Friday, June 30, 2017

Canada Is Turning 150. Oh, to Be 100 Again. - nytimes

MONTREAL — It didn’t seem very Canadian.

For Expo 67, this usually modest and frugal country spent vast amounts of money to create islands within the St. Lawrence River and build an array of huge buildings, all to show off Canada to the world.

But even if uncharacteristic, the fair was a coming out for a new Canada. And in 1967, it defined the country’s celebration of its 100th birthday (or, more accurately, the centennial of its current political structure) in a way that no single event will mark the 150th on Saturday.

Much like today, 1967 was a time when Canada was reimagining itself. Its now iconic maple leaf flag was only two years old, and a committee was recommending that “O Canada” succeed “God Save the Queen” as the official anthem.

The Liberal government was distancing itself from the administration in the United States over the war in Vietnam while providing refuge for Americans to avoid the draft. Its charismatic justice minister, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, introduced sweeping social changes to the country’s laws, including the legalization of homosexuality. “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation,” Mr. Trudeau declared.

In popular lore, the summer of 1967 has become the summer of love. For me as an 11-year-old in the sixth grade at Glenwood Public School in Windsor, Ontario, it was the summer of Expo.

I was not the only Canadian kid counting down the days before my family headed to Montreal. At a time when Canada’s population was 20 million, more than 50 million people visited the fair in six months. It seemed as if the entire country had joined the world and made its way to Expo. - Read More

Canada Is Turning 150. Oh, to Be 100 Again. - The New York Times

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