Remembering Sir John A. Macdonald
Sir John A. Macdonald has been described as a pragmatic statesman, earning the title of Old Chieftain, and a procrastinating drunk with the nickname of Old Tomorrow. But there's no denying the legacy of Canada's first prime minister. He united the country with his national vision and the construction of the world's longest railway. Macdonald would overcome personal hurdles, albeit with the help of the bottle, to lay the foundation for modern Canada.
. Macdonald was prime minister of Canada from July 1, 1867, to Nov. 5 1873, and from Oct. 17, 1878, until his death in office in 1891.
. Earnscliffe, Macdonald's grey stone Victorian home, was declared a national historic site in 1961.
. At the news of Macdonald's death, newspapers printed special editions reporting the prime minister's last hours. Flags flew at half-mast across the country.
. At Macdonald's death, future prime minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier mourned that: "the place of Sir John A. Macdonald in this country was so large and so absorbing that it is almost impossible to conceive that the political life of this country will continue without him."
. In Prime Ministers: Ranking Canada's Leaders, Sir John A. Macdonald placed second; after Mackenzie King and ahead of Wilfrid Laurier. He was recognized for his strong national vision and his ability to balance differences of region, religion, class and profession.
Broadcast Date: Aug. 15, 1957
Reporter: John Bermingham
Last updated: March 13, 2012
Page consulted on December 6, 2013
All Clips from this Topic
Paying respect at the simple burial site of Canada's first prime minis...
Lester B. Pearson praises Macdonald's seminal contribution to Canadian...
Sir John A. Macdonald's only living relative journeys to his great-gra...
Prime Minister John A. Macdonald pleads his case for a far-reaching ra...
Front Page Challenge discusses Macdonald's legendary drinking habits.
In the Dominion of Canada's first election in 1867, Macdonald wins han...
Macdonald's bed went up for auction on the Internet, and was purchased...
An astrological look at the significance of prime ministers Jean C. an...
Sir John A. Macdonald doll is a surprise hit for Christmas.
Brian Porter dresses up like John A. to educate people on the first pr...
Michael Enright talks to author Richard Gwyn about his biography, Sir ...
Sir John A. Macdonald has been described as a pragmatic statesman, ear...