[an error occurred while processing this directive] FactsCanada.ca -- Sunday Newsletter 2001-23Su
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Sunday Newsletter 2001-23Su.

June 10, 2001.

You will notice from the article "Also Born This Week" that there were quite a few former premiers of Prince Edward Island born during this week -- two, coincidentally, on the same date 77 years apart. You might also notice the same phenomenon among significant Canadian Football League players, which is particularly interesting considering the time of year and our recent Friday Feature (written by Gary from North Vancouver, BC) on the CFL.



= Question of the week
= Correction
= Biography -- Willie de Wit
= Place names -- Whitehorse, Yukon Territory
= Canadian events -- Folklorama
= Joke of the week
= Editorial response
= Quote of the week
= Also born this week
= Gracious Canadian loser
= It happened this week in history
= Geek report
= Answer to this week's question
= Preview
= Links and resources
= Legal and subscription information



Connecting the north and south shores of Quebec City are two bridges, built side by side. The older of the two spans opened in 1919, and is the longest cantilever bridge in the world. Can you name either of these bridges?

The answer is near the end of the newsletter.



In my answer to last week's question, I accidentally claimed that you could find the biography of geologist George Dawson on our site. It is actually the biography of his father, Sir John William Dawson, that you will find in issue 2000-15Su. My apologies for the error.



Willie de Wit

De Wit was born in Grande Prairie, Alberta, on June 13, 1961. He was one of Canada's most outstanding amateur boxers, with an amateur record of 67 wins and 12 losses. This record included the North American Amateur Heavyweight championship, which de Wit won twice, and the World Amateur Heavyweight title, which he also won on two occasions. During the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics he lost the gold medal match to Henry Tilman of the United States and had to settle for the silver medal. He turned professional immediately after those Olympic games and, persuaded by a contract offer reportedly worth $5 million, began to train and fight out of Burnet, Texas. Although he defeated Ken Lakusta to capture the Canadian Heavyweight championship, he faced a number of undistinguished opponents before his professional career suffered a severe setback when he was knocked out by American Bert Cooper. He successfully defended his title against Lakusta again in 1987, but after another loss that year de Wit retired from boxing.



Whitehorse, Yukon Territory

This, the capital city of the Yukon Territory, has a population just under 20 000 (more than 70 percent of the total population of the territory). It is located just off kilometre 1476 of the Alaska Highway, 105 kilometres north of the British Columbia border. White Horse became a permanent settlement in 1900, and is nestled in a protected valley at the head of the Yukon River. Its name derives from a portion of the river called the White Horse Rapids, which itself received its name around 1880 or 1881 from the miners who worked the river due to their perception of the "manes of white horses" seen in the rapids. The township's initial development was begun in 1899 and was named Closeleigh after the Close brothers who helped finance the railway stop here. On April 21, 1900, officials of the White Pass and Yukon Railway renamed it White Horse as it had become known throughout the gold diggers' world. It was not until 1957 that the town was renamed to bear the single-word form of Whitehorse.




Sponsored by the City of Winnipeg, Folklorama was originally a one-time event in 1970 to help commemorate the 100th birthday of the Province of Manitoba, and to showcase the diverse cultural heritage of the people who settled in Manitoba and Canada. Back then many of the pavilions were hosted in church basements and community halls. In fact, having no facility at all, the Chinese pavilion led visitors on a cultural adventure through Chinatown with the exhilarating Lion Dance. Everyone enjoyed the high-spirited atmosphere, exotic foods, and captivating cultural displays so much that the fun never stopped! With over 75 000 visitors attending, the response to Folklorama was overwhelming.

Since then Folklorama has become an annual celebration of diversity and kinship. Folklorama has evolved from a one-time event of 21 pavilions into an annual two-week, multicultural extravaganza. With as many as 45 pavilions in 1994, each pavilion represents a nation or cultural ideal. Over 511 000 visitors attended the celebration of 25 years of Folklorama, which was held in 1994.

This year's festival runs from August 5-18, and has a special kickoff sponsored by Shoppers Drug Mart which begins at 4:00 pm on August 4. This is the world's largest "ethnocultural" festival, and everyone is invited. Even Canada's National Film Board made a short documentary on this event back in 1976.



What do you call a Canadian fireman?

A "hoser".



By Craig

Last week I wrote an editorial in response to an unhappy ex-subscriber. Thanks to all of you who responded.

One of the most succinct responses was from Cynthia, who wrote; "It is a shame that after being married to a Canadian, she has not realised that Canadian culture is an extremely subtle thing, mostly identifiable by what it is not (namely, it is not American and it is not British or European-French). Instead of taking offense to your 40 items, it's too bad that she didn't immediately notice that there were *only* 40 items of differentiation. We are so much like Americans that it is easier to point out the differences than the similarities. It is these similarities that also make Americans and Canadians friends and allies. I suspect they are also part of what attracted her to her spouse in the first place."

Thank-you Cynthia. I couldn't have said it better myself.



"We live in an empty place... filled with wonders." --Peter Charles Newman, journalist, author and editor, speaking of Canada.



Donald Brittain, filmmaker, documentarist, director, producer and writer of screenplays, Companion of the Order of Canada (1989), born in Ottawa, Ontario, June 10, 1928.

Walter Harris, artist, woodcarver and hereditary chief of the Gitksan Indian village, born in Kispiox, British Columbia, June 10, 1931.

Henry Newton Rowell "Hal" Jackman, philanthropist, financier, lieutenant-governor of Ontario (1991-1997), Member of the Order of Canada (1991) and the Order of Ontario (1998), born in Toronto, Ontario, June 10, 1932.

Jean Lesage, lawyer and premier of Quebec (1960-1966), born in Montreal, Quebec, June 10, 1912.

Ernest Preston Manning, politician and party leader, born in Edmonton, Alberta, June 10, 1942.

Alexandra Stewart, actress, born in Montreal, Quebec, June 10, 1939.

Percy Algernon Taverner, ornithologist, born in Guelph, Ontario, June 10, 1875.

Charles James Fox Bennett, merchant, premier of Newfoundland (1870-1874), born in Shaftesbury, England June 11, 1793.

John Dee "Johnny" Bright, football player, school teacher, winner of the CFL's Schenley Award in 1950 (the first black player to win a major football award in Canada), member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame (November 26, 1970), born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States of America, June 11, 1931.

Alfred Henry "Cap" Fear, football player, athlete, member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame (November 30, 1967), born in Old Sailbury, England, June 11, 1901.

Alexander Wallace Matheson, lawyer and premier of Prince Edward Island (1953-1959), born in Bellevue, Prince Edward Island, June 11, 1903.

James Colledge Pope, entrepreneur, businessman and first premier of Prince Edward Island (1873), born in Bedeque, Prince Edward Island, June 11, 1826.

Jean Victor Allard, soldier, first Canadian to command a British Army Division (1961-1963), and first French-Canadian to be appointed Chief of the Defence Staff for Canada (appointed in 1966), born in Saint-Monique de Nicolet, Quebec, June 12, 1913.

Richard Bruce Elder, filmmaker and critic, born in Hawkesbury, Ontario, June 12, 1947.

Randolph Stanley Hewton, painter and founding member of the Canadian Group of Painters (1933), elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (1934), born in Maple-Grove, Quebec, June 12, 1888.

Joseph-Alphonse Ouimet, film engineer, president of the CBC (1958-1967), Companion of the Order of Canada (1969), and winner of the McNaughton Medal (1972), born in Montreal, Quebec, June 12, 1908.

Charles Dow Richards, lawyer, chief justice of the Supreme Court (1948-1955), premier of New Brunswick, born in Southampton, York County, New Brunswick, June 12, 1879.

Terrance Anthony "Terry" Evanshen, football player, two-time Schenley-Award winner, member of the CFL's Hall of Fame, born in Montreal, Quebec, June 13, 1944.

Harold Barling Town, artist, writer and media personality, born in Toronto, Ontario, June 13, 1924.

John Hamilton Gray, military man, premier of Prince Edward Island (not to be confused with the New Brunswick premier of the exact same name), born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, June 14, 1811.

Vanessa Harwood, ballet dancer and Officer of the Order of Canada (1984). born in Cheltenham, England, June 14, 1947.

Gordon Rayner, painter, born in Toronto, Ontario, June 14, 1935.

Francois-Xavier Garneau, poet, writer (dubbed the greatest French-Canadian writer of the 19th century), historian, civil servant, born in Quebec City, Quebec, June 15, 1809.

Herman Smith Johannsen ("Chief Jackrabbit"), ski pioneer and instructor, Member of the Order of Canada and the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, born in Horten, Norway (of Cree descent), June 15, 1875.

Claude de Ramezay, military officer, and (at various times) governor of New France (Canada), Montreal and Trois-Rivieres, born in La Gesse, France, June 15, 1659.

Raymond Urgel Lemieux, chemist, inventor, professor, author, Officer of the Order of Canada, born in Lac La Biche, Alberta, June 16, 1920.

Arthur Meighen, lawyer, prime minister of Canada, born in Anderson, Ontario, June 16, 1874.

Sarah Margaret Armour Robertson, painter, born in Montreal, Quebec, June 16, 1891.

Gino Vannelli, singer and composer, born in Montreal, Quebec, June 16, 1952.



As mentioned a few weeks ago in issue 2001-21Su, our very own Margaret Atwood was short-listed to win the much-sought-after, British literary prize known as the Orange Prize. This award is handed out annually to female fiction writers worldwide. Gracious as ever Atwood said, "I'm not disappointed at all," while sipping on a cocktail moments after the winner, Australian Kate Grenville, was announced. As Atwood already received the most prestigious British literary award, the Booker Prize, late last year for her most recent work ("Blind Assassin"), she followed up by adding, "The Booker is enough. I am very pleased for her (Grenville) -- she's a lovely lady with a wonderful, enchanting smile." She also vowed to read her competitor's book very soon. The winning entry, entitled "The Idea of Perfection", is an eccentric romance set in rural New South Wales, Australia. Grenville was stunned by her win saying, "It's an amazing honour to be on the same short list as someone like Margaret Atwood." She also went on to say, "'Blind Assassin' is so beautifully put together that I was in awe of its intelligence, of her (Atwood's) absolute control of an incredibly complicated tour de force." Grenville takes home the £30 000 prize.



June 10, 1843 -- Victoria, British Columbia, was officially "christened" Fort Victoria, after going through the names Port of Camosack and Fort Albert, and almost being named Fort Adelaide. Fort Victoria eventually became an anachronism and, by 1864, its last remnants had disappeared. Since then the name "Victoria" alone has been used exclusively.

June 10, 1637 -- Jesuit priest, missionary and explorer Jacques Marquette is born in Laon, France. Father Marquette was ordained on March 7, 1666, and sailed for New France (Canada), where he served at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and at the mission to the Huron Indian tribe. He also served the Ottawa tribe at Chequamegon, on the southwest shore of Lake Superior before entering into service in areas which became the United States of America.

June 10, 1925 -- The United Church of Canada was formed by a union of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, the Methodist Church of Canada, Newfoundland and Bermuda, the Congregational Churches of Canada, and the General Council of Local Union Churches.

June 11, 1578 and 1583 -- Explorer Sir Humphrey Gilbert received royal assent in 1578 from Queen Elizabeth I to search for a "northwest passage" and to colonize the coast of North America. His first attempt later that year was frustrated by poor organization, desertion and storms. He regrouped and set out again five years later (1583) on the same date with five vessels. One vessel, the "Raleigh" turned back, but the other four ships arrived off St. John's, Newfoundland, on August 3. Brandishing his letter of assent from the Queen (known as "Gilbert's Charter"), he entered the harbour August 5 and formally took possession of Newfoundland. This colony became the first English possession in the New World.

June 11, 1924 -- The shortest administration in Newfoundland history ended when, after only 33 days in power, Albert Edgar Hickman (born in Grand Bank, Newfoundland, August 2, 1875), Newfoundland's 17th prime minister, was defeated in a general election by Walter Monroe. Hickman had succeeded William Warren after Warren's resignation.

June 11, 1997 -- Paul Martin (born Paul Edgar Philippe Martin in Windsor, Ontario, August 28, 1938) was appointed minister of finance for a second time by Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

June 12, 1996 -- Not a particularly Canadian historic day, but one for the "medium with no borders" which brings you FactsCanada.ca -- the Internet. On this day the Philadelphia, United States of America, federal court struck down a law, which was passed on February 8, 1996, that sought to prohibit the transmission of "indecent" material to minors via the Internet. The judgment read in part: "Just as the strength of the Internet is chaos, so the strength of our liberty depends upon the chaos and cacophony of the unfettered speech the First Amendment [to the American constitution] protects." A second judgment from a New York court agreed -- rulings the entire world currently lives with.

June 12, 1916 -- Mont Sorrel, an important feature on the south shoulder of the Ypres Salient on the border between Belgium and France, was recaptured by Allied forces. The incredible price of this parcel of land, which had fallen into German hands during World War One, was the loss of 8000 Canadian and 6000 German lives during the 12 days it was in German hands.

June 12, 1914 -- The Canadian General Council of the Boy Scout Association was incorporated. It was a branch of the Boy Scout Association until October 30, 1946, when it became an independent member of the Boy Scout World Conference. The scouting movement was originally founded in England in 1907 by Lord Robert Baden-Powell. Scouting came to Canada in early 1908, and in 1912 the Boy Scout Association was granted a royal charter throughout the Commonwealth by King George V. The name was eventually changed to Boy Scouts of Canada, and then to Scouts Canada in 1976.

June 13, 1833 -- The last fatal duel in Upper Canada (Ontario) took place in Perth. Defending his honour, John Wilson shot and killed Robert Lyon, who had called him a liar and assaulted him. Wilson was charged with murder, but acquitted. It was five more years before the last fatal duel occurred in Lower Canada when, on May 22, 1838, in Verdun, Lower Canada (Quebec), lawyer Robert Sweeny shot and killed Major Henry Warde who had sent a love letter to Mrs. Sweeny. A duel is formal armed combat between two people in the presence of witnesses, to settle differences or a point of honour. Duels were recorded in New France as early as 1646. The last known duel in what is now Canada occurred in 1873 in St. John's, Newfoundland -- an apparently hilarious shootout in which the assistants (known as "seconds") had loaded the participants' pistols with blanks. Duels originated in France and were originally fought exclusively with swords.

June 13, 1987 -- A plaque in memory of track-and-field athlete and sportswriter Fanny "Bobbie" Rosenfeld was unveiled in her adopted hometown of Barrie, Ontario. Rosenfeld (born in Russia on December 28, 1905) was Canada's woman athlete of the half-century, and was elected to the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1949. She also won a silver medal at the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in the 100-metre dash.

June 14, 1919 -- British aviators John William Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown made the first non-stop, trans-Atlantic flight, from Newfoundland to Ireland.

June 14, 1894 -- Toronto's Massey Hall, known first as Massey Music Hall, was first opened.

June 14, 1994 -- A spectacular shower of stony meteorites, accompanied by a loud sonic boom, occurred at St-Robert-de-Sorel, Quebec. About 25 kilograms of the rock were recovered.

June 15, 1789 -- Born on this day into slavery was Josiah Henson. He escaped from Maryland, United States of America, into Upper Canada in 1830. In 1834 he founded a "black" settlement near Dresden, Upper Canada and named it Dawn. He published his autobiography in 1849, and was allegedly Harriet Beecher Stowe's model for the leading character in the novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin".

June 15, 1831 -- The first school for deaf students in Canada opened in Quebec.



By Craig

My schedule is almost back to normal -- I'm only three hours late this week! That certainly beats three days. If you're waiting for me to answer e-mail, I promise to get to it this week.

You may have noticed that I am also behind in updating our resources page. I apologize for this and I hope to have it updated as soon as possible. Another problem with the resources links has been caused by the merger of Indigo and Chapters. Unfortunately the new conglomeration did not give their affiliates (of which we were one of Indigo) any notice of the impending merger of the two affiliate programs. Therefore all of the book links which used to point to the detail pages of specific titles, now just point to the home page of the new company. As soon as we can sign up with the new company and change the hundreds of links, everything will work again.

On a positive note, we have a new "webfeed" for you webmasters (and webmistresses) out there. It's the Environment Canada national weather forecast. Check it out.

Finally a quick note on a particular computer virus. If you are like me, you have probably received scores of copies of a message allegedly from hahaha@sexyfun.net, with a subject line referring to Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and an attachment. There's a site devoted to this remarkably resilient virus at where you can find information on how to protect your computer.



This weeks question is: Connecting the north and south shores of Quebec City are two bridges, built side by side. The older of the two spans opened in 1919, and is the longest cantilever bridge in the world. Can you name either of these bridges?

The older of the two is simply called the Quebec Bridge, and the more modern crossing is called the Pierre Laporte Bridge, named after the minister in the Quebec government who was kidnapped and later murdered in 1970 by members of the Front de Liberation du Quebec (FLQ).



Next Sunday, which just happens to be Father's Day, I tell you a bit about the origins of the day, profile Anne Murray and Guy Lombardo, tell you about the gnatcatcher, profile Grassy Lake, Alberta, and top everything off with an extra helping of two of our regular features; "Also Born This Week" and "It Happened This Week in History".


That's it for this week. Remember, next Sunday is Father's Day!



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