What are two important historical events in Helen Armstrong's life? Describe what happened.

Two important historical events in Helen Armstrong's life occurred when she was working as a social activist. One was a bruising skirmish with soldiers during a protest rally and the other was her arrest during a labor strike.

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Helen "Ma" Armstrong lived a long life filled with social activism, mostly in Canada but also in the United States after she moved to California in the last decade of her life.

A notable event in the life of Helen Armstrong occurred in the summer of 1917 at a rally against military conscription. Armstrong was an outspoken opponent of the practice of forcing young men into military service. Her counterproposal was economic incentives to better support the families of soldiers, thereby attracting more volunteers. At the 1917 rally, though she was physically diminutive and in middle age, she was rushed while onstage by a large group of young male soldiers who bruised and battered her. Undaunted, she spent the following months bringing food to men imprisoned for refusing compulsory military service.

Two years later, in 1919, Armstrong was one of two women and more than fifty men on the strike committee of the Winnipeg General Strike. She was arrested and went to jail twice during the six-week labor strike. It did not stop her from organizing the Labour Café, a soup kitchen with the mission of providing meals to women strikers who went without wages during the strike. As a labor activist, Armstrong put particular focus on the rights of women workers.

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