What is it about 1936?

The year 1936 just keeps popping up in my research in the most unexpected of places.

  • While researching the sinking of the Empress of Ireland in 1914, I have run across numerous references to the successor of her sister ship, the Empress of Britain II, which undertook her first and most famous round the world cruise in 1936. 
  • Researching the memory of Vimy Ridge – as portrayed in the Canadian War Museum, at the memorial in France, and its place in the formation of Canadian national identity – I have since learned that the massive monument at Vimy was dedicated in 1936… by King Edward VIII, in his one year as king. In fact, it was his first public role after becoming king; the significance of this was not lost on the Canadian veterans, who cheered him at the memorial and spontaneously sang “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow”. 
  • Researching newspapers for tourist advertisements to Western Canada for thesis research, I must have run across at least half a dozen news articles and ads encouraging Americans and Brits to visit Canada this year (1936). Faux-headlines include “See Something Different This Year!” (British Columbia), “Cruises on Lake Ships: “Unsalted Seas” Expected to Attract Numerous Summer Voyagers” and “Canada Holds Winter Court” (for American tourists). It makes me want to visit 1936 Canada!
  • These newspaper ads sometimes share space with talk of the infamous 1936 Berlin Olympics, too. 

Anyway, the year just seems to come up a lot; it appears to have been a momentous one. If I was more keen on the 1930s/the interwar period, I might consider writing some sort of retrospective article using the year 1936 as a microcosm of Canadian/British culture or current events… or something. I think that that idea got away from me. 


Illustrated London News, February 22, 1936, pg. 343.


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