Pages from Canada’s Story: What Happened on March 8th?


March 8th marks an important day in Canadian history as well as International Women’s Day, celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.

In terms of specific events that occurred on March 8th in Canadian history, here are a few notable moments:

  • In 1702, French-Canadian explorer and trader Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville captured the English fort at St. John’s, Newfoundland, during Queen Anne’s War. This event marked the beginning of French control of Newfoundland, which would last until the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713.
  • In 1855, the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine admitted its first female student, Augusta Stowe-Gullen. Stowe-Gullen faced discrimination and hostility from her male classmates and professors, but she persisted and became the first woman to graduate from a Canadian medical school.
  • In 1917, Canadian women gained the right to vote in federal elections thanks to the efforts of suffragists such as Nellie McClung, Emily Murphy, and Henrietta Muir Edwards. This was a significant step forward for women’s rights in Canada and a victory for the women’s suffrage movement.
  • In 1965, the Canadian flag as we know it today was raised for the first time on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The red and white flag with a maple leaf in the centre replaced the previous flag, which featured the British Union Jack in the corner and the Canadian coat of arms in the middle.

These are just a few examples of the important moments in Canadian history that have taken place on March 8th. It’s a day to reflect on the contributions of women to our society and to continue working towards gender equality and justice for all.

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