We’ve been looking to use the word “gleaned” in a blog headline for a few years now, but because we mostly cover silly TV shows, it’s difficult to glean anything. Finally, thanks to our fruitful partnership with the university graduates at The Beaverton, we were able to glean hard from their brand new book, Glorious And/or Free: The True History of Canada. Using actual words and full on sentences, the book is a treasure trove of Canadian history ripped from the pages of The Beaverton, which has apparently been covering the nation since 4500 BCE.

Rather than scan every page and post it here for you to read for free, we thought we’d give you a small sampling of what’s in the book by sharing 7 facts we memorized in case they corner us and asked if we read the book they gave us. Why 7 facts? Duh, because “7” is the exact number of provinces and territories in this fair country.

God loves Alberta

The book packs approximately 30,000 years of history into its first four pages including a handy timeline that reaches as far back as Earth’s creation in 3,200,000,000 BCE. From this timeline we were surprised to learn that in 2114 BCE, God planted dinosaur skeletons in beautiful Drumheller Alberta to trick non-believers. This totally explains why Alberta’s license plates read “God’s Favourite.”

Quebec had its own currency

During its time as a French colony, Quebecois used wooden circles as currency that they called “The Buffon”. Rather than use size to differentiate between values, one had to have enough basic wood knowledge to know what type of wood each disc was made of. According to the book, “One maple was equal to 10 spruce, which was worth between 39 and 42 cedar depending on the day’s exchange rate.”

“The War of 1812” once had a way better name

In a long lost article from August 19, 1812, we find out that the war most of us know as “The War of 1812” was originally dubbed “The Diddle-Diddle-Dumpling War” by King George III.

The first draft of In Flanders Fields is vastly different from the version we know today

In mere days Canadians from coast to coast will recite John McCrae’s famous poem on Remembrance Day. What most of us don’t know is that there’s a good chance In Flanders Fields would’ve never become as revered had McCrae stuck with his first draft, which appears in the book. This draft is rawer in its depiction of war with references to the killing of a guy named Fritz and mentions of blood, severed hands, and the filling of lungs with noxious gas.

The Rum & Coke was invented by the Canadian Navy

From 1941 comes the revelation that the famous “Rum & Coke” cocktail started as standard issue equipment that helped Canadian sailors become twice more combat effective.

The Avro Arrow was cancelled for a very good reason

Aviation freaks were treated to an early Halloween gift last month when one of the long-lost Avro Arrow models was found at the bottom of Lake Ontario. What they, and most of the general public don’t know is that the project’s cancelation by then PM John Diefenbaker was not because of budget concerns or politics, but because the craft lacked a cup holder.

Margaret Atwood used to work full-time at Starbucks

Margaret Atwood has enjoyed a career resurgence of late thanks to successful television adaptations of her work and a steady flow of new novels. This success can be traced back to 2012, when according to The Beaverton, the author went from working full-time to part-time at Starbucks to give her more time to write. The move has left fans of her post-apocalyptic latte art in the lurch but at least you can still catch her on weekends and some evenings.

The Beaverton Presents: Glorious And/Or Free: The True History Of Canada is in stores now!