This Week in History
Canadian wins Nobel Peace Prize
This story was initially published in 1999
On October 14, 1957, Lester Bowles Pearson won the Nobel Peace Prize for helping to resolve the 1956 Suez Crisis and developing the United Nations Emergency Force, otherwise known as the peacekeepers. He would later become Canada's prime minister.
In 1956, a hostile situation arose in the Middle East when the Egyptian President nationalized the mainly British-owned Suez Canal. Western Europe did not want Egypt to control the important passage between the Arabian oil fields and the Mediterranean. Taking matters into their own hands, Israel, France and Britain attacked Egypt. It was amidst this turmoil that Pearson suggested the formation of an international peacekeeping force.
In 1963 Liberal Lester B. Pearson became Canada's 14th prime minister. He implemented some key social legislation such as the Canada Pension Plan, universal health insurance and a new immigration act. Pearson also introduced a new Canadian flag, replacing the Union Jack with the Maple Leaf. Of equal importance were the creation of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, and Pearson's efforts to strengthen relations with Quebec by allowing the province to create its own pension plan, and opt out of other governmental programs. Pearson retired from office in 1968.
Lester B. Pearson was designated of Canadian historical importance by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board.
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