Sunday, February 20, 2011

Agnes MacPhail to JS Woodsworth

I love coming across gems when doing archival research. We've all been there. Those documents or artifacts that don't necessarily give you a research breakthrough but do bring a smile to your face that breaks the dizzying monotony that is doing history via microfilm.

I was going through the J.S. Woodsworth Fond and found this...

During the special parliamentary session to decide Canada's participation in WW2

The note from Agnes MacPhail, Canada's first female federal MP, I'm assuming was sent shortly after Woodsworth gave his famous pacifism speech on Sept 8, 1939 shortly before he voted his opposition to Canada's participation in the Second World War. He voted against his own party and the moment was effectively when M.J. Coldwell assumed leadership of the CCF. I'm also assuming that this note may have given title to the staple biography on Woodsworth, Kenneth McNaught's A Profit in Politics: A Biography of J.S. Woodsworth.

For kicks, here's a radio address given by Woodsworth in 1935.
Here you can listen to MacPhail in 1948 speaking about women in politics.

Agnes McPhail

J.S. Woodsworth


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