Today in Canada's Political History - January 9, 1957: British PM Anthony Eden resigns

The pioneering wife of the late President Franklin Roosevelt was in Kingston, Ontario on this date in 1948. Eleanor Roosevelt was at Queen’s University where she received an Honorary Degree. The degree’s citation described her as a “distinguished citizen of our great and good neighbour, discerning and humane woman, whose courage and vision have given heart and hope to all those, of whatever nation, race, or creed, who strive for freedom and the basic ennobling human rights for themselves or for others, and whose illustrious husband as he appeared in this Convocation on August 18, 1938, and the brave, prophetic words he then spoke, we now vividly and gratefully recall.”

Roosevelt herself recounted her Canadian visit in her famed newspaper column, My Day.

“The ceremonies were simple, dignified and quite perfect in all of their arrangements,” she wrote. “I became the guest of the student body as soon as I had been taken into the fold as one of their honorary graduates. I made an address at their convocation and had a very pleasant lunch at the vice-chancellor’s house afterward. I valued greatly a telegram from Prime Minister Mackenzie King, who was unable to be present, but who recalled having been with my husband when the International Bridge was opened and my husband received an honorary degree from Queen’s University. In these troubled times, it is well to emphasize again how two nations have lived so many years side by side, with quick access into each other’s territory, and still have no fear of the misuse of this ready access into each other’s countries.”

Arthur Milnes is an accomplished public historian and award-winning journalist. He was research assistant on The Rt. Hon. Brian Mulroney’s best-selling Memoirs and also served as a speechwriter to then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper and as a Fellow of the Queen’s Centre for the Study of Democracy under the leadership of Tom Axworthy. A resident of Kingston, Ontario, Milnes serves as the in-house historian at the 175 year-old Frontenac Club Hotel.

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