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1969: Pierre Trudeau causes a stir in London

In 1968, a swinger ran for prime minister. Canadians had never before seen anyone like Pierre Elliott Trudeau in the House of Commons. He brought youthfulness and a promise of change. He also brought a Mercedes-Benz. Women and men were mesmerized by him. But Trudeau's appeal extended beyond Parliament. He became a political pop star, attracting admirers whose dedication rivaled that of Beatles fans. Canada called it Trudeaumania, a phenomenon that lasted until his marriage in 1971.

media clip
Never in the history of Canadian politics has the world press covered a prime minister's personal life as much as Pierre Elliott Trudeau's. Even Londoners have the Trudeau bug. After a British Commonwealth prime ministers' conference, reporters spot Trudeau with German jet-setter Eva Rittingshausen. Should journalists write stories about his private life? One fan says she knows it's wrong but she really enjoys reading about it. (This is the audio of a TV report for which video is unavailable.)
• Trudeau dated many high-profile women, including musicians Liona Boyd and Barbra Streisand, as well as actors Kim Cattrall and Margot Kidder.

• In the late 1960s Trudeau practiced yoga and told the press he frequently stood on his head. He also had a brown belt in judo.

• An aide later disclosed Trudeau had planned and rehearsed a seemingly spontaneous pirouette captured by cameras during a Buckingham Palace visit in 1977.

Also on January 16:
1637: The Company of New France is given a grant for to establish a nunnery, a Jesuit church and a seminary at Quebec.
1965: Prime Minister Lester Pearson and President Lyndon Johnson sign the Canada-U.S. Automotive Agreement. Commonly known as the Auto Pact, the deal gives a major boost to the Canadian auto industry by allowing widespread free trade in motor vehicles and parts between the two countries.
1939: The first Superman comic strip by Toronto-born Joe Shuster appears.
Medium: TV audio
Program: The Day It Is
Broadcast Date: Jan. 16, 1969
Duration: 2:05
This is the audio of a TV report for which video is unavailable.

Last updated: October 23, 2014

Page consulted on January 8, 2015

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