Tommy Douglas

Ndp Politician and Advocate For Medicare.
Born 20 AD

Thomas Clement "Tommy" Douglas, PC, CC, SOM was a Scottish-born Baptist minister, and Canadian social democratic politician. He was elected to the Canadian House of Commons in 1935 as a member of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) party. He left federal politics to become the Saskatchewan CCF's leader and then the seventh Premier of Saskatchewan from 1944 to 1961.… Read More

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1904 Birth Tommy Clement Douglas was born in 1904 in Camelon, Falkirk, Scotland, the son of Annie (née Clement) and Thomas Douglas, an iron moulder who fought in the Boer War.
1910 5 Years Old In 1910, his family emigrated to Canada, where they settled in Winnipeg. … Read More


1918 13 Years Old During World War I, the family returned to Glasgow in Scotland. They returned to Winnipeg in late 1918, in time for Douglas to witness the Winnipeg general strike. … Read More
1920 15 Years Old In 1920, at the age of 15, Douglas began an amateur career in boxing at the One Big Union (OBU) gym in Winnipeg.
1922 17 Years Old Weighing, Douglas fought in 1922 for the Lightweight Championship of Manitoba, and won the title after a six round fight. … Read More
1924 19 Years Old In 1924, the 19-year-old Douglas enrolled at Brandon College, a Baptist school affiliated with McMaster University, to finish high school and study theology. … Read More


1930 25 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1930, Douglas married Irma Dempsey, a music student at Brandon College. … Read More
1931 26 Years Old In the summer of 1931, Douglas continued his studies in sociology at the University of Chicago. … Read More


1935 30 Years Old 1 More Event
…  He was elected to the Canadian House of Commons in 1935 as a member of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF). … Read More
1939 - 1941 2 More Events
1942 37 Years Old Despite being a federal Member of Parliament and not yet an MLA, Douglas was elected the leader of the Saskatchewan CCF in 1942 after successfully challenging the incumbent leader, George Hara Williams, but did not resign from the House of Commons until 1 June 1944.
1944 39 Years Old 1 More Event
By the time Douglas took office in 1944, many people questioned eugenics due to Nazi Germany's embrace of it in its effort to create a "master race." … Read More


1953 48 Years Old As premier, Douglas attended the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in June 1953.


1958 53 Years Old 1 More Event
The success of the province's public health care program was not lost on the federal government. Another Saskatchewan politician, newly elected Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, decreed in 1958 that any province seeking to introduce a hospital plan would receive 50 cents on the dollar from the federal government. … Read More
1960 55 Years Old 1 More Event
Douglas and the Saskatchewan CCF then went on to win five straight majority victories in all subsequent Saskatchewan provincial elections up to 1960. … Read More
After setting up Saskatchewan's medicare program, Douglas stepped down as premier and ran to lead the newly formed federal New Democratic Party (NDP), the successor party of the National CCF. He was elected as its first federal leader in 1961. … Read More


1969 64 Years Old He won a seat again in a 1969 by-election in the riding of Nanaimo—Cowichan—The Islands, following the death of Colin Cameron in 1968, and represented it until his retirement from electoral politics in 1979. … Read More
1970 65 Years Old 1 More Event
He was noted as being the main opposition to the imposition of the War Measures Act during the 1970 October Crisis.
1971 66 Years Old 1 More Event
Douglas resigned as NDP leader in 1971, but retained his seat in the House of Commons. … Read More
1972 67 Years Old He was re-elected in the riding of Nanaimo–Cowichan–The Islands in the 1972 and 1974 elections.
1979 74 Years Old 1 More Event
He resigned as leader the next year, but remained as a Member of Parliament until 1979. … Read More
1980 75 Years Old In 1980, Douglas was awarded a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa by Carleton University in Ottawa.
1981 76 Years Old On 22 June 1981, Douglas was appointed to the Order of Canada as a Companion for his service as a political leader, and innovator in public policy. … Read More
1984 79 Years Old In June 1984, Douglas was injured when he was struck by a bus, but he quickly recovered and on his 80th birthday he claimed to The Globe and Mail that he usually walked up to five miles a day. … Read More
1986 81 Years Old 1 More Event
Douglas was also the subject of a 1986 National Film Board of Canada documentary Tommy Douglas: Keeper of the Flame, which received the Gemini Award for Best Writing in a Documentary Program or Series. … Read More
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