Top 10 Events in Canadian History That Impacted the Rest of the World

I'm a proud and true Canadian. Many people know that by now. But Canada's usually overlooked when it comes to history and major events in the past. Nobody really knows what has happened in the second largest country by landmass in the world. So here I am to tell you. There's been much, much more stuff than you think. If these things didn't happen, the world might have been much different right now! Now, without further ado, let's get on into it! Enjoy!
The Top Ten
1 Alexander Bell's Invention of the Telephone Alexander Graham Bell was a Scottish-born scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with patenting the first practical telephone.

Alexander Graham Bell has definitely been downplayed over the years because of people saying he's "overrated" and because later inventors like Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla did a ton of work that overshadowed him. People even say that he stole other inventors' work. You can say what you like, but the world would not be anything like it is now without this extremely intelligent and prolific inventor. He invented the telephone!

And yes, I mean that thing with the twirling cord that mainly only seniors have now. You might scoff at that and say, "Cell phones are way better than those ancient devices!" But those evolved from Bell's original telephone, and without him, we might not be able to communicate long distance (other than through emailing) or might still be in an earlier stage of telecommuting, maybe still using telephones to talk instead of cell phones.

Without a doubt, he is one of the most important inventors of all time, and it's extraordinary and surprising to many people that he is a Canadian. He was born elsewhere, but he lived almost all of his life and died in Canada.

2 The Extraction and Purification of Insulin

The discovery of insulin is one of the biggest world-changing events in history. Why? Firstly, for those who don't know what insulin is, I'll explain. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that allows you to control the amount of sugar in your bloodstream and provides energy to your muscles, organs, and cells.

You may think, "Well, insulin is something your body makes anyway! How did discovering it impact the rest of the world?" I'll tell you. Ever heard of diabetes? Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin. When that happens, you can get really sick, and yes, even die. How do we stop that? By taking insulin shots, which are not produced by your body. Over 8 million people in the United States alone use insulin shots almost every day!

When people finally discovered this interesting hormone while studying the pancreas, it wasn't long before they had some idea of what it did. But it wasn't until decades later, after many attempts, that some Canadians at the University of Toronto were able to isolate, extract, and purify it. There's no question that insulin is one of the most important medical discoveries ever, and it was Canadians who extracted and purified it, saving countless lives.

3 Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope

If you're Canadian, you might be tired of hearing his name. If you are a cancer victim or know a cancer victim, you won't be. I'm not sure how famous he is outside of Canada, so I'll quickly summarize this amazing man's journey to save countless lives.

He was a pretty ordinary man, except for a few things. He had a rare type of bone cancer, which caused him to have his leg amputated and replaced with a metal one that mainly just kept his balance. It wasn't long after this that Terry decided what he had to do. He started what would be remembered as the "Marathon of Hope." He ran, with a metal leg that didn't compensate for his real one's loss, almost 6000 kilometers across Canada, with the hope of raising money for the fight against cancer.

His goal was to raise one dollar for every single Canadian. That would be 30-some million dollars, a very large amount. How much did he raise? Well over 200 million. He kept running until the cancer reached his lungs and he died near Thunder Bay. What an inspiring man. He saved countless lives not only in Canada but in the rest of the world through the money he raised to fight cancer.

4 The Assault of Juno Beach on D-Day

You have probably heard of the infamous D-Day, known as the day that marked a significant turning point in World War II (specifically, June 6, 1944). On this day, Allied troops (the "good guys" who opposed Hitler) launched a combined naval, air, and ground assault on Nazi-occupied France. They assaulted five main beaches and dropped troops by parachute in what was essentially the ultimate invasion.

One of the most important assaults was on Juno Beach. Over 10,000 Canadian troops and numerous ships contributed to this assault. Without Canada, the invasion would not have succeeded, and the world might be a very different place today. Many Jews and others owe their lives to the brave Canadian soldiers who sacrificed themselves to help end the war in Europe.

5 The Invention of Peanut Butter

What's one of the most popular things when it comes to snacks, due to it being healthy enough, easy to use, delicious, and cheap? Peanut butter! All you really think about is what it contains and how tasty it is, so barely anyone knows that peanut butter was invented in Canada. Those who do care about where it was invented are usually misinformed.

It's become a popular belief that an American botanist you may have heard of, called George Washington Carver (not the president, another guy with a similar name), invented it. In reality, it was invented in Canada way back in 1884 by a Canadian pharmacist named Marcellus Gilmore Edson. He liked the consistency of his product to be more like a butter or ointment, thus inventing peanut butter. Canada also invented garbage bags, paint rollers, road lines, the pager, and much more.

6 Viola Desmond's Challenging of Racial Segregation

As a Canadian, I know Viola Desmond well. She's literally on our ten-dollar bill! Millions of people outside of Canada may know her, but I'll quickly explain who she is and what she did for those who don't.

Viola Desmond was a normal Black woman in Canada who decided to go to the movies one night. She was as wealthy as a Black person could be at that time, so she didn't cheat her way in, if that's what you were thinking. She paid the extra money to sit in the best spot of the theatre, as you would normally do, and went to sit down. But then she got in a ton of trouble with the security guard because, apparently, the good part of the theatre was "whites only." She said she'd go to where she was supposed to if they refunded the extra money she paid, but they didn't, so she refused to leave her seat and ended up going to jail.

Her story got out, and people began to realize that these anti-Black rules weren't right. This eventually helped to start the modern civil rights movement in Canada, which influenced the US greatly and helped Black people all over the world get the freedom they deserve.

7 The Origination of Ice Hockey

While it may be true that Canada and the US are where hockey is the most famous, and it's not as international as soccer (football outside of Canada and the US) or other sports, it is still extremely well-known and the most popular winter sport in dozens of countries outside of North America. It will probably not surprise you that hockey also started in Canada.

You may also not think that this is a really important thing, but sports are one of the biggest things in the world, and hockey fans all around the world probably couldn't imagine what the world would be like if hockey wasn't invented in Canada. Millions of people in India, for example, would be strongly impacted if hockey didn't exist. They are actually one of the most successful teams in field hockey.

Additionally, did you know that a Canadian invented the world-famous sport basketball, though while in the United States? I didn't include that because it could be considered an American historic event.

8 The Start of the Seven Years' War

You've probably heard this come up in history class or just in general conversation a few times, and if you're Canadian, you probably spent a long time hearing about it in school. But what is it, and why does Canada somehow relate to it? Well, I'll tell you.

The Seven Years' War was a global conflict starting in 1756, involving almost every continent, primarily as a fight between Great Britain and France for global domination. This war ended up involving many other countries in Europe. It impacted the entire world, with Great Britain winning after a long and hard war. If France had won, the world would be much different today. People would probably speak French in Canada and in the USA.

Anyways, this sounds like a European thing, so why is it Canadian history? Because it started right in Canada, in 1754, with colonies of Great Britain and colonies of France going against each other with natives on both sides, eventually escalating into a global conflict.

9 The "Discovery" of Canada by Jacques Cartier

You've all heard of Christopher Columbus' supposed "discovery" of the USA, or the New World. (Actually, it's quite likely that at least ten groups reached there before him.) Many people just group Canada into that, as if Christopher Columbus was the first to reach there, too. In reality, he wasn't. They would have kept exploring and eventually gotten to what is now Canada, yes, but Jacques Cartier, a French explorer, was the one who really discovered it. He named it Canada after "Kanata," which was a word for village, and he was also the one who started putting it on maps.

This may seem natural, and you may think that it would have happened anyway, but actually, this was really important. He claimed it for the French only a couple of years before the rest of the world got there. For all we know, the Seven Years' War, the World Wars, and a ton of other events wouldn't have happened if it weren't for this important part in the history of Canada.

10 The Sending of Peacekeepers to Haiti

Canada may have stopped a huge war like the one currently going on in Syria, or possibly an even bigger one, through this one decision. Basically, Haiti's not a very peaceful country. There's been internal violence and civil unrest there for a very, very long time, and the police and judicial systems there are awful. It was quite possible that a war could spark there anytime soon. Most countries really didn't want to get involved, but Canada decided that someone had to go there and keep it safe.

Since 1990, peacekeepers from Canada have gone there on many UN missions. They have kept everything safe and improved their judicial and police systems quite a bit. Who knows what might have happened without them being there?

The Contenders
11 Hudson's Bay Company is Formed
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