On This Day

John Diefenbaker

13th Prime Minister of Canada John Diefenbaker

Profession: 13th Prime Minister of Canada


Biography: The 13th Prime Minister of Canada, serving from June 1957 to April 1963. He led the Tories to their first electoral victory in 27 years. He appointed the first female minister in Canadian history to his Cabinet, as well as the first aboriginal member of the Senate.

During his six years as Prime Minister, his government obtained passage of the Canadian Bill of Rights and granted the vote to the First Nations and Inuit peoples.

He is remembered for his role in the cancellation of the Avro Arrow project, and his indecision on whether to accept Bomarc nuclear missiles from the United States led to his government's downfall.

Born: September 18, 1895
Birthplace: Neustadt, Ontario, Canada

Generation: Lost Generation
Star Sign: Virgo

Died: August 16, 1979 (aged 83)

Married Life

  • 1953-12-08 Prime Minister of Canada John Diefenbaker (58) weds second wife Olive Palmer (51) at Park Road Baptist Church in Toronto, Canada

Historical Events

  • 1957-06-10 John Diefenbaker (C) elected Prime Minister of Canada
  • 1957-06-21 John Diefenbaker (C) takes office as Prime Minister of Canada
  • 1959-02-20 The Avro Arrow program to design and manufacture supersonic jet fighters in Canada is cancelled by the Diefenbaker government amid much political debate.
  • 1959-06-03 US President Eisenhower routes Canadian premier Diefenbaker a message off the Moon

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