This Week in Western Canadian History
November 28 - December 4
November
30
1869

Hidden by the darkness of a cold night, on November 30, 1869, Lieutenant Governor designate William McDougall slipped into the Red River colony. With only a few members of his armed escort to listen, McDougall read the proclamation that officially declared the territory's annexation to Canada.

December
4
1884

The first meeting of Calgary's Town Council was held in Boynton Hall. Among other business, the Mayor, George Murdock, and councillors S.J. Clarke, N.J. Lindsay, J.H. Milward and S.J. Hogg adopted railway time, approved a design for the Corporation Seal, and petitioned the territorial government for the power to issue licenses with proceeds to be retained by the town.

November
28
1885

Cave and Basin in BanffUnder the authority of Order in Council #2197, approved on November 28, 1885, Banff Hot Springs Reserve (today, Banff National Park in Alberta) was established. The original legislation provided for an area of approximately 10 square miles on the northern slopes of Sulphur Mountain surrounding three hot springs. The reserve was declared a national possession and public property, removed from private ownership and possible exploitation.

November
30
1910

Calgary newspapers entered the ongoing debate on whether American Arctic explorer Robert Peary was the first man to successfully reach the North Pole in 1908. The controversy developed surrounding corroboration of Peary's third attempt to reach the Pole. Peary had ordered Canadian explorer Robert Bartlett (who had accompanied Peary on several expeditions) to turn back when the group was 250 miles from the Pole. Peary continued, accompanied only by his American associate Matthew Henson. According to reports, Peary's progress after that time was extraordinary. Had Peary been accompanied by a British subject -- namely Robert Bartlett -- there would, of course, be no possibility of error and no question as to his accomplishments. But because Peary's only corroboration was Henson (who was black), and because of prejudice against Henson and the perception that he could not be objective, there was considerable dispute as to whether Peary could possibly have reached the North Pole in the time he claimed.

December
1
1919

Calgary residents were urged to be extremely frugal in their consumption of coal, as bituminous coal miners in the United States continued their bitter strike and virtually halted imports from that country. Coal dealers in Calgary reported not stocks on hand because even local coal was in critically short supply. Most of the coal from the Drumheller, Alberta mines was being shipped to Saskatchewan and Manitoba where demand and prices were soaring. The situation in Alberta was made even worse by record low temperatures across the province.

December
3
1931

Harvesting ice blocks Hundreds of men turned up at the Alberta Ice Company in Calgary when the company announced it would be hiring approximately 70 men for ice harvesting. The company harvested approximately 50,000 tons of ice a year from an artificial lake west of Calgary. The ice was then shipped in specially- equipped trains to points all across Alberta and southern British Columbia.

November
30
1937

Canadian religious leaders sent an urgent petition to the federal government protesting the conditions of the native peoples of the Northwest Territories and demanding the government take action. The church leaders requested that white trappers be banned from the area in order to protect the aboriginal fur trade and food supply, and requested further medical assistance to combat the scourge of tuberculosis which caused over 50 percent of the deaths in the Territories.

December
4
1937

Children's Dolls Department stores reported that Shirley Temple dolls continued to be the favourite choice for Christmas. In Canada, the dolls were closely rivalled in popularity by Dionne quintuplet dolls, and a new doll, Princess Margaret Rose, inspired by the coronation of George_VI.

December
3
1939

Princess Louise, a daughter of Queen Victoria and the widow of former Governor General the Marquis of Lorne, died at her home in Kensington Palace. The territory and later province of Alberta were named for her (her full name was Louise Caroline Alberta), as was beautiful Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies.

November
28
1947

According to new figures released by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, prairie residents could expect to live longer than other Canadians. Boys born in Quebec had a life expectancy of 60.18 years while western baby boys could expect to live for 65.43 years. A baby girl born in Quebec had a life expectancy of 63.07 years compared to a prairie girl’s 68.

December
1
1958

Students at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver admitted that reports of “free love societies” on the campus were a hoax. It began when a student, who claimed to be from Sweden, wrote a letter to Ubyssey, the student newspaper, describing such societies in his homeland and asking if any similar groups existed at the University. He proposed an organisational meeting but was horrified at the success of his joke when forty students turned up. The paper published his apology and noted that interested students would have to pursue the topic independently.

December
1
1947

Imperial Oil announced that it was increasing gasoline prices by one cent a gallon because of increasing costs in the manufacture and sale of petroleum products. The increase resulted in an average price of 47.9 cents per gallon (approximately 10 cents per litre). Other companies were expected to follow suit, leading to charges of collusion from consumers.



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