Tag Archives: Military History

History Slam 179: Civilians at the Sharp End

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http://activehistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/History-Slam-179.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadBy Sean Graham Every May, the City of Ottawa hosts the annual Tulip Festival to celebrate the relationships built between Canada and the Netherlands during the Second World War. Following the war, the Dutch Royal Family gifted tulips to Canada as a symbol of friendship, in part to commemorates the birth of Princess Margriet… Read more »

History Slam Episode 171: A Canadian Activist in Spain’s Civil War

http://activehistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/History-Slam-171.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadBy Sean Graham In 1937, following the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, the Mackenzie King government passed the Foreign Enlistment Act. Like other western democratic countries, Canada had decided to stay out the war, which saw the democratically-elected Republican government fight against the Francisco Franco-led Nationalists. Despite the law, over 1,600 Canadians went… Read more »

History Slam Episode 154: War Junk

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http://activehistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/History-Slam-154.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadBy Sean Graham During the Second World War, Canada, along with all combatant countries engaged in a massive mobilization effort that included shifting industrial production to supply the war efforts. During the six year conflict, Canadian factories transitioned from consumer products to military production. For instance, the Canadian Cycle and Co. Ltd. in Weston,… Read more »

The Active History of Canada’s First World War: A Thematic Guide

By Sarah Glassford and Nathan Smith The “Canada’s First World War” series launched on ActiveHistory.ca with a Call for Blog Posts, published on 4 August 2014. It concluded in the Fall of 2019, with a total of 78 posts, including this post. The series editors during this five-year run were: Mary Chaktsiris, Sarah Glassford, Christopher Schulz, Nathan Smith, and Jonathan… Read more »

Poppies, Cherries, and the mis-Meaning of Remembrance Day

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By Owen Griffiths As most everyone knows by now, Don Cherry was fired recently for saying that “you people” should wear a poppy on Remembrance Day. Love him or hate him, and with Cherry there is no middle ground, he has been known throughout his broadcasting career for his unequivocal championing of Canadian players and his denigration of those foreign… Read more »

History Slam Episode 139: Canadians and the Chinese Labour Corps in the First World War

http://activehistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/History-Slam-139.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadBy Sean Graham The outstanding Canada’s First World War series here at Activehistory.ca wrapped up on Friday after five years of producing exceptional content. As Jonathan Weier pointed out in one of the series’ post earlier this year, the historical focus on major narratives like Vimy that focus on nationalist mythology limits the discussion… Read more »

Remembering what we forget: Memory, commemoration and the 1885 Resistance

Two rectangular stone blocks frame the entrance to a cemetery. Both blocks have text inscribed on them. The shorter one on the viewer’s left has French text, while the one on the right has Michif text.

Matthew McRae Every 11 November, Canadians gather to remember those who served their country in times of war and conflict. But are these same Canadians also gathering to forget? Memory, especially collective memory, tends to be selective. One particularly interesting case study of collective memory (and collective forgetting) is the Northwest Resistance of 1885. The conflict saw some 5,000 Canadian… Read more »

In Conversation VI: Making Sense of the Centenary of Canada’s First World War

By Mary Chaktsiris, Sarah Glassford, Chris Schultz, Nathan Smith, and Jonathan Weier   Preamble During the first half of 2019, we the editors of www.ActiveHistory.ca’s long-running series “Canada’s First World War” stepped back and reflected on the editorial work we undertook over of the course of four and a half years of Great War centenary commemorations, 2014-2019. In response to… Read more »

Francophone Alberta: Deeply Engaged in the First World War

By Rebecca Lazarenko As news of impending conflict travelled across Canada on August 4, 1914, a monstrous manifestation in favour of the declaration of war was held in downtown Edmonton. Thousands of French and English residents marched up and down the streets of the city, proudly waving the French, British and Canadian flags, shouting “hourah!” in favour of the declaration,… Read more »

Remembering the Bombardment: Juno Beach 75 Years Later

The scope of French civilian casualties on the invasion beaches, as a result of the air and sea bombardment, is not something most interested in the D-Day invasion have considered. As we commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the attack, we should pause to consider the ineffectiveness of the preliminary bombardment, the price paid by the infantry in capturing positions that the air force should have neutralized, and the approximately 100 French men and women killed by these misplaced bombs.