Tuesday, May 8, 2018

May 8 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History

1789 - John Hunter, Guv'ner, returned to the colony having circumnavigated the globe, where he resumed his former duties as magistrate and as a surveyor of the rivers and harbours in the neighbourhood of Port Jackson.

1805 - Many houses were damaged and one totally swept away on Norfolk Island due to the waves from a tsunami whose origins remain unknown.

1809 – Lachlan Macquarie was appointed to replace William Bligh Governor of New South Wales, with William Patterson governing until Macquarie rocked up in the colony.

1824 - At Newcastle John Field, son of William Field wrote to the authorities.....
"That your Excellency Memorialist is the son of Quarter Master Field formerly of 73rd regiment was born in the colony. That Memorialist was brought up in the Military Profession and having served as he humbly trust with the most unblemished reputation in the 73rd regiment as a non commissioned officer returned from India to this country where he married a native girl who now resides with him at Newcastle where your Excellency was graciously pleased to grant him a town allotment.
That Memorialist having some property is desirous of commencing farming instead of remaining permanently at Newcastle as was his original intention and therefore humbly and respectfully begs leave to solicit your Excellency that you may be graciously please to grant him a section of land in such unlocated parts of Hunter River as your Excellency in your superior wisdom shall think proper."
Those smooth words earned the Currency Lad and Lass 240 acres of lovely soil to till.

1837 - John Jones was hanged at Sydney for the murder of Private Thomas O'Brien, a soldier of the 50th Regiment, on the highway outside Berrima.

1839 - Poor old John Batman was interred at the Old Melbourne Cemetery....which is now part of the car park for the Queen Victoria Market.
Don't panic - Batman's bits got reburied elsewhere.
Approximately 10,000 bodies didn't.
Think Poltergiest................

1847 - A woman threw herself into the ocean from the steamer 'Thistle' on the way from Newcastle to Sydney.

1858 - The Adelaide Times newspaper went to wherever failed fish wrappers go to die.

1860 - Ellen Monks was hanged at Goulburn for the hammer murder of her husband Thomas Monks. She is believed to be the last woman hanged in Goulburn Gaol.

1860 - Frederick Clarke was hanged at Goulburn for the murder of Walter Angel in the Moppity Range, near Murringo.

1869 - Captain Moonlite aka Andrew Scott, bushranger by trade when not a church minister, held up the bank in Mt Egerton, Victoria. He was sent as lay reader to Egerton near Ballarat, where he made friends with James Simpson, the local schoolmaster, and L. J. Bruun, agent for the town's branch of the London Chartered Bank. As Bruun was returning to the bank late on this day, Scott, disguised in mask and cloak, attacked him and forced him to hand over the contents of the safe. He made Bruun write a note certifying his resistance to the robbery; Scott signed it himself with the deliberately mis-spelt 'Captain Moonlite'. Both Bruun and Simpson were charged with robbery but were acquitted; Scott soon left for Sydney.

1876 - Trugernanner aka Truganini died on this day.

1884 - Brisbane newspaper the Daily Observer had a change of shift and became the Evening Observer (which sounds just a little creepy.)

1888 - Better sit down for this one, it's a doozie!
All Victoria rail lines.
Moe to Thorpdale railway line began trundling trains.
Royal Park Junction line to heritage-listed Clifton Hill station opened.
Heritage-listed Clifton Hill (again) section to Heidelberg Station was up and running.
Sale to Stratford Junction line was opened.
Nicolson street and Fitzroy opened as part of the Inner Circle Railway.
Stratford to Bairnsdale line section was opened.

1889 - Dame Nellie Melba made her Paris début as Ophélie in Hamlet.

1899 - Royal Commission on land selection at Mount Macedon established.

1901 - Inaugural meeting of the new Federal Parliamentary Labor Party was held in the basement of Parliament House, Melbourne.

1903 - Having become rather enamoured of rail transport the strike by engine drivers and firemen was the first disruption of a public utility on such a large scale.
An ultimatum from the State Government forbidding the affiliation of the Enginemens Association with the Victorian Trades Hall Council prompted a strike lasting one week. It was the first strike by state employees in Victoria and followed a year of tension between public servants and the conservative government. A minimal rail service was maintained by Railway officers, community volunteers and a few non striking enginemen. The Union was defeated. Members of the executive were dismissed and pension rights of others were reduced although some were restored after litigation.
The strike was called off on the 15th when Victorian Govt pushed the Coercion Act through parliament.

1907 - Charge your glasses, boys and girls for Carlton and United Breweries was birthed today after the amalgamation of 6 - yes, count them, 6! - major breweries.

1915 - Charles Edwin Woodrow Bean, historian and journalist, was recommended for the Military Cross for the help he gave to wounded men under fire on this day; as a civilian he was not eligible, but was mentioned in dispatches. His bravery became a legend, and erased whatever hostility remained from his dispatch about the first of the returned soldiers.

1926 - Eric William Tulloch, brewer, ANZAC veteran, rower and original member of Legacy disturbed an intruder in his room at the boarding house, Lauriston Hall, East Melbourne. During a struggle Tulloch was fatally shot. No motive for the killing could be established and the identity of the murderer has never been discovered. Tulloch's funeral was conducted with full military honours. After a service at Melbourne Grammar chapel, the procession, more than a mile long, proceeded to Brighton cemetery by way of St Kilda Road which was lined by thousands of people. His wife, who had been in Sydney receiving medical treatment, survived him; they had no children.

1932 - The North Coast Railway Line (NSW) was opened from Grafton City to Grafton.

1943 - Victoria's (and Australia's) worst rail-road crash occurred. Train A2 863 hit a bus carrying soldiers at Tallangatta Road, Wodonga. 25 people died in this appalling collision.

1948 - Margaret McIntyre became the first Taswegian shelia elected to the Parliament of Tassie.

1957 - The Victorian Government announced the creation of the long-awaited National Parks Authority, with Philip Crosbie Morrison as its first director. In its care were thirteen national parks, totalling some 467,000 acres (188,990 ha), less than one per cent of the area of Victoria.

1970 – An estimated 200,000 people participated in protests against Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War. (70,000 in Melbourne, and about 120,000 throughout Australia).

1973 - Victorian Railways commisioners became Victorian Railways board with 7 members.

1973 - The Australian reported Congregational Reverend Mario Schoenmaker married 2 lesbians in CAMP WA’s clubrooms.

1974 - Barry Schultz and Jeff Hart’s Gay Pride Week trial was held at Central Criminal Court, Liverpool Street.

1981 - The Sydney Star revealed that the newspaper was banned by Les Girls, The Barrel Inn, Patchs, Flo’s Palace and Kings Steam after it reported the Midnight Shift fire in 1980, police harassment and the Petersen amendment.

1984 - Twenty-Ten adopted a full equality position on homosexual law reform.

1986 - The NSW coastline was rinsed repeatedly today due to a tsunami that was birthed in the Aleutian Islands.

1987 - Sir James Plimsoll, Governor of Tassie, was a committed work horse who died in harness while at work in Government House.

1994 - Today saw the closure of south-east Queensland edition of Sunday Telegraph.

1998 - The Coalition of Activist Lesbians launched 3 resource kits. One targeted lesbians coming out, another the organisations addressing lesbian access and equity policies and the other, lesbians who want to get involved in “positive community initiatives”.

2003 - The boundaries of the City of Sydney were expanded, taking in South Sydney suburbs of Glebe, Camperdown, Darlinghurst and Elizabeth Bay.

2007 - It was reported that groups of elderly Australians are setting up backyard laboratories to manufacture an illegal euthanasia drug so they can kill themselves when they have had enough of life.

2008 - Official opening by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of Fairfax Media’s new Sydney headquarters in the inner-city suburb of Pyrmont.

2011 – Lionel Rose, a WBC bantamweight world champion boxer and the 1968 Australian of the Year, died in Warragul, Victoria, aged 62.

2012 - Australia's government said it will rein in defense spending and scale back promised increases in foreign aid as it tries to become the first major developed economy to balance its books after the global economic crisis.

2013 - Two Australian citizens from New South Wales state fell from the mid deck of the Carnival Spirit. They were discovered missing the next morning after the ship docked at Sydney's Circular Quay.


  1. Sadly we reined in foreign aid spending and boosted that on defence. Which in my eyes is completely the wrong way round.

  2. What a wonderful read...
    My first visit and so did enjoy.