Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative


August 21, 2020

While waiting for my next book, Becoming Vancouver: A New History, to be published -- delayed by the COVID situation -- I thought I'd introduce the project by telling some "tales of the city."

Early in the morning of July 19, 1952, a 52-year-old stevedore named Clarence Clemons got into a scuffle with police at the New Station Café on Main Street. The New Station had a reputation as a lively afterhours joint close to Hogan’s Alley. “It was world-renowned,” affirmed...

July 30, 2020

On March 7, 1913, poet and performer Pauline Johnson died at a private hospital on Bute Street in Vancouver's West End. She had moved to the coast a few years earlier after retiring from the stage and had been ill with breast cancer for some time.

The death of the "Mohawk Princess" sparked an unprecedented display of public respect. Many city notables attended her funeral...

July 24, 2020

Normally I try to avoid poaching material from other people's blogs. But in this case, as the author of a book on "imaginary indians", I cannot resist.

Earlier this week Chris Moore linked his readers to another...

July 21, 2020

July 6, 2020

While waiting for my next book, Becoming Vancouver: A New History, delayed by the COVID situation, to be published, I thought I would introduce the project by telling some "tales of the city."

In Vancouver between the wars popular entertainment flourished in the vaudeville palaces, cinemas, music halls and hotel bars along Hastings and Granville streets. One of...