Saturday, January 20, 2018

January 20 On This Day in Australian History

1803 - Seems Charlie Grimes popped into Port Phillip (which wasn't Port Phillip at the time but probably labouring under its own moniker now long lost in the mists of time), cast his pithy baby blues over the Mornington Peninsula and declared, "I am soooo not redecorating this place!" before tattling to Gov King how he just didn't do sandy soil for settlements.
The lack of fresh water may have had some bearing on it, too.
Best not let on to the swarms of tourists and residents of the Mornington Peninsula that its unsuitable for settlement!

1803 - Louis Freycinet, in his ship Casuarina, sailing up the larger of South Australia's two gulfs, was in the vicinity of what is now called Moonta Bay.

1841 - Jorgen Jorgensen, The Convict King and claimant to the throne of Denmark and Iceland, popped his clogs, as all men do, in Hobart.

1842 - Tunnerminnerwait was Hanged at Melbourne for the murder of two whalers at Cape Paterson.
1842 - Maulboyheenner was  Hanged at Melbourne for the murder of two whalers at Cape Paterson.
Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner were the first people to be hanged by the Government in the District of Port Phillip and were buried in an unmarked grave on the site of the now Queen Victoria Market, where there have been numerous reports of sightings of their ghosts.

1849 - The good ship...no,not Lollipop but Fortitude parked in Lower Level 2 space 3a at Morton Bay QLD with its cargo of 245 immigrants from Britain for Rev John Dunmore Lang's Cooksland cotton growing scheme. Its temporary headquarters were set up at Fortitude Valley, named after the ship which brought them there.

1854 - Fire destroyed a city block in Hobart, Tas.

1858 - The Wesleyan Chapel in Lydiard St , Ballarat, opened for business.

1863 - James Whyte replaced T.D. Champman as Premier of Tasmania.

1880 - Andrew George Scott, better known as bushranger Captain Moonlite, was hanged at Darlinghurst Gaol.

1880 - Thomas Rogan  (Bushranger) A member of the Moonlite Gang, was hanged at Darlinghurst Gaol for the murder of Constable Webb-Bowen at Wantabadgery.

1881 - Bushfires caused extensive damage to properties at Rookwood and Lidcombe in suburban Sydney.

1891 - Western Australia's first parliament opened under responsible government.

1898 - They had a proper knees up, Mother Brown at the Melbourne Town Hall with a banquet to kick off the third and (at long last!) final session of the National Australasian Convention (where the delegates agreed on drafting the Constitution Bill...but not before they dragged it out until the 17th March).
But the banquet...!
Prawn cocktail for starters, anyone?
More wine, sir, to cope with the boring old fart to your immediate left?
Perhaps the gents would like to retire with cigars and port to escape the harpies screeching about the ridiculous notion of the female right to vote?
Yes, madame, Melbourne does boast its share of quality male lap dancing clubs, would you like me to recommend one to your party?

1910 - After much gallivanting across the country, which involved lengthy feasting, drinking, knees ups and a spot of *gasp* skinny dipping by our revered Fathers of Federation, Canberra was finally named as the new capital for Australia.

1918 - The Great 1918 Mackay Cyclone hit Mackay and devastated the City. 22 people died in Mackay and over 80% of buildings were badly damaged.

1943 - A direction from General Headquarters was given to the Chief Chemical Officer, United States Army Service Of Supply (South West Pacific Area) that he prepare a Chemical Warfare Plan for the South West Pacific Area theatre.

1944 - Seventeen people died in a collision between a bus and the Kempsey mail train at Brooklyn, NSW.

1952 - Better go before you go, ladies, this caboose aint stopping for no one ! The first express trains ran between Melbourne and Adelaide when they finally dusted and polished the track connection.

1958 - Oooooh hel-loooooo sailor ! The Royal Australian Naval College, HMAS Creswell, was commissioned at Jervis Bay. In the Navy, we will sail the seven seas, in the Navy...

1964 - Brian William Robinson was Hanged at Fremantle Prison for the murder of Constable Noel Ileson.

1965 - The North Melbourne steam locomotive depot was demolished.

1967 - South Vietnamese Prime Minister Air Vice-Marshall Ky made a controversial visit to Australia. Anti-war protesters mounted strong demonstrations against Ky and hurled abuse at him wherever he appeared. Australian PM Harold Holt had been forced to deny allegations that Ky and his supporters had murdered his predecessor, President Ngo Van Diem and that the Ky government was riddled with corruption -- charges which were later proven to be true.

1967 - The aviation branch of the Victa Company closed.
Who knew....?

1971 - The Spotswood to Newport Power House Railway line (Vic)  closed.

1975 - Today saw the extension of suburban train service from Dandenong to Pakenham (Vic).

1978 - Irian Jaya 
Foreign Minister Andrew Peacock’s recognition of Indonesian sovereignty over East Timor made Australia the sole country to accept Indonesia’s military takeover in 1976.

1985 - The railway line from Altona to Westona (Vic) opened.

1987 - Alan Bond announced the $1 billion take-over of Kerry Packer's electronic empire, giving Bond the biggest media ownership in Australia. Ahh well, we know how this will end up...tears before bedtime Bondie, tissues are thataway.

1998 The (gag) Metcard automated public transport (cough) ticketing system was (choke) introduced to several Melbourne train stations....signaling an end to tram conductors and most train station staff (sob).
The infallible (hysterical laughter) system has (fed up with sardine seating) fare evaders costing $50 million this financial year alone....(giggle, snort, cackle). Tram conductors and station staff would be faaaaaaaar cheaper, ensure less vandalism, provide more safety and encourage more commuters, but hey, that's commonsense, isn't it?

2011 - In Australia a surging river flooded and isolated Kerang, Victoria state, the latest community hit in the deadly flood disaster, straining a levee serving as the main protection between the muddy waters and residents' homes. The flooding shut down much of Queensland's lucrative coal industry and has caused 30 deaths.

2013 - The NRSR (National Rail Safety Regulator) commenced operations, being the regulator for NSW, South Australia,Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

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