Did You Know?

Below are some facts and tidbits of information that you may not have known about Nellie.

  1. Manitoba was the first province to grant women the right to vote in Provincial Elections and the right to sit in the Provincial Legislature in 1916.
  2. Nellie McClung was instrumental in the struggle that led to women gaining the right to vote in Manitoba.
  3. After leaving Manitoba, Nellie McClung lived in Alberta where she continued the fight for the right of women to vote.
  4. A few years after women in Alberta gained the right to vote, McClung was elected to the Alberta Legislature where she served from 1921-1926.
  5. Before October 18, 1929, women in Canada were not legally considered to be persons.
  6. Nellie McClung was one of five women who fought for and won the right for women in Canada to be recognized as persons in the BNA Act.
  7. Nellie McClung made frequent speaking tours throughout Canada and the United States beginning in 1908 and not ending until she was well into “retirement” in the 1940s.
  8. When McClung’s first book, Sowing Seeds in Danny, was published in 1908, it became the best selling book in Canada that year and did well in the United States, too.
  9. In addition to writing 16 books, including several bestsellers, McClung was a columnist for various newspapers and a contributor to magazines such as Maclean’s, Canadian Home Journal, Country Guide, and Chatelaine.
  10. During her life, Nellie McClung served in areas where women were seldom heard, such as the League of Nations and the Board of Governors of the CBC.
  11. In the early 1920s, McClung advocated for the ordination of women in the Methodist Church and later, in 1934, in the United Church of Canada.
  12. In the late 1930s, McClung spoke about the injustice faced by Japanese Canadians who did not have the right to vote and, for her stand, she faced considerable opposition in British Columbia.
  13. She wrote to the Minister of Education for British Columbia requesting that the government take responsibility for the education of the Japanese in British Columbian internment camps.
  14. When Jewish Holocaust victims were attempting to flee from Europe during  World War II, Nellie asked the Canadian government to accept them into Canada.  Later, she asked the Canadian government to at least accept refugee children.
  15. During World War II, McClung worried about women losing their jobs once the war was over and wrote in favour of equal pay for women.

“Our discontents are passing. We may yet live to see the day when women will be no longer news!  And it cannot come too soon. I want to be a peaceful, happy, human being, pursuing my unimpeded way through life, never having to stop to explain, defend, or apologize for my sex. …I am tired of belonging to the sex that is called the Sex. And it is because the finding of the Privy Council that we are “persons” once and for all, will do so much to merge us into the human family, that we are filled with gratitude and joy.”(Nellie McClung regarding the decision that women were indeed “persons”, 1929)