A lot of countries around the world have special days when they celebrate nationhood. In Canada, they celebrate...Canada Day! How much do you know about Canada Day's history?
It hasn't always been called Canada Day. It was called Dominion Day all the way up until 1982, when Canada achieved full independence from Britain.
The Constitution Act of 1867 originally had a different but equally boring name. It was called the British North America Act, 1867.
The act established the Dominion of Canada. With its semi-independence, the Canadians had to begin the process of developing a form of self-government that started the separation process from Britain.
Politicians played extensively with the exact language, of course. In the end, the Act established Canada as a dominion, "a kingdom in its own right."
If you're familiar with the American Fourth of July celebrations, Canada Day is similar. There are fireworks, special meals and parades galore but not necessarily all over the country.
Canada Day is not a northern version of the Fourth of July. It celebrates the uniting of several provinces into one political entity.
The national anthem of Canada is, of course, "Oh, Canada." In keeping with Canada's diverse history, it can be sung in both English and French.
Sure, many Canadians will drink beer. But Canada Day is also the day that many new Canadians (who passed the citizenship exam) are officially sworn in as citizens.
In the late 19th century, Canadians regarded Dominion Day as just another step in their country's evolution. Most still thought of themselves as British colonists.
Even in 1958, Canadians weren't ready to let go of their British origins. Federally-organized ceremonies that year were heavy on British values and customs.
The Constitution Act established a federal dominion of sorts. It gave the Canadians some ability to guide their own politics while still tethering the country to Britain.
Unlike with the American colonies, there's no latent animosity between the Canadians and British. The British sent Queen Elizabeth's to join in Canada's 100-year celebrations.
Canada Day is celebrated annually on July 1. It is a day of celebration all over the country.
It wasn't until the 50th anniversary that Canadians started taking their special day seriously. That was 1917 -- right about the time that Canadian soldiers had proven their mettle in the battles of World War I, helping the country establish it's own identity.
Canada's capital of Ottawa is widely regarded as one of the best places to celebrate. The capital is jammed with people and festivities each July 1.
Changing from Dominion Day to Canada Day was what many people thought was a silly break from a long-established tradition. Why change a good thing?
As with the Fourth of July, Canada Day is considered a perfect time to grill out. It is summer, after all, and after the long Canadian winter you don't need more excuses to be outdoors.
The name change bill was introduced into the House of Commons when hardly anyone was around to vote. It was kind of a sneaky way to make the name change a reality.
It's true, Canada is indeed a federal statutory holiday for government employees. That means it's time to get after those walleyes, eh?
The Canadians signed the Constitution Act, which set guidelines for uniting the scattered provinces. The signing of this act sparked Canada Day ... but it wasn't called that back then.
It took more than a century for Canada to achieve total independence from Britain. It finally happened on April 17, 1982.
There is no Frenchland province. The province named Canada was split into two brand-spanking-new provinces: Ontario and Quebec.
Like everyone else on Earth, Canadians love fireworks. In some places, there are strict laws governing these fun explosives.
Canadians took one look at the Civil War and said, "No way, we don't want a republic." So they established a style of government different from their southern neighbors.
No, the great pike fishing had nothing to do with it. Rampant political discord, both inside and outside Canada, was one of the biggest reasons to unite the various provinces into a more central government.
It's true, Canada existed as colonies and provinces long before 1867. The French and British established populations in Canada hundreds of years ago.
The Constitution Act of 1867 united three Canadian provinces. They were: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and...drum roll, please: Canada.
Unlike America, where the Fourth of July is celebrated in pretty standard ways, Canada's celebrations vary widely. What's common in Vancouver may be weird in Montreal.
It's a Quebec tradition ... moving day! Many, many leases traditionally expire on July 1, making this a huge moving day for people in this province.
You've been paying attention during our quiz, right? Canada Day is only sort of Canada's birthday. It marks the signing of the Constitution Act of 1867. The country became totally independent in 1982.