December 8: In Flanders' Fields; Riel rebels; Ron Hextall's goal.

In Flanders Fields
Original Punch magazine showing 
In Flanders' Fields at Shilo, MB

December 8, 1915 - John McCrae's “In Flanders’ Fields” is first published in the Britain's Punch Magazine.  

There are 3 connections between Manitoba and Lt. Col. McCrae:

1. James F. Kilgour, a young Guelph ON lawyer, moved to Brandon in 1901 to be part of Clifford Sifton’s law firm. In 1905 he returned home briefly to marry Mary Christie Geills McCrae, the sister of John McCrae. She moved to Brandon and raised four children. In 1927 Kilgour was appointed to the bench and the family moved to Winnipeg for the remainder of their years. McCrae did visit his sister while she lived in Manitoba.

2. In 1910 Governor General Lord Grey made a canoe trip from Lake Winnipeg to Hudson's Bay and John McCrae was the expedition doctor.

3. A printing plate of the hand-written version of In Flanders' Fields is located in the Royal Canadian Artillery Museum in Shilo, Manitoba.

December 8, 1884 - Winnipeg’s first 'ballot system' municipal election is held.

Riel and his provisional cabinet (click for source)

December 8, 1869 - The Red River Rebellion begins as Riel issues his Declaration of the People of Rupert's Land and the North-West. It states that the HBC, by transferring it’s lands to the Dominion of Canada without the consent of the people living here, was improper and that a provisional government must be set up to govern the lands.

December 8, 1941 - Japan invades Hong Kong. There were some 2,000 Canadian solders stationed in the colony, many from the Royal Winnipeg Rifles. They were there to provide garrison duties, not fight a war and soon surrendered, spending the rest of the war in Japanese POW camps. One soldier who became a central figure in those camps was Winnipeg's Captain John Norris.

December 8, 1987 – Brandon Manitoba’s Ron Hextall becomes the first goaltender in the NHL’s 70 year history to score a goal.   It happened in the dying seconds of a game between Hextall’s Philadelphia Flyers and the Boston Bruins at Philadelphia’s Spectrum Arena.  (For video of the goal.)

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