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A Real Companion and Friend:
The diary of William Lyon Mackenzie King

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Educational Resources


Arthur Purvis: (1890-1941) a Canadian who worked for the British Supply Council, which was responsible for all British purchases in North America during the war. He was well known by the Prime Minister and died in a plane crash in 1941.

Biographer: an author who writes a summary of someone's life.

C.D. Howe: (1886-1960) The Minister of Munitions and Supply during the Second World War.

Dilemma: a situation in which a person has to make a choice between equally unsatisfactory alternatives.

Electorate: all of the people who have the right to vote in a political election.

Excerpt: a selected passage taken from a written work.

Federal family allowance: a federal plan where the government provides a sum of money to mothers to help them feed and clothe their children.

Federal unemployment insurance: a federal government plan, which pays a weekly sum of money to an unemployed worker.

Great Depression: a period of time that began with the U.S. stock market collapse in 1929; for a number of years, unemployment was incredibly high, families everywhere could no longer afford to own property, and all products that could be purchased were outrageously expensive because money was no longer worth very much.

Inauguration: a public ceremony that introduces something new.

Literary executors: persons appointed by someone to carry out his or her wishes with respect to his or her literary belongings such as diaries, journals, books, etc.

Medium: a person thought to have special powers for communicating between the living and the dead.

Memoirs: a history or record of events written by someone who has special knowledge of the events.

Numerology: the study of the hidden, magical significance of numbers.

Plebiscite: a vote on a national issue by everyone that has a right to vote.

Prolific: abundant or very productive.

Providence: The will of God.

Rebel: a person who opposes lawful government by acts of violence.

Rebellion: an organized attempt by rebels to overthrow the lawful government by acts of violence.

Riot: a noisy and violent public gathering often in defiance of authority and the law and sometimes destructive of life or property.

Séance: a meeting where spiritualists get together to communicate with spirits.

Spiritualist: a person who believes that the spirit survives the death of the body and can communicate with people who are still alive.

Upper Canada Rebellion: a rebellion in 1837 to take over Toronto from the British government.

William Lyon Mackenzie: (1795–1861) a Canadian journalist and rebel leader of the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837; also the grandfather of William Lyon Mackenzie King.

Winston Churchill: (1874–1965): a British statesman, who became Prime Minister during the Second World War.