The Greatest Event In Canadian History?
There are those who will insist that the 1972 Summit Series is the greatest event in Canadian history.
With all due respect to those who think that, that would be sad. The nation's most defining moment coming in a sporting event? One would hope not.
Make no doubt, the 1972 Summit Series ranks high on the list, and so it should. And no one appreciates the impact it made on the country more than me - I spent countless hours making this website after all.
Over the years, there have been many lists and polls which rank the greatest moments in Canadian history. At the turn of the 21st century we were bombarded by them, not surprisingly.
Also no surprise was that the heroics of Paul Henderson and the epic battle against the Soviets which affected Canadians so deeply had not been lost over the years. It ranked in the top 10 of almost every such list.
One such list was conducted courtesy the Dominion Institute - one of the modern leaders of preserving Canadian history. Using an online form they allowed Canadians to vote for the even they felt was the most significant in Canadian history.
Canadians selected Confederation as the greatest moment in Canadian history. And well they should. Without the union of the British colonies back on July 1st, 1867 there wouldn't be a Canada, or for that matter a Team Canada to play hockey against the Russians in 1972!
Henderson's goal ranked in at #5. Some stuff history teachers might scoff at this lofty ranking, but I feel it is about right. The greatness wasn't that Henderson scored a goal to win a game. Not even close. The greatness was the way the entire country - divided like perhaps never before or since - rallied around a group of 50 hockey players and coaches and put their differences aside and all took such great pride in the country.
Below is the complete results of the 2000 Dominion Institute survey which determined the greatest events in Canadian history:
The union of the British North American colonies of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia
and Canada (Upper and Lower) on 1 July 1867. Confederation entrenched in law the
new country's commitment to a strong federal government, respect for French
Canada's heritage, parliamentary democracy and a transcontinental destiny.