British Columbia in History

Historical Events

  • 1791-07-05 Jose Maria Narvaez discovers Point Grey (now Vancouver, British Columbia)
  • 1792-06-12 Captain George Vancouver discovers site of Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1792-06-21 Vancouver meets Spanish ships Sutil & Mexicana off Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1808-07-02 Simon Fraser completes his trip down Fraser River, British Columbia, lands at Musqueam
  • 1864-11-09 1st export of goods from Burrard Inlet, British Columbia to a foreign country
  • 1871-07-20 British Columbia joins the confederation of Canada.
  • 1874-09-12 1874 The District of Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada is founded.
  • 1886-05-03 M A Maclean elected 1st mayor of Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1886-06-13 Fire destroys nearly 1,000 buildings in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1886-07-04 1st scheduled transcontinental passenger train reaches Port Moody, British Columbia

Historic Event

1886-08-13 John A. Macdonald uses a silver hammer to pound a gold spike, officially completing the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway in British Columbia

  • 1887-05-23 1st transcontinental train arrives in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1888-05-16 CPR opens Hotel Vancouver, Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1906-01-22 SS Valencia runs aground on rocks on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, killing more than 130
  • 1912-08-21 Francis Carter-Cotton chosen 1st chancellor of University of British Columbia
  • 1935-06-03 One thousand unemployed Canadian workers board freight cars in Vancouver, British Columbia, beginning a protest trek to Ottawa, Ontario
  • 1940-06-21 The first successful west-to-east navigation of Northwest Passage begins at Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1963-06-03 A Northwest Airlines DC-7 crashes in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of British Columbia, killing 101
  • 1965-02-18 27 copper miners die in avalanche, Granduc Mountain, British Columbia
  • 1977-09-24 Ken Hinton of CFL British Columbia Lions returns a punt 130 yards
  • 1985-05-29 Amputee Steve Fonyo completes cross-Canada marathon at Victoria, British Columbia, after 14 months
  • 1994-11-27 CFL Grey Cup, BC Place, Vancouver: BC Lions beat Baltimore FC, 26-23; first-ever championship in pro football history featuring a US v Canada matchup; Lions win on last second Lui Passaglia field-goal
  • 2006-03-22 BC Ferries' M/V Queen of the North runs aground on Gil Island British Columbia and sinks; 101 on board, 2 presumed deaths
  • 2007-01-22 The jury portion of the trial against Robert Pickton, accused of being Canada's worst serial killer, opens in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada.
  • 2018-08-16 British Columbia, Canada, declares State of Emergency with 566 wildfires burning, prompting evacuation of 3,000 people
  • 2019-01-10 Canadian astronomers report fast radio bursts (FRBs) of probable extragalactic origin, one repeating six times at the CHIME observatory, British Columbia
  • 2019-08-07 Bodies of two teenagers at center of huge manhunt and suspected of killing three people on remote British Columbia roads found after apparent suicides

Famous Birthdays

  • 1803-08-15 James Douglas 'The Father of British Columbia' British Columbian fur trader and politician (1st Governor of British Columbia 1858-64), born in Demerara, Guyana (d. 1877)
  • 1829-12-05 Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière, French-Canadian politician (7th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia), born in Épernay, France (d. 1908)
  • 1871-12-13 Emily Carr, Canadian painter, born in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (d. 1945)
  • 1899-07-24 Chief Dan George [Tes-wah-no], Canadian Indian author, poet and actor (Harry & Tonto, Little Big Man, Smith!), born in Vancouver, British Columbia (d. 1981)
  • 1899-12-08 John Qualen, Canadian actor (Casablanca, The Grapes of Wrath, The Searchers), born in Vancouver, British Columbia (d. 1987)
  • 1906-07-18 S. I. Hayakawa, U.S. senator from California (1977–83) and educator (Language in Action), born in Vancouver, British Columbia (d. 1992)
  • 1908-11-10 Charles Merritt, Canadian Army officer and recipient of the Victoria Cross during World War II, born in Vancouver, British Columbia (d. 2000)
  • 1912-11-08 June Havoc [Ellen Evangeline Hovick], Canadian-born American stage and screen actress, born in Vancouver, British Columbia (d. 2010)
  • 1914-01-30 John Ireland, Canadian actor (All the King's Men, Rawhide, Gunfight at OK Corral), born in Vancouver, British Columbia (d. 1992)
  • 1914-06-21 William Vickrey, Canadian economist (Nobel 1996), born in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (d. 1996)
  • 1914-07-24 Frances Oldham Kelsey, Canadian-American FDA Director (stopped thalidomide use in the US), born in Cobble Hill, British Columbia (d. 2015)
  • 1915-11-04 Court Benson, Canadian-American actor and broadcaster, born in Vancouver, British Columbia (d. 1995)
  • 1916-05-16 Bernard Braden, Canadian-born British broadcaster and actor (All Night Lone, Full Treatment), born in Vancouver, British Columbia (d. 1993)
  • 1917-05-21 Raymond Burr, Canadian-American actor (Perry Mason, Ironsides, Godzilla), born in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada (d. 1993)
  • 1917-10-31 William H. McNeill, Canadian-born historian (Rise of the West), born in Vancouver, British Columbia (d. 2016)
  • 1919-09-16 Laurence J. Peter, Canadian author (Peter Principle), born in Vancouver, British Columbia (d. 1990)
  • 1920-03-03 James Doohan, Canadian actor (Star Trek), born in Vancouver, British Columbia (d. 2005)
  • 1920-11-02 Ann Rutherford, Canadian actress (Gone With The Wind; Whistling in the Dark), born in Vancouver, British Columbia (d. 2012)
  • 1921-06-08 Alexis Smith, Canadian actress and singer (The Age of Innocence, Follies), born in Penticton, British Columbia, Canada (d. 1993)
  • 1922-09-01 Yvonne De Carlo [Middleton], Canadian-American actress (10 Commandments; The Munsters-Lily), born in Vancouver, British Columbia (d. 2007)
  • 1923-06-08 Jean Maxwell-Scott, Lady-in-Waiting (Princess Alice Duchess Gloucester), born in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada (d. 2004)
  • 1924-06-21 Wally Fawkes, British-Canadian cartoonist and jazz clarinetist, born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1924-10-05 Barbara Kelly, Canadian-born actress (What's My Line?, United Kingdom), born in Vancouver, British Columbia (d. 2007)
  • 1929-03-31 Lee Patterson, Canadian actor (Dave-Surfside Six, Another World), born in Vancouver, British Columbia (d. 2007)
  • 1930-10-02 Dave Barrett, 26th Premier of British Columbia (1972-75), born in Vancouver, British Columbia (d. 2018)
  • 1931-07-02 Robert Ito, Canadian-born actor (Quincy, ME - "Sam"), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1932-02-28 Donald "Don" Francks, Canadian actor, singer and musician (Terminal Choice; Finian's Rainbow), born in Vancouver, British Columbia (d. 2016)
  • 1932-04-14 Bill Bennett, Canadian politician, Premier of British Columbia (1975-86), born in Kelowna, British Columbia (d. 2015)
  • 1933-09-25 Ian Tyson, Canadian singer-songwriter (Ian & Sylvia), born in Victoria, British Columbia
  • 1942-05-22 Barbara Parkins, Canadian-American actress (Betty-Peyton Place, Asylum), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1943-11-07 Judith Forst, Canadian mezzo-soprano, born in New Westminster, British Columbia
  • 1944-11-06 Bill Henderson, Canadian rock vocalist and guitarist (Chilliwack), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1945-08-07 Kerry Chater, Canadian musician (Gary Puckett & Union Gap - "Young Girl") and Nashville songwriter, born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1946-01-24 Michael Ontkean, Canadian actor (The Rookies, Slap Shot, Twin Peaks), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1946-02-19 Paul Dean, Canadian rock guitarist (Loverboy - "Working For The Weekend"), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1946-04-05 Jennifer Penney, Canadian ballerina, born in Vancouver, British Columbia

Kim CampbellKim Campbell (75 years old)

1947-03-10 Canada's 1st female Prime Minister and 19th overall (1993), born in Port Alberni, British Columbia

  • 1948-01-29 Marc Singer, Canadian-American actor (V, Dallas), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1948-07-13 Don Sweet, CFL, NFL place kicker (Montreal, Green Bay), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1948-09-10 Margaret Trudeau, Canadian 1st lady, born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1949-10-24 Robert Pickton, Canadian serial killer charged with the first degree murder of twenty-six women, born in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia
  • 1949-11-01 David Foster, Canadian musician, composer, and record producer (Chicago; Celene Dion, Andrea Bocelli; "The Prayer"), born in Victoria, British Columbia
  • 1950-07-04 David Jensen, Canadian-British radio DJ, born in Victoria, British Columbia
  • 1950-07-23 Blair Thornton, Canadian rock guitarist (Bachman-Turner Overdrive, 1974-79), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1951-02-22 Elaine Tanner, Canadian swimmer (1966 Commonwealth Games, 1968 Olympics), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1952-03-01 Dave Barr, Canadian golfer (US Open 1985 runner-up), born in Kelowna, British Columbia
  • 1952-05-20 Warren Cann, Canadian rock drummer (Ultravox), born in Victoria, British Columbia
  • 1954-06-07 Lui Passaglia, CFL place kicker (BC Lions), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1955-01-08 Mike Reno [Ryanoski], Canadian rock vocalist (Loverboy - "Working For The Weekend"), born in New Westminster, British Columbia
  • 1955-10-09 Linwood Boomer, Canadian-American actor (Adam-Little House on the Prairie), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1956-01-14 Ben Heppner, Canadian tenor, and broadcaster, born in Murrayville, British Columbia
  • 1956-07-02 Leslie Reid, equestrian dressage (Olympics 1996), born in Vancouver, British Columbia

Rick HansenRick Hansen (65 years old)

1957-08-26 Canadian wheelchair athlete (Paralympic gold 1980, 2 x 1984), born in Port Alberni, British Columbia

  • 1958-08-07 Russell Baze, Canadian Racing Hall of Fame jockey (10 x US Champion Jockey by wins; 12,844 career victories; US Racing HOF), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1959-02-05 Jennifer Granholm, Canadian-American politician, born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1959-02-13 Gord Hampson, Canadian ice hockey player, born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1959-05-30 Claudia Alexander, Canadian-born American NASA Scientist (led Galileo mission to Jupiter), born in Vancouver, British Columbia (d. 2015)
  • 1959-06-04 Rod Connop, Canadian CFL corner (Edmonton Eskimos), born in North Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1960-01-09 Lisa Walters, Canadian golfer (Hawaiian Open 1992-93), born in Prince Rupert, British Columbia
  • 1960-02-28 Dorothy Stratten [Hoogstraten], Canadian playmate (August, 1979), model and actress (Galixina), born in Vancouver, British Columbia (d. 1980)
  • 1960-07-05 Brad Loree, Canadian actor and stunt performer, born in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
  • 1960-10-02 Glenn Anderson, Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame right wing (6 Stanley Cup wins; Edmonton Oilers [5]), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1962-11-09 Teryl Rothery, Canadian actress (Stargate SG-1), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1963-03-28 Therese Washtock, 3 day equestrian (Olympics 1996), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1964-01-16 Gail Graham, Canadian golfer (2 LPGA Tour titles), born in Vanderhoof, British Columbia
  • 1964-08-26 Karla Karch-Gailus, Canadian basketball guard (Olympics 1996), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1964-11-09 Leah Pells, Canadian 1.5k runner (Olympics 1996), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1964-11-16 Diana Krall, Canadian Juno and Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist and singer, born in Nanaimo, British Columbia
  • 1965-01-24 Ross MacDonald, Canadian sailor (Olympics 1996), born in British Columbia, Canada

Steve YzermanSteve Yzerman (57 years old)

1965-05-09 Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame forward (Olympic gold 2002, Detroit Red Wings), born in Cranbrook, British Columbia

  • 1966-03-12 Alecia Stephenson, North softball ss (Olympics 1996), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1966-07-16 Warren Sallenback, Canadian cyclist (Olympics 1996), born in South Surrey, British Columbia
  • 1966-12-01 Larry Walker, Canadian Baseball HOF right fielder (NL MVP 1997; NL batting champion 1998, 99, 2001; 5 x MLB All Star; 7 x Gold Glove; Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies), born in Maple Ridge, British Columbia
  • 1967-02-20 Theresa Luke, Canadian rower (Olympics 1996), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1967-06-28 Gil Bellows, Canadian actor, born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1967-08-21 Carrie-Anne Moss, Canadian actress (The Matrix Trilogy), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1967-11-09 Scott Bianco, 90 kg freestyle wrestler (Olympics 1996), born in Kamloops, British Columbia
  • 1968-01-28 Marnie McBean, Canadian rower (Olympic gold 1992, 96), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1968-02-01 Sean Millington, Canadian football fullback (Grey Cup 1994, 2000; BC Lions) and broadcaster (cfl.ca and CBC), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1968-05-22 Carmie Vairo, softball infielder (Olympics 1996), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1968-07-05 John Ruskin a.k.a. Nardwuar the Human Serviette, Canadian journalist, born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1968-11-03 Debbie Rochon, Canadian actress (Tromeo & Juliet), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1968-12-26 Darren Barber, Canadian rower (Olympics 1996), born in Victoria, British Columbia
  • 1969-05-04 Micah Aivazoff, Armenian-descent Canadian ice hockey player, born in Powell River, British Columbia, Canada
  • 1969-08-28 Jason Priestley, Canadian-American actor (Brandon-Beverly Hills 90210), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1970-01-07 Paul McCallum, Canadian football punter and placekicker (Claymores, Sask Roughriders), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1970-01-17 Candace Murray, Canadian softball shortstop (Olympics 1996), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1970-04-04 Barry Pepper, Canadian actor (The Kennedys), born in Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada
  • 1970-05-12 Andreas Hestler, Canadian cyclist (Olympics 1996), born in Victoria, British Columbia
  • 1970-05-25 Michael Benyaer, Canadian-American actor (Deadpool) and writer (Pilot One), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1970-07-18 Margaret Langford, canoeist (Olympics 1996), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1970-12-15 Michael Shanks, Canadian actor and director (Stargate), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1971-02-06 Lance Bade, American target shooter (Olympic bronze 1996), born in Vancouver, Washington
  • 1971-05-25 Tim Kroeker, Canadian 110m hurdler (Olympics 1996), born in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada
  • 1971-06-29 Matthew Good, Canadian musician (Matthew Good Band), born in Burnaby, British Columbia
  • 1971-10-07 Paul Hannam, Canadian 470 sailor (Olympics 1996), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1972-05-02 Peter Ogilvie, Canadian 100m sprinter (Olympics 1996), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1972-07-26 Sean Graham, CFL slot back (Winnipeg Blue Bombers), born in Richmond, British Columbia
  • 1972-08-05 Darryl Yung, Canadian badminton player (Olympics 1996), born in Victoria, British Columbia
  • 1972-09-04 Françoise Yip, Canadian actress, born in North Vancouver, British Columbia

Famous Weddings

Wedding of Interest

2008-09-27 American actress and singer Scarlett Johansson (23) weds Canadian film actor Ryan Reynolds (31) at Clayoquot Wilderness Retreat in Tofino, British Columbia; divorce in 2011

  • 2014-07-06 Talent manager Scooter Braun (33) weds philanthropist Yael Cohen (28) in Whistler, British Columbia

Famous Deaths

  • 1908-11-16 Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière, French Canadian politician (7th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia), dies at 78
  • 1939-03-27 Constance Lindsay Skinner, Quesnel British Columbia, Canadian author (Rivers of America), dies at 57
  • 2018-02-02 Dave Barrett, 26th Premier of British Columbia (1972-75), dies at 87