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Viola Desmond didn't set out to be a civil rights leader. But in 1946 when she was removed from a theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia for sitting in a section reserved for whites, she fought back in court.
The beauty salon owner lost the case but strengthened the fight to end racial segregation in Canada. She went on to become a civil rights icon. In Nova Scotia, Heritage Day on February 16, 2015, has been dedicated to the legacy of Viola Desmond.
Women who played heroic roles during the War of 1812 tend not to be remembered today. The one exception is Laura Secord.
The idea that women could drive an automobile — let alone drive around the shell holes of the frontlines — was rather revolutionary at the outbreak of the Great War. But nicety was soon driven out by necessity.
With a few threads and an eye for detail, the unappealing pantry bag became a Depression-era fashion item for working-class women in rural Canada.
A look at a few of the many “firsts” for Canadian women.