Tuesday, February 20, 2018

February 20 On This Day in Australian History

1804 - Charles Crump was Hanged in Sydney for the theft of 9 pieces of chintzes and printed calicoes from William Tough in Sydney Cove.

1809 - Poor old Billy Bligh boarded a boat after agreeing to go straight to England,not pop into any part of the colony for a cuppa or pass Go and collect $200.

1835 - Charles Norford was Hanged at Sydney for the attempted murder of Patrick Lynch. Norford was shaving Lynch when he suddenly cut his throat.

1863 - Hendrick Witnalder was Hanged at Campbell Street Gaolm Tassie, for sodomy.

1872 William Lygon, aka the 7th Earl Beachamp, popped into the world today. Willy-boy became Gov of NSW and was a patron to Henry Lawson for awhile. 
Shoved out of the closet by his brother-in-law in 1931, Willy quietly went into exile.

1879 - The Cape Bedford Massacre took place; Cooktown based Native Police Sub-inspector Stanhope O'Connor with his troopers, Barney, Jack, Corporal Hero, Johnny and Jimmy hunted down and "hemmed in" a group of Guugu-Yimidhirr Aborigines in "a narrow gorge", north of Cooktown on, "of which both outlets were secured by the troopers. There were twenty-eight men and thirteen gins thus enclosed, of whom none of the former escaped. Twenty-four were shot down on the beach, and four swam out to the sea" never to be seen again.

1880 - The Newcastle Morning Herald announced that a local Aboriginal woman known as Old Margaret , who was purported to be the last surviving Aboriginal people of Lake Macquarie (along with her children) would be formally offered a grant to the land on which they have resided for years.

1895 - The Timaru Herald declared that those on the Oz side of the ditch were claiming that sharing a treaty over a few bottles of plonk with those on the NZ side of the ditch would 'retard Federation".
How abouts we let those Kiwis piff a few of their apples at the silly Aussies in question...?
1900 - The Taranaki Herald reported that, while two men arguing over the war ended in the murder of one in Charters Towers on the other hand it wasn't Bubonic Plague like they'd suspected on a ship in port.
The Laboratory giveth and the war taketh away.....

1903 - The first design change to the original Australian national flags were made.
For civil use, the British Red ensign and six pointed federation star stayed, but the design of the Southern Cross was changed so that all but the smallest star had seven points, ostensibly to improve the ease of manufacture.
The exact date of this change is not known. The earliest known official use was from the belated Gazettal of the Australian flag design on this day.

1913 - Instead of driving women crazy, today King O'Malley was driving a steel peg into the top soil to mark the beginning of building Canberra.

1919 - Dr John A. Gilruth and his family departed Darwin in the night aboard HMAS Encounter after Government House had been placed under virtual siege for several weeks following the Darwin Rebellion -  a culmination of unrest in the Australian Workers' Union whose  grievances were against the two main Northern Territory employers, Vestey’s Meatworks and the Commonwealth of Australia, and concerned political representation, unemployment, taxation and ongoing industrial disputes following the implementation of the White Australia policy.

1956 - South Australian police officer Theodore Arthur Nixon died as a result of a motor accident.

1961 -  Lt  G. O'Day, RAN of 725 Squadron had his undercarriage let down during a single-engine flypast at RANAS Nowra, suffered an engine stall, and landed in a tree.
 Just the way to start the day.

1962 - Perth was dubbed The City of Light when everyone switched on their outside lights for US astronaut John Glenn, who was passing overhead in Friendship 7.

1965 - Freedom Ride members including Charles Perkins were ejected from Moree's municipal swimming baths after protesting against its policy of not admitting Aborigines.

1975 - In Parliament, Deputy PM Jim Cairns was in hot water when he was forced to defend his appointment of Juni Morosi after claims by Liberal backbencher Billy Wentworth that she was unfit for her position and a newspaper report suggesting a romantic link between Morosi and Cairns.

1980 - Ash Wednesday bushfires; In a strange coincidence two of the worst bushfires in South Australia occurred on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.
On 20 February 1980 a fire, believed to have started from smouldering rubbish in the Heathfield dump, swept through the hills destroying 51 homes but fortunately with no loss of life.

1981 - Actor Peter Regan (married to actress Olivia Hamnett) was a tad miffed at workers who started work far too early on a construction site next door to his hotel room...so he piffed eggs at them. They started at the proper time the following day.

1981 - An inquest into the disappearance of baby Azaria Chamberlain finds that she was taken by a dingo.

1984 - Sergeant 1st Class Rhoderic Lindsay (NSW) died whilst undertaking a rescue at sea.

1992 -  Two months after losing his position as Prime Minister, Bob Hawke took his bat and ball and buggered off home when he resigned from his House of Representatives seat.

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