Canada Through the Decades

1950's

Technology

A new discovery for diabetes came from a plant known as the Periwinkle plant. Dr. Noble was a Canadian doctor in the 1950s. He had a patient who sent him the plant from Jamaica. This patient told the doctor to make tea with it and give it to his patients with diabetes. It turned out that the plant did not really help the patients. It did reduce the number of white blood cells in a person's body though. They made a very powerful extract from the periwinkle leaves. This combined with other drugs was very effective for controlling certain types of cancer.

World Events

In 1955, Rosa Parks accidently made history on her way home from work. She was an African American woman living in Alabama. The buses that she rode home on were segregated. This meant that white people and black passengers sat in different sections. She sat in the middle. When the white section filled up she was asked to give up her seat by a white man. She was very tired after work and refused to give up her seat. This simple yet courageous decision set of a series of events that changed history for the better.  African American people rallied behind her to support her decision. They refused to ride the bus until they changed the law. This went on for 382 days. The bus company lost a lot of money. A Baptist minister, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. helped to organize the boycott. Before long he was leading the Civil Rights movement to end segregation against African American people and to get them the same rights as white Americans.