By Aaron Boyes and Sean Graham

Once again we've offered our two cents about the events of 100 years ago. Let us know what you think of the final results.

Once again we’ve offered our two cents about the events of 100 years ago. Let us know what you think of the final results.

Another year has passed, and with that more lists discussing the most important people/events of 2014 will soon be appearing on websites, in magazines, and on personal blogs. For us, however, we will once again be using historical hindsight to discuss, and debate, the most important/influential events of 100 years ago. We have identified the major events and placed them in a ‘March Madness’ style bracket. This year’s regions are: Transportation, International, Cultural Affairs, and Potpourri.

Readers will immediately notice that there is nothing about the First World War in the bracket. Before you start writing us angry e-mails, comments, and Tweets, a brief disclaimer is necessary. We omitted events of the First World War for two reasons. First, there is a wealth of excellent scholarship that has been written about the Great War to commemorate the centennial of this horrific conflict. Second, an event from the War would have won the bracket without any competition. Therefore, we decided to focus on other events from 1914 that may not be as familiar.

With this in mind, we selected what we think are the sixteen most important people/events from 1914 and pitted them against one another. Below is how our bracket turned out.

 We hope you enjoy the Second Annual(?) Year in Review (100 Years Later) Bracket! If you disagree with our decisions and have an idea for a more important event, be sure to join the conversation!

Sweet Sixteen (Seeds in Bracket)

Potpurri Region

(1) First Successful Non-Direct Blood Transfusion v. (4)  Oxymorphone Developed
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By Sean Carleton and Julia Smith

Eaton's PicketlineBy mid-December, the holiday shopping season is usually in full swing for Canadian retailers. Thirty years ago, however, several Eaton’s department stores in southern Ontario were experiencing a different type of holiday hustle and bustle: Eaton’s workers were on strike.

Hoping that unionization would improve their wages and working conditions, many of the department stores’ mostly female workers had joined the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU); but management’s refusal to negotiate left them with few options but to withdraw their labour power. On 30 November 1984 RWDSU members at six Eaton’s locations went on strike. In doing so, they embarked on a significant struggle to win a collective agreement in a sector known for poor pay and precarity, all while enduring one of the coldest winters in Canadian history. [click to continue…]


Did You Know the American World War I Museum is in Kansas City?

December 16, 2014 is featuring this post as part of  “Canada’s First World War: A Centennial Series on”, a multi-year series of regular posts about the history and centennial of the First World War.  By Jeff Bowersox I found out about the National World War I Museum during a recent conference trip – yes, to Kansas […]

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Heroin as treatment? The calculations of a new ‘junk’ equation

December 15, 2014

By Lucas Richert [This post was first published on] “I have learned the junk equation,” wrote William Burroughs in his semi-autobiographical 1953 book, Junkie. “Junk is not, like alcohol or weed, a means to increase enjoyment of life. Junk is not a kick. It is a way of life.” According to Burroughs, the beatnik, […]

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Putin’s Lessons from History

December 10, 2014

By Andriy Zayarnyuk Now that Vladimir Putin has acknowledged his responsibility for invading Ukraine in February 2013, finding out about his worldview is no longer a matter of mere curiosity. Putin’s statements of the last decade demonstrate that his thinking about Ukraine and Russia is deeply mired in history. Already in 2005, reminding the upper […]

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Couillard, Cartier and Confederation: Old Ideas, New Voices

December 9, 2014

By Jared Milne 2014 was a year of change in Quebec, as Philippe Couillard led the provincial Liberals to victory over the Parti Quebecois (PQ) government of Pauline Marois. Since taking power Couillard and his Intergovernmental Affairs Minister, Jean-Marc Fournier, have played up Quebec’s “distinct society.” In a speech at the Canada 2020 conference, Fournier claimed that […]

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The Nation-State is not what we think it is: Teaching Canadian History from a non-national perspective

December 8, 2014

By Thomas Peace At the beginning of November I was asked to join a panel entitled “No One is International” as part of Huron College’s Centre for Global Studies‘s symposium “Critically Engaging: Global Awareness in the Academy.” As I considered the panel’s title, and the broader purpose for the conference (to critically engage with the meaning […]

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The Moral Distance of the Past: History, Tragedy, and Ethics at Grand-Pré

December 4, 2014

By Andrew Nurse I admit it. The first time I saw the Evangeline “memorial” (if imaginary people can have memories) at Grand-Pré, I was impressed. It was beautiful. Located in the Nova Scotia Annapolis Valley near New Minas where my son’s soccer team was playing in a tournament, it made for what seemed like a […]

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History Slam Episode Fifty-Six: Franca Iacovetta and the 2014 Berkshire Conference

December 3, 2014

Podcast: Play in new window | Download By Sean Graham For four days this past May the University of Toronto hosted the 2014 Berkshire Conference on the History of Women. The ‘Big Berks,’ as it’s known, is considered by many to be the biggest women’s history conference in the world and this was the first […]

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MacChe? Kingston prepares for the Macdonald Bicentennial

December 2, 2014

Karen Dubinsky I live in downtown Kingston, Ontario. Two doors away from me are two sweet old white ladies. They live in John A. Macdonald’s boyhood home where, according to one of the two plaques outside, he spent his “character forming” years. When I first moved to this street I noticed that during relevant occasions […]

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