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January 1, 1819
January 1, 1894
January 2, 1892
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January 2, 2015
January 3, 1863
January 3, 1828
January 3, 1882
January 3, 1892
January 4, 1760
January 5, 2004
January 5, 1558
January 5, 2015
January 6, 1972
January 6, 2015
January 7, 1936
January 8, 1977
January 9, 1877
January 9, 1893
January 10, 1866
January 10, 1987
January 10, 1965
January 11, 1832
January 11, 1890
January 12, 1836
January 12, 1956
January 13, 1814
January 13, 1885
January 14, 1875
January 14, 1851
January 14, 1952
January 14, 1980
January 15, 1992
January 15, 1792
January 16, 2000
January 16, 1838
January 16, 1865
January 16, 1906
January 17, 1948
January 17, 1920
January 18, 1878
January 18, 2014
January 18, 1821
January 19, 1799
January 19, 1915
January 19, 1929
January 19, 1863
January 20, 1976
January 20, 1971
January 21, 1842
January 21, 1842
January 22, 1862
January 22, 2009
January 23, 2017
January 23, 1918
January 1, 1823
January 24, 1940
January 24, 2015
January 24, 1999
January 25, 1956
January 25, 1933
January 26, 2013
January 26, 2000
January 26, 2018
January 27, 1896
January 28, 1946
January 29, 1831
January 30, 1965
January 30, 1920
January 30, 1860
January 30, 1838
January 31, 1854
January 31, 1951
January 31, 2018
January 1, 1819

January 1, 1819

The construction of Admiralty House was completed — a two-storey mansion set within the precincts of the Stadacona site of Canadian Forces Base Halifax. From 1819 to 1904, the building was the residence of the commander in chief of the Royal Navy’s North American station. Over 42 admirals lived in the house to 1904, some of which were associated with famous families - such as Jane Austen's brother, Sir Francis...
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January 1, 1894

January 1, 1894

William D. Lovitt died in Yarmouth. Born in 1834, he was a prominent businessman who invested in over twenty-seven sailing vessels during his lifetime — one of Yarmouth’s most active shipowners. (Photo credit: Yarmouth County Museum).
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January 2, 1892

The name of the Morning Herald was changed to Halifax Herald. (Also see The first issue, January 14, 1875.)
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January 2, 1878

January 2, 1878

The first meeting of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society (RNSHS) was held. Dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of the province, over the years the society has published a historical review, collections and a journal, which can be found at RNSHS.ca - note their menu tab, top right, to “NS History Links.”
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January 2, 2015

January 2, 2015

James ‘Jim’ Robert Lotz, born in Liverpool, England, in 1929, died in Halifax. Lotz was an author, researcher and community economic development educator, and mentor to many aspiring writers in Atlantic Canada. He was a founding member of The Atlantic Provinces Book Review (1974) which later evolved into Atlantic Books Today. He and his wife, Pat, were residents of Halifax since 1973. Jim authored over thirty books; one of his last...
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January 3, 1863

January 3, 1863

The Earl of Mulgrave declared the skating rink on Park Street open – first covered rink in Canada. Throughout Nova Scotia, residents always enjoyed winter outings, as these paintings by Maud Lewis indicate. (Also see During the winter, January 16, 1838). (Image: A scene of children skiing by Maud Lewis).
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January 3, 1828

January 3, 1828

The first weekly issue of the Novascotian under Joseph Howe was published. A year earlier, Howe had been joint owner with James Spike of the Weekly Chronicle newspaper, which later changed its name to the Acadian. But by December 1827, at the age of twenty-eight, Howe relinquished his share in the Acadian and purchased the Novascotian from George young. A month later, he married Catherine Susan Ann (née McNab) and...
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January 3, 1882

January 3, 1882

Moses Coady was born in the Margaree valley of Cape Breton. He became a Roman Catholic priest and a visionary adult educator. He was best known for his leadership role in the Antigonish Cooperative Movement that began in 1929 in response to the chronic decline in the fisheries, the closing of mines and the onset of the Great Depression. In 1939, Coady published his classic work, Masters of Their Own...
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January 3, 1892

January 3, 1892

Anselme Chiasson was born in Cheticamp (d. 2004). He became a noted Roman Catholic priest, educator and writer, who made significant contributions to the documentation of Acadian history and folklore (authoring in 1942, with Daniel Bourdreau, the eleven volumes of Chanson d’Acadie). He was named to the Ordre des francophones d’Amérique in 1979, a chevalier in the French National Order of Merit in 1999, a chevalier in the Order of...
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January 4, 1760

January 4, 1760

St. Paul’s Church, Halifax, was incorporated. Established by royal decree by King George II. Construction of the church had begun in 1750 and was completed by 1763. (Image credit: Church of Saint Paul and the Parade of Halifax in Nova Scotia, 1777 by John Fougeron).
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January 5, 2004

January 5, 2004

The Cabot Trail was named one of the top six scenic drives in North America by the Michelin North America 2004 Road Atlas. (Photo credit: © Victor Maurice Faubert, 2011).
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January 5, 1558

January 5, 1558

The earliest approximate map of the geographical area that later became known as Nova Scotia (but was at the time a part of the lands of the Mi'kmaq, now referred to as Mi'kma'ki) was created by Portuguese cartographer Diogo Homem (1521–1576). He had been banished from Portugal in 1545, but later settled in Venice where he made the map in Latin. It was later translated to English for the High...
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January 5, 2015

January 5, 2015

African Nova Scotian poet, playwright and educator, George Elliott Clarke (b. 1960), was appointed Canadian Parliamentary Poet laureate. A native of Windsor, and a seventh-generation Canadian of African-American and Mi’kmaq heritage, Clarke became an officer of the Order of Nova Scotia and the Order of Canada. He has received the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry (2001), the National Magazine Awards’ Gold Medal for Poetry and the Dr. Martin Luther...
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January 6, 1972

CBC affiliate in Sydney, CJCB, aired the CBC documentary The Vanishing Cape Breton Fiddler. Produced by Ron MacInnis, it informed Cape Bretoners about a complacency that had set in about how traditional music with the Cape Breton fiddle was facing a possible extinction. By June, the Cape Breton Fiddlers’ Association had been formed, and during the summer of 1972 over two hundred fiddlers were identified on Cape Breton. A Festival...
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January 6, 2015

January 6, 2015

Ngena (Gena) Bernard died suddenly of a heart attack at age thirty-six. She left behind four children and a life full of promise. She was a full-time student at Dalhousie University, was planning a career in social work, and a graduate of Dalhousie’s Transitional Year Program where she received the Jonathan Skeete Award. The Ngena Bernard Memorial Transition Year Program bursary has been established to assist African Canadian single parents...
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January 7, 1936

Arthur R. Richardson, carpenter, farmer, harbour pilot and politician, died in South Bar (b. 1862). He was president of the Independent Labour Party in 1918. In the July 27, 1920, provincial election, Richardson won a seat in Cape Breton County and was part of the official opposition through a period of difficult labour relations. He stepped down in 1925.
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January 8, 1977

January 8, 1977

The idea of a Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra germinated in Bridgewater, where Robert Raines was conducting the South Shore Orchestra. Raines had some students assisting in the orchestra, and that was when the thought arose that Nova Scotia should have a provincial youth orchestra. Frances Power became a co-founder and Robert Raines the first Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra conductor. Forty years later, the orchestra was described by renowned professional conductors...
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January 9, 1877

January 9, 1877

The Academy of Music in Halifax officially opened on Pleasant (later Barrington) Street. (Photo credit: The Academy of music in Halifax - on the location that became home to the Maritime Centre on Barrington Street, with the St. Matthew’s Church spire in the background. NS Archives).
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January 9, 1893

The School of Horticulture opened in Wolfville.
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January 10, 1866

Daniel Cobb Harvey was born on PEI (d. 1965). An archivist and public educator, he was considered one of the most significant twentieth-century historians of the Maritime Provinces. He was the Nova Scotia provincial archivist from 1931 to 1956. He was the author of Heart of Howe (1939), The Intellectual Awakening of Nova Scotia (1933), The Age of Faith in Nova Scotia (1946) and a number of other important works...
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January 10, 1987

Judge Raymond Bartlett was removed from the bench of the Nova Scotia Family Court after a provincial Judicial Council investigation into his frequent speeches which berated women in court.
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January 10, 1965

The Micmac News began publishing. Developed by Roy Gould in Membertou, it was published until 1991 by the Union of Nova Scotia Indians and the Native Communications Society of Nova Scotia. The Beaton Institute at Cape Breton University has digitized the complete issues online at: BeatonInstitute.com. See their menu tab “Micmac News 1965–1991.”
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January 11, 1832

The Halifax Mechanic’s Institute opened with a speech by Joseph Howe. He warned his audience that in inaugurating the institute, their first steps might be “. . . assailed by the sneer of the ignorant and the ridicule of the idle.” The first president of the institute was Dr. William Grigor, with Howe as vice-president.
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January 11, 1890

The first Canadian Pacific Railway telegraph office opened in Halifax. The following year, the CPR completed a telegraph line from Truro to Halifax. The line was built along the Intercolonial Railway line.
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January 12, 1836

The African (Nova Scotian) School was established in Halifax from the Protestant Gospel School (Bray School), and was soon followed by similar schools at Preston, Hammonds Plains and Beech Hill.
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January 12, 1956

January 12, 1956

Sam Langford, prizefighter, died in Boston (b. 1883 in Weymouth Falls). In 1999, Langford was voted Nova Scotia’s top male athlete of the twentieth century. Jack Dempsey once said of Langford, “I think Sam Langford was the greatest fighter we ever had.” African Nova Scotian playwright Jacob Sampson later wrote a play about Sam Langford’s life called Chasing Champions, which went on to win six Theatre Nova Scotia Merritt Awards,...
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January 13, 1814

The Royal Acadian School opened on Argyle Street in Halifax. Established by British officer and reformer Walter Bromley (1775–1838), schooling was offered for middle-income students as well as low-income women, black students and immigrants. Bromley also gave public exposure to the poor living conditions of the Mi’kmaq, encouraging material improvement and education. The school also welcomed Protestants and Catholics. The school was controversial, but had the support of leading individuals...
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January 13, 1885

Alfred Fuller, founder of Fuller Brush Company, was born in Welsford, Kings County. Fuller Brush became a successful early twentieth-century U.S. company.
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January 14, 1875

The first issue of the Morning Herald, later the Halifax-Herald, was published. (Also see Morning Herald, January 2, 1892.)
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January 14, 1851

Joseph Howe paid a second visit to England as an agent of the government of Nova Scotia, on behalf of the Intercolonial railway project, to negotiate with the Colonial Office for financing support. His broader effort was to appeal directly to the people of England to colonize the British North American provinces. He concluded his speech at Southampton on this day. (Also see John Howe, December 28, 1780.)
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January 14, 1952

January 14, 1952

An explosion occurred in McGregor Mine, Pictou County. Twenty-two men were working 1,400 feet underground for the Acadia Coal Company. Nineteen men died. (Photo: Miners’ bodies being recovered from the McGregor mine after the explosion of January 14, 1952. A large crowd, including draegermen, can be seen around a stretcher. Nova Scotia Museum of Industry).
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January 14, 1980

The Vietnamese Association of Nova Scotia (VietNS) was founded as a result of the first waves of Vietnamese immigrants who arrived in Nova Scotia after the fall of Saigon in 1975. More than thirty years later, the association constituted not only the original “boat people” but also extended family members and immigrants from other provinces who have chosen the Maritimes as their home. (Also see The last of United States...
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January 15, 1992

January 15, 1992

The newly formed, thirty-five member, multicultural Nova Scotia Mass Choir, under the direction of Scott MacMillian, performed their first Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. concert in collaboration with Symphony Nova Scotia. Their repertoire of black gospel music went on to raise awareness of the many cultural contributions of African Nova Scotians to the fabric of Nova Scotia. (Also see The Civil Emergency Corps, January 24, 2015). (Photo: The Nova...
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January 15, 1792

A fleet of fifteen ships left Nova Scotia for Sierra Leone — with Thomas Peters, a former slave, black soldier and leader (1738–1792); Methodist ministers Boston King (the blind preacher) and Moses ‘Daddy’ Wilkson; Baptist preacher David George; and Cato Perkins and a group (1,196) of Black Loyalists. This represented over half the population of Birchtown. David George recorded, “The White people in Nova Scotia were very unwilling that we...
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January 16, 2000

January 16, 2000

John Morris Rankin, of Judique, Cape Breton, died at the age of forty. He was a member of the much-loved Rankin Family musical group from Mabou, Cape Breton Island. Coming from a family of twelve siblings, John Morris and his brother Jimmy and sisters Cookie, Raylene and Heather released their first independent cassettes in 1989 (The Rankin Family) and 1990 (Fare Thee Well Love). Both featured traditional jigs and reels,...
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January 16, 1838

January 16, 1838

During the winter, residents around Halifax participated in various recreational activities. On the political scene, it was during this time that the old Legislative Council was dissolved and reconstituted. In its place an Executive Council and a Legislative Council were established. (See also, After a vote... February 2, 1848). (Image credit: “Coasting” at Halifax, by James Fox Bland, 1859).
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January 16, 1865

The Morning Journal changed to Unionist and Halifax Journal.
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January 16, 1906

After 157 years of British military presence in Halifax, Canadian forces took over from the British, behind them came the Royal Canadian Regiment, the Royal Canadian Garrison Artillery, and the Royal Canadian engineers.
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January 17, 1948

Allister MacGillivray was born in Glace Bay. He became a noted songwriter, now best known for his music composition Song of the Mira — “I’ll trade you ten of your cities for Marion Bridge / And the pleasure it brings” — written in the early 1970s. Also well known as a guitarist (formerly with Ryan’s Fancy), a folklorist, author and record producer. His work, considered largely Celtic in style with...
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January 17, 1920

The United States enacted the National Prohibition Act — known formally as the Volstead Act — banning the production, importation, transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages, which lasted till December 1933. This began an elaborate system of smuggling, known as “rum-running”, carried out by entrepreneurial Nova Scotia fishermen and ship owners to supply thirsty Americans with rum from the West Indies and brandy and whisky from St. Pierre and Miquelon....
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January 18, 1878

January 18, 1878

Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated his telephone to Queen Victoria at Osborne House. Two years earlier on March 10, 1876, Bell had uttered the famous words to his assistant, “Mr. Watson, come here, I want you,” which are considered to be the first ever spoken on a telephone. Later, on August 3, 1876, Bell held further tests and made the first intelligible telephone call from building to building. Bell would later...
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January 18, 2014

January 18, 2014

Bob Stead, mayor of Wolfville for fifteen years, died. A former employee of Acadia university (and 1964 graduate), he was elected to the Wolfville Town Council in 1988. He became recognized for his health-related vision and leadership. In 2015, the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities presented Stead with the Ken Simpson Memorial Award for outstanding public service and leadership in Nova Scotia municipal government. (Photo by Fred Sgambati – Courtesy...
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January 18, 1821

Halifax Harbour froze over.
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January 19, 1799

James Boyle Uniacke (d. 1858) was born in Ireland, son of Richard John Uniacke and Martha Maria Delesdernier. He later became the first premier of Nova Scotia (1848–1854) and lead the first Responsible government in Canada, while also serving concurrently as the colony’s attorney-general. Joseph Howe, his provincial secretary, would join him in creating new democratic reforms. (A full list of Nova Scotia premiers can be reviewed at: NSLegislature.ca on...
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January 19, 1915

January 19, 1915

Anna Harriette Leonowens (née Edwards) died in Montreal (b. 1831 in India). For nearly two decades (1878–1897), she lived in Halifax with her daughter Avis and son-in-law, Thomas Fyshe, who was general manager of the Bank of Nova Scotia. She had been a governess and tutor to the King of Siam’s sixty-seven children and wrote an autobiography of her experience called The English Governess at the Siamese Court (1870). Her...
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January 19, 1929

January 19, 1929

The Coat of Arms of the Province of Nova Scotia was readopted by royal Warrant — the oldest provincial achievement of arms in Canada, and the oldest British coat of arms outside Great Britain. They fell out of use when Nova Scotia joined the Confederation in 1867.
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January 19, 1863

The Nova Scotian Institute of Natural Science met for the first time.
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January 20, 1976

The College of Cape Breton Press (later Cape Breton University Press) began publishing operations. It closed down in 2016.
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January 20, 1971

The Dominion Atlantic railway Bridge across the Avon river at Windsor was blown up following the causeway completion.
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January 21, 1842

Joseph Howe hosted the notable author Charles Dickens (and his wife, Catherine) on his first visit to Canada on the RMS Britannia. At the time, he was just shy of his 30th birthday. Howe took him to the opening of the twentieth Nova Scotia Legislature. The legislature reminded Dickens of a smaller vision of the British House of Commons at Westminister. By this time, Dickens had already published The Pickwick...
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January 21, 1842

Former chief of Pictou Landing, Raymond Francis died. He was known for starting the movement to resolve the environmental problems resulting from pollution in the Boat Harbour area of Pictou County. (Also see Pictou Landing Native Women’s Group, September 28, 2012.)
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January 22, 1862

January 22, 1862

The Halifax Club was established on Hollis Street in Halifax. It became a social gathering place for a number of the city’s bankers, politicians and influential businessmen, who met there on a regular basis. (Photo credit: By Leo J. Deveau).
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January 22, 2009

January 22, 2009

Halifax’s Pier 21 became Canada’s newest national museum — the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, dedicated to the recognition and celebration of immigrants’ and new Canadians’contributions to this country’s cultural history and heritage. The Pier 21 site had opened as an immigrant centre on March 8, 1928, processing over 1.5 million immigrants coming to Canada, including over 64,446 war brides and their children between 1942 and 1948 alone,...
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January 23, 2017

January 23, 2017

Catherine Benton was appointed by the Nova Scotian government as a new judge to the provincial judiciary — she was the first Mi’kmaw woman to be appointed to such a position. (Photo credit: Justice Catherine Benton. © The Canadian Press/HO-Nova Scotia Courts).
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January 23, 1918

January 23, 1918

The Town of Stellarton mourned the loss of eighty-eight men in the Allan Shaft mine explosion. The mine was considered one of the world’s most dangerous collieries. Fifty years earlier, one hundred miners had also died at this seam of coal. (Photo credit: In Loving Memory, of those who died in the Allan Shaft explosion. N.S. Museum of Industry).
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January 1, 1823

January 1, 1823

Nova Scotia was the first province to issue coinage in penny and halfpenny tokens, appearing from 1823 to 1856. The thistle appeared on the reverse side to symbolize the link between old Scotland and newScotland. (The Nova Scotia Thistle Penny (1832), by permission of the Bank of Canada).
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January 24, 1940

Harry Piers died (b. 1870). A librarian, curator, naturalist, historian, artist, editor and author, his family roots went back to the establishment of the Halifax settlement in 1749. By 1899, Piers was the deputy keeper of public records and helped complete in 1911 the cataloguing of Thomas Beamish Akins’s early historical settlement records. In 1927 he authored a biography of Nova Scotia portrait-painter Robert Field, entitled Robert Field, Portrait Painter...
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January 24, 2015

January 24, 2015

The Civil Emergency Corps, more commonly known as the Home Guard, was honoured in the Nova Scotia Mass Choir’s annual tribute, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., The Dream Continues, at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium. The Home Guard was a civilian defence force formed during the Second World War to provide police, fire, health and various other services when necessary. Home Guard Platoon 7e was made up entirely of African Nova...
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January 24, 1999

George Elroy Boyd’s play Consecrated Ground ended its production run at the Eastern Front Theatre. The play depicted the consequences to a black family of the razing of Africville in the 1960s and the relocation of its 400 residents to more “progressive” public housing. It was nominated in 2000 for a Governor General’s Award in Drama and published in an anthology of contemporary African Canadian drama.
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January 25, 1956

January 25, 1956

Wallace R. MacAskill died. He was born in St. Peter’s, Cape Breton, in 1887. A prominent marine photographer (trained in New York in 1907), he moved to Halifax in 1915 and later opened his own business in 1929. He published Out of Halifax (1937) and Lure of the Sea (1951), and was a recipient of numerous international awards for his photographic achievements. A collection of over 4,599 of his images...
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January 25, 1933

January 25, 1933

Alden Nowlan was born in Stanley,Nova Scotia (d. 1983). He became recognized as one of Canada’s most popular twentieth-century poets. Also a journalist, dramatist and novelist, he once stated that “. . . if it hadn’t been for the Windsor public library, I might have ended up just working in the woods.” (By the age of sixteen he often hitchhiked to the library, where he began his lifelong passion for...
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January 26, 2013

January 26, 2013

Daurene Elaine Lewis, died (b. 1943). She was an educator, the first black mayor in Canada — Annapolis Royal in 1984 — and the first black woman in Nova Scotia to run in a provincial election. She was a direct descendant of Rose Fortune, a black Loyalist who arrived in Annapolis Royal in 1784. (Photo: Blackhistorysociety.ca).
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January 26, 2000

The Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History opened the travelling exhibit Remembering Black Loyalists, Black Communities for the start of African Heritage Month.
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January 26, 2018

January 26, 2018

“After forty-two years, give or take a few months,” and over 70,000 interviews, CBC Radio One (and Information Morning listeners) celebrate co-host, Don Connolly, and his retirement with a special last show – a ‘roast’ in his honor, starting at 5:55am at the Cunard Centre in Halifax. The show featured surprise guests from over the years along with a “few/familiar faces/voices.” (Images: A special cartoon of Don Connolly in honour...
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January 27, 1896

The Royal Hotel in Wolfville was badly damaged by a fire, but was later rebuilt and “furnished with all the modern conveniences of electric light, bells, hot and cold bath.” By 1927, its name was changed to the Evangeline Inn, costing four dollars for a room, or twenty-five dollars per week. By the 1940s, the inn was leased by Acadia university to serve as a men’s residence for men returning...
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January 28, 1946

January 28, 1946

The famous schooner Bluenose was lost off Haiti. The ship was abandoned on a reef, with no loss of life. (Photo credit: Schooner Bluenose, 1959, by Jack L. Gray).
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January 29, 1831

A public meeting was held in Halifax to promote temperance, namely the prohibition of the sale or use of alcohol.
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January 30, 1965

January 30, 1965

The state funeral service for Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill took place at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, England. He had died on January 24. His funeral witnessed one of the largest assemblages of states-people the world had ever gathered for such a service. Later, his coffin was taken up the River Thames and to the funeral train at Waterloo station for a journey to the family plot at St. Martin’s Church...
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January 30, 1920

January 30, 1920

Fortress Louisbourg was designated a National Historic Site of Canada by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC). Named the largest reconstructed eighteenth-century French fortified town in North America (and maybe the world), between 1713 and 1758 it was a place of profound significance in the great French-British struggle for empire. Fort Anne at Annapolis Royal was also been designated by the HSMBC on this date as a...
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January 30, 1860

The Victoria Rifles, one of the oldest black soldier regiments to be established in Canada, was established in the wake of the Crimean War (and on the eve of the American Civil War).
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January 30, 1838

The Nova Scotia Legislative Council was opened to public and reporters. The council at this time was unelected.
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January 31, 1854

Conservative James W. Johnston (1792–1873) introduced a bill in the Nova Scotia Legislature for the “Union of the Colonies.” He felt this was the best way for Nova Scotia to resist being absorbed into the United States, but he found no support for the bill. His sentiments were ahead of his time by thirteen years. He would become premier from 1857 to 1860, and 1863 to 1864.
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January 31, 1951

The main building at Mount Saint Vincent University was destroyed by fire.
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January 31, 2018

January 31, 2018

The Edward Cornwallis statue is removed from Cornwallis Park in downtown Halifax. It had been placed there in 1931 as a heritage feature recognizing Cornwallis's role in the founding of the Halifax settlement in June 1749 with 2547 settlers. The historical figure of Cornwallis is seen by some as contentious, being charged in contemporary terms with 'genocide' upon the Mi'kmaq people through a Bounty Proclamation that Cornwallis issued for either...
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