The Toronto Star

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History Thursday


· Laura asks “ I don’t understand all these new slang terms? What are Whisky Smugglers and Rum Runners and why are there so many around"

Hey Laura, Thanks for your question. In 1920, the American federal government introduced Prohibition. Prohibition made the manufacture, sale and transportation of all beer, wine and spirits illegal everywhere in the United States. Many Americans opposed Prohibition and Canadians saw the opportunity to feed the Americans drug for their addiction. Whisky Smugglers are people who move alcohol illegally out of the country. On the east and west coasts, booze was secretly shipped to the United States by boat. Inland, trucks sneaked alcohol across the border. And In Ontario "rum runners" which are steered speedboats across the Great Lakes to the American side. Hoped that helped Laura.

- John asks "Can you explain to me what happened on Black Tuesday?

Hey John, that's a really good question and I would love to answer that for you. The international price of wheat went really high in July 1929 . After that, Canada and other countries around the world began reporting bumper crops. Suddenly, there was too much wheat for sale. There was a lot of wheat for sale the supply for wheat was very high and the demand was very less. As a result, wheat prices began to fall. Then, on Thursday, October,24,1929, wheat prices on the Winnipeg Grain Exchange sank dramatically. Millions of dollars in profits were lost as people tried to cut their losses by selling wheat. The day became known as Black Thursday. I hope that answered your question.

- Anna asks "I don't understands all these new political parties, Social Credit, Union Nationale and Co-operative Commonwealth Federation?

Hey Anna, I love your question. William Aberhart, a high-school principal in Alberta, created the Social Credit party. Aberhart thought that if people had more money in their products, they would buy more products. This would increase demand, create more jobs and end the depression. Aberhart promised to give everyone a social credit of $25 a month. This credit could be used to pay for goods and services. French people from Quebec believed that their economic problems were caused by the English speaking Minority. Therefore, French speakers supported the Union Nationale, which was founded in 1935 under the leadership of Maurice Duplessis. Under the leadership of J.S Woodsworth, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) was found in Saskatchewan in 1933. CCFers believed that government should own key industries that the government should own key industries so that everyone shared in the profits. They also wanted to introduce social programs, such as an unemployment insurance and public works projects to create jobs. I hope that helped have an awesome day.

-Florence asks " Why did a bunch of people travel to Ottawa from Vancouver in 1935?

Hello Florence, In 1935, camp workers organized to demand higher wages. The protest was called On-to-Ottawa Trek. The journey began in Vancouver, where more than 1000 men hitched a ride in cars towards Ottawa. The plan was to talk directly to Bennett. In towns along the way, people welcomed the protesters along the way and more men joined the journey. Hope that helped.