Every once and a while Nova Scotia finds itself in the center of world attention because of a tragic event. Whether it’s the sinking of the Titanic, the Halifax Explosion, the Springhill mine disasters (1891, 1956, and 1958), or the Swiss Air Crash, this province on the edge of North America suddenly gets thrust upon the world stage for all the wrong reasons.
Such was the case on April 12, 1936, when the Moose River gold mine grabbed headlines all over the world. While three men were inspecting a mine, it caved in and the world stood transfixed as J. Frank Willis, the Regional Director in the Maritimes for the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (the precursor of the CBC) dropped a specially made microphone down a drilled hole to the trapped men.
650 radio stations across North American tuned in, with an estimated 100 million listeners; even more listened through the BBC, which transmitted the live updates to the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe. It was the first live radio remote broadcast in Canada, and it was a story that resonated around the world, holding people’s attention in the midst of the darkest days of the Great Depression.
A year later, Hollywood told the tale in Draegerman Courage.Read more