May 20: Manitoba's first LG; Luxton dies; Brandon strikes; Falcon Lake's UFO.

May 20, 1893 - The Janet Skinner King Memorial Window was unveiled at Bryce Hall at the University of Winnipeg.

May 20, 1870 Sir Adams George Archibald was appointed the first Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba and the Northwest Territories. A lawyer from Nova Scotia, he held a number of senior cabinet posts and was a strong supporter of the expansion of Canada.

Though Archibald spent just a couple of years in the position, he laid some important foundations for the province such as the establishment of the first police forces and negotiating the first two treaties between Manitoba and its First Nations.

Archibald later served as L.G. for of Nova Scotia from 1873-83. Archibald Street is named for him.

May 20, 1907 - William Fisher Luxton died. He came to Manitoba in 1871 to be a schoolteacher but the following year partnered with John Kenny to create the Manitoba Free Press. (Also see.)

May 20, 1919 - Brandon's workers chose this day to start a sympathetic general strike. Over 100 CNR workers and 125 CPR workers were the first to walk off the job.

May 20, 1967 - A prospector encountered two 'flying saucers' while working near Falcon Lake, Manitoba. After an investigation the Department of National Defence consider the matter 'unsolved'.

May 20, 1979 - The Jets beat the Edmonton Oilers 7-3 to win the Avco World Trophy of the WHA. This was the Jets' third cup and the final one presented. It can be seen at the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.

© 2012, 2020 Christian Cassidy

May 19: Frankin set sail; Red River Crests, Post Office permit issued.

May 19, 1845 - Explorer John Franklin left England with his ships Erebus and Terror to find the North West Passage. They became icebound in July and over a period of three years died off while awaiting rescue. 

The wrecks of the ships were found in 2014 and 2016 after years of searching. Britain gifted the ships to Canada in 2018 and they are now a National Historic Site.

May 19, 1919 - The Winnipeg Citizen newspaper began publication. It is owned by the pro-business Citizen's Committee of One Thousand.  

May 19, 1950 - The Red River crested in Winnipeg.

May 19, 1955 - A building permit was issued for the new Dominion Post Office on Graham Avenue. At $9.5 million, it was the largest permit ever issued in the city to that point.

© 2012, 2020 Christian Cassidy

May 19: Farewell Bannatyne; James Kirkcaldy born; Gray's "zero tolerance" for strikers.

May 18, 1866 - James Kirkcaldy was born in Scotland. He settled in Brandon and became its police chief and later a politician and administrator.

May 18, 1889 A. G. B. Bannatyne, (also see), died en route to Winnipeg from St. Paul, Minnesota.

Reporting on his death, the Manitoba Free Press wrote: "Mr. Bannatyne was one of the landmarks of the old Red River Settlement and his name will ever remain interwoven with Manitoba."

In the formative years of Winnipeg there was very little that Bannatyne wasn’t involved in. He was the first postmaster of Fort Garry, first president of Winnipeg Board of Trade, the first police magistrate for Winnipeg, the long-time MP for Provencher and was also involved in the establishment of the Winnipeg General Hospital and served as president of its board of trustees.

December 9, 1905, Winnipeg Free Press

Bannatyne's business interests and landholdings made him a wealthy man, but that did not last. A Winnipeg Tribune article of June 25, 1910 says that he wasn’t “wise with the ways of the world” and the flood unscrupulous land speculators and businessman that came to the city in its early years took advantage of that: "...because of his faith in humanity, his kindly desire to help things along and his inability to resist the unscrupulous forces with which he was suddenly called upon to intend, he became financially overwhelmed and his magnificent prospects disappeared.…”

Bannatyne lost most of his wealth in bad business deals that tanked in a recession and land bust and spent the last years of his life living mostly in seclusion.

May 18, 1919 - Mayor Gray issued a zero tolerance proclamation for civic unrest during the Winnipeg General Strike: "Let me make this absolutely clear. If the food supplies and the protection of life and property are not maintained I shall take whatever action may be necessary to secure them and maintain the authority of the government as it is established by the voice of the people".

May 18, 1974 - Singer / songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk was born in Winnipeg.

© 2012, 2020 Christian Cassidy

May 17: Winnipeg Fire Dept created; Citizens Committee of 1000 created; HMCS Dauphin commissioned.
Source: Winnipeg In Focus

May 17, 1882 - Winnipeg's volunteer fire brigade was replaced with a full-time force. Chief William McRobie, a veteran of the Montréal fire department, was chosen from a long list of applicants for the position. He presided over a staff of 32. (for more Winnipeg Fire Department history.)

May 17 1919 - Concerned about the growing number of workers joining the general strike, the Citizens Committee of 1000 was created.


May 17, 1941 - The HMCS Dauphin was commissioned at Montreal.

May 17, 1973 - The PPCLI barracks in Winnipeg were renamed Kapyong Barracks to honour a battle fought in the Korean war in 1951.

© 2012, 2020 Christian Cassidy

May 16: Bachman left The Guess Who; first policewoman graduated; Garrick Cinema opened.

May 16, 1919 – The Winnipeg General Strike entered its second day and attracts the attention of the New York Times.Continues. (Above article from the N.Y. Times. Also see my 1919 blog.)

May 16th, 1960 - Helen Woollard was the first woman to graduate from a full recruit class at the Winnipeg Police Academy. She was also the first supervisor for the 999 (now 911) emergency service in 1959. (For more early Winnipeg policewomen.)

May 16, 1968 - The Garrick Cinema opened. It was Winnipeg's first modern-era cinema and its first multiplex, featuring two screens under one roof. 

May 16, 1970 - Randy Bachman left the Guess Who. (For more.)

May 16, 1973 - Bomber great Leo Lewis was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame. He played 11 seasons (55-65) and made six trips to the Grey Cup, winning four. The "Lincoln Locomotive" rushed for a total of 8,861 yards and racked up 5,444 kickoff return yards.

May 15: General Strike began; Riel surrendered; Uptown Theatre went dark; Planetarium opened.

May 15, 1885 - Louis Riel surrendered to to Maj. Gen. Middleton after defeat at the Battle of Batoche. He was taken to Regina, imprisoned and tried for treason. (Image: 'Riel as prisoner in Middleton's camp, 16 May 1885', Library and Archives Canada / C-003450).

May 15, 1919 - The winnipeg General Strike began. At 7:00 am the first workers leave their jobs. By lunchtime, 25,000 workers from 94 unions filled the streets. For more, see the May 15 entry at my 1919: The Winnipeg General Strike blog. (Image: May 15, 1919, Winnipeg Tribune.)

May 15, 1964 - Mayor Juba laid the cornerstone for the new Winnipeg Civic Centre.

May 15, 1960 - The Uptown Theatre on Academy Road showed its final film. The interior would be demolished to create a bowling alley.

May 15, 1968 - The 286-seat Manitoba Planetarium opened. At the ceremony, Sam and Saidye Bronfman were thanked for their $500,000 donation towards the project.

May 15, 1974
- The City of Winnipeg began enforcing a new fire code for all existing apartment buildings, regardless of when they were built, after the tragic Haselmere Apartments fire.

© 2012, 2020 Christian Cassidy

May 13: Winnipeg's mass evacuation; Transcona's first mayor; Soldier's Relatives' Monument unveiled.

May 13, 1912 - Colin J. E. Maxwell becomes the town of Transcona’s first mayor by acclamation. For more on the early days of Transcona.

May 13, 1919 - The results of the vote are in: Winnipeg workers voted in favour of a General Strike. (For more).

May 13, 1923 - The Soldier's  Realtives' Memorial on the Legislature ground was unveiled. It contains 1,600 names, of what is believed to be every Winnipegger killed during World War I. (Also see.)

May 13, 1950 - A convoy of 3,700 vehicles and trains began the evacuation of more than 100,000 people from Winnipeg as the city sinks under the flooding Red River. It is the largest evacuation on Canadian soil.

© 2012, 2020 Christian Cassidy

Apr. 22: Naval Reserves created; Teachers' Society formed; State of emergency for '97 flood.

April 22 , 1919 - The Manitoba Teachers' Society held its inaugural meeting at the Industrial Bureau building at Main Street and Water Avenue. For more MTS history.

April 22, 1923
– The Winnipeg Division of the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve was created. It was the forerunner to the HMCS Chippawa, now on Smith Street. For more on Manitoba's naval history

April 22, 1997
- A state of emergency is declared in Southern Manitoba as the Red River rises. The military begins evacuating the first wave of what would be tens of thousands of Manitobans from the region. (Also see CBC Archives.)

April 21: 1950 flood's first death; Manitou became a village; Flood of the Century began.

April 21, 1897 - Manitou is incorporated as a village. One of its most famous citizens is Nellie Moody who came from Ontario to teach in the local school. In 1896, she married Wes McClung, the local pharmacist.

April 21, 1950 - The first of two fatalities related to the Red River Flood of 1950 took place. Roland Sicotte, 41, a farmer near Ste. Elizabeth, Manitoba and his 14-year-old son were trying to cross the swollen Marsh Creek that ran through their property. The boat capsized and Sicotte drowned. He left a widow and seven children ranging in age from a newborn baby to fourteen years old.

April 21, 1997 -  Canadian Forces are deployed to Emerson to fight the "Flood of the Century". (See CBC Archives.)

© 2012, 2020 Christian Cassidy

Apr. 2: Mall Centre preview; Singer Building opens; golfer Dan Halldorson.

April 2, 1930 - The Singer Building on Portage Avenue was opened by the singer Showing Machine Company.
pril 2, 1952 - Golfer Dan Halldorson was born in Winnipeg. He qualified for the PGA Tour in 1975 and played on the tour for over 20 years. He won events in 1980 and 1986.

April 2, 1963 - A full-page ad in the Free Press introduced the design for the Mall Centre to be constructed at Portage and Colony. It featured a seven storey office tower, 300 car parkade, retail mall and the city's central bus station.

© 2012, 2020 Christian Cassidy

Apr. 1: Stanley Cup final cancelled; Manitoba Hydro formed; Grace Hospital handed over.

April 1, 1919 - It was announced that the final game of the Stanley Cup final series between the Montréal Canadiens and Seattle Metropolitans will not be played due to an outbreak of 'Spanish' flu that struck most of the Canadiens team.

A few days later, Brandonite and Canadiens defenseman Joe Hall died which ensured that the series would not be resumed. The Stanley Cup was not awarded that year. For more see my post The Death of Joe Hall.

April 1, 1932 - The Manitoba Provincial Police force was absorbed by the RCMP.

April 1, 1933 - The R.M. of East Kildonan declares bankruptcy. The province had to assume control of the municipality's debt and most spending decisions. It took until 1952 for E.K. to be masters of their own spending again !

April 1, 1961 - Two provincial Crown corporations, the Manitoba Hydro Electric Board and Manitoba Power Commission, merge to create Manitoba Hydro.

April 1, 2008 - The Salvation Army formally hands over the administration of the Grace Hospital to the WRHA. The current building dates back to 1966 but there has been a Salvation Army Grace Hospital operating in the city since 1904.

© 2012, 2020 Christian Cassidy

Mar. 31: Minnedosa Tribune; Toilers plane crash; Air Training Plan ends.

March 31, 1883 - The first edition of the Minnedosa Tribune hit the streets. It's the oldest weekly newspaper in Western Canada. 

March 31, 1890 - The Manitoba legislature passes the Manitoba Schools Act which abolished separate schools for Catholics and Protestants effective May 1, 1890.

March 31, 1891 - The City of Winnipeg introduced a plan to change its street names to numbers. For more on the failed scheme.

March 31, 1933 - A plane carrying the three-time national champion Winnipeg Toilers basketball team crashed in Kansas. Only one member escaped death or serious injury. For more, read my post Remembering the Winnipeg Toilers.

March 31, 1940 - Winnipeg firefighter James Thomas Murray, 50, died of a heart attack while fighting a chimney fire on Jubilee Avenue. A 21-year member of the department and WWI Veteran left behind a wife and three daughters.

March 31, 1945 - The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan agreement ended. The joint effort of Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand was created as a means to quickly train thousands of pilots and support staff for the war.

Canada became a centre for most of the activity with 107 training schools. By the time it ended, the program ended a total of 131,553 students, (50,000 of them pilots), would be trained. Brandon's restored CATP hangar is a national historic site and museum.

March 31, 1992 - Westminster United Church in Winnipeg was declared a provincial historic site.

© 2012, 2020 Christian Cassidy

Mar. 30: Riel sworn in; Public transport strike; Baseball's Harry Sketchley.

March 30, 1874 - Despite having a bounty out for his arrest in Ontario, Louis Riel slipped into Ottawa to be sworn in as the M.P. for Provencher. He flees to Hull immediately after.

March 30, 1906 - Winnipeg’s first public transportation strike began. Over 12,000 people crowded Main Street to watch the strikers protest. There were scuffles with police and two street cars were burned. The following day, the mayor read the riot act and the NWMP were brought in to restore order. The crowd dispersed and the men got a small pay raise the following week. (Also see.)

March 30, 1954 - Fire destroyed the Winnipeg Canoe Club. The 40 year-old, all-wood structure burned for four and a half hours.

March 30, 1919 - Harry "Bud" Sketchley was born in Virden, MB. After attending the University of California - Los Angeles, he had a short stint in baseball's major leagues playing 13 games with the Chicago White Sox in 1942, (read more about his call-up here.) He was the third Manitoban to play in baseball's major leagues and died in LA in 1979. (Image source: The Southeast Missourian, April 1942.)

March 30, 1973 - In partnership with Ottawa, Manitoba began a “guaranteed annual income” project called “Mincome”.

March 30, 1990 - The Minnedosa Agricultural Society Display Building at the Ag Fair Grounds in Minnedosa was designated a Provincial Heritage Site.

March 30 1990 - The Hotel Fort Garry, Winnipeg was designated a Provincial Heritage Site.

March 30, 1990 - The Trappist Monastery Guesthouse, rue du Monastére, St. Norbert was designated a Provincial Heritage Site.

March 30, 1990 - Kildonan School (Nisbet Hall) at 2373 Main Street, Winnipeg was designated a Provincial Heritage Site.

© 2012, 2020 Christian Cassidy

Mar. 29: Terry Jacks born; Odeon Theatre closed.

March 29, 1944 - Singer Terry Jacks was born in Winnipeg. He and his wife formed The Poppy Family in the 1960s and had a number of hits including "Which Way You Goin' Billy?" In 1973, Jacks went solo and his "Seasons in the Sun" topped the U.S. charts making him the first Canadian to have two songs reach number 1 on the U.S. charts. (Also see.)

March 29, 1966 - Not really a Manitoba story but .... 30 year-old George Chuvalo fought Muhammad Ali at Maple Leaf Gardens for the World Heavyweight Title. Chuvalo does not win, but stays with Ali for all 15 rounds – the longest of any opponent in Ali’s career to-date. (See CBC Archives: Ali v Chuvalo.)

March 29, 1990 - Cineplex Odeon closed the Walker Theatre and puts it up for sale. Built in 1906, it was converted to a cinema in 1946.

March 29, 1991 - Bernier House on Provencher Boulevard in Winnipeg was designated a Provincial Heritage Site.

March 29, 1991 - The Grey Nuns' Convent on Av Tache in Winnipeg was designated a Provincial Heritage Site.

March 29, 1991 - Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Roman Catholic Church was Camperville is designated a Provincial Heritage Site.

March 29, 1991 - Darlingford Memorial and Park in Darlingford was designated a Provincial Heritage Site.

© 2012, 2020 Christian Cassidy

Mar. 28: James Armstrong Richardson born; Snow storm strikes Manitoba.

March 28, 1922 - James Armstrong Richardson is born Winnipeg. A member of the Trudeau cabinet from 1968 – 1978, he stepped down to protest the implementation of official bilingualism.

March 28, 1942 - The worst snowstorm in over 20 years brings Southern Manitoba to a halt. Brandon received 40 cm of snow in just one night and there would be more to come.

© 2012, 2020 Christian Cassidy