Viola Desmond died in New York City while on a visit, aged 50. She was buried at the Camp Hill Cemetery in Halifax. She was born Viola Irene Desmond Davis in Halifax in 1914. She was a 32-year-old black Nova Scotian businesswoman when, on November 8, 1946, she challenged racial segregation at a film theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. She refused to leave a ‘whites only’ area of the Roseland Theatre and was unjustly jailed for twelve hours and convicted of a minor tax violation used to enforce segregation. (Also see Carrie Best, July 24, 2001). Desmond’s case later went to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court and helped start the modern civil rights movement in Canada. Nova Scotia’s segregation laws were dismantled in 1954. Her actions occurred nine years before the famed incident by civil-rights activist Rosa Parks, with whom Desmond is often compared. She was granted a posthumous pardon by the NS government, the first to be granted in Canada, by the Honourable Mayann Francis, the lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia at the time. The story of Viola Desmond had largely been forgotten till Nova Scotian journalist Sherri Borden Colley brought Desmond’s story to readers in March 2010. (Photo: Viola Desmond, c. 1935. Beaton Institute, Cape Breton University/Wanda Robson Collection/2016).