On This Day
1903 – Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge is established by US President Theodore Roosevelt.
Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge is a United States National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), and part of the Everglades Headwaters NWR complex, located just off the western coast of Orchid Island in the Indian River Lagoon east of Sebastian, Florida. The refuge consists of a 3-acre (12,000 m2) island that includes an additional 2.5 acres (10,000 m2) of surrounding water and is located off the east coast of Florida of the Indian River Lagoon. Established by an executive order of President Theodore Roosevelt on March 14, 1903, Pelican Island was the first National wildlife refuge in the United States. It was created to protect egrets and other birds from extinction through plume hunting.
Born On This Day
1868 – Emily Murphy, Canadian jurist, author, and activist (d. 1933)
Emily Murphy (born Emily Gowan Ferguson; 14 March 1868 – 27 October 1933) was a Canadian women’s rights activist, jurist, and author. In 1916, she became the first female magistrate in Canada, and in the British Empire. She is best known for her contributions to Canadian feminism, specifically to the question of whether women were “persons” under Canadian law.
Murphy is known as one of “The Famous Five” (also called “The Valiant Five”)—a group of Canadian women’s rights activists that also included Henrietta Muir Edwards, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney and Irene Parlby. In 1927, the women launched the “Persons Case,” contending that women could be “qualified persons” eligible to sit in the Senate. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that they were not. However, upon appeal to the Judicial Committee of the British Privy Council, the court of last resort for Canada at that time, the women won their case.
However, there has been some criticism of her later work, mainly for her role in the Sexual Sterilization Act of Alberta and her allegations that a ring of immigrants from other countries, particularly China, would corrupt the white race by getting Canadians hooked on drugs. In her book The Black Candle, she wrote: “It is hardly credible that the average Chinese peddler has any definite idea in his mind of bringing about the downfall of the white race, his swaying motive being probably that of greed, but in the hands of his superiors, he may become a powerful instrument to that end.”
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