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February 1, 1893
February 2, 1914
February 2, 2016
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February 3, 1969
February 4, 1992
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February 5, 1920
February 6, 1918
February 7, 1965
February 7, 1908
February 8, 1950
February 8, 1961
February 8, 1956
February 9, 1848
February 9, 1756
February 10, 1924
February 10, 1937
February 10, 1885
February 11, 1747
February 11, 1834
February 12, 1813
February 13, 1983
February 13, 1896
February 14, 1997
February 14, 1883
February 15, 1979
February 15, 1880
February 16, 1967
February 16, 1914
February 16, 2012
February 16, 1929
February 17, 1820
February 18, 1901
February 19, 1895
February 19, 1849
February 19, 1921
February 20, 1823
February 21, 1753
February 21, 1849
February 21, 1891
February 22, 2017
February 23, 1970
February 23, 1909
February 24, 1975
February 24, 2010
February 24, 1816
February 24, 2015
February 24, 1979
February 25, 2013
February 25, 2017
February 26, 1958
February 26, 1789
February 26, 1610
February 26, 1769.
February 27, 1939
February 27, 1799
February 28, 1952
February 1, 1893

February 1, 1893

The Dominion Coal Company was incorporated by American businessman and promoter Henry M. Whitney, with the first steel produced on December 31, 1901 — beginning over one hundred years of boom and bust cycles for the Sydney steel plant. The Sydney area grew from 2,427 in 1891 to 17,728 by 1911. The company went through various corporate restructures, ultimately being taken over by the Government of Nova Scotia through the Sydney Steel Corp. on November 22, 1967. It...
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February 2, 1914

February 2, 1914

In 1913, Canada’s first feature film, Evangeline, was produced, based on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem of the same name. It was premiered in Halifax on this date in 1914. Produced by the Halifax-based Canadian Bioscope Company, the film is now considered lost. (Photo:  A scene from Evangeline  (1913–1914).
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February 2, 2016

February 2, 2016

On this date, Syrian refugee Dana Mellis commented on her experience of having to leave her country, “They were shouting, ‘Leave the city or you will die.’ We had to leave immediately, so we very quickly found some clothing and some important papers . . . and then we left.” She became a scholarship student and plans to study pharmacy at Dalhousie University. The Mellis family arrived from Syria in Nova Scotia on January 12, 2016. They were five of “roughly 1,000 government-sponsored refugees...
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February 3, 1939

February 3, 1939

Four hundred and twenty-one volunteer soldiers from the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion began to disembark at Halifax (February 3 to 18). Of the 1,300 who had left to fight fascism in the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), half had been killed. Nineteen volunteers were from Nova Scotia. Joining the battalion was illegal at the time, so there was no official welcome for the returning men. But on October 20, 2001, Governor General Michaëlle Jean dedicated a monument to the battalion in...
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February 3, 2017

About 150 people of different faiths formed a support circle around Halifax’s largest mosque (the Ummah Mosque) as a public gesture to show solidarity with the city’s Muslims after the fatal shooting at a mosque in Quebec City on January 29 that left six people dead.
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February 3, 1919

February 3, 1919

Returned war artist and member of the Group of Seven, A.Y. Jackson visited fellow artist and friend Arthur Lismer in Halifax to paint the final stages of soldiers returning to peace in Canada. One of the pieces he created during this time was Entrance to Halifax Harbour. This painting was later acquired by the Tate Gallery in England. (Painting: Entrance to Halifax Harbour, 1919, by A.Y. Jackson).
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February 3, 1970

The 11,379-ton Liberian oil tanker Arrow went aground at Cerebus Rock in Chedabucto Bay, five miles from Arichat. Bunker oil escaped to pollute over 125 miles of shoreline.
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February 3, 1969

February 3, 1969

Ripley's Believe It or Not features the Église Sainte-Marie Church in the Claire region of Nova Scotia at Church Point. Built in 1903, it is known as the largest wooden church in North America. It is 190 feet long, 135 feet wide at its widest point and is built in the shape of a cross. Inside, its height rises 65 feet from the floor to ceiling. It was designed by...
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February 4, 1992

Tom Paul, Mi’kmaq spiritual leader, poet and activist from Eskasoni, Cape Breton, died of a heart attack, at age forty-nine. He was a veteran of protests at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, and Restigouche, Quebec, among other places, and was awaiting trial in connection with the seventy-eight-day armed standoff at Oka in the summer of 1990.
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February 4, 1980

The Cape Breton–based rock group the Minglewood Band was nominated for a Juno Award for Most Promising Group of the Year.
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February 5, 1920

February 5, 1920

Main building at King’s College, Windsor, destroyed by fire. (Photo: Main building at King’s College in Windsor, N.S. before the 1920 fire. University of King’s College Archives).
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February 6, 1918

The Representation of the People Act (known also as the Fourth Reform Act) was passed in the United Kingdom. It was designed to reform the electoral system to include all men over twenty-one who could vote in the constituency where they were resident. And to include women over thirty years old if they were a member of a Local Government Register, or were married to a member, were a property owner or voting in a university constituency. Nova...
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February 7, 1965

February 7, 1965

Viola Desmond died in New York City while on a visit, aged 50. She was buried at the Camp Hill Cemetery in Halifax. She was born Viola Irene Desmond Davis in Halifax in 1914. She was a 32-year-old black Nova Scotian businesswoman when, on November 8, 1946, she challenged racial segregation at a film theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. She refused to leave a ‘whites only’ area of the Roseland Theatre and was unjustly jailed for twelve hours and convicted of a minor...
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February 7, 1908

An explosion in a Port Hood, Cape Breton, mine killed ten miners, four of whom were residents of the area, and six were Bulgarian. The mine was later flooded from the sea. A list of over 2,584 names of miners who have died in various mining accidents in Nova Scotia (and where) are listed in the “Men in the Mines” NS Archives database, found at Archives.NovaScotia.ca under the Mining topic tab.
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February 8, 1950

February 8, 1950

The Cunard liner S.S. Samaria arrived in Nova Scotia with 1,556 passengers at Pier 21. Jim Spatz was one of those passengers. He was less than a year old, travelling with his parents, Simon and Riva, who were Holocaust survivors. Spatz would go on to a successful medical practice in Montreal. Later he would return to Halifax to join his father in his property management and development business called Southwest Properties. He was one of...
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February 8, 1961

Gladys (Richardson) Porter (1893–1967) was the first woman to be elected to Nova Scotia Legislature, taking her seat for the Progressive Conservatives in the Kings North riding. She had served previously as mayor of Kentville from 1946 to 1950, and from 1954 to 1960. She was an MLA till her death on April 30, 1967.
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February 8, 1956

The Liberal government (under Premier Henry Hicks) announced its intention to grant recognition to unions of workers at public boards and commissions. This did not include the largest group of provincial employees — the civil service. However, with government assurance, by April an association of Nova Scotia civil service workers began to take shape. And by December 5, 1957, the newly elected Conservative government cabinet, under Premier Robert Stanfield, approved the establishment of the Nova Scotia Civil Service Association. Through various changes, civil service employees are now...
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February 9, 1848

February 9, 1848

Mayflower Division, Sons of Temperance, organized in Halifax, as well as other Christian related groups to support temperance values. (Also see Public Meeting, January 29, 1831.) (Image: The YMCA was one of Halifax’s Christian related temperance groups.).
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February 9, 1756

At Fortress Louisbourg, the trial of Pierre LeRoy and Anne Lando took place, and both were accused of murdering Lando’s husband. They were both found guilty and sentenced to death. LeRoy was executed that summer, strangled and broken on the wheel. Lando was hung and burned, with her ashes thrown to the wind. That same summer, a number of French soldiers who had deserted were captured. All were executed by hanging.
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February 10, 1924

February 10, 1924

Max Ferguson was born in Britain (d. 2013). He came with his family at the age of three to London, Ontario. He started in radio broadcasting after graduating from the University of Western Ontario. He arrived at CBC Radio Halifax in 1947, where he began a popular radio show called Rawhide, featuring a wonderfully eccentric and caustic old curmudgeon introducing various pieces of “cowboy” music. The show was moved to Toronto in 1949, but he was...
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February 10, 1937

The French Acadian newspaper Le Petit Courrier was first published. It was founded by Désiré d’Eon as a one-page broadsheet of local-interest news for French readers in southwest Nova Scotia. D’Eon later moved the paper’s operations to West Pubnico. With ownership changes in 1970–71, the paper was renamed Le Petit Courrier de la Nouvelle-Écosse, becoming a newspaper that reflected daily Acadian life across the province. In October 1977, the paper was named Le Courrier.
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February 10, 1885

A serious accident occurred at Vale Colliery, Pictou County. Thirteen men were killed by an explosion of gas. On May 3, 1883, seven men had died in an accident when a drawbar broke on a slope trolley.
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February 11, 1747

The Battle of Grand Pré took place at 3 a.m. in a blinding snowstorm. A detachment of British troops from Massachusetts under Colonel Arthur Noble and troops from Annapolis totalling five hundred men, were all being billeted in the houses of Acadian inhabitants in the Grand Pré area when they were attacked by French troops from Quebec under the command of Captain Coulon de Villiers, accompanied by Acadian Militia and Mi’kmaq warrior forces estimated to also...
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February 11, 1834

African Nova Scotians from the communities north of Halifax, Dartmouth, Preston, Eastern Passage, Chezzetcook and others submitted a petition to the government asking to receive representation in the House of Assembly. Abolition of slavery by the British government took place in 1834.
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February 12, 1813

February 12, 1813

Maria Frances Ann Morris was born (d. 1875). She became an art teacher and Nova Scotia’s first native-born professional woman artist, and also the first native-born botanical artist in Canada. She had been encouraged by botanist Titus Smith and supported by local patrons, publishing a series of lithographs, representing over 146 Nova Scotia wildflower species in 1840, 1853 and 1866. A collection of her paintings was also shown at the universal exposition in Paris in 1867. (Painting: Actoea Alba & Rubra, Red...
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February 13, 1983

February 13, 1983

William deGarthe died (b. 1907). He was a Finnish-born painter and sculptor who lived much of his life in Peggy’s Cove. He trained under Stanley Royle at Mount Allison University, and at other art schools in New York and Paris. After his arrival back in Nova Scotia in the early forties, he taught commercial art at NSCAD. He later created many works of art that went on to national and international exhibits and became popular amongst individual and corporate collectors. He also became known...
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February 13, 1896

February 13, 1896

The first electric streetcar started a test service in Halifax. The service became fully operational on May 31. (Also see the Halifax Street Railway Company, June 11, 1866). (Photo: The Halifax Electric Tramway Company open summer car no. 11, in Halifax, 1897. Photographer unknown. NS Archives).
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February 14, 1997

The Mi’kmaq Kina’matnewey, representing twelve member communities across Nova Scotia, signed a historic educational jurisdiction agreement with the government of Canada, which transferred control of Mi’kmaq education to the Mi’kmaq people.
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February 14, 1883

William Roy Mackenzie was born in River John, Pictou County (d. 1957). Educated at Dalhousie and Harvard, he became a literary scholar, writer and folksong collector. Considered the father of ballad collecting in Canada, he was the first scholar to collect Anglo-Canadian and Nova Scotian songs. Mackenzie’s work and further publications, such as Ballads and Sea Songs from Nova Scotia (1928), provided inspiration to Helen Creighton and other collectors. His papers were eventually collected at the...
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February 15, 1979

February 15, 1979

Springhill-born Anne Murray (b. 1945) received her Grammy Award in absentia in Los Angeles — the first solo Canadian female artist to reach number one on US charts and to achieve a gold record in the United States (Snowbird, in 1970). She has sold more than 55 million records, earning thirty-one Junos. She is a Companion of the Order of Canada, and a recipient of the Order of Nova Scotia (2002). (Also see Singalong Jubilee, July 3, 1961). (Photo: Anne Murray. Annemurraycentre.com).
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February 15, 1880

The first quintuplets in Canada were born in Little Egypt, Pictou County. The parents were Mr. and Mrs. Adam Murray. The quintuplets made their family a total of twelve. Unfortunately, all of the quintuplet babies died within a few days. As reported in the Winnipeg Times on March 1, 1880, P.T. Barnum wanted to mummify the babies and take them on tour.  
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February 16, 1967

The Canadian Royal Commission on the Status of Women commences its work. Broadcaster, journalist and senator Florence Bird (1908–1998) was chosen as the commission’s chair. Over the next three years, the commission called for submissions from organizations and individuals. It received approximately 500 briefs, 1,000 letters of opinion and also held a series of public hearings across the country. The work of the Commission was considered by many to be groundbreaking and resulted directly in significant improvements to the lives of many Canadian women and, as...
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February 16, 1914

February 16, 1914

Winston ‘Scotty’ Fitzgerald was born at White Point, Victoria County, Cape Breton (d. 1987). He became a renowned Cape Breton fiddler and a pioneer in recorded performances of music, which influenced later generations of players. He began playing at the age of eight and, while working in the shipyards in Halifax during the 1930s, he played with Hank Snow. (Also see Hank Snow, May 9, 1914.). In fact, as John Donald Cameron has pointed out, it was Hank Snow who gave...
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February 16, 2012

It was announced that Brigadier General (Retired) John James Grant was appointed the thirty-second lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia (2012-2017). Following him, on June 14, 2017, the Honourable Arthur Joseph LeBlanc was appointed the thirty-third lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia.
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February 16, 1929

The Strand Theatre opened in New Waterford, with seating for 650 individuals to view movies.
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February 17, 1820

The Halifax Poor Man’s Friend Society was founded in Halifax by a local group of business and professional men who aimed to “. . . relieve the wants of the numerous poor, and destroy the system of public begging.” Society members regularly visited the poor to examine their state of need and offer assistance in the form of money, food, supplies or employment. By 1822, money was discontinued as a standard form of relief. In 1823, the society...
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February 18, 1901

Death of William Johnston Almon (b. 1816 in Halifax), physician and senator. He was the first doctor in North America to use chloroform as an anaesthetic.
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February 19, 1895

February 19, 1895

The first Jewish synagogue in Nova Scotia was dedicated in the former First Congregation Baptist Church on the corner of Starr Street and Hurds Lane, in Halifax. Generous contributions were made by Christian congregations in the city, and repairs were made so the building could serve as a synagogue and a school for the community. The first wedding was witnessed there within an hour of the synagogue dedication — between Sarah Cohen and Harry Glube. Jews had been arriving in Halifax since the early...
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February 19, 1849

Joseph Howe spoke in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly, expressing the importance of having a superintendent of schools, school libraries, adequate compensation for teachers and free schools.
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February 19, 1921

The first permanent dial telephone exchange in Nova Scotia began operating in North End Halifax.
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February 20, 1823

February 20, 1823

Halifax Harbour was frozen over below George’s Island at 13 degrees below zero. The harbour froze over on other occasions, as this illustration indicates in 1859, with the arrival of Cunard’s RMS America. (Image credit: A moment frozen in time. Samuel Cunard’s steamship RMS America arrives in Halifax, Valentine’s Day, 1859. Signed ‘Avery.’ From The Marine Curator/N.S. Museum,  March 8, 2013.)
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February 21, 1753

As part of the conflict triggered by the British decision to establish a new presence on mainland Nova Scotia a group of Mi’kmaq captured a British vessel with a crew of four along the Eastern Shore (referred to as the Attack at Mocodome — later known as Country Harbour, NS). The four were taken captive — John Connor, James Grace, Michael Haggarthy and John Power. The latter two were killed and Connor and Grace were held captive. They...
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February 21, 1849

The first Nova Scotia Pony Express began operations. Carrying news, the express departed Halifax about 5 p.m. on Wednesday, headed to Amherst, and arrived in Saint John about 8 p.m. on Thursday — travelling time, Halifax to Saint John, about 27 hours. The service was run by Daniel Craig and Hiram Hyde, who had organized a fast horse courier service then called the Halifax Express, later known as the Nova Scotia Pony Express. Their express also connected with a chartered steamship service across the Bay...
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February 21, 1891

February 21, 1891

The Springhill mine explosion occurred with 125 men killed — seventeen of them were boys sixteen years of age and younger. Many more were injured. (Image credit:  Illustration from Story of the Springhill Colliery Explosion: Comprising a Full and Authentic Account of the Great Coal Mining Explosion at Springhill Mines, Nova Scotia, February 21st, 1891,  by R.A.H. Morrow.)
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February 22, 2017

The Nova Scotia Government announced their “Culture Action Plan” to create a culture innovation fund worth $1.5 million and provide $2 million a year to the creative industry fund. Critics of the plan felt that it failed to provide new resources and did not restore the Nova Scotia’s film tax credit.
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February 23, 1970

The “Encounter on Urban Environment” conference was held in Halifax. The National Film Board made a film about the event — “. . . held by a panel of specialists from different fields who met with members of this urban community to consider the future of the area and the responsibility of the citizens and government in planning the future.”
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February 23, 1909

February 23, 1909

The first controlled flight in the British Empire in a heavier-than air machine, called the Silver Dart, took place in Baddeck. The airplane was flown by Douglas McCurdy, who had worked with Alexander Graham Bell’s Aerial Experiment Association when they had designed the machine. He flew it off the ice of Bras d'Or Lakes. (Photo credit:  J.A.D. McCurdy piloting the Silver Dart  over Baddeck Bay — the first airplane flight in Canada, 23 February 1909.)
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February 24, 1975

February 24, 1975

Ashley MacIsaac was born in Creignish, Cape Breton. He became a well known fiddler, singer and songwriter, receiving three Juno Awards and creating fourteen albums. He later published an autobiography, Fiddling with Disaster (2003). He made many tours, produced loved music and collaborated with many artists.
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February 24, 2010

February 24, 2010

Halifax Regional Municipality Mayor Peter Kelly apologized to the people of Africville on behalf of City Council for the destruction of their community nearly forty years before, mainly between 1964 and 1967. The last resident in Africville left in 1970. The apology included the allocation of some land, the restoration of the Africville name (changing from Seaview Park back to Africville) and $3 million for the construction of a replica of the Seaview United Baptist church that had stood at the geographic and emotional...
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February 24, 1816

February 24, 1816

Charles Inglis, the first Colonial Bishop in the British Empire, died in Aylesford. He was later buried under the chancel at St. Paul’s Church. (Image credit: Charles Inglis (1734–1816), by Robert Field.)
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February 24, 2015

February 24, 2015

A French salute was given with glasses of the newly issued Fortress Rum™ at the former military garrison at Louisbourg — the first rum to be matured onsite in almost three hundred years, being sold in traditional bottles, sealed with wax, capturing the authentic spirit of New France’s historic rum trade. The rum was produced by Authentic Seacoast Distilling Company in partnership with Parks Canada and the Fortress of Louisbourg association. Mitch McNutt, general manager of the Association, stated that, “Rum is a...
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February 24, 1979

February 24, 1979

A methane explosion in the DEVCO Glace Bay No.26 Colliery, 2500 ft. underground, kills 12 miners and injures 4. The tragedy left twelve wives widowed and 24 children. (Photo: No. 26 Colliery. Glace Bay Miners' Museum).
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February 25, 2013

February 25, 2013

The Halifax Women’s History Society (HWHS) was founded. Its mission was to research and make known the untold story of the remarkable contributions that women have made to the history of Halifax. “A Woman on the Waterfront” was the Society’s first project — to erect a monument to honour women volunteers during the Second World War, provide public acknowledgement of their numerous contributions and educate the citizens of the day and the future about the essential services that women willingly...
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February 25, 2017

The African Nova Scotian Music Association (ANSMA) Awards were hosted at the Spatz Theatre in Halifax (formed in 1997).
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February 26, 1958

Clarissa (Clara) Archibald Dennis died. Born in Truro on November 24, 1881, she was educated at Mount Allison and Dalhousie. The daughter of Senator William Dennis, she became a reporter and noted photographer and author on Nova Scotia history and Mi’kmaq culture and personalities. She produced over 3,000 photographs, including many that featured the Mi’kmaq culture. (Also see Agnes Dennis, April 21, 1947.)
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February 26, 1789

The Halifax garrison’s new Grand Theatre, located near the central waterfront, opened on this day with a production of The Merchant of Venice.
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February 26, 1610

Jean de Biencourt de Poutrincourt (1557–1615) sailed from Dieppe, France, for Acadia (Port Royal settlement) with his son, Charles de Biencourt (1592–1624). Poutrincourt had made his first voyage to Acadia in 1604 with Pierre Dugua de Mons (and Samuel de Champlain). He was appointed governor of Port Royal in 1606 by de Mons. The British attacked and destroyed Port Royal in 1613 and Poutrincourt returned to France. (Also see Samuel de Champlain, May 16, 1604.)
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February 26, 1769.

Thomas Akins records that; "Halifax Harbour was so full of ice that vessels could not come in, which had not been the case for (says the Gazette for that day) ten years. The cold was intense, snow between four and five feet deep in the woods and on the peninsula, an instance of which had not been known for several years." (p. 72, History of Halifax City, 1847. Bellville, Ontario:...
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February 27, 1939

The art-deco styled Vogue Theatre opened in downtown Sydney, Nova Scotia, heralded as the “newest type of theatre” with “modernity as its keynote.” It would close in 1998 and be demolished in April 2008.
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February 27, 1799

Sir Edward Belcher, sailor and author, was born in Halifax (d. in London, 1877). The great-grandson of Governor Jonathan Belcher, he led the last and largest Admiralty Arctic expedition (five ships) in an unsuccessful attempt to rescue the Franklin Expedition.
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February 28, 1952

February 28, 1952

Vincent Massey was sworn in as the new governor general of Canada — the first Canadian-born person to be appointed to the position. The Massey lectures were named in his honour. (Image credit: Vincent Massey, Governor General of Canada (1952–1959). Courtesy of Official Residences, National Capital Commission.)
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