OTD: International Peace Garden opens on Canada-U.S. border

On today’s date in 1932, the International Peace Garden was established on the Canada-U.S. border near Morton, Man. as a symbol of peace between the two nations.

Dr. Henry J. Moore conceived the idea for gardens “where the people of the two countries could share the glories found in a garden and the pleasures found in warm friendships” in 1929. The National Association of Gardeners approved the plan, and the nearly 10-square-kilometre park—located on the international border between Manitoba and Rolette County, N.D.—was eventually dedicated during a ceremony attended by 50,000 people on July 14, 1932.

THE PEACE CAIRN

The ceremony was held at the Peace Cairn, which is made of stone gathered from Manitoba and North Dakota. It’s inscribed,” To God in His Glory, we two nations dedicate this garden and pledge ourselves that as long as men shall live, we will not take up arms against one another.”

The cairn itself is located directly on the Canadian and U.S., and it’s flanked by each country’s flagpole on its respective side.

In July 1960, a globe of red granite with etched meridian lines—a gift from Great Northern Railway company, of St. Paul, Mi., as a memorial to its founder, Canadian-born James J. Hill—was added to the top of the cairn.

The USPS issued this 20-cent stamp in 1982 to mark the 50th anniversary of the International Peace Garden.

1982 USPS STAMP

In 1982, to mark the park’s 50th anniversary, the United States Postal Service (USPS) issued a 20-cent stamp (Scott #2014) celebrating the 50th anniversary of the International Peace Garden. The stamp was designed by Gyo Fujikawa, of New York, and printed in 50-stamp panes using the intaglio process.

A first-day-of-issue ceremony was held in the Masonic Memorial Auditorium on the grounds of the International Peace Garden on June 30, 1982.

1991 CANADIAN STAMP

On May 22, 1991, Canada Post featured the International Peace Garden on a 40-cent multi-coloured stamp (Scott #1312) as part of its Public Gardens issue.

In addition to the International Peace Garden, the Public Gardens issue commemorated the Butchart Gardens in British Columbia (SC #1311); the Royal Botanical Gardens in Ontario (SC #1313); the Montréal Botanical Gardens in Québec (SC #1314); and the Halifax Public Gardens in Nova Scotia (SC #1315).

Printed by Ashton-Potter on Coated Papers Limited paper, the Peace Garden stamp has general tagging along each side. It was designed by David Wyman based on illustrations by Gerard Gauci.

“The International Peace Garden is a lasting testimonial to the goodwill, understanding and co-operation between two nations, Canada and the United States, which share the longest unfortified border in the world,” reads a press release issued by Canada Post in 1991.

“Located at the exact centre between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, it borders on Boissevain, Manitoba and Dunseith, North Dakota. The state of North Dakota donated 888 acres of undulating hills while Manitoba yielded 1,451.3 acres of forest reserve.”

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