But before I begin, I would like to pause for a few moments to acknowledge the horrible situation we face with the deadly virus facing the world. It has spread around the globe and now the deadly virus is largest in the US, fake news and promises of a five day resolution aside. A US national disaster has now been declared.
Here in Canada we have cases across the country but in much lower numbers.
I can only pray that soon it is brought under control and to hope that all reading this blog today, their families, loved ones and friends have not been touched seriously by this virus. To those who have, know that we all care and pray for each and every one of you.
While you are now home-bound, and bouncing off walls wondering what to do, I have a solution. I offer you lots of historical reading material in blogs in this space over the past 8 years and blogs numbering 500 and more.
I start today's by noting that the Siegel story has caused me to not address some recent issues. These include the fact that another Canadian has been has been found to be a civil war Medal of Honor recipient. More on that in a few blogs time.
But today I want to recognize some milestones somewhat belated. The first of these is Black History month, that has come and gone back in February. I hope to be better organized next year for this event.
Today I will start with these three important American men.
Back in 1926 he started what became known as Negro History Week wherein he used his talents and those of so many more to advance the causes faced by the blacks of the day.
February was his chosen week for the celebration. This being the month within which both prominent advocate Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln, both celebrated their birthdays. During the 1976 Bicentennial celebrations the week of celebration became Black History Month across the country.
Jean Austin, shown above, became Canada's first woman of colour elected into the Parliament of Canada. She would sponsor the movement to have Canada adopt the national Black History Month in 1995. It would receive unanimous support and later Senator Don Oliver (also shown above) presented the motion in Canada's Senate in 2008. Oliver being the first man of colour appointed to our Senate.
No mention of Black History would be complete without proper mention of the names of Rosa Parks and Viola Des mond. One an American, one a Canadian. Both with almost identical stories.
In New Glasgow Nova Scotia, NINE YEARS EARLIER, Viola Desmond sat in a movie house on the lower level. In those days blacks were required to sit in the upper gallery. When she refused to relocate, she ended up being DRAGGED out of the theater and spending the night in jail. Many a year later the government apologized to her for their CRIME in the way she was handled.
The year long herculean campaign to have the government accept the proposal to have a woman put on the bill was spearheaded by a Victoria resident by the name of Merna Forster. I am very proud to call her a friend and would encourage you to have a look at her efforts to see this bill come to fruition. It can be seen at... https://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/jack-knox-noteworthy-10-bill-a-reality-thanks-to-oak-bay-s-merna-forster-1.23503277
March also saw the coming and going of International Women's Day and of course Women's History Month in the US, that ends in a few days. A month that is celebrated in Canada in October.
The movement, like Merna Forster's $10 Bill campaign, also started in Victoria by 3 women, a few others joined later on. Of the three, one wanted the celebration to be a week long and within BC. Another wanted it to be national and for a month. That other woman shared my last name. Probably because she was my mother.
Both ladies are shown above.
The month chosen was October and for good reason. That was the month that the Britain overruled the men of the day in Canada and made the statement that women were in fact persons, and as such could hold any government office, including that of the Canadian Senate.
That case became known as the PERSON's case, and the five women that fought that case all the way to Britain are shown below...
Please join me then.