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Canada at the 1936 Olympic Winter Games

The 1936 Olympic Winter Games were held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, from 6 to 16 February 1936. Canada sent 29 athletes (22 men, 7 women) and placed ninth in the overall medal count with one silver medal. For the first time at the Olympic Winter Games, Canada did not win the gold medal in ice hockey. It was a controversial result, with the Port Arthur Bear Cats finishing second to a British team that included several Canadian players. The 1936 Olympic Winter Games were themselves contentious, given the anti-Semitic policies of German Chancellor Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party. Left-wing and Jewish groups in Canada and other countries proposed a boycott of the Games but were unsuccessful.

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1939 Royal Tour

​The 1939 royal tour by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth was the first time a reigning Canadian monarch had stepped foot in this country.

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Windsor Ford Strike of 1945

The Windsor Ford Strike was a 99-day strike from 12 September to 19 December 1945 by 11,000 employees of the Windsor, Ontario, Ford Motor Company plant. Some 8,000 auto workers from other plants also participated. The Ford workers, who were led by the United Automobile Workers of Canada (UAW), demanded recognition of their union by Ford and mandatory membership for all plant workers. The strike was ultimately resolved through binding arbitration under Supreme Court Justice Ivan C. Rand and resulted in the widely used Rand Formula.

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Jackie Robinson and the Montreal Royals (1946)

On 15 April 1947, Jackie Robinson played in his debut game with the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first African American to play in the major leagues in the modern era. Prior to that point, professional baseball in the United States was segregated, with African Americans playing in the Negro leagues. When Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s colour barrier in 1947, he entered American history books. What many baseball fans may not realize, however, is that Robinson was embraced by Canadian fans one year earlier as a member of the Montreal Royals, a farm team for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

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Letters Patent, 1947

The Letters Patent Constituting the Office of Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, usually shortened to Letters Patent, 1947, was an edict issued by King George VI that expanded the role of the governor general, allowing him or her to exercise prerogatives of the sovereign. While Letters Patent delegated Crown prerogatives to the governor general, the sovereign remains Head of State.

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Canada at the 1948 Olympic Winter Games

The 1948 Olympic Winter Games were held in St Moritz, Switzerland, from 30 January to 8 February 1948. Canada sent 28 athletes (24 men, 4 women) and placed eighth in the overall medal count with two gold medals and one bronze medal. The RCAF team was victorious in the ice hockey tournament, while Barbara Ann Scott won gold in women’s figure skating. It was the first time Canada had won more than one gold medal at the Winter Games, and the first gold medal in a sport other than hockey. Suzanne Morrow Francis and Wallace Diestelmeyer took bronze in pairs figure skating.

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History of Medicine to 1950

The theory and practice of medicine in Canada changed significantly from the 16th to the 20th century, with important developments in medical education and regulation, understanding of anatomy and disease, public health and immunization, and pharmacology.

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Psychedelic Research in 1950s Saskatchewan

In the 1950s, Saskatchewan was home to some of the most important psychedelic research in the world. Saskatchewan-based psychiatrist Humphry Osmond coined the word psychedelic in 1957. In the mental health field, therapies based on guided LSD and mescaline trips offered an alternative to long-stay care in asylums. They gave clinicians a deeper understanding of psychotic disorders and an effective tool for mental health and addictions research. Treating patients with a single dose of psychedelic was seen as an attractive, cost-effective approach. It fit with the goals of a new, publicly funded health-care system aimed at restoring health and autonomy to patients who had long been confined to asylums.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

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Canada at the 1952 Olympic Winter Games

The 1952 Olympic Winter Games were held in Oslo, Norway from 14 to 25 February 1952. Canada sent 39 athletes (31 men, 8 women) and tied with Italy for eighth in the overall medal count with one gold and one bronze medal. Speed skater Gordon Audley took bronze in the 500 m final and the Edmonton Mercurys won Canada’s fifth gold medal in ice hockey. The country would not win hockey gold again until 50 years later, when the women’s and men’s teams defeated the Americans at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.

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Canada at the 1956 Olympic Winter Games

The 1956 Olympic Winter Games were held in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, from 26 January to 5 February 1956. Canada sent 35 athletes (27 men, 8 women) and finished ninth in the overall medal count with one silver and two bronze medals. Figure skating pair Frances Dafoe and Norris Bowden took home silver, while Lucile Wheeler won Canada’s first medal in alpine skiing, finishing third in the women’s downhill race. In ice hockey, Canada took the bronze medal, defeated by both the Americans and the Soviets, who won gold in their debut at the Olympic Winter Games.

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Elections of 1957 and 1958

​In 1957 and 1958, Canadian voters swept aside 22 years of Liberal rule for the untested Conservatives under John Diefenbaker, whose campaign brilliance won him first a minority government, and then a historic majority.

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Canada at the 1960 Olympic Winter Games

The 1960 Olympic Winter Games were held in Squaw Valley, California, from 18 to 28 February 1960. Canada sent 44 athletes (34 men, 10 women) and finished eighth in the overall medal count with four medals (two gold, one silver and one bronze). Anne Heggtveit won gold in the slalom, becoming the first Canadian Olympic ski champion. Robert Paul and Barbara Wagner dominated the pairs figure skating competition in their second Winter Games, while Donald Jackson added a bronze medal in men’s figure skating. The Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen represented Canada in the Olympic hockey tournament and finished second to the Americans. It was the last time Canada was represented by a club team in Olympic hockey.