Friday, January 5, 2018

January 5 On This Day in Australian History

1688 - Billy Boy Dampier waded ashore after seeing some Aboriginal people walking there but, alas and alack, their BFF was not meant to be as the Indigenous people weren't impressed with these chaps and they left in a hurry.

1697 - Dutch navigator Willem de Vlamingh named the Swan River (Perth) Swartte Swaane Drift..or in English Swan River.
Vlamingh's second in command, Gerritt Collaert landed a party near Cable Station Beach. They then strolled through dense bushland up a coastal peak known as Buckland Hill. From this lofty perch Collaert spotted a nearby river.
Which was populated with not the usual garden variety white swans but BLACK swans. That put the wind up the lads so Willem took this as an inspired sign from whoever and named the waterway Swan River.
1798 - Victoria's Westernport Bay was tripped over by some white fellers, and was named by George Bass.

1802 - Explorer Matthew Flinders eyeballed the Stirling Range

1819 - John Thomas Bigge was commissioned by Colonial Secretary Henry Bathurst, 3rd Earl of Bathurst to inquire into conditions in New South Wales and the administration of the colony.

1825 - The first issue of Tasmanian and Port Dalrymple Advertiser, Australia’s first provincial newspaper finally gave newsagents a reason for being.

1833 - First issue of Perth Gazette, forerunner of today’s West Australian.

1837 - South Australia's first police officer, William Williams, reported for duty on Kangaroo Island for £30 per year.And the poor bugger hasn't seen a pay-rise for 50 years now!

1837 - Sir John Franklin arrived in Hobart, Tas, to take up his appointment as Governor of Tasmania.

1841 - Joseph Orton, Wesleyan Methodist missionary, observed in letters to the General Secreteries (the ordained ministers responsible for Aboriginal Missions) on this day the destruction of Indigenous food supplies and the violence between different Aboriginal groups forced onto one another’s land by “the Christian Heathens who are enriching themselves on the spoil of the dispossessed and wallowing in the blood of their victims”.
To the last he championed the case of the Aboriginals, conferring with the protectors, protesting against the travesties of justice he witnessed in court, and preparing reports to send to England.

1853 - Hobart Municipal Council met for the first time.

1855 - Aboriginal warrior and leader Dundalli, a resistance fighter for over a decade, was executed in Brisbane outside what is now Brisbane’s General Post Office (GPO). A legend grew up around Dundalli as he evaded capture over a fourteen-year period and the Whites sought to connect him with almost every act of violence committed on the northern side of the Brisbane River. One reason for his mystique was his size. His trial judge later wrote that Dundalli 'was the largest man I ever looked upon', well over six feet (183 cm) tall.
This was the last official public execution in Queensland.

1857 - Caroline Chisholm's Letters to the Working Classes of Great Britain were published for the first time, in The Argus. The working classes of Great Britain missed reading the letters, as The Argus was in Australia and they were not. Der, Caroline!

1871 - A group of Chinese diggers found a nugget in Catto's paddock at a depth of 12 feet at Berlin (Rheola) called The Precious (named after 'Precious C Williams' who first owned the land on which the nugget was found), which yielded 50.418 kg of pure gold. Noice one lads !

1875 - Today saw a shocker of an earthquake rockin' them off their feet in Geraldton, Westralia; it was estimated to be a big 'un at 6.5 and approx. 100kms from Geraldton itself.
"....Walls rocked, and the casement and contents of rooms rattled loudly, and a gentleman informs us that his bird was thrown off its perch."

1883 - Alexander Stuart formed a government in NSW.*gasp* Who said he could!?

1888 - Today was a Thursday when the Vic Parliament, for want of a gasp of oxygen, established a Royal Commission on ventilation and lighting in the Legislative Chamber.I suspect the original builders plans to mummify our pollies came unstuck at this point.

1891 - Twas a Monday and what better day of the week than to begin an historic strike!
Today was the beginning of the famous Aussie Shearers Strike when the manager of Logan Downs Station at Clermont, QLD oh so politely inquired if the shearers would care to sign the Pastoralists Association contract of free labour before grooming the fluffy white bundles of sheep.
The shearers declined this invitation being morally wounded at the attempt to undermine the union influence, so they picked up their shears, swags and walked out.

1893 - The Warracknabeal to Beulah railway line (Vic) opened.

1901 - Published in The Bulletin on this was the Federation observations of Gouli-Gouli, the pen name adopted by Marie Louise Mack who went on to author several books and to become the first ever female war correspondent on the front line in 1914.

1903 - Pupped on this day was Harold Charles Gatty an Australian inventor, aviator, navigator.
 In 1931 as navigator with pilot Wiley Post they set the record for aerial circumnavigation of the world flying 24,903 km in 8 days, 15 hours and 51 minutes.
Harold also prepared navigation charts for Lindburgh's 1930 record-setting cross-country flight.
Gatty is credited with inventing an air sextant (artificial horizon), an aerochronometer, and Gatty Drift Sight (ground speed indicator).
He received the Distinguished Flying Cross from US President Hoover in 1932 and was offered US citizenship but turned it down.

1904 - Gloves, gloves and gloves- how many times do I have to remind you ? Fingerprint evidence was first used in a New South Wales court case.

1904 - Alfred Deakin returned as Prime Minister of Australia.Returned from where and who said he could go ?

1905 - Gympie, in Queensland, was finally proclaimed a city. It was known as a gold town in the 1860s but the huge numbers of miners was obviously not enough...they had to wait til the umpteen pubs, brothels and two-up schools disappeared. You don't want to encourage that sort to hang around!

1925 - The  New South Wales C-36 series steam locomotive began production at the Eveleigh Railway Workshops, Redfern, Sydney.

1930 - Australian explorer Douglas Mawson discovered MacRobertson Land in Antarctica. Contrary to popular belief, MacRobertson Land was not awash with Violet Crumbles and Freddo Frogs...

1932 - Mrs Lores 'Harry' Bonney made history by flying 1,600km from Brisbane to Wangaratta, in only one day...the things we women do to get a cut lunch to our men folk....

1950 - Today saw an agreement signed that the Commonwealth would not only be responsible for Aboriginal education in the NT but that a bi-lingual education instruction was to be incorporated into the curriculum.

1963 - Victoria's banks adopted the 5 day week , almost a year after all other states had ceased Saturday trading.This, no doubt, led to millionaires hiding their portfolios under their mattresses as they couldn't possibly have made it into the banks from their clubs during the week.

1966 - Construction of Waverley Park in Melbourne began and almost as soon as it finished, the demolition crew moved in...

1966 - Prison escapees Ronald Ryan and Peter Walker were recaptured outside Concord Repatriation Hospital in Sydney after one of the biggest manhunts in Australia's history. Ryan and Walker had been on the run for 17 days after a daring escape from Melbourne's Pentridge Prison in which they shot a warder dead and took a prison chaplain hostage.

1970 - The Victorian government set up a board of inquiry headed by Mr William Kaye, QC, to investigate an alleged abortion racket involving Melbourne police.

1975 - The first One-day International cricket match was played at the MCG, between Australia and England, the more exciting matches to introduce cricket to American tourists.

1975 - The Tasman Bridge Disaster happened; the carrier ship Lake Illawarra drifted off course while travelling down the Derwent River beneath the Tasman Bridge in Hobart. The ship rammed a pylon, causing an entire span of the bridge to collapse into the river, sinking the ship. Seven of the Lake Illawarra crew were killed, along with five motorists who drowned in cars which plunged off the bridge.

1975 - A benefit concert at the Sydney Opera House raised $75,000 for victims of the Cyclone Tracy disaster.

1976 - Chief Justice Elizabeth Evatt opened the doors of the Family Court on this day in Sydney.

2007 - Australia’s Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said Australia and China have ratified a nuclear agreement clearing the way for the export of uranium to feed Beijing's giant nuclear power program.

2008 - Heavy rains caused flooding across parts of eastern Australia, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of people as rural towns throughout the area were put on flood alert.

2011 - Queensland's premier said Australia's record floods were causing catastrophic damage to infrastructure in the state of Queensland and had forced 75 percent of its coal mines, which fuel Asia's steel mills, to grind to a halt. Officials and scientists said the disastrous floods had spread to 40 towns and threatened the world-famous Great Barrier Reef as tons of sludge poured into the sea.

2014 - A US Coast Guard heavy icebreaker left Australia for Antarctica to rescue more than 120 crew members aboard Chinese and Russian icebreakers trapped in pack ice near the frozen continent's eastern edge.

2015 - It was reported that a third of Aboriginal people in remote towns were being ripped off by financial scams involving funeral pre-payments, pay-day lending or excessive interest rates on loans for household essentials such as a fridge.

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