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On this date: Mar-Apr 2024

World of Triss/Alamy

1 March 1942

The Canadian Women’s Army Corps is granted full army status and becomes an integral part of the Canadian Militia. Prior to this, only nursing sisters were admitted into the country’s armed forces.

2 March 2011

HMCS Charlottetown heads for Libya to provide humanitarian assistance amid civil war.

3 March 1838

A small British force led by Capt. George Browne intercepts and repulses American invaders near Pelee Island, Upper Canada.

Niday Picture Library/Alamy

5 March 1945

Some 700 Allied bombers destroy Chemnitz, Germany.

7 March 1936

Nazi Germany sends troops into the Rhineland, bordering Belgium, violating the Treaty of Versailles.

8 March 2001

The Royal Canadian Navy authorizes women to serve on submarines.

9 March 1925

The first Royal Air Force operation conducted independently of the British Army or Royal Navy is led by Wing Cmdr. Richard Pink.

10 March 1944

HMC ships St. Laurent, Swansea and Owen Sound, along with HMS Forester, destroy U-845 in the North Atlantic.

DND/LAC; LAC/C-018082

12 March 1964

Canada commits peacekeepers to the United Nations mission in Cyprus; more than 25,000 personnel serve there over the next 29 years.

13 March 1951

Communist forces begin a withdrawal across all fronts in the Korean War.

14 March 1984

NASA announces Marc Garneau as one of seven astronauts on space shuttle Challenger’s sixth flight. Later that year Garneau became the first Canadian to go to space.

15 March 1990

RCMP officer Baltej Singh Dhillon becomes the first officer to be allowed to wear a turban in uniform.

University of Manitoba Libraries/Wikimedia
University of Manitoba Libraries/Wikimedia

18 March 1885

Métis at Batoche, Sask., are warned that Canadian soldiers are on their way to arrest Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont.

19 March 1964

Sgt.-Maj. Walter Leja receives the George Medal for bravery in dismantling FLQ bombs in Montreal.

23 March 1965

Fifteen RCAF aircrew are killed when their Argus patrol plane crashes during a night exercise off Puerto Rico.

24 March 1975

The beaver becomes an official symbol of Canada.

27 March 1918

Wounded several times in an aerial dogfight in which he shot down three enemy planes, Alan Arnett McLeod crash-lands in no man’s land. He is awarded the Victoria Cross.


31 March 1966

Luna 10 is launched by the USSR. It becomes the first satellite to orbit the moon.


1 April 1924

The Royal Canadian Air Force is established.

2 April 1885

Cree warriors, led by war chief Wandering Spirit, kill nine settlers at Frog Lake as part of the North-West Resistance in what was then the District of Saskatchewan.

3 April 1945

The First Canadian Army captures the German town of Zevenaar.

4 April 1949

The North Atlantic Treaty, which forms the legal basis of NATO, is signed by member countries. (Also see “Security system” on page 42.)

7 April 1991

HMC ships Athabaskan, Protecteur and Terra Nova return home from service in the Persian Gulf War.

Montreal Holocaust Museum

10 April 1945

The Nazi concentration camp of Buchenwald near Weimar, Germany, is liberated by U.S. troops.

13 April 2011

Under a hail of bullets, Cpl. Brian Belanger drags a wounded Afghan soldier to cover and administers first aid after an ambush in Afghanistan. He is awarded the Medal of Military Valour.


16 April 1945

Canadian minesweeper Esquimalt is torpedoed by German submarine U-190 off Halifax and sinks before it can send a distress signal; 44 die, while survivors are rescued by HMCS Sarnia.

18 April 1943

No. 14 Squadron, RCAF, supports the U.S. Eleventh Air Force bombing Japanese installations on Kiska in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.

20 April 1953

Prisoners of war are exchanged between North Korean and United Nations forces at Panmunjom as Korean War fighting grinds to a halt.

21 April 1997

The CAF launches Operation Assistance in response to flooding along Manitoba’s Red River.

24 April 1992

The United Nations establishes a peacekeeping mission to Somalia in which Canada would infamously participate.


25 April 1915

Under heavy fire at Saint-Julien, Belgium, Capt. Francis Scrimger protects a wounded officer with his own body. He receives a Victoria Cross for his action.

27 April 1942

Quebec votes “Non” in a national conscription plebiscite.



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