Was the First World War actually the world’s first world war?

An item from the Legion Magazine.

Front Lines
Front Lines

Photo credits: Wikimedia

Was the First World War actually the world’s first world war?


It was known in its time as “The Great War,” sometimes the “World War” or “World’s War,” before it ultimately became the “First World War.” But was it?

Involving more than 30 countries in theatres spanning the globe, the “war to end all wars” was, by most accounts, a global war. No war before it exceeded its toll of some 40 million dead.

But it was not actually the first world war. That title goes to the Seven Years’ War of 1756-1763, involving some 46 belligerents in theatres spanning Europe, North America, the West Indies, South America, West Africa, India and the Philippines.


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Military Milestones
Military Milestones

City of Victoria Archives

North America’s worst streetcar accident


It was supposed to be a day of festivities, until tragedy struck.

Celebrating Queen Victoria’s 76th birthday in 1896, the city named in her honour, the British Columbia capital, had pulled out all the stops. The multi-day party attracted hundreds of people, and its conclusion on May 26, was supposed to end with a military review and “sham battle” at Macaulay Point.

But as people travelled to the event by every conceivable method of transportation—boat, bicycle and buggy included, tragedy befell the city, triggering the worst streetcar accident in North American history: At about 1:50 p.m., the Point Ellice Bridge collapsed, sending 143 people into Victoria Harbour and killing 55 people.


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