In Canada today, the top news story was not the first official visit to Canada by President Bush or the protests that shut down the city around Parliament Hill. The National led tonight by announcing the death of author, journalist, television personality, and all around Canadian icon Pierre Berton at the age of 84.
Berton is best known for his popular books on Canadian history, in particular The National Dream and The Last Spike, the story of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Indeed, Berton's name is practically synonymous with Canadian history, and his work has won virtually every major Canadian literary award.
In addition, Berton, an ardent patriot, was a Companion of the Order of Canada - the country's highest civilian honour, for which only 165 persons at a time are eligible. Tonight, there are 164.