Canada Day (French: Fête du Canada), formerly Dominion Day (French: Le Jour de la Confédération), is the national day of Canada celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act (today called the Constitution Act, 1867), which united the three British colonies into four Canadian provinces. The British Province of Canada was divided into the new Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec, and two other British colonies, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, also became provinces of Canada. Originally called Dominion Day, the name was changed in 1982, the year that Canada gained full independence from the United Kingdom.
Nine other provinces and territories have joined the Canadian Union since then:
- July 15, 1870 – Manitoba & Northwest Territories
- July 20, 1871 – British Columbia
- July 1, 1873 – Prince Edward Island
- June 13, 1898 – Yukon
- September 1, 1905 – Saskatchewan & Alberta
- March 31, 1949 – Newfoundland (renamed Newfoundland and Labrador in 2001)
- April 1, 1999 – Nunavut
Some Random Facts Relating to Canada Day:
- July 1, 1881 – The world’s first international telephone call was made between St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada, and Calais, Maine, United States.
- July 1, 1923 – the Canadian government enacted the Chinese Immigration Act, stopping all immigration from China. Chinese-Canadians began to refer to July 1 as Humiliation Day and refused to participate in Dominion Day celebrations, until the act was repealed in 1947.
- July 1, 1966 – The first color television transmission in Canada took place from Toronto.
- July 1, 1967 – The Order of Canada – the second highest honour for merit in Canada inducted its first member – Governor General Roland Michener being the first inductee.
- July 1, 1980 – O Canada officially becomes the national anthem of Canada. (originally written in 1880)
- After the original declaration, there is no record of organized ceremonies until 1917. This was the 50th anniversary of Confederation.
- The province of Newfoundland and Labrador recognizes July 1 as Memorial Day, to commemorate the Newfoundland Regiment’s heavy losses during the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916.
- Famous people born on Canada day: Pamela Anderson, Dan Akroyd, Lady Diana the Princess of Wales, Missy Elliott, Jamie Farr, Rod Gilbert, Debbie Harry, Olivia de Havilland, Estee Lauder, Carl Lewis, Sydney Pollack, Alan Ruck, Liv Tyler.
Sources: Heritage Canada, Wikipedia, Hub Pages