Lincoln Alexander Day in Canada Date in the current year: January 21, 2018

Lincoln Alexander Day in Canada Lincoln Alexander Day is an annual observance celebrated throughout Canada, particularly in the province of Ontario. It honors a Canadian lawyer and politician who served as the first black MP in the House of Commons and the first black federal Minister of the Crown in the Canadian Cabinet. He was also the first black person to serve in a viceregal position in Canada.

Lincoln Alexander was born on January 21, 1922 in Toronto, Ontario. Having graduated from high school, he served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II. After the war he received a BA in economics and history from McMaster University and then attended Osgoode Hall Law School, graduating in 1953.

Alexander’s political career began in 1965, when he ran in the federal election as the Progressive Conservative Party candidate. He was defeated, but ran again in the 1968 and won the seat, becoming the first black Member of Parliament in Canada. Alexander held the seat through four successive elections until resigning in 1980.

He also served briefly as Minister of Labor in Joe Clark’s government from 1979 to 1980 and as chair of the Workers’ Compensation Board of Ontario from 1980 to 1985. From 1985 to 1991, Alexander served as the 24th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.

In 2013, the Province of Ontario proclaimed January 21 “Lincoln Alexander Day” to honor his accomplishments and contributions. In 2015, it was celebrated across Canada for the first time.

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