Monday, March 24, 2008

On this day

On March 24, ...
... 1890, Agnes Campbell Macphail (right) was born at Proton Township, Grey County, Ontario, Canada. While a schoolteacher Macphail became an activist on behalf of farmers in her community. In 1921, the year that women 1st were permitted to vote in federal elections, She became the 1st woman elected to Canada's Parliament. An MP until 1940 and a member of Ontario's provincial legislature for 2 terms thereafter, Macphail worked to establish pension protection and equal pay legislation, against militarism, and for prison reform. (This last achievement -- part of which included founding of Canada's Elizabeth Fry Society -- is marked in this docudrama video clip.) She was the 1st woman to serve in Canada's delegation to the League of Nations. Although a member of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Macphail "reluctantly" voted in favor of Canada's entry into World War II. Macphail, who died in Toronto in 1954, suffered no fools. When she 1st joined Parliament, it's been reported:
Not all of her colleagues welcomed her. One tried to embarrass her by asking, 'Don't you wish you were a man?'
'No,' Macphail replied. 'Don't you?'

... 1978 (30 years ago today), Amoco Cadiz, which several days earlier had run aground off France's Brittany coast (left), was split in 2 in turbulent seas, with the result that all of its "220,000-ton cargo will have escaped into the sea" in what was the worst oil tanker spill to date. An oil slick 18 miles in width and 80 miles in length polluted about 200 miles of coastline and killed much marine life. A dozen years later on this day, as we've posted, another spill, from the Exxon Valdez, occurred in Alaska. (photo credit)


Old Flame said...

Just to cotrrect facts - The spill from the Amoco Cadiz at 220,000 tons was actually four times larger than the spill from Exxon Valdez,

Diane Marie Amann said...
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Diane Marie Amann said...

Many thanks for this. I've made the appropriate correction in the initial post.