Volume 93, Issue 39

Tuesday, November 9, 1999


Maclean's rankings reveal Western makes the grade

New London web site to aid volunteers

Vandals deface Holy Roller in Victoria Park

Wong talks China and identity

D-Day Canada's top news event

Laptops, nudity top campus crime

Bass Ackwards

D-Day Canada's top news event

By John Intini
Gazette Staff

The storming of the beaches at Normandy in the second World War has been deemed the most enduring Canadian news event of the 20th century by Canadian journalists.

The Canadian Press announced Sunday that D-Day, June 6, 1944, topped a CP survey conducted to find the most important news event of the century. One hundred and seventy-eight editors and broadcasters took part in the survey, said CP editor-in-chief Scott White.

In order to appear on the survey, the event had to be both a major news item at the time of its occurrence and one which has become a part of Canada's history, White said. He added the journalists were given a list of 35 suggestions.

Jack Granatstein, director and chief operating officer of the Canadian War Museum said he was not surprised D-Day topped the list. However, he said the survey illustrates a deviation between what is viewed as important by society and what is being taught in schools. "At most universities in Canada it is very difficult to get professors to teach military history."

Granatstein added Western is not a university which falls under this umbrella.

Barbara Murison, a history professor at Western, said she was quite pleased D-Day received the recognition it did and said a recent trend towards war films in mainstream movie-making clearly shows there is an interest in this period.

"I'm delighted such importance was attributed to D-Day," she said, adding it was a significant point in history because it marked the return of the allied forces to the Western front.

Murison said the only event she thought would have made the list but was missing, was the stock market crash in 1929.

Robert Lewis, editor-in-chief of Maclean's magazine, said D-Day was definitely one event in history which was hard to beat. "Based on the loss of life and the consequences surrounding D-Day, it is not a bad pick," he said.

Although the list was the brainchild of a large group of newsmakers, Granatstein said it was important to treat the survey as simply a tool to create discussion.

White said the funniest thing to come out of the survey was a write-in vote from one journalist who picked the Guess Who in 1970 as his number one event of the century.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999