Halifax - History
The first people around the Halifax area were the Mi'kmaq, but it was in 1749 that the city was established by the British as a counterbalance to the French fort in Nova Scotia's far east. The British continued to use the city and its harbor as a formidable military base through the American Revolution (1775-83) and the War of 1812 with the United States. During the World Wars, the city's population grew as the harbor became a staging area for the convoys that supplied Britain.
In April 1912, Halifax was the hub of rescue operations for the Titanic. A lot of memorabilia remains in the town, mostly in the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. There are also three cemetaries that contain 150 of the victims, with one third of them never identified.
Further maritime disaster took place in 1917 when the Mont Blanc, a French munitions ship carrying an explosive cargo of TNT, benzol, picric acid and ammunition, collided with another ship in the harbor. Crew abandoned ships as they caught fire, but the Mont Blanc continued to drift across to Halifax from the narrows and a crowd gathered at the waterfront to watch the fire. The resulting 'Great Explosion', was the largest manmade explosion prior to the A-bombs dropped on Japan in 1945. Over 1900 people were killed, 9000 injured and roughly 130 hectares (321 acres), or almost all of the northern end of Halifax, were levelled by the blast.
Halifax was the home of Canada's first representative government, first Protestant church, and first newspaper.