July 6, 1914: Viola Irene Desmond (née Davis), a businesswoman and civil libertarian, was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She would have been 104 years old today.

After a 1946 incident in which Desmond was arrested for sitting in a “Whites Only” section of a theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, she fought her conviction of defrauding the government of the difference in tax — one cent — between tickets in the racially-separated sections.

Though the conviction was upheld, her struggle became a catalyst for change.

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