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The Whitehorse Star, January 5, 1970


Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star, 1970-1979


Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star

Explorer's Guides to Yukon Communities



1970

January

  • January 22, 1970: Gordon Irwin Cameron retires from the Yukon Territorial Public Service after 45 years of government service.

  • January 26, 1970: The Yukon Court decides that parking meters are illegal.

  • January 29, 1970: The Anvil mine officially opens with a ceremony on TV. Federal cabinet ministers Jean Chretien and Arthur Laing, Yukon Commissioner James Smith, A.P. Friesen, President of White Pass, Robert Sabini, President of Cyprus Mines are in attendance.The Whitehorse Star issues a special edition.

February

  • February 12, 1970: Yukon Commissioner James Smith calls for the establishement of a new economic union in the Canadian north-west consisting of northern British Columbia, northern Alberta, the Yukon and part of the Northwest Territories to facilitate the development of the area.

  • February 19, 1970: The federal Department of Public Works conducts a survey of facilities at Yukon's Herschel Island with a view to using the northern port as an oil transfer depot.
  • February 19, 1970: The Yukon Medical Association has taken the first step in a move to outlaw amphetamines. This is the first occasion in Canada where a concerted attempt is being made to ban "a useless but dangerous drug."

  • February 23, 1970: The old Regina Hotel is torn down. The new Regina Motel has been built next door on First Avenue.
  • February 23, 1970: The matter of extending city boundaries to include the growing Marwel industrial area where three expensive fires have occurred in the past ten days will come up for discussion at tomorrow night's meeting of Whitehorse City Council. Inclusion of the area would broaden and strengthen the city's taxation base, Mayor Wybrew pointed out, and would in turn reduce the fire insurance rates for the large industrial complex now sprawling over unserviced territorial property off the Two Mile Hill.

  • February 26, 1970: The first vehicle to drive into Old Crow arrived last Sunday via a 300-mile-long winter road being built to Old Crow Flats to allow for geophysical exploration this summer. The road leaves the Dempster Highway about 40 miles from Dawson.
  • February 26, 1970: Former chief Charlie Abel of Old Crow was named a Justice of the Peace on Monday by the Justice Department in Ottawa. He is believed to be the first Indian in the Yukon to hold the position.

March

  • March 9, 1970: Hudson-Yukon Mining Company Ltd. Owned by Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Co. Ltd. plans to open a copper-nickel producing mine for sale to Sumitomo Metal Mining Company Ltd. of Tokyo.

  • March 16, 1970: Yukoners bring home 7 gold medals from the Arctic Winter Games.

  • March 26, 1970: The City Council bans boats from Schwatka Lake as the lake serves as the city's water supply.

April

  • April 13, 1970: A six-storey high gold dredge, the famous Bear Creek "Gold Room" (aka as Dredge No. 4) will be an element in an exhibit spanning 75 years of Yukon gold mining history to be established in the Bonanza Creek area of the Klondike Gold Rush International Historic Park. The Y.C.G.C. dredge was built in 1911 and operated until 1958.

  • April 23, 1970: The Bay officially opens its new addition to the Bay's department store on Fourth Avenue.
  • April 23, 1970: Whitehorse City Council approves another townhouse project for the Riverdale area.

May

  • May 4, 1970: A drinking party at Ross River Saturday night ended in what appears to be murder and suicide with the death by gunshot of Shirley (Mrs. Guy) Moon, 25, and Charles Eli Allen, 38. Mrs. Moon died from a wound in her back and Allen from a head wound.
  • May 4, 1970: Because there was nothing to in Dawson City, Paul Doehle 20, of Whitehogse told Magistrate John Varcoe Friday that he decided to try marijuana for the second time. He admitted he got nothing out of it and the deviation cost him a $500 fine after he was found in posession of one half ounce of the drug in the Downtown Hotel April 3rd.

  • May 7, 1970: All municipal authorities were cooperating today to prevent any further spread of rabies in the Whitehorse area, after one case had been confirmed. The animal proven to be rabid after biting three-year-old Stephanie Commodore of Mile 6 on the Mayo Road has been destroyed, and half a dozen other pet animals between Mile two and the Takhini River bridge are now in quarantine for observation for ten days.

  • May 14, 1970: As announced by Northern Affairs Minister Jean Chretien, the Yukon Council gets its first two cabinet minister when Yukon voters go to the polls to elect the city council in September 1970.

June

  • June 1, 1970: People lined up for first chance at 65 lots in Porter Creek which went on sale this merning at the Territorial Department of Municipal Affairs, One couple camped outside the building from Friday night on, to ensure that they were first in line, and they got the one they wanted.
  • June 1, 1970: The application of Airexec Services Ltd. of Fort St. John, B.C. was the first heard by the Air Transport Committee sitting in Whitehorse this morning. The company, one of six trying to establish in the north, plans to locate three of their five aircraft here.
  • June 1, 1970: A message received from Niagara Falls, Ontario today reports that Miss Yukon, Sibell Hackney, is doing well in the Miss Dominion of Canada Pageant being held there. Final judging is on June 3rd.

  • June 25, 1970: William L. Drury, President of Yukon Motors, announces closure of his Pontiac Buick dealership located at Forth Avenue and Jarvis Street.

  • June 29, 1970: An aerial search is being conducted today for a Cessna 172 aircraft which has been missing between Northway and Whitehorse since Saturday with three American military men aboard.
  • June 29, 1970: A Wally Byam Caravan of Airstream trailers arrived in Whitehorse today for a two-day stay, the first such group this season.

July

  • July 9, 1970: White Pass and Yukon Route trains were still running today but a strike threat by members of the United Transportation Union, Trainmen and Enginemen, isn't over. Forty eight train men are involved, and a strike could shut down all rail transportation into and out of the Yukon Territory. They are demanding a 62 per cent increase in wages.
  • July 9, 1970: Paving is now underway on the 25 miles of Alaska Highway between the Carcross turnoff and the Mayo Road junction.
  • July 9, 1970: A Klondike Helicopter machine crashed near Rudy Burian's Stewart River Post on Sunday, July 5th. Pilot George Kerr and Forest Ranger Joe Langevin were on a flight to Isaac Creek to investigate rumors of a forest fire. They were up about 1500 feet when a loud bang bounced the machine around and they were fortunate enough to land on a patch of muskeg. Both men were bruised and badly shaken and were brought back to town by a helicopter stationed in the same area.
  • July 9, 1970: Search and rescue squadron 442 of Comox, B.C. was continuing its attempt today to find some sign of the Alaskan Cessna 172 aircraft which went missing on June 27 on a flight from Northway, Alaska to Whitehorse. On board were three American military men: pilot Major Jerry Halliday, and passengers Captain James Echols and technician Stephen Kline, all of the Fairbanks area.

  • July 20, 1970: A mountain in the Yukon's St. Elias Range is named for the famous Canadian Humourist Stephen Leacock.

  • July 27, 1970: One of the first men to orbit around the moon, veteran of Apollo 8 mission William A. Anders and his wife visit the Yukon.
  • July 27, 1970: The White Pass celebrates its 70th anniversary. The Whitehorse Star issues a special edition.

  • July 30, 1970: A three summer season program for the restoration of the S.S. Klondike is under way.

August

  • August 6, 1970: Prime Minister Trudeau comes to Whitehorse for an informal visit.

  • August 13, 1970: A census conducting by the City showed that Whitehorse has a population of 5,075 - about 1,000 less than had been expected. A count of dogs was also attempted but many residents refused to give information.
  • August 13, 1970: A Beech 50 Twin Bonanza [CF-YSS] operated by Geo-X Surveys crashed west of Bow Creek in the Carmacks-Casino area last night. The pilot, 39-year-old Albert Hugh Clark, was killed, but Norman Wilson, 34 and also of Vancouver, survived.
  • August 13, 1970: A uniformed by-law enforcement officer is being sought by the city. On a salary of $800 - $900 a month the successful applicant should have reliable police experience as he will be required to act right through to city prosecutor for bylaw offences. Mrs. Joyce Milko is to assume temporary traffic officer duties while Mrs. Margaret Jarvis is on holiday.

  • August 18, 1970: The White Pass strike is over and trains have started to roll again between Skagway and Whitehorse. Skagway trainmen get a 30 per cent raise in pay but for the first time in the company's history, Canadians will be hired for crews to be based in Whitehorse. And that's the portion of the agreement that the Alaskans don't like.
  • August 18, 1970: A 32 year old man, Donald Brown, was killed early Friday morning at Mayo when he was run over by a half ton pickup driven by Gordon Arndt of Mayo. Brown was laying the road when Arndt came around a corner ad was unable to stop fast enough.

  • August 20, 1970: Bill Hamilton, a member of the first Whitehorse city council and long time White Pass official, died in North Vancouver on August 15th.
  • August 20, 1970: Governor General Roland and Mrs. Michener visit the Yukon.

September

  • September 10, 1970: Transfer of all land rights around northern municipalities from federal government control to the administration of the Northwest Territories and the Yukon Territory has been initiated as announced by Northern Affairs Minister Jean Chretien. Effective immediately are transfers of 240 square miles around Whitehorse.

  • September 24, 1970: Venus becomes the Yukon's fifth producing mine with the first shipment of lead concentrates to the railroad at Carcross.
  • September 24, 1970: City Alderman Jim Light died on September 21 at the age of 42. A month later, city council proposes to re-name the Whitehorse Civic Arena Jim Light Memorial Arena.

  • September 28, 1970: Commissioner James Smith opens the new Carcross Bridge leading to Venus mines. The $372,000 wooden decked structure spans Nares Lake.
  • September 28, 1970: Old Crow Indians are planning to obtain an injunction prohibiting entry by others than themselves into Old Crow Flats. The action is being taken to forestall further exploration by oil and gas companies.

October

  • October 1, 1970: Ottawa declares the announcement from September 28 "a problem in communication" and says the Old Crow people had agreed last winter [1969/1970] to let the companies carry on.

  • October 5, 1970: The Old Crow Indian people publish in the Whitehorse Star a 1 page statement that emphasizes their cause and denies Ottawa's statement.

  • October 8, 1970: Rolf Hougen asks the city council for support to preserve riverboats. He wins a two month reprieve from Whitehorse City Council to save the two remaining river boats, Whitehorse & Casca, from destruction. One City Councilor remarked “ The best thing that could happen is someone put a match to them”.

November

  • November 12, 1970: Hilda Watson and Norm Chamberlist are named to the first cabinet posts in Yukon history. They are sworn in on November 30.

  • November 23, 1970: The Vancouver Centennial Museum hosts an exhibition of the Klondike Days of '98.

  • November 26, 1970: Northern Affairs Minister Jean Chretien announces on November 24 that work on a portion of the Fort Simpson-Fort Liard road on the NWT will cease to permit speeding up construction of the Yukon's Dempster highway.

December

  • December 29, 1970: Magistrate John Varcoe announces that as of January 1, 1971, any driver convicted in court of impaired driving charge will automatically have his driving privileges suspended.

1971

January

  • January 7, 1971: An innovation is introduced to the Sourdough Rendezvous Festival: Mr. and Mrs. Yukon. On January 18, Hazel Meloy and Jack Hazel are announced as the first Mr. and Mrs. Yukon.
  • January 7, 1971: White Pass & Yukon Route open bids to the removal and destruction of the two riverboats SS Casca and SS Whitehorse. In a last minute reprieve, White Pass & Yukon Route stop the planned destruction of the sternwheelers SS Casca and SS Whitehorse. Headed by Rolf Hougen, a committee had been formed to save the boats. Discussion between the committee, White Pass and National Historic Sites about the future of the boats start. (see also April 30, 1972)

February

  • February 22, 1971: The Old Crow skiers Glenna, Shirley and Mary Frost bring back a bronze medal from the Canada Winter Games at Saskatoon.
  • February 22, 1971: A fire at the Travellers' Service Motel at Mile 1118 of the Alaska Highway on February 13th did $100,000 damage.
  • February 22, 1971: A young Alaska G.I. nearly died of asphyxiation at Beaver Creek when he went to sleep in his car with the engine running. He was rescued when a Customs officer came in at 7 a.m., with the help of a trucker and locals with oxygen.

March

  • March 2, 1971: Judy Crayford of Dawson City is Sourdough Queen 1971.

  • March 11, 1971: The Polar Games are opened in Whitehorse.

  • March 22, 1971: April 1, 1971 is announced as the day when the Yukon Territorial Government takes over the administration of justice from the federal government.
  • March 22, 1971: In a promotional action in 1955, the Quaker Oats Co. gave away 21 million 4 by 6 square inches of land in the Yukon. In 1971 the topic appears in the Whitehorse news again as owner of these deeds threaten with legal suits Quaker Oats Co. about the value of the deeds.

  • March 29, 1971: The territorial council approves a motion according to which Taverns and cocktail bars throughout will be able to remain open all day Sunday.

April

  • April 1, 1971: Postal codes are successively introduced in Canada, starting in Ottawa. The new code will reach the Yukon in spring 1973. The first letter chosen for the Yukon - representing the province - is "Y".

  • April 8, 1971: Five Yukoners, Rolf Hougen, Robert Byron, Garth Graham, Dr. Art Pearson and Ralph Hudson, attend the first meeting of the executive committee of the University of Canada North, at Inuvik. They elect Richard Chairman as chairman, with Richard Hill and Rolf Hougen as vice chairmen of N.W.T. and Yukon respectively. The historic meeting lays the first preliminary plans for determining the goals of the University of Canada North.

  • April 12, 1971: Sharon and Shirley Firth win gold and silver medals in the Junior Women's cross country ski race at the World Ski Championships at Inuvik. Two days later, (April 14), four more Yukoners take gold medals in the event: Gary and Datey Bailie and Lisa Levefvre of Whitehorse, and Marie Bruce of Old Crow.

  • April 15, 1971: The Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Jean Chretien, announces on April 13 that an 870 square mile area along the South Nahanni River in N.W.T is investigated for its suitability as a national park.

May

  • May 25, 1971: Yukon Territorial Council meets May 26 for a special session to put into effect the municipality of Metropolitan Whitehorse. A previous plebiscite approved the amalgamation of Whitehorse, Hillcrest, Takhini and Porter Creek, (from the Carcross cut-off road to the Takhini River on the Mayo Road) rendering Whitehorse the largest municipality in Canada.

June

  • June 10, 1971: Operations at Venus Mine are suspended due to continous operating losses.
  • June 10, 1971: Tim Koepke is the new president of the Whitehorse Kiwanis Club.

  • June 14, 1971: Old Crow receives its own weather station on May 24, 1971.

  • June 17, 1971: Matthew Watson, founder of the Watson store in Carcross, died on June 11th in Vancouver at the age of 83.
  • June 17, 1971: Ivan Kirkby is the first Regional Director of the new Yukon Region, Department of Indian Affairs, established April 1, 1971 by the Minister of Indian Affairs.
  • June 17, 1971: The new Van Gorder School is opened in Faro. Del Van Gorder was manager of the Taylor and Drury trading post at Pelly Banks and Ross River. Commissioner James Smith officially unveils a plaque. Newt Cornish represents the Anvil Mining Company.

  • June 28, 1971: Lorraine Stick is the Yukon Indian Princess for 1971.

July

  • July 2, 1971: Operations at the open pit mine and mill at New Imperial Mines Ltd., seven miles south of Whitehorse, is suspended as of June 30. Current copper prices make the mining of the Keewenaw open pit orebody uneconomic.

  • July 8, 1971: Whitehorse City Council approves a request by Kelly Douglas and Company Ltd. for the re-zoning of land presently owned by White Pass, from residential to commercial. Kelly, Douglas and Company Ltd. plan a shopping center between Second and Fourth Avenues, next to the Whitehorse Elementary School. Construction of the new $2.6 million shopping centre is to begin August 19.

  • July 12, 1971: Panarctic Oils signs a $75 million agreement with four U.S. distribution and utiliy companies that earns the U.S. companies interest in gas supplies yet to be proved in the Canadian Artic Island.

  • July 15, 1971: The U.S. army announces on July 13 it will close down a 432-mile portion of the petroleum pipeline from Haines to Fairbanks. A proposal for use of The Haines-Tok pipeline in a combines commercial-military operation has been submitted.

August

  • August 2, 1971: Gary Anderson, 23-year-old survivor of a plane crash in the St. Elias mountains is found after 40 days.

  • August 9, 1971: New Imperial receives $6 million from a financial agreement with Anglo-American Corporation of Canada and the Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Corporation Ltd. For development of New Imperial's Little Chief and Middle Chief underground ore bodied.
  • August 9, 1971: The first contract for construction of the Skagway road is awarded to General Enterprises Ltd. Of Whitehorse.

  • August 12, 1971: America's Ambassador to Canada, James Smith, visits Whitehorse.

September

  • September 7, 1971: The George Allen Jeckell Bridge over the Ogilvie River on the Dempster Highway is completed and handed over from the CAF to the Department of Indian Affairs on September 3.
  • September 7, 1971: An Alaska-Airlines jet plane crashes into a mountainside 20 miles west of Juneau, killing 111 people.
  • September 7, 1971: It's back to school day. The Yukon Territory has an estimated 5,200 students, of whom 3,500 are in Whitehorse. There are 248 teachers in the Yukon - Whitehorse has 164 of them.

  • September 13, 1971: Hollywood actor Leslie Nielsen and his wife Sandy and daughters, Thea & Mora, visit the Yukon.

  • September 20, 1971: The federal government announces to build a new Territorial Administration Building on 2nd Avenue in Whitehorse, from the Library South to the White Pass tracks.
  • September 20, 1971: Traffic is stopped at the intersection of Fourth and Main in Whitehorse on September 18 when special ceremonies mark the start of home mail delivery service.

  • September 27, 1971: Whitehorse General Hospital loses its accreditation. The medical staff organization is given as the main reason for the reduction of the hospital's status. (see also October 20, 1972)
  • September 27, 1971: The National Historic Sites of Canada buys a collection of over 700 pictures on the Klondike Gold Rush.

October

  • October 7, 1971: There's going to be no immediate extension of the White Pass railroad to Carmacks, and the White Pass can still provide the cheapest form of transportation - by sea - of bulk freight to outside points. That was the message from White Pass and Yukon Corporation president Albert P. Friesen to the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce at its regular meeting Tuesday.

  • October 18, 1971: A Wien Consolidated Airline Boeing 737 jet was hijacked this moming from Anchorage, Alaska, to Cuba. It is an Alaskan first. The plane was heading for Bethel, 325 miles north of Anchorage, and had 30 passengers on board.
  • October 18, 1971: The painters, electricians and carpenters are still working on the lower floors of the new $1 million YWCA building in Whitehorse, but already women are moving into the upstairs suites. The official opening is planned for November 14th.

November

  • November 4, 1971: The Yukon territorial council approves the takeover of the maintenance functions of the Alaska Highway by the territorial government, effective April 1, 1972.
  • November 4, 1971: Ralph D. Baker follows Frank H. Brown as chairman of White Pass & Yukon Route. Under Brown, the White Pass conceived and built the world's first container ship in 1955.

  • November 8, 1971: On November 6 at 2 p.m., the U.S. detonates an underground nuclear bomb in the Aleutian island of Attu, 240 miles west of Amchitka. The blast is recorded at "seven" on the Richter scale. In Whitehorse, the Yukon Emergency Measures Organization and the personnel at the Hydro Dam are on emergency call. Reportedly, no radioation leaks.

  • November 15, 1971: The YWCA residence, the most modern in Canda, is opened on Fourth Avenue.

  • November 18, 1971: It is announced that 40 units of public housing in Whitehorse will be built in spring 1972.

  • November 22, 1971: A man referred to as a "walking bomb", John Montana, was given a two-year suspended sentence by Magistrate John Varcoe at Watson Lake last week. He had been charged with illegal possession of explosives, namely 10 sticks of dynamite, 5 of which he carried in his shirt into a pub.

December

  • December 2, 1971: The quick action of an eight-year-old Dawson child, Louise Dugran, saved the lives of her family in a fire which destroyed her 7th Avenue home early yesterday. This is at least the third fire in the home, which was built in 1900 - this one started in an oil stove in the kitchen.

  • December 9, 1971: The City of Whitehorse has sent a request to the Yukon territorial government asking that legislation be established enabling the city to enforce building bylaws by halting construction through injunctions.

  • December 16, 1971: Yukon pioneer Bert Cluett of Burwash died December 16, at the age of 96.

1972

January

  • January 13, 1972: The University of Manitoba studied life in Whitehorse. A preliminary report shows that 18% of residents would not leave the Yukon under any circumstances.

  • January 27, 1972: Anchorage businessman Troy Hankins and his wife were spotted by a Canadian Forces Search and Rescue Otter aircraft Tuesday after their light aircraft was forced down in a canyon 30 miles SSE of Muncho Lake Sunday. Read the entire article here.

February

  • February 3, 1972: Chappie and Marrie Chapman of Watson Lake are chosen as Mr. and Mrs. Yukon.

  • February 10, 1972: The U.S. government abandons its plans to join Canada in reconstruction of the Alaska Highway between Dawson Creek and the Alaska border.

  • February 14, 1972: The Yukon Territory joins the 10 provinces and the N.W.T. in the possession of a mace symbol. The Governor-General of Canada Roland Michener presents the mase to the Council of the Yukon Territory on March 6, 1972. Gov. Egan of Alaska & Commissioner Stu Hodgson of NWT attend along with Commissioner Smith and Jean Chretien. The design of the mace was created by Corporal Jim Ballentyne of the RCMP. His was the only one submitted. The competition for the design was talked about in territorial council for about three years and the prize awarding the design was made in 1964.

  • February 21, 1972: Dr. Don Branigan is elected the Liberal party candidate for the upcoming federal election.
  • February 21, 1972: One telephone circuit via microwave established a phone service to Old Crow by Canadian National Telecommunications (CNT). The first circuit was turned up on February 16 and the first phone call was made from Old Crow at 11:30 a.m. Previous to this time there was radio service only.

March

  • March 9, 1972: The Arctic Winter Games take place in Whitehorse.

  • March 16, 1972: The Yukon mining industry want to swap 800 square miles for 625 square miles within the border of the park.

  • March 27, 1972: A motion is to dissolve the territorial council is defeated. Speaker Ron Rivett split the vote. Councillors Don Taylor, Mike Stutter and Ken McKinnon voted in favour of the motion while Councillors Norm Chamberlist, Clive Tanner and Hilda Watson voted against it.

  • March 30, 1972: The Northern Canada Power Commission makes application to the Yukon Water Board for construction of $12 million hydro project at Aishihik River. (see also April 25, 1973)
  • March 30, 1972: It is announced that CBC will be responsible for any expansion of live television service in the Yukon once the Telsat satellite has gone into operation. The satellite will be launched in November 1972. Receiving stations are built in Whitehorse, Dawson, Faro, Watson Lake, Elsa and Clinton Creek. As of May 1, 1972, the first of Telesat Canada's Remote Television Earth Stations are rolling northwest across Canada. In June, Telesat Canada invites proposals for the provision of Thin-Route earth stations. The Thin-Route stations are designed to provide low volume telephone service via satellite to small, isolated communities in Canada's North.

April

  • April 17, 1972: It is announced that YWCA at Whitehorse is facing financial crisis and may have to close.

  • April 20, 1972: Jack Bredin, "Yukon's friend of Indians", died at the age of 53.

  • April 26, 1972: Whitehorse has its first oil spill incident to cause the death of wildlife. A small pond near the White Pass highway division garage in the Marwell area has a layer of oil on it that kills ducks. The source of the oil is an oil tank that sank to the bottom of the lake.

May

  • May 1, 1972: Expropriation cheques are now being sent out to land owners on the territorial government's Capitol building site but it is expected that some of the land owners will not accept the governments offer and take their claims to court for judicial arbitration. Yukon director of legal affairs, Paud O'Donoghue said all the major land owners, except one, had accepted the government's offer, but Max Fuerstner of the Alpine Hotel had not accepted the offer to pay $250,000 for the Alpine Hotel and Bamboo Lounge.

June

  • June 2, 1972: The Village of Faro is officially given town status, effective as of June 1. There are no other communities in the Territory under town status. Town status allows Faro an additional alderman. Faro was started in 1968 in conjunction with the Anvil mines.

  • June 23, 1972: Work has begun on the new $1.5 million 30 room Sandman Motor Inn on Fourth Avenue in Whitehorse.
  • June 23, 1972: On June 17, the Yukon Commissioner visits the 6 permanent residents on Herschel Island, "the only Eskimo residents of the territory".

July

  • July 3, 1972: Sam McGee Main Street Carnival is the name selected for the carnival to be held each Friday night on Main Street.
  • July 3, 1972: Northern Television Systems receives complete approval to amend its cable TV licence. It means that Whitehorse will have five video channels, one radio and one background music channel by the end of 1972.
  • July 3, 1972: The official total population of the Yukon is 18,388. There are 9,920 males and 8,468 females.

  • July 10, 1972: A sun eclipse is seen in Canada. In Whitehorse the sky noticeably darkened, "but they were no dramatics". Inuvik has a 99% coverage of the sun by the moon, and Tuktoyuktuk total coverage.

  • July 12, 1972: Joe Ladue, the son of Dawson City founder Joe Ladue, makes his first visit to the Yukon.

  • July 14, 1972: Pavement is laid in Faro on all town streets and parking lots.

  • July 28, 1972: The first wedding ever to be held in the 74-year history of the Bennett Church on the White Pass & Yukon Route takes place August 2, 1972.

September

  • September 13, 1972: According to Statistics Canada, English is the mother tongue of 83.6 per cent of Yukon residents. "Indian" is second, used by 5.6 per cent and German is third at 3 per cent. French is used by 2.4 per cent.

  • September 15, 1972: As the first step in the establishment of Kluane National Park, two officers of the National Resource Conservation section arrive in Haines Junction.

  • September 18, 1972: The Yukon Progressive Conservatives nominate Erik Nielsen, the New Democrative Party nominates William Harvey Kent for the upcoming federal election.

  • September 20, 1972: A new Canadian national union for mine workers is formed at Clinton Creek. It will be known as the Canadian Mine Worker's Union.

  • September 22, 1972: The Whitehorse Recreation Centre closes for public use for the first time. Reason is the unsecure future use of the centre. At the end of the year (December 1), $10,000 repairs begin at the Recreation Centre.

October

  • October 4, 1972: The Yukon territorial government game branch established corridors along the Dempster Highway in which hunting is illegal. The areas are set aside because of the large numbers of caribou that cross the highway at those points.

  • October 20, 1972: Whitehorse General Hospital regains its full accreditation, after it lost accreditation in 1971. (see also September 27, 1971)

November

  • November 1, 1972: On October 30, Progressive Conservative candidate Erik Nielsen is re-elected as the Yukon's MP for the eighth straight time. He receives 4332 votes against Don Branigan Liberal 2633 & Harvey Kent, NDP with 951.

  • November 6, 1972: A special charter flight flies into Old Crow on November 4 to deliver 20 deep freezers and 2 fridges to replace the single community freezer.
  • November 6, 1972: "Armed with a pocketful of nickels, the newest heroine in Whitehorse is Joan Schrioch, 20, who serves as the Yukon's first anti-meter maid. Twelve applicants showed up for the unique job advertised by Bob Erlam, publisher of the Whitehorse Star, who claims that the meters drive business from downtown Whitehorse." Read the entire article here.

  • November 8, 1972: Telesat Canada's Anik 1 is launched into space.

  • November 17, 1972: The Yukon territorial government's new computer located on the Third floor of the Lynn Building will perform functions in seconds which used to take staff days to accomplish. The photo on the front page of the Star is captioned: "PROGRAMMING for the Yukon territorial government's computer begins at the data recorder which punches required information onto computer cards. Here, systems analyst supervisor Gary Rogers programs the card and then takes the card over to the multi-function card until which feeds the information into the processing unit."

  • November 27, 1972: A total of 177 Direct Distance Dialing phone calls are placed in Whitehorse on November 26 during the first day of the service's operation.

  • November 29, 1972: The city of Leningrad expresses its interest in becoming Whitehorse's sister city. Both cities lie near the 60th Parallel.

December

  • December 4, 1972: The National and Historic Parks Branch proposes the restoration of some sections of Dawson City.

  • December 20, 1972: The city is getting very close to re-opening the Whitehorse Recreation Centre on a regular basis, possibly as soon as tomorrow. City council met with officials of the Whitehorse Recreation Centre Association last night to discuss the possibility of the association actively operating the centre. The city is also reported to be close to getting a lease on the property from the Ministry of Transport, with which it has been negotiating for two months.
  • December 20, 1972: Rental/purchase and low rental housing is now being made available to the public. Five families have moved into units in Watson Lake and 14 families are slated to occupy units in Whitehorse this week. Yukon Housing Corporation manager Al Williams says that in all communities where construction is under way, except for Whitehorse, the initial demand for housing should be satisfied with the completion of all housing units by the end of January. In Whitehorse there have been about 70 applications for the 43 units constructed. Projections are that 460 units will be needed over the next five years.

1973

January

  • January 15, 1973: Bill MacBride, who was honoured by having the museum named after him, died in Vancouver on January 12th. He had retired in 1961 after spending much of his career with the White Pass Company.

February

  • February 7, 1973: Pete Huley died in Vancouver at the age of 80.

  • February 14, 1973: Yukon Native Brotherhood Chief Elijah Smith and twelve chiefs travel to Ottawa to meet Prime Minister Trudeau to present the Yukon land claim. They are accompanied by David Joe, Executive Director of the YNB and legal advisor Allen Luek.

  • February 19, 1973: Yukon territorial council passes a motion to change the time zone in western Yukon so that all communities, including Beaver Creek and Dawson City, have the same time as Whitehorse (Pacific Standard Time).

  • February 22, 1973: Mr. And Mrs. Jack MacDonald are Mr. and Mrs. Yukon 1973.

March

  • March 9, 1973: Whitehorse welcomes one thousand athletes for the Polar Games from northern communities including Ft. Nelson and Fairbanks.

April

  • April 6, 1973: Construction starts at the Bailey Bridge to be erected alongside the Robert Campbell Bridge across the Yukon River. City Manager Bob Byron says the one way traffic across the NCPC dam and one way traffic on the temporary Bailey Bridge next to the Robert Campbell Bridge which is undergoing repairs, will continue for the next six months.

  • April 9, 1973: Anne Murray arrives in Whitehorse. She and her band give a concert on April 10 at the F.H. Collins School auditorium witth a CBC sponsored performance. The gym is packed.

  • April 16, 1973: Dr. Hilda Hellaby is invested into the Order of Canada on April 11 by Governor-General Roland Michener. She is the first Yukoner to receive the order.

  • April 25, 1973: The Northern Development Minister Jean Chretien gives green light to the Aishihik hydro-electric power project. (see also March 30, 1972)

  • April 30, 1973: The sternwheelers Casca and Whitehorse will get a facelift thanks to a Local Incentives Program grant in the amount of $40,000 from the federal government.

May

  • May 9, 1973: Veteran Klondike Newsman Helmer Samuelson died in Whitehorse at the age of 64.

  • May 11, 1973: A Winnipeg-based firm, Federal Industries Ltd., announces May 10, 1973 that it has purchased 26 per cent of the White Pass and Yukon Corporation Ltd. shares. Federal Industries makes an offer to the remaining shareholders to purchase additional shares with the goal to own 50.3 per cent of the common shares in the company. Over 50% was subscribed and in July change of control was confirmed.

  • May 16, 1973: Work starts immediately to restore the exteriors of the riverboats Casca and Whitehorse and to protect them by erecting a fence.

  • May 28, 1973: city council turns down Rolf Hougen's resolution to buy the riverboats Whitehorse and Casca for $1. Aldermen Jim Howatt, Clive Boyd and John Watt expressed opposition to the Riverboat Restoration Project.

June

  • June 1, 1973: The MacBride Museum opens to the public May 31.

  • June 6, 1973: Six mountains in the Hart-Blackstone River country, about 75 miles north of Dawson City, are named after early-day RNWMP members who served in the Yukon. The members are: W.J.D. Dempster, J.F. Fyfe, F. Turner, Sam Carter, G.F. Kinney, Howard Hopper Cronkhite. June 11, 1973: Former Dawson City mayor Mike Comadina died in Prince Rupert. He spent 39 years in the Yukon.

July

  • July 4, 1973: The Wellgreen nickel mine on Quill Creek is in the process of closing. The mine closed Tuesday and the mill will take about two weeks to shut down. Mine manager Arnold Stephanson said there are about 40 men employed right now and there were about 100 employed at the peak of the mine last winter. The mine only operated for 14 months.

  • July 11, 1973: The city of Whitehorse no longer has an elected government. The five aldermen involved in a legal battle with the Yukon territorial government resigned Monday, leaving the city council without a quorum. Clive Boyd, Jim Howatt, Alder Hunter, Steve Henke and Paul Lucier, said: "We have resigned because of extreme pressure by the executive committee coupled with the fear that the financial loss to each of us will be too much to bear if we intend to fight the legal battles which are in progress."

August

  • August 4, 1973: Joe Ladue, 83, is killed in a car accident on August 3rd.

  • August 7, 1973: Former Riverboat pilot Frank Pilot died on September 6th at the age of 77.

  • August 8, 1973: Bank service starts in Carmacks August 17 and in Haines Junction August 15 with the opening of the Canadian Imperial Bank.

  • August 31, 1973: Murray Bleackley is the first Yukoner in history to become a Catholic priest. He is ordained in Whitehorse September 15.

September

  • September 5, 1973: The city administrator and his advisory committee agree to replace the Robert Campbell bridge with a two lane, 28 foot bridge.
  • September 5, 1973: It is announced that a new office building will be built on Main Street between the Capitol Hotel and the Bank of Montreal. The new building will reflect the architecture of the Klondike gold rush.

  • September 19, 1973: Nineteen ambassadors to Canada arrive in Whitehorse on September 13 during a national familiarization tour.

  • September 26, 1973: City manager Bob Byron resigns on September 24th.

October

  • October 1, 1973: Jack Meloy, Pioneer, died at Kirkman Creek while on a hunt. He was in his 80s.
  • October 1, 1973: A fire destroys the former George and Martha Black residence on First and Jarvis.

  • October 5, 1973: The parka factory opens in the back of the Indian Craft Shop on Main Street.

  • October 19, 1973: Archivist Brian Spears announces that the archives of the Yukon & the MacBride Museum acquire Klondike Kate's collection of private papers from D. W. Van Duren, Kate's stepson. The historic collection includes her personal letters, newspaper clippings, photographs and a typescript of her autobiography which was never published.

  • October 26, 1973: A 900-pound carving of a gold panner is moved into Murdoch's Gem Shop. Owners of the Gem Shop, Mike Scott and Bill Weigand, commissioned the sculpture three years earlier. A year was wasted when the first piece split and sculptor Maurice Harvey had to start over again.

November

  • November 5, 1973: Census data releases that 13.9% of Yukoners were born outside of Canada.

  • November 14, 1973: The bill to permit construction of the trans-Alaskan oil pipeline is approved by the U.S. House of Senates.

  • November 21, 1973: Whitehorse mayor Bert Wybrew announces he will not run in the December civic election.

  • November 23, 1973: George Jeckell's son, Frank Jeckell, officially opens the new junior secondary school in Riverdale named after George Jeckell. Frank has not been in the Yukon for fifty-one years. He was born in Dawson.

  • November 26, 1973: The grocery department of Taylor and Drury is under new management as of December 3, ending 73 years of family direction.It has been sold to Don Palomar and Bob Evans.

  • November 30, 1973: WHTV starts to provide and install surveillance equipment in the Yukon.

December

  • December 3, 1973: Paul H. Lucier is the new Whitehorse mayor by acclamation. Chuck Hankins, Pete Patrick, Olive Pociwauschuk, John Watt, Al Wright, Wayne Palmer are elected as Aldermen for the Whitehorse City Council.

  • December 10, 1973: Longtime Yukoner Happy LePage died on November 28th at the age of 68.

  • December 19, 1973: A territorial government interdepartmental committee is commissioned to introduce metric conversion to the Yukon.

1974

January

  • January 2, 1974: Statistics about the Yukon reveal the following facts: 84% of the 3,255 Whitehorse households own cars, 6.2% more than the national average. A total of 83,5% households have television compared to the national average of 95.3%. 2.9% in Whitehorse own a colour TV. 41% of the Whitehorse households own a freezer, the national average is 33.5%. The average of bedrooms per dwelling is 2.2 in Whitehorse, but 2.7 in the rest of the country.

  • January 14, 1974: Parliament adjourns January 11th without passing the bill that would give legal status to Kluane National Park. The reason given for the delay is that amendments will not be accepted by the northern development minister, Jean Chretien. After a third reading in the House of Commons, the bill establishing Kluane and seven other national parks is passed April 4, 1974.

  • January 21, 1974: Stanley Johnson, the first native coroner appointed in Whitehorse, starts his job.

  • January 25, 1974: Mr. And Mrs. David Johnston Sr. of Teslin are selected as Mr. And Mrs. Yukon of 1974.

February

  • February 8, 1974: Robert Sese films for the French national television network ORTF "Lost Patrol", the saga of the fatal RCMP patrol of Fitzgerald between Fort MacPherson and Dawson City in January of 1911.

  • February 27, 1974: The barge "Atlin" arrives in Whitehorse by truck and will take up permanent residence at the new site of the riverboat Klondike.

March

  • March 4, 1974: Phyllis Brennan is Rendezvous Queen 1974.

  • March 6, 1974: The number of permanent stoplights in the Yukon increases 50 per cent with a new installation at Fourth and Ogilvie.
  • March 6, 1974: The Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce learns that N.W.T is not interested in a Canol Road repair

  • March 11, 1974: Northern Affairs minister Jean Chretien introduces amendments to the Yukon Act according to which the Yukon territorial council will increase to 12 elected members. The bill will also set out a formula whereby the council can be increased by two members to a maximum of 20 every time the Yukon population increases by 5,000. Three months later, on June 17, territorial council approves the electoral boundaries commission report that calls for seven rural and five urban ridings for the expanded council of 12.

  • March 13, 1974: Amoco, a large Calgary based petroleum concern has been given permission to drill an oil well on Herschel Island during the winter of 1974/75.

  • March 29, 1974: Whitehorse North councillor Norman Chamberlist announces on March 28 that he would not be seeking re-election in the next territorial council race.

April

  • April 10, 1974: Pierre Berton comes to an agreement with CBC to do a 13-week television series, based on his best-seller Klondike. One of the hurdles to be faced is finding a riverboat that can be used for the series.
  • April 10, 1974: A technical brief for television low-power re-broadcasting stations for six small northern communities (Haines Junction, Destruction Bay, Carmacks, Teslin, Atlin and Carcross) is presented to CBC by Total North Communications Ltd. Of Whitehorse.
  • April 10, 1974: The first piling goes down for the new state highway bridge over the Skagway River on March 28. Replacing an old single-lane bridge that is 35 or more years old, this new structure is part of the work that will be done in the coming 2 years to complete Alaska's portion of the Klondike International Highway joining Skagway with Carcross.
  • April 10, 1974: Preliminary steps are made throughout the territory toward introducing the metric system in the Yukon.

  • April 26, 1974: The Pelly Crossing school boycott is in its fifth day. The boycott, which started April 22 stems back to a Selkirk Indian band resolution passed March 14. The band says the teachers are prejudiced agains Indian people and children are mistreated.
  • April 26, 1974: Discrimination on the basis of sex and marital status is outlawed in the Yukon as amendments to the fair practices ordinance is given third reading in territorial council.

May

  • May 3, 1974: A committee for a human rights and civil liberties association in the Yukon is formed May 2.

  • May 8, 1974: The Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce votes in favour of applying for the setting aside of a small island in the vicinity of Robert Service Park as a memorial to Service.

  • May 10, 1974: Whitehorse voters give city council a "no" on the Mainsteele lots and Robert Campbell Bridge replacement issues. Voters cast their ballots May 9.

  • May 27, 1974: Paul White is acclaimed the candidate of the Yukon Liberal Association for the upcoming federal elections. The Yukon New Democratic Partly elects leader Tony Penikett.

June

  • June 3, 1974: Erik Nielsen is nominated as the Yukon Progressive Conservative candidate.

  • June 7, 1974: Yukon Inn becomes the first hotel in the territory to sign an agreement with a union.

  • June 12, 1974: Amoco decides not to go ahead with their Herschel Island project. The drilling is curtailed because of federal legislation regarding royalties and exploration.

  • June 21, 1974:"Hundreds of people stood on the banks of the Yukon River yesterday morning and cried as the riverboats CASCA and WHITEHORSE were engulfed by flames." The Whitehorse Star dedicates a 4 page special issue to this tragedy. Read the main article here.

July

  • July 8, 1974: CBC announces "timberline television" will not be installed in the five small Yukon communities.

  • July 10, 1974: Progressive Conservative Erik Nielsen is once again elected Yukon MP - for the ninth straight time.

  • July 17, 1974: Dawson City re-activates its curfew for young people. Youngsters under the age of 17 years have to be off the streets by 11 p.m.

  • July 26, 1974: On July 21, Max Fuerstner pulls one of the largest gold nuggets to be found since the Gold Rush out of his sluice box on Livingstone Creek. The nugget weighs 20.5 ounces. Read the entire article here.

  • July 31, 1974: Another era in the history of the Yukon ends when Charlie Taylor closes the doors of Taylor's & Drury's store at First and Main permanently.

August

  • August 9, 1974: Judd Buchanan is appointed as new Indian Affairs and Development minister on August 8.

  • August 21, 1974: Dismantling crews take down old communications wire up to Mile 80 on the Canol Road.
  • August 21, 1974: Police throw 43 in drunk tank during Discovery Days celebrations in Dawson City. Read the entire article here.

September

  • September 9, 1974: The mail service to and from Carcross is upgraded: now mail is received three times a week instead of twice a week.

  • September 13, 1974: Mayor Paul Lucier announces on September 12 that the referendum scheduled for October 3 to gain the opinion of Whitehorse taxpayers on whether the city should continue negotiations with Yukon Electrical to take over the city franchise, is cancelled. The reason for the cancellation is that there is no provision in the territorial municipal ordinance for the city to run its own electrical system.
  • September 13, 1974: Alderman Chuck Hankins announces on September 12 that he resigns from city council.
  • September 13, 1974: Taking suggestions from the Yukon Native Brotherhood and the Geological Survey of Canada into account, the Canadian Permanent Committee on Geographical Names names mountains and lakes in the Yukon. Other names honour Yukon pioneers. Britton Ridge is named after J.C. Britton, Mount Erickson after John Erickson. Mount Forrest is named after Emil Forrest and Mount Laderoute is named for a pioneer farmer. Other mountains are named after William Langham, Archie MacIennan, William Hough. Massa Sakata is honoured with Sakata Lake. Other names inclues Castellata Peakes, Gorge Creek, Incised Creek, Lake Terrace Creek, Malemute Mountain, Porphyry Peak, Red Granite Mountain, Sceptre Lake, Szoosinlinum Lake, Tahgah River and Thulsoo Mountain.

  • September 18, 1974: "The federal government announced Monday through Whitehorse city council that it has budgeted $2 million for expropriation of land and fencing and rehabilitation of the city's clay bank escarpment below the airport. In the next three years, some 130 properties below the bank will be expropriated and a chain link fence will be erected for protection against mud and snow slides." Read the entire article here.

  • September 27, 1974: The Dawson City council passes the first building by-law to restrict the standard of buildings going up in the city.

October

  • October 7, 1974: The territorial government announces a $40,000 pilot television project which could mean installation of regular television programming to Yukon communities of less than 500 people.

  • October 16, 1974: Laurie Briggs, 19, is the first Yukon woman to sign up for the Canadian Armed Forces since a recruiting office was opened in Whitehorse a year ago. She recently swore an oath of allegiance to Queen and country and was handed her plane ticket to the Canadian Forces Recruit School in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia and a stack of documents to take south with her.
  • October 16, 1974: According to Yukon Territorial Council's figures the Yukon's population is 20,600.
  • October 16, 1974: The Whitehorse Inn is undecided whether it will bring in regular nude dancers, but in the meantime an ad placed in San Francisco that offered the job to three women has sparked international news service interest and brought the agency handling applications over 200 prospective clients.

  • October 18, 1974: The territorial government announces a 7-year, $33 million program for Yukon communities.

  • October 21, 1974: In a move to increase security at the Whitehorse Airport, an eight-foot fence goes up around the airport, and plans are made to start using scanners to check passengers boarding planes.

November

  • November 2, 1974: In the territorial election of November 18, 1974, Yukon voters chose 10 Independents and two NDP members and reject all nine Yukon Provincial Liberal Party candidates.

  • November 22, 1974: Magnus Hougen died in Whitehorse on November 19th following a lengthy illness. He was 54.

  • November 29, 1974: CNT announces the completion of a new microwave system connecting Dawson with its main system. The system carries all long-distance telephone traffic to and from Dawson as well as Telex and CBC radio transmissions.

December

  • December 2, 1974: A CP Air plane on its way from Montreal to Vancouver with Commissioner James Smith as passenger is hijacked. Fortunately, the situation was solved and the plane landed in Saskatoon.

  • December 13, 1974: Ken McKinnon, Gordon McIntyre and Hilda Watson are named the three "ministers" in the new "Yukon Legislative Assembly". (see also January 13, 1975)

  • December 20, 1974: Hougen's Ltd. opens a third Hougen's Department Store in the Yukon taking over Sands Store in Watson Lake in January 1975.

  • December 30, 1974: Don Branigan files a petition in Supreme Court defeating the election of Willard Phelps in November 18 territorial council election. Branigan states that Willard Phelps should not have been elected because he is renting liquor store premises to the territorial government. (see also June 13, 1975)

1975

January

  • January 3, 1975: The Yukon's mineral production revenues are up by 23 per cent in 1974 compared to 1973. Statistics Canada reports an estimated $185,194,000 of revenues. The total of all Yukon mineral production revenues since 1886 is now $1,167,000,000.
  • January 3, 1975: Montague (Monty) Alford is named to the Order of Canada. He receives the award for his pioneer work in hydrometric surveying in the North and as a pioneer in Yukon mountaineering.

  • January 13, 1975: Zinc dethrones gold as the number one mineral in the Yukon with respect to the highest total value.

  • January 15, 1975: Gordon "Cam" Cameron and his wife Martha are selected Mr. and Mrs. Yukon 1975.

  • January 22, 1975: Federal Health and Welfare Minister Marc Lalonde and the Yukon government agree on the transfer of all federal health services to the territory.

February

  • February 14, 1975: Former northern affairs minister Arthur Laing died in Vancouver on February 12th.

  • February 19, 1975: An American Broadcasting film crew comes to Whitehorse and Watson Lake for a film on the airplane crash and the successful 49-day search of Ralph Flores and Helen Klaben that occurred in 1963.

  • February 21, 1975: The '98 Hotel and the Whitehorse Inn lose their liquor licenses due to serious infractions of the liquor ordinance, particularly those dealing with minors and intoxicated persons.

March

  • March 14, 1975: Dawson's Black Mike celebrates his 105th birthday.

  • March 17, 1975: Drivers at Carcross seem to have unaccountably begun not seeing the White Pass trains whose tracks pass through the centre of town. On Saturday, one train ran into two vehicles in separate incidents - a pickup will be a write-off, while a car got away with a dented door.

  • March 31, 1975: As of April 1, all temperatures issued by the Atmospheric Environment Service (weather forecast) are given in Celsius degrees rather than Fahrenheit degrees. (see also March 19 1976)

April

  • April 8, 1975: The territorial government announces that the rural TV program for community with less than 500 people is planned to start soon. The territorial's budget allows for $96,000 to be spent on installing the Anik signal receiver.

  • April 23, 1975: The unemployment rate hits 19% in the Yukon.

May

  • May 28, 1975: The historic gold mining centre of Bear Creek, seven miles from Dawson City, is developed into a major tourist attraction. The Historic Sites branch of Parks Canada bought the property from a private owner.

June

  • June 13, 1975: The election of Willard Phelps is declared void, following the petition of Don Branigan. (see also December 30, 1974)

  • June 25, 1975: Rolf Hougen, representing nine local volunteer and community craft groups, plans to take over the T.C. Richards building and turn it into a craft centre. The Richards building is a log house at Steele and Third, built in 1946 as a home for T.C. Richards.

July

  • July 7, 1975: The Dawson City post office, built in 1901, is restored and opened for the first time since 1934. It's open for public use, but only stamps can be bought there.

  • July 16, 1975: The people of Old Crow express their disapproval of the planned Berger pipeline.

  • July 25, 1975: The Engineer Mine near Atlin is re-opened by a Vancouver company, due to consistently high gold prices.

August

  • August 20, 1975: The Yukon's Women's Mini-Bus Society submits to the city council a proposal for minibus system in Whitehorse. In November, January 26, 1976 is announced as the target date for the start-up of the Whitehorse Mini-bus transit system.

  • August 22, 1975: Whitehorse airport goes bilingual with the installation of its new signs.

  • August 27, 1975: The territorial department of education begins teaching of the metric system with the start of the 1975/76 school year in Yukon schools, beginning in Grades 1 and 2.

September

  • September 8, 1975: Northern Affairs Minister Judd Buchanan is seeking a replacement for Commissioner James Smith as smith announces he would like to resign from his job after nine years in this position.
  • September 8, 1975: Northern Affairs Minister Judd Buchanan opens the controversial 30-megawatt Aishihik hydro power project.

  • September 22, 1975: The Whitehorse Star celebrates its 75th anniversary with a special issue.

October

  • October 24, 1975: At age 45, Mayor Paul Lucier is appointed the North's first senator.

  • October 31, 1975: Historic Five Finger Rapids is ruled out as a possible dam site by Commissioner James Smith, chairman of the Northern Canada Power Commission.

November

  • November 21, 1975: The B.C. government intends to stretch its railway from Dease Lake north to Lower Post near Watson Lake, according to an agreement reached with the federal government.
  • November 21, 1975: Whitehorse's number of theatres is cut in half with the demolition of the Capitol Theatre on Main Street announced for January 1976.

December

  • December 5, 1975: Televison arrives in Teslin with the installation of a Telesat earth station. A few days later, TV in Teslin is shut off pending the approval for an interim licence.

  • December 12, 1975: Ione Christensen is elected mayor of Whitehorse, and Art Deer, Susan Burns, Doug Bell, Margaret Heath, Bob Pitzel, and Ray Cummings won seats on city council. Orvin Chippett tied Bell with 729 votes but returning officer Margaret Baker broke the tie by pulling Bell's name from a box.

  • December 17, 1975: The Atmospheric Environment Service (weather forecast) announces the introduction of a new windchill measurement system, starting January 1st.

  • December 19, 1975: For the first time in its 28-year-old history, the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce has an executive manager, David Morrison.

1976

January

  • January 5, 1976: Teslin admits that it had been using the TV earth receiving station before it got granted a license from the CRTC commission.

  • January 7, 1976: The wedding of Grafton Njootli and Nancy Barnett on December 27th is the first Old Crow wedding before a Justice of the Peace, Charlie Abel.

  • January 14, 1976: Out of 22,396 people living in the Yukon in October 1975, 14,606 live in Whitehorse, 1,471 in Faro, 1,073 in Watson Lake, 887 in Dawson City, 800 in Clinton Creek, 683 in Elsa, 470 in Mayo, 330 in Haines Junction, 315 in Teslin, 274 in Carmacks, 237 in Carcross, 196 in Ross River, 170 in Old Crow, 129 in Beaver Creek, 97 in Pelly Crossing, 66 in Destruction Bay, 42 in Burwash Landing and 28 in Keno.

  • January 16, 1976: It is announced that Elijah Smith, chairman of the council for the Yukon Indians, is appointed to the Order of Canada for organizing Yukon Indians "who had been divided by the Indian Act". He is admitted to the Order on April 7th.

  • January 19, 1976: Anik 2 is in Orbit. The communication technology satellite houses a radio-television transmitter 10 to 20 times more powerful than the Anik series of commercial satellites.

  • January 26, 1976: The Yukon government's Executive Committee proposes guaranteed Indian participation in an almost-provincial government as part of a land claims settlement.

February

  • February 11, 1976: Senator Walter Mondale and 23 other U.S. Senators introduce legislation to authorize construction of a natural gas pipeline from Alaska through Canada to the southern United States.

  • February 13, 1976: Walter and Leta Israel of Carmacks are named Mr. and Mrs. Yukon 1976.

March

  • March 1, 1976: Linda Church is Rendezvous Sourdough Queen 1976.

  • March 17, 1976: Mayo's Silver Inn Hotel, a landmark in the area built as a roadhouse at Field Creek in the 1920's and later moved to Mayo, burns down on March 14. The building had first been constructed by Ed Kimble and Mrs. Kinsey. It was later bought by Bob Palmer who tore it down and moved it in sections to Mayo in 1936, known as Palmer's Hotel.

  • March 19, 1976: Effective April 1, all Yukon weather information is provided in metric units. Wind speed, atmospheric pressure and distance in weather information is provided in metric units to the news media and general public. Wind speed is given in kilometres per hour, atmospheric pressure in kilopascals and distances in kilometres. This completes the program which began with the switch to Celsius in April 1975 and continued with the designation of snowfall and rainfall amounts in centimetres and millimetres in September 1975. (see also March 31, 1975).

  • March 24, 1976: A study commissioned by the Yukon government proposes the extension of the WP&YR railway from Whitehorse to Faro and the Pelly River.

April

  • April 2, 1976: Northern Development Minister Judd Buchanan appoints Art Pearson as Yukon Commissioner. He was sworn in as the Yukon's 18th Commissioner on July 1st.
  • April 2, 1976: Yukon Magistrate Dennis O'Connor announces his resignation for August 1.

  • April 7, 1976 :Carmacks holds a plebiscite to determine whether or not television is wanted in the community. The main issue is that the community is not sure whether it can afford the $1,750 required to install the receiving station.

  • April 9, 1976: The Canadian Radio-Television Commission approves a renewal of Northern Television System's broadcast licence, subject to new CRTC regulations. One is that if a private AM radio is carried on one cable channel, the system must also carry CBC radio. Cable TV in Whitehorse therefore starts to carry CBC radio in addition to its current broadcast of CKRW.

  • April 12, 1976: Skookum Jim Hall Friendship Centre is pleased to announce the hiring of Peter Sidney Sr. as an executive director trainee.

May

  • May 3, 1976: Yukon teachers decided unanimously Saturday to "pinklist" the territorial government, telling prospective teachers Outside about suspended contract negotiations. The decision involves running advertisements in newspapers in western Canada in the "Teachers Wanted" columns, advising those who may want to move here for jobs that the association doesn't have a contract.

  • May 5, 1976: There won't be any new transient campground made across from the Robert Service Campground this summer. Instead, transients the city wants to move from camping spots in other parts of the city will be asked to tent at the Robert Service campground itself, and pay regular fees.

  • May 19, 1976: In Dawson, the log building built in 1898, known variously as the Melbourne Hotel, the Pearl Harbor Hotel and recently, the Bonanza Hotel is completely destroyed by fire. The Bonanza was being restored by the Historic Sites Branch at the time of the fire. Firemen concentrated on saving the Palace Grand Theatre which is adjacent to the hotel.

  • May 26, 1976: About 1,000 people turn out for the official opening of the new $10.7 million territorial administration building on May 25.
  • May 26, 1976: Governor-General Jules Leger and his wife visit the Yukon on a 10-day tour.

June

  • June 7, 1976: Yukon Magistrate Dennis O'Connor is honoured by being introduced into the Beaver Clan on June 5th. Johnnie Johns bestows O'Connor with the name Old Crow.

  • June 11, 1976: Commissioner James Smith officially opens the new Watson Lake Cottage Hospital on June 10th.

  • June 16, 1976: Ron Sumanik, Grade 11 student at F.H. Collins and one of the country's top cross-country skiers, is chosen as the Yukon representative for the Olympic flame carrying ceremony in Ottawa on July 15th.

  • June 21, 1976: The Kluane Museum of Natural History in Burwash is opened by Commissioner James Smith.

  • June 25, 1976: Commissioner James Smith is named to the Order of Canada as an officer.

  • June 30, 1976: Haines Junction's new territorial administration building is opened June 28, and named in honour of retiring Commissioner James Smith.

July

  • July 5, 1976: Alan Innes-Taylor is named to the Order of Canada.

  • July 26, 1976: The Yukon's population in June 1976 is 23,335. Of those, 15,305 live in Whitehorse. Figure for the other communities are: Beaver Creek, 116; Burwash Landing, 43; Carcross, 243; Carmacks, 270; Clinton Creek, 729; Dawson City, 958; Destruction Bay, 57; Elsa, 745; Faro, 1549; Haines Junction, 353; Keno, 29; Mayo, 502; Old Crow; 169; Pelly Crossing, 88; Ross River, 209; Teslin, 320; Watson Lake, 1,167.

  • July 30, 1976: Fifth Avenue will be paved. The 39 taxpayers on the street will pay half the cost, and their assessments will also probably increase. Mayor lone Christensen pointed out that until 1971, the territorial government paid half the cost of paving, but now the city has to go it alone.

August

  • August 18, 1976: Lawrence Edward Seely, son of pioneers Alex and Mabel Seely, died on July 23 at the age of 62.

  • August 23, 1976: Edith Mary Henderson died on August 18th at the age of 90. Henderson is the closest surviving link to the Indian family that discovered gold in the Klondike in 1896. Her husband, Patsy Henderson, was a nephew of Skookum Jim and of Kate Carmack.

  • August 25, 1976: It is announced that the new French language centre at F.H. Collins secondary school will be available as of fall 1976 for French learning courses for the general public.

September

  • September 8, 1976: As a result of the territorial government's television receiving program 8 more Yukon communities will have television service. Earth receivers will be installed in Beaver Creek, Haines Junction, Pelly Crossing and Carmacks. Stewart Crossing, Destruction Bay, Burwash Landing and Carcross get television service through repeated stations which pick up and amplify the signal of a nearby earth receiver station.

  • September 17, 1976: Tagish Anne Graham died on September 16th at the age of 61. Graham had been operating a small cafe on Tagish Lake known as "Tagish Anne's Coffee Bar".

  • September 20, 1976: In recognition of the proposed major Historic Site development plans for the Dawson City Area, Parks Canada announces the appointment of a Yukon Historic Sites Project Manager. Randy Mitchell is responsible for the Dawson City and Goldfields Historic Sites.

October

  • October 15, 1976: Yukon Senator Paul Lucier tells the Senate in his first speech to the Parliament on October 13th that lack of a permanent population makes him unprepared to endorse provincial status for the territory. "It is possible that Yukoners would be electing members of a legislature with only 75 votes. [..] This would mean that any influential pressure group such as the mining industry, labour or conservationist could with a minimum of effort control the province."

  • October 20, 1976: James Smith and Alan Innes-Taylor receive the Order of Canada.

November

  • November 19, 1976: Electrical rate increases in seven Yukon communities take effect today. Yukon Electrical Co. filed application with the electrical public utilities board recently for a 0.24 cent per kilowatt hour increase because of recent fuel cost increases.
  • November 19, 1976: Long time Yukon resident Charlie Fox died at the age of 76.

December

  • December 6, 1976: A $25,000 fire on a White Pass bridge approach near Skagway last week was deliberately set, according to. an Alaskan fire marshall and FBI agents. Two FBI investigators in Skagway heard the fire might have been started by former White Pass employees who were upset about not being re-hired after the Anivl strike layoffs.

  • December 10, 1976: A Yukon Museums and Historical Association (YHMA) is being formed to unite and co-ordinate all individuals and groups interested in preserving and furthering Yukon history and culture.

  • December 12, 1976: The Old Crow community votes to have TV brought in under the territorial government's rural program. Only one TV will be allowed in town, the 200-person village decided, and it will be located in the community hall.

1977

January

  • January 5, 1977: The RCMP has a toll-free emergency number in use throughout most of the Yukon.

  • January 7, 1977: Dawson City sees a year-long celebration as the town celebrates its 75th anniversary. Dawson City became officially incorporated in 1902.

  • January 12, 1977: The Faro Ice Arena officially opens January 8.

  • January 21, 1977: Frank Goulter of Carmacks celebrates his 100th birthday. Goulter was a member of the Northwest Mounted Police between 1903 and 1908.

  • January 26, 1977: Longtime Yukoner Charlie Rivers of Dawson City died January 16, at the age of 83.
  • January 26, 1977: February 21 is announced to be Heritage Day in the Yukon.

  • January 28, 1977: Rene and Mary Burian of Mayo are named Mr. And Mrs. Yukon 1977.
  • January 28, 1977: Flo Whyard, author of "My Ninety Years", a biography of Martha Louise Black, donates the materials she used in writing the book to the Yukon Archives. The collection includes among others a photograph album, letters, Black's diary, many small mementos. Many of these items were collected by Mrs. W.D. MacBride who gave them to her daughter, Mary Botthof. Whyard received the material from Botthof.

February

  • February 25, 1977: A small scroll-top desk and the old concertina owned by Robert Service are now the possession of the Dawson Museum Society. They were sent by his wife, Germaine Service all the way from Monte Carlo.
  • February 25, 1977: Father Marcel Bobilier, O.M.I., of Dawson is named for the first Dawson City Heritage Award.

  • February 28, 1977: The Cyprus Anvil Mine in Faro investigates the possibility of bringing CKRW radio of Whitehorse into Faro on a 24-hour basis.

March

  • March 9, 1977: The former Bank of Montreal building on Whitehorse is physically moved four blocks to the corner of Third and Jarvis

  • March 16, 1977: One of Dawson City's most colourful sourdoughs, Black Mike (also known known as Big Mike and Sawdust Mike), died in Whitehorse just one day after celebrating his 107 birthday. He had been Dawson's oldest resident. He was born in Serbia in 1870. He came to Canada in 1882 and to the Yukon in 1900.

  • March 18, 1977: New amendments to the Liquor Ordinance receive approval in the Yukon Legislation. The bill proposes that communities be given the option to prohibit street drinking within their boundaries.

  • March 25, 1977: Berent Hougen, founder of Hougen's Ltd. died in Surrey, B.C., 1 month before his 94th birthday. He first came to the Yukon in 1906, after sailing around the world twice in square rigger sailing ship,

April

  • April 4, 1977: The Haines Junction community votes against the teaching of any language other than French and English at Haines Junction. This outcome of the plebiscite would exclude Indian language classes from the school curriculum. As a compromise, Education Minister Dan Lang announces in April 13th that Indian language classes at the Haines Junction school will be taught after regular school hours. However, after Indians boycotted the vote, the legislature on April 18th called for continuation of the Indian language class at school in Haines Junction.

  • April 22, 1977: Howard W. Firth Sr., former Mayor of Whitehorse, died in Whitehorse at the age of 67.

May

  • May 13, 1977: WHTV acquires permission to receive, on an experimental basis, direct television signals via satellite from WCTG TV in Atlanta, Georgia, an independent television station in the U.S. For this purpose, a satellite signal receiving dish is mounted on the roof of WHTV.

  • May 18, 1977: Another bit of Yukon history goes up in smoke as three of the log cabins at Forty-Mile Village, four miles downstream from Clinton Creek.

  • May 30, 1977: Geologist and Anvil founder Dr. Aaro Aho died in a farm accident at the age of 51.

June

  • June 13, 1977: Indian Affairs Minister Warren Allmand announces a 25-year reconstruction program for Dawson City. $20 million are dedicated for developing an 800-square-mile area.

  • June 15, 1977: City Council decides to open an extension of the Crestview subdivision to mobile homes.

July

  • July 4, 1977: The National Energy Board says that any northern pipeline in Canada must run near Dawson City, down the Klondike Highway to Whitehorse, then along the Alaska Highway to B.C. and Alberta.The Dempster pipeline is wanted to connect Mackenzie Delta reserves to southern Canada. The Board rejects the Arctic Gas plans for a northern Yukon/Mackenzie Valley route and the Foothills proposal for the Alaska Highway.

  • July 18, 1977: Doug Bell is sworn in as the new deputy commissioner to fill the vacancy left with the resignation of Peter Gillespie.

August

  • August 1, 1977: Since opening it's Little Chief underground mine in Dec 1972, Whitehorse copper shipped it's 100,000,000th pound of copper south via truck to Whitehorse then via White Pass train to Skagway, by ship to Vancouver and rail to Flin Flon, Manitoba. In addition to copper, the mine has produced 81,000 ounces of gold, and one million ounces of silver.

  • August 5, 1977: Prime Minister Trudeau announces in a CBC radio interview that the Yukon and Northwest Territories "may not see provincial status within our lifetime". Trudeau says the Yukon and NWT couldn't handle provincial status from a financial stand point.

  • August 8, 1977: Prime Minister Trudeau announces that Ottawa backs proposals for natural gas pipeline through the southern Yukon to carry Alaska gas to the southern 48 states.

  • August 17, 1977: Prime Minister Trudeau visits the Yukon and is greeted by Commissioner Art Pearson and Senator Paul Lucier.
  • August 24, 1977: Martha and David Taylor celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.

  • August 29, 1977: Ron Rivett, House speaker of the Yukon territorial council from 1970 to 1974, died on August 7th at the age of 58.

September

  • September 7, 1977: The Yukon Hotel in Dawson, one of the historic structures in the gold-rush city dating back to the Klondike stampede of 1898, is officially turned over to Heritage Canada on September 5.

  • September 14, 1977: "Ross River is 'in shock' as a result of the point-blank gun slaying Monday night of prominent Yukon mining man Al Kulan." Read the entire article here.

October

  • October 5, 1977: With the signing of a document on September 28, transmitters will be installed in Atlin to bring CBC TV programming signals from Whitehorse to Atlin. Atlin turns the TVs on on December 17.

  • October 14, 1977: F.H. Collins Grade 12 student Cathy Deer receives an invitation to dine with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in Ottawa.
  • October 14, 1977: Mayo becomes the first Yukon community to form an Indian Community Council.

  • October 17, 1977: The Yukon Native Brotherhood gives green light for the territorial government's takeover of federal health services in the Yukon. The YNB wanted a guarantee that Indian people would receive the same special basis of health care they enjoyed under Health and Welfare Canada.

  • October 21, 1977: For the first time in the history of Old Crow, CBC TV signals beam via the Anik satellite into three TV sets in town.

  • October 26, 1977: Father Jean Marie Mouchet is among the 12 Canadians selected as the first recipients of a newly created Lifestyle Award for outstanding contributions to the promotion of positive health lifestyles in their community.

November

  • November 15, 1977: The Whitehorse Star changes from a thrice-weekly publication to a daily.
  • November 15, 1977: A lengthy history of The Whitehorse Star, written by former publisher Rusty Erlam, is printed. Read it here.
  • November 15, 1977: The first step into getting a public inquiry into just what Commissioner Art Pearson's role in having charges of professional misconduct against lawyer Al Lueck dropped was taken in the legislature today. Kluane MLA Hilda Watson introduced a private members bill calling for an amendment to the public inquiries ordinance that would allow MLAs the power to call an inquiry themselves.
  • November 15, 1977: A 120-ton Cyprus Anvil Mine truck, valued at $500,000, is presumed to be a complete write-off following a 200-250 foot plunge down a slanted dumping slope Saturday at the mine site. The truck was up on the dump at 1:00 a.m. and backed through the safety bar. The driver jumped from the truck about 20 feet down the slope. The truck ended up on its roof at the bottom.

  • November 16, 1977: Bill Reid, president of the Yukon-Alaska Holding Ltd., announces that the construction of a six-story hotel on Second avenue as part of the Travelodge Expansion/renovation.

  • November 22, 1977: Longtime Yukoner H.E. "Bert" Boyd died at the age of 75.
  • November 22, 1977: Whitehorse City Council has a final meeting to discuss the official proclamation of Australia's Echuca as Whitehorse's sister city.

  • November 23, 1977: The Atlin Historical Society receives a Communication Award from Heritage Canada.

  • November 29, 1977: Cross-country skier Monique Waterreus, 16, is chosen for the Canadian junior team.

December

  • December 1, 1977: The federal government approves an agreement with Foothills Pipe Line Co. that includes a provision for no Dempster Highway/Klondike Highway pipeline to connect with an Alaska Highway natural gas pipeline.

  • December 19, 1977: A mountain in the Tay River region near Faro is named after the late Alan Kulan of Ross River, who was a prominent Yukon miner before he was fatally shot in the fall of 1977. Kulan became a millionaire by discovering the Anvil ore body. Kulan was shot by a man in a Ross River bar. John Rolls Sr. is charged with murder.

  • December 29, 1977: The city of Whitehorse agrees to co-host the 1980 Arctic Winter Games with the Yukon Territorial Government.

1978

January

  • January 3, 1978: Yukon pioneer Robert Porslid died at his home in Whitehorse on December 30th at the age of 79. Read a lengthy biography by Flo Whyard here.

  • January 4, 1978: The town of Skagway loses a living landmark when a fire guts the famed "White House" hotel on December 20, 1978.

  • January 12, 1978: Dome Petroleum Ltd. announces new oil finds in the Beaufort Sea.
  • January 12, 1978: The donut shop on Second Avenue and several houses will be torn down when Bellanca Development and Solar Construction Ltd. begin their construction project, though they haven't decided yet what form it will take. Bellanca President Earl Curry said the block of land, bounded by Second and Third Avenues and Wood and Jarvis Streets, would be "ideally suitable for commercial development." The land was bought from three individuals and one company.

  • January 18, 1978: A trip by pioneer Yukoner John A. (Jack) Macdonald to speak to Faro's Pelly River Historical Society turned into a sentimental journey last week. In 1919, MacDonald was the first RCMP (then the Royal Northwest Mounted Police) constable ever assigned to Ross River, and when residents there heard he was in Faro, they invited him to extend his trip and give a talk in that community also.

  • January 26, 1978: Clifford J. Rogers, one time president and chairman of the board of directors of the White Pass and Yukon Corporation Ltd., died at Seattle on January 25th, at the age of 90.

February

  • February 2, 1978: Mr. And Mrs. Alex Hill are named Mr. and Mrs. Yukon 1978.

  • February 15, 1978: Northern Affairs Minister Hugh Faulkner announces that portions of pipeline revenues and all other new territorial taxes will be exempted from annual federal deficit grants to establish a Yukon Heritage fund.

  • February 16, 1978: Long time Yukon resident Edith Krautschneider died in Ottawa February 11, at the age of 84.

  • February 24, 1978: Alan Innes Taylor is awarded the Yukon Heritage Award on February 20.

March

  • March 6, 1978: Preparations are underway to reactivate the Haines Junction asphalt plant which has been dormant for more than a decade.
  • March 6, 1978: License plates are issued with a new number and lettering system, as the old system was running out of numbers.

  • March 29, 1978: The old log skyscraper in Whitehorse is up for sale. The asking price of $150,000 puts the sale beyond the range of most historical associations.

April

  • April 7, 1978: Ted Geddes of Teslin, founder of Yukon's Trapper Association, died of a heart attack at the age of 60.

  • April 11, 1978: One of the oldest native Yukoners, Elsie Isaac of Aishihik, died in her late 90s.

  • April 17, 1978: 27-year-old Joe Jack is elected the Yukon New Democratic Party candidate for the upcoming federal elections.

  • April 20, 1978: The Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce expresses its disapproval of possible food price controls in the Yukon as suggested by the Yukon government.

  • April 21, 1978: Old Crow wants its airstrip moved. The 5,500 foot airstrip is in the way of building seven homes in the community.

May

  • May 8, 1978: John Rolls was found guilty of first degree murder in 1978 and was given a life sentence but the conviction was overturned by the Yukon Court of Appeals on the grounds that the presiding judge misdirected the jury. Read the entire article here.

  • May 18, 1978: American travellers are no longer able to carry their guns through Canada, as a strict prohibition of in-transit possession of restricted weapons by non-residents will go into effect June 15.

June

  • June 2, 1978: A fire burning inside the Tantalus Butte coal mine closes the Carmacks mine. No injuries are reported.
  • June 2, 1978: The Watson Lake branch of the Bank of Montreal closes on July 31st and transfers all its business to the main branch in Whitehorse.

  • June 9, 1978: It is announced that the Whitehorse Inn will be torn down during the winter to make room for a new Bank of Commerce.

  • June 12, 1978: A vote to bring cable TV to Faro ends in a tie, delaying the decision.

  • June 16, 1978: The Kluane Tribal Brotherhood announces to set up a native-oriented school for kindergarten to grade three students in Burwash Landing. The school is officially opened September 5.

  • June 28, 1978: Executive Committee member Dan Lang resigns his position because of an "irreparable... breach of trust" between the Commissioner Art Pearson and the Executive Committee.

July

  • July 4, 1978: A French red wine specially selected, bottled and shipped is put on the shelves of Yukon Liquor stores. The new wine is labelled "Selection du Yukon" and will not be available anywhere else in Canada.

  • July 6, 1978: Minister of Northern Development Hugh Faulkner announces a resource development freeze on 15,000 square miles of land in the northern Yukon to begin protecting the 110,000 caribou Porcupine Herd.

  • July 7, 1978: Deaconess Hilda Hellaby celebrates her 50th year in the Anglican Church.

  • July 13, 1978: The "New Whitehorse Northern Times Daily" applies for Canadian Press wire service. If the daily paper joins the Whitehorse Star and the weekly Yukon News, Whitehorse would join Montreal and Toronto as a three-newspaper town.

  • July 14, 1978: A new law is proclaimed in Dawson City which prohibits drinking in public in the town as of July 15th.

  • July 18, 1978: The First Annual Midnight Dome Race is held July 20th in Dawson City.

  • July 21, 1978: One of the last real oldtimers, Bill Johnson, died in Carcross on July 19th at the age of 102.

  • July 26, 1978: A beautification scheme for downtown Whitehorse which would make Main Street a road for shoppers and the waterfront a historical attraction is approved in principal by the Downtown Whitehorse Businessmen's Association. The White Pass train station would be upgraded to become the focal point of Main Street and First Avenue would be renamed Front Street.

  • July 27, 1978: Patients at Whitehorse General Hospital are evacuated as the personnel goes on strike. The strike ends on August 2.
  • July 27, 1978: The ministry of Northern affairs announces that lack of money delays completion of the Dempster Highway until the fall of 1979.

August

  • August 3, 1978: Labour minister John Munro comes to Whitehorse for the official opening of the department's northern office.

  • August 7, 1978: Flo Whyard, minister of health and human resources, decides not to run in the coming territorial election.

  • August 10, 1978: Carcross old-timer Johnnie Johns celebrates his 80th birthday.

  • August 15, 1978: Two engraved brass survey stakes are driven into the ground to officially open the Shakwak project to rebuild and pave 516 kilometres of the Haines Road and the Alaska Highway in northern B.C. and the Yukon.

  • August 16, 1978: Commissioner Art Pearson resigns from his job as Yukon commissioner.
  • August 16, 1978: Foothills Pipe Lines (Yukon) Ltd. announces the Alaska Highway Natural Gas Pipeline has been delayed at least nine months due to the indecision by the U.S. Congress in passing President Carter's energy bill.

  • August 24, 1978: Hugh Faulkner, minister of Indian and northern affairs, announces that the next Yukon commissioner will not be an elected member of the territorial government, but a federal appointee.

  • August 28, 1978: The desire for a commercial cable television service for Faro results in the merger of competing cable companies into Satellite Communications Incorporated (SATCO) of Whitehorse. The company was formed by TNTA, Total North Communications, Northern Television Systems and Northern Satellites Systems, in order to end the competition which had delayed the building of a cable system in Faro since early June.

September

  • September 8, 1978: Yukon Honda is officially opened. September 11, 1978: Yukon MP Erik Nielsen suffers a defeat on September 9th when Kluane MLA Hilda Watson wins the race for the Progressive Conservative party's candidate for the upcoming federal elections.

  • September 18, 1978: Klondike M.L.A. Fred Berger is chosen leader of the Yukon New Democratic Party by acclamation for the fourth year running.

  • September 22, 1978: Sternwheeler Plaza announces to build a new shopping centre at Klondike and Lewes Blvd. in Riverdale with retail stores and two theatres. On November 15, Whitehorse City Council blocks the permission for the two theatres.

  • September 29, 1978: Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Ltd. announces it has been successful in its bid to take over Whitehorse Copper Mines.

  • September 29, 1978: Clinton Creek, lots and equipment, is sold to buyer from Canada and the United States for $2.4 million.

October

  • October 2, 1978: Former Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce Iain MacKay becomes the first leader of the Yukon Liberal party.
  • October 2, 1978: The British Columbia Indian community close to the Yukon border is suffering from a tuberculosis outbreak whose origin is unknown.

  • October 3, 1978: Residents of Old Crow vote overwhelmingly in favour of banning alcohol from the community on Saturday 23rd.

  • October 16, 1978: The Alaska Highway gas pipeline project gets its final approval from the U.S. Congress.

  • October 18, 1978: A new law coming into effect in Teslin on November 1st prohibits public drinking in the community.

  • October 19, 1978: Art Pearson officially leaves - but does not resign from - his position as commissioner October 18, in the face of possible criminal charges. The RCMP have been investigating Pearson and Yukon Senator Paul Lucier in connection with mining claim transfers. On December 20, Art Pearson pleads guilty and gets 6 months probation.

  • October 31, 1978: Frank Fingland, long-time Yukoner and federal civil servant, becomes the chief executive officer of the Yukon for a period of up to three months pending the appointment of a permanent commissioner (from November 1978 to January 1979).

November

  • November 9, 1978: A lengthy history of the cenotaphs in Whitehorse was published. Read the entire article here.

  • November 15, 1978: The Porter Creek road designed to lessen traffic congestion on Two-mile Hill, is recalled as estimated costs to build the road have risen 400 per cent.

  • November 21, 1978: The Yukon Conservative Progressive Party wins 11 out of 16 seats in the Yukon elections.

  • November 30, 1978: CBC celebrates its 20th anniversary of operation in the Yukon on December 1.

December

  • December 6, 1978: Foothills Oil Pipe Line Company and White Pass & Yukon Route announce their partnership in a proposed venture to pipe oil from the port of Skagway to the Yukon and on to Edmonton.

  • December 8, 1978: Hilda Watson resigns as leader of the territorial Progressive Conservative Party.

  • December 13, 1978: In the territorial election, the number of Yukon ridings is increased from 12 to 16. The Progressive Conservatives take 11 seats, the Liberals 2, the NDP 1, and Independents 2. Progressive Conservative party leader Hilda Watson loses. The new Progressive Conservative governement nominates interim leader Chris Pearson and two other newly elected members, Howard Tracey and Grafton Njootli, along with former education minister Dan Lang, to form the new Executive Committee. Ken McKinnon, who ran as an Independent, is defeated. The new Executive Committee creates a new portfolio called economic development. Chris Pearson is responsible for the portfolio.

  • December 21, 1978: Whitehorse mayor Ione Christensen is officially appointed Commissioner of the Yukon by Hugh Faulkner, Minister of Northern Development. On December 28, Ione Christensen steps down as mayor of Whitehorse. Deputy mayor Art Deer takes over as interim mayor. Elections are called for February 1, 1979.

1979

January

  • January 11, 1979: Dawson's city manager Stan Richardson is asked by mayor Vi Campbell to leave the job. Richardson refuses to resign. Dawson Mayor Vi Campbell and deputy mayor Frank Barrett resign January 15 over "administrative problems within the city office". Stan Richardson resigns as Dawson's city manager, effective March 31. No official reasons are provided.

  • January 30, 1979: U.S. funding of the Shakwak Project to pave the Haines Road and the upper Alaska Highway in Canada is threatened to cease past 1979 with the approval of President Carter's 1980 budget.
  • January 30, 1979: Yukon MP Erik Nielsen reconsiders his decision to leave federal politics after being promised a cabinet post by Conservative leader Joe Clark. Yukon MP Erik Nielsen becomes the first Yukoner ever named to the federal cabinet when he is appointed Canada's minister of public works on June 4. Another Yukoner, George Black, was speaker of the House of Commons in the 1930s.

February

  • February 1, 1979: The Yukon's health minister, Grafton Njootli steps aside from his official duties after learning he is under police investigation in connection with a forgery incident. Klondike MLA Meg McCall replaces him.

  • February 2, 1979: Don Branigan is the new mayor of Whitehorse. He defeated Orvin Chippett in a by-election.

  • February 6, 1979: Willard Phelps becomes one of the Yukon government representatives at talks in Ottawa this week to decide the role the Yukon government will play in land claim negotiations.

  • February 8, 1979: Gold prices are at a record high. Because of the U.S. dollar's troubles, the price of gold has steadily climbed from about $169.50 an ounce in London at the beginning of 1978, through the $200 mark last July 28 to today's high of $254.
  • February 8, 1979: Permission to drive convoys of trucks on the Dempster Highway this winter has been granted by the Yukon and Northwest Territories governments to Points North Services of Inuvik. The permits are effective immediately, and last until March 15. The highway is almost completed, but maintenance costs have kept it closed this winter. Bill Farmer, owner of Points North, said he will use a bulldozer to plough a path and expects the first of several convoys to leave Edmonton by Monday.
  • February 8, 1979: Another era of transportation history comes to a close at Skagway with the final voyage of the M.V. Frank H. Brown with a full crew.
  • February 8, 1979: A plea for more money for the Shakwak Project to pave the Haines Road and the upper Alaska Highway in Canada was made Tuesday in Washington, D.C. by Alaskan senator Mike Gravel.

  • February 19, 1979: Iris Warner is given the 1979 Yukon Heritage Award by the Dawson Museum Society. Warner has been extensively involved in collating and researching historical material for over 20 years.

  • February 22, 1979: SuperValu expands it 30,000 square store in Quanlin Mall by 10,000 square feet. Official opening is February 28.

  • February 26, 1979: Debbie Kerr is Rendezvous Queen 1979.

  • February 27, 1979: Doug Graham is sworn in as the newest member of Yukon's Executive Committee by Commissioner Ione Christensen.

  • February 28, 1979: A 7.5 earthquake on the Richter scale in Alaska is felt throughout the Yukon Territory.
  • February 28, 1979: A new federal government policy on satellite reception will allow Whitehorse television viewers to watch more live stations rather than videotaped shows. CanaSat, a joint venture between Northern Television and Total North Communications already built such a station in Faro. However, it is still illegel since the station picks up an American Channel. The new policy allows Canadian channels only.

March

  • March 13, 1979: Public drinking in the streets of Whitehorse will be banned following a decision by City Council members. The drinking ban does not apply to the Indian village as it is considered private property.

  • March 19, 1979: A Whitehorse recreation complex with an Olympic size swimming pool is proposed to the city.

  • March 20, 1979: White Pass makes its first move to carry out its threat to close the railway by giving six months notice to Faro's Cyprus Anvil mine whose ore it hauls out to the coast.

April

  • April 6, 1979: Commissioner Ione Christensen presents a cheque of $5,000 to mayor Don Branigan to relocate and preserve some of Whitehorse's historic buildings. The houses at 105 Elliott St. and 306 Steele St. are two of nine that are designated for preservation by City Council.

  • April 9, 1979: Al Lueck is elected the Yukon Liberals' candidate for the upcoming federal elections.

  • April 12, 1979: Following a civic election, Vi Campbell is Dawson City's new mayor.

  • April 16, 1979: The Standard Oil Company has an agreement to purchase Cyprus Anvil Mine from its parent, Cyprus Mines of Los Angeles. Andy Von Kursell is Vice-president of Yukon operations.
  • April 16, 1979: The Selkirk Indian Band at Pelly Crossing considers leaving the territorial education system if Ed Remple is not reinstated as principal of the Pelly River School.

  • April 17, 1979: It becomes known that Whitehorse's log skyscrapers on Lambert Street will be torn down when the lot they are standing on is sold. City Council will not save them. City Manager Dave Gairns noted the historic committee said "because they are not regarded as historically significant".

May

  • May 3, 1979: Dawson City ties battered and broken today after a raging flood that burst through the Yukon River dyke shortly after midnight. Mayor Vi Campbell says no injuries or fatalities have been reported but a conservative estimate of damage is $5 million. Many of the gold rush era buildings in the historic town are broken, she said, and modern trailer homes are twisted and toppled while the RCMP building is sitting in its front yard in four pieces. Approximately 80% of the houses are damaged. Read the entire article here.

  • May 8, 1979: The Carcross to Skagway Road is opened to the travelling public May 7.

  • May 14, 1979: The Yukon Arts Council announces the beginning of a fund drive May 12 to cover some of the costs of a new performing arts centre for Whitehorse.

  • May 22, 1979: A fire destroys the DCW Trading Post in Dawson City May 19.

  • May 23, 1979: For the first time in 16 years the Yukon's government party is also the federal party.

  • May 25, 1979: Health Minister Grafton Njootli is again the subject of a police investigation. RCMP investigate a complaint that Njootli physically assaulted a female cab driver. Shortly after, Klondike MLA Meg McCall fills the Executive Committee post vacated May 29 when Njootli resigned as Minister of Health and Human Resources. On September 23, Njootli is asked to resign from the Progressive Conservative caucus after he refused to give an unconditional undertaking to support government legislation.

June

  • June 11, 1979: The Whitehorse Maryhouse marks its 25th anniversary.

  • June 15, 1979: Executive Committee member Howard Tracey announces his resignation on June 14.

  • June 21, 1979: The Whitehorse branch of the Royal Canadian Legion elects Billy Osborne to become president, the first woman president in its 52-year history.

July

  • July 3, 1979: The Carcross Community Education Centre closes. Founded by Rev. John Frame, Anglican bishop of the Yukon Diocese, the Chooutla residential school claimed to give its students academic education as well as practical outdoor and vocational skills while living as a tight-knit community with parent-members who were responsible for guiding and serving students. The closure is due to a lack of students.

  • July 6, 1979: Barry Stuart is appointed chief magistrate for the Yukon.

  • July 11, 1979: The residents of Elsa and Keno renovate the old Keno Hill Community Hall to set up a mining museum in an effort to preserve the mining history the Keno Hill area.

  • July 16, 1979: The Klondike Visitor Association spends $15,000 to restore the old Dawson City store.

  • July 25, 1979: Bottled pop becomes available in Inuvik during summer 1979.

  • July 31, 1979: The Dempster Highway is open for traffic with the beginning of ferry service across the Peel River. The official opening ceremony is announced for August 18th, with John Diefenbaker as guest speaker. John Diefenbaker, though, died two days before the opening ceremony. A potlatch for late John Diefenbaker is held in Dawson City over the Discovery weekend. It began on August 18 with the official opening of the Dempster Highway which was commemorated as a fulfillment of Diefenbaker's "vision of the North". Cabinet Ministers Jake Epp and Erik Nielsen pay tribute to Diefenbaker at the opening ceremonies.

August

  • August 10, 1979: Foothills Oil Pipeline Ltd. Decides to try for an all-land route for its 2,400 km oil pipeline from Fairbanks to Edmonton, instead of the land-ocean route.
  • August 10, 1979: The Alaska Highway Pipeline panel releases a report according to which the Dempster lateral natural gas pipeline should not be built until adequate reserves of oil and gas have been proofed.

  • August 22, 1979: According to the Sun, the U.S. energy department recommends construction of the all-American Northern Tier oil pipeline over rival Canadian plans to carry surplus Alaskan oil to the U.S. Midwest.

  • August 23, 1979: Following accusations from the Carmacks Indian Band, a research of old maps and documentation pieces reveals that the government intended in 1916 to declare the area surrounding the Little Salmon Indian village an Indian reserve. However, the necessary order-in-council never went through.

  • August 28, 1979: City Council reveals a plan to transform the commercial and industrial downtown waterfront to a livelier "people" place with park areas, restaurant facilities and shops.

September

  • September 14, 1979: The Yukon territorial government asks the federal government for half the tax revenue for its heritage fund that will accrue from the Alaska Highway natural gas pipeline.
  • September 14, 1979: Former Whitehorse mayor Gordon Armstrong and his wife Peg celebrate their Golden wedding anniversary.

  • September 24, 1979: Construction of a $1.1 million twin theatre restaurant-shopping complex begins September 21st at the corner of Lewes Boulevard and Klondike Road.

  • September 28, 1979: The Yukon enters the satellite era. A satellite dish on the lawn of the Vocational Centre adds a new dimension to classroom instruction, when live transmission of educational courses from the British Columbia Institute of Technology begins October 1. The experiment marks a first for Canada.

October

  • October 9, 1979: Ottawa changes the role of the Yukon's commissioner so that the commisioner's involvement in matters under territorial jurisdiction is now little more than a formality (similar to provincial Lt. Governors). The commissioner must accept the advice of elected Yukon Territorial Councillors.
  • October 9, 1979: Yukon commissioner Ione Christensen announces her intention to resign. Deputy Commissioner Doug Bell takes over October 10 as interim commissioner. Read the entire article here.

  • October 22, 1979: Five politicians from the Yukon's legislature recite three oaths in unison before Deputy Commissioner Doug Bell becoming the territory's first fully elected cabinet.

  • October 23, 1979: A study by the University of Alberta recommend a community college for the Yukon.

November

  • November 21, 1979: Rolf Hougen unveils plans for a national television service that would cover the country from Newfoundland to the Yukon. The plan suggests to broadcast 6 channels - three American and three Canadian - via satellite to small communities all across the country.

December

  • December 3, 1979: CTV begins broadcasting its BCTV schedule to the North via the Anik B satellite. Programming begins December 14, 1979 on WHTV channel four.
  • December 3, 1979: Aubrey Simmons, the last Liberal member of Parliament for the Yukon before Erik Nielsen, died in Vancouver, at about 80 years of age. He was defeated by Erik Nielsen in 1958 and retired to Vancouver in 1959. Simmons was instrumental in putting together the mining properties that became New Imperial Mines.

  • December 17, 1979: Archie Gillespie, a pioneer newsman of the Yukon, died December 14.
  • December 17, 1979: Jack and Mary Nichols of Carcross are named Mr. and Mrs. Yukon 1980.

  • December 31, 1979: The territorial government receives a new symbol for all its operations which is based on a stylized version of the word "Yukon". Beginning April 1, 1980, the new word symbol will begin popping up on government stationary, signs, vehicles, advertising and anywhere else where the territorial government identifies itself.


Continue to January 1980