October 12: Floodway opens; Richardson Building 1.0; "Spanish" flu precautions; Pearson's Nobel Prize.

Floodway at Lockport
October 12, 1968 - The Red River Floodway is officially opened by Premier Walter Weir and energy minister J. J. Greene. Former Premier Duff Roblin, who led the charge to get the project built, left provincial politics that year to run for Parliament.

The 47 km channel took six years to build, cost $63m and was said to be the largest earth-moving construction project in history to that date. It has been used 20 times and is estimated to have saved over $10 billion in direct damages, (source).

Also See:
Duff’s Ditch" and CBC Archives.

Spanish Flu - Winnipeg
October 12, 1918 - Both Gordon Bell, chair of the Provincial Public Health Board, and A. J. Douglas, Winnipeg's Health Officer, issue orders closing all public places and forbidding all public gatherings. It was an effort to deal with Spanish Influenza which was beginning to circulate in the province.

October 12, 1934 - Sidney Smith is installed as the second president of the University of Manitoba. At the same ceremony John Dafoe is installed as its third Chancellor. For more U of M history.

October 12, 1876 - Mr. Steele of Steele Bros. Seeds in Toronto arrives in Winnipeg to pick up what would be the first wheat export order from Manitoba. The company that arranged the transaction was Higgins and Young. The two were also partners in a dry goods store.

October 12, 1957 - Lester B Pearson wins the Nobel Prize. As described by CBC Radio:

“A cable is sent from Oslo to inform Liberal MP Lester B. Pearson that he has won the Nobel Peace Prize. It arrives, but at the wrong house. Four hours later a reporter calls Pearson for an interview and unknowingly becomes the bearer of marvellous news. Pearson is shocked and honoured. The prize honours Pearson's creation of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF), deployed the previous year to help bring peace in Egypt, following the Suez Crisis”.

October 12, 1929 - Excavation begins on the "James Richardson Building" at Portage and Main. By the end of the month the project was put on hold due to the stock market crash. It took until 1967 for James Richardson and Sons to re-announce the construction of their headquarters at the famous intersection.

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