Sir John A. Macdonald Day

January 11th, 2013 by Dan Allan

Happy birthday, Sir John A. Macdonald!

January 11th is Sir John A. Macdonald Day. Macdonald was Canada’s first Prime Minister and played an instrumental role in Canada’s confederation in 1867.

Impress your friends (and your teachers) with these interesting John A. Macdonald facts:

  • John Alexander Macdonald was born on January 11th, 1815, in Glasgow, Scotland. The Macdonald family moved to Kingston, Ontario in 1820.
  • In 1856, Macdonald became the Premier of Canada West (which later became the provinces of Ontario and Quebec).
  • The 1864 Charlottetown Conference, which led to confederation, was originally designed to discuss only a union of Maritime provinces. MacDonald, and the other delegates from the Province of Canada, requested that the agenda be expanded to discuss a union of all provinces.
  • Macdonald was elected as Canada’s first Prime Minister in 1867, representing the Liberal-Conservative Party.
  • Macdonald was our second-longest serving Prime Minister (after William Lyon Mackenzie King). Macdonald led the country for a total of 19 years: from 1867 to 1873, and again from 1878 to 1891.
  • Canada added several new provinces and territories to confederation under Macdonald’s watch: the Northwest Territories in 1869, Manitoba in 1870, British Columbia in 1871, and Prince Edward Island in 1873.
  • The North-West Mounted Police were created under Macdonald’s watch in 1873. Today, we know our national police force as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
  • The Canadian Pacific Railway was completed with Macdonald as Prime Minister in 1885, linking Canada from coast to coast.
  • After winning re-election in 1891, Macdonald passed away at the age of 76. He remains the only Prime Minister to lie in state in the Senate chamber.

Posted in Famous Canadians in Democracy, News, Special Events |

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3 Responses to “Sir John A. Macdonald Day”

  1. Jake Says:
    January 9th, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Hmmm…no mention of when he was forced to resign due to his role in the Pacific Scandal? Pretty glossed over if you ask me.

  2. CIVIX Says:
    January 9th, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Hi Jake,

    Thanks for reading the blog and leaving a comment!

    We tried to focus this blog on a few facts about Macdonald and his accomplishments, narrowing in on his importance to Canada rather than the specifics of his political career.

    There are definitely many other things about Macdonald – many of them negative – that could have been included.

    We did not intend to gloss over anything in our blog.

    Please let me know if you have any other questions!


  3. Weekly Round-Up: January 10, 2014 | CIVIX Says:
    January 10th, 2014 at 8:59 am

    […] Want to impress your friends and family with some Sir John A. facts? Here’s a sampling from our Sir John A. Macdonald Day blog: […]

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