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Crowd mobs Pierre Trudeau as he considers run for leadership

The Story

At an Ontario Liberal Party press conference in early 1968, a crowd of 500 clusters around Liberal Justice Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. They've trapped him for two hours now, asking him questions about his future. Will he run for the party's federal leadership? What can his government do for the country? Among this bunch of seasoned Liberal politicians, Trudeau, a constitutional lawyer, is really a political neophyte. He was also reluctant about coming to the press conference, saying party members have "induced" his appearance here today. Trudeau tells reporters that before deciding if he'll run for prime minister to replace Lester B. Pearson, he needs to make sure that he'll be able to create change. After a long line of staid Canadian prime ministers, change may be just what the country's looking for.

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: Feb. 9, 1968
Reporter: Ron Collister
Guest: Pierre Elliott Trudeau
Duration: 02:42

Did You know?

• Seven days after the Ontario Liberal Party press conference, Trudeau announced he would run for leadership.


• In 1968 Trudeau told reporters his leadership bid started as a practical joke. Journalists and politicians later alleged he planned to run all along but as a gimmick attempted to appear politically unaffected.


• On April 6 he won the leadership bid. He was sworn in as Canada's 15th prime minister on April 20, 1968.




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