Record ID: 130

Site Name

Halifax

Type

Seaport - American

Description

city (1991 pop. 114,455), (cap.) N.S., S central N.S., E Canada, on the Atlantic Ocean; 44�39'N 63�36'W. Largest city in the Maritime provs. and one of Canada�s principal ice-free Atlantic ports. E terminus of Canada�s 2 great RR systems and of its transcontinental highway. Its many industries include commercial fishing, fish processing, shipbuilding, oil refining, and the mfg. of motor vehicles, electronics, clothing, and furniture. Home port of the Can. Atlantic fleet and the hq. of its E army. Founded in 1749 as Chebucto; later renamed for the earl of Halifax, then president of the Board of Trade and Plantations. It was intended originally to be a Brit. naval stronghold comparable to that of France at Louisburg. It served as a naval base for the expedition against Louisburg in 1758, against the Amer. colonies in the Amer. Revolution, and against the U.S. in the War of 1812. The first transatlantic steamship service, from Halifax to Great Britain, began in 1840. During both world wars the port was an important naval and air base, convoy terminal, and embarkation center. In 1917 a Fr. munitions vessel carrying explosives was rammed in the harbor by a Belg. relief vessel, causing an explosion that killed about 1,800 people, injured about 9,000 more (20% of the pop.), and destroyed the N part of the city.