Thursday, May 31, 2018

May 31 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History

1813 - Lawson, Blaxland and Wentworth reached Mount Blaxland which marked the end to their Sunday saunter across the Blue Mountains.
They were really trying to find Coventry to join the Lady Godiva parade...

1816 - Lachlan Macquarie was getting his knickers in a knot about the persistent precipitation (it was pissing down) today, with the wind strong enough from the south east to blow the tangles out of a washerwoman's beard.
Lachlan didn't quite phrase it as such...

1824 - As revenge for a stockman being speared by Wiradjuri, stockmen William Clark, John Nicholson, Henry Castle, John Crear, on horseback armed with four muskets and a sword killed at least 6 Wiradjuri people, with at least 3 of them being women.
The five men were charged with manslaughter and found not guilty,

1830 - Henry Muggleton was hanged at Sydney for the murder of Mark King at Moreton Bay.

1835 - John Batman had his first meeting with the Aborigines of Port Phillip...and for a robber's discount he could have almost had a wet bar installed in his office.

1839 - Wong Nina (Tommy Roundhead) was hanged for the murder of James Thompson on the Para (SA).

1839 - Yirr Sha (George) was hanged for the murder of William Duffield in the Gilles Plains area (SA).

1840 - Surveyor and explorer Granville William Chetwynd Stapylton was engaged in surveying the coast south from Brisbane when Aboriginals attacked his camp on this day. Stapylton and an assistant, William Tuck, were killed, and another member of the party was severely injured. Tuck's body was buried on the spot but Stapylton's was taken to Brisbane.

1855 - Bishop Barker, Anglican Bishop, he whose name was on the lips of beer aficionados everywhere with a very tall beer glass measurement called the "Bishop Barker" due to his height of 1.96 m and being a tea-totaller  , was enthroned in St. Andrews temporary church in Sydney.

1864 - Emma Timbery , Aboriginal shellworker, at Botany married George ('Trimmer') Timbery, an Aboriginal fisherman.

1871 - The South Australian Cricket Association was born at a meeting held at the Prince Alfred Hotel (now part of the Town Hall).

1875 - Job Smith (55) was hanged at the Hobart Town Gaol for the rape at Port Arthur of Margaret Ayres, the chaplain's housemaid.

1878 - The famous Loch Ard wreck happened when the iron clipper ship was dashed against Muttonbird Island off the Victorian coastline near Port Campbell. 2 survived with 48 lives lost.

1881 - The results of the first Australia-wide census was released, revealing that Australia's population has passed 2 million.

1884 - Mr Edwards rocked up in Melbourne after cycling from 8.5 days on a penny farthing. Because he could, that's why!

1887 - The Chaffey brothers were full of energy, vim and vigour with ideas for irrigated settlements along the  mighty Murray River when they signed an indenture with the Colony of Victoria.

1889 - The Bombala Railway Line (NSW) opened from Michelago  - Cooma.

1894 - Charles Montgomery was hanged at Darlinghurst for the attempted murder of Constable Fred Bowden near the corner of Bridge and Macquarie streets.

1894 - Thomas Williams was hanged at Darlinghurst for the attempted murder of Constable Fred Bowden near the corner of Bridge and Macquarie streets.

1902 - Boer War ended.
From 1899 when the war in South Africa broke out, troops from the Australian colonies had been sent to fight for Britain against the Afrikaners (former Dutch colonists). Despite the passionate arguments of Leader of the Opposition GH Reid, parliament agreed to send Commonwealth troops. They arrived shortly before the surrender of the Boer army.
It's claimed 50 Aboriginal trackers were left behind because they were denied re-entry to Australia.

1913 - Referendum
None of the six proposals related to trade and commerce, corporations, industrial matters, trusts, nationalisation of monopolies or railways was carried.

1913 - Round 6 of this seasons footy saw the following results on this day;
Fitzroy 6.7 (43)                 Richmond 5.6 (36)         Brunswick Street Oval
Essendon 3.5 (23)         Geelong 6.11 (47)         East Melb. Cricket Ground
Carlton 4.13 (37)         St Kilda 3.6 (24)         Princes Park
South Melbourne 6.16 (52) Melbourne 4.4 (28)         Lake Oval
University 2.8 (20)         Collingwood 7.12 (54) MCG

1915 - Sir Charles Edward Kingsford Smith embarked with the 4th Signal Troop, 2nd Division Signal Company, as a sapper and served on Gallipoli and, as a dispatch rider, in Egypt and France.

1917 - James Wilson was hanged at Long Bay Gaol for the murder of George Pappageorgi at Haymarket, NSW.

1920 - Bert Hinkler flew from Croydon to Turin, Italy, over the Alps in 9½ hours. Because of mechanical problems he abandoned the idea of flying on to Australia when he reached Rome; the flight won him the Britannia Trophy.

1922 - The Empire Settlement Act muscled its way onto the world stage with the sole intention of plonking Brit settlers on The Land in the Fair Isle of Oz.

1925 - The Molong-Dubbo Railway Line (NSW) was opened from Yeoval - Dubbo East Junction.

1928 - Cadbury’s dairy milk chocolate was first produced at Claremont in Tassie.

1928 - The first flight over the Pacific took off from Oakland. Charles Kingsford-Smith & Charles Ulm departed from Oakland, Ca., and arrived in Australia on June 9.

1942 - Three Japanese midget subs got into Sydney Harbour - 1 was sunk by depth charges, 1 became tangled in boom nets and was blown up by her own crew and the last escaped after torpedoing the ferry Kuttabull with the loss of 19 lives on board.

1943 -  Radio Station 6ML, which was the first commercial station established in Western Australia, went off the air on the completion of its programme. The suspension was due to war difficulties.

1952 - Jack Binnington defeated Ian Wood to take over the Mayoralty of the Mackay City Council.

1967 -  Oil was struck at the Kingfish well in Bass Strait.

1968 - Simon McDonald, banjoist, bush balladist, farm labourer, folk singer and violinist, suffered a stroke and died while riding his overloaded bicycle near Creswick aged just 62.

1980 - An auction was held to sell everything in Sydney’s Luna Park that could be removed. Two days later, everything that had not been sold (with the exception of the Face, Crystal Palace, and Coney Island) was bulldozed to the ground and burnt.

1988 - The Main Western Railway Line (NSW) was closed from Marrangaroo - Commonwealth Platform.

1988 - The Skitube railway line (NSW) to ferry skiers in the winter months from Bullocks Flat to the ski fields, opened from Perisher to Blue Crow which is the highest station in Australia, at 1875m.

1990 - The Federal Minister for Community Services and Health, Brian Howe approached the Australian National Council on AIDS, seeking advice on how best to encourage AIDS drug trials in Australia. He criticised Wellcome Australia for not applying for approval to widen the use of AZT.

1998 - Roman Catholic Cardinal Pell refused Holy Communion to 50 gay men, lesbians and their supporters at St Patricks Cathedral.

1999 - A meeting of Lesbian Space Inc heard costed proposals on how to spend the money raised by the sale of its building.

2000 - Aboriginal elders from the Wurundjeri and Boonerwrung tribes addressed a special sitting of the Victorian Parliament which was to debate a bi-partisan motion in support of reconciliation.

2003 - Transsexuals, Andrew and Jessica Blair were married by in the Ecumenical Catholic Church. This followed on from the successful Kevin and Jennifer case in the Family Court.

2006 - Victoria was the first state to formally recognise the sacrifice and service of Aboriginal servicemen during the inaugural Honouring Victorian Indigenous Returned Service Men and Women Shrine of Rememberance Service. The service is held each year since.

2010 - Australia filed an international lawsuit against Japan arguing that its whale cull does not qualify for a scientific exemption to a 1986 ban. Japan said the next day that it would staunchly defend its research hunt that kills hundreds of whales per year.

2012 -  In southern Australia a truck carrying around 400 sheep overturned on a highway overpass outside Melbourne, causing the animals to rain onto the freeway below resulting in "a large number" of dead and injured sheep.

2014 - Some flights between Australia and southeast Asia and all domestic flights operating out of Darwin airport in the country’s north were canceled after the eruption a day earlier of Sangeang Api in Indonesia’s south produced a large cloud of ash.


  1. Cardinel Pell is nothing if not consistent. Sigh.

  2. There's a few other words I'd use to describe him!

  3. Words which would blister the screen I hope. Many of mine would.

  4. Must have been a wet muddy day - low footy scores for all the teams.
    Or what we regard as low scores

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