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December 1, 1997
December 1, 2016
December 1, 2009
December 1, 1936
December 2, 1877
December 2, 1730
December 3, 2015
December 3, 1889
December 3, 1653
December 4, 1904
December 4, 1963
December 5, 1884
December 6, 1985
December 6, 1995
December 6, 1917
December 8, 1948
December 9, 1755
December 10, 2008
December 10, 1954
December 10, 1957
December 11, 1902
December 12, 1989
December 13, 2014
December 13, 1804
December 14, 1917
December 14, 1873
December 15, 1902
December 15, 1985
December 15, 1868
December 16, 1757
December 17, 1997
December 18, 1603
December 19, 1843
December 20, 1764
December 21, 1941
December 22, 1835
December 23, 1889
December 24, 1942
December 25, 2004
December 26, 1925
December 26, 1932
December 27, 1883
December 27, 1932
December 28, 1780
December 28, 1979
December 29, 1923
December 30, 1938
December 30, 1816
December 31, 2002
December 31, 1898

December 1, 1997

The Honourable Justice K. Peter Richard released his Westray Public Enquiry report, which stated in part that “The Westray Story . . . is . . . of incompetence, of mismanagement, of bureaucratic bungling, of deceit, of ruthlessness, of cover-up, of apathy, of expediency, and of cynical indifference. It is a tragic story, with the inevitable moments of pathos and heroism . . . an event that, in all good common sense, ought not to...
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December 1, 2016

December 1, 2016

From December 1 to 3, the second annual Bluenose Ability Film Festival (BAFF), Canada’s first and only disability film festival, took place in Halifax during the United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
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December 1, 2009

December 1, 2009

The Immigration Services Association of Nova Scotia (iSANS) is formed through a merger of the Halifax Immigrant Learning Centre (HILC - formed in 1988) and the Metropolitan Immigrant Settlement Association (MISA - formed in 1980). The merger has leveraged strengths to enable iSANS to become a leader in the settlement sector in Nova Scotia with over 190 staff members from more than 46 countries.
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December 1, 1936

December 1, 1936

The Nova Scotia Highlanders (North) are amalgamated with the Colchester and Hants Regiment (less 'C Company') and C Company of the 6th Machine Gun Battalion, CMGC (now The Princess Louise Fusiliers) and redesignated as The North Nova Scotia Highlanders (Machine Gun). The Highlanders had originated in Amherst, Nova Scotia, 6 April 1871 as the Cumberland Provisional Battalion of Infantry. Since the unit's inception, the Nova Scotia Highlanders have received 47...
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December 2, 1877

December 2, 1877

The first College Hall at Acadia University burned to the ground. (Sketch from Canadian Illustrated News, May 6, 1871)
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December 2, 1730

December 2, 1730

The Great Seal of the Province of Nova Scotia was authorized — the first of its kind in Canada. "The seal is engraved on either side with the royal arms and the provincial arms. The purpose of the seal is to manifest the authority of the Crown at the provincial level and permits documents to be ‘signed and sealed’ at Halifax. Using seals to indicate ‘sovereign will’ is a tradition passed down...
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December 3, 2015

December 3, 2015

The Honourable Geoff Regan became the first Nova Scotian Speaker of the House of Commons in almost a century (the Honourable Edgar Nelson Rhodes from Amherst had served as Speaker from 1917 to 1922). He also became the chief administrative officer of the House and oversaw all financial and administrative matters concerning the operations of the House of Commons and its 1,500 employees. (Photo: Honourable Geoff Regan. Office of the Honourable Geoff Regan.)
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December 3, 1889

December 3, 1889

Hugh Angus MacDonald was born in Lanark, Antigonish County (d. 1976). He became one of the most popular fiddlers in eastern Nova Scotia, playing for over seventy years at many social occasions. Known as a popular dance player, his specialty was polkas and he would later be known as the "Polka King." He recorded many of his tunes in Montreal in the mid-1930s. He was a recipient of the "Stompin...
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December 3, 1653

December 3, 1653

Nicholas Denys is granted all lands between Cape Canso and Cape Rosier (northeast New Brunswick). Denys was one of the most fascinating personalities from the early Acadian era of the 1630's-1670's in Nova Scotia. He was born in Tours, France in 1598, and died in Nepisiquit (current day Bathurst, N.S.) in 1688. He first arrived in Nova Scotia in 1632, but returned to France in 1636. Later he married and...
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December 4, 1904

December 4, 1904

The Joseph Howe statue at Province House was unveiled by Sir Charles Parsons. It was designed by Quebec sculptor Louis-Phillippe Hébert (1850–1917). Sir Charles Parsons was considered one of the greatest British engineers of his age (1854–1931). He had established the Parsons Marine Steam Turbine Company in 1897 and held over 300 patents. (Photo: Joseph Howe statue. Wikipedia Creative Commons.)
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December 4, 1963

December 4, 1963

The Cape Breton Highlander begins publishing - it was a small, weekly labour newspaper printed in Sydney, Nova Scotia from 1963 until 1976. Often controversial, the paper covered items that both engaged (and at times enraged) its readers. Commenting in the July 6, 2015, Halifax Examiner (online), writer Silver Donald Cameron remembers The Highlander as; "...a wonderful paper, always getting into trouble. I remember Sandy Campbell, the big, bluff, cigar-smoking...
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December 5, 1884

December 5, 1884

The SS Newcastle sailed from Halifax to Britain with a large cargo of Annapolis Valley apples. This was the middle of the apple boom (1849–1933).
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December 6, 1985

Daniel Paul, Mi’kmaw elder, columnist, author and human rights activist (b. 1938 at Indian Brook) became the founding executive director of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq at the Millbrook Reserve in Truro. He remained in that role till January 1994. He had previously worked for the federal and provincial governments. In 1991, he also founded and published the Mi’kmaq/Maliseet Nations News. Paul served on the NS Human Rights Commission, the NS Police Commission and authored We Were Not...
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December 6, 1995

December 6, 1995

Old Town Lunenburg was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as one of the best surviving examples of a planned British colonial settlement in North America, established in 1753. It was listed as a “National Historic District” in 1992 by the federal government. On August 16, 1996, the distinctive UNESCO monument commemorating the official designation of Lunenburg as a World Heritage Site was unveiled in Lunenburg. (Photo: Lunenburg Waterfront. Photographer Jeff Vienneau.)
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December 6, 1917

December 6, 1917

The Halifax Explosion occurred, resulting from a collision between the SS Mont-Blanc, carrying highly flammable and explosive materials, and the Norwegian vessel SS Imo in the Halifax Harbour. The explosion devastated the Tufts Cove and Turtle Grove areas in Dartmouth, and the Richmond and North End districts of Halifax. Two thousand people were killed, 9,000 injured and 20,000 were left homeless. Halifax’s population at that time was 55,000. (First photo: Looking south along the railway track after the explosion. N.S. Archives. Second photo:...
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December 8, 1948

December 8, 1948

The Maritime Museum of Canada was established in Halifax. Initially located at the HMC Dockyard (and later renamed the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic), it moved through several locations before its own building was constructed in 1981 as part of a waterfront redevelopment program. In 1982, the museum received the CSS Acadia. It is the oldest and largest maritime museum in Canada. (Photo: CSS Acadia, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Photographer Robert Alders. Wikipedia Creative Commons.)
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December 9, 1755

The first post office was established in Halifax (the first in what later became Canada).
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December 10, 2008

December 10, 2008

Sambro resident and playwright Catherine Banks won a Governor General’s Literary Award for English-language Drama for her play Bone Cage. She won a second award in 2012 for It is Solved by Walking. She was born in Middleton and graduated from Acadia University. She has remarked that “. . . it really wasn’t until I saw Michel Tremblay’s Les Belles Soeurs that I understood that I had something to write about . . . Tremblay characters were so grounded in real life that...
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December 10, 1954

The last load of fill was dumped on the Strait of Canso. The causeway construction required over 1,385 metres of rock-fill, in waters of a maximum depth of 65 metres. The official opening took place on August 13, 1955. The word Canso was believed to be derived from the Mi’kmaq word kamsok, which meant “opposite the lofty cliffs.” (Also see 'The Canso Causeway...,' May 13, 1955.)
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December 10, 1957

Argyris Lacas died in Halifax, age one hundred (b. 1856 in Greece). He was a prominent member of a generation of Halifax Greeks, and a small-business owner for many years.  He was also co-founder of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association in Halifax, and a constant presence at Pier 21 in Halifax, where he befriended and translated for many new Greek immigrants to Canada. He was also a founding member of the St. George...
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December 11, 1902

December 11, 1902

A great banquet was held at the Queen Hotel for the Honourable W.S. Fielding. At the time, Fielding was the Minister of Finance for Canada (serving from 1896 to 1911) under Prime Minister Wilfred Laurier. The dinner was hosted by the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia on the occasion of Fielding’s return from England, where he had been one of the representatives of Canada at the Coronation of His Majesty King Edward VII and attended the...
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December 12, 1989

December 12, 1989

Helen Creighton died (b. Sept. 5, 1899). Born in Dartmouth, she was a journalist broadcaster (on CHNS as ‘Aunt Helen’) and became a distinguished folklorist, collecting numerous songs and stories across Nova Scotia, and recording and publishing works from 1928 onwards. In 1932, she published her first book, Songs and Ballads of Nova Scotia. Though there are different perspectives about her work, she played a key role in shaping the contemporary Nova Scotian identity. She was recognized with numerous honorary degrees, a fellowship in the American...
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December 13, 2014

December 13, 2014

The new Halifax Central Library opened on the corner of Spring Garden Road and Queen Street. The library won a Lieutenant Governor’s Design Award in Architecture for 2014. The design was a joint venture between local firm Fowler Bauld and Mitchell and Schmidt Hammer Lassen of Denmark. The total cost of the building was $57.6 million. (Photo:  The Halifax Central Library. (Photo: Wikipedia Creative Commons.)
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December 13, 1804

Joseph Howe was born, the last of eight children. (Also see John Howe, December 28, 1780.)
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December 14, 1917

December 14, 1917

Group of Seven artist Arthur Lismer, the director of the Victoria School of Art and Design in Halifax (1916 to 1919), wrote to the curator of the Art Gallery of Toronto concerning the damages caused at his school in the Halifax Explosion on December 6, but concludes, “Now all these are small things compared with the awful damage and death toll in the devastated area, that is indeed a woeful sight — and our 20,000 homeless (we are all caring for them) &...
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December 14, 1873

December 14, 1873

Alexander Keith died. He was a noted Scottish-born Canadian politician (Conservative), freemason and brewer. In 1820, he founded the Alexander Keith’s Nova Scotia Brewery. He was buried in the Camp Hill Cemetery, where his birthday on October 5 (1795), was often marked by people visiting the grave and placing beer bottles and caps on it. (Photo: Alexander Keith’s Building, Halifax. (First photo: Alexander Keith’s Nova Scotia Brewery sign, 2017. Gwen North. Second photo: Alexander Keith’s Nova Scotia Brewery...
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December 15, 1902

December 15, 1902

Guglielmo Marconi (1874–1937) sent wireless signals across the Atlantic from Table Head, Glace Bay, to Britain. The first official transatlantic message was from Governor General Minto to King George V. In 1909, Marconi received the Nobel Prize in Physics. (Photo: Table Head, Glace Bay, the site where Guglielmo Marconi sent the first wireless signals across the Atlantic to Britain. CB Wireless Heritage Society.)
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December 15, 1985

Frank Sobey died (b. 1902). Born in Lyons Brook, Nova Scotia, he left school after Grade 8. With a focused entrepreneurial spirit he expanded his father’s meats and vegetables store in Stellarton to a full range of groceries. Soon he expanded to New Glasgow, Antigonish and further afield, creating a holding company called Empire Company Ltd., encompassing substantial commercial and residential real estate holdings and other services. Sobey also created a foundation to provide funding supports...
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December 15, 1868

December 15, 1868

Thomas Killam died (b. 1802), a prominent Yarmouth merchant (trade and insurance), a ship-owner and politician. Between 1839 and 1865 he owned over sixty vessels, twenty-five of which were eventually lost at sea. He entered politics as an MLA for the Township of Yarmouth in 1847, serving for twenty years. In 1867, he was elected as an MP to the first Parliament. (Photo: Canadian MP Thomas Killam.)
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December 16, 1757

December 16, 1757

John Connor died at age twenty-nine, and was buried in the Old Burial Ground in Halifax. He arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749 as a volunteer settler with Edward Cornwallis’ fleet on the ship Merry Jacks. Mi’kmaq oral tradition suggests that Connor’s pregnant wife. Mary, and his daughter Martha were killed in a raid on Dartmouth in 1751. In February 1752, he was provided a government contract to establish the first ferry in Halifax Harbour. By December, he assigned his ferry operation...
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December 17, 1997

Alma Bardon Houston died in Halifax (b. in Stewiacke, 1926). She was known as the “first lady of Inuit art.” She and her son, filmmaker John Houston, ran the Houston North Gallery in Lunenburg, specializing in Inuit art. She had extensive experience with the Inuit artists of Baffin Island and Cape Dorset for many years. She also began to encourage local enterprise initiatives and was an instrumental supporter in the founding of the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival Society...
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December 18, 1603

Pierre Dugua des Mons (Monts) received letters patent and, “ . . . was granted the privilege of trade and responsibility of settlement by the king. Under the terms of his commissions, he was given a trading monopoly and appointed lieutenant-general ‘of the coasts, lands and confines of Acadia, Canada and other places in New France,’ there to establish 60 colonists a year and to win the Indians to the Christian faith.”
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December 19, 1843

December 19, 1843

The Christmas classic A Christmas Carol Featuring Ebenezer Scrooge by Charles Dickens was published in England in a single volume. A year earlier, Dickens had been hosted in Halifax by Joseph Howe (See Joseph Howe, Jan. 21, 1842). Dickens’s first edition sold out by Christmas Eve and by the end of 1844 thirteen editions had been released. (Photo: A Christmas Carol Featuring Ebenezer Scrooge by Charles Dickens, first edition.)
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December 20, 1764

A large tract of country upon the southeast side of the Piziquid River (later known as the Avon River) was erected into a township to be called Windsor. It was formerly known as Pisiquit, where Fort Edward was built (1750) during Father Le Loutre’s War (1749–1755), and where the site of the Acadian church for the parish of l’Assumption (est. 1722) was located.
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December 21, 1941

Butter rationing began in Canada as a wartime measure. Gasoline had been rationed since April 1.
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December 22, 1835

December 22, 1835

George Monro Grant was born in Stellarton, Pictou County (d. 1902). Educated at the Pictou Academy, and later in Scotland at the University of Glasgow. He entered the ministry of the Church of Scotland, serving at St. Matthew’s Church in Halifax. In favour of Confederation, in 1872 he accompanied his lifelong friend, Sir Sandford Fleming, on a railway survey expedition to assess the best route through the Rockies, producing a best-selling book from the trip called Ocean to...
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December 23, 1889

December 23, 1889

Nictaux Atlantic (the Nova Scotia Central Railway — NSCR) opened its railway line between Middleton and Bridgewater. (Photo: First photo - NSCR steam engine that ran on the Nictaux line. Courtesy of  The Halifax and Southwestern Railway Museum Lunenburg. Second photo: -Map of the NSCR line from Bridgewater to Middleton.) 
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December 24, 1942

The HMCS Clayoquot was torpedoed by German U-boat U-806 three miles off the Sambro Lighthouse. The ship sank in ten minutes, with eight men lost. Seventy-six who abandoned the ship were recovered and taken ashore.
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December 25, 2004

December 25, 2004

Mi’kmaq Kji-Keptin (Grand Captain) Alexander Denny died (b. 1940). He served as president of the Union of Nova Scotia Indians from 1974 to 1976 and from 1993 to 1995. He was a lifetime member of the Mi’kmaq Santé Mawio’mi (Grand Council). (Photo: Alex Denny. Cape Breton University.)
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December 26, 1925

December 26, 1925

Canadian labour leader Robert Drummond died in Stellarton, and was buried in Springhill (b. 1840 in Scotland). He was a coal miner, trade union leader, journalist and politician. Ian McKay wrote that Drummond was, “. . . one of the most significant figures of 19th-century Canadian labour history . . . For all his contradictions, inconsistencies, and reversals, and perhaps partly because of them, Drummond, was one of Nova Scotia’s more interesting new liberal politicians, should...
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December 26, 1932

December 26, 1932

The Islamic Association of Nova Scotia was formally established. It was one of the first Muslim organizations in Canada. A Maritime Muslim Academy was founded in 1984 in the Halifax/Dartmouth area. A new Ummah mosque and community centre in Halifax was granted final occupancy in May of 2013. Canada's first mosque was built in Edmonton in 1938 by Arab Muslim immigrants. The history of Muslims in Canada can be traced back 125 years. There are about one million...
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December 27, 1883

December 27, 1883

Cyrus Eaton was born in Pugwash (d. 1979). He became a successful Canadian- American investment banker, businessman and philanthropist, with a career spanning over seventy years. He had a passion for world peace and was an outspoken critic of the Cold War, establishing the Pugwash conferences at his summer home in Pugwash, NS, to encourage international dialogue. The conferences and their chairman, Joseph Rotblat, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995. (Photo:  Thinkers’ Lodge, Pugwash,...
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December 27, 1932

December 27, 1932

Peter Wilmot died at the age of 106 on the Millbrook Reserve (born at Pictou Landing in 1826). He was a Mi’kmaw chief at Pictou Landing. (Photo: Chief Peter Wilmot. N.S. Museum. Also see 'Wilmot, Peter,' by Ruth Holmes Whitehead. Dictionary of Canadian Biography.)
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December 28, 1780

December 28, 1780

The Halifax Journal was founded by John Howe (1754–1835). He arrived in Halifax the previous year. He had witnessed the Boston Tea Party in December 1773 and considered himself a Loyalist — not so much to the Crown, but rather to the “British heritage, and the contribution of Britons over the centuries to politics, the arts, science, and literature.” Before evacuating to Halifax, he had trained as a junior partner on two Boston newspapers. He was the father of Joseph Howe (1804–1873). (Also...
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December 28, 1979

Premier John Buchanan’s Conservative government passed its multi-plant Trade Union Act amendment in the Nova Scotia Legislature, later known as the Michelin Bill, that required the simultaneous signing of workers from all “interdependent” plants. This was retroactive and made the previous application for union certification, which was conducted in October at the Michelin Granton plant, null and void. The results of the Granton plant vote were never known and the Act effectively stopped the unionization of Michelin.
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December 29, 1923

John Frederic Herbin died in Wolfville (b. 1860 in Windsor). He was an author, poet, historian, politician and jeweller. He learned the jewellry and watchmaker trade under his father, and by 1885 he established Herbin Jewellers in Wolfville, where he spent the rest of his life (the business continued after his death). He was mayor of Wolfville from 1902 to 1903. He was the author of Canada and Other Poems (1891), The Marshlands (1893), Grand Pré (1898), The...
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December 30, 1938

December 30, 1938

Lee (Harvey) Cremo was born at Barra Head, Chapel Island, Cape Breton (d. Oct. 10, 1999). He grew up in Eskasoni and started playing the fiddle at the age of seven, later taking lessons from his father, Simon Peter Cremo (1900–1964). Lee became a famed fiddler and composer, who won over eighty fiddle competitions. He was remembered as an ambassador for the Cape Breton Mi’kmaq community. (Photo: Lee Cremo. Beaton Institute.)
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December 30, 1816

December 30, 1816

William Alexander Henry was born in Halifax. He was a delegate to the Charlottetown Conference and was considered a Father of Confederation. He later became mayor of Halifax (1870). He was also one of the first judges of the Supreme Court of Canada, appointed in 1875. The well-known restaurant and pub in Halifax, Henry House, served as his residence from 1854 to 1864. He died in Ottawa in 1888. (Photo: Willam A. Henry, Father of Confederation for Nova...
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December 31, 2002

December 31, 2002

Kevin Scott Macmichael, founding member of the UK-based pop-rock band, Cutting Crew, died in Halifax. Born in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1951, Macmichael grew up in Dartmouth and later became a guitarist, songwriter and record producer, forming the band Cutting Crew in 1985 in London England. Most notably, he is known for the number-one hit in 1987 with (I just) Died in Your Arms.
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December 31, 1898

December 31, 1898

After three years of construction work, the Halifax Armoury (and Drill Hall) was completed. The building was designed by Chief Dominion Architect Thomas Fuller (1823–1898). J.E. Askwith Co. of Ottawa was the contractor, with an original cost estimate of $175,000, but the project went over-budget at a final cost of about $250,000, which was considered an astronomical sum. Fuller was also one of the principal architects (with Charles Baillairgé) who designed the Parliament building (completed in 1866). The Armoury...
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