Today in Local History - October

On October 1, 1940—68 years ago today—the Province’s Claude Dettloff took the famous Wait For Me, Daddy photograph. It became the most reproduced Canadian picture from World War Two. See the photo and read the story in our “Archive” section.

Vancouver population today, October 1, 2008: 605,902 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,225,022 (est.)

On October 2, 1936—72 years ago today—the Vancouver Historical Society began as the Vancouver Section of the British Columbia Historical Association. Click to visit their website!

Vancouver population today, October 2, 2008: 605,915 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,225,093 (est.)

On October 3, 1948—60 years ago today—Hallelujah Point in Stanley Park was officially named to commemorate the work over 60 years of the Salvation Army in B.C. 1887-1947.

Vancouver population today, October 3, 2008: 605,928 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,225,164 (est.)

On October 4, 1983—25 years ago today—Vancouver’s Ronald McDonald House opened. McDonald Houses are homes set up to give parents of seriously ill children an inexpensive place to stay near their child’s hospital.

Vancouver population today, October 4, 2008: 605,941 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,225,235 (est.)

On October 5, 1918—90 years ago today—the Spanish flu epidemic that killed more people during the First World War than the war itself hit Vancouver. Churches and theatres closed, late shopping was banned. By November 14 there were 400 dead in Vancouver alone.

Vancouver population today, October 5, 2008: 605,954 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,225,306 (est.)

On October 6, 1964—44 years ago today—BCIT, the British Columbia Institute of Technology, was formally opened by Premier W.A.C. Bennett.

Vancouver population today, October 6, 2008: 605,967 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,225,377 (est.)

On October 7, 1930—78 years ago today—the building still most clearly identified with Vancouver, the Marine Building, opened for tenants.

Vancouver population today, October 7, 2008: 605,980 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,225,448 (est.)

On October 8, 1891—117 years ago today—the Westminster and Vancouver Tramway Co. car #13 made the inaugural run on what is widely recognized as North America's first true interurban railway.

Vancouver population today, October 8, 2008: 605,993 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,225,519 (est.)

On October 9, 1970—38 years ago today—the Vancouver Canucks played their first regular season NHL game. They played the Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Coliseum and came out at the wrong end of a 3-1 score.

Vancouver population today, October 9, 2008: 606,006 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,225,590 (est.)

On October 10, 1931—77 years ago today—in the depths of the Depression, West Vancouver sold 4,000 acres of land to a British syndicate for $18.75 an acre. We know that land today as British Pacific Properties.

Vancouver population today, October 10, 2008: 606,019 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,225,661 (est.)

On October 11, 1957—51 years ago today—the Vancouver Mounties baseball club was found guilty today and fined for playing baseball on Sunday.

Vancouver population today, October 11, 2008: 606,032 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,225,732 (est.)

On October 12, 1953—55 years ago today—Hurricane Frieda wreaked enormous damage in Greater Vancouver. Gusts reached 78 mph (125 k/ph) at the Sea Island Weather Station. Windows of downtown department stores were shattered, and 3,000 trees blew down in Stanley Park. A woman was killed when a falling tree crushed her car.

Vancouver population today, October 12, 2008: 606,045 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,225,803 (est.)

On October 13, 1993—15 years ago today—UBC professor Michael Smith (born in Blackpool, England in 1932) won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Vancouver population today, October 13, 2008: 606,058 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,225,874 (est.)

On October 14, 1968—40 years ago today—George Norris’ famous Crab fountain sculpture was installed in front of the Planetarium and Centennial Museum in Vanier Park. The striking stainless-steel sculpture recalled a local native legend that the crab guards the entrance to the harbor.

Vancouver population today, October 14, 2008: 606,071 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,225,945 (est.)

On October 15, 1983—25 years ago today—the Vancouver Art Gallery moved into the old courthouse on Georgia Street.

Vancouver population today, October 15, 2008: 606,084 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,226,016 (est.)

On October 16, 1967—41 years ago today—a headline in The Vancouver Sun read: “Chinese seethe over Freeway.” This was in reference to the anger in the city’s Strathcona neighborhood over plans to run a freeway through the area—many of the residents were Chinese who had lived there for decades. They defeated the proposal.

Vancouver population today, October 16, 2008: 606,097 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,226,087 (est.)

On October 17, 1927—81 years ago today—the Vancouver-based business periodical Journal of Commerce ran an editorial against the building of skyscrapers in the city.

Vancouver population today, October 17, 2008: 606,110 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,226,158 (est.)

On October 18, 1928—80 years ago today—a movie called Mother Knows Best premiered at Vancouver’s Capitol Theatre today. It was the city’s first exposure to sound in the movies.

Vancouver population today, October 18, 2008: 606,123 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,226,229 (est.)

On October 19, 1962—46 years ago today—UBC students protested closure of the Hotel Georgia pub, a favored hangout.

Vancouver population today, October 19, 2008: 606,136 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,226,300 (est.)

On October 20, 1920—88 years ago today—prohibition ended in B.C., three years and 19 days after it began.

Vancouver population today, October 20, 2008: 606,149 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,226,371 (est.)

On October 21, 1971—37 years ago today—the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame opened in the B.C. Pavilion at the PNE. Tributes were paid to sports writer Eric Whitehead as the man most responsible “for the splendid collection of memorabilia, not to mention various splendid collections of money which made the Hall possible and will ensure its future.” Today, the Hall is in B.C. Place.

Vancouver population today, October 21, 2008: 606,162 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,226,442 (est.)

On October 22, 1938—70 years ago today—Mart Kenney and his Western Gentlemen instructed dancers at the Hotel Vancouver in a new dance craze, the Lambeth Walk.

Vancouver population today, October 22, 2008: 606,175 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,226,513 (est.)

On October 23, 1994—14 years ago today—Birks Jewelers moved into the heritage building (a former bank) at the southeast corner of Hastings and Granville Streets in Vancouver. This was the third location for Birks, and directly across the street from its first 1907 location.

Vancouver population today, October 23, 2008: 606,188 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,226,584 (est.)

On October 24, 1968—40 years ago today—Grant McConachie Way, the road leading to Vancouver International Airport, opened to traffic. The road was named for the famed bush pilot and CP Air founder.

Vancouver population today, October 24, 2008: 606,201 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,226,651 (est.)

On October 25, 1918—90 years ago today—the worst disaster in BC coastal history occurred, when the Canadian Pacific ship Princess Sophia sank. Stranded on a reef in a severe snowstorm off the Alaskan coast, every berth occupied, the crowded luxury coastal steamer was thought to be safe, anchored firmly. Somehow the Sophia slipped off the reef during the night and sank. All 343 people aboard, including 63 crew members, were lost. Writers Betty O'Keefe and Ian Macdonald have written Final Voyage of the Princess Sophia: Did They All Have to Die?

Vancouver population today, October 25, 2008: 606,214 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,226,722 (est.)

On October 26, 1968—40 years ago today—the Centennial Museum and H. R. MacMillan Planetarium were officially opened. The “centennial” in this case was the 100th anniversary of Canadian Confederation. They are now the Vancouver Museum and the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre.

Vancouver population today, October 26, 2008: 606,227 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,226,793 (est.)

On October 27, 1979—29 years ago today—the last scheduled passenger train departed from the CPR station at the foot of Granville Street. Trains had been arriving and leaving from this handsome building since 1912.

Vancouver population today, October 27, 2008: 606,240 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,226,864 (est.)

On October 28, 1960—48 years ago today—the Walter Koerner Library opened at UBC.

Vancouver population today, October 28, 2008: 606,253 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,226,935 (est.)

On October 29, 1924—84 years ago today—a westbound Canadian Pacific Railway train heading for Vancouver was hit by an explosion. Among the five dead were Doukhobor leader Peter Verigin, 65, and John McKie, the newly elected MLA for Grand Forks. The cause of the explosion was never officially determined, but some speculate it was intentional and that Verigin was the target.

Vancouver population today, October 29, 2008: 606,266 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,227,006 (est.)

On October 30, 1925—83 years ago today—the Invisible Empire of the Kanadian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan paraded en masse up Granville Street to take up residence in their gorgeous new headquarters, the Shaughnessy mansion known as Glen Brae. They held an “informal reception” there today. “They paraded on the grounds in their white robes,” one neighbor recalled, “carrying fiery crosses of red electric lights. We saw them coming in their white hoods with the black eyeholes. It left a very lasting impression.” The sheeted twits were out of Glen Brae in less than a year, even though their rent was only $150 a month. Today Glen Brae has a nobler use: It's Canuck Place, the hospice for children.

Vancouver population today, October 30, 2008: 606,279 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,227,077 (est.)

On October 31, 1902—106 years ago today—the Vancouver Board of Trade marked with real enthusiasm the completion October 31, 1902 of the Pacific Cable, an “epoch-marking event in the history of the British Empire.” Vancouver would now be able to communicate instantly with places as far-flung as Great Britain and Australia over the 7,200 miles (11,500+ km) of the cable. See our article on the cable in ‘Archive.’

Vancouver population today, October 31, 2008: 606,292 (est.)
Metropolitan Vancouver population: 2,227,148 (est.)