Sir John A. Macdonald Day

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2020 Date:January 11, 2020
2021 Date:January 11, 2021
Sir John A. Macdonald Day

Sir John A. Macdonald Day History

Sir John A. Macdonald Day commemorates Canada's first Prime Minister and one of the architects of Confederation. Sir John Alexander Macdonald,  Canada's first Prime Minister and one of the founders of Confederation, was born on January 11, 1895 in Glasgow, Scotland and later immigrated to Kingston, Ontario. During his 19-year term as Prime Minister, Macdonald served as one of the architects of Confederation, drafting much of the Canadian Constitution and the British North America Act, an act which ultimately led to the birth of Canada as a nation by the joining of multiple independent provinces.  

Macdonald died in 1891 and was subsequently knighted by Queen Victoria for his instrumental role in the creation of Canada and his devotion to the nation's development. In 2002, the Canadian Government passed the Sir John A. Macdonald Act, thus establishing this holiday on January 11th of every year.

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Sir John A. Macdonald Day Facts & Quotes

  • Before entering politics, Sir John A. Macdonald was a successful and popular lawyer in his Canadian hometown of Kingston, Ontario.
  • John A Macdonald's son, Hugh John, was also a lawyer and a politician who went on to become premier of Manitoba in 1899.
  • John A. Macdonald was responsible for creating Canada's national police force, the North-West Mounted Police,  known today as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
  • As to his statesmanship, it is written in the history of Canada. It may be said without any exaggeration whatever, that the life of Sir John A. Macdonald ... is the history of Canada. - Sir Wilfrid Laurier
  • If I had influence over the minds of the people of Canada, any power over their intellect, I would leave them this legacy: Whatever you do, adhere to the Union. We are a great country, and shall become one of the greatest in the universe if we preserve it; we shall sink into insignificance and adversity if we suffer it to be broken. - Sir John A. Macdonald

Sir John A. Macdonald Day Top Events and Things to Do

  • Take the time to educate yourself about Canada's history and the monumental role that Sir John A. Macdonald played in shaping it. Watch CBC's John: A Birth of a Country documentary about the life and times of Macdonald.
  • Visit the Bellevue National Historic Site in Kingston, Ontario to see the former home of Sir John A. Macdonald. Costumed staff present the daily life of Sir John A. Macdonald's family in the fully restored house and gardens that were once home to the Macdonald family.
  • Order the Sir John A. Macdonald Coin Pack or any of his collectable anniversary from the Royal Canadian Mint. The set includes commemorative coins with Macdonald's face to go along with standard issue 10 dollar notes, which also feature a head-shot of Canada's first Prime Minister.
  • Visit one of the many Sir John A. Macdonald monuments throughout Canada. The largest and most well-known is located in Place du Canada square in Montreal, Quebec.
  • Complete the Kingston Historical Society's Macdonald's Kingston visit of 13 different sites where Macdonald either worked, lived or spent time. His burial site in the Cataraqui Cemetery is on the list of sites. A map guides the tourist through the city from site to site.

Sir John A. Macdonald Day References and Related Sites

canada.pch.gc.ca - Government of Canada: John A Macdonald
Heritage Canada: John A Macdonald
Manitoba Historical Society: Hugh John Macdonald
National Coalition Party of Canada

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