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Frank Russel Thurston

Frank Russel Thurston, aircraft engineer (b at Chicago, Ill 5 Dec 1914). Thurston's British parents took him at age one to England, where he worked from 1937 at the National Physical Laboratory.

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Loring Woart Bailey

Loring Woart Bailey, geologist, educator (b at West Point, NY 28 Sept 1839; d at Fredericton 10 Jan 1925). Son of a professor at the US Military Academy, Bailey was educated at Harvard and Brown and knew many important scientists.

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Charles Francis Hall

Charles Francis Hall, Arctic explorer (b in Vermont 1821; d in Greenland 8 Nov 1871). An engraver by trade, Hall was fascinated by accounts of the search for Sir John FRANKLIN and in 1860, as a private citizen, he went by whaling ship to Baffin I.

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Mary Violette Seeman

Mary Violette Seeman, clinical psychiatrist, psychopharmacologist (b at Lódz, Poland 24 Mar 1935), married to Philip SEEMAN. She was educated in Montréal (BA, McGill) and did postgraduate training at the Sorbonne, receiving an MD and CM at McGill (1960).

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Hugh Le Caine

Hugh Le Caine, physicist, designer of electronic-music instruments, composer (b at Port Arthur [Thunder Bay], Ont 27 May 1914; d at Ottawa 3 July 1977). He was trained as a physicist at Queen's and later at Birmingham University (Eng).

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William Saunders

William Saunders, druggist, naturalist, agriculturalist (b at Crediton, Eng 16 June 1836; d at London, Ont 13 Sept 1914). Saunders established the Experimental Farms Service (now Research Branch) of the federal Dept of AGRICULTURE.

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Sir Alexander Mackenzie (Explorer)

Sir Alexander Mackenzie, fur trader, explorer (born around 1764 near Stornoway, Scotland; died 12 March 1820 near Dunkeld, Scotland). Mackenzie was one of Canada’s greatest explorers. In two epic journeys for the North West Company in 1789 and 1793, he crossed the dense northern wilderness to reach the Arctic and Pacific Oceans. The first European to cross North America north of Mexico, he inspired later adventurers and traders, such as the famous Lewis and Clark expedition sponsored by the American military (1804–6). The Mackenzie River, named in his honour, symbolizes Mackenzie’s important place as a pioneer and fur trader in Canadian history.

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Gerald Bull

Gerald Vincent Bull, engineer and ballistics expert (born 9 March 1928 in North Bay, ON; died 22 March 1990 in Brussels, Belgium). He studied at the University of Toronto’s Institute for Aerospace Studies. At the time, he was the youngest person to ever receive a PhD from the university. He was involved in some of Canada’s most advanced experimental defence projects. Later in his life, Bull was convicted of breaking an international arms embargo against apartheid South Africa. He spent his life perfecting artillery systems; some of his designs could launch payloads into space. He was assassinated during the development of a space gun for Iraq.

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John Cabot

John Cabot (a.k.a. Giovanni Caboto), merchant, explorer (born before 1450 in Italy, died at an unknown place and date). In 1496, King Henry VII of England granted Cabot the right to sail in search of a westward trade route to Asia and lands unclaimed by Christian monarchs. Cabot mounted three voyages, the second of which, in 1497, was the most successful. During this journey Cabot coasted the shores of Newfoundland and Labrador, possibly sighted the Beothuk or Innu people of the region, and famously noted that the waters teemed with cod. At the time, the land Cabot saw was thought to be the eastern shore of Asia, the fabled island of Brasil, or the equally fabled Isle of Seven Cities. Cabot and his crew were the second group of Europeans to reach what would become Canada, following Norse explorers around 1000 CE. Despite not yielding the trade route Cabot hoped for, the 1497 voyage provided England with a claim to North America and knowledge of an enormous new fishery.

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Sir Charles Edward Saunders

Charles was the least robust of them all but perhaps had the highest standards. Educated at U of T and Johns Hopkins U, he was a professor of chemistry at Central U, Ky, in 1892-93 and then devoted 1894-1903 to the study of music and teaching of voice.

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Alejandro Malaspina

Alejandro Malaspina, explorer (b at Mulazzo, Italy 5 Nov 1754; d at Pontremoli, Italy 9 Apr 1810). Born to an illustrious but impoverished family, Malaspina entered the Spanish naval service. In 1784 he sailed around the world in the frigate Astrea.

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Philippe Panneton

Philippe Panneton, pen name Ringuet, physician, professor, diplomat, novelist (b at Trois-Rivières, Qué 30 Apr 1895; d at Lisbon, Portugal 28 Dec 1960).

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Frances Oldham Kelsey

​Frances Oldham Kelsey, CM, pharmacologist (born 24 July 1914 in Cobble Hill, BC; died 7 August 2015 in London, ON). As an employee of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Kelsey blocked the sale of thalidomide in the United States. The drug, which had been widely prescribed in Europe and Canada, was later shown to cause severe birth defects in children whose mothers had taken the drug while pregnant. In recognition of her “exceptional judgment” and determination, Kelsey received the President’s Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service. Kelsey and her work have been widely lauded in the United States but are less known in Canada. She was made a Member of the Order of Canada shortly before her death.

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Henry Morgentaler

Henekh (Henry) Morgentaler, CM, abortion advocate, physician (born 19 March 1923 in Lodz, Poland; died 29 May 2013 in Toronto. Morgentaler spent much of his life advocating for women’s reproductive rights at a time when they could not legally obtain abortions.

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Wilfrid Bennett Lewis

Wilfrid Bennett Lewis, physicist, chief scientist for 26 years of Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories (b at London, Eng 24 June 1908; d at Deep River, Ont 19 Jan 1987). Lewis trained under Lord RUTHERFORD and worked in atomic physics throughout the 1930s.