An Abbreviated History of Canada
About 11,000 to 14,000 years ago aboriginal people from Asia cross a land bridge between what is now Russia and Alaska and into what is now Canada.
About 1000 AD: Vikings explore the east coast Newfoundland - Labrador and establish a settlement.
1497: John Cabot discovers rich fishing grounds off the eastern coast.
1534: Jacques Cartier claims Canada for France.
1604: First settlement in Canada (Nova Scotia) by the French.
1670: The Hudson Bay Company is formed. This company still exists today, 331 years after its formation although not as a fur trading company but as a department store (The Bay). The Bay is North America's and possibly the worlds oldest company.
1752: The Halifax Gazette becomes Canadas first newspaper.
1760: The English capture Montreal during the French and Indian war.
1763: France surrenders its Canadian lands to Britain by the Treaty of Paris.
1774: Quebec Act is passed recognizing French civil laws and guaranteeing religious and linguistic freedoms.
1775: During the American Revolution the U.S. invades Canada but fails in it's attempt to take over the country.
1776: Colonists loyal to the British Empire (United Empire Loyalists) seek refuge in Canada.
1791: Quebec is devided into Upper and Lower Canada by Britain.
1812: Canada is once again invaded by the U.S.A. and again the U.S.A. fails in this second invasion known as the war of 1812 - 1814.
1818: The 49th parallel is established as the dividing border between Canada and the U.S.A. This border is the longest undefended border in the world.
1837: Revolts in Upper and Lower Canada against the government fail.
1840: The Union Act is passed uniting Upper and Lower Canada.
1867: The Dominion of Canada is formed with the passing of the British North American Act. Four provinces New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec form the Dominion of Canada. Sir John Alexander Macdonald becomes Canada's first Prime Minister. Charles Stanley Monck; 4th Viscount Monck becomes Canada's first Governor General.
1869: Louis David Riel leader of the Metis, rebels against the Canadian government. Hanged for treason in 1885, later generations of Canadians view Riel as a hero and not as a traitor. Efforts have been made to clear his name.
1870: Manitoba and the Northwest Territories join the Dominion of Canada. Canada now has five provinces and one territory.
1871: British Columbia joins the Dominion of Canada. Canada now consists of six provinces and one territory.
1873: Prince Edward Island joins the Dominion of Canada. The Northwest Mounted Police force is created. This police force later becomes the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Canada now has seven provinces and one territory.
1878: Sir John A. Macdonald introduces the National Policy.
1880: The Canadian Pacific Railway Charter is passed.
1885: Canada is united from the east coast (Newfoundland) to the west coast (British Columbia) by the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
1898: The Yukon Territory joins the Dominion of Canada. Canada now consists of seven provinces and two territories. The Klondike gold rush begins.
1899: Canada sends troops to Africa to participate in the Boer War.
1905: Alberta and Saskatchewan join the Dominion of Canada. Canada now has nine provinces and two territories.
1909: The Department of External Affairs is formed. The Canadian Football League plays it's first Grey Cup game.
1914: Canada enters the first world war by declaring war on Germany. 65,000 Canadians die fighting the war. After the war Canada establishes itself as a middle power.
1917: Personal income tax is introduced to support the war effort.
1918: After a long struggle women win the right to vote in federal elections.
1920: Canada becomes a member of the League of Nations. Later to become the United Nations.
1921: Agnes Macphail becomes the first woman elected to parliament. The schooner Bluenose is launched.
1922: First hockey night in Canada broadcast on radio by Foster Hewitt. Frederick Banting and Charles Best share the Nobel Prize for their discovery of insulin.
1929: Previous court ruling is overturned barring women from appointments to the Senate.
1930: Cairine Wilson becomes the first woman senator.
1931: Canada gains independence from Britain with the passing of the Statute of Westminster.
1934: The Bank of Canada is formed. The Dionne quints are born.
1938: Franklin D. Roosevelt is the first U.S. president to pay an official visit to Canada.
1939: Canada enters the second world war by declaring war on Germany. 45,000 Canadians die fighting the war.
1944: The Family Allowance Act (baby bonus) is passed.
1947: The first state run medical insurance is enacted in the province of Saskatchewan. A precurser to Canada's national free medical coverage for all Canadians.
1949: Newfoundland - Labrador join Canada. Canada now has ten provinces and two territories. Canada becomes a founding member of NATO.
1950: Canadian army volunteers participate in the Korean war. 516 Canadians die fighting the war.
1955: Hockey fans riot in the streets of Montreal when Montreal Canadien's hockey star Maurice "Rocket" Richard is suspended.
1957: Lester Bowles Pearson wins the Nobel Peace Prize for settling the Suez crisis.
1959: The Avro Arrow ( CF-105 jetplane ) project is canceled by John George Diefenbaker.
1962: During the Cuban Missle Crisis Canada sends it's East Coast fleet of 22 Destroyers, 2 Submarines, 12 land-base Trackers, 32 Arguses and the Bonaventure with her 28 Planes into the North Atlantic to cover the U.S.A.'s northern flank.
1965: Canada adopts a new flag - the Red Maple Leaf. The new flag is raised on Parliament Hill for the first time. The Auto Pact is signed by Canada and the U.S.
1967: Canada celebrates it's centenial birthday (100 years). Montreal hosts Expo 67.
1970: (October Crisis) Pierre Laporte, Quebec's labour and immigration minister and James Cross, Britain's trade commissioner are kidnapped by the FLQ. Pierre Laporte is later found dead. Martial Law is invoked in Quebec.
1972: Canada beats the Soviet Union at hockey during the Summit Series. Worlds first communications satellite (Anik 1) is launched into orbit by Telesat Canada.
1976: Canada announces 200 mile coastal limit. The death penalty is abolished.
1980: Voters in Quebec reject a proposal to negotiate independence from Canada. O Canada is proclaimed as the national anthem. Jeanne Mathilde Sauve becomes the first woman House speaker. Ken Taylor, Canadian Ambassador to Iran helps American Embassy staff escape during the Iranian Hostage Crisis.
1981: Terry Fox who lost a leg to cancer attempts to run across Canada durring his Marathon of Hope. His run ends near Thunder Bay (about half way across Canada) when he experiences pains in his chest. Terry's Marathon of Hope has raised millions of dollars for cancer research. Every year thousands of people around the world participate in Terry's Marathon of Hope in his memmory.
1982: The British North American Act is patriated. A new constition Constitution Act 1982) that is accepted by all the provinces is rejected by Quebec. Dominion Day a national holiday becomes Canada Day.
1984: Jeanne Mathilde Sauve becomes the first woman Governor General of Canada.
1988: The Canadian Multiculturalism Act is passed recognizing Canada's multicultural makeup.
1989: The one dollar bill is replaced by the one dollar coin (loony)
1990: The Federal and Provincial governments meet to try to get Quebec to accept the constitution but fail when Manitoba and Newfoundland reject the changes made to the constitution guaranteeing the rights of French Canadians. This meeting is known as the Meech Lake Accord.
1991: The unpopular Goods and Services tax takes effect.
1992: An attemp at constitutional reform for a second time (the Charlottetown Accord) fails again in a national referendum. Roberta Bondar becomes Canada's first woman astronaut. The Toronto Blue Jays win the World Series.
1993: Kim Campbell becomes Canada's first woman Prime Minister. Land claim by the Inuit people is agreed upon, the largest land claim in Canadian history. The Toronto Blue Jays win the World Series again.
1994: Canada, Mexico and the United States enter into the North American Free Trade Agreement.
1995: Quebec rejects for a second time in a referendum the negotiation of independence from Canada by a narrow margin 50.6%.
1996: The maple tree is officially recognized as Canada's arboreal emblem.
1999: Nunavut becomes Canada's newest and largest territory with the division of the Northwest Territories. Canada now has ten provinces and three terrritories. Wayne (the great one) Gretzky retires from the NHL.
2000: Hundreds of thousands of Canadians from coast to coast mourn the passing of Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Canada's 15th Prime Minister.