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October 2015

Snapshots in History: October 20: Remembering Nellie McClung

October 20, 2015 | John P. | Comments (0)

Nellie McClung

 

On October 20 and beyond, take a moment to remember the contribution to Canadian women’s suffrage of feminist and social activist Nellie Letitia (Mooney) McClung (Born: October 20, 1873 in Chatsworth, Ontario; Died: September 1, 1951 in Victoria, British Columbia). While living in Winnipeg, Manitoba with pharmacist husband Wesley and their family, Nellie McClung began campaigning for women’s right to vote in the 1914 and 1915 Manitoba provincial elections as a supporter of the Liberal Party. Additionally, she helped to create the Women’s Political Equality League. In 1914, McClung organized a mock Women’s Parliament to show the illogic of denying women the vote by playfully arguing that men should not have the right to vote. The Liberal Party won the 1915 Manitoba election and Manitoba became the first Canadian province to grant women the right to vote (and the right to run for elected office in the provincial Legislative Assembly) on January 28, 1916, although Nellie McClung and her family had just moved to Alberta.

Nellie McClung championed women’s suffrage in the province of Alberta as well as advocating for dental and medical care for school children, property rights for married women, mothers’ allowances, and factory safety legislation. McClung was elected to the Alberta Legislative Assembly as a member of the Liberal Party in 1921, serving in office until 1926. McClung’s controversial support of eugenics and sterilization of the developmentally disabled influenced the introduction of the Alberta Sexual Sterilization Act in 1928 by the United Farmers of Alberta.

This government also created an Alberta Eugenics Board (AEB), despite opposition from some segments of the population that the Act constituted a violation of human rights. Despite the subsequent embracing of eugenics by the racist Nazi regime in Germany in the 1930s, the subsequent Social Credit government in Alberta allowed the AEB to continue its work until the new Progressive Conservative government of Peter Lougheed discontinued the law in 1972. (In fairness to Nellie McClung, other progressive people considered eugenics as a viable option for a time before the Nazis embraced it, including author H.G. Wells, playwright George Bernard Shaw, civil rights activist and historian W.E.B. Du Bois, and yes, even T.C. “Tommy” Douglas. Douglas completed his Master of Arts thesis on eugenics in 1933 but rarely mentioned it and never implemented it in health services while serving as Premier of Saskatchewan from 1944-1961. See: Snapshots in History: February 24: Remembering T.C. “Tommy” Douglas )

Nellie McClung is also remembered as one of the Famous Five (or Valiant Five) – five Alberta-based women ( Emily MurphyIrene Marryat ParlbyNellie Mooney McClungLouise Crummy McKinney and Henrietta Muir Edwards ) who petitioned the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) on August 27, 1927 to inquire whether the word “Persons” in Section 24 of the British North America Act included “female persons” or women for the purposes of being considered for appointment to the Senate, Canada’s unelected Upper House of Parliament. (The background context to this petition was that women were fighting for equality rights across North America, even though Canadian women already had the vote federally and in most provincial jurisdictions.)

The SCC ruled on April 24, 1928 that women were not “persons” under the intent of Section 24, hence not eligible for appointment to the Senate, prompting the “Famous Five” to refer the matter (i.e. the “Persons Case”) to the British Judicial Committee of the Privy Council which reversed the SCC’s decision on October 18, 1929, utilizing the “living tree doctrine” towards the constitution in that interpretations should be broad and progressive so as to ameliorate the constitution’s adaptability to the times. In October 2009, the Senate of Canada honoured the Famous Five posthumously as Canada’s first Honorary Senators.

Nellie McClung was also an author of fiction and non-fiction books, publishing her first novel Sowing Seeds in Danny in 1908. (Click here for online access to Nellie McClung’s works.)

Consider the following titles for borrowing from Toronto Public Library collections:

 

Books:

Nellie McClung the complete autobiography Clearing in the west and The stream runs fast Nellie McClung voice for the voiceless Nellie McClung Firing the heather the life and times of Nellie McClung



eBooks:

Nellie McClung Sowing seeds in Danny

 

 

Read the review of Nellie McClung by Charlotte Gray in Quill and Quire.

Read the review of Nellie McClung by Charlotte Gray in Canada’s History

 

Snapshots in History: October 15: Remembering Kenneth Taylor

October 16, 2015 | John P. | Comments (0)

 

 

On October 15 and beyond, take a moment to remember the contributions of former Canadian ambassador to Iran Kenneth Douglas “Ken” Taylor (Born: May 10, 1934 in Calgary, Alberta; Died: October 15, 2015 in New York City, New York) who died of Stage 4 colorectal cancer. Ken Taylor is best remembered amongst Canadians for masterminding the “Canadian Caper” in which he procured Canadian passports to help six American embassy staff members escape with the assistance of two Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operatives from Tehran, Iran on January 27, 1980 following the seizure of the American embassy on November 4, 1979 during the unfolding of the Iranian Revolution. The group pretended to be a Hollywood film crew working on a science-fiction film called Argo. Following his departure from Iran, Ken Taylor became Canadian Consul-General in New York City. In 1980, Mr. Taylor, his wife Pat, and others involved in the escape were made Officers of the Order of Canada. Mr. Taylor also received the Congressional Gold Medal from the United States of America. He served for several years as the Chancellor of Victoria University within the University of Toronto (from where he had graduated earlier with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. Mr. Taylor also earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of California at Berkeley). Upon leaving the Canadian Foreign Service in 1984, Ken Taylor worked in the private sector as Senior Vice-President of RJR Nabisco from 1984 to 1989 and also founded and chaired a public consulting firm called Taylor and Ryan.

Some controversy resulted following the release of the film “Argo” with Ben Affleck (who directed as well as portrayed CIA operative Tony Mendez) which showed a fictionalized account of the rescue of the six American hostages in which the Canadian contribution, especially that of Ambassador Taylor, was downplayed. Not only was this issue raised at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) but former President Jimmy Carter, who was American Commander-In-Chief during the “Canadian Caper”, confirmed “…that 90 percent of the contributions to the ideas and the consummation of the plan was Canadian. And the movie gives almost full credit to the American CIA. And with that exception, the movie is very good.” (Read Brian D. Johnson’s September 12, 2012 review of the film Argo in Maclean’s magazine.) However, the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) showcased the documentary “Our Man in Tehran” that told what actually happened during the “Canadian Caper”. (Read Simon Houpt’s review of the documentary in The Globe and Mail.)

Consider the following items for borrowing from Toronto Public Library collections:

 

Our man in Tehran the true story behind the secret mission to save six Americans during the Iran Hostage Crisis and the foreign ambassador who worked with the CIA to bring them home Our man in Tehran the true story behind the secret mission to save six Americans during the Iran Hostage Crisis and the foreign ambassador who worked with the CIA to bring them home Our man in Tehran the true story behind the secret mission to save six Americans during the Iran Hostage Crisis and the foreign ambassador who worked with the CIA to bring them home Talking Book

Book                            eBook                            Talking Book

 

Argo Our Man in Tehran the true story of Argo

Feature DVD                    Documentary DVD

 

 

(See also: Snapshots in History: October 15: Remembering Hurricane Hazel)

(See also: Snapshots in History: October 15: Remembering John Kenneth Galbraith)

Snapshots in History: October 15: Remembering John Kenneth Galbraith

October 16, 2015 | John P. | Comments (0)

 

On October 15 and beyond, take a moment to remember the contributions of Canadian-American economist John Kenneth Galbraith (Born: October 15, 1908 at Iona Station, Ontario, Canada; Died: April 29, 2006 at Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States). Galbraith was a long-time professor of economics at Harvard University and wrote popular and readable books such as American Capitalism (1952), The Affluent Society (1958), and The New Industrial State (1967). He also served several American Democratic Party Presidents such as Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson, including serving as United States Ambassador to India during the Kennedy Administration. Galbraith approached economics from a post-Keynesian lens within an institutional perspective. He saw trade unions as a countervailing (or opposing) force to the influences of big business and government and visa versa.

J.K. Galbraith received a Bachelor of Science in agricultural economics from the Ontario Agricultural College (affiliated to the University of Toronto), followed by Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in agricultural economics from the University of California at Berkeley.

J.K. Galbraith received many awards and honours during his illustrious life, including the United States’ Medal of Freedom in 1946 and its Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2000, the Lomonosov Gold Medal in 1993, and the Order of Canada (Officer Level) in 1997.

Consider the following titles for borrowing from Toronto Public Library collections:

Non-Fiction Books:

The lost Massey lectures recovered classics from five great thinkers The new industrial state The economics of innocent fraud truth for our time The essential Galbraith

Name-dropping from F.D.R. on The affluent society The good society the humane agenda American capitalism the concept of countervailing power


Non-Fiction eBooks:


The lost Massey lectures recovered classics from five great thinkers The affluent society


Fiction Book:

A tenured professor a novel

 

(See also: Snapshots in History: October 15: Remembering Hurricane Hazel)

(See also: Snapshots in History: October 15: Remembering Kenneth Taylor)

Snapshots in History: October 14: Remembering Winnie-the-Pooh

October 14, 2015 | John P. | Comments (0)

On October 14 and beyond, take a moment to remember Winnie-the-Pooh (or Pooh Bear). Many of us remember growing up with the books written by A.A. Milne and illustrated by E.H. Shepard. The journey of Winnie-the-Pooh’s adventures (with his animal friends Piglet, Eeyore, Owl,  Rabbit, Kanga and her son Roo  and with the boy Christopher Robin) began in a big way on October 14, 1926 with the publication of Winnie-the-Pooh.

Readers got a sneak peak at the human-like teddy bear in another Milne-Shepard collaboration with a poem “Teddy Bear” and an accompanying illustration of the then-named “Mr. Edward Bear” in the children’s verse book When We Were Very Young, published in 1924. It was followed in 1927 by another book of children’s verses, Now We Are Six, in which 11 of the 35 poems by A.A. Milne are accompanied by illustrations by E.H. Shepard of Winnie-the-Pooh. 1928 saw a return to storytelling with the publication of The House at Pooh Corner in which the character Tigger is introduced.

In addition to the books, Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends have entertained children and adults alike over the years as the characters came alive in animated films and television programs produced by the Walt Disney Company. Other versions of the character have emerged such as Vinny-Pukh (Винни-Пух) in Russian.

Canadians have a connection to Winnie-the-Pooh as the character was inspired by a real black bear named Winnipeg (or “Winnie”) who was adopted by Canadian soldier and veterinarian Harry Colebourn during World War One in White River, Ontario.  

The estate trustees of A.A. Milne authorized writer David Benedictus and illustrator Mark Burgess to publish a vetted sequel of short stories entitled Return to the Hundred Acre Wood in 2009 in which a new character named Lottie the Otter is introduced.

As we celebrate Winnie-the-Pooh, consider the following titles for borrowing from Toronto Public Library collections:

Books:

The real Winnie a one-of-a-kind bear Winnie the true story of the bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh Return to the Hundred Acre Wood in which Winnie-the-Pooh enjoys further adventures with Christopher Robin and his friends

Winnie-the-Pooh 1st American ed 80th anniversary ed The complete tales & poems of Winnie-the-Pooh rev ed The complete tales of Winnie-the-Pooh

 

 

Audiobooks:

Winnie-the-Pooh Audiobook Winnie-the-Pooh Audiobook 2003 Return to the Hundred Acre Wood in which Winnie-the-Pooh enjoys further adventures with Christopher Robin and his friends Audiobook

eBooks:

Winnie the pooh eBook Return to the Hundred Acre Wood in which Winnie-the-Pooh enjoys further adventures with Christopher Robin and his friends

eAudiobooks:

Winnie-the-Pooh eAudiobook The collected stories of Winnie-the-Pooh unabridged eAudiobook

DVDs:

Winnie the pooh movie The many adventures of Winnie the Pooh  Vinni-Pukh = Winnie the Pooh

Snapshots in History: October 5: Remembering Henning Mankell

October 13, 2015 | John P. | Comments (0)

 

Readers of Nordic noir (or Scandinavian noir) crime fiction should remember the contributions of Swedish author Henning Mankell (Born: February 3, 1948 at Stockholm, Sweden). Known as the creator of detective Kurt Wallander, Mankell died from cancer on October 5, 2015 at Göteborg, Sweden. Mankell wrote 40 novels, 11 of which featured the character detective Kurt Wallander, and sold more than 40 million copies worldwide that were published in more than 40 languages. The Wallander journey began with Faceless Killers (first published in 1991 and translated into English in 1997) and ended with The Troubled Man (first published in 2009) in which Wallander left the police force due to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

In fact, the author had grown tired of his famous character even though many of his readers and reviewers had not. Others came to enjoy the Wallander character in Swedish-language movies and television adaptations (in which Wallander was portrayed by Rolf Lassgård and Krister Henriksson) and the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) English-language television production (in which Wallander was portrayed by Kenneth Branagh). Read what author Ian Rankin had to say about Henning Mankell in the October 10, 2015 issue of The Guardian.

Henning Mankell devised the Kurt Wallander character following his return to Sweden after a lengthy stay in Mozambique. His progressive perspective came through in his writing with critiques towards rich people as well as Christianity but with a trust in widespread goodness in ordinary people. For a timeline of the Kurt Wallander series, please click here to see the books listed by English language title cross-referenced with the original Swedish language publication date. For those of you interested in Henning Mankell’s other works (standalone non-Wallander crime novels), please click here to review the title list.

Consider the following selected Henning Mankell items for borrowing from Toronto Public Library collections:

Kurt Wallander:

Books:

An event in autumn The troubled man The pyramid and four other Kurt Wallander Mysteries

Large Print Books:

The troubled man Large Print

eBooks:

An event in autumn The troubled man The pyramid and four other Kurt Wallander Mysteries

Audiobooks:

An event in autumn Audiobook The troubled man Audiobook The pyramid and four other Kurt Wallander mysteries Audiobook

eAudiobooks:

The troubled man eAudiobook unabridged The pyramid and four other Kurt Wallander mysteries eAudiobook

Talking Books:

An event in autumn Talking Book The troubled man Talking Book The pyramid and four other Kurt Wallander Mysteries Talking Book

Rather watch and listen to Wallander than read about him? Then consider borrowing these DVD sets:

DVDs:

Kenneth Branagh:

Wallander BBC Kenneth Branagh Wallander Volume 2 BBC Kenneth Branagh Wallander 3 BBC Kenneth Branagh

Krister Henriksson:

Henning Mankell's Wallander Episodes 1-3 Henning Mankell's Wallander Episodes 4-6 Henning Mankell's Wallander Episodes 7-9 Henning Mankell's Wallander Episodes 10-13

Henning Mankell's Wallander 2012 Wallander 3 2014

Rolf Lassgård:

Henning Mankell's Wallander the original episodes set 1 Rolf Lassgård

Other Works:

Books:

A treacherous paradise The shadow girls The man from Beijing

eBooks:

A treacherous paradise eBook

The shadow girls The man from Beijing

eAudiobooks:

The shadow girls eAudiobook unabridged The man from Beijing eAudiobook

Audiobooks:

A treacherous paradise Audiobook The man from Beijing Audiobook

Talking Books:

A treacherous paradise Talking Book The man from Beijing Talking Book

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