sept. 1, 1909, Portage la Prairie Review (source)

August 27, 1909
- At 7:30 a.m. Mike Pidhorney is hanged in Winnipeg for murder.


Pidhorney (sometimes Pidhoney) was part of a work crew of mostly Ukrainian workers at a woodcutting camp near Sandilands, Manitoba, R.M. of Piney. One night four men, including Pidhorney, settled down in a bunkhouse but only three awoke the next morning. Metro Hewka was found in his bunk with his throat cut.

Pidhorney soon confessed to the murder but his erratic behaviour and the calm demeanour at facing a death penalty led to questions about his sanity. An inquest was held but the limited newspaper accounts seem to contradict each other as to the verdict of that inquest.

A Western Associated Press wire story, carried by many Manitoba papers, referred to Pidhorney as "an ignorant man of the lowest type" (
Portage la Prairie Weekly, 1 Sept 1909) and that his sanity was examined and found to be intact (Minnedosa Tribune 2 Sept 1909.) The Voice, a Winnipeg labour newspaper, called the hanging an injustice considering that an inquest had found him to be insane (3 Sept 1909.)


August 27, 1927 - "Your pet, Juliette" is born Juliette Augustina Sysak to working class Polish - Ukrainian parents in St. Vital. Her family moved to Vancouver when she was ten and her golden voice was soon noticed by a band leader. At age 15 she had her own radio show.

From there, it was onto Toronto and Juliette became one of Canada's first television stars with her own Saturday night CBC television show from 1956 to 1966 and a daytime show in the 1970s. The pet nickname came from the phrase used to introduce her on her first show: "Now let's meet your pet Juliette !"

Juliette received the Order of Canada in 1975.

August 26: Manitoba's first hanging; Winnipeg's one-way streets; S.S. Princess sinks.

August 26, 1956 - Many of downtown Winnipeg's side streets are converted from two way streets to one-way streets. (For more on the changeover.)

August 26, 1906
- The S.S. Princess sinks while crossing Lake Winnipeg. Six people, mostly crew, die and fourteen are rescued in lifeboats.


August 26, 1874 - Private Joseph Michaud, a 23 year-old soldier from Quebec, is the first person hanged in Manitoba.

Fort Garry ca. 1870 (source)

Michaud was stationed at Fort Garry as a gunner in the Dominion Artillery Corps. On the evening of June 18, 1874, he and two other men, Baker and Bernier, sneaked out of the barracks for a night on the town. As the night wore on, an increasingly drunk and erratic Michaud began showing off a dagger and calling out that he was 'well set up' to defend himself or use it on others. His actions led someone at the Pride of the West Saloon on Main Street to notify police to look out for him.


As midnight drew near, Bernier returned to the barracks but Michaud and Baker continued on.

Main Street 1874 (source)

In the early hours of June 19 the men were walking to another bar when Michaud pulled the knife and stabbed at Baker causing minor wounds. James A. Brown, a passerby on the sidewalk ahead, called out to stop Michaud but Michaud ran at Brown and began stabbing. Brown's body soon lay on the sidewalk, mutilated with more than 30 stab wounds.


Police, already on the lookout for the Michaud, went to the barracks and found that he was already in lock-up for missing curfew. Military Police had already seized a bloody knife and noted that his tunic and shirt were blood-stained when he arrived.

The murder shocked Winnipeg, still a small town of around 3,700 people. Some media reports refer to a lynching sentiment that was growing within the public.

Winnipeg Courthouse ca. 1874, near Main and William (source)

Michaud accepted responsibility for his actions. When asked how he plead at is arraignment hearing, he said "coupable dans mon coeur et je merite la morte" ("guilty in my heart and I deserve to die.") He took the stand during his trial but offered no reason or excuse for his actions aside from the large amount of alcohol consumed that night.


The trial was short and Michaud was sentenced to hang. There wasn't a lot of sentiment for the man. One citizen, J.W. Harris, recorded in his diary: "The soldier .... sentenced to be hanged on August 26 next. Amen."


The Daily Free Press' editorial of August 19, 1874 was almost giddy:

One week from to-day ! One short week—ah! Who better than the condemned can tell how short—and the life and sunshine of this world will be closed out forever. The foul murder of poor , Brown will be expiated at the hands of an outraged law, and the soul of the man who hurried a fellow creature before his Maker without a moment's preparation, will be before the same high tribunal.

The fact that at his trial people painted Michaud as a kind, generous person who only had a temperamental side when he drank made him a poster-boy for the temperance movement. The Nor'Wester newspaper wrote that "The miserable end of this young man Michaud ought to be a lesson to our young men to keep away form the temptation of strong drink." A New York paper even published excepts of Michaud's story to warn about the evils of drinking.

Manitoban and Northwest Herald, Aug. 22, 1874 (source)

Nor'Wester, Aug. 31, 1874 (source)

A large crowd showed up outside the jail at 8:00 a.m. for the hanging despite the fact that it was an indoor show with a pre-selected gallery of just twenty that were able to watch. J. W. Harris, who said amen to the hanging, made sure to stop by as his diary notes: "Saw Michaud hanged at 8 o'clock in Court Yard."


Michaud's last words consisted of a long, rambling speech in which he asked forgiveness from God and his mother. He concluded it with: "Joseph Michaud. Never forget my name." (For more details of the hanging.)

Once declared dead, he was taken from the gallows and handed over to friends and clergy for burial in St. Boniface cathedral cemetery.

Also see:
Manitoba's First Execution Cherney
Manitoba Free Press story August 29, 1874
Manitoba Free Press story June 27, 1874
Daily Nor'Wester story August 31, 1874

August 25: Botched hanging; Winnipeg police armed; Monty Hall; Dick Bonnycastle.

August 25, 1911 – The Winnipeg Police Commission votes to allow Winnipeg Police to carry arms after a series of crimes including armed robberies, shootings and the wounding of a policeman by American criminals. Police Chief Newton was instructed to purchase 25 Colt automatic revolvers and 25 'Colt 4' Police Positive revolvers. Three days later the City of St. Boniface followed suit.

August 25, 1892 - The Glenboro Gazette begins publication.

August 25, 1896 - Nellie Moody, a rural Manitoba schoolteacher, marries Manitou druggist Robert Wesley McClung. The couple settle there and raise a family.


August 25, 1921 - Game show host and television producer Maurice Halperin, known to most as Monty Hall, is born in Winnipeg. For More on Monty Hall's Winnipeg roots.


August 25, 1903 - Businessman and publisher Richard Henry Gardyne Bonnycastle is born near Dauphin, Manitoba.

Mills and Boon, the Winnipeg printing company that he co-owned, was looking for ways to keep the presses busy during non-peak times. They began printing short runs of paperback novels and one of their ventures called Harlequin, which produced romance novels, proved a success.

Harlequin's first title: 1949

It was son Richard Bonnycastle Jr. that turned Harlequin Romance into an international brand. In 1975 Torstar, publishers of the Toronto Star, bought a majority ownership in Harlequin.

For more Harlequin Romance history see: The Walrus and CBC.
August 25 1926 - Daniel Prockiw is hanged in Winnipeg for the murder of "Scotch Annie" Cardno of 57 1/2 Heaton Street.

For ten years the couple lived common-law, (or as 'paramours' as the papers of the day often put it). Cardno was a known 'underworld figure' in Winnipeg with a long police record of drunk and disorderly charges. Prockiw was a violent man who on many occasions beat Cardno black and blue.



March 17, 1926 Manitoba Free Press headline


On March 16th Cardno was found dead in their tenement house. The investigation revealed that she was beaten so badly that it broke every rib in her body. While she lay on the floor a kettle of boiling water was emptied over her head. The water was hot enough to boil her flesh and most of her scalp pulled way from her skull. Thankfully, the coroner felt that by the time the water was poured she was certainly unconscious and perhaps already dead from the beating.

Prockiw was arrested at the scene. He said that the two had quarreled and were drinking whisky and beer that day but claimed that he left to run errands and found her dead when he returned. He then went to a neighbour to call police.

Given his history of abusing Scotch Annie, Prockiw was charged with her murder later that week.

The trial lasted just a day and a half as there were no witnesses for the defense. Prockiw maintained that he was not the killer but on June 8, 1926 the all-male jury took just an hour and a half to unanimously convict him of murder. The following day he was sentence to hang.


August 26, 1929, Winnipeg Free Press

On this day in 1926 at 7:30 a.m. Prockiw was hanged at the Vaughan Street Jail but not without drama.

Dominion hangman 'Arthur Ellis', (the pseudonym of Arthur B. English), got his calculations wrong and when Prockiw dropped, instead of hanging, his head was torn from his body. It was not the first time English/Ellis miscalculated a job, nor would it be his last. A decade later the botched hanging of a female prisoner ended his career.

August 24: Winnie the Bear; Riel flees; Civic parkade shut.

August 24, 1914 - Harry Colebourn of the Canadian Army Veterinary Corps purchases an orphaned black female bear cub in White River, Ontario for $20 and names her Winnie after his hometown of Winnipeg. Also see Pooh, we hardly new you.

August 24, 1870 - The Red River Expeditionary Force of 1870, also called the Wolseley Expedition after its leader, arrives at Red River to quash Louis Riel's provisional government. Riel fled to the U.S.. For a timeline of Louis Riel's life.


August 24, 1974 - Rudolph Besler, long-time owner of the Park Theatre on Osborne Street, dies.

August 24, 2012 - The city orders the Civic Parkade be closed indefinitely after an engineering study finds major faults with its condition.

August 23: Alex. Macdonald of Macdonalds Consolidated, FrancoManitoban leader Joseph Royal.


August 23, 1928 - Alexander Macdonald dies in Winnipeg at the age of 85. He was a former alderman and mayor of Winnipeg and founder of the Macdonalds Consolidated chain of wholesalers and retail stores that extended throughout Western Canada.

Macdonald came from Scotland in 1871 and was active in the creation of many of Winnipeg's first businesses. He helped organize both the Winnipeg Tribune and the Free Press, even helping to work the presses for the FreeP's first edition. He was also the first chairman and president of the Great West Life Assurance Company.

He was a philanthropist involved in charities such as Laura Crouch's Home of the Friendless and helped finance and furnish the first Children's Home in Tuxedo. While president of GWL he donated his salary to public institutions. During the war he regularly purchased tens of thousands of copies of  newspapers to send overseas for local troops and had thousands of copies of khaki-bound bibles produced for them.

When he died, the Free Press wrote : "With the passing of Macdonald, Winnipeg, and indeed western Canada, has lost one whose beneficence has possibly never been matched"

"I was here at Winnipeg's birth, I was here at her christening, and I have stayed to see her grow into one of Canada's mightiest cities."
Alexander Macdonald

August 23, 1902 - Joseph Royal dies. Invited to Red River by Bishop Tache in 1871, he published Le Metis, Manitoba's first French newspaper. He became a Francophone leader in the Legislature, House of Commons and was the first Reeve of St. Boniface. (Also see.)

August 22: The Winnipeg Telegram

August 22, 1907 - The Winnipeg Telegram begins publication. It lasted until until October 1920 when it merged with the Winnipeg Tribune.

August 21: Portage electrifies; Towne Cinema opens; 'Winnipeg Baby' dies in L.A.; Upper Fort Garry Gate; Hanging John Pawluk.

August 21, 1919 – The town of Portage la Prairie is the first applicant to receive power under the 1919 Electrical Power Transmission Act. On this day it is connected to the Manitoba Power Commission’s electrical grid at the Scotland Avenue Substation in Winnipeg. 

Towne Cinema 8
August 21, 1981 - The Towne Cinema 8 on Notre Dame Avenue opens. It was Canada's first stand-alone multiplex cinema.

August 21, 1935 - Marjorie White, 27, dies in a car crash near Hollywood.

Born
Marjorie Guthrie in Winnipeg in 1904, she began performing at age 4 in a touring song and dance group called the Winnipeg Kiddies. From there it was to the vaudeville circuit where she was partnered with Thelma White (no relation) as the White Sisters.

Marjorie's film career had just begun with parts opposite the Three Stooges and Will Rogers when she died. (For more.)


August 21, 1957 - Chris Kelekis, founder of C. Kelekis' restaurant dies.

August 21, 1907 - The Morning Telegram ceases publication after a nine-year run.

August 21, 1897
- The HBC presents the Upper Fort Garry Gate to the City of Winnipeg. It was in such bad condition that some thought it a 'backhanded gift', the HBC offloading an expensive relic to the city to fix up. The gate will soon be the centrepeice of an interpretive park.

August 21 1936 - John Pawluk, 49, is hanged at Headingly for the murder of his wife Julia.

Pawluk was not a nice character. The Ukrainian-born labourer had a police record that included assault, selling moonshine and weapons charges.
By 1927 he was living in Gonor, MB on a small farm with a second-hand store.

On November 5, 1935 Pawluk's wife Julia disappeared. He told some neighbours that he didn't know where she went and others that he awoke that morning to find her dressed and leaving the house, (she had walked out on Pawluk a number of times before.)


A few days after the disappearance, John approached Selkirk's Reeve to inquire about placing their children, aged 2, 12 and 14 year old, in foster care. The Reeve later testified that “we were afraid to go to his house because we knew that he had killed her.

April 25, 1936, Winnipeg Free Press

At around the same time, a male friend of Julia's in East Selkirk received the above letter saying that she had found another man and simply had to leave. Julia’s sister Minnie noticed that the note, though written in Ukrainian, was not in her sister's handwriting.

Suspicion mounted but it was John who gave himself away. High on home-brew one day, he told a neighbour that he had shot his wife in the head and buried her in the farm’s manure pile. This was relayed to the Selkirk R.C.M.P.. and on March 28, 1936 they searched the farm and found Julia's body, shot in the head and under a manure pile.

Initially arrested on weapons charges, Pawluk was charged with murder on March 30, 1936 and transferred from Selkirk to Winnipeg. Pawluk summoned Selkirk RCMP's Corporal James Newman and gave a statement that he had killed his wife but could not remember the circumstances. Drunk on moonshine on the evening of November 4th, he recalled that they argued but could not remember if he hit her or shot her.

As if John was not in enough trouble, RCMP began re-examining the suspicious suicide of Pawluk's neighbour, Genio Bulega, just one week prior to finding Julia's body.

Bulega was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head, the trigger of the shotgun tied to his foot to make it look like suicide. On the table a typewritten, cryptic note supposedly from Bulega saying that “she” had been bugging him about running away together since the summer and his heart couldn’t stand it anymore. Please don’t bother “him” about his wife because “he” is not to blame. No actual names were used.

At the inquest into Bulega’s death it was noted that the letter, which had been folded into four and stuck to the kitchen table with a knife, had blood spatter outside AND inside the folds meaning that it was open at the time of the shooting. There were no fingerprints on the gun. Eventually Pawluk was charged with Bulega’s murder, though never tried for it.

Court sat through the summer. In his court appearances it was noted that he seemed unbothered and usually had a smile for friends who came to watch the proceedings. Pawluk took the stand and recanted his confession to Cpl. Newman, claiming that he had lent his shotgun to the neighbour - the one who squealed to the RCMP about the manure pile.

June 13, 1936, Winnipeg Free Press

On June 12, 1936, after just one hour of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of guilty and Pawluk was sentenced to hang. It was reported that when the it was read out he was the “most unconcerned man in the building.” He re-lit his cigarette, said goodbye to his children with a kiss and smiled as he left the court.

Pawluk's hanging took place at 7:45 am on August 21, 1936. He was unemotional and refused any last words. At 7:49 am he was pronounced dead.

Sources:
Note from Julia: Winnipeg Free Press Archives, 25 Apr 1936.
Hanging headline, quote: Winnipeg Free Press Archives, 13 Jun 1936.

August 18: The Beatles arrive in Winnipeg, so does cable TV.

August 18, 1968 - Metro Videon, owned by Randy Moffat, hooks up the first cable TV in Winnipeg on rue d'Eglise in Saint Norbert. The couch potato is created ! To read the Free Press story.


August 18, 1964
- Over 1,000 screaming fans converge on the Winnipeg Airport to get a glimpse of The Beatles when their plane landed for a refuelling stop. (See video of their Winnipeg visit and read a first-hand account.)


The Beatles left the plane to do a ten minute press conference on the tarmac. The Free Press reported that "...all around the terminal groups of young people were walking around in semi stupors and there was much crying among the girls.


Their Canadian shows were in Vancouver, Montreal and two in Toronto but sadly, none in Winnipeg.

August 17: Winnipeg Sun, version 1.0; City Hall cornerstone; Cranberry Portage train disaster.

August 17, 1943 - Two CPR work trains collide near Cranberry Portage killing seven employees and injuring seven others. Most of the dead were resting in the caboose of the first train when it was struck from behind. (Read the Tribune story).

For more deadly Manitoba train crashes.


August 17, 1881 - The first Winnipeg Sun hits the streets. It published six days a week under editor and proprietor W. H. Nagle and folded in July 1885.


Old Market and City Hall
August 17, 1875 - The cornerstone is laid for Winnipeg's first city hall. It was replaced within a decade by the "gingerbread" city hall and market buildings. They were demolished in 1964 to make way for the current Civic Centre.

August 16: Brandon's Daly; General Hospital fundraiser; Manitoba pounded by rain.

August 17, 1939, Winnipeg Tribune

August 16, 1939 - Southern Manitoba is pounded by a pair of rainstorms. In a 24 hour period over 8 cm of rain fell flooding basements, cutting off communications and roads. It was the largest rainstorm in 25 years.


Subscription Notice, Daily Nor'Wester Aug 16, 1897

August 16, 1897
- The Winnipeg General Hospital launches their $50,000 Jubilee Wing Campaign.



Winnipeg General Hospital ca. 1888 (source)

At the time hospital had just one ward and just eight beds dedicated to surgery but in 1895 saw 1,795 patients, 496 of whom were from outside city limits. Between 1891 and 1920 the need for expansion continued as the WGH's patient population grew by 1600% (source.)

August 16, 1852 -
Thomas Mayne Daly, Brandon's first mayor and Canada's first juvenile court judge is born in Stratford, ON.

August 14: St. Peters a heritage site; Winnipeg Stadium opens; Fireman down.

St. Peter Dynevor Church
August 14, 1963 - St. Peter Dynevor Anglican Church on Old Stone Church Road in the R.M. of St. Clements, near East Selkirk, is designated a Provincial Heritage Site. 

August 14, 1914 – Winnipeg fireman Anthony Gallagher (25) dies en route to a call.

The Free Press reported that at 8:45 pm he fell off his ladder truck in the intersection of 
Gallagher was single, a native of Northern Ireland and left behind a brother who was also a Winnipeg fireman. The fire he was responding to was a minor one on Gertrude Street - the estimated total damage was $100.


August 14, 1899 - Le Courrier de l’Ouest, a Saint Boniface newspaper, ceases publication after just a few months.

July 11, 1953, Winnipeg Free Press

August 14, 1953 - The Winnipeg Stadium officially opens. It was slated to close at the end of the 2011 CFL season but construction delays on Winnipeg's new stadium forced it back into action for 2012. Demolition was completed in August 2013.

August 13: BTO spilts; American Woman recorded; Hack Simpson born; Laura Secord's cornerstone.

August 13 has been an eventful date for Randy Bachman !

August 13, 1968 - Tal Bachman is born in Winnipeg.

August 13, 1969 - The Guess Who record the song "American Woman". It hit the top of the Billboard charts in May 1970 and stayed there for three weeks.

August 13, 1977 - Randy Bachman announces that he is leaving BTO.

August 13, 1893 - Harold Joseph Simpson was born in Selkirk, Manitoba. 'Hack' played for 'The Winnipegs' hockey club that won the Allen Cup in 1931. In 1932 was the Canadian flag bearer at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics and part of the gold medal winning men's hockey team. Simpson died Christmas Day 1973 in Florida.

August 13, 1912 - The cornerstone is laid for Laura Secord School by R.P. Knox, chair of the school division's building committee. The school would have 23 classrooms and capacity for 1,100 students making it the largest elementary school in the city.

August 12: Lenny Breau dies; Cindy Klassen born; "Fighting Billy" Code.ston School.

August 12, 1976 - Cindy Klassen is born Winnipeg.

She was a member of the Canadian Women's Lacrosse Team at the 1994 Commonwealth Games, the In-Line Speed Skating team at the 1999 Pan American Games and a member of the Women's National Junior Hockey Team in 1996 at Lake Placid. She was not selected to go with the hockey team to Nagano in 1998 so she took up speed skating at the age of 18.

In just four years she became the first Canadian woman in almost three decades to win the world speed skating championship (2003). By the end of the 2006 Olympic Games, Klassen became the most decorated Canadian Olympic athlete winning a total of 6 medals (5 in 2006 and 1 in 2002).

August 12, 1948 - The cornerstone is laid for Weston School on Logan Ave. The school is named for Thomas Chesmer Weston, (1832 - 1911). The British born geologist came to Canada in 1859 and worked for the Canadian Geological Survey. He became one of Canada’s famous dinosaur hunters.

The original school consisted of 7 rooms and was built by Glen Walin Co. for $361,365.00.

August 12, 1984 – Legendary guitarist Lenny Breau is found dead in Los Angeles.

Born August 5, 1941 to francophone parents in Maine, the Breau family moved to Winnipeg in 1957 where they became a popular musical act on local stage, TV and radio.

Breau covered a range of musical styles from country to jazz to flamenco. Chet Atkins called him "the greatest guitar player in the world today." Lenny gave Randy Bachman guitar lessons, Bachman calls Breau his greatest influence.

Throughout his life, Breau battled addictions to drugs and alcohol. When he was first found dead in the swimming pool of his Los Angeles apartment it was assumed that he had drowned or committed suicide. The corner later determined that he was strangled and his body dumped. The murder has never been solved.

For more, see Lenny Breau.net.

August 12, 1940 - Funeral services are held for former Winnipeg Fire Chief "Fighting Billy" Code (91). Code became a legendary figure in early Winnipeg during his 40 years on the force, retiring in 1914. (Tribune article, Winnipeg Fire Museum - scroll to bottom for Code's service record.)