Tuesday July 1, 2008 is Canada's 141st birthday. Believe it or not, Canada is not just a land of ice and snow. In the summer, southern regions of the nation can see temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, though this is rare. A hot summer day is usually in the high 90s.
Here are a few more facts about Canada:
* Canada is located on the North American continent and is the second largest country in the world.
* Canada is bordered by the United States of America to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Arctic Ocean to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.
* Canada consists of ten provinces and three territories. The newest territory is Nunavut, pronounced Noon-a-voot, was established in 1999 and consists of two million square miles.
* Canada's capital is Ottawa, Ontario.
* Stephen Harper is the Prime Minister of Canada. He is leader of the Conservative Party, also known as the Tories.
* John A. McDonald was the first Prime Minister of Canada.
* Canada's most prominent emblem is the maple leaf. It appears on our flag, which you can see at the top of my sidebar.
* Another Canadian emblem is the beaver. When Canada was young, there were millions of beaver here. The skins were highly sought after in England for beaver skin hats.
* Other symbols of Canada include the Bluenose II and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. People also associate moose and the Common loon with Canada.
* Canada's motto is: from sea to sea. Her national anthem is O' Canada.
* Canada has six time zones.
* Over one million aboriginal peoples, consisting of North American Indian, Metis and Inuit live within the borders of Canada.
* Canada is home to one quarter of the world's fresh water supply.
* Over two million lakes are situated in Canada and were formed millions of years ago by glaciers.
* Half of the nation is forest region.
* European settlers first arrived in Canada in the 1500s. It was named Canada in 1535 by explorer Jaques Cartier. He heard Native Canadians say the word Kanata, which means village and thought they were referring to the country. Instead of pronouncing it Kanata (Can-ah-ta) he called it Canada.
* Canada was formed on July 1, 1867. For many years it only had four provinces; Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec.
* At one time the region that is now Ontario was Upper Canada and Quebec was Lower Canada.
* Canada sells electric power to the United States.
* Canada has 42 national parks. These were established to protect plant and animal life. The largest national park is Alberta's Wood Buffalo National Park. It is the only site where whooping cranes nest and is home to the world's largest herd of buffalo.
* Canadians invented the light bulb, television, the electron microscope, the snow mobile, green garbage bags, basketball (a Canadian invented it in the US) and the baseball glove, among other things.
* Hockey is Canada's national sport.
* Canada is a bilingual and multi-cultural country.
* Canadians celebrate Canada Day by going to celebrations where there are activities for the entire family, food and, after dark, fireworks.
I could go on and on with other facts about Canada, but that is enough for today. I wish my Canadian friends a Happy Canada Day and my American friends a Happy Independence Day. Enjoy the festivities and stay safe. ~Blessings, Mary~