Sunday, May 26, 2013

May 26 - The Birth of CRBC

On this day in history, in 1932, Parliament passed an Act establishing the publicly funded Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission, the forerunner of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation of 1936. Before the CRBC, virtually all programs available to Canadians were from the US.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is one of the world's major public broadcasting organizations. It operated national radio and television networks in English and French, providing regional and local radio and television programming in both official languages. It broadcasts locally produced programs in English and native languages for people living in the far North, runs a multilingual shortwave service for listeners overseas, and provides closed captioning for the deaf.

CBC is funded primarily by federal statutory grants, totally about two-thirds of its budget, while also deriving revenues from commercial sponsorship, and the sale of programs to other countries. Though it is responsible to Parliament for its overall conduct, it is independent of government control in its day-to-day operations.

CBC was created in the midst of the Depression, and to this day seeks to provide Canadians with a broad range of high-quality indigenous information and entertainment programming. However, critics continue to lobby the government to abolish its funding of the Crown Corporation and level the playing field for all broadcasters.

In 2012, Stephen Harper's Conservative government cut the CBC's budget by 10%, an action which was met with both applause and condemnation from the Canadian public. While some regard it as an unnecessary use of public dollars and a distortion of the broadcast marketplace, others welcome its role as the only source of news and other information in the remote areas of Canada, as well as a major supporter of the arts.

What do you think about the role CBC plays in our lives as Canadians - past and present?

Today is also Shavuot and Trinity Sunday!

Here are some interesting things that happened on this day in history:

- Samuel de Champlain reached Tadoussac on the north shore of the St Lawrence River and set foot for the first time in New France in 1603.

- Alse Young became the first person executed as a witch in the American colonies, when she was hanged in Hartford, Connecticut in 1647.
- William Wood, the first native-born North American to achieve notable success in the theatre, was born at Montréal in 1779.
- Lewis & Clark 1st caught sight of the Rocky Mountains in 1805.
- Public meetings at St John's, Newfoundland, adopted resolutions in favour of responsible government in 1846.

- An Act was passed in 1874 introducing vote by secret ballot, simultaneous elections and the abolition of property qualifications for MPs.
- The HMS Challenger returned from a 128,000-km oceanographic exploration in 1876.
- During celebrations for Queen Victoria's birthday in 1896, a span of the bridge at Point Ellice in the harbour of Victoria, BC, fell out. A loaded streetcar fell with it and 55 people were killed, the worst streetcar accident in North American history.

- Also in 1896, Nicholas II, the Last Czar of Russia, was crowned.

- Sherlock Holmes began his "Adventure of 3 Gables" in 1903.
- Vauxhall Bridge was opened in London in 1906.
- Arthur Sifton became Premier of Alberta in 1910. He held together a divided party, and was considered an effective premier, a strong leader, and a skilled administrator.

- Emily Duncan became Great Britain's first woman magistrate in 1913.
- Belgium Jews were required by Nazis to wear a Jewish star in 1942.
- Novelist Aritha van Herk was born in Wetaskiwin, Alberta in 1954.
- Apollo 10 astronauts returned to Earth in 1969.
- In 1998, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Ellis Island, the historic gateway for millions of immigrants, was mainly in the state of New Jersey, not New York.
- The Mars Odyssey found signs of large ice deposits on the planet Mars in 2002.

Check out what happened last week in science:

Stay tuned for our next, "On This Day in History"!

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