Category Archives: Commemoration

A Peace Resembling War

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W. George Lovell December 29, 2021, marks the 25th anniversary of the signing of a peace accord that, under the auspices of the United Nations, brought a formal end to thirty-six years of armed conflict in Guatemala. At the time the accord was signed, Guatemala’s was Latin America’s most prolonged internal strife, during which acts of genocide occurred. A quarter-century… Read more »

Science as Vocation and Life

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By Dimitry Zakharov Gerhard Herzberg was a man of science. His life revolved around his office, where he spent countless hours, often working six days a week going over spectrograms, interpreting and writing results, and familiarizing himself with the latest research in his own field and quantum physics in general. Spectroscopy and the scientists involved in this field were his… Read more »

Dr. Gerhard Herzberg and The Prize

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By Denisa Popa In Gerhard Herzberg: An Illustrious Life in Science, Boris Stoicheff recalls the amusing way in which Herzberg found out he had received the Nobel Prize. On November 2nd, 1971, as Herzberg was seated on a train waiting to leave Leningrad station, the Secretary of the Soviet Academy of Science ran up to his cabin and informed him… Read more »

Scientific Freedom and “the Golden Years”: Gerhard Herzberg and the National Research Council of Canada

Denisa Popa From 1948 until his retirement in 1994, Dr. Gerhard Herzberg conducted ground-breaking research at the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). As his close friend and biographer Boris Stoicheff has noted, Herzberg’s early period at the NRC– culminating in his Nobel win in 1971 — were truly “the golden years” of his career.[1] Recognizing the essential nature of… Read more »

Historia Nostra & Off-Campus History visit the Diefenbunker

By Louis Reed-Wood and Erin Isaac In October 2021, three former University of Saskatchewan history nerds met up in Ottawa, Ontario to answer the call of destiny (or something like it…). We’d come to the outskirts of Ottawa to sleuth around the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum — a museum we three (Hannah Cooley, Louis Reed-Wood, and Erin Isaac, now… Read more »

Historia Nostra: Myth, Memory, and Misconception at the Plains of Abraham

By Erin Isaac The Battle on the Plains of Abraham, on 13 September 1759, is heavily commemorated on Québec’s physical landscape. From the streets, buildings, and shops named for the French and British military men who fought that day, to the monuments that dot the city’s historic neighbourhoods, and commemorative panels or plaques at the Plains of Abraham, it’s hard… Read more »

Humanity, Humility and Humour: Dr. Gerhard Herzberg’s Pursuit of Scientific Study & Progress

By Denisa Popa On January 17th, 1985, Dr. Gerhard Herzberg attended a dinner in his honour after receiving the Great Cross of Merit with Star of the Federal Republic of Germany.[1] At this event, he looked back on his scientific career and life journey, highlighting the various people, places and values that had influenced him. In 1935, Gerhard Herzberg and… Read more »

Historia Nostra: How History has Changed on Ministers Island

By Laura Oland and Erin Isaac When Ministers Island (known to the Passamaquoddy for centuries as Consquamcook, before the “Minister,” Reverend Samuel Andrews, took up residence there in the 1790s) became a National Historic Site in 1996, the designating body’s main interest was in the island’s association with Sir William Van Horne. Van Horne, the Canadian Pacific Railway president who… Read more »

Indigenous and Colonial Trackways: A New Historia Nostra Series

By Erin Isaac Roads, hiking trails, rivers, train tracks, or any manner of routes we use to travel often feel like historically benign spaces (at least to me). For myself, driving along the 401 between Kingston and Toronto has inspired more frustration about traffic and “Ontario Drivers” than curiosity about the road’s history. It feels like a space that exists… Read more »

Want to Understand Egerton Ryerson? Two School Histories Provide the Context

By Thomas Peace In 1842, at the Dawn settlement near Dresden, Ontario, Josiah Henson built the British American Institute (BAI), a school for peoples who had escaped their enslavement. Five years later, about 75 kilometers from the BAI, on the banks of the Deshkan Ziibiing near London, Methodist missionary Kahkewaquonaby (Peter Jones) – a Mississauga leader from Credit River (western… Read more »