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A day off

The 19th century wasn’t a golden era for workers. In Newfoundland, six-year-olds were given the job of splitting fish, while processing was done by 10-year-old girls. Eight-year-old boys worked in Cape Breton coal mines. At Toronto’s Gooderham and Worts distillery, child workers as young as 10 worked long days and were given rations of whisky to...
  • They were prepared

    July 21, 2019 by June Coxon
    The mottos of all factions of the Boy Scout and Girl Guide movements include pledges to help others. Wartime records show that contributions of the young members more than lived up to their mottos “Lend a Hand,” “Do a Good Turn Daily” and “Be Prepared.”...
  • O Canada: Moon legs

    July 16, 2019 by Don Gillmor
    What was the first thing to touch the moon’s surface on July 20, 1969? Before Neil Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface with the words, “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind,” the Canadian-made legs of the lunar landing module...
  • When Winnipeg erupted

    May 15, 2019 by Valerie Knowles
    In Germany I fed on grass and rats. I would prefer going back to eating grass than give up the freedom for which I fought so hard and suffered so much.”       This outburst, voiced by a First World War veteran in Western...
  • Appreciating “Voice of Fire”

    April 25, 2019 by Don Gillmor
    “My five-year-old could paint that.”  This was a familiar response from viewers staring at “Voice of Fire.” The huge painting—on a canvas measuring 5.4 metres by 2.4 metres—by American artist Barnett Newman occupied a central place in the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. The...
  • Coming Home

    January 26, 2019 by R.H. Thomson
    Meticulously colourized images kindle a renewed appreciation of the burdens carried by homecoming soldiers   Winning wars lets countries tidy up some national stories, but losing wars often worsens domestic divisions. Winning certainly makes history appear neater: in the First World War, Canadians fought against tyranny...
  • The ‘fightingest’ ship in the navy

    January 11, 2019 by Don Gillmor
    In the course of its remarkable life, HMCS Haida was attacked by German bombers, engaged with enemy battleships, participated in the Normandy invasion, escorted Russian convoys, sank U-boats, circumnavigated the globe, and shelled trains during the Korean War. One of 27 Tribal-class destroyers built between...
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