Friday, March 23, 2018

March 23 On This Day in Australian History

1789 - London: The first news from Botany Bay hit London’s newspapers the following day.

1789 - Shipping more convicts – one thousand (1,000) males and  three hundred (300)  females to Australia had been held up because, not until the Prince of Wales a returning ‘First Fleet’ transport reached Falmouth on 23 March 1789, could anyone in England be certain any of the  ‘First Fleet’ Robinson Crusoes marooned 13,000 miles (21,000 km) from their homeland since 1788 were still alive.

1790 - Norfolk Island: HMS Sirius, had successfully discharged her evacuees and most cargo, when she ran aground. Stuck fast in ‘pounding surf on every side’ Sirius broke up over a number of days; ‘happily, however captain Hunter and every other person belonging to her were saved’.

1791 -  Tahiti: Edwards reached Tahiti but by then Fletcher Christian, who always knew the Navy would come after him, had fled. Eight (8) crew members and their Tahitian wives sailed with him to Pitcairn Island where the Bounty was scuttled.
Captain Edwards arrested fourteen (14) mutineers who had settled happily on Tahiti. Some had married into local families, two (2) had fathered a child and resisted arrest. Others, among them William Morrison and midshipman Peter Heywood, surrendered willingly but Edwards treated both groups with savage brutality.

1795 - The first cargo exported from Oz to India, of cedar logs and mahogany (you can drop some off at my joint, thanks!) was launched in the bath tub today.

1803 - Patrick Gannon, Hanged at Castle Hill for rape, attempted murder and robbery.

1803 - Francis Simpson, Hanged along with Patrick Gannon at Castle Hill for robbery.

1827 - Governor Darling  posted off a few notes on a forest of paper to Under Secretary Hay dealing with several matters in The Fair Isle of Oz, one being the rumoured murder of an Aboriginal in police custody...
"The circumstance of the Native shot at Wallis's Plains... has occasioned infinite trouble , without the possibility of coining satisfactorily at the facts. The case is briefly this. A Native, who was supposed to have been concerned in the murder of a Stockman, was seized and delivered over to the Mounted Police at Wallis's Plains under Lieut. Lowe of the 40th Regt. It was rumoured that the man had been taken out and shot in cold blood. Orders were immediately sent to the Magistrates to investigate the matter. The report of their proceedings was unsatisfactory; and they were reprimanded by my directions for not having taken the necessary steps to ascertain the facts referred to them. Conceiving it would be unavailing to employ them further in this matter, the Chairman of the Quarter Sessions was directed to proceed to Wallis's Plains and pursue the enquiry. He was wrecked on the Coast, and obliged to return to Sydney. The Acting Attorney General was then sent to Wallis's Plains; but the indisposition of everyone to give information on the subject rendered his journey, after a detention of some time, totally abortive. The matter is still in his hands; and he is endeavouring to find one or two individuals, whose testimony he understands would be important; but I strongly suspect they will be kept out of the way, the inhabitants of every class being at least indifferent to the fate of the Natives, and unwilling that any one, that has been actuated by the same feelings, should be made answerable for his conduct. I have only to add on this subject that Lieut. Lowe is detained in Sydney (his Regiment being at Van Diemen's Land), awaiting the result of the investigation, and that the subject has been repeatedly brought before the Executive 'Council, the Chief Justice being present, who in fact recommended the course which has been pursued. "

1829 - William Riddell was Hanged at Sydney for the murder of John Heley in the Muswellbrook district. Riddell apparently desired Heley's wife; Heley was found dismembered in a stump hole. Riddell was an atheist, republican, radical, autodidact. He ran up the steps to the gallows, took snuff and said "I prefer death to living in chains and fetters in such a country as this"
So the hangman obliged him.

1849 - The natives were restless and revolting en masse when they got together in Sydney and Melbourne to vent their spleen against the idea of re-introducing convict transportation to these sunny climes.

1873 - The first Dubbo Pastoral and Agricultural Show took place on this day at the present Dubbo racecourse.

1887 – 81 miners were killed during a coal gas explosion at Bulli, New South Wales.

1891 - John Wilson was Hanged at Melbourne Gaol for the murder of his fiancée Estella Marks at Darling Gardens, Clifton Hill.

1896 - On this day the sheilas of South Oz got to flex their electionary muscles when they cast their votes for the very first time.

1896 - Today a mere three years after being declared a town, the first train steamed into the newly completed Coolgardie Railway Station.

1901 - Dame Nellie Melba shared her Melba Toast recipe...and some, still today, wish she'd kept it to herself.

1902 - Post Offices refused to deliver any snail mail addressed to Tattersall's Sweeps in Hobart - and thus the internet and email was born!
No, not quite.
The conniving public got around this obstacle (as the ban wasn't lifted till long after hems were lifted in 1930) by addressing all their correspondence to Tatt's by addressing it to an "aunt".

1902 - Ohhh he's not the brightest spark in the box of Redheads... a night watchman, who wasn't watching an awful lot, noticed a little puff of smoke puffing up from the back of Her Majesty's Theatre in Sydney but by the time he got around to gossiping with the fire brigade about it, the whole building was roaring along like a log fire.

1908 - Harry G. Smith was hanged at Fremantle Prison for the murder of William John Clinton at Day Dawn.

1911 - Best you weren't onboard the SS Yongala with the 122 passengers as it was lost under the ravages of a cyclone on this day off the coast of Townsville.

1913 - Today Dr. Daniel Mannix frocked up to the shores of Oz from Ireland to act as Coadjutor the then-Melbourne Archbishop Carr; Dr. Mannix became Archbishop in 1917 ("...Happy and glorious ,
Long to reign over us ...".

1918 - Alick Wickham, the Bloke with the Stroke, a Solomon Islander who invented the Australian Crawl swimming stroke, today set the World High Diving Record (that still stands today) when he swan dived from the cliffs into the Yarra River from a height of 62.4 mts (205' 9" in the old money).

1919 - The Red Flag Riots of 1919 kicked off today in Bris-Vegas with ex-pat Russians demanding the repeal of the War Precautions Act that saw them stuck in Oz without being natualised or getting gainful employment, nor were they allowed to return to their homeland.

1922 - Qld Parliament was cleaning House - literally - by abolishing the Legsilative Council.

1944 - Start of movement of {chemical} stocks to 88 mile.
The site at 88 mile (Northern Territory) was locted on the North South Road.

1954 - At a State Banquet at Parliament House Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh were presented with opal jewellery: gifts from the people of South Australia. The large oval-shaped opal presented to the Queen weighed 203 carats. It was set in a necklace with 180 diamonds, in a filigree design, surrounding it. The stone was found in Andamooka in 1949. The Duke received cufflinks of Coober Pedy opal set in white gold.

1956 - William Feast was Hanged for the murder of Eunice Gwynne at Wingfield, SA.

1977 - The Legislative Council rejected homosexual provisions of the Anti-Discrimination Act. Change to the Act by Regulation was omitted and the Anti-Discrimination Board was required to conduct research into discrimination against homosexuals.

1986 - The Gemini Social Club in Canterbury, held its first dance and show at the Leichhardt Town Hall.

1989 - Central Oz had its worst floods since European settlement.

1998 - Green WA Senator Dee Margetts amendment to the Family Trust Distribution (Primary Liability) Bill 1997, to include same sex partners in the Bill’s definition of a de fact spouse, was defeated in the Australian Senate.

1998 -Asian Gay Proud, a new education campaign targeting Asian gays was launched at Sydney Town Hall. It was the initiative of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations.

2014 - Desecration of a sacred scar tree, located between Dubbo and Gilgandra, and the shelter erected to protect it was reported with much anger and sadness.

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