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Author: Margot Cudmore

The October Crisis began with the kidnappings of British diplomat James Cross and Pierre Laporte by the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) in October 1970.  At that time, there was a heightened fear of international and domestic terrorism. National liberation movements spawned terrorist violence across the globe - think Ireland and Palestine.  A host of other terrorist organizations were responsible for bombings, hijacking planes and other acts of violence. It was an era of international terrorism: in seeking targets abroad, they raised the possibility that anyone anywhere could be a target. It was not a fact of life, though, here in Canada.

Hockey – the Canadian game, pastime, passion and glue that holds us together. And never more so than during those 27 Days in September book, 1972. The Summit Series, Super Series or Canada-Russia Series, whatever you want to call it, was the only thing the nation cared about for 27 days that September. It was an 8-game series played between the Soviet National Team and Team Canada, a select group of NHL all-stars.

Sometimes it hard to believe women have only had the legal right to vote (Suffrage) in political elections in Canada since the turn of the last century. By the mid-19th century, full citizenship with the right to vote was limited to men. By the end of the century, laws across the country mandated near-universal, White male citizenship at the federal and provincial level and excluded female voters. 

Seriously, there’s no way you can collect a list of Canadian images and icons without including a reference to the Red Serge. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) was formed in 1920 by the merger of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police (RNWMP, founded in 1873) with the Dominion Police (founded in 1868). You can do your own search if you’re interested in the history of the force, who they police and what they are up to, including some not-so-heroic internal policies and procedures that have been keeping them in the news lately.

Yes, we choose a boring politician to grace the month of April. But consider this: during his career as a civil servant, and then as a politician, a new Canadian Identity started to emerge. We started shaking off the shackles of Britain and started taking leadership roles in international policies and events. Lester Bowles Pearson, our foremost diplomat of the 1950s and 1960s and the Canadian prime minister from 1963–68 and design hero. Design hero? During his career, Canada’s design industry started to flourish. Coincidence? Maybe, but remember, he was in power when we flew the maple leaf over parliament for the very first time.

Mr. Peacekeeper
He spent his early career as a professor, soon landing a job with the Department of External Affairs. He spent time in London in the Canadian High Commission, he moved to Washington to work at the Canadian Legation (forbearer of our Embassy) and in 1945, he was named Canadian ambassador to the United States and attended the founding conference of the United Nations (UN) at San Francisco.

In 1929, the Aird Commission on public broadcasting recommended the creation of a national radio broadcast network, partly due to the concern of the growing influence of American radio broadcasting as U.S.-based networks began to expand into Canada. After a bit of a false start, the Canadian Broadcasting Act was passed in 1936 and CBC radio first hits the airwaves on December 2. During its early years, it was a patch-work of stations limited to some of the major markets across Canada, eventually forming a single, coast-to-coast network in 1962.