It's not too odd in wrestling to hear terms like legend and icon tossed around as a tag to be given to any and everybody who has spent some chunk
of time in the squared circle. Oddly it's even less odd to hear the word respect used. This wrestler respects that wrestler and so on. But in
wrestling, there are very few legends. Hogan, Flair, Race, Funk, Thesz...these are the names of legends. Call a guy like Rock or Austin an icon and
you may get some debate, but not much.
But how many of these men are so universally respected, admired, and loved, that you would be hard off to think of anyone who did not respect them?
Hogan has many enemies; Flair is hated by the hardcore legend Mick Foley; and guys like Race, Thesz, and Funk get labeled as "good for their time" or appreciated for a niche in wrestling. But oddly enough, there is one name that is respected by all.
He is the patriarch of the legendary Hart family, Stu Hart.
Born May 3, 1915 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan most people think of Stu's younger years as the story of a young man who was a standout athlete, doing very well in amateur wrestling and playing football for the Edmonton Eskimos. And while Stu did play for the Eskimos, and he was a great amateur wrestler, to truly know how the man was shaped you need to go back to December of 1924. Stu's father Edward started to make arrangements to buy a small area of land, but the plans were delayed due to the entire family being quarantined with whooping cough and scarlet fever.
Once the family was healthy they walked over 50 miles leading horse and cattle to a train station in Saskatchewan. They then rode in a boxcar with livestock into Alberta. Once arriving in Tofield in July of 1925 the Harts were to learn that the land had be resold when they had not arrived on schedule. Stu's father made the choice to fight for the land and with a signed contract of sale in his pocket Edward Hart bought two small canvas tents and set up camp on the lot.
Now ask any Canadian about winter in Canada and the word cold will be mentioned often. Ask anybody what it's like outside in Canada's prairies in the dead of winter and you'll likely hear terms like freezing and unbearable. Now think about living in these conditions with nothing but a small canvas tent for shelter. Imagine walking through the harshest of harsh Canadian winter weather to go to school with little or no food. Imagine being great full to own a dog so that you could share its body heat. Imagine living through all of this and not only surviving, but going on to be an Olympic caliber amateur wrestler.
That's what Stu Hart did. After living in hellish conditions the Harts did eventually get on somewhat stable ground. Once they did, Stu fell in love with wrestling after seeing other young boys practice at the local YMCA. He took this love and saved ever penny he could to afford a membership to the Y. He went through the process of being the whipping boy of the other young men. After all Stu had been through he was able to train and learn eventually becoming the Canadian Amateur Champion in his weight class. If it weren’t for the war, Stu would very possibly be an Olympic gold medallist.
But due to the War, Stu never had the chance to go for the gold. Instead he would wrestle at a charity event featuring legendary boxer Joe Louis. Louis would later work for and with Stu, and it was from there that Stu got his start. He would work with local promotions selling programs and setting up the ring. After joining the Navy and entertaining the troops with wrestling exhibitions, Stu would meet Toots Mondt and start his professional wrestling career. In 1946 Stu's first pro match would be against Chick Garibaldi at St.Nick's on 58th Street in New York City. Introduced as a Canadian champion, Stu was the classic example of the clean-cut babyface. After 20 minutes Stu had won and the New York wrestling scene had a new babyface.
And while never a top draw, Stu was a very over wrestler. He would often have girls screaming like he was a member of the Beatles, and it wasn't uncommon for him to reach the ring with his arms covered in lipstick from female fans attempting to kiss the Canadian grappler. But besides being a guy the fans loved, it was quickly becoming apparent that Stu was an overall well liked guy. He would hang out at a local deli not far from Toots' booking office with stars of the New York Yankees and other wrestlers. Often Stu would talk about what it was like in Western Canada while in a room with the likes of Mickey Mantle, and Babe Ruth. It was also during this time Stu fell in love for the first time. He would marry Helen Smith, and start a family shortly after.
When he left New York, Stu Hart had accomplished and lived through more the most would. If the story ended with Stu moving back to Canada and spending the rest of his days on a farm with his family then most Stu Hart would still be one of the more interesting Canadians. But the truth is Stu Hart's story gets even more amazing.
Once back in Edmonton in 1948, Stu started Big Time Wrestling in Edmonton, which was later renamed Wildcat Wrestling. Learning the value of investing in land from his father's earlier troubles, Stu moved the family to Calgary. In 1951 Stu bought into the local Stampede Promotion. The fact that most wrestling fans know of the importance of Stu's involvement in Stampede Wrestling speaks for himself. What most may not know is that while training many future stars and running a successful business Stu was one of the kindest men you could ever meet.
Stu has described his time in Tofield as "the worst imaginable" but it made him have a special insight into the hard times people face when circumstance are out of their control. In the 70's and 80's Stu could often be seen at Calgary’s City Hall after paying his wrestling match fines (the fines were for wrestler's improper conduct) giving rides in his Cadillac to street people in need of help. In his later years as a celebrity in Canada, Stu would never turn down a request from a church or charity to help the less fortunate.
But even if you didn't know the story of Stu Hart's life, odds are that as a wrestling fan you've heard of how people young and old admire Stu. It might have been a story of an 80-year-old Stu twisting and turning a young wrestler while the young man screamed in pain. Maybe you've heard the stories of wrestlers visiting the Dungeon for the first time after Owen Hart's tragic death, and how to many it was like being on sacred ground. Perhaps you saw the comments made by guys like Benoit on WWE TV after Stu's death going on about how much Stu loved to talked about wrestling. Perhaps you remember Stu's involvement in the feud between Bret and Owen. The point is, in a business where many are in it for a paycheck, and others only look out for themselves, Stu Hart stood out as a man respected by all.
On May 31, 2001 Stu was named to the Order of Canada for making an important contribution to the sport of wrestling for more than five decades. The Order of Canada officially lists Stu's accomplishments as follows:
"As patriarch of Canada's first family of professional wrestling, he has made an important contribution to the sport for more than five decades. Founder of Stampede Wrestling and an icon of the golden era of wrestling, he has been coach and mentor to countless young athletes, imparting the highest standards of athleticism and personal conduct. A generous supporter of community life in Calgary, he is a loyal benefactor to more than thirty charitable and civic organizations including the Shriners' Hospital for Crippled Children and the Alberta Firefighters Toy Fund."
For more information on Stu Hart, check out "Stu Hart: Lord of the Ring" by Marsha Erb, available from ECWPress at www.ecwpress.com, amazon.com, or your local bookstore.
With all the mention of Chris Benoit being trained by Stu Hart in the hype for Wrestlemania, it’s odd that to some that’s all Stu was. Stu Hart may have died on October 16th of last year, but the fact is his fingerprints are all over wrestling today, not just as a trainer, but also as a promoter and a fan. Stampede wrestling was often seen as a combination of the traditional North American show style of wrestling, and the more realistic Japanese style. Stu was one of the first promoters to use the Japanese and Mexican styles and in doing so; he formed the foundation for what you see on TV today. And in fact for some, it will be impossible to ever watch wrestling without thinking of Stu. Maybe it'll be because of guys like Benoit or Jericho who Stu helped train. Maybe it's because even if you only had a glance at the man's life, it's obvious that no matter how much you love wrestling and talking about it, Stu Hart always loved it a little bit more.
Whatever the reason, there's no doubt that as long as there is professional wrestling, Stu Hart will always matter.
Trudeau, Pierre Elliott
Trudeau, Pierre Elliott, politician, writer, constitutional lawyer, prime minister of Canada 1968-79 and 1980-84 (b at Montréal 18 Oct 1919; d at Montréal 28 Sept 2000). Trudeau was born into a wealthy family, the son of a successful French Canadian businessman and a mother of Scottish ancestry. Educated at the Jesuit Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, Université de Montréal, Harvard and London School of Economics, he also travelled extensively in his youth.
Upon his return to Québec from a year's travels in 1949, he supported the unions in the bitter Asbestos strike, a formative event in postwar Québec society. In 1956 he edited a book on the strike, to which he contributed an introduction and conclusion criticizing the province's dominant social, economic and political values.
After serving briefly in Ottawa as an adviser to the Privy Council Office in 1950-51, Trudeau returned to Montréal and devoted his energies to opposing the Union Nationale government of Maurice Duplessis and agitating for social and political change. With other young intellectuals he founded the review CITE LIBRE. In this and other forums, Trudeau sought to rouse opposition to what he believed were reactionary and inward-looking elites. In the process, he picked up a reputation as a radical and a socialist, although the values he espoused were closer to those of liberalism and democracy.
After the Liberal victory in the 1960 provincial election, the Quiet Revolution fulfilled some of Trudeau's hopes for change. At the same time, it revealed a deep rift between Trudeau and many of his former colleagues who were moving toward the idea of an independent Québec. A law professor at U de M by the 1960s, Trudeau became a sharp critic of the contemporary Québec nationalism and argued for a Canadian Federalism in which English and French Canada would find a new equality.
In 1965 Trudeau, with union leader Jean Marchand and journalist Gérard Pelletier, joined the federal Liberal Party and was elected to Parliament. Trudeau was later appointed a parliamentary secretary to PM Lester Pearson, and was named minister of justice in 1967. In the latter post, he gained national attention for his introduction of divorce law reform and for Criminal Code amendments liberalizing the laws on abortion, homosexuality and public lotteries. He also established a reputation as a defender of a strong federal government against the nationalist demands of Québec.
He was persuaded to contest the Liberal leadership in 1968 and was elected on the fourth ballot; on 20 April 1968 he was sworn in as Canada's fifteenth prime minister. In the ensuing general election - which was dominated by "Trudeau-mania" - his government won a majority, and thus he began a period in office which was to last longer than that of any other prime minister, save Mackenzie King and Sir John A. MacDonald.
The most dramatic event of his first government was the October Crisis of 1970, precipitated by the kidnapping of British diplomat James Cross and of Québec Cabinet minister Pierre Laporte by the terrorist FRONT DE LIBÉRATION DU QUÉBEC (FLQ). In response, Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act, with its extraordinary powers of arrest, detention and censorship. Shortly after, Laporte was murdered by his abductors. Controversy over the appropriateness of these emergency measures and their effect on liberal democracy in Canada and Québec has continued to the present.
Less dramatic, but of lasting significance, was the Official Languages Act, a central feature of Trudeau's new federalism. At the same time, he began to improve the position of francophones in Ottawa. A growing antibilingual backlash in English Canada, however, was one result of these policies. Western Canada's growing alienation against a perceived lack of interest in western economic problems and in western perspectives on national issues also began in his first term.
An important initiative in government brought about under Trudeau's direction was the attempt to centralize and nationalize decisionmaking under nondirect control of the Prime Minister's Office and by Central Agencies such as the Privy Council Office and the Treasury Board.
Although very much along the lines of administrative reorganization in Washington and in other Western capitals, these changes proved controversial, leading critics to charge inefficiency and the undermining of the role of Parliament and Cabinet. In the 1972 election, Trudeau came close to losing office and was forced to form a Minority Government with the support of the NDP.
In 1971 Trudeau, hitherto a bachelor, married Margaret Sinclair, daughter of a former Liberal Cabinet minister. Their tempestuous marriage, beset by many well-publicized differences, finally ended in separation in 1977 and divorce in 1984, with Trudeau retaining custody of their 3 sons, Justin, Sasha and Michel.
After restoring a Liberal majority in 1974, Trudeau faced the effects of inflation. In an atmosphere of economic crisis, various expedients were tried, including mandatory wage and price controls in 1975. This economic crisis was compounded in 1976 when the PARTI QUÉBÉCOIS under René LÉVESQUE was elected to office, party and man dedicated to Québec independence.
In 1979 Trudeau and the Liberals suffered a narrow defeat at the polls. A few months later, he announced his intention to resign as Liberal leader and to retire from public life. Three weeks after this announcement, the Progressive Conservative government of Joe Clark was defeated in the Commons and a new general election was called. Trudeau was persuaded by the Liberal caucus to remain as leader, and on 8 February 1980 - less than 3 months after his retirement - he was returned once again as prime minister with a parliamentary majority, thus accomplishing a remarkable resurrection.
Trudeau's last period in office as prime minister was eventful. His personal intervention in the 1980 QUÉBEC REFERENDUM campaign on SOVEREIGNTY-ASSOCIATION was significant. The defeat of the Parti Québécois's proposition was a milestone in his crusade against Québec separatism. In the wake of that victory, Trudeau pushed strongly for an accord on a new Canadian constitution.
Unable to gain provincial agreement, he introduced into Parliament a unilateral federal initiative to "patriate" the BNA Act to Canada with an amending formula and an entrenched CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS. There followed one of the epic federal-provincial battles of Canadian history, culminating in the final compromise and the proclamation of the CONSTITUTION ACT, 1982 on 17 April 1982.
With the inclusion of entrenched minority language and education rights, and a charter of individual rights, Trudeau had thus fulfilled a goal he had set himself upon entering public life.
In other areas, his 1980-84 government was less successful. Continued inflation and high levels of unemployment, along with huge federal deficits, cut deeply into his popular support. His government's National Energy Program, one of the major government interventions in the economy since WWII, further alienated the energy-producing regions in Western Canada.
A continuing problem that plagued his entire term of office was that of CANADIAN-AMERICAN RELATIONS. Trudeau often played an ambiguous role with regard to the US, but in his last period in office he moved toward a more nationalist position in economic relations with the US, and began to criticize its foreign and defence policies more freely than in the past. At the same time the policies of US President Reagan's administration were becoming more damaging to many of Canada's economic interests.
In these years Trudeau devoted more and more time to the international stage, first to encouraging a "North-South" dialogue between the wealthy industrial nations and the underdeveloped countries, and then in 1983-84 to a personal peace initiative in which he visited leaders in several countries in both the eastern and western blocs to persuade them to negotiate the reduction of nuclear weapons and to lower the level of Cold War tensions. These activities led to his being awarded the Albert Einstein Peace Prize.
At the same time, his government was responsible for the decision to allow US testings of the Cruise missile, which roused widespread opposition from Canadians concerned about the worsening nuclear arms race.
Public opinion in Canada remained hostile to Trudeau and the Liberals from 1981 on. His personal style - sometimes charismatic, sometimes contemptuous of opposition, often mercurial and unpredictable - seemed to have become less of an electoral asset in difficult economic times. On 29 February 1984, Trudeau announced his intention to retire; on June 30 he left office, and his successor, John Turner, was sworn in. In 1985 he became a Companion of the Order of Canada.
His retirement has been relatively low profile, but on two occasions he has intervened in public affairs with dramatic effect. His strong opposition to the MEECH LAKE ACCORD was considered influential. His speech against the CHARLOTTETOWN ACCORD at the Maison du Egg Roll in Montréal on 1 October 1992 has been accredited decisive influence in turning English Canadian opinion against support for the Accord in the 1992 Referendum. He did not, however, publicly intervene during the 1995 QUÉBEC REFERENDUM on sovereignty. In 1993 Trudeau published his book Memoirs, based on a five-part miniseries by the CBC, and in 1996 he published a collection of his writings from 1939 to 1996, Against the Current.
Trudeau's career as prime minister was one of electoral success, matched in this century only by Mackenzie King. Moreover, he served longer than every other contemporary leader in the Western world, becoming the elder statesman of the West. His achievements include the 1980 defeat of Québec separatism, official bilingualism, the patriated Constitution and the Charter of Rights.
Trudeau was unable, however, to alleviate regional alienation or to end the conflict between federal and provincial governments. By the late 1990s, his major legacy, Québec's retention as a partner to Confederation was in much more serious question than at the time of his retirement. He left office much as he had entered it, a controversial figure with strong supporters and equally strong critics. That he was one of the dominant figures in 20th-century Canada is indisputable.
Whatever the reason, there's no doubt that as long as there is Canadian politics, Pierre Trudeau will always matter.
Holy shit. I never knew that about Trudeau. I found myself constantly wishing that someone would help to enlighten me about the intricacies of
Trudeau's career and Canadian politics on the whole. Thank you, Bonestein. You've made me a better person.
Goalie? Where the hell did you come from?
[Edited on 3-7-2004 by markout]
Who is this guy?
yeah. who is this bigfatgoalie guy? he must've hacked the system to give himself such a high postcount.
though the rumor is he's a douchebag.