Friday, February 2, 2018

February 2 On This Day in Australian History

1800 - Yellowgowey [Yaragowhy], a Hawkesbury Aboriginal leader, said that an Aboriginal man named Major White killed Hodgkinson and John Wimbow.

1803 - Charles Grimes found a patch too thick to drink and too thin to he called it the Yarra River.

1804 - On completion of a survey of the islands of Bass Strait, Lieutenant John Murray, master of the survey vessel Lady Nelson, headed back to the mainland to explore Port Phillip, which was known but had not been entered or explored. He went ashore at Point King, 2km west of present-day Sorrento on Port Phillip Bay to claim the land for Britain. Murray named the harbour Port King, though this was later changed to Port Phillip Bay by Governor Philip Gidley King.

1808 – William Paterson sailed to Sydney from Port Dalrymple to take over the administration of New South Wales following the removal of Bligh.

1811 - George Caley and Daniel Moowattin sorted specimens at Sir Joseph Banks’s house in Soho Square, London. Banks questioned Dan about the Cola [koala].

1817 - Two lives were lost when the Hawkesbury River flooded.

1829 - The Darling River found its first European stumbling about its banks and called it Charles Sturt.

1840 - Sir Paul Edmund de Strzelecki and Joseph Macarthur, after a substantial sheep or 3 for lunch, went for an afternoon exploratory walk in South eastern NSW and ended up in the Port Phillip District.

1849 - A public meeting was convened for the purpose of forming a society to provide help for the needy of Adelaide, especially newly arrived immigrants. The result of the discussion of the 14 men present was the formation of the Adelaide Benevolent and Strangers' Friend Society which still operates today.

1851 - Maryborough, Qld, was proclaimed a town.

1872 - The Catholic Cathedral Church of St Mary and St Joseph, Armidale NSW, opened.

1875 - The railway line from Clunes to Maryborough (Vic) opened.

1877 - The Steamer Singapore was wrecked near Port Mackay, Qld.

1880 - Some shivery sheep made an appearance, to much applause and demands for encores and mint sauce, in London in the first successful shipment of frozen mutton from Australia.

1882 – A cyclone caused considerable damage to the town of Cardwell, Queensland.

1895 - A tsunami of unknown origin was felt in NSW when ships in Newcastle Harbour dragged their anchors.

1895 - The first issue of Daily Chronicle Newspaper hit the news stands in Mackay.

1899 - Because NSW and Victoria were name calling at each other the Premier's Conference decided to send the 2 states to their rooms until they could behave and announced the national capital would be somewhere else.

1911 - WA became the first state to introduce compulsory preferential voting.

1912 - 73 year old Emma Miller unseated the QLD Commissioner of Police when she took on a mounted police charge and stuck her hatpin in Commissioner Cahill's horse. Thereafter hatpins were outlawed and wide berths given to innocent-looking little old ladies.

1915 - The Boorowa Branch Railway line (NSW) opened from Galong (1st) to Boorowa.

1918 - Storms lashed Melbourne, killing two people and destroying many homes.

1918 - John Forrest was able to add the title Sir to his autograph and Chrissy cards when he became the first Aussie-born peer, the Baron Forrest of Bunbury.

1930 - Australia stopped overseas lending and imposed a tariff embargo and rationing of imports because of a dramatic fall in export prices.

1934 - Having no luck growing their zucchinis and no doubt hoping for a freebie lawn mowing service, an acre of the Parliamentary grounds was given over to the Melbourne City Council and is now known as the Parliamentary Gardens. Go figure.

1939 - Const 1/C Harold Sturgiss died in a motor-cycle accident whilst on patrol.

1943 -   Arrival of chemical weapons stocks on ship “Birchbank”.

1951 - The scientists as CSIRO were wooping and hollering with geekish glee when they spluttered between sips of champagne they'd created a rabbit-reducing virus called Myxomatosis.

1966 - The first edition of Go-Set was published in Melbourne. The new weekly was the first in Australia devoted entirely to popular music. The first issue of 24 pages had a cover feature on Tom Jones, stories on The Groop, Pat Carroll and DJ Ken Sparkes and a feature on mod fashions by leading designer Prue Acton.

1972 - Women were roaring and the men were certainly hearing them when the Women's Electoral Lobby was founded.

1975 - The "back water", South Oz  moved with the times and announced Australia's first legal nude bathing beach open for business. Nude crow eaters...niiiice.

1975 - Sen. Const. John Howard Wilson (Vic) died as a result of crashing after swerving police vehicle to avoid another car.

1982 – Lindy Chamberlain was committed to trial for murdering her baby Azaria.

1986 – Sydney nurse Anita Cobby was brutally murdered leading to calls for the re-introduction of the death penalty.

1987 - The Holbrook Branch Railway line (NSW) was closed from Culcairn to Holbrook.

1998 – A Constitutional Convention began to decide which model of republic should be put before the people of Australia in a referendum.

2003 - Australia's first cloned sheep, Matilda (b. Apr, 2000) died unexpectedly of unknown causes.

2010 - Australian researchers said they had discovered a gene associated with long-sightedness, a development they said could lead to drug treatments that will replace glasses.

2011 - Cyclone Yasi crossed over north Queensland causing billions of dollars of damage. Palm Island lost its over 100-year-old Old Fig Tree, a story place of the community. People as far as 700 km away feel the force of the storm which triggers the biggest domestic deployment of the defence forces.


  1. Um .. just thought to pop in and say hello ..
    I do read this fascinating hindsight into the mostly unknown aspects of Australian history.
    Cheers and best Wishes,
    David H.