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  • Article

    UFOs in Canada

    For 45 years, the Canadian government investigated unidentified flying objects (UFOs). Several of its departments and agencies collected sighting reports of UFOs in Canadian airspace from 1950 to 1995. These investigations started during the Cold War, spurred by fears of Soviet incursions. What began as a military question eventually became a scientific one. From the start, however, the government was reluctant to study this topic. It devoted few resources to it, believing UFOs to be natural phenomena or the products of “delusional” minds. By contrast, many Canadian citizens were eager for information about UFOs. Citizens started their own investigations and petitioned the government for action. In 1995, due to budget cuts, the government stopped collecting reports altogether. For their part, citizen enthusiasts have continued to investigate UFOs.

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  • Article

    Unification of the Canadian Armed Forces

    On 1 February 1968, the Canadian Forces Reorganization Act (Bill C-243) came into effect, and the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force ceased to exist as separate entities. The three previously separate armed services were combined into a unified Canadian Armed Forces. Liberal Minister of Defence Paul Hellyer drove the change. Its merits were widely debated before and after the Act came into effect. By 2014, many of the changes introduced by unification had been reversed.

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  • Article

    USS Chesapeake

     During the NAPOLEONIC WARS, Britain insisted on the right to search neutral ships on the high seas for Royal Navy deserters. On 22 June 1807 HMS Leopard forcibly took 4 seamen from the American frigate Chesapeake.

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  • Editorial

    Vancouver Feature: Japanese-Canadians Held at Hastings Park

    The following article is a feature from our Vancouver Feature series. Past features are not updated. For a century the Pacific National Exhibition has entertained families each summer with a mix of hair-raising Midway rides, live music and agricultural exhibits. But in 1942 the fun fair was a prison camp for thousands of displaced Japanese-Canadians

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  • Article

    Veronica Foster

    Veronica Foster Guerrette, Second World War icon, model, vocalist (born 2 January 1922 in Montreal, Quebec; died 4 May 2000 in Toronto, Ontario). Foster worked for the John Inglis Company assembling Bren light machine guns during the Second World War. She was featured on propaganda posters that encouraged women to serve Canada by working in munitions factories. Foster became a Canadian icon representing female workers in the manufacturing industry. After the war, she was lead singer with the dance band Mart Kenney and His Western Gentlemen.

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  • Article

    Second World War Veterans

    When the Second World War ended, more than a million Canadian men and women, serving in uniform, were set to return to their homes. A driving question for the country was: What was owed to the veterans?

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  • Article

    Victoria-class Submarines

    The Victoria class are diesel-electric powered conventional attack submarines, referred to as SSK submarines. The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) acquired four surplus Victoria-class submarines from the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy (RN) in the late-1990s. They were procured as a supposedly cost-effective interim measure to maintain a submarine capability for the RCN pending a permanent replacement for its three Oberon-class submarines. Following a troubled decade-long introduction process, the Victoria class eventually achieved full operational status. The Victoria-class submarines are intended to remain in service until a replacement projected for the late 2030s.

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  • Article

    Canadian Recipients of the Victoria Cross

    The Victoria Cross (VC), instituted in 1856 by Queen Victoria, is the Commonwealth's premier military decoration for gallantry. It is awarded in recognition of the most exceptional bravery displayed in the presence of the enemy, although in rare instances the decoration has been given to mark other courageous acts. In total, there have been 99 Canadian recipients of the Victoria Cross. In 1993, Canada adopted its own national version of the Victoria Cross. The Canadian VC has not yet been awarded.

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  • Article

    Victoria Rifles of Halifax

    The Victoria Rifles of Halifax was a Black volunteer militia unit of about 70 men in Nova Scotia in the 1860s. The unit participated in anniversary celebrations of the founding of Halifax and in a parade honouring the Prince of Wales, who visited Nova Scotia in 1860. Despite their dedication and skill — and the support of some white Haligonians — the “Victorias” were subjected to anti-Black racism both within and outside the militia. The unit disbanded after approximately four years.

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  • Article

    Vietnam War

    The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era conflict between communist Northern Vietnamese forces and United States-backed Southern Vietnamese forces. Canada officially played the role of neutral peacemaker, but secretly backed the American effort in Vietnam.

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  • Editorial

    HMCS Ville de Quebec in the Battle of the Atlantic

    The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

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  • Article

    Battle of Vimy Ridge

    The Battle of Vimy Ridge was fought during the First World War from 9 to 12 April 1917. It is Canada’s most celebrated military victory — an often mythologized symbol of the birth of Canadian national pride and awareness. The battle took place on the Western Front, in northern France. The four divisions of the Canadian Corps, fighting together for the first time, attacked the ridge from 9 to 12 April 1917 and captured it from the German army. It was the largest territorial advance of any Allied force to that point in the war — but it would mean little to the outcome of the conflict. More than 10,600 Canadians were killed and wounded in the assault. Today an iconic memorial atop the ridge honours the 11,285 Canadians killed in France throughout the war who have no known graves. This is the full-length entry about the Battle of Vimy Ridge. For a plain-language summary, please see Battle of Vimy Ridge (Plain-Language Summary).

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  • Article

    Vimy Ridge

    Among Canada’s defining events, the Battle of Vimy Ridge in the First World War ranks high. It was a triumph — a major victory for the Allied side after a long, bloody stalemate — and a tragedy. In the four-day battle, 3,598 Canadians died and another 7,004 were wounded. In the century since it ended, on 12 April 1917, it has become something else: an event bordering on myth. “In those few minutes,” said Canadian Brigadier-General A.E. Ross of the victory, “I witnessed the birth of a nation.”

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  • Editorial

    Vimy Ridge: Bloody Easter

    The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

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  • Article

    Voltigeurs de Québec Armoury

    The Québec City Armoury, in Place Georges V, dates back to 1884 when architect Eugène-Étienne Taché drew up the building plans alternately with those for the Québec National Assembly and the old Palais de justice.

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