Monday, August 24, 2015

August 24 On This Day in Australian History

1824 - Captain James John Gordon Bremer in HMS Tamar puttered out from Sydney to establish a settlement in northern Australia.

1849 - Cooma, NSW, was declared a village.

1857 - The SS Lady Bird collided with the English 229 ton steamer Champion near Cape Otway cutting a gaping hole in the hull above the saloon. Most of the Champion’s passengers were in bed at the time and a total of 32 drowned. After searching for an hour the Lady Bird returned to Geelong; only the forecastle bulkhead saved her from sinking as her bow plates were badly damaged along with her bowsprit and cutwater.

1863 - Bushranger John Gilbert, a member of Ben Hall's gang and the only Australian bushranger not to serve time in prison, robbed four storekeepers on the Hurricane Gully road (NSW).

1866 - The ship Sophie arrived at Port Adelaide. Among its passengers were missionaries E.Homan, J.F.Gossling and lay helper H.H. Vogelsang who established the mission stations of Kopperamanna and Killalpaninna on the Birdsville Track.

1870 - British troops pulled out of NSW totally. The Royal Artillery and two companies of the 18th Regiment left aboard the Silver Eagle.

1872 - Melbourne's Prince of Wales Opera House opened. The Opera House seated two thousand five hundred people, a capacity which was occasionally pushed up to three thousand, in pit, stalls, dress and family circles and gallery. Access was from three entrances from Bourke Street. One vestibule, ornately decorated with columns, blue and gold ceiling and bluestone staircase, led to the dress circle. A second entrance, a narrow and winding staircase, led to the gallery and the third, with a smaller vestibule, gave access to the pit, family circle and, via a passage under the pit, to the stalls. The passage allowed more room for the pit and free movement from one side of the stalls to the other.

1878 - Fighting between Macanese and Chinese miners on the Palmer River goldfields left 15 dead. 800 Macanese and 500 Cantonese were involved in the Lukinville riots.

1879 - Explorer Alexander Forrest's expedition through northwest Australia was threatened with starvation. Alexander led an expedition from the DeGrey River, up the coast to Beagle Bay, then inland into the area now known as the Kimberley. He discovered good country and the Fitzroy River, but when he came across another river in the east, a shortage of food forced the men to keep moving, rather than explore the river more closely. By 24 August 1879, the future of the expedition was threatened by an increasingly desperate shortage of rations. With only 27kg of flour remaining, and most of the horses killed for food, Forrest's only solution was to push 160km east to the Overland Telegraph Line, where they were able to receive necessary food and water.

1886 - First recorded fire caused by electricity occurred at Parliament House, Brisbane, QLD.

1902 - A jury found August Tisler and Augusta Selina Sangal guilty of the brutal murder of Selina's husband, Edward Christopher Sangal, at his market garden in the Dandenong/Keysborough area.

1915 – The town of Holbrook, New South Wales was renamed from Germanton, due to anti-German feelings during WW1.

1916 - Official inauguration of the Australian Comforts Fund; The Australian Comforts Fund (ACF) coordinated the activities of the various state 'patriotic funds' set up in 1914 to collect money to send comforts parcels to service personnel overseas.

1918 - South Melbourne v Carlton; the semi-final postponed seven days because of heavy rain.

1934 - Mildura, Vic, was proclaimed a city.

1936 - Australian Antarctic Territory was created.

1938 - Torrens House was opened by Lady Dugan, wife of the then Governor of South Australia; it was a Mothercraft Training Centre run by the Mothers and Babies Health Association. Its initial purpose was to assist mothers to care for their babies by providing information and advice about infant health, nutrition and hygiene. Torrens House also provided temporary accommodation for mothers and babies and offered in-house training in mothercraft.

1942 - Len Waters, the only Aboriginal fighter pilot in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) during World War II, volunteered for service in the RAAF at Brisbane and was accepted.

1942 - Patrols of Aboriginal people were sent out to locate the enemy when the Commander at RAAF airbase, Emerald River Mission, Groote Eylandt, heard an unidentified plane.

1951 - The NSW coast was once again washed and tumble dried by the effects of an tsunami that originated in Taiwan.

1964 - The Australian Workers Union began industrial action at Mt Isa in Queensland over a wage dispute. Over the next few months it escalated into one of the bitterest disputes in Australia's industrial history.

1972 - The Federal Government approved the export of uranium ore from mines at Mary Kathleen, NT, and Queensland Mines.

1993 - Len Waters, the only Aboriginal fighter pilot in the RAAF, died on this day.

1994 - Cathy Freeman, Australia's first Aboriginal winner of a Commonwealth Games gold medal ran a victory lap draped in the Aboriginal flag at the Commonwealth Games in Canada.

2001 – The Tampa crisis began when the MV Tampa tried to help a boatload of refugees, mainly from Afghanistan.

2012 - The Australian Army Infantry Museum (AAIM), which features a selection of the corps’ extensive collection of 7500 catalogued items, was opened by CDF Gen David Hurley at Singleton.