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Fort Langley, the birthplace of B.C., 100 years later

The Story

CBC-TV broadcasts live from the newly restored Fort Langley, where the province of British Columbia was officially established 100 years ago. Princess Margaret and Premier W.A.C. Bennett address a lively crowd, reflecting on the province's development and its bright future.

Medium: Television
Program: CBC Television Special
Broadcast Date: July 22, 1958
Guest(s): W.A.C. Bennett, Princess Margaret
Duration: 5:17

Did You know?

• The proclamation establishing the province of British Columbia was read by Sir James Douglas on Nov. 19, 1858. Douglas served as governor of British Columbia and Vancouver Island until he retired in 1864.

• Douglas had an unusual heritage, being described as "Scotch West Indian." He was born in British Guiana in 1803 and was of "remarkably dark of complexion, a matter often commented on," wrote biographer, M. Derek Pethick.

• Fort Langley was originally built as a trading post for the Hudson's Bay Company in 1827. Its usefulness was drastically reduced after 1858 when HBC lost its monopoly on the territory and it ceased operation sixty years later. It was designated a National Historic Park in 1955 and restoration began in anticipation of centennial celebrations in 1958.

• Princess Margaret was a controversial royal figure, largely due to her very public romances. She was once romantically linked to future Canadian prime minister John Turner and had several extramarital affairs. She was often vilified in the media, to the disgust of author and personal friend Gore Vidal, who said, "It was inevitable: when there are two sisters and one is the Queen who must be the source of honour and all that is good, the other must be the focus of the most creative malice, the evil sister."


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