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All-Canadian Quiz

by Stephen Lautens


September 21, 2001

A recent Ipsos Reid poll found that three quarters of us are ashamed of our lack of knowledge of Canadian history. The people in the other quarter presumably are comfortable of their lack of knowledge.

As the proud owner of a degree in Canadian history (mail order - University of Moose Factory), I felt it my duty to provide readers with the opportunity to test their knowledge of Canadian history and culture. Pencils ready?

1. Canadian Thanksgiving is earlier than American Thanksgiving because:
(a) we invented it; or,
(b) if we had it any later in the year it would be too cold to thaw the turkey.

2. In the War of 1812, Canada:
(a) won the war and so remained independent of the US;
(b) fought the US to a draw but still retained its own culture; or,
(c) sorry, what was the question again? I couldn't hear you over 'America's Funniest Home Videos'.

3. On the first official visit to Canada by a U.S. president, Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938 greeted Prime Minister King with the historic words:
(a) "Get my bags and there's a shiny nickel in it for you my lad."
(b) "So, has your dog told you any good jokes lately?"
(c) "This will be a nice country when you get it finished."

4. The Right Honourable Sir John Sparrow David Thompson, Canada's 4th Prime Minister is best remembered for:
(a) the creation of Canadian Criminal Code in 1892;
(b) negotiating the Bering Sea dispute with the U.S. in 1893 ; or,
(c) dropping dead face first in a bowl of soup in front of Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle in 1894.

5. The year 1763 is important for Canada because it was when:
(a) the French and Indian War ended;
(b) the Treaty of Paris surrendered all of New France to England; or,
(c) Pierre Berton was born.

6. Who is the most famous Canadian you've never heard of?
(a) Thomas Ahearn (the inventor of the electric stove);
(b) Thomas E. Ryan (the inventor of five pin bowling);
(c) Harry Wasyluk and Larry Hanson (inventors of the green plastic garbage bag);
(d) Wilfred Bigelow (the inventor of the pacemaker);
(e) Steve Pasjac (the inventor of the retractable beer carton handle);
(f) Arthur Sicard (the inventor of the snowblower);
(g) Gideon Sundback (the inventor of the zipper); or,
(h) all of the above.

7. In 1917 the Federal Government introduced the first income tax as a temporary wartime measure. Eighty-four years of taxation later the result is:
(a) Canadians are driven to drink stronger beer than Americans.
(b) We can't afford ketchup for our fries, and have to eat them with vinegar.
(c) Canadians eat more Kraft Dinner than any other nation in the world.
(d) All of the above.

Being Canadian, you of course get to score yourself on the honour system.

For the record, all the answers are true, except 1(a), 3 and 5(c), but you knew that already, didn't you?

© Stephen Lautens 2001

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