OTD: Newly opened Peace Bridge dedicated by international dignitaries

On today’s date in 1927, former Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King joined several international dignitaries in dedicating the Peace Bridge between Fort Erie, Ont. and Buffalo, N.Y.

Today, the bridge is one of the busiest border crossings between Canada and the U.S.

In 1977, to mark 50 years since the bridge’s opening, which took place in June 1927, Canada’s Post Office Department (now Canada Post) and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) jointly issued a commemorative stamp to mark the event; however, in an atypical move for a joint issue, the two stamps are markedly different in their design.

DESIGNED BY ROLF HARDER

Canada issued a 12-cent stamp (Scott #737), which was printed by Ashton-Potter with multiple colours and general tagging along two opposing sides. Designed by iconic artist Rolf Harder, the stamp highlights the standard of enlightened international relations that is the friendship between Canada and the U.S.

The USPS used an entirely different design for its stamp – an unusual occurrence for joint issues.

The USPS used an entirely different design for its stamp—an unusual occurrence for joint issues.

Commercial considerations aside, supporters of the Peace Bridge visualized it as a monument to the peaceful years since the War of 1812. By 1914, planning was well on its way to coming to fruition; however, the Second World War intervened and the project remained incomplete until 1927, about nine months after engineers began the job of overcoming the Niagara River’s strong currents.

On Aug. 7, 1927, an all-star cast of dignitaries met to dedicate the bridge. Participating in the ceremony were the governor of New York; the premier of Ontario; the U.S. vice-president and secretary of state; the Canadian and British prime ministers; and the Prince of Wales.

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