Mar. 31: Minnedosa Tribune; Toilers plane crash; Air Training Plan ends.

March 31, 1883 - The first edition of the Minnedosa Tribune hit the streets. It's the oldest weekly newspaper in Western Canada. 

March 31, 1890 - The Manitoba legislature passes the Manitoba Schools Act which abolished separate schools for Catholics and Protestants effective May 1, 1890.

March 31, 1891 - The City of Winnipeg introduced a plan to change its street names to numbers. For more on the failed scheme.

March 31, 1933 - A plane carrying the three-time national champion Winnipeg Toilers basketball team crashed in Kansas. Only one member escaped death or serious injury. For more, read my post Remembering the Winnipeg Toilers.

March 31, 1940 - Winnipeg firefighter James Thomas Murray, 50, died of a heart attack while fighting a chimney fire on Jubilee Avenue. A 21-year member of the department and WWI Veteran left behind a wife and three daughters.

March 31, 1945 - The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan agreement ended. The joint effort of Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand was created as a means to quickly train thousands of pilots and support staff for the war.

Canada became a centre for most of the activity with 107 training schools. By the time it ended, the program ended a total of 131,553 students, (50,000 of them pilots), would be trained. Brandon's restored CATP hangar is a national historic site and museum.

March 31, 1992 - Westminster United Church in Winnipeg was declared a provincial historic site.

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Mar. 30: Riel sworn in; Public transport strike; Baseball's Harry Sketchley.

March 30, 1874 - Despite having a bounty out for his arrest in Ontario, Louis Riel slipped into Ottawa to be sworn in as the M.P. for Provencher. He flees to Hull immediately after.

March 30, 1906 - Winnipeg’s first public transportation strike began. Over 12,000 people crowded Main Street to watch the strikers protest. There were scuffles with police and two street cars were burned. The following day, the mayor read the riot act and the NWMP were brought in to restore order. The crowd dispersed and the men got a small pay raise the following week. (Also see.)

March 30, 1954 - Fire destroyed the Winnipeg Canoe Club. The 40 year-old, all-wood structure burned for four and a half hours.

March 30, 1919 - Harry "Bud" Sketchley was born in Virden, MB. After attending the University of California - Los Angeles, he had a short stint in baseball's major leagues playing 13 games with the Chicago White Sox in 1942, (read more about his call-up here.) He was the third Manitoban to play in baseball's major leagues and died in LA in 1979. (Image source: The Southeast Missourian, April 1942.)

March 30, 1973 - In partnership with Ottawa, Manitoba began a “guaranteed annual income” project called “Mincome”.

March 30, 1990 - The Minnedosa Agricultural Society Display Building at the Ag Fair Grounds in Minnedosa was designated a Provincial Heritage Site.

March 30 1990 - The Hotel Fort Garry, Winnipeg was designated a Provincial Heritage Site.

March 30, 1990 - The Trappist Monastery Guesthouse, rue du Monastére, St. Norbert was designated a Provincial Heritage Site.

March 30, 1990 - Kildonan School (Nisbet Hall) at 2373 Main Street, Winnipeg was designated a Provincial Heritage Site.

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Mar. 29: Terry Jacks born; Odeon Theatre closed.

March 29, 1944 - Singer Terry Jacks was born in Winnipeg. He and his wife formed The Poppy Family in the 1960s and had a number of hits including "Which Way You Goin' Billy?" In 1973, Jacks went solo and his "Seasons in the Sun" topped the U.S. charts making him the first Canadian to have two songs reach number 1 on the U.S. charts. (Also see.)

March 29, 1966 - Not really a Manitoba story but .... 30 year-old George Chuvalo fought Muhammad Ali at Maple Leaf Gardens for the World Heavyweight Title. Chuvalo does not win, but stays with Ali for all 15 rounds – the longest of any opponent in Ali’s career to-date. (See CBC Archives: Ali v Chuvalo.)

March 29, 1990 - Cineplex Odeon closed the Walker Theatre and puts it up for sale. Built in 1906, it was converted to a cinema in 1946.

March 29, 1991 - Bernier House on Provencher Boulevard in Winnipeg was designated a Provincial Heritage Site.

March 29, 1991 - The Grey Nuns' Convent on Av Tache in Winnipeg was designated a Provincial Heritage Site.

March 29, 1991 - Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Roman Catholic Church was Camperville is designated a Provincial Heritage Site.

March 29, 1991 - Darlingford Memorial and Park in Darlingford was designated a Provincial Heritage Site.

© 2012, 2020 Christian Cassidy

Mar. 28: James Armstrong Richardson born; Snow storm strikes Manitoba.

March 28, 1922 - James Armstrong Richardson is born Winnipeg. A member of the Trudeau cabinet from 1968 – 1978, he stepped down to protest the implementation of official bilingualism.

March 28, 1942 - The worst snowstorm in over 20 years brings Southern Manitoba to a halt. Brandon received 40 cm of snow in just one night and there would be more to come.

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Mar. 27: McLeod awarded a Victoria Cross; Manitoba Centennial Concert Hall opens.

March 27, 1918 - Nineteen year-old Lt. Alan A. McLeod of Stonewall received the Victoria Cross for bravery. He is the youngest Canadian and the youngest airman in the Commonwealth to receive the decoration. For more on McLeod read my West End Dumplings post.

March 27, 1968 - The Manitoba Centennial Concert Hall was opened by Governor General Roland Michener.

© 2012, 2020 Christian Cassidy

Mar. 26: HBC merger; Metro Winnipeg formed; Dodds the arsonist caught.

March 26, 1821 - Bitter business rivals Hudson’s Bay Company and North West Company merged under the HBC name.

March 26, 1913 - Serial arsonist James Dodds was arrested on Smith Street. He was responsible for setting over 200 fires in a three year period including the Radford-Wright blaze of 1912 that killed seven.

March 26, 1960 - The Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg, or "Metro", was incorporated.

March 26, 2001 - Mountain Equipment Co-op announced that they will open a retail outlet at the corner of Portage and Donald.

© 2012, 2020 Christian Cassidy

March 25: Wolseley died; CKJS went on the air; Elim Chapel rededicated.

March 25, 1913 Colonel Garnet Joseph Wolseley died in France. He was a career British soldier who served around the world. In 1870 he led the Red River Expedition to Western Canada to quell the Riel uprising. For more see my West End Dumplings post. (Image: Library and Archives Canada.)

March 25, 1975 - Multicultural radio station CKJS 810 went on the air. The station was created by Montreal-based C. G. Stanczykowski. For more about CKJS.

March 25, 1976 - Samantha "Sami Jo" Small was born in Winnipeg. She was a member of the Olympic Gold Medal Women's hockey team at Salt Lake City in 2002.

March 25, 1979 - The rebuilt Elim Chapel was dedicated at a special service. It was largely destroyed by fire a year earlier.

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Mar. 24: Bomber Jeff Nicklin died; License plates introduced; Brandon's Beaubier died.

March 24, 1911 - All automobiles in the province must be registered and display a government of Manitoba issued licence plate. The cost of registration was $5.00 per year. For more on the history of Manitoba licence plates.

March 24, 1915
- Thomas J. Beaubier died at his home in Brandon. The Irish-born Beaubier came to Brandon in 1880 and in 1882 opened one of Brandon's first hotels, Beaubier House. The hotel was torn down in 2008.   Read his obituary here and about his funeral here.

March 24, 1920
- Wilbur "Bill" Irwin was born in Winnipeg. Irwin competed for Canada at the 1948 Winter Games in Saint Moritz in SIX men's skiing categories: Downhill Alpine; Nordic Combined; 'Normal Hill' Ski Jumping; Alpine Slalom; 18k Cross Country and Alpine Combined. (For a team photo.)

March 24, 1945 - Winnipeg Blue Bomber star Jeff Nicklin was killed in action. See my post "The greatest Blue Bomber you've never heard of".

March 24, 2000 - Albert "Spunk" Duncanson died. Born in Winnipeg in 1911, He was a member of both the 1932 (Lake Placid) Olympic Gold Medal winning hockey team The Winnipegs and the 1931 Elmwood Millionaires scoring the overtime goal that won them the Abbott Cup advancing them to the Memorial Cup, which they won.

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Mar. 23: Robinson Weber fire; Scott Block fire; Mosienko's hat trick; Louise Staples died.

March 23, 1914 - The Scott Block fire at 272 Main street injured dozens of people. For more about the Scott Block.

March 23, 1943 - The Guess Who’s Chad Allan was born Allan Kowbel in Winnipeg. There's a great The Guess Who gallery at Hillman Web.

March 23, 1945 - A fire at the the Robinson and Webber building on Princess Street killed firemen Frank Sandison (47) and James Smith (35) and injured four others.

March 23, 1952 - Bill Mosienko, a Winnipegger and Chicago Black Hawk, scored three goals in twenty-one seconds against the New York Rangers. It is still an NHL record.

March 23, 1988 - Louise Staples died. A teacher at Greenway School in 1935, she was tasked with finding a safer way for children to get to and from the school. The Safety Patrol program she created was soon adopted by many inner city schools and, eventually, across the county. (For more.)

© 2012, 2020 Christian Cassidy

Mar. 22: Author Gabrielle Roy; Brandon's Dr. Edmison.

March 22, 1909 - Author Gabrielle Roy was born in Saint Boniface. She won numerous national and international writing awards including three Governor General’s Awards in Literature, France’s Prix Femina, the Canada Arts Council Award and the New York Literary Guild Award. Roy was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1967. She died July 13, 1983.

La Maison Gabrielle Roy, her childhood home on rue Deschambault in Saint Boniface, is a museum dedicated to her life and work.

March 22, 1932 - John Henry Edmison died at his home in Brandon. Edmison was a physician in Dunrea and Brandon. He also represented Brandon in the Legislature from 1923-1931 and a president of the Manitoba Medical Council.

March 22, 1995 - The Northern Pacific and Manitoba Railway Repair Shop, now the Manitoba Children’s Museum, on Forks Market Road is declared a Provincial historic site.

March 22, 1995 - The Boundary Commission Trail - Turtlehead Creek Crossing near Deloraine is designated a Provincial Heritage Site.

© 2012, 2020 Christian Cassidy

Mar. 21: J. S. Woodsworth died; Portage Avenue's Dr. Finkleman; Burton Cummings hosts Junos.

March 21, 1942 - James Shaver Woodsworth died. Ordained as a Methodist minister in Brandon in 1900, he soon moved to Winnipeg and for many years ran the All Peoples Mission on Sutherland Avenue. He represented Winnipeg North Centre as an M.P. from 1921 – 1942 and was the first leader of the CCF, forerunner of the NDP. (Also see.)


March 21, 2001 - Dr. Emanuel Finkleman died. The optometrist was a fixture on Portage Avenue for over 50 years.

March 21, 1979 - Burton Cummings hosted the Juno Awards for the first time. He went on to host the show three more times. For 1979's nominees and winners.

© 2012, 2020 Christian Cassidy

Mar. 20: First Shaarey Zedek; Charleswood's first reeve; Winnipeg's father of baseball.

March 20, 1890 - The first Shaarey Zedek Synagogue located at King Street at Henry Avenue was dedicated. It served until the present synagogue opened in 1950. The name translates as "the Gates of Righteousness." Also see. (Image: March 20, 1890, Winnipeg Tribune)

March 20, 1923 - George Chapman became Charleswood's first reeve by acclamation. Chapman School was named for him.

March 20, 1926 - John W. Harris died. A draftsman by trade, he is credited with bringing the game of baseball to Winnipeg.

© 2012, 2020 Christian Cassidy

Mar. 19: Wesley Hall's construction.


March 19, 1894 - Construction began on the Methodist church-affiliated Wesley College on Portage Avenue. The largest financial contributor to its construction was H. A. Massey, chairman of the Massey Harris Company. For more on the history of the building.

Mar. 18: Avenue Building opened; Nick Hill died; Heart of Gold topped the charts.

March 18, 1898 - Magnus "Mike" Goodman was born in Winnipeg. He was a member of the Winnipeg Falcons 1920 team that went on to win the Olympic Gold Medal. Goodman died in Florida in 1991.

March 18, 1905 - The grand opening of the Avenue Building on Portage Avenue took place. The man who funded its construction was Mark Fortune who died seven years later aboard the RMS Titanic.

March 18, 1972 - Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" hit the top of the Billboard charts. It was his only solo single to crack the U.S. top 30.

March 18, 2003 - Nick Hill, co-founder owner of Kern-Hill Furniture Co-op died at the age of 71. For more about Hill and Kern-Hill check out my Winnipeg Downtown Places post !

© 2012, 2020 Christian Cassidy

Mar. 17: Dunrea's Daniel Lavoie

March 17, 1949 - Singer / songwriter Daniel Lavoie was born in Dunrea, Manitoba. He broke into the French-Canadian music scene in the 1970s and has gone on to international fame, most recently in the musical Notre Dame de Paris. (Also see Manitoba's unknown superstar.)

© 2012, 2020 Christian Cassidy