February 1: Farewell WRENS; cabooses gone; Fort Garry Court burns; HSC created.

February 1, 1904 - The Winnipeg Commodity Exchange begins trading in futures contracts.

February 1, 1990 - The CNR discontinues the use of cabooses on their trains. The CPR did away with them in 1989.

February 1, 1902 - Robert Briggs Hetherington is appointed the provincial jailer. Born in Smith’s Falls ON, Hetherington came to Manitoba in 1879 as a 21 year old carpenter working in Portage la Prairie and settling in Douglas MB.

February 1, 1968 - The Canadian Forces Reorganization Act brings women from all Canadian forces under the title of “service women”. Officially, this would be the end of the Navy WRENS (Women's Royal Navy Service), though the name would be used unofficially for another decade. WRENS began in May 1942 in Canada. (Image source and more on WRENS.)

February 1, 1976 - The Fort Garry Court apartments on Broadway, across from Union Station, are destroyed by fire. Five elderly men are killed and 175 are left homeless. It was found to be arson.

Deficiencies with the building, which actually passed a fire inspection a few months before, led to improvements of the fire code for all city apartment blocks. (
Image: Winnipeg Fire Museum - for more scroll down to Feb 1.)

February 1, 1932 - James McGrath, a 24 year-old British labourer, is hanged in Headingley for murdering his wife Freda (19) near Souris with a butcher knife.

February 1, 1973 - The Health Sciences Centre is created. To protest the amalgamation, the Children's Hospital flies its flag at half mast ! For more about its history. For a history of the Rehab / Respiratory Hospital, including its amalgamation.

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