Since the motorbikes are parked at home during the current pandemic, I thought it would be interesting to continue to explore Canada through research. Who knows - it might inspire a completely different Canadian journey to plan!
I would love to hear your ideas of stories you would like me to cover. Or, comb the archives of your family and memories and tell me YOUR interesting stories of Canadian people, places and events for me to report on (with credit to you, of course). You can email your content to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with any pictures. Please note that any pictures sent assume consent to post publicly on this blog. If anyone in the photo(s) does not want their picture shared, please don't send it.
The first blog is a story from the Parks Canada archives called This Week in History, with additional information from Wikipedia. It's a story I've never heard before!
During the time of prohibition, many rum-runners were smuggling alcohol into the US through southern Ontario, Nova Scotia and the French islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon off the coast of Newfoundland. For 9 years, the ship I'm Alone, which was registered in Nova Scotia, had been smuggling alcohol into the US between Belize and Louisiana. At the time, Belize was British Honduras.
In 1929, the US Coast Guard shelled and sank the I'm Alone after the crew refused orders to stop. All but one of the crew members were rescued, arrested, and jailed.
The incident triggered a diplomatic crisis between Canada and the US over whether the US Coast Guard had a right to pursue and sink the ship, since it was sailing far beyond the US coast. The US defended their actions by citing a treaty between Britain and the US that US authorities could board British vessels within an hour's distance from the coast if they were suspected of rum-running. Eventually, the dispute was resolved by the Joint Commission, ruling that the US Coast Guard had violated international law and the US government was required to pay damages. Ironically, according to Wikipedia, the owners of I'm Alone were American, and the US paid a much lower fine than the amount originally demanded by the Canadian government. The Captain of I'm Alone, John "Jack" Randell, and the widow of the crew member that died, were compensated upon resolution of the dispute.
Charles Vincent Massey, who was the ambassador to the US at the time, subsequently continued to serve in a variety of prominent public office positions, including Governor General of Canada.
Photo credits to: Wikipedia and Newfoundland Shipwrecks website