On today’s date in 1927, then prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King was joined by 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 United States.
In 1977, to mark 50 years since the bridge’s opening, which took place a month before the dedication ceremony, Canada’s Post Office Department (now Canada Post) and the U.S. Postal Service jointly issued commemorative stamps. In an uncommon move for a joint issue, the two stamps are markedly different in their design.
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 example of international relations set by Canada’s long-running relationship with the United States.
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.