Pearson’s Nobel Peace Prize loaned to Canadian Museum of HistoryNovember 25, 2016
For immediate release
Gatineau, Quebec, November 25, 2016 — The Canadian Museum of History is pleased to announce that Lester B. Pearson’s 1957 Nobel Peace Prize medal will be displayed in the Museum’s new Canadian History Hall, set to open in July 2017. The medal will be on long-term loan to the Museum from Global Affairs Canada, with the support of Lester B. Pearson’s family.
“The Canadian Museum of History is very grateful to the Pearson family and Global Affairs Canada for the loan of this important piece of history,” said Mark O’Neill, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Museum. “The medal is a formidable addition to our new Hall, in the section telling the story of Canada in the world since 1945. His Nobel Prize represents an iconic achievement in world peace by an extraordinary Canadian.”
“At Global Affairs Canada we were honoured to be the custodian of this important symbol of peace. It is a significant reminder of Lester B. Pearson’s legacy as we work to continue to advance Canadian efforts to make the world a better, more just and safer place,” said the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ian Shugart. “We are proud to share this symbol with all Canadians as we offer the extended loan of his Nobel Peace Prize Medal to be seen by all visitors to the Canadian Museum of History in 2017.”
“The Pearson family is delighted that the Nobel Peace Prize medal will soon be on display at the Canadian Museum of History where so many more young people will be able to see it, to reflect on what ‘peace’ means and what role they may play in securing it throughout the world,” said the Honourable Landon Pearson, OC, the daughter-in-law of Lester B. Pearson.
The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to individuals for outstanding contributions in peace. The award has been presented 97 times. Past recipients include Martin Luther King Jr. and Malala Yousafzai. Pearson, Canada’s 14th prime minister, is the first and only Canadian individual so honoured.
Pearson received the award for his role in helping to resolve the Suez crisis in 1956. Great Britain, France and Israel had attacked Egypt in an effort to regain control of the Suez Canal and remove President Gamal Abdel Nasser, an action that divided the Western alliance, angered the Soviet Union and threatened the outbreak of a major war in the Middle East. Pearson, then Canada’s Secretary of State for External Affairs, successfully argued for the deployment of a United Nations Emergency Force to the region defusing the immediate crisis.
Pearson’s medal will be displayed in Gallery 3 of the new Canadian History Hall. The gallery explores the years after 1914 and will include the story of how Canada became a significant international player after 1945. The 40,000 square foot Hall, which traces Canada’s history from the dawn of human habitation to the present day, will open on July 1, 2017 for the 150th anniversary of Confederation.
Located on the shores of the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec, the Canadian Museum of History attracts over 1.2 million visitors each year. The Museum’s principal role is to enhance Canadians’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the events, experiences, people and objects that have shaped Canada’s history and identity, as well as to enhance Canadians’ awareness of world history and culture. Work of the Canadian Museum of History is made possible in part through financial support of the Government of Canada.
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