William Lyon Mackenize King is not William Lyon Mackenzie. You heard it here first.

I B in ur internets, writin’ abt ur Prime Ministrs.


Name William Lyon Mackenzie King
Born: December 17, 1874 in Berlin (now Kingston), ON
Died: July 22, 1950
Party: Liberal
Held Office: December 29, 1921 – June 28, 1926September 25, 1926 – August 6, 1930

October 23, 1935 – November 15, 1948

Best known for: -With more than 21 years as P.M., he was not only the longest serving Canadian Prime Minister, but the longest serving Prime Minister in the history of the British Commonwealth!-He led Canada through WWII.

-He was big into exerting Canadian autonomy – arguing for greater autonomy at the Imperial Conference of 1926, deciding that Parliament would vote before Canada went to war, and creating the idea of Canadian citizens (as opposed to British subjects) with the Citizenship Act of 1946.

-He held seances to talk to, among other people, his dead mother. Oh yeah, and his dead dogs.

-He’s on the $50 bill.

Some Things I Didn’t Know About This P.M. -Mackenize was one of his given names, not part of his last name (although it was his mother’s maiden name, so you can see where the confusion comes from)-his little brother’s name was Dougal MacDougall King. Who the hell names their kid Dougall MacDougall?

-he won the first ever Liberal Leadership Convention, which was held in 1919. All the Liberal Party leaders before that were chosen by the party caucus.

-he was never married and had no children… that he knows about.

-he led the first ever minority government in Canadian history.

-he introduced old age pensions

-in 1930, he appointed the first ever female senator, Cairine Wilson, in Canadian history

-he created the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in 1936 and the National Film Board (NFB) in 1938 (yay CBC & NFB!). He also created the precursor to Air Canada (called Trans-Canadian Airlines) in 1937. I’m pretty sure it’s not actually his fault that Air Canada sucks so bad.

-he expanded the National Research Council, mostly with nuclear research

-4 jackass things that Mackenzie King did:

  1. Investigating narcotics in Vancouver after riots in Vancouver’s Chinatown & Japantown led to claims for damages by opium manufacturers, King freaked out that white women, not just Chinese men, were using opium. He then started a process that led to the first anti-narcotic legislation in Canada. Now, I’m not saying that I think narcotics should be legal, but rather I’m calling Mackenzie King a jackass for this racist behaviour.
  2. Speaking of racists, he said this about Adolf Friggin Hilter “I believe the world will yet come to see a very great man – mystic in Hitler […] His dictatorship is a means to and end – much needed perhaps to make the Germans conscious of themselves – much I cannot abide in Nazism – the regimentation – cruelty – oppression of Jews – attitude towards religion, etc., but Hitler him, the peasant will rank some day with Joan of Arc among the deliverers of his people, & if he is careful may yet be the deliverer of Europe.”(right from his journal, March 27, 1938, p. 4). Awesome.
  3. The limitation of immigration of Jewish people trying to escape the Holocaust under his government. It was consistent with other governments of the day, but that doesn’t make it right.
  4. His government interned Japanese-Canadians on the west coast, giving Japanese-Canadians 24 hrs to pack and get out and then sold all their property & possessions.

You can read William Lyon Mackenzie King’s diaries online! God, I hope my journal never ends up online1.
If you are just dying to read more about W.L.M.K. written by people who have read his diaries, then check these out:

I like top hats.

And if you think that reading is for suckers, you can watch this.

Image credits: From from the Library and Archives Canada, copyright is expired.

1Yeah, I keep a journal, where I write all the juicy stuff that I don’t want y’all on the internets to read about!