Today in Canadian History

Today in Canadian History


Each episode of Today in Canadian History contains an interview with a Canadian professor, journalist, author, or “everyday” historian and focuses on a unique event or moment that took place on that day in Canadian history. Today in Canadian History presents Canada’s past in a unique and accessible manner. The series is designed to be a first step to learning more about our past. We would like to remind Canadians not just about what makes our country great, but what makes it complicated, beautiful, diverse, and ours. Feel free to get in touch with Marc & Joe via-email: todayincanadianhistory [at]


October 15 – Chinese Rail Workers and the CPR  

We spoke with Brad Lee, the curator of The Ties That Bind, an online historical research project that works to recognize the contributions of the Chinese Canadian community to the building of Canada.

October 14 – SS Caribou sunk by German submarine  

The passenger ferry was sunk off the coast of Nova Scotia back in 1942.

October 13 – 100th anniversary of the Canadian Navy  

Back in 1910, an Imperial Order in Council transferred the Naval Station at Halifax to the Canadian Government.

October 12 – Sam Hughes and General Arthur Currie  

We spoke with Tim Cook, historian with the Canadian War Museum and author of The Madman and the Butcher: The Sensational Wars of Sam Hughes and General Arthur Currie.

October 8 – Multiculturalism Policies Introduced  

The first ever policies regarding multiculturalism were announced on this date back in 1971.

October 7 – First concert of the NAC Orchestra  

Back in 1969, 46 nervous and excited performers stepped onstage at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

October 6 – Radio station opens in Aklavik, NWT  

Back in 1925, station opens in Aklavik, NWT as part of the North West Territories and Yukon Radio System.

October 5 – Laurie Skreslet becomes first Canadian to climb Everest  

Back in 1982, Laurie Skreslet became the first Canadian to reach the top of Mount Everest. Canadian Pat Morrow followed only days later.

October 4 – Pianist Glenn Gould dies  

Glenn Gould passed away on this day back in 1982. He was 50.

October 1 – Artist Paul Kane returns to Toronto  

The famous Canadian painter returns to Toronto after more than two years in the West.

September 30 – Arctic explorer John Rae is born  

John Rae is born in Scotland on this day back in 1813.

September 29 – The Aloutte 1 Launches Canada into Space  

We spoke with astronaut Robert Thirsk: the Canadian who has spent the most time in space.

September 28 – Pierre Elliot Trudeau Passes Away  

Historian and author John English discusses the legacy of Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, on this, the 10th anniversary of his passing.

September 27 – Stanley Park opened in Vancouver  

Park opened to public for the first time back in 1888.

September 24 – Canada Lifts Sanctions Against South Africa  

We spoke with Dr. Linda Freeman, a professor at the University of Carleton.

September 23 – Mack Sennett releases first film  

Back in 1912 in New York, Quebec-born Mack Sennett releases his first Keystone Comedy film.

September 22 – Building named after Clara Brett Martin  

Back in 1989, the Ontario provincial government (temporarily) names a building after Clara Brett Martin, the first woman lawyer in the British Empire.

September 21 – The Toonie is Unveiled to the Public  

Brent Townsend is the the artist who designed the polar bear on the reverse of the Canadian two dollar coin.

September 20 – First signing of Treaty 5  

Treaty 5 is signed for the first time at Berens River, Manitoba back in 1875.

September 17 – Fire on the SS Noronic kills over 115 people  

Back in 1949, a fire on the ship kills over 115 people. The ship was docked on the shore of Lake Ontario.

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