February 8: Jonasson hangs; Bachman, Cummings to Hall of Fame; Manitoba Hotel burns.

February 8, 2005 - Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman are inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.

February 8, 1962 - The Arrow River Standing Stone Burial Ground in the R.M. of Miniota, near Hamiota, is designated a Provincial Heritage Site.

February 8 1946 - Baldwin Jonasson (49) of Langruth is hanged for the murder of Pearl Dell (16) of Portage la Prairie.

Jonasson and Dell worked together at the Owen Farm in Flee Island, near Portage la Prairie. On September 10, 1945 Jonasson picked Pearl up to drive her to work. The following day neighbouring farmers found Jonasson, bloody and dazed from a slashed throat, in a field. In the nearby car was the body of Dell.

Jonasson initially told police that his car had stalled and while they sat talking she took out a razor and tried to kill him, then killed herself. At trial, the medical examiner said that Dell died from three blunt blows to the head, likely from a hammer, and that the slashes on her throat were deep enough to almost sever her head.

The jury found Jonasson guilty of murder. He was the first person of Icelandic heritage executed in Canada.

February 8, 1899 - The Manitoba Hotel at the intersection of Main and Water in Winnipeg is destroyed by fire. Damage was pegged at $800,000 but no lives are lost. Temperatures near the - 40 level hampered firefighters in their efforts to save the building. The loss of the building led to the fire chief being demoted to an inspector. (Also see.)

The Manitoba Hotel was the first railway hotel in Winnipeg, built by the Northern Pacific and Manitoba Railway. The site is now home to the Federal Building - note the similar footprint of the buildings.

February 8, 1952 - 303 Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron is formed in The Pas, MB.

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