Viola Desmond

1914 - 1965

Photo of Viola Desmond

Icon of person Viola Desmond

Viola Irene Desmond (July 6, 1914 – February 7, 1965) was a Canadian civil and women's rights activist and businesswoman of Black Nova Scotian descent. In 1946, she challenged racial segregation at a cinema in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia by refusing to leave a whites-only area of the Roseland Theatre. For this, she was convicted of a minor tax violation for the one-cent tax difference between the seat that she had paid for and the seat that she used, which was more expensive. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Viola Desmond has received more than 1,684,238 page views. Her biography is available in 15 different languages on Wikipedia. Viola Desmond is the 307th most popular social activist (down from 280th in 2019), the 212th most popular biography from Canada (down from 178th in 2019) and the 2nd most popular Canadian Social Activist.

Memorability Metrics

  • 1.7M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 61.75

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 15

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 4.53

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 2.23

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Page views of Viola Desmonds by language


Among social activists, Viola Desmond ranks 307 out of 544Before her are Catherine Breshkovsky, Toktogul Satylganov, Muhammad Zaidan, Mathew Brady, Yuri Levitan, and Donald Watson. After her are Black Elk, Lucretia Mott, Amelia Bloomer, Chen Qimei, Venetia Burney, and Abbie Hoffman.

Most Popular Social Activists in Wikipedia

Go to all Rankings


Among people born in 1914, Viola Desmond ranks 180Before her are Magda Frank, Ray Walston, Kevin McCarthy, E. G. Marshall, Grigol Abashidze, and Akira Ifukube. After her are Alf Prøysen, Muazzez İlmiye Çığ, Henri Laborit, William Phillips, Igor M. Diakonoff, and Marcel Kint. Among people deceased in 1965, Viola Desmond ranks 105Before her are Laureano Gómez, Princess Pauline of Württemberg, Jānis Balodis, Wilhelm Friedrich, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, Maria Dąbrowska, and John Kitzmiller. After her are Mostafa El-Nahas, D. N. Aidit, Alejandro Casona, Julius Skutnabb, Nikolay Lossky, and Aldo Nadi.

Others Born in 1914

Go to all Rankings

Others Deceased in 1965

Go to all Rankings

In Canada

Among people born in Canada, Viola Desmond ranks 212 out of 1,130Before her are Ian Hacking (1936), Jacques Villeneuve (1953), Marc Singer (1948), Jessalyn Gilsig (1971), Edge (1973), and Jeff Wall (1946). After her are Chris Benoit (1967), Gabrielle Roy (1909), John Murray (1841), Alfred Aho (1941), Roger Spottiswoode (1945), and Oliver Platt (1960).


Among social activists born in Canada, Viola Desmond ranks 2Before her are Paul Watson (1950). After her are John Peters Humphrey (1905) and Emily Murphy (1868).