Canada – 50th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series

Canada - 50th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series

Canada Post today marked the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series with a stamp that celebrates the experience that millions of Canadians shared in as they watched an unprecedented clash of hockey titans – and Team Canada’s dying-seconds victory in Game 8 – on television.

The stamp’s design, depicting a faceoff in the frame of a 1970s-style television, recalls Canada glued before its TV screens as our best professional hockey players went up against the Soviet Union’s national team for the first time. For nearly a month, Canadians rode an emotional roller coaster together, from confidence to sobering defeats.

Canada Post has also released a special video in which several prominent Canadians recall their experience and the impact it had on the country. They include:

  • Television journalist Lisa Laflamme
  • Retired television journalist Peter Mansbridge;
  • Sports broadcaster Pierre Houde;
  • Paralympian Rick Hansen;
  • Montreal Gazette editorial cartoonist Terry Mosher (a.k.a. Aislin),
  • Five-time women’s world hockey champion France Saint-Louis;
  • Scientist and broadcaster David Suzuki;
  • President and CEO of Historica Canada Anthony Wilson-Smith; and
  • Canada Post President and CEO Doug Ettinger.

On September 28, 1972, an estimated 13 to 15 million Canadians (out of 21 million) tuned in for that decisive game. They watched in their living rooms and panelled basement rec rooms. They watched in bars and Royal Canadian Legion Halls. They watched in factories and offices. They lined up shoulder to shoulder in front of televisions on sale in department stores. Schoolchildren watched on boxy TVs on stands wheeled into their gymnasium or classroom. Businesses closed to let employees watch.

With a mere 34 seconds left in the game, Paul Henderson scored the series-winning goal. He later said, “When I saw it go in, I just went bonkers.” So did the country.