Feb 20, 1959 - The Avro Arrow program is cancelled under the Diefenbaker administration. Diefenbaker explains the cancellation to the CBC: “Having regards to the development that was taking place, particularly in intercontinental ballistic missiles, there was a probability that action would have to be taken in this regard… We were loath to take it.” For more CBC coverage of the cancellation, visit here. For coverage of the program, visit here.
Feb 21, 1891 – 125 boys and men were killed in a fire that quickly spread in the Number 1 and Number 2 collieries in the coal mines of Springhill, Nova Scotia. Full report, including a list of the dead, available through this archive.
Feb 22, 2010 – Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir win gold – and the hearts of Canadians – at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. The pair were the youngest Olympic ice dancing winners. Full (American coverage, sorry) of their Free Dance below. Just try to resist their charms.
Feb 23, 1909 - John A.D. McCurdy becomes the first British subject to fly a “heavier-than-air,” powered airplane in Canada and the British Commonwealth. Listen to McCurdy reflect on his flight of the Silver Dart in a radio interview forty-years later here.
Feb 24, 1663 – King Louis XIV (France) revokes the charter granted to La Compagnie des Cent-Associés (The Company of One Hundred Associates), and New France becomes a crown colony of France.
- 1986 – Tommy Douglas dies in Ottawa, Ontario. Douglas was the former Saskatchewan premier of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), national leader of the New Democratic Party, and is widely considered the father of the Canadian healthcare system. Douglas was declared “The Greatest Canadian” in a CBC competition in November, 2004.
Feb 25, 1942 – Wartime Prime Minister Mackenzie King announces the Order in Council PC1486, which designates a number of restrictions on Japanese-Canadians, including the forced removal of all those living within 100 miles of the Pacific Coast to internment camps in the Canadian interior.
Feb 26, 1920 – The Dominion Elections Act is passed by Robert Borden’s Conservative government, expanding the number of Canadians eligible to vote in federal elections to those male or female above 21. However, the Act still contained a number of restrictions, and “many individuals were still disenfranchised by administrative arrangements, and some groups were disqualified on racial, religious or economic grounds” (Elections Canada.)
Happy Family Day/Louis Riel Day/Islander Day everyone!