Happy Canada Day number 151, everyone…or is it?

It's the 151st birthday of the nation today ... but not the 151st time this day has been celebrated
Just how many Canada Days have there been? (© Wangkun Jia | Dreamstime.com)

We here at OWLconnected put a lot of posts up on this website. But there's one thing that we never do—post on Sundays! Everyone needs a day off, right?

But we're making an exception today. Why? Why else? We want to celebrate ... it's Canada Day! Sure, perhaps this year's national birthday doesn't carry quite the same significance, excitement, or debate as the one a year ago. But even if 151 isn't a nice, round, big money number like 150, it still deserves some respect!

Still, what if we told you that it's not the 151st Canada Day? Read on...

Happy ... Dominion Day?

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Canada officially began as a country—a.k.a. the Dominion of Canada—on July 1, 1867. The following year, the Governor General of Canada officially requested that Canadians celebrate the anniversary of Confederation. But it was not a fully endorsed—or even named—public holiday until years later. In May of 1879, twelve years after Confederation, the Canadian government recognized the next July 1 as a statutory holiday. They called it Dominion Day.

It stayed that way for many years—over 100 years, in fact. But many people didn't like the name "Dominion Day". Some thought it referred back to a time in Canadian history when the British monarchy played a bigger role in the country. They pushed instead for the more direct title "Canada Day", and the new name became official in 1982.

New name, same great country

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So has Canada been a country for 151 years? Absolutely. But with the first-ever Canada Day happening on July 1, 1982, this year isn't the 151st "Canada Day". We haven't even had 50 of those! It is actually the 37th.

In the end, we're not trying to take anything away from the party. All of this is just a fun little bit of trivia. But hey, if you find yourself in line for a hot dog with someone you don't know today, you could do worse for a conversation starter than, "Did you know that this is actually the 37th Canada Day?"

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