It's Canada's 150's birthday this year and CBC has been airing a series called "The Story of Us" on Sunday nights, which recounts the history of Canada from when the first settlers arrived up until modern times, taking interesting stories from various eras of history. Obviously, there's a lot left out, but it includes an incredible amount of stuff I had no idea about. It's done through reenacting scenes narrated over by various Canadian celebs, professors, writers, soldiers, and other people of note. Including a very silver-haired Paul Gross, who has aged very well.
I doubt it's available outside of Canada, but the on the off-chance you can watch it or live in Canada haven't seen it, the website is here
. It finished a couple of weeks ago but Mum and I just finished last night due to practically all the television we watch in a week airing on Sunday night at the same time. We have DVR full of stuff to catch up on.
Some stuff I learned that I didn't know:
-- on at least three occasions, Canadians have won important battles by pretending there were more soldiers there than there were. These incidents are unrelated and spread out over hundreds of years; it's like it's just built into our DNA to go 'well, there's only three of us, but if we run around and make a lot of noise, we might be able to make them think there's more of us and they might surrender and we won't have to fight them'. And it worked on all three occasions. Including Vimy Ridge in WWI, where one soldier captured 96 Germans in a bunker by calling up to his few men above as though there were a platoon of them and ferrying them out in small, manageable groups once they'd been disarmed, so the few above weren't overwhelmed.
-- the most decorated sniper of WWI from Canada was a First Nations man named, Francis Pegahmagabow
who was a total badass.
-- There was a black woman in 1940's Nova Scotia named Viola Desmond
, who went to the cinema in different town and didn't know it was segregated there. She intended to buy a main floor ticket, but was given a mezzanine ticket since that was where you had to sit if you were black. She didn't know she had been given the different ticket and went to sit on the main floor, only to be euphemistically told she had the wrong ticket and to go upstairs, so she went back to correct the 'mistake' and exchange her ticket, only to be told she couldn't. She decided to sit on the main floor anyway and was arrested, put in jail overnight and charged a $26 fine for 'tax evasion' because the main floor ticket cost one cent
more than the mezzanine ticket and she hadn't bought a main floor ticket. That's almost a $370 fine in today's money. Despite her challenging it, it was thrown out on a technically of the claim being filed after the 10 days time limit. She was officially pardoned in 2010, and is going to be the first Canadian woman to appear on a bank note in 2018.
Anyway, if you can find a way to watch the series, I highly recommend it. It's really fascinating and well done.
All the way through it I kept going "I bet my vampire lived through that".