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Our History: November 1953

There was no online ordering from Amazon in November 1953, but you could start doing your Christmas shopping by mailing an order for items in the Eaton’s catalogue.

One news item that month was that Canada’s population was approaching the 15-million mark — less than half the 35.2 million reported in the 2016 census. But fewer Canadians were eating horsemeat — a survey by the Council of Canadian Beef Producers (western section) indicated that of 33 shops licensed to sell horsemeat between Winnipeg and Vancouver in 1951, only three were still operating in 1953.

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There was also a population update on whooping cranes, which had almost become extinct in the 1940s. Sixteen had arrived at a refuge in the southern U.S., leading to hope that the total would exceed 21 in 1952. The Whooping Crane Conservation Association reports a 2014-15 population of 464 wild birds and 157 in captivity.

Another news item reminds of the terror of life in Manitoba before the introduction of a polio vaccine the next year. November 7 was the first day since the first week in July that no cases had been reported in Manitoba, which that year had more cases than any other jurisdiction in North America. One in 330 Manitobans had been struck, with 2,258 cases and 81 deaths.

We reported that at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto, Manitoba’s 4-H clubs took top honours at seven of the nine events, and that the new Co-op Livestock Yard under construction in Brandon would be ready for its first sale in December.

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