28.05.

1934: Birth of the First Quintuplets known to have Survived Infancy

1934: Birth of the First Quintuplets known to have Survived Infancy
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/ Ontario Premier Mitchell Hepburn with the Dionne Quintuplets

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 28 May 1934
  • Supposedly, around 3,000,000 tourists came to visit Dionne quintuplets during their childhood. Canadian Ontario allegedly earned tens of millions of dollars from tourism thanks to these quintuplets.

On this day in 1934, the famous Dionne quintuplets, the first quintuplets in recorded history who survived infancy, were born.

They were identical quintuplets named Yvonne, Annette, Cecile, Émilie, and Marie. They were born in Canada, in the Province of Ontario. The Dionne family, into which they were born, was of French origin and lived on a farm. Since the mother and father already had five children from before the birth of the quintuplets, the number of children in the family increased to ten.

The birth of the Dionne quintuplets was such a sensation that it attracted tourists in Ontario. Using media and social promotion, a real spectacle involving the quintuplets was made. They were taken from their parents (because of their alleged inability to care for so many children) and placed under the care of the state. A separate house was built for the quintuplets, where tourists were able to observe them in their backyard.

Apparently, approximately 6,000 visitors went through that house daily. A large parking lot for tourists was made next to the house. Allegedly 3,000,000 tourists in total passed through the house in this way. Souvenirs were sold there as well, and the complex was named “Quintland”. It was a business worth millions, and Ontario allegedly earned tens of millions of dollars from tourism thanks to Dionne quintuplets.

After they grew up, three of the sisters got married, one became a Catholic nun and one remained unmarried. The case of the Dionne quintuplets became an example of the excessive exploitation of children for the purpose of tourism. Indeed, the Dionne sisters sent a letter of warning to the McCaughey family, to which septuplets were born in 1997, not to allow too much publicity for their children.

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