Currie and the eclipse holiday request

By Marissa Stimpson, Archival Assistant, McGill University Archives & MISt Candidate 2017

Map showing path across Quebec of the central shadow of the total eclipse of the sun. August 31, 1932. PR024753, McGill University Archives.

Map showing path across Quebec of the central shadow of the total eclipse of the sun. August 31, 1932. PR024753, McGill University Archives. Click to enlarge.

A total solar eclipse is a celestial event not to be missed.  On August 31, 1932 Montreal and the St. Lawrence Valley fell directly under the shadow of a total solar eclipse which spread from Notre Dame de Grace to just outside Trois Rivières.

Sir Arthur Currie, McGill Principal and Vice-Chancellor (1920-1933) and the Royal Astronomical Society wanted all faculty members and the citizens of Montreal to be able to witness this phenomena which would not occur for another 360 years. Currie petitioned Quebec Premiere, Louis-Alexandre Taschereau, to grant a holiday and to have Montrealers dim their lights. Taschereau decided not to grant a full holiday but thought it would be possible to have “the people of our Province” power down their lights for the duration of the eclipse.

Their correspondence is below.

Request from Currie to Taschereau. Physics: Staff and 1932 Eclipse of the Sun, 1926-33, RG2 container 63 file 1109. McGill Univeristy Archives

Request from Currie to Taschereau. Physics: Staff and 1932 Eclipse of the Sun, 1926-33, RG2 container 63 file 1109. McGill Univeristy Archives. Click to enlarge.

Response from Taschereau to Currie. Physics: Staff and 1932 Eclipse of the Sun, 1926-33, RG2 container 63 file 1109. McGill Univeristy Archives

Response from Taschereau to Currie. Physics: Staff and 1932 Eclipse of the Sun, 1926-33, RG2 container 63 file 1109. McGill Univeristy Archives. Click to enlarge.

Leave a Reply

Library Matters seeks to exchange and encourage ideas, innovations and information from McGill Library staff for our on-campus readers and beyond.
Contact Us!

If you have any questions, comments, or even an idea for a story, let us know!