Important dates in John Diefenbaker's Life

From the Diefenbaker Canada Centre biography

Available on the web at

18 Sept.1895 - John George Diefenbaker born in Neustadt, Ontario to William T. and Mary F. Diefenbaker (nee Bannerman)
1903 - Diefenbaker family moved to Tierengrund School near Fort Carlton, North West Territories (now Saskatchewan)
1905 - Diefenbaker family moved to Hague, Saskatchewan
1906 - Diefenbaker family moved to homestead near Borden
Spring1912 - JGD graduated from Saskatoon (Nutana) Collegiate
Fall1912 - Entered the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon
March1916 - Volunteered for overseas service in the first World War; sent for 6 weeks officer training in Manitoba
May1916 - Granted M.A. Degree in absentia from the U. of Saskatchewan
Fall1916 - Studies in the College of Law, U. of S. interrupted; sent to training camp in England
February1917 - Invalided home before being sent into action
1918 - Graduated in Law from the U. of Saskatchewan
June1919 - Called to the Saskatchewan bar
1 July1919 - Opened Law Office in Wakaw, Saskatchewan
1920 - Elected Alderman in Wakaw
1922 - Diefenbaker argued in Boutin et al vs. Mackie re use of French as language of instruction in schools
1924 - Moved law practice to Prince Albert
29 Oct.1925 - Ran against Charles McDonald, Liberal, in Prince Albert federal constituency: lost
14 Sept.1926 - Ran against Prime Minister Mackenzie King in Prince Albert: lost 3,933 to 4,838
June1929 - Ran for Prince Albert in the provincial election: lost to T.C. Davis, Liberal
29 June1929 - Married Edna Mae Brower in Toronto
1 Jan.1930 - Named King's Counsel in the New Year's honours list
1933 - John C>

Transfer interrupted!

ticling clerk; association and later partnership continued until the end of Diefenbaker's active legal career
1933 - JGD defeated in Prince Albert mayoralty election
1935 - JGD elected president of Saskatchewan Conservative party
29 Oct1936 - JGD became leader of the Saskatchewan Conservative party
8 June1938 - Ran for Arm River in the provincial election: lost
26 March1940 - Ran for Lake Centre in the federal election: won; henceforth JGD was elected to every Parliament until his death
1942 - Ran for the leadership of the federal Conservative party, came third. John Bracken won and changed name to Progressive Conservative Party.
12 Feb.1945 - Father died
1945 - JGD one of the Canadian observers at the founding meetings of the United Nations in San Francisco
Sept.1948 - Ran again for the leadership of the federal Progressive Conservative Party: lost to George Drew
7 Feb.1951 - Edna Diefenbaker died of leukemia in Saskatoon
1951 - JGD won the Canoe River case, Rex vs Atherton
10 Aug.1953 - Changed federal seat and ran for Prince Albert with the slogan "Not a partisan cry but a national need": won with the aid of the cross-party Diefenbaker Clubs
8 Dec.1953 - Married Olive Freeman Palmer
14 Dec.1956 - Elected leader of the Progressive Conservative party of Canada
25 April1957 - Officially opening the 1957 election campaign in Toronto, JGD called for policies of One Canada, development of Canada's resources and the North
10 June1957 - Progressive Conservatives won 112 seats in federal election, Liberals 105, CCF 25, Social Credit 19
11 June1957 - Began his term as Prime Minister. Ended 1963. See separate link for information on prime ministerial years
Feb1961 - Mother died
22 April1963 - Lester B. Pearson sworn in as Prime Minister
4 Feb.1964 - Dalton Camp elected president of Progressive Conservative party
22 July1964 - PC caucus decided to filibuster against the adoption of a new flag
15 Dec.1964 - Commons voted 163 to 78 in favour of new flag
15 Feb.1964 - New flag raised in Ottawa ceremonies
26 March1965 - 25th anniversary of JGD's election to Parliament
8 Nov.1965 - Federal election: Liberal 131, PC 91, other 37
Nov.1966 - PC convention delegates called for leadership review after clashes between JGD and Dalton Camp
7 July1967 - JGD's last day as leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons
9 Sept.1967 - Robert Stanfield elected leader of the federal Progressive Conservative Party; Diefenbaker ran third
Oct. - Nov.1969 - JGD made private visit to U.S.S.R., visiting Kiev and Moscow
1969 - Appointed Chancellor of University of Saskatchewan
June1971 - Brother Elmer died
8 July1974 - JGD became the first Canadian member of Parliament sworn in to twelve Parliaments
20 Sept.1967 - Turned sod on the site of the Diefenbaker Centre
1 Jan.1976 - Made a Companion of Honour in the Queen's New Year's Honours list
1 April1976 - Presented with the Companion of Honour medal by the Queen in London
22 Dec.1976 - Olive Diefenbaker died in Ottawa
22 May1979 - JGD elected to Parliament for the thirteenth time
16 Aug.1979 - Died in his home in Ottawa
19 Aug.1979 - State funeral in Ottawa; funeral train left Ottawa for a two day trip to Saskatoon with several stops and many halts along the way
22 Aug.1979 - John Diefenbaker buried outside the Diefenbaker Centre on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon
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