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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Prime Minister of Canada John A. Macdonald
Prime Minister of Canada
John A. Macdonald
  • 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, 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 Princible), 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, Canadian actress (10 Commandments, Lily-Munsters), 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 (Sam-Quincy ME), 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 and songwriter (Gary Puckett & Union Gap - Young Girl), born in British Columbia, Canada
  • 1946-01-24 Michael Ontkean, Canadian actor (Rookies, Slap Shot, Twin Peaks), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1946-02-19 Paul Dean, rock guitarist/vocalist (Loverboy), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1946-04-05 Jennifer Penney, Canadian ballerina, born in Vancouver, British Columbia

Person of interestKim Campbell

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

19th Prime Minister of Canada Kim Campbell
19th Prime Minister of Canada
Kim Campbell
  • 1948-01-29 Marc Singer, 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, former 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 and record producer, born in British Columbia, Canada
  • 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), 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, Canadian musician vocalist (Loverboy), born in Vancouver, 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 & broadcaster, born in Murrayville, British Columbia
  • 1956-07-02 Leslie Reid, equestrian dressage (Olympics 1996), born in Vancouver, British Columbia

Person of interestRick Hansen

1957-08-26 Rick Hansen, Canadian paraplegic athlete (3 gold medals), born in Port Alberni, British Columbia

Track and Field Athlete and Paralympian Rick Hansen
Track and Field Athlete and Paralympian
Rick Hansen
  • 1958-08-07 Russell Baze, Canadian Racing Hall of Fame jockey (10-time US champion, 12,844 wins), 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, 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 Jazz pianist and singer, born in Nanaimo, British Columbia
  • 1965-01-24 Ross MacDonald, Canadian sailor (Olympics 1996), born in British Columbia, Canada

Person of interestSteve Yzerman

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

NHL Legend Steve Yzerman
NHL Legend
Steve Yzerman
  • 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 right fielder (NL MVP 1997; MLB All Star 1992, 1997–1999, 2001), 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
  • 1967-12-15 Christine Larsen, synchronized swimmer (Olympic silver 1996), born in New Westminster, British Columbia
  • 1968-01-28 Marnie McBean, 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, 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
  • 1972-07-03 Leigh Andrew-Pearso, North 470 sailor (Olympics 1996), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1972-07-26 Sean Graham, CFL slot back (Winnipeg Blue Bombers), born in Richmond, British Columbia

Famous Weddings


LoveWedding of Interest

2008-09-27 Actress and singer Scarlett Johansson (23) weds film actor Ryan Reynolds (31) at Clayoquot Wilderness Retreat in Tofino, British Columbia

  • 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