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Tuesday, July 01, 2014

July 1, 1867

Okay, everyone!  Welcome to a brand new month!  And to kick off July right, I have a very special edition of the Tuesday Timeline to share!  And, trust me when I tell you that this could very well be one of the oldest dates that I have featured in this space.

(Well, aside from the April Fools Day joke that I pulled three months ago.)

Before we get to our very special date, I've got some other events that took place throughout history on this date.  After all, the first of July was a very busy day!

1770 - Lexell's Comet passed closer to the Earth than any other comet in recorded history

1782 - The Raid of Lunenburg takes place

1863 - The Battle of Gettysburg begins

1874 - The first commercially successful typewriter - The Sholes and Gidden Typewriter - goes on sale in stores

1881 - The very first international phone call is made between New Brunswick, Canada, and the state of Maine in the United States

1903 - The very first Tour de France kicks off on this date

1908 - S.O.S. is adopted as the international signal of distress

1916 - 19,000 British soldiers are killed and another 40,000 wounded during the first day of the Battle of the Somme during World War I

1931 - United Airlines begins operations (as Boeing Air Transport)

1934 - Actor and director Sydney Pollack (d. 2008) is born in Lafayette, Indiana

1961 - Diana, Princess of Wales (d. 1997) is born in Park House, Sandringham, Norfolk, England

1963 - The ZIP code is introduced in the United States

1972 - The first Gay Pride march in England is held

1979 - Sony introduces the Walkman

1984 - The newly created rating of PG-13 starts is first introduced

1987 - The first all-sports radio station debuts in New York City

1995 - Famous New York City born disc jockey Wolfman Jack passes away at the age of 57

1996 - Model Margaux Hemingway is found dead of a drug overdose

1997 - Actor Robert Mitchum dies at the age of 79

2000 - Actor Walter Matthau dies of a heart attack at 79

2004 - Actor Marlon Brando dies at the age of 80

2005 - Singer Luther Vandross dies at the age of 54 of a heart attack

2007 - Smoking in public places is banned throughout England

2009 - "Are You Being Served" actress Mollie Sugden dies at the age of 86 - just four months after her co-star Wendy Richard

(Is it just me or is July 1 synonymous with celebrity death?)

Fortunately, we have quite a few celebrities who are celebrating the anniversary of their births!  Happy birthday to
Olivia de Havilland, Leslie Caron, Jamie Farr, Twyla Tharp, Andrae Crouch, Debbie Harry, John Farnham, Terrence Mann, Fred Schneider, Dan Aykroyd, Lisa Scottoline, Alan Ruck, Dale Midkiff, Michelle Wright, Andre Braugher, Pamela Anderson, Melissa Peterman, Missy Elliott, Julianne Nicholson, Claire Forlani, Kellie Bright, Liv Tyler, Hilarie Burton, and Raini Rodriguez.

Actually, I'm going to single out three of those birthdays.  In the cases of Dan Aykroyd, Michelle Wright, and Pamela Anderson, their birthdays coincide with another huge birthday that is happening today.  Only in this case, the birthday isn't of a person, but a nation.  A nation that all three of those celebrities were born in.

It also happens to be the country that I call home.  And the date that it became a country?

July 1, 1867!

Interesting background no?  Well, why not?  After all, it was 147 years ago today that my country of Canada became an independent nation!  Yes, it was on this date in 1867 that the British North America Act of 1867 took effect as the Constitution of Canada.  This act created the Canadian Confederation and the federal dominion of Canada!

Now, here's some trivia for you!  Do you know who the first Prime Minister of Canada was?  I'll give you a hint...he shares the same last name as a famous fast food chain...only with an extra "A" added in.  Would you like some think music?  Here's special music for you!  And, don't scroll down any further until you know or give up.

Well, do you know the answer?  

Well, that would be Sir John A. Macdonald, whose tenure as Prime Minister lasted a combined total of nearly two decades!  He served between 1867 and 1873, and again from 1878 until his death in June 1891.  If you happen to be in the Kingston, Ontario area, you can see the house where Macdonald once lived!  Definitely check it out if you can.

(And, just because I can, I'm adding that one of the teachers at my elementary school back when I was a student there looked exactly like him, and now performs as him in historic recreations!)

Question #2.  When Canada first became an independent nation, it didn't have all of the provinces and territories included in that deal.  Much like the United States and its initial thirteen colonies, Canada only had four provinces when it became an independent nation.  Can you name those four provinces?  I'll give you some time to think it over.

Still stumped?  Okay, the provinces were Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.  All four were recognized as provinces on July 1, 1867.  Just for completion, here's a list of the other six provinces and three territories as well as their dates of confederation.  Take close note of Prince Edward Island.

MANITOBA - July 15, 1870
BRITISH COLUMBIA - July 20, 1871
YUKON - June 13, 1898
SASKATCHEWAN - September 1, 1905
ALBERTA - September 1, 1905
NUNAVUT - April 1, 1999

So, I should wish Prince Edward Island a happy birthday too!  You're looking great for 141 years old!

Next question!  I'll admit that this one stumped me!

When did the song "O Canada" officially become Canada's national anthem?  Again, I'll post the appropriate thinking music.  And, here's a small hint.  It happened on July 1.  (I know, shocker, huh?)

Believe it or not, I always thought that "O Canada" became an anthem in the 1880s.  After all, the song was first performed in 1880 for Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day.  But believe it or not, it took a century for it to be recognized as the official anthem.  Exact date?  July 1, 1980!  So, basically being born in 1981, I had never known Canada before "O Canada", which I expected.  But I never would have guessed that it became official the year before I was born.  The things you learn while doing research!

Okay.   Next question.  In what year did the one dollar bill become extinct in Canada?  Note, I'm not asking when the one dollar coin (which we Canadians affectionately call the "Loonie" after the bird that appears on the front of the coin) first came out.  I'm asking when the dollar bill ceased to exist.

Again with the think music.

Give up?  Well, although the loonie was introduced on the day before Canada Day in 1987, it took a couple of years for the paper currency to completely disappear.  The final Canadian dollar bill was printed on June 30, 1989.  Wow, it really doesn't seem like twenty-five years has passed since we said farewell to the dollar bill.  I still have one in my photo album!

(Oh, and just for added trivia, the two dollar bill was discontinued in February 1996 to make way for the two dollar coin known as the Toonie.  And as of February 4, 2013, pennies are now considered to be a part of Canadian history - though they still are considered legal tender.)

I'm having so much fun with this Canadian themed blog!  Would you like another trivia question that is Canadian themed?

If any of you have visited Canada, or are brand new to the country (welcome, by the way), you may have noticed that the coffee and donut chain known as "Tim Hortons" is very popular here.  In my town alone, we have five locations - which doesn't seem like a lot until you realize that my town only has a population of 22,500 (or so the signs leading into town claim).  Here's the question.  When did the first Tim Hortons location open, and what city?  Here's some more think music from an appropriate source.

Do you have the answer?

According to my sources (mostly the Tim Hortons website), the very first Tim Hortons opened up fifty years ago on
May 17, 1964.  And, the home of the very first location?  Hamilton, Ontario!

TRIVIA:  The chain is named after its founder, former hockey star Tim Horton, who played for four hockey teams, including the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Tragically, Horton was killed in a car accident on the QEW in St. Catharines, Ontario in February 1974.  His name, however, lives on.

Okay, next question!  Again, this one could be a toughie.

With the success of MTV's debut in 1981, it was decided that Canada would get into the act, and start up its own music channel.  And, this is a three-part question.

1.  What was the name of this channel?
2.  Which famous news personality was one of the first VJ's?
3.  What date did it debut?

I'll give you some more think music.

Have you gotten the answers yet?  Here they are!

1.  The station was called MUCHMUSIC.  It's now called MUCH on account that it seemed to ditch the music portion circa 2005.

2.  The news personality is CBS/CNN/FOX anchor John Roberts, who in those days went by J.D. Roberts.  Other famous MuchMusic VJ's included Erica Ehm, the late Dan Gallagher, and current ET Canada host, Rick Campanelli.  There was even a gal from my hometown, Rachel Perry, who served as a MuchMusic VJ in the late 1990s!

3.  The station debuted three years and one month after MTV, on
September 1, 1984.

And, that's all the trivia I have for you all today!  All think music was provided by Canadian born artists of various genres.

And, I just want to say that I'm going to come across as being extremely biased here, but I truly believe that I was born in and currently live in one of the best, if not THE BEST countries in the entire world!  I am definitely proud of my Canadian background, and I can't imagine living anywhere else!

Thanks Canada, for 147 fantastic years!  Here's to the next 147!

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