A full ten years before Alaska and Hawaii became the 49th and 50th states of the union a massive British Dominion on the Eastern Seaboard was at a crossroads. Should they join the US as its 49th state? Maintain ties with the British via a British-led commission of government? Should they join Canada? Joey Smallwood, a well-known radio personality, writer and organizer at the time, led a spirited campaign in favor of joining Canada. With 52.3% of a controversial vote marred by sectarian tensions Newfoundlanders voted with Smallwood and the boundaries of Canada as we know them today were established. The first premier of Newfoundland, Smallwood ran Newfoundland virtually unchallenged for 23 years.