Kate Beaton is one of my favorite cartoonists, not just because she's consistently hilarious but because I always learn. I've never known much about Canadian history, but that's all changing with each day I read her work.
Just today I learned about the Fenian Brotherhood, who pulled off the only federal-level assassination in Canadian history. Have you heard of them? They were a group of Irish-Americans fighting for Irish independence. In addition to raising funds for the eventual Irish Republic, they armed themselves (while the US government looked the other way) in order to conduct raids into Canada. The idea was that Britain would grant Ireland its freedom in order to regain control of its Canadian possessions.
They actually did manage to invade Canada and capture a fort before the US government intervened, and several smaller raids occurred in the late 1860's. In general it didn't seem like they got very far, the organization was officially disbanded in 1880. I liked this line from the Wikipedia article:
To get the Fenians out of the area, both in the St. Lawrence and Buffalo, the US government purchased rail tickets for the Fenians to return to their homes if the individuals involved would promise not to invade any more countries from the United States.I thought it was pretty strange, and I hadn't heard about it until I read it in a post about political hairstyles.