7 August

King Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor

Peace Bridge Opened

Because of his close ties with Canada, the late Duke of Windsor gained the affectionate regard of many Canadians. As Edward, Prince of Wales, he was attached to the Canadian Expeditionary Force in France during World War I. After the war he dedicated the Canadian memorial at Vimy Ridge. Probably the most appreciated of the prince's actions was his purchase of the E. P. Ranch near Calgary, where he spent several enjoy able holidays.

One of his four memorable tours was in 1927 when he came to Canada with his brother George, and Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin. It was the first time a British prime minister had visited Canada during his term of office. He and Edward did not get along well together, and it was Prime Minister Baldwin who insisted in 1936 that Edward must abdicate if he married Mrs. Wallis Warfield Simpson, an American divorcee.

The Prince of Wales, Prince George, and Prime Minister Baldwin arrived at Quebec on July 30, 1927, to begin a country-wide tour. It was the occasion of Canada's Diamond Jubilee and there were celebrations everywhere. The Prince of Wales dedicated the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower of Parliament while the new carillon played God Save the King, 0 Canada and The Maple Leaf. They were heard throughout the world over the relatively "new-fangled radio." Even American isolationist Charles Lindbergh, then a great hero, flew his Spirit of St. Louis to Ottawa.

Another important event on the Prince's itinerary occurred on August 7, when the Prince of Wales, with Prime Ministers Mackenzie King and Stanley Baldwin, opened the Peace Bridge between Fort Erie, Ontario, and Buffalo, New York. Vice-President Dawes represented the United States.

Of course feminine hearts throbbed from coast to coast wherever the royal brothers appeared. There were rumours of romance, especially when Miss Valerie Jones was King Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor brought to Ottawa from Brockville to be the Prince of Wales' partner at a dance!

Edward and his young brother George got along well together and tried to be informal whenever circumstances allowed. There was hearty laughter in Vancouver where Edward was supposed to speak at a luncheon. He suddenly introduced his brother as the speaker instead. George was taken by surprise but rose to the occasion very well.


7 August

-1679    La Salle launched Griffon, the first ship on the Great Lakes above Niagara (see January 8).

-1803    Selkirk's settlers from Scotland arrived at Prince Edward Island.

-1858    George Etienne Cartier put Confederation on the party platform.

-1930    R. B. Bennett became Prime Minister of Canada.

-1950    The government announced its decision to create an armed force for the United Nations. Brigadier Rockingham was appointed Commanding Officer.