Canadian Museum for Human Rights – Part 3, Viola Desmond

Viola Desmond is one of the Canadian human rights stories in the museum.  I didn’t take many pictures of her small exhibit, but when I go back again soon I will look to see if there is more.  I do have links to websites with more information that I will add though.

Most of us had never heard of Viola Desmond until the day new $10.00 bills came out with her profile covering the entire length of the back of the bill in 2016. She was the first Canadian woman to be featured on a $10.00 bill.  On November 19th of this year (at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights), this year’s bill will be introduced where she is on the front of the bill, replacing Sir John A. McDonald.

2016 $10.00 bill

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From what I have been reading about Viola, she wasn’t planning on being an activist that day.  She hadn’t even planned on going to the theatre.  Her car broke down and she went there to pass the time while waiting for it to be fixed.  She bought her ticket and sat where she wanted – not knowing that she was sitting in a “whites only” section.  There were no signs indicating it was a segregated theatre.  She was told she had to move to the balcony and when she said “no” because she could see better in this section, they carried her out of the theatre and put her in jail.

CBC  story at https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadian-banknote-woman-1.3885844

Another CBC story at https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/viola-desmond-banknote-cmhr-1.4906730

Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viola_Desmond

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