At 8:06 p.m. on Sept. 9, 1954, Marilyn Bell touched the breakwater off Toronto’s west-end shoreline and became the first swimmer to complete the 32-mile crossing of Lake Ontario. Awaiting the exhausted, disoriented 16-year-old girl was a cheering crowd of thousands, and two ambulances—one hired by The Toronto Star, sponsor of the swim, and the other by the rival Telegram which hoped to snatch her amid the confusion.
The staff members at Toronto’s Morgentaler Clinic were hoping for victory—but braced for defeat. When they learned last week that the Supreme Court of Canada had ruled that the federal abortion law was unconstitutional, the women leaped with startled joy, hugging each other and cheering.
Artists—at least fashionably contemporary ones—are not supposed to deal with the elemental and the cosmic. To confront the infinite and the sublime, to depict the great emptiness of the North and the even greater emptiness of the night sky is to court esthetic disaster on a grand scale.By GEOFFREY JAMES6 min
His beard, glasses and hawknosed profile have become familiar symbols in Canada’s heated debate on abortion. To his enemies, Dr. Henry Morgentaler is nothing more than a mass murderer of the unborn. At the same time, campaigners for the right of women to control their own pregnancies hold him in something close to reverence.
Before a cheering mass of nearly three million spectators, a fleet of 11 square-rigged ships sailed into Sydney Harbor last week, re-enacting an epic eight-month voyage from Portsmouth, England, by Australia’s first white settlers 200 years ago.
Perhaps only in defence lawyer Morris Manning’s dreams did it seem possible that the Supreme Court of Canada would actually strike down the abortion law. To others as deeply involved in the Morgentaler case, last week’s decision came as a total shock.By ANNE COLLINS6 min
A blizzard had paralysed western Iowa. Schools had closed and Republican presidential hopeful Jack Kemp was stranded in Sioux City on the Nebraska border. But on Iowa Route 3, the gleaming silver campaign bus of television evangelist Marion Gordon (Pat) Robertson lumbered on through the snow, crossing the state on a 13-town whistle-stop tour fuelled by faith and preceded by a snowplow.By MARCI McDONALD5 min
The decision announced by Flora MacDonald to postpone the CBC all-news channel was greeted, not unexpectedly, by displeasure in the national press. “Ottawa has nothing but a crude political excuse for its intervention against the CBC’s all-news television licence,” said The Globe and Mail, as if announcing a decision of Tammany Hall whimsy.By Barbara Amiel5 min
Campaigning last week in the town of Worland, Wyo., VicePresident George Bush claimed victory. “I need combat pay for last night,” the presidential hopeful told a lunchtime meeting. Bush was not celebrating an early triumph over other contenders for the Republican nomination.By IAN AUSTEN5 min
He was the perennial outsider. The boy who toiled on his father's impoverished farm outside Tignish, P.E.I., believed that hard work and wealth would earn him a place among Canada’s moneyed elite. And in 1986, 28 years after he hitchhiked to Toronto from Tignish with $19 in his pocket, Venard J. (Len) Gaudet became chairman of the venerable brokerage firm Osler Inc.
The story you want is part of the Maclean’s Archives. To access it, log in here or sign up for your free 30-day trial.
Experience anything and everything Maclean's has ever published — over 3,500 issues and 150,000 articles, images and advertisements — since 1905. Browse on your own, or explore our curated collections and timely recommendations.WATCH THIS VIDEO for highlights of everything the Maclean's Archives has to offer.