To mark our 175th anniversary year, we feature a different front page each week from past editions of the Ottawa Citizen. This week: Nov. 28, 1960.
“Football-frenzied” Ottawa exploded in a night of celebration, the Citizen wrote on Nov. 28, 1960, after the underdog Ottawa Rough Riders, led by quarterback Russ Jackson and running back Ron Stewart, defeated the Edmonton Eskimos 16-6 to win their fifth Grey Cup in franchise history and first in nine years.
The celebrations began in Vancouver, which hosted the Saturday match, even before the game was over, with fans taking over the field and tearing down the goalposts with 41 seconds remaining on the clock. That forced league commissioner G. Sydney Halter to stop the game. Vancouver mayor Tom Alsbury called it a “black mark” against his city, and blamed stadium security for, as the Citizen put it, “standing by as cardboard dummies.”
Celebrations were no less fervent in Ottawa, where “football fans who danced to a vigorous tune for Ottawa’s Grey Cup victory paid the piper in police court this (Monday) morning,” the Citizen reported.
Sixty-four revellers were taken into custody “as the city rocked to the most violent celebration since V-J day.”
Constable David Tuckey had his nose fractured, three men were arrested for impaired driving, and 15 were charged with drunkenness on the streets. “We could have charged 500 people,” noted one officer, “but there wouldn’t have been any place to put them. As long as people were sober enough to stand up and not be violent, we left them alone.”
The paper’s Page 3 headline offered this description: ”Whopping Whoop-Dee-Do In Crazy Capital.” Traffic on Sparks Street was at a standstill. Christmas decorations were torn from downtown light standards. Packed night clubs in Hull were turning people away. Someone on Sparks Street “produced a harmonica and eventually the teenagers got into the act with a lively session of rock ‘n’ roll.”
At the corner of Bank Street and Gladstone Avenue, an elderly woman leaned out from her apartment window, furiously beating a tin pan with a wooden spoon as teenagers below yelled, “Go, Mother, Go!” One young woman on Elgin Street who yelled “Hurray for the Eskies” was “promptly showered with good natured abuse.”
Kids banged trash-can lids. A group of men staggering out of a Main Street hotel had repurposed the Alouette song, singing “Rough Riders, gentils Rough Riders.” One motorist, with four passengers in his car, ended up with nine more on top.
“Hi-jinks,” the Citizen reported, “were a dime a dozen.”