And how Canada got its national identity

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Photo by sebastiaan stam on Unsplash

You might be familiar with the Canadian flag. The red maple leaf over a white background in between two blocks of red. It was only in 1965 that this current flag became the national flag of Canada. Before this, Canada’s national flag consisted of variations of the Union Jack, showing their ties to Great Britain. So how did Canada get its own flag, and what is the history behind it?

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The Canadian Flag and its History (Pinterest)

From 1867, when Canada became its own country, to 1922, the national flag of Canada was the Union Jack, showing its loyalty and ties to Great Britain. After Canada’s involvement in World War I, a sentiment of national pride and identity stirred the nation and a slight variation of the Union Jack called the Red Ensign was adopted. …


The curse that has haunted the White House for the last 200 years

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Tecumseh (History.com)

In 1811, Tecumseh, the native American confederacy leader, and his men faced the United States military lead by William Henry Harrison. The battle at the Tippecanoe River ended in a defeat for Tecumseh and resulted in the death of his brother, Tenskwatawa. The battle meant to defend their territory from an aggressive American expansion to the west ended up in a horrific defeat for the Native Americans. Tecumseh died two years later in the Battle of the Thames in an effort to help the British in defeating the Americans, resulting in the collapse of the Native American confederacy.

This is where the story gets interesting!


A Canadian national holiday that predates the American Thanksgiving

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A Thanksgiving Turkey (Time Magazine)

Did you know Canada also has a Thanksgiving holiday like in the United States? It falls on the second Monday of October and is celebrated nationally. Although it seems like a copy of the American Thanksgiving, the Canadian celebration predates the American one by more than forty years. How did the Canadian Thanksgiving start, and what does it celebrate?

Martin Frobisher’s Voyage

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Martin Frobisher (Canadian Museum of History)

Thanksgiving in America is known as the holiday that was started by the pilgrims who celebrated their first harvest with the Native Americans. The Canadian one has a different start. In 1578, forty-three years before the first celebration in America, an English explorer by the name of Martin Frobisher had the first Thanksgiving dinner with his crewmates. Martin Frobisher was originally headed to the Caribbeans but ended up in present-day New Foundland, Canada. He gave thanks for his safety through the rough voyage and shared a meal consisting of salt beef, biscuits, and peas with his crewmates. …


The history of toilets

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A Flush Toilet (Photo by Jan Antonin Kolar on Unsplash)

Humans in the First World, for the most part, are fortunate enough to be able to cleanly flush their waste down through flush toilets. However, centuries ago, our ancestors had a very different way of dealing with their waste. Who invented the modern flush toilet and how did our ancestors deal with their excretions?

Ancient toilets

A clue as to how people of the ancient world dealt with their waste is written in the Bible. Deuteronomy 23:12–14 writes:

“Designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself. …


The interesting history of crash test dummies

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Crash Test Dummies (ThoughtCo.Com)

Since the first-ever death from a car accident in 1896 that resulted in the death of a 44 old pedestrian named Bridget Driscoll, many car manufacturers began to realize that cars can be fatal to the lives of many. A heavy vehicle that moves faster than a horse was bound to cause accidents. During the early 20th century, many car manufacturers began testing safety features in their cars. In doing so, companies had to know the effects of the crash on the passengers.

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Bridget Driscoll, the first car accident victim (Wikipedia)

As more cars were on the streets and more accidents occurred, it dawned on car companies that they needed to test the crash themselves. The first test subject was a corpse, or a cadaver to be specific. During the 1930s, Car companies would test car crashes with a cadaver in the car to measure impact and come up with the best safety features. However, it was incredibly difficult to secure an adequate amount of cadavers for numerous amount of tests that these companies were running. …


The legendary story of Wan Hu

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Wan Hu’s “Rocket” (Wikipedia)

Who was the first-ever astronaut? Russia’s Yuri Gagarin or Neil Armstrong?

The answer may be a man named Wan Hu of the Ming Dynasty in China. He was the first in history to attempt to fly to space, the Moon, to be more specific. Four-hundred years before Neil Armstrong stepped on the surface of the Moon and said the words “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”, Wan Hu built a rocket and attempted to fly to the Moon.

Wan Hu was a regional official sometime in the 16th century, during the Ming Dynasty era. Not much is known about him, except that he was a very adventurous man who was bored with his life as a government official. …


Tonsure, the only hairstyle allowed for medieval monks

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A Catholic Monk with a tonsure (Aleteia.org)

Have you ever looked at a medieval painting of a Catholic monk and wondered why and who came up with the hilarious haircut they rocked? Many religions and their practitioners follow strict regulations of their individuality to get closer to their God or achieve enlightenment.

One of the more common regulations is haircut: in Buddhism, monks shave their heads clean to symbolize cutting ties with the secular world. In medieval times, the same applied to Catholic monks, except it was a unique cut where only the top of their scalps are shaved and the edges left untouched.

Why was it that Catholic monks only shaved the top of their heads?

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Pope Gregorio VII (Wikipedia)

The haircut that these monks had was called the Tonsure, or Tonsura in Latin. The word tonsure means “clipping”, as in clipping one’s hair off. The bizarre haircut started around 1073 when Pope Gregorio VII was enthroned. During this time, the culture in the church was very lenient on haircuts, dress code, and even dating amongst monks, priests, and nuns. …


The national dish of Italy and the world

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Pizza (Photo by Vitalii Chernopyskyi on Unsplash)

Who invented pizza?

The answer to this question is not simple as the answers may vary depending on what we consider is pizza. Pizza exists in many forms around the world; even in America, there are different styles of pizza like New York and Chicago. There is no single origin for the invention of Pizza. However, many trace the beginning of pizza back to the 7th century when the Byzantine Empire colonized the current city of Naples.

The first pizza

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The Byzantine Empire, including Napoli or Naples (deadliest blog page)

When the Byzantine Empire conquered the southern part of the Italian Peninsula, many Greeks migrated and built a city called Neapolis, later being called Napoli or Naples. During the 7th century, Greeks introduced the pita, a thin circular dough that they would eat with olive oil, feta cheese, and herbs on top of it. It is likely that the origin of pizza was the pita that the Greeks brought to Naples during this era. …


Princess Deokhye

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Princess Deokhye of Joseon (Wikimedia Commons)

January 16, 1962, a middle-aged woman stepped out of a plane in South Korea surrounded by reporters, her nurse helping her down the stairs. Her eyes were blank and she did not speak at all to the reporters bombarding her with photographs and questions. A news headline for the day read: “Princess Deokhye Returns Home, Immediately Admitted to University Hospital”.

Princess Deokye, at fifty years old, finally returned home after thirty-eight years in Japan.

Early years and Japan

Born to King Gojong, the second last king of Joseon, in 1912, Princess Deokhye was the favorite of many members of the royal family, including her father. Although Joseon was already annexed by Japan in 1910, she lived through comfortable years in Seoul because Japan promised security and status for the royal family. …


How popcorn triumphed over other cinema snacks

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Popcorn (Photo by Valeri Randalainen on Unsplash)

When we watch movies, we tend to gravitate towards something to munch on along with the movie. The snack that was chosen to fit that need was the popcorn. Popcorn is sold in every movie theater and they typically make up for 50% of all revenue. Why was popcorn chosen to be the staple movie snack? This article will explore the history of popcorn and how it became the number one movie theater snack in America.

The history of popcorn

Popcorn is a type of corn that pops under high pressure and heat; hence the name popcorn. It was first cultivated in present-day Central America around 6,000 years ago. The name popcorn was given by the European settlers in the 16th century. The name corn was used to refer to any type of crop native to a certain land (for example, barley in England and oat in Ireland) and the name popcorn was given to the crop that the natives in Central and North America were cultivating. …

About

Daniel Choi

Korean-Canadian. History, Culture, and More.

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