1768 - James Cook was bon voyaged from Plymouth on the journey during which he eyeballed the east coast of Australia.
1795 - HMS Providence, under W.R. Broughton, arrived in the colony on its way to perform survey work in the Pacific.
1801 - Magistrate William Balmain left for England in the Albion. He dropped off the twig in November 1803, some months prior to his planned return to Sydney; Surgeon John Harris replaced him as Naval Officer.
1818 - Explorers John Oxley and George Evans discovered the fertile Liverpool Plains in New South Wales; where farmers now grow food not coal.
1824 - The Sydney Gazette reported ; “The deputation of an embassy to negotiate with the Aboriginal tribes a treaty of peace would probably be impracticable … the difficulty of procuring a peaceful interview with the numerous chiefs could not be surmounted.”
1826 - After exploring Numba (Shoalhaven, NSW) for viable agricultural land, Alexander Berry wrote to Edward Wollstonecraft on this day that “The only difficulty will be the preservation of the maize from the blacks – Graham tells me that his farm “Werrigee” appears to have been one of the great routes through which the Jervis Bay blacks plundered our crops, as he found there immense quantities of husks.”
1828 - Captain Henry John Rous discovered the Richmond River (NSW). He anchored the frigate H.M.S "Rainbow" at the mouth of the river & travelled upstream with two lieutenants in a pinnace, as far as Tuckean Swamp. They noted thick undergrowth, tall palm trees & the huts of Aborigines. The Richmond River was named after Captain Rous' brother's best friend, the Duke of Richmond & Lennox.
1835 - Governor Bourke threw a hissy fit and declared John Batman's treaty with Aborigines, which enabled the founding of Melbourne, to be invalid and the settlers at Port Phillip trespassers. Upon hearing of it, Batman and his fellow settlers ignored the declaration. Batman was the only 19th century white to acknowledge that Aborigines owned land. He set out to undertake an annual rental for what was then a reasonable amount of food and goods, rather than buy it from them for a pittance.
1854 - Surveyor Robert Austin tripped over Mount Magnet during his exploration of the Murchison district of WA.
1856 - Charles Cowper played "Changing Pollies" with Sir Stuart Alexander Donaldson when Cowper donned the tiara as Prime Minister (Premier) of NSW.
1857 - St Vincents Hospital, Sydney, opened in temporary premises.
1863 - Bushranger John O'Meally did a nasty mischief to John Barnes, a merchant of Cootamundra, near Wallendbeen Station, when he shot him dead. A reward of £200 was offered for his capture.
1867 - Work resumed on the Burke and Wills memorial project in Ballarat, with the laying of a second foundation stone.The initial foundation stone was laid by Sir Henry Barkly at the corner of Sturt and Lydiard Streets. Unfortunately, council debt forced the suspension of further work and the foundation remained incomplete.
In March 1866, the Western Municipal Council sought to complete the project. On 26 August 1867 a second foundation stone was laid. At the same time, a time capsule was removed, refurbished with new items, then reburied. By 4 November, the monument - not a lavish clock tower, but a fountain - was finished.
1872 - The rail line from Schoolhouse Lane (near Dysart) to Seymour (Vic) opened.
1883 - 1883 Nine Chinese travellers were killed by Aboriginal people near the Russell River (QLD).
1883 - Four eruptions of Krakatoa on this day resulted in opening fissures in the walls of the volcano, allowing sea water to pour into the magma chamber. The resulting explosion of superheated steam destroyed most of the island. The sound of the explosion was heard as far away as Australia 3500 km away.
1904 - Queensland exported 26,000 bags of wheat to Britain.
1912 - First installation of Miniature Electric Staff, Dobie to Ararat and Buangor (Vic).
1914 - The rail line from Rushworth to Colbinabbin (Vic) opened.
1916 - 6th Australian Brigade attacked Mouquet Farm on the Somme; Mouquet Farm, near Pozières, was the focus of nine separate attacks by Australian troops between 8 August and 3 September 1916. Some 11,000 Australians were killed or wounded in the fighting around Mouquet Farm.
1919 - A 15-week seaman's strike, which crippled Australian sea trade, ended.
1925 - Millicent Preston-Stanley, elected to the NSW Legislative Assembly in May 1925, became the first chickybabe to speak in the NSW Parliament when she delivered her first speech two weeks after the opening of the parliament.
1931 - At Cadell, SA, the Murray river bank broke and the roar was heard for miles. Acres of currants and lucerne were submerged and the water reached the second bank. If the second bank had not been erected, the water would have inundated the lower areas of the Cadell Irrigation Area. At the height of the 1931 flood all punts and ferries were out of action and the water rose to 138.4 feet (42.2 m).
1939 - First Ship arrived at Mackay's new Outer Harbour. The "Sydney Star" rocked up to great fanfare.
1944 - Newtown beat St. George 55-7 in the most one-sided NSWRFL/NSWRL/ARL/NRL final in history.
1956 - The new South Brisbane Hospital opened.
1964 - The Royal Commission into the Voyager disaster found that the collision was caused by Voyager veering off course and into the path of the Melbourne.
1973 - The Mulgrave Freeway (now Monash "Freeway" aka Car Park) opened temporarily for football crowds between Springvale Rd to Jacksons Rd.
1973 - Marxism-Human Liberation Forum was held at Newcastle Trades Hall and was attended by Sydney Gay Liberation.
1975 - The Federal Government’s Minister for Defence announced that the Australian Cadet Corps (Army Cadets) was to be disbanded from 1 January 1976 (based on the recommendations of the Millar Report of 1975). The Minister confirmed that Navy Cadets and the ATC would also be disbanded.
1979 - The Reverend Don Johnson was inducted as the Sydney MCC Pastor.
1982 - A gay rights rally in Sydney Square demanded the implementation of ADB recommendations. The Anglican Church tried to prevent its use of the Square.
1987 - Executive Director of the AIDS Council of NSW, Bill Whittaker announced that the organisation would be adopting a management plan.
1996 - The Abattoirs branch rail line (NSW) between Flemington Goods Junction - Pippita was closed.
1998 - Following Senator Aden Ridgeway’s maiden speech and the Government’s negotiations with the Democrats, Federal Parliament passed a declaration of “deep and sincere regret” for the past injustices to Aboriginal people.
1999 - In Australia the Parliament recognized 200 years of injustice to its indigenous people.
1999 - South Sydney Council gave the go ahead to a project to create a profile of people of different sexualities living in the Council area.
1999 - Prime Minister John Howard put Aboriginal Reconciliation at the top of the Federal Government's agenda for Australia's Centenary year since Federation and moved a Motion of Reconciliation, which included an expression of "deep and sincere regret that indigenous Australians suffered injustices under the practices of past generations, and for the hurt and trauma that many indigenous people continue to feel as a consequence of those practices". The opposition leader Kim Beazley moved to replace Howard's motion of regret with an unreserved apology, but was unsuccessful.
2001 - A Norwegian cargo vessel responded to a request for help from Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) Australia regarding a boatload of illegal immigrants, sparking the infamous Tampa affair.
2002 - Aboriginal elder Alby Clarke began a 3000 kilometre bicycle trek. The 67-year-old had been afflicted by diabetes and had beaten the disease, and embarked on an epic journey to his home with the Gunditjmara community, near Warrnambool in western Victoria.
2004 - Australia announced a cruise missile program to give it the region's "most lethal" air combat capacity, a move that further strained awkward relations with Indonesia.
2004 - Victoria's Premier Steve Bracks introduced the Constitution (Recognition of Aboriginal People) Bill to amend the Constitution Act and grant formal recognition to Victoria's Aboriginal people and their contribution to the state of Victoria.
2007 - Australia released a new draft citizenship test. The 40-page document outlining citizenship application procedures said migrants who want to become Australian citizens will have to be able to correctly identify the country's prime minister and national flower.
2009 - The Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service (AWAHS) offically opened their new purpose-built facility to the public.
2009 - Australia's highest court ruled that the country's military justice system is unconstitutional because its judges are not independent of the military command, throwing into doubt 171 cases judged in the past two years.
2014 - In the wake of the death of Ms Dhu in police custody the Western Australian Attorney General, Michael Mischin, defended the state’s policy at press conference despite a recommendation from the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody not to imprison people for unpaid fines.