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1971: Women react to news of Trudeau's marriage

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.

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The Trudeaumania bubble bursts as the eligible bachelor announces he has secretly married Margaret Sinclair, a woman 30 years younger than him. Twelve people attended the Vancouver ceremony. Sinclair's relatives believed they were gathering for a family portrait, while Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau's aides thought the couple was skiing. On the streets of Toronto, women say the marriage is "great" or "groovy," but one says, "I was just hoping he would have called me first."
• The couple met the year prior at Club Med in Tahiti.
• Sinclair studied political science and worked as a sociologist in Vancouver. Her father served as a Liberal fisheries minister.
• When they got married, Margaret Trudeau was 22 and Pierre Trudeau was 52.
• They had son Justin nine months later. No prime minister's wife since Sir John A. Macdonald's had given birth while her husband was in office.

• They had two more sons Alexandre (Sasha) and Michel, who was killed on Nov. 13, 1998 at age 23 in an avalanche.
• At 71, Trudeau had a daughter, Sarah, with lawyer Deborah Coyne.

Also on March 5:
1844: George Brown publishes the first issue of the Globe newspaper in Toronto. In 1936, the Globe merged with "The Mail and Empire" to become The Globe & Mail.
1982: Toronto's Steve Podborski becomes the first North American to win the World Cup men's downhill skiing title.
1993: Sprinter Ben Johnson fails a second drug test after a race in Montreal and is banned from competition for life by the Int'l Assoc. of Athletics Federations.
Medium: Television
Program: Weekday
Broadcast Date: March 5, 1971
Duration: 2:25

Last updated: February 13, 2014

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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