Monday, July 1, 2013

July 1 - Canada Day

Today is, as we all know, Canada Day!

This event marks the joining of the British North American colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec on July 1st, 1867. Canada became a kingdom in its own right on that day.

Canada turned 146 years old today. Happy Birthday! May the next years be full of life and love.

Today is also National GSA Employee Day, U.S. Postage Stamp Day, and Zip Code Day.

Here are some interesting things that happened on this day in history:

- French explorer Samuel de Champlain reached Huronia, at the southern end of Georgian Bay in 1615.

- The joint reading of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace's papers on evolution to the Linnean Society occurred in 1858. Also in 1858, a law required that the accounts of the Province of Canada be kept in dollars; the first Canadian coins were minted: silver 5-cent, 10-cent and 20-cent pieces and bronze pennies.

- The Russian State Library was founded in 1862.
- The Dominion of Canada came into existence, consisting of Ontario, Québec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, with John A. Macdonald as the first Prime Minister.

- Prince Edward Island entered Confederation as Canada's 7th province in 1873.
- Sherlock Holmes began his adventure, "Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax" in 1902.
- Captain J.-E. Bernier unveiled a tablet at Winter Harbour, Melville Island in 1909, proclaiming Canadian sovereignty over the entire Arctic Archipelago for Canada, from the mainland to the North Pole.

- Coca-Cola brought its current coke formula to the market in 1916. Also in 1916, the Prohibition of the sale of alcohol came into effect in Alberta. The law proved unenforceable.

- Again in 1916, Newfoundland troops captured Beaumont Hamel in France on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
- In 1923, the Chinese Immigration Act was replaced by legislation that virtually suspended Chinese immigration on the day known to the Canadian Chinese as "Humiliation Day."

- Canada was restored to the gold standard in 1926.
- The federal-provincial hospital plan went into effect in New Brunswick in 1959.
- Canadian Treaty Indians were given the right to vote in Canadian elections in 1960.

- Singer Michelle Wright, the first Canadian country singer to ship a gold album, was born in Merlin, Ontario in 1962. Also in 1962, when the Saskatchewan Medicare Act came into force, most Saskatchewan doctors closed their offices. The Medical Care Insurance Commission brought doctors from out of province to meet the emergency.

- US postal service instituted a Zone Improvement Plan (zip code) in 1963.
- The Canadian Labour Code came into effect for all government employees in 1965.
- The Medical Care Act (Medicare) officially came into effect in 1968, establishing the basis of the health care system: universal coverage, comprehensive benefits, portability of benefits and public administration.
- The first Gay Pride March in England occurred in 1972.
- Singer René Simard, at only 13, represented Canada at the International Festival of Song in Tokyo in 1974, winning first prize for performance and the Frank Sinatra trophy. He went on to have a prolific career as a singer, actor, and producer.
- Sony introduced the Walkman in 1979.

- The PG-13 rating was introduced by the MPAA in 1984.
- The Winnipeg Jets officially changed their name to the Phoenix Coyotes in 1996.
- The Nevada Athletic Commission suspended Mike Tyson for biting Holyfield in 1997.
- The first operation of Qinghai-Tibet Railway in the People's Republic of China occurred in 2006.
- Smoking in England was banned in all public indoor spaces in 2007. With the ban already in force in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, this made it illegal to smoke in indoor public places anywhere in the UK. The ban was also put into effect in Australia in 2007.

Stay tuned for our next, "On This Day in History"! Happy Canada Day!

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