Happy Canada Day, July 1st 1867

 

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Canada Day, observed on July 1st, is a national holiday paying tribute to the anniversary of Confederation in 1867, when the British North America Act came into effect. It was initially known as Dominion Day until it was renamed in 1982.

Origins and Legal Status

The British North America Act enacted on 1 July 1867, created the country of Canada with its initial four provinces of Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. In June 1868, Governor General Charles Stanley Monck called for a celebration of the anniversary of Confederation on 1 July 1868.  The legal status of Dominion Day as a public holiday was uncertain with only a few celebrations. In May 1869, a bill to make Dominion Day a public holiday was considered in the House of Commons.  It was withdrawn after several members of Parliament registered their objections. A more successful effort, presented by Senator Robert Carrall of British Columbia, passed through Parliament in 1879, creating Dominion Day a public holiday.

In the decades following the Second World War, several private members’ and government-sponsored bills were proposed to change the name of Dominion Day, but none succeeded. In July 1982, a private member’s bill to change the name to Canada Day was proposed by Vaudreuil MP Hal Herbert. The bill quickly passed through the House of Commons, and was ratified by the Senate in the fall.

Early Observance

For the first decade following Confederation, some provinces, including Ontario, Québec and Nova Scotia, observed Dominion Day as a de facto holiday. Celebrations were planned at the local or municipal level, and included a wide array of activities, including bonfires, picnics, sporting events, parades and pageants. Fireworks were often the highlight of the evening.

Dominion Day provided a chance for communities to express their visions of Canadian identity, and the place of their community within the country. Newspaper editorials published on July 1st frequently publicized the country’s history, its place in the world and its prospects for the future. They could also, as was often the case in British Columbia, express concerns about the treatment of individual provinces within Confederation. Locally organized events sometimes afforded opportunities for members of marginalized communities to demonstrate their belonging to Canada, while also asserting their community identities. In British Columbia, members of the Chinese and Japanese communities in the early 20th century contributed floats to Dominion Day parades, and members of Indigenous communities participated in sporting events and musical performances.

Celebrated overseas, Dominion Day was a way for Canadians to commenorate their national identity and assert their uniqueness within the British Empire. During the First World War, Canadian soldiers stationed in the United Kingdom took part in events such as log-rolling exhibitions and baseball games, asserting a rugged Canadian masculinity.

In the mid-1920s, members of British Columbia’s Chinese communities organized Chinese Humiliation Day as a counterpoint to Dominion Day to protest the 1923 Chinese Immigration Act that blocked most Chinese immigration to Canada. Members of the community wore badges reading “Remember the Humiliation,” organized speeches and distributed leaflets.

In the aftermath of the 1980 Québec referendum, the federal government shifted its focus and financial supports to emphasize observance of July 1st at the local level. Although still organizing concerts and formal events for Parliament Hill, the main focus was to stimulate community-based celebrations. A national committee for Canada Day (as the holiday was called after 1982) provided seed funding to communities to organize Canada Day events. It also suggested activities to link communities together, such as noonday singings of “O Canada” (adopted as the national anthem in 1980), and annual themes such as explorers, transportation or young achievers that were featured in activity books produced for children.

Source: Encyclopedia Canada

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CANADA DAY ON KRNN, 7/01:  The British North America Act came into effect on 1 July 1867, creating the country of Canada.  You are invited to join in the Canada Day festivities with a playlist of the best new bands from Canada on Crosscurrents, 7/01 at 8 am.

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For most Canadians, July 1 is just one day in a long weekend; a day that, when it falls on a Sunday, magically triggers a statutory holiday on Monday; a day to barbecue and to get in or on or near the water; to kick back and enjoy the start of a Canadian summer that never comes early enough and always ends too soon; a day to take the kids to the fireworks, which are happening on this day because, um, well, oh … Canada?

This is not a country that gets overly sentimental about history, or pretentious about its place in it. It’s the national day, but most of us don’t make too big a deal about the whys or the wherefores. You’re giving us the day off? We’re taking the day off.

Other countries have national holidays that mark The Big Moment they made a violent break with the past. The Americans have Independence Day, the day the Thirteen Colonies signed the Declaration of Independence, began a war to separate from Great Britain and created a new country. The French have Bastille Day, the day the French Revolution started and the monarchy started ending.

For many people, those histories seem more clear and vivid than ours. They certainly make for more dramatic TV and movie adaptations. The days the French and Americans are celebrating were the start of abrupt, radical and bloody – extremely bloody – rejections of the past. Change came through the barrel of a gun.

July 1, 1867 was nothing like that. It wasn’t a revolution, it was an evolution. It wasn’t vicious, it was peaceful. Something new was accepted without something old being rejected. A group of statesmen who differed on many things nevertheless, through compromise and cooperation, made a deal. It was an agreement about incremental change and improvement. Nobody was died. Nobody went to the guillotine and lost their head.

The Constitution created in 1867 contains no inspirational words, just a lot of sensible ideas. The American constitution begins with a impressive “We the People”; the Declaration of Independence ends with its signatories promising to “mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” The first word of the British North America Act? “Whereas.”

Instead of being the all-caps Day When Everything Violently Changed, July 1 was instead the day when something very Canadian happened: It was the beginning of a process. In fact, Confederation wasn’t even the beginning, since Canada already existed before 1867. And it wasn’t the end, since the process continued, and continues today.

Source: Thee Globe And Mail  PUBLISHED JUNE 29, 2018 UPDATED JULY 1, 2018

The Garden State, The Crossroads Of The Revolution, and Founding Of New Jersey (1664.06.24)

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Before 1664, the land we now know as New Jersey was under a Dutch governor, but on June 24, 1664, the British sailed into New York Harbor and took control of Fort Amsterdam and its associated lands.

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NEW JERSEY FOUNDED ON KRNN, 06/24:  The Duke of York believing that he owned the land presumed to make a gift of the territory to his favored lords on this date in 1664.  No need to choose between north and south Jersey, just tune in for a playlist of new New Jersey bands on Crosscurrents, 6/24 at 8 am.

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The land was granted by King James to two friends, George Carteret and Lord Berkley. Colonization took place along the Arthur Kill and Hackensack River with many of the pioneers coming from other colonies, as opposed to coming from distant shores. In 1673, Berkley sold his half to the Quakers, who settled the area of the Delaware Valley. New Jersey was separated into East and West Jersey from 1674 to 1702.

It was ruled as a single colony with its own governor from that point to the time of the American Revolution. New Jersey approved its constitution two days before the Continental Congress professed American independence from England, and, well, you know the rest; New Jersey was key in the Revolution, receiving the nickname “Crossroads of the Revolution” and hosting such important battles as the Battle of Trenton (I & II), the Battle of Princeton, the Battle of Monmouth, and, of course, Washington crossing the Delaware.

None of that would have happened if New Jersey hadn’t become a British colony, three hundred fifty-four years ago this week.

[NewJersey101.2]

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The Act of Uniformity passed in 1662 prescribed the form of public prayer, administration of the sacraments and the rites of the Established Church of England. Adherence to these rites was required to hold office in the government or the church in England. Berkeley and Sir George Carteret saw this as an chance to lure disgruntled Englishman to emigrate to the New World to populate their colony. They wrote The Concessions and Agreements, which guarenteed those who would settle the land, freedoms and rights that they could not enjoy in England; freedom of religion, freedom from persecution for religious beliefs, land, and the right to manage their own affairs.

However, their strategy to profit from the land was thwarted for two reasons. First, the new Governor of New York, who had arrived with the Duke of York’s fleet, had already granted a half a million acres of the land, known as the Elizabeth Town Purchase, to settlers from Long Island and Connecticut. When Philip Carteret, cousin of Sir George Carteret, the appointed representative of Carteret and Berkeley, arrived in New Jersey he was met by settlers already in control of the land. A second obstacle to Berkeley and Carteret’s rent system was the awkwardness of gathering rents in the vast unsurveyed territory.

While the Concessions and Agreements were not an effective temptation for immigration from England they were a major motivation for an incursion of settlers from New England and Long Island, where many, such as Quakers, had experienced religious persecution; others were desirous of new lands and opportunities. The Concessions provided settlers, in return for swearing Allegiance to the King and faithfulness to the interests of the Lord  Proprietors: the status of freeman, guaranteed freedom from being molested, punished, disquieted or called in question for any difference in opinion or practice in matters of Religious concernments; the right to choose representatives from among themselves for an Assembly charged with making laws, establishing fair courts, laying out of towns and other divisions; and levying equal taxes on the lands to support the “public charge” of the Province; constitute a military from within the Province for security; and, receive clear recorded title to land after seven years. Future settlers were to be seen as naturalized, with all the rights provided by the Concessions, by swearing allegiance to the King and faithfulness to the interests of the Lord Proprietors.

The Concessions and Agreements, signed in 1665, was an very significant text, which recognized a representative form of self-government, set civic responsibilities and guaranteed personal freedoms in New Jersey 110 years before the Revolution.  A key provision of the Concessions, which became of central importance in the next century, was that taxes could only be levied by the representative Assembly of the New Jersey for the sole use to support the Province. King George’s effort to levy taxes for the sustenance of England and the Crown was seen by colonists as taxation without representation and a direct violation of the Concessions and contributed to revolutionary furor in New Jersey (see Appendix A- Excepts from the Concessions and Agreements).

[Descendents of the Founders Of NewJersey]

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Lord Berkeley finally sold his interest in West Jersey. Quakers, along with Finns, Swedes, and Dutch, settled in West Jersey in the 1670s, later establishing strong connections to Philadelphia.

Both regions comprised progressive government, religious freedom, and considerable political participation. The colony’s rich lands and political freedoms encouraged immigrants to venture to New Jersey, uniting the traditions of liberty and diversity in the Garden State. While these regions ultimately merged into one colony, remnants of this early dissection persist to this day. North Jersey roughly corresponds to East Jersey, while South Jersey is what once was West Jersey.

[NJ Gov]

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Sir Francis Drake Surfing in California (1579.06,17)

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Sir Francis Drake ‘first set foot on US soil in San Francisco Bay area’   US government lays 433-year historical controversy to rest by designating Point Reyes peninsula as Drake’s landing point  

 OK, he was NOT surfing the water, rather he was exploring the world.  Is there really any difference?   The US government has apparently ended a 433-year-old historical controversy by determining that Sir Francis Drake came ashore in what is now a county in the San Francisco Bay area when he claimed California for England.

For years, some historians and scholars said Drake had landed on the Point Reyes peninsula, in Marin County, north of San Francisco.  But others pointed to what they considered evidence that Drake had landed in locations ranging from San Francisco Bay to Alaska.

The US interior secretary, Ken Salazar, has now designated Point Reyes as the point where Drake came ashore, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Saturday.

There was never any dispute that Drake had sailed his ship, the Golden Hind, north along the Pacific coast of the US.  When he came ashore on 17 June 1579 to repair his ship, his crew nailed a plate of brass to a tree claiming the land for Queen Elizabeth I.

The descriptions of the harbour where Drake landed, however, were vague and sparked debates among historians. Some claimed he landed as far north as Alaska, while others suggested Oregon, British Columbia or other sites along the California coast.

The Drake Navigators Guild, a California historians’ organisation, said it had more than 50 detailed clues about Drake’s landing, including 16th-century reports, identifying Drakes Cove, an inlet near Drakes Bay on the Point Reyes peninsula.

Source: Associated Press Published: Sunday, 21 October 2012

The great seafarer has been credited with discovering the state during one of his epic sea voyages.

If California had become an English colony it would have become the jewel of the British Empire, a dominion awash with gold and other natural riches.

Drake’s claim to California has long been suspected, but exactly where he landed along America’s Pacific coastline has never been accurately pinpointed.

Historians have argued for centuries over the exact spot that the man, who went on to defeat the Spanish Armada, landed on June 17, 1579, and is said to have ordered his crew to nail a brass plate to a tree, claiming the land for England.

Descriptions of the natural harbour where his ship laid anchor were so vague that some academics claim he landed as far north as what is now Alaska, while others argued that the area he described was as far south as San Diego. Twenty nine other points along America’s Pacific coastline and even Canada’s British Columbia have been suggested over the years by historians as his first point of entry into the New World.

The Point Reyes claim simply had more evidence than any other possible site

John Dell’Osso, chief of interpretation at Point Reyes National ­Seashore

A five-year study by experts from the California-based Drake Navigators Guild has concluded that Drake landed on the Point Reyes Peninsula, north of the city of San Francisco.

The Guild’s report to the US government cited more than 50 historical facts to support its findings, including detailed 16th century reports that tally with the topography of the area.

John Dell’Osso, chief of interpretation at Point Reyes National ­Seashore and an avid Drake ­historian, said: “The Point Reyes claim simply had more evidence than any other possible site.”

The new official Drake landing site has now been named by the US government as one of 27 sites that are national historic landmarks, but no one will have to conjure up a new name for it.

Mr Dell’Osso said: “Those convinced in the past of his landing site had already named Drake’s Cove, an inlet near the larger Drake’s Bay as the unofficial precise landing site in Point Reyes. That’s very fortunate, because it’s now official.”

For all of Drake’s endeavour, it was Spain that was to exert the major influence.

Almost 30 years after Drake made landfall, Sebastian Vizcaino explored and mapped the coast of California in 1602 and was followed by Spanish missionaries who founded the state’s great cities, San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Source: Daily,Express UK , Oct 28, 2012