January 15: Macri hangs; Leo Mol; Government Telephones; 49th Parallel opens.

Train Ride from Churchill to Winnipeg
January 15, 1990 - VIA Rail cuts about half of its passenger service network. Now, just one transcontinental train will run between Toronto and Vancouver via Winnipeg, Saskatoon, and Edmonton.

January 15, 1907 - Salvatore Macri is hanged in Winnipeg for murder.


Macri and a few other Italian immigrants were
walking home from 566 Young Street after an evening of drinking and playing cards. One of the group, John Roelli, was stabbed to death near Young and Portage. Macri was blamed but no motive was provided by the Crown making it “unique in the annals of crime in Western Canada” according to The Morning Telegram of Jan 16, 1907

Could prejudice against immigrants have been at play ? It was reported that Sheriff Inkster received 13 requests from members of the general public looking to be the executioner. The Telegram reported, perhaps tongue in cheek, that “The amazing part …. Is that a majority of them were Anglo-Saxon."

January 15, 1910 - The former Security Storage Building on Ellice avenue opens. It also served as teh first HMCS Chippawa, a naval recruiting and training centre during World War II, and is currently home to the John Howard Society.


Portage and Main
January 15, 1915 - Artist and sculptor Leonid Molodozhanyn, "Leo Mol", is born in Ukraine. After studying in Europe he came to Canada in 1949 and settled in Winnipeg in 1954. He died in 2009.

January 15, 1975 - Rush play with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. It was one of a series of concerts to celebrate the opening of the Winnipeg Convention Centre. The headline group, Motown's Rare Earth, backed out at the last minute due to illness.

January 15, 1908 - Manitoba Government Telephones, the forerunner to MTS, takes over the Manitoba assets of Bell Telephone Company. For more on the early telephone system in Manitoba and in Brandon.


January 15, 2012 - The final church service is held at St. Thomas' Anglican Church in Lockport.

January 15, 1943 - The movie 49th Parallel opens in Winnipeg. Set in Manitoba, and many of itse sequences filmed here, it had an all-star cast that included Leslie Howard, Lawrence Olivier, Glynis Johns, Canadian actor Raymond Massey, and former Winnipegger Carla Lehmann. It won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

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