Some odd stuff has happened in Vancouver's past.
Here's a sampling (click to view):
· 1900 to 1922
· 1923 to 1930
· 1931 to 1935
· 1936 to 1940
· 1941 to 1946
· 1947 to 1954
· 1955 to 1960
· 1961 to 1965
From 1947 to 1954
For more details on these items see the Chronology for the
- On February 1, 1947 Bob Smith made his debut
as host of the CBC radio show Hot Air. Virtually all the
jazz recordings Bob played were from his own collection. He would
host Hot Air out of the CBCs Vancouver studios for
35 years. Hot Airthe host today is Paul Grantis
still going, Canadas longest-running radio program.
- On May 10, 1947 Vancouver school children circulated
a petition calling for an end to wartime taxes on candy. In response,
the price of chocolate bars was lowered from eight cents to seven
- Not strictly local, but irresistible. In August,
1947 a Mayne Island woman cut open a fish and found a photograph
of a beautiful woman in the fishs belly.
- On November 14, 1947 Vancouvers William
Munavish, safecracker, became the first Canadian to be declared
an habitual criminal.
- In 1947, a nurse named Elizabeth Clarke, at the
Vancouver Hospital for Crippled Children, loved to read stories
and poems to her little charges. One young boy was excited at
seeing a sparrow on the windowsill by his bed, and that inspired
Ms. Clarke to write the poem Bluebird on Your Windowsill.
She later set it to music and it became a huge hit, recorded by
the Rhythm Pals, Doris Day, Bing Crosby and many others. Ms. Clarke
donated all the proceeds to the hospital.
- On September 20, 1948 singer Bing Crosby came
to Vancouver to record his radio show. Before the show Crosby
was made a full-blooded Indian Chief. The Squamish
tribe made him an honorary member with the title Chief Thunder
- At one 1948 performance at TUTS (Theatre Under
The Stars) singer Karl Norman was one of the stars of the operetta
Naughty Marietta. The power failed during one of his songs!
The orchestra kept playing, Karl says, and I
kept singing, and people from the audience lined up their cars
at the back of Malkin Bowl and lit the performance with their
- In 1948 60,000 daffodil bulbs were planted along
Stanley Park Causeway, a gift to the city from the Netherlands
to thank Canadian soldiers for helping to liberate their country
from the Nazis.
- In 1948 a new disc jockey contest
was launched in Vancouver and judged by, among others, Frank Sinatra.
Jennie Wong won, and began a half-hour Saturday afternoon program
called Jennie's Juke Joint on CKMO. Besides being the first Chinese-Canadian
disc jockey, she was also the first female.
- On August 15, 1949 radios Jack Cullen,
who was switching stations, did his last show at CKMO and his
first show at CKNW at the same time. He had taped his MO
show earlier, did his NW show live.
- On August 21, 1949 the biggest quake in BCs
recorded history, 8.1 on the Richter scale, occurred off the Queen
Charlotte Islands. Its major force was felt to the uninhabited
west of the Queen Charlotte Islands and damage was minimal. The
Province reported on Page One that a clock had stopped
in the home of Mrs. Laurie Sanders, Imperial Street in Burnaby.
- On November 27, 1949 the Capilano River, swollen
by a violent rainstorm, swept away a large section of Marine Drive,
the only road link at the time to West Vancouver. Washed away
as well was part of the bridge over the Capilano . . . West Vancouver
would be cut off for 10 days!
- On August 29, 1950 workers from a company called
Eccles-Rand Limited checked out Vancouver's first atomic bomb
shelter, which their firm had built in an unidentified Shaughnessy
- In January 1952 famed singer Paul Robeson, en
route to a concert in Vancouver, was stopped by US border officials
at Blaine. He was denied entry to Canada on political grounds.
Local unions organized a free outdoor concert starring Robeson
at the Peace Arch, and it attracted 25,000 people on the Canadian
side, 5,000 on the U.S. side.
- A 1952 Hollywood movie titled Hurricane Smith
starred two Vancouver-born actors, Yvonne De Carlo and John Ireland.
- In 1952 Vancouver city council approved the naming
of several city streets after famous golf courses. That gave us
Seigniory, Leaside, Uplands, Bonnacord, Scarboro, Bonnyvale, Brigadoon
- On January 6, 1953 Vancouver's longest wet spell
began. It ended 29 days later. There had been recorded rain on
every one of those 29 days.
- On January 16, 1953 police raided the Avon Theatre
on Hastings Street, presenting Erskine Caldwells play Tobacco
Road, and arrested the cast on charges of an indecent performance.
- On June 3, 1953 the first broadcast of the brand-new
TV station KVOS, in Bellingham, Washington, was a kinescope of
the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II the day before. For the interesting
story of how the station got the kinescope, see our 1953 chronology.
- On July 9, 1953 the Davis Cup tournament, the
world championship of tennis opened at the Vancouver
Lawn and Tennis Club. The club was chosen because the Japanese
team insisted on playing on grass courts, and none were available
in the U.S.
- On September 8, 1953 Vancouver impresario Lily
Laverock sent a brief (14 line) bio to the papers. It occurred
to me that I might have some small obituary notice, and to have
it correct, perhaps you could file this away for future use. Best
thanks to all, L.J. Laverock. She died 16 years later: December
- On October 12, 1953 Vancouvers Frank Ogdenbetter
known these days as Dr. Tomorrowestablished the Canadian
light-plane altitude record by flying a Mooney M-18 Scotsman to
an altitude of 19,400 feet. With a conventional internal combustion
engine, he set this impossible record by flying up
until he ran out of gas and then gliding back. It took place,
Ogden once elaborated, out of the Toronto Island Airport.
The record has never been broken. Mainly, I suspect because most
pilots are sensible enough to want 20 to 30 gallons of gas left
in the tanks to get back. I flew up until I ran out of gas and
glided back to the same airport.
- On December 2, 1953 the Province reported
(on the front page): Bill Stone, 525 East Keith Road, North
Vancouver, got his perfect cribbage hand the hard way Tuesday
night. Playing with neighbor Bob MacKay, Stone had a king, pair
of aces and a four in his hand as well as two fives. So he tossed
the fives into his crib. MacKay had 6-7-8-8 and a five and a jack
of spades. He threw the five and jack into the crib, the five
of spades was cut and thus Stone had his perfect 29 hand."
- On February 12, 1954 the first civilian
to drive over the brand new Granville Street Bridge was the same
woman who was first to drive over the second bridge when it was
new in 1909. She had been widowed in between the two openings,
and so had a different name . . . but both times she was at the
wheel of a brand-new Cadillac!
- On July 21, 1954, with landscaping on the largest
quarry at the future Queen Elizabeth Park completed., Mayor Fred
Hume buried a time capsule beneath Centuries Rock in the park.
It is to be opened in 2054.
- On August 1, 1954 cabbie Dave King, driving for
B.C. Radio Cabs, was taking a young woman to West Vancouver. When
the cab slowed in traffic on the Lions Gate Bridge, she jumped
out and, to King's horror, began climbing the railing. He raced
over, dragged her to safety, shoved her in the car, and raced
back to her West End address. The would-be suicide paid her fare,
he told police later that day, and even tipped him 50 cents.
- In 1954 the stuffed form of the late No
Drone, No. 5H was presented by the Whiting family to the
Langley Museum. No Dronewas a hen from the Whiting
farm in Surrey, who had set a world record in 1930 for the number
of eggs laid in that one year: 357.
1955 to 1960 »