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Today's Chat, No Set Topic


.........................................Something comes into your mind? share it, as everyone is different so all topics have followers :) Happy thoughts, sad thoughts or just reflective thoughts - let's enjoy chatting without agro or nastiness. Who knows what we might learn from each other..........................................:) 

(A combination of Lets Chat and Today in memory of Gerry, Geomac and Seth.) 

Please keep it general so all can be included not about subjects that can aggravate like Politics or Religion. 

Today's Date Sunday 7th May 2017   

Many thanks to RnR and Toot for making this into such an interesting topic on past events for us all to learn so much. 

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Thanks RnR,

A good read.


17 January

On this day:

38 BC – After Octavian divorces his wife Scribonia he marries Livia Drusilla, ending the fragile peace between the Second Triumvirate and Sextus Pompey.
1773 – On his second voyage, Captain James Cook commands the first expedition to sail south of the Antarctic Circle.
1873 – A group of Modoc warriors defeats the United States Army in the First Battle of the Stronghold, part of the Modoc War.
1877 – May Gibbs, English-Australian author and illustrator is born.
1899 – Novelist Nevil Shute is born in Ealing, London.
1917 – The United States and Denmark finalise a $25 million purchase of the Virgin Islands.
1970 – Cyclone Ada hits Central Queensland, killing 14.
1991 – Gulf War: Operation Desert Storm begins early in the morning.

Livia Drusilla

Livia Drusilla (58 BC–29 AD), also known as Julia Augusta after her formal adoption into the Julian family in AD 14, was the wife of the Roman emperor Augustus throughout his reign, as well as his adviser. She was the mother of the emperor Tiberius, paternal grandmother of the emperor Claudius, paternal great-grandmother of the emperor Caligula, and maternal great-great-grandmother of the emperor Nero. She was deified by Claudius who acknowledged her title of Augusta.

Cast of a portrait of Livia Drusilla, wife to Augustus. Rome, Ara Pacis museum: From the collection of casts of busts showing the members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. The original artwork is exhibited in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen.

Livia Drusilla was probably first married in 43 BC. Her father married her to Tiberius Claudius Nero, her cousin of patrician status who was fighting with him on the side of Julius Caesar's assassins against Octavian. Her father committed suicide in the Battle of Philippi, along with Gaius Cassius Longinus and Marcus Junius Brutus, but her husband continued fighting against Octavian, now on behalf of Mark Antony and his brother Lucius Antonius.

Her first child, the future Emperor Tiberius, was born in 42 BC. In 40 BC, the family was forced to flee Italy in order to avoid the Triumvirate of Octavian, Lepidus and Mark Antony.

Livia Drusilla, standing marble sculpture as Ops, with wheat sheaf and cornucopia. Marble, Roman artwork, 1st century CE.

After peace was established between the Triumvirate and the followers of Sextus Pompey, a general amnesty was announced, and Livia returned to Rome, where she was personally introduced to Octavian in 39 BC. At this time, Livia already had a son, the future emperor Tiberius, and was pregnant with the second. Legend said that Octavian fell immediately in love with her, despite the fact that he was still married to Scribonia. Octavian divorced Scribonia on 30 October 39 BC, on the very day that she gave birth to his daughter Julia the Elder.

Seemingly around that time, when Livia was six months pregnant, Tiberius Claudius Nero was persuaded or forced by Octavian to divorce Livia. On 14 January, the child was born. Augustus and Livia married on 17 January, waiving the traditional waiting period. Tiberius Claudius Nero was present at the wedding, giving her in marriage "just as a father would."

Livia and Augustus remained married for the next 51 years, despite the fact that they had no children apart from a single miscarriage.

Second voyage of James Cook

The second voyage of James Cook 1772–1775, commissioned by the British government with advice from the Royal Society, was designed to circumnavigate the globe as far south as possible to finally determine whether there was any great southern landmass, or Terra Australis.

On his first voyage, Cook had demonstrated by circumnavigating New Zealand that it was not attached to a larger landmass to the south, and he charted almost the entire eastern coastline of Australia, yet Terra Australis was believed to lie further south.

View of the ice islands as seen in Cook’s second voyage on Jan. 9th 1773. Engraved by B.T. Pouncy after a drawing by William Hodges. Captain Cook Birthplace Museum, Middlesbrough Council.

On 17 January 1773, Resolution was the first ship to cross the Antarctic Circle which she crossed twice more on the voyage. The third crossing, on 3 February 1774, was to be the most southerly penetration, reaching latitude 71°10′ South at longitude 106°54′ West.

Cook undertook a series of vast sweeps across the Pacific, finally proving there was no Terra Australis by sailing over most of its predicted locations.

Cook in Antarctica by William Hodges. Royal Museums Greenwich.

In the course of the voyage he visited Easter Island, the Marquesas, Tahiti, the Society Islands, Niue, the Tonga Islands, the New Hebrides, New Caledonia, Norfolk Island, Palmerston Island, South Sandwich Islands and South Georgia, many of which he named in the process. Cook proved the Terra Australis Incognita to be a myth and predicted that an Antarctic land would be found beyond the ice barrier.

First Battle of the Stronghold

The First Battle of the Stronghold on 17 January 1873 was the second battle in the Modoc War of 1872–1873. The battle was fought between the United States Army under Lieutenant Colonel Frank Wheaton and a band of the Native American Modoc tribe from Oregon and California, led by Captain Jack or Kintpuash in Modoc.

Modocs defending Stronghold. An 1873 sketch by William Simpson, Library of Congress. U.S. soldiers inspect Captain Jack's cave in the Lava Beds in 1873. U.S. National Records & Archives Administration.

The US Army forces tried to dislodge the Modoc from the natural fortress, now called Captain Jack's Stronghold, in the lava beds along the south shore of Tule Lake in northeastern California. They had illegally left the Klamath Reservation in Oregon, to which they had been relocated from their territory in order to enable European Americans to settle in the area.

The Modoc soundly defeated the Army, inflicting numerous casualties and forcing it to retreat. Factors aiding the Modoc included their excellent defensive position, steady patience, and a thick fog that obscured portions of the battlefield.

Modocs Scalping and Torturing Prisoners. A wood engraving published in Harper's Weekly, May 3, 1873.

The US lost 37 men killed or wounded; the Modoc suffered no casualties. Given the fog and rock cover, no Army survivors reported having seen a Modoc during the battle. The Modoc's spiritual leader, Curley Headed Doctor, took credit for raising the fog through his rituals.

The defeat of the Army at the First Battle of the Stronghold strengthened the Modoc position. The United States began peace negotiations from a position of weakness. The Modoc also gained confidence in their ability to defend their position against a superior force.

May Gibbs

Cecilia May Gibbs MBE (17 January 1877 – 27 November 1969), publishing under the name May Gibbs, was an English Australian children's author, illustrator, and cartoonist. She is best known for her gumnut babies and the book Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.

Gibbs was born in Sydenham, Kent in the United Kingdom. Her parents were both talented artists. The family planned to move to South Australia to set up a farm in 1879 due to her father Herbert's failing eyesight, the result of a boyhood injury. However, as Gibbs had caught the measles, her father and uncle went to Australia, leaving her mother in England to care for the children.

Her mother Cecilia discovered that she was pregnant again, and decided to make the voyage to Australia with her children. In 1885, the family moved to a farm property in Harvey, Western Australia. At age eight, Gibbs was given a pony named Brownie by her father. May enjoyed exploring the bush riding her pony, and began to paint and write about the bush at this time.

May Gibbs, 1916 photographic portrait.

In 1894, Gibbs attended an artists’ camp set up by HC Prinsep, who along with her father, was one of the founding members of the Wilgie Sketching Club at 'Undercliffe' in Greenmount, Western Australia. That year she began painting in oils and also painted scenery and made set designs for local amateur productions. In the mid-1890s she was attending classes at the Art Gallery of Western Australia. Gibbs was published for the first time in the Christmas edition of the W.A. Bulletin, 1889. Between 1890 and 1913, Gibbs made several trips to England, primarily to study art.

Commercial fashion illustrations by May Gibbs. State Library of NSW.

On her return trips home to Australia, Gibbs produced fashion illustrations for The West Australian and cartoons for the Western Australian magazine Social Kodak. She became a regular contributor to Western Mail. Her sketches, illustrations, cartoons and caricatures appeared on the cover and throughout the newspaper between 1904-1908. Gibbs is seen as one of Australia’s first resident professional woman cartoonists and caricaturists and the first Australian woman known to have drawn local political cartoons.

Newspaper cartoon by May Gibbs. State Library of NSW.

Due to ill health, Gibbs returned to Australia from England in 1913, and settled in Sydney. She took up residence at Derry, a heritage listed semi-detached house in Neutral Bay. 1913 also marked the first public appearance of the gumnut babies on the front cover of The Missing Button, by Ethel Turner, which Gibbs had illustrated. She produced postcards depicting gumnut babies in uniform to support Australia's role in World War One at this time. Gibbs' first book about the gumnut babies, titled Gumnut Babies, was published in 1916. It was soon followed, in 1918, by her most famous work, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. Gibbs wrote many books on the theme of the gumnut babies.

A "Banksia Man" abducting Little Ragged Blossom, from Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.

Gibbs married Bertram James Ossoli Kelly, a mining agent, and in 1925 they moved into their purpose built home Nutcote, then in Neutral Bay, Sydney. Gibbs continued to write and illustrate children's books, publishing Little Ragged Blossom in 1920 and Little Obelia the following year. In addition to her work illustrating and writing, Gibbs also maintained two comic strips, Bib and Bub 1924–1967 and Tiggy Touchwood 1925–1931, in opposition newspapers. In 1923 she published Nuttybub and Nittersing and in 1929 Two Little Gum-Nuts. All her books have been reprinted numerous times and five cartoon books of Bib and Bub have been published.

Nutcote, in Kurraba Point, Sydney where May Gibbs spent much of her life, now a house museum.

May Gibbs died in Sydney on 27 November 1969, and was cremated at Northern Suburbs Crematorium, Sydney. Gibbs bequeathed the copyright from the designs of her bush characters and her stories to The NSW Society for Crippled Children and The Spastic Centre of NSW. The residue of her estate was left to the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund.

Nevil Shute

Nevil Shute Norway (17 January 1899 – 12 January 1960) was an English-Australian novelist and aeronautical engineer who spent his later years in Australia. He used his full name in his engineering career and Nevil Shute as his pen name to protect his engineering career from any potential negative publicity in connection with his novels. Born in Somerset Road, Ealing, Middlesex, he was educated at the Dragon School, Shrewsbury School and Balliol College, Oxford; he graduated from Oxford University in 1922 with a third-class degree in engineering science.

Nevil Shute in the front of the R100 (R). The R100 at RAF Cardington in Bedfordshire, April 1930. The airship in the background is the Graf Zeppelin.

An aeronautical engineer as well as a pilot, he began his engineering career with the De Havilland Aircraft Company. Dissatisfied with the lack of opportunities for advancement, he took a position in 1924 with Vickers Ltd., where he was involved with the development of airships, working as Chief Calculator (stress engineer) on the R100 airship project.

In 1931, with the cancellation of the R100 project, Shute teamed up with the talented de Havilland trained designer A. Hessell Tiltman to found the aircraft construction company Airspeed Ltd. Airspeed Limited eventually gained significant recognition when its Envoy aircraft was chosen for the King's Flight. Shute received the Fellowship of the Royal Aeronautical Society for his innovative fitting of a retractable undercarriage to the aircraft. With the approach of war a military version of the Envoy was developed, to be called the Airspeed Oxford. The Oxford became the standard advanced multi-engined trainer for the RAF and British Commonwealth, with over 8,500 being built.

Airspeed Ltd logo. Three Oxford Mk Is of No. 6 Flying Training School at RAF Little Rissington, Gloucestershire, in formation flight. Imperial War Museums.

From November 1940, the Royal Australian Air Force received 391 Oxford I and IIs from RAF contracts for use in Australia. Most of the surviving aircraft were sold in the early 1950s.

By the outbreak of the Second World War, Shute was already a rising novelist. Even as war seemed imminent he was working on military projects with his former boss at Vickers, Sir Dennistoun Burney. He was commissioned into the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve as a sub-lieutenant and quickly ended up in what would become the Directorate of Miscellaneous Weapons Development.

There he was a head of engineering, working on secret weapons such as Panjandrum, a job that appealed to the engineer in him. He also developed the Rocket Spear, an anti-submarine missile with a fluted cast iron head. His celebrity as a writer caused the Ministry of Information to send him to the Normandy Landings on 6 June 1944 and later to Burma as a correspondent. He finished the war with the rank of lieutenant commander in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserves (RNVR).

A signed photo of Shute and Riddell alongside the Percival Proctor "Item Willie". Photo courtesy, Mrs Ali Riddell. Shute at Bankstown Airport in Sydney.

In 1948, after the Second World War, Shute flew his own Percival Proctor light aeroplane to Australia and back, with the writer James Riddell who published a book Flight of Fancy based on the trip in 1950. On his return home, concerned about what he saw as decline in his home country, he decided that he and his family would emigrate and so, in 1950, he settled with his wife and two daughters on farmland at Langwarrin, south-east of Melbourne.

Between 1956 and 1958 in Australia, he took up car racing as a hobby, driving a white Jaguar XK140. He raced incognito under the name of "Mr. N. S. Norway”. Some of this experience found its way into his book On the Beach.

Mr N S Norway racing at Phillip Island, Easter Monday, 22 April 1957, Number 49.

Shute's first novel, the novella Stephen Morris, was written in 1923, but not published until 1961. His first published novel was Marazan, which came out in 1926. After that he published one novel roughly every two years through the 1950s, with the exception of a six-year hiatus while he was establishing Airspeed Ltd. His popularity slowly grew with each novel, but he became far more famous after the publication of On the Beach in 1957.

Twenty-four of his novels and novellas have been published. Many of his books have been filmed, including Lonely Road (as The Lonely Road in 1936), Landfall: A Channel Story (as Landfall, in 1949), Pied Piper (as The Pied Piper in 1942 and as Crossing to Freedom in a CBS made-for-television film in 1990), On the Beach (as a 1959 film and a two-part miniseries in 2000), and No Highway (as the 1951 film No Highway in the Sky).

A Town Like Alice was adapted into a film in 1956, serialised for Australian television as a miniseries in 1981, and broadcast on BBC Radio 2 in 1997 as a six-part radio drama which won a Sony Award in 1998. Shute's 1952 novel The Far Country is unrelated to the 1955 film of the same name, but was filmed for television as six one-hour episodes in 1972, and as a two-part miniseries in 1987.

In the 1950s and 1960s he was one of the world's best-selling novelists, although his popularity has since declined.

United States Virgin Islands

The United States Virgin Islands, USVI, is a group of islands in the Caribbean that is an insular area of the United States located 64 kilometres east of Puerto Rico. The U.S. Virgin Islands consist of the main islands of Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas, and many other surrounding minor islands. The total land area of the territory is 346.36 square kilometres.

Flag, Coat of arms, Location.

The U.S. Virgin Islands were originally inhabited by the Ciboney, Carib, and Arawaks. The islands were named by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage in 1493 for Saint Ursula and her virgin followers. Over the next two hundred years, the islands were held by many European powers, including Spain, Great Britain, the Netherlands, France and Denmark–Norway. The Danish West India Company settled on Saint Thomas in 1672, settled on Saint John in 1694, and purchased Saint Croix from France in 1733. The islands became royal Danish colonies in 1754, named the Danish West Indian Islands.

Sugarcane, produced by slave labour, drove the islands' economy during the 18th and early 19th centuries. More than 50,000 enslaved Africans were taken to St. Croix during the island’s Danish colonial rule. By 1775, slaves outnumbered the Danish settlers by a ratio of 5:1. Slavery was abolished in the Virgin Islands on July 3, 1848. Although some plantation owners refused to accept the abolition, some 5,000 Black people were freed while another 17,000 remained enslaved.

St. Croix Sugar Mill using slave labour. Old slave quarters still being used in one of the slum "villages" in St. Croix, 1941. Library of Congress.

The onset of World War I brought any economic reforms to a close and again left the islands isolated and exposed. During the submarine warfare phases of the war, the United States, fearing that the islands might be seized by Germany as a submarine base, again approached Denmark about buying them. The Treaty of the Danish West Indies was signed in August 1916, with a Danish referendum held in December 1916 to confirm the decision.

Danish flag being lowered at the Governor's Mansion for the last time 31 March 1917. U.S. Treasury Note for Twenty Five Million (Gold Coin). Receipt.

The deal was finalised on January 17, 1917, when the United States and Denmark exchanged their respective treaty ratifications.

The United States took possession of the islands on March 31, 1917 and the territory was renamed the Virgin Islands of the United States. Every year Transfer Day is recognised as a holiday, to commemorate the acquisition of the islands by the United States. U.S. citizenship was granted to the inhabitants of the islands in 1927.

Cyclone Ada

Severe Tropical Cyclone Ada was a small but intense tropical cyclone that severely impacted the Whitsunday Region of Queensland, Australia, in January 1970. The extremely compact cyclone, with a gale radius of just 55 kilometres, intensified into a Category 3 severe tropical cyclone just before striking the Whitsunday Islands at 14:00 UTC on 17 January 1970. At 18:30 UTC, Ada's eye crossed the coast at Shute Harbour. The cyclone made little inland progress before stalling northwest of Mackay and dissipating on 19 January.

Cyclone Ada track map. BOM.

Ada devastated multiple resort islands in the Whitsundays, in some cases destroying virtually all facilities and guest cabins. The biggest resort, located on Daydream Island, was obliterated, with similar destruction seen on South Molle, Hayman, and Long islands; since most boats docked on these islands were destroyed, hundreds of tourists in these resorts became stranded and required emergency rescue.

As Ada moved ashore, most homes were damaged or destroyed in communities near the storm's landfall point, including Cannonvale, Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour. Extreme rainfall totals as high as 1.25 m caused massive river flooding in coastal waterways between Bowen and Mackay.

Damage on Daydream Island.

Australian Army soldiers and Air Force planes dispatched to the Whitsunday Islands evacuated around 500 people from the devastated resort islands. Meanwhile, Navy boats retrieved injured individuals requiring urgent medical treatment. Private citizens also rushed to the aid of stranded resort guests. The floodwaters washed out roads and left some locations isolated for days.

Offshore, seven people were missing and presumed dead after their fishing trawler encountered the cyclone. Ada killed a total of 14 people, including 11 at sea, and caused A$12 million in damage.

Operation Desert Storm

Operation Desert Storm, 17 January 1991 – 28 February 1991, was a war waged by coalition forces from 35 nations led by the United States against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.

The Iraqi Army's occupation of Kuwait that began 2 August 1990 was met with international condemnation and brought immediate economic sanctions against Iraq by members of the UN Security Council.

General Norman Schwarzkopf (left) commanded Operation Desert Storm.

Together with the UK's prime minister Margaret Thatcher, George H. W. Bush deployed US forces into Saudi Arabia, and urged other countries to send their own forces to the scene. An array of nations joined the coalition, forming the largest military alliance since World War II.

On 17 January 1991, Operation Desert Storm began and quickly became the first war to actively use space assets as part of military operations. Military space systems provided satellite communications for air, land and sea forces.

The initial conflict to expel Iraqi troops from Kuwait began with an aerial and naval bombardment on 17 January 1991, continuing for five weeks. This was followed by a ground assault on 24 February. This was a decisive victory for the coalition forces, who liberated Kuwait and advanced into Iraqi territory. The coalition ceased its advance, and declared a ceasefire 100 hours after the ground campaign started.

Aerial and ground combat was confined to Iraq, Kuwait, and areas on Saudi Arabia's border. Iraq launched Scud missiles against coalition military targets in Saudi Arabia and against Israel.



Some interesting reading .

I have read a few of Shutes books over the years.


The US lost 37 men killed or wounded; the Modoc suffered no casualties. Not a bad performance.

About 600 members of the tribe currently live in Klamath CountyOregon, in and around their ancestral homelands. This group included the Modoc who stayed on the reservation during the Modoc War, as well as the descendants of those who chose to return in 1909 to Oregon from Indian Territory in Oklahoma or Kansas.

I always think of the wiked banksia man and the little gumnuts when I see them in the bush, such a wonderful Australian talent she was.

How did the US acquire the Virgin Islands? US Territories. The islands remained under Danish rule until 1917, when the United States purchased them for $25 million in gold in an effort to improve military positioning during critical times of World War I. St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John became the US Virgin Islands.


Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein ordered the invasion and occupation of neighboring Kuwait in early August 1990. ... Hussein defied United Nations Security Council demands to withdraw from Kuwait by mid-January 1991, and the Persian Gulf War began with a massive U.S.-led air offensive known as Operation Desert Storm.

Ironic that Saudi Arabia and Egypt called on the United States and other Western nations to intervene to save them and then the Saudis plotted and planned for two planes to crash into twin towers.  Gee, thanks a lot mates. 

What a crazy world we live in, thanks RnR

What a crazy world we live in

:) Sometimes I think that current events are crazy Toot, then I read some more history!! Some things never seem to change and I think crazy is one of them. LOL

18 January

On this day:

1486 – King Henry VII of England marries Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV.
1535 – Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro founds Lima, the capital of Peru.
1788 – HMS Supply of the First Fleet arrives in Botany Bay.
1878 – Construction of the original Ghan railway line starts in Port Augusta, South Australia.
1934 – Qantas and Imperial Airways join forces and establish Qantas Empire Airways.
1977 – A train derailment and bridge collapse kills 83 in the Granville railway disaster.
2003 – The Canberra bushfires reach the city, killing four people and destroying in excess of 400 houses.
2008 – The Euphronios Krater is unveiled in Rome after being returned to Italy by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Henry VII of England

Henry VII (1457–1509) was King of England from seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, and the first monarch of the House of Tudor. He ruled the Principality of Wales until 29 November 1489 and was Lord of Ireland. He came from an old, established Anglesey family that claimed descent from Cadwaladr (in legend, the last ancient British king), and on occasion Henry displayed the red dragon of Cadwaladr. He took it, as well as the standard of St George, on his procession through London after the victory at Bosworth.

Lancashire Rose. Henry holding a rose and wearing the collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece, by unknown artist, 1505. A stained-glass window in St. James Church, Sutton Cheney, commemorates the Battle of Bosworth and the leaders of the combatants, Richard III (left) and Henry VII (right).

Henry won the throne when his Lancastrian forces defeated King Richard III, the last king of the House of York, at the Battle of Bosworth Field. The battle, fought on 22 August 1485, was the last significant battle of the Wars of the Roses, the civil war between the Houses of Lancaster and York that raged across England in the latter half of the 15th century. Henry was the last king of England to win his throne on the field of battle.

Finding Richard's circlet after the battle, Lord Stanley hands it to Henry. Howitt, Cassell and Smith. John Cassell's Illustrated History of England, 1858, p31.

After the battle, Richard's circlet is said to have been found and brought to Henry, who was proclaimed king at the top of Crown Hill, near the village of Stoke Golding.

Henry then honoured his pledge of December 1483 to marry Elizabeth of York. They were third cousins, as both were great-great-grandchildren of John of Gaunt.

The marriage took place on 18 January 1486 at Westminster.

The marriage unified the warring houses and gave his children a strong claim to the throne. The unification of the houses of York and Lancaster by this marriage is symbolised by the heraldic emblem of the Tudor rose, a combination of the white rose of York and the red rose of Lancaster. Henry married Elizabeth of York with the hope of uniting the Yorkist and Lancastrian sides of the Plantagenet dynastic disputes, and he was largely successful. However, such a level of paranoia persisted that anyone with blood ties to the Plantagenets was suspected of coveting the throne.

Henry was successful in restoring the power and stability of the English monarchy after the civil war, and after a reign of nearly 24 years, he was peacefully succeeded by his son, Henry VIII.

Founding of Lima

The history of Lima capital of Peru, began with its foundation by Francisco Pizarro in 1535. In 1532 a group of Spanish conquistadors, led by Francisco Pizarro, defeated the Inca ruler Atahualpa and took over his Empire. As the Spanish Crown had named Pizarro governor of the lands he conquered, he chose the Rímac river valley to found his capital on January 18, 1535 as Ciudad de los Reyes, the City of the Kings.

Pizarro meets with the Inca Emperor Atahualpa, 1532. Pizarro and his followers in Lima in 1535.

Over the next few years, Lima shared the turmoil caused by struggles between different factions of Spaniards. At the same time it gained prestige as it was designated capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru and site of a Real Audiencia (appeals court) in 1543. In the 17th century, the city prospered as the centre of an extensive trade network despite damage from earthquakes and the threat of pirates. However, prosperity came to an end in the 18th century due to an economic downturn and the Bourbon Reforms, a revised set of economic and political legislation promulgated by the Spanish Crown.

Jirón de la Unión was the main street of Lima in the early 20th century.

The population of Lima played an ambivalent role in the 1821–1824 Peruvian War of Independence; the city suffered exactions from Royalist and Patriot armies alike. After independence, Lima became the capital of the Republic of Peru. It enjoyed a short period of prosperity in the mid-19th century until the 1879–1883 War of the Pacific when it was occupied and looted by Chilean troops.

After the war, the city went through a period of demographic expansion and urban renewal. Population growth accelerated in the 1940s spurred by immigration from the Andean regions of Peru. This gave rise to the proliferation of shanty towns as public services failed to keep up with the city expansion.

The National University of San Marcos.

The National University of San Marcos in Lima, founded on May 12, 1551 during the Spanish colonial regime, is the oldest continuously functioning university in the Americas.

With a population of more than 10 million today, Lima is the most populous metropolitan area of Peru and the third-largest city in the Americas, behind Sao Paulo and Mexico City.

Lima today.

HMS Supply

HMS Supply accompanied the First Fleet's flagship HMS Sirius as an armed tender. A two-masted brig of 170 tons burthen, she was the smallest and fastest ship in the fleet. Built in 1759 in a Thames-side shipyard, the Supply set sail with the fleet from Portsmouth on 12 May 1787. Aboard were approximately 43 crew and 16 marines. She was commanded by Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball, with 2nd Lieutenant William Dawes in command of the Marines.

HMS Supply. Marine artist Frank Allen.

On 18 January 1788, the Supply reached Botany Bay, with the Friendship, the Scarborough and the Alexander arriving the following day. Even the 'slower' ships had kept up, and a day later they too were at anchor in Botany Bay. With no fresh water and little shelter for ships, the bay was unsuitable for a settlement, and Phillip took the fleet north to Port Jackson, going ashore there on 26 January.

The Supply and Friendship at anchor after entering Botany Bay on 18 January 1788, and the Sirius with her convoy coming into Botany Bay 20 January 1788. By Charles Gore. State Library of NSW.

The Supply went on to make 11 voyages from Sydney Cove in the next three years. On 14 February she took a party led by Philip Gidley King to Norfolk Island to start a settlement there, discovering Lord Howe Island and Ball's Pyramid on the way.

She returned to Lord Howe Island in May to catch turtles as a cure for the scurvy afflicting people in Sydney, but none were to be found. There were more voyages to take supplies to Norfolk Island and catch turtles on Lord Howe Island until 5 March 1790, when she left with the Sirius to deliver convicts to Norfolk.

The Sirius and Supply in Jackson's Bay, circa 1789. National Library of Australia.

HMS Supply became the only link with the outside world after the loss of the HMS Sirius in 1790.
On 17 April, Ball left Sydney in the Supply for Batavia, ordered to procure eight months' provisions there. The Supply returned on 19 October, followed two months later by the Dutch transport Waakzaamheid, which Ball had engaged.

There was a further voyage to Norfolk Island in January and February 1791 to bring back the stranded crew of the Sirius, and another from March to May. The Supply returned so damaged by this final voyage that she was ordered back to England.

Beginning of The Ghan railway

Construction of what was then known as the Port Augusta to Government Gums Railway began in 1878 when Premier of South Australia Sir William Jervois broke ground at Port Augusta.

South Australia Advertiser Saturday 19 January 1878. See here.

Yesterday Sir W. F. D. Jervois turned the first sod of the Port Augusta and Government Gums Railway in the presence of a large and highly representative gathering, composed of members of both
branches of the Legislature and most of the leading men of the district. Port Augusta made the occasion one of high festivity, and did honour to the event and to Her Majesty's representative by putting on her gayest attire and making her appearance as pleasing and as picturesque as the character of the township and its surroundings would permit. It is fitting that a ceremony fraught with so much of deep and peculiar interest should be performed under such auspices, for it is difficult to realise all that may result from the initiation of a work of such magnitude and importance as the construction of this railway. It is the first instalment of a scheme which opens up immense possibilities — possibilities so great and so wide-spreading that it is unreasonable to suppose we can even imagine what they may be.

This we know, that Port Augusta is the natural outlet for much of the trade of the interior of the Australian Continent, and in pushing a railway into the back country from this point we are beginning
an undertaking that must have a marked influence on the future, and that will no doubt effect results of which we have no conception. At the present time this railway is the greatest work of the kind
which we as a colony have set about. We justify the outlay by the advantages which it will confer on the farmers and the pastoral lessees along the route and elsewhere, and by the mineral deposits which it promises to open up. We have been told that the real mineral wealth of the colony will be found in our northern country, and that as soon as the railway is constructed we shall feel its enriching influence. These are the practical reasons which have induced our legislators to vote money for the construction of the railway, but beyond them are others -which though less immediately
practical are not less certain to be realised.

The railway is the first link in a line to connect the southern and northern seaboards of the Continent,
and the progress which has been made during the last few years in these colonies unmistakeably tells us that a transcontinental railway will shortly be an accomplished fact. Such a line, with the branches which are sure quickly to spring into existence, means the throwing open to settlement of an immense area of country which would otherwise have been quite unapproachable.
In this fact, and in the trade which may in consequence be established with the East, we have the possibilities of such development and such wealth as to exceed the imaginings of the most sanguine.

The progress and prosperity may not all belong to South Australia, but hers will be no inconsiderable share. It cannot be otherwise when it is her enterprise that carries the locomotive across the continent as an appropriate sequel to the establishment "of telegraphic communication with the rest of the world.

The Governor spoke both at the formal ceremony of turning the sod, and at a banquet which was subsequently held. On each occasion he delivered an essentially practical and very effective address. Fully realising the character of the proceedings, His Excellency alluded to the railway as "the most important work which has yet been undertaken in Australia," and stated that he had "no doubt Port Augusta will one day become one of the most flourishing towns, not only in South Australia but on the Australian continent." To His Excellency the arguments in favour of a transcontinental rail
way are overwhelming. To those “who Bay such a railway will lead to nowhere” he replies that it will lead everywhere; and we are disposed to think that this answer will prove surprisingly near the truth.

His Excellency appreciates the importance of the trade outside the Australian colonies which the railway is likely to open up, and perceives that the possibilities in the matter are only bounded by the capabilities of the Anglo-Saxon race. A gentleman with such views was the proper person to
perform a ceremony which will become an historical fact to be committed to memory in the schools of the future when the hopes of to-day are realised facts. We are glad that the undertaking has been inaugurated in such an eminently gratifying way, and we hope that the ending of the work may
be as satisfactory as its beginning.

The old mixed Ghan train approaching Oodnadatta, circa 1910. State Library of SA. The mixed Ghan at Puttapa Gap.

After such grand commentary on 18 January 1878 when the first sod was turned, the narrow-gauge 3 ft 6 in line reached Hawker in June 1880, Beltana in July 1881, Marree in January 1884 and Oodnadatta in January 1891. Work on the extension to Alice Springs began in 1926, and was completed in 1929. Until then, the final leg of the train journey was still made by camel.

Although there were plans from the beginning to extend the line to Darwin, by the time the extension to Alice Springs had been completed, The Ghan was losing money and the plans for further extension to Darwin were suspended indefinitely.

On Sunday 4 August, 1929, an excited crowd gathered at the Adelaide Railway Station to farewell the first Ghan train. This train carried supplies and over 100 passengers bound for the remote town of Stuart, later to be called Alice Springs. An old Ghan steam train passing through flood waters.

The original Ghan ran for the last time in 1980, and the Ghan Preservation Society repairs sections of the old narrow gauge track and some of the sidings. In October 1980, a new standard gauge line from Tarcoola to Alice Springs on the Trans-Australian Railway opened, and the train took the form it has today. The new line is approximately 160 kilometres west of the former line in order to avoid floodplains where the original line was often washed away during heavy rain.

Old Ghan railway line, Oodnadatta. Old Ghan Museum, Alice Springs.

Qantas Empire Airways

Qantas Empire Airways Limited was established on 18 January 1934 by the two airlines responsible for the Australia-London run, Australia's QANTAS Limited and Britain's Imperial Airways. In 1947 the Australian Government purchased the shares of the company previously owned by QANTAS Limited, making it the sole shareholder. Qantas Empire Airways therefore became a limited liability company until 1 August 1967 which saw a name change for the company, becoming Qantas Airways Limited.

Vintage posters.

Qantas Empire Airways commenced operations in December 1934, flying between Brisbane and Darwin. QEA flew internationally from May 1935, when the service from Darwin was extended to Singapore using newer de Havilland DH.86s. Imperial Airways operated the rest of the service through to London. In July 1938 this operation was replaced by a thrice weekly flying boat service using Shorts S.23 Empire flying boats. The Sydney to Southampton service took nine days, with passengers staying in hotels overnight. For the single year of peace that the service operated, it was profitable and 94% of services were on time.

Qantas Empire Airways International seaplane flights arriving at Rose Bay, circa 1939.

After Italy entered the war in June 1940, this became the Horseshoe Route between Sydney and Durban in South Africa with the South Africa – UK stage being by sea. This service was a vital line of communication between Australia and the United Kingdom and lasted through until Singapore fell in February 1942. Enemy action and accidents destroyed half of the fleet of ten, when most of the fleet was taken over by the Australian government for war service.

Qantas Empire Airways - in the original livery at Mildura Airport, date unknown.

Shortly after nationalisation in 1947, QEA began its first services outside the British Empire-to Tokyo via Darwin and Manila with Avro Lancastrian aircraft. These aircraft were also deployed between Sydney and London in co-operation with BOAC, but were soon replaced by Douglas DC-4s. Services to Hong Kong began around the same time.

In 1947 the airline took delivery of Lockheed L-749 Constellations and these took over the trunk route to London.

Flying boats again entered the fleet from 1950, when the first of five Short Sandringham aircraft entered service for flights between the Rose Bay flying boat base on Sydney Harbour and destinations in New Caledonia, New Hebrides, Fiji, New Guinea (dubbed the "Bird of Paradise" route) and Lord Howe Island.

Granville rail disaster

The Granville rail disaster occurred on Tuesday 18 January 1977 at Granville, a western suburb of Sydney, Australia, when a crowded commuter train derailed, running into the supports of a road bridge that collapsed onto two of the train's passenger carriages. It is the worst rail disaster in Australian history: 84 people died, more than 210 were injured, and 1,300 were affected.

Photo: ABC.

The crowded Sydney-bound eight carriage commuter train, having left Mount Victoria in the Blue Mountains at 6:09am, was hauled by a New South Wales 46 class locomotive, No. 4620. It was approaching Granville railway station when it left the rails at approximately 8:10 am and hit a row of supports of the overhead Bold Street bridge, which were constructed out of steel and concrete.

Photo: Parramatta Sun.

The derailed engine and first two carriages passed the bridge. The first carriage broke free from the other carriages. Carriage one was torn open when it collided with a severed mast beside the track, killing eight passengers. The remaining carriages ground to a halt with the second carriage clear of the bridge. The rear half of the third carriage, and forward half of the fourth carriage, came to rest under the weakened bridge, whose weight was estimated at 570 tonnes. Within seconds, with all its supports demolished, the bridge and several motor cars on top of it crashed onto the carriages, crushing them and the passengers inside.

Photo: Parramatta Sun.

Of the total number of passengers travelling in the third and fourth carriages, half were killed instantly when the bridge collapsed on them, crushing them in their seats. Several injured passengers were trapped in the train for hours after the accident. The train driver, the assistant crewman, the "second man", and the motorists driving on the fallen bridge all survived.

The rescue operation lasted from 8:12 am Tuesday until 6:00 am Thursday. Ultimately, 83 people lost their lives in the accident.

2003 Canberra bushfires

The 2003 Canberra bushfires caused severe damage to the suburbs and outer areas of Canberra, the capital city of Australia, during 18–22 January 2003. Almost 70% of the Australian Capital Territory's pastures, pine plantations, and nature parks were severely damaged, and most of the Mount Stromlo Observatory was destroyed. After burning for a week around the edges of the ACT, the fires entered the suburbs of Canberra on 18 January 2003.

Over the next ten hours, four people died, over 490 were injured, and more than 500 homes were destroyed or severely damaged, requiring a significant relief and reconstruction effort.

The morning of Saturday 18 January 2003 was hot, windy and dry. Temperatures as high as 40 °C and winds exceeding 80 kilometres per hour, plus a very low relative humidity, were the main weather features of the day. Two fires continued to burn out of control in the Namadgi National Park, with the entire park, along with the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, being closed due to the threat. A second fire, in the Brindabella Ranges, was threatening to break containment lines.

Canberra's suburban hills engulfed in flames during the bushfires.

Throughout the day, the fires burned closer to the fringes of Canberra's suburbs, and there was no sign of authorities gaining control of the situation. At around 2 pm, police evacuated the township of Tharwa to the south of Canberra. By mid-afternoon, it had become apparent that the fires posed an immediate threat to the settlements near Canberra, such as Uriarra and Stromlo, as well as to the houses on the city's urban-bushland interface. A state of emergency was declared at 2.45 pm.

The Canberra suburbs of Chapman and Duffy were devastated by the fires. ABC/AAP

The fires reached the urban area at 3 pm. By 3.50 pm, some houses were alight in the suburbs of Duffy and Chapman. By 5 pm, houses were reported destroyed in Duffy, Chapman, Kambah, Holder, and Rivett, as well as in the small forestry settlement of Uriarra. Fire spread through parkland, crossing the Tuggeranong Parkway and Sulwood Drive finally engulfing Mount Taylor. Within an hour, houses were also burning in Torrens, on the slopes of Mount Taylor, and in Weston.

The fires by now had inflicted severe damage to the city's infrastructure. Power supplies were cut to several suburbs. These outages affected both the Emergency Services Bureau's own headquarters in Curtin and the Canberra Hospital (running on back-up generators), which was under intense pressure from people suffering burns and smoke inhalation.

ACTFB firefighters hosing down the roof of the Emergency Services Bureau.

By 10 pm, one of the four evacuation centres in Canberra was completely full, and the others were filling up quickly. Both Prime Minister John Howard and Governor General Peter Hollingworth changed their plans to return to Canberra as soon as was possible. By the evening of 19 January, it was clear that the worst-hit suburb was Duffy, where 200+ residences were destroyed, and that four people had died. The loss of life, damage to property, and destruction of forests to the west of the city caused not just economic loss but significant social impacts.

The burnt-out remains of the Mount Stromlo Observatory a year after the fires.

Perhaps the most notable cultural and scientific loss caused by the fires was the damage to the scenic and renowned Mount Stromlo Observatory, which is estimated to be the source of a third of Australia's astronomical research. Five historically significant telescopes were destroyed. Instrumentation and engineering workshops, the observatory's library, and the main administration buildings were consumed.

The Euphronios Krater

The Euphronios Krater is an ancient Greek terra cotta calyx-krater, a bowl used for mixing wine with water. Created around the year 515 BC, it is the only complete example of the surviving 27 vases painted by the renowned Euphronios and is considered one of the finest Greek vase artifacts in existence.

Part of the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1972 to 2008, the vase was repatriated to Italy under an agreement negotiated in February 2006, and is now in the collection of the Archaeological Museum of Cerveteri as part of a strategy of returning works of art to their place of origin. After its return, it was unveiled in Rome on 18 January 2008.

Front side depicting Sarpedon’s body carried by Hypnos and Thanatos (Sleep and Death), while Hermes watches.

Euphronios (circa 535 - after 470 BC) was an ancient Greek vase painter and potter, active in Athens in the late 6th and early 5th centuries BC. Euphronios was one of the most important artists of the red-figure technique. He is one of the first known artists in history to have signed his work. The style of the Euphronios krater is red-figure pottery, in which figure outlines, details, and the background are painted with an opaque black slip while the figures themselves are left in the colour of the unpainted terracotta ceramic clay.

Reverse side depicting Athenian youths arming themselves.

The Euphronios krater stands 45.7 centimetres in height and has a diameter of 55.1 centimetres. It can hold about 45 litres. The krater is decorated with two scenes. An episode from the Trojan War is shown on the obverse; this illustration depicts the death of Sarpedon, son of Zeus and Laodamia. The reverse of the krater shows a contemporary scene of Athenian youths from the sixth century BC arming themselves before battle.


Finally, an apology from the government for the Granville train disaster


Wendy Miles lost her two daughters, 11-year-old Helen and eight-year-old Rosie, along with her father Walter and stepmother Madge, in the Granville disaster.


Ms Miles said an apology "means not just myself but a lot of people are going to get some comfort from it and, in a lot of cases, a reduction in anger".

"I heaved a sigh of relief and thought: 'Thank goodness, at last'," she said.

The New South Wales Government paid for the funerals of her loved ones and she received $1,000 for each of her daughters and $500 each for her father and stepmother.

Investigations and inquiries revealed an alarming lack of investment in maintenance and ageing infrastructure, and following the disaster, the State Government borrowed heavily to modernise the railway.

Absolutely unforgivable this was allowed to happen.

I was amazed that the Euphronios Krater created around the year 515 BC is still intact and its colours remain so vibrant.


 Quite some variety there.

As I recall my FIL was heading up to the bridge at Granville when that happened.

Qantas was still called QEA when I started as a snork. "Apprentice " It is what the apprenices were known as in house. Snorks !

No idea where that came from nor the name Charlies for Qantas.


I agree S.D., varied, and substantial and very interesting info.

You work so hard for YLC members RnR. Thank you.

:) snorks and Charlies ... no idea of the derivation of those two SD.

Thanks Phyl. Some interesting things always seem to pop their heads up each day.

19 January

On this day:

379 – Emperor Gratian elevates Flavius Theodosius at Sirmium to Augustus, and gives him authority over all the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire.
1520 – Sten Sture the Younger, the Regent of Sweden, is mortally wounded at the Battle of Bogesund.
1607 – San Agustin Church in Manila is officially completed; it is the oldest church still standing in the Philippines.
1907 – A tropical cyclone hits Cooktown, Queensland, devastating the town.
1957 – The Argus newspaper appears for the last time.
1975 – 2JJ, the predecessor of youth radio Triple J, commences broadcasting in Sydney.
1983 – The Apple Lisa, the first commercial personal computer from Apple Inc. to have a graphical user interface and a computer mouse, is announced.
2004 – Cricketer David Hookes dies following an altercation outside the Beaconsfield Hotel in St Kilda.

Theodosius I

Theodosius I (347–395), also known as Theodosius the Great, was Roman Emperor in the east from 19 January 379 – 15 May 392 of the whole Roman Empire from from 15 May 392 – 17 January 395. Theodosius was the last emperor to rule over both the eastern and the western halves of the Roman Empire.

On accepting his elevation, he campaigned against Goths and other barbarians who had invaded the empire. He failed to kill, expel, or entirely subjugate them, and after the Gothic War, they established a homeland south of the Danube, in Illyricum, within the empire's borders. He fought two destructive civil wars, in which he defeated the usurpers Magnus Maximus and Eugenius at great cost to the power of the empire.

From 364 to 375, the Roman Empire was governed by two co-emperors, the brothers Valentinian I and Valens; when Valentinian died in 375, his sons, Valentinian II and Gratian, succeeded him as rulers of the Western Roman Empire. In 378, after the disastrous Battle of Adrianople where Valens was killed, Gratian invited Theodosius to take command of the Illyrian army.

As Valens had no successor, Gratian's appointment of Theodosius amounted to a de facto invitation for Theodosius to become co-Augustus of the East Roman Empire. After Gratian was killed in a rebellion in 383, Theodosius appointed his own elder son, Arcadius, to be his co-ruler in the East. After the death in 392 of Valentinian II, whom Theodosius had supported against a variety of usurpations, Theodosius ruled as sole Emperor.

The Missorium of Theodosius I is a large ceremonial silver dish preserved in the Real Academia de la Historia, in Madrid, Spain. It was probably made in Constantinople for the tenth anniversary of his reign.

Theodosius I issued decrees that effectively made Orthodox Nicene Christianity the official state church of the Roman Empire. He neither prevented nor punished the destruction of prominent Hellenistic temples of classical antiquity, including the Temple of Apollo in Delphi and the Serapeum in Alexandria. He dissolved the order of the Vestal Virgins in Rome. In 393, he banned the pagan rituals of the Olympics in Ancient Greece.

After his death, Theodosius' young sons Arcadius and Honorius inherited the east and west halves respectively, and the Roman Empire was never again re-united, though Eastern Roman emperors after Zeno would claim the united title after Julius Nepos' death in 480 AD.

Sten Sture the Younger

Sten Sture the Younger, Lord of Ekesio (1493–1520), was a Swedish statesman and regent of Sweden, during the era of the Kalmar Union. He was born in 1493, as the son of regent Svante Nilsson, a descendant of the Sture of Ekesio family. He later chose to adapt the Sture name for political purposes, despite only being distantly related. At the death of his father, young Sten was only 18 years old.

High Councillor Eric Trolle was chosen as regent by the council — he supported union with Denmark. However, young Sten utilised the castles and troops fiefed to him by his late father and staged a coup. After Sten promised to continue union negotiations with Denmark, the High Council accepted him as regent instead of Trolle.

In reality, lord Sten's purpose was to keep Sweden independent of Denmark. Regent Sten knew that sooner or later, a war with Hans of Denmark, who died in 1513, or his son and successor Christian II would be inevitable. Therefore, he in 1513 agreed to a truce with Russia. A conflict also arose between Regent Sten and archbishop Gustav Trolle, son of Eric Trolle. The archbishop claimed more autonomy for the church so Regent Sten had the archbishop deposed and imprisoned.

Christian II did initiate an invasion of Sweden. In the last part of this war defending his country against Denmark, Regent Sten was mortally wounded at the battle of Bogesund on 19 January 1520, and died on the ice of Lake Malaren on his way back to Stockholm.

The Death of Sten Sture the Younger on the ice of Lake Malaren. Painting by Carl Gustaf Hellqvist, 1880.

Christian II was enthroned in Sweden and archbishop Gustav Trolle had his revenge against supporters of Sture and against those who deposed him: he listed those enemies and accusations against them, dubbing them as heretics. King Christian II had the accused executed at the Stockholm bloodbath in late 1520, including Sten Sture's corpse which was desecrated as a heretic's body and burnt at the stake.

San Agustin Church Manila

San Agustin Church is a Roman Catholic church under the auspices of The Order of St. Augustine, located inside the historic walled city of Intramuros in Manila and the oldest existing church in the Philippines. In 1993, San Agustin Church was one of four Philippine churches constructed during the Spanish colonial period to be designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It was named a National Historical Landmark by the Philippine government in 1976.

The present structure is actually the third Augustinian church erected on the site. The first San Agustin Church was the first religious structure constructed by the Spaniards on the island of Luzon. Made of bamboo and nipa, it was completed in 1571, but destroyed by fire in December 1574 during the attempted invasion of Manila by the forces of Limahong. A second wooden structure built on the same site was destroyed in February 1583, by a fire that started when a candle ignited drapery on the funeral bier during services for Spanish Governor-General Gonzalo Ronquillo de Penalosa.

The Augustinians decided to rebuild the church using stone, and to construct an adjacent monastery. Construction began in 1586, based on a design by Juan Macías. The structure was built using hewn adobe stones quarried from Meycauayan, Binangonan and San Mateo, Rizal. The work proceeded slowly due to the lack of funds and materials, as well as the relative scarcity of stone artisans. The monastery was operational by 1604, and the church was formally declared complete on 19 January 1607, and named St. Paul of Manila. Macías, who had died before the completion of the church, was officially acknowledged by the Augustinians as the builder of the edifice.

San Agustin Church after the 1880 earthquake.

San Agustin Church was looted by the British forces who occupied Manila in 1762 during the Seven Years' War. In 1854, the church was renovated under the supervision of architect Luciano Oliver. On 3 June 1863, the strongest earthquake at that time, hit Manila leaving widespread destruction to the city with San Agustin Church, the only public building left undamaged. The church withstood the other major earthquakes that struck Manila before in 1645, 1699, 1754, 1796, 1825, 1852, 1863 and 1880 and served as a hospital for several of those injured during the earthquake in 1863.

War damaged San Agustin Church and monastery, 1945.

On 18 August 1898, the church was the site where Spanish Governor-General Fermin Jaudenes prepared the terms for the surrender of Manila to the United States of America following the Spanish–American War.

During the Japanese occupation of World War II, San Agustin Church became a concentration camp. The church itself was the sole survivor of the seven churches of Intramuros to survive the levelling by combined American and Filipino ground forces in May 1945. While the church sustained damage to its roof, the adjacent monastery was completely destroyed. In the 1970s it was rebuilt as a museum.

The church was renovated in 2013, replacing its colourful facade with a mature stone-coloured one (first picture above).

1907 Cooktown Cyclone

On Friday afternoon 18 January 1907 the barometer began to fall and the weather set in and during the night. On Saturday, 19 January 1907, it began to blow heavily and the wind increased in violence during the day. The municipal baths had collapsed over night, the balcony of the Shamrock hotel was blown down and the streets were littered with limbs of trees. The barometer was still falling with the wind increasing and at noon on Saturday the roofs and balconies of the buildings began to give way. At 4 pm the Masonic Hall, a two story building, was blown down and the Boys and Girls State Schools were removed bodily from their blocks.

Remains of the Masonic Hall.

Between 5 pm and 8 pm it raged furiously wrecking the greater part of the town. The RC Church was demolished and the convent and school were unroofed. The roof of the drapery shop was ripped off and fell on a store which immediately collapsed. The Presbyterian Church became a tangled mass of iron and timber and the top story of the Edinburgh Hotel was blown away. The roofs and balconies of Commercial, Captain Cook, Sovereign, Great Northern, Club House, Shamrock, New Guinea, Court House and Carleton Hotels were torn off.

Clunn’s bulk store at the wharf was demolished and a large water tank for shipping was toppled over.

The Council Chambers, wharf sheds, Church of England and rectory, Methodist Church and parsonage, Federal Hall, Westcott's and Savage's were more or less unroofed, while nearly all the private residences were either completely razed to the ground or rendered uninhabitable.

Article from the Daily Mercury in Mackay, 22 January 1907. Track map and details of the 1907 cyclone.

The gale blew for thirty hours and was accompanied by torrents of rain, with over 297 mm being registered. The Cook District Hospital which is situated on the outskirts of the town suffered considerably. One ward was completely destroyed and in fact not a vestige of it could be seen. Evanson’s boatshed 80ft long by 40ft was completely destroyed as was the Customs boatshed. The Fire station was demolished. Two of Evanson’s boats dragged their anchors and were ultimately blown out to sea and wrecked off Indian Head. Mr Evanson’s private residence was wrecked.

In addition:
• Two spans of the Endeavour Bridge had been washed away.
• An infant girl was killed by flying debris.
• The cutter from the Cape Bedford Mission reported that the mission was completely destroyed
• The Schooner Marion was wrecked on Two Islands, eastward of Cape Flattery. Its crew were rescued.

The Argus

The Argus was a morning daily newspaper in Melbourne, Australia that was established in 1846 and closed down in 1957. It was considered to be the general Australian newspaper of record for this period. Widely known as a conservative newspaper for most of its history, it adopted a left-leaning approach from 1949. The Argus's main competitor was David Syme's more liberal-minded The Age.

The Argus made history in 1952 when it became the first newspaper in the world to publish full colour. The first full-colour back page published by The Argus.

The newspaper was originally owned by William Kerr, a journalist who had worked with the Sydney Gazette before moving to Melbourne in 1839 to work on John Pascoe Fawkner's Port Phillip Patriot. The first edition was published on 2 June 1846. The paper was soon known for its scurrilous abuse and sarcasm, and by 1853, Kerr had lost ownership through a series of libel suits. The paper was then published under the name of Edward Wilson. The paper become a stablemate to the weekly The Australasian, which was to become The Australasian Post in 1946.

The final issue of The Argus on 19 January 1957.

In 1949 the paper was acquired by the London-based Daily Mirror newspaper group. On 28 July 1952, The Argus became the first newspaper in the world to publish colour photographs in a daily paper. The paper also had interests in radio and, in 1956, the new medium of television. In 1957, the paper was discontinued and sold to the Herald and Weekly Times group, which undertook to re-employ Argus staff and continue publication of selected features, and HWT made an allocation of shares to the UK owners. The final edition was published on 19 January 1957. The company's other print and broadcasting operations were unaffected.

Triple J

Triple J is a government-funded, national Australian radio station intended to appeal to listeners between the ages of 18 and 25 which began broadcasting in January 1975. The station places a greater emphasis on broadcasting Australian and alternative music compared to commercial stations. Triple J is government-owned and is a division of the ABC.

2JJ - the on-air team. Clockwise from top left, Graham Berry, Iven Walker, Holger Brockmann and Chris Winter in January 1975. Double Jay launch photo taken 4 days before the official launch. An early promotional poster for the station.

Triple J started life as "Double Jay" or radio 2JJ. 2JJ commenced broadcasting at 11.00 am, Sunday 19 January 1975, at call sign 1540 kHz on the AM band. The new ABC station was given the official call-sign 2JJ, but soon became commonly known as Double J. The station was restricted largely to the greater Sydney region, and its local reception was hampered by inadequate transmitter facilities. However, its frequency was a clear channel nationally, so it was easily heard at night throughout south-eastern Australia.

Double Jay in 1975.

Double Jay's first broadcast demonstrated a determination to distinguish itself from other Australian radio stations. The first on-air presenter, DJ Holger Brockmann, notably used his own name, a deliberate reference to his former work for top-rated Sydney pop station 2SM. Owing to 2SM's restrictive policies at the time, Brockmann, whose real name was considered "too foreign-sounding", had been forced to work using the pseudonym "Bill Drake" in prior positions. After an introductory audio collage that featured sounds from the countdown and launch of Apollo 11, Brockmann launched the station's first-ever broadcast with the words, "Wow, and we're away!", and then cued The Skyhooks' You Just Like Me 'Cos I'm Good in Bed.

Apple Lisa

The Apple Lisa is a desktop computer developed by Apple, released on January 19, 1983. It was one of the first personal computers to offer a graphical user interface (GUI) in a machine aimed at individual business users. Development of the Lisa began in 1978, and it underwent many changes during the development period before shipping at the very high price of US$9,995 with a 5 MB hard drive. The high price, relatively low performance and unreliable "Twiggy" floppy disks led to poor sales, with only 100,000 units sold.

Apple Lisa, with an Apple ProFile external hard disk sitting atop it. It had dual 5.25-inch "Twiggy" floppy drives.

In 1982, after Steve Jobs was forced out of the Lisa project, he joined the Macintosh project, at that time developing a much more limited machine with a task-switching interface. Jobs redirected the Macintosh team to build a cheaper and better Lisa, releasing it in January 1984 and quickly outstripping Lisa sales. Newer versions of the Lisa were introduced that addressed its faults and lowered its price considerably, but it failed to achieve favorable sales compared to the much less expensive Mac. The final revision of the Lisa, the Lisa 2/10, was modified and sold as the Macintosh XL.

Macintosh XL.

Generally considered a failure, the Lisa nevertheless introduced a number of advanced features that would not reappear on the Macintosh for a number of years. Among these was an operating system which featured protected memory and a more document-oriented workflow. The hardware itself was also much more advanced than the Macintosh.

David Hookes

David William Hookes (3 May 1955 – 19 January 2004) was an Australian cricketer, broadcaster and coach of the Victorian cricket team. An aggressive left-handed batsman, Hookes usually batted in the middle order. His international career got off to a sensational start in the Centenary Test at Melbourne in 1977 when he hit England captain Tony Greig for five consecutive boundaries, but a combination of circumstances ensured that he never became a regular in the Australian team. He wrote in his autobiography, "I suspect history will judge me harshly as a batsman because of my modest record in 23 Tests and I can't complain about that”.

For many years, he was a leading figure in Australian domestic cricket, most notably in his role as captain of South Australia (SA). Wisden called him "a first-class destroyer of second-rate bowling". Angered by Victorian captain Graham Yallop's late declaration in a Sheffield Shield match at the Adelaide Oval in October 1982, Hookes, who normally batted at number 3 or 4, promoted himself to opening batsman and proceeded to score a century from 34 balls in just 43 minutes, including 18 fours and two sixes, at the time the fastest century scored in first-class cricket. He finished his career as the highest run-scorer in Sheffield Shield history.

David Hookes before his testimonial match in 1991, in which he notched yet another century.

An outspoken man who had several brushes with the game's officials, Hookes retired at the end of the 1991–92 season and pursued his media career. He moved to Melbourne in 1995 and broadcast on Radio 3AW. His popularity among players and his reputation for strong leadership led to his appointment as coach of the Victorian team in 2002.

The team enjoyed success under his tutelage, but David Hookes died on 19 January 2004 after being punched by a hotel bouncer outside the Beaconsfield Hotel in St Kilda where he had been drinking with Victorian players following their victory in a match earlier in the day.

David Hookes also had a prominent role in the media, specialising in cricket on pay TV but also commenting on other sports for Melbourne radio.

A memorial service was held on Adelaide Oval on 27 January 2004, attended by all members of the Australian, South Australia and Victoria cricket teams, as well as the Premier of Victoria, Steve Bracks. Attendance was estimated at 10,000. The Adelaide Oval is the pitch where he scored many of his 12,671 first-class runs and 20 of his 32 centuries.

David Hookes' funeral.

The bouncer, Zdravko Micevic was charged with manslaughter. The death of Hookes generated public outrage, with numerous death threats being received by Micevic and his lawyers. Micevic's home was also subjected to an arson attack. During Micevic's trial, witnesses gave conflicting testimony of what occurred and who started the fight.The jury acquitted Micevic.

Business at the Beaconsfield Hotel plummeted and the hotel closed its doors at the end of 2004.


Reading about the Goths, I found an interesting article about the fall of the Roman Empire.

The Romans called the people who lived outside the Roman Empire barbarians. In the 4th century AD the Roman Army had considerable difficulty in stopping these Barbarians from entering the Roman Empire.

The Romans were forced to increase the size of their army. By the end of the 4th century AD it had grown to 600,000 men. Of these, 250,000 were stationed on Rome's northern borders.

Taxation had to be increased to pay for this large army. These taxes were higher than most people could afford and created wide-scale poverty. Some people were forced to sell their children into slavery, while others died of starvation.

Plague also became a problem and during one outbreak people in Rome were dying at the rate of 5,000 a day. The population of the Roman Empire began to fall dramatically and this in turn reduced the numbers of people available to join the army.

The growth of Christianity also created problems for the Roman Empire. Large numbers of Roman citizens became monks and refused to get married and have children. This not only contributed to the fall in population but also reduced Roman tax revenues.

Some Christians claimed that Jesus had preached non-violence. Christians who interpreted the words of Jesus in this way often refused to join the Roman army. Even citizens who were not Christians were reluctant to join, and emperors were forced to recruit slaves, gladiators and criminals. It was also decided to employ barbarian mercenaries. This created long-term problems as the barbarians did not always remain loyal to their Roman paymasters.

Some Roman citizens, upset by heavy taxation and suffering from poverty, formed themselves into an armed resistance group called the Bagaudae. This movement started in Gaul in AD 283 but during the 4th and 5th centuries spread to other parts of the empire. These groups of rebels attempted to set up their own independent states within the empire but the Romans, with the help of barbarian mercenaries, were eventually able to crush them.

However, with the Roman army spending more and more time suppressing its own citizens, it became easier for the Germans to defeat those guarding the frontiers.

The Romans were also having difficulty stopping the SaxonsAngles and Jutes overrunning Britain. In AD 410 Emperor Honorius warned the Romans in Britain that they could no longer rely on reinforcements being sent from other parts of the empire.

Got me thinking about the USA and how rich and successful they have been, 1776 is not that long ago and as history tells us, a century is just a blink of an eye.  I get a sense of despair coming out of America (not that Australia is perfect either) but opioid addiction, unfair medical care and homelessness is really starting to impact on the average American, he's not happy, so could this historical event - the fall of the Roman Empire - ever happen again in modern times?  

That's a great precis of the fall of the Roman Empire. Thanks Toot.

So many empires have been and gone over time. They seems to get overly large, militarily heavy, expensive, inefficient, power-obsessed and increasingly less concerned with their citizenry ... which all leads to a downfall of course.

:) I think that it will happen again, and again and again.


I suspect you may be right. Such events do not happen overnight but there are signs of the beginning of the end.

I also think democracy is also beginning to falter across the world, it is proving to be inneficient for the times we now live in with the increasing population.

It will all take some time.


Agree SD. An everchanging world of powers that be, or not to be ... so to speak.

there is no doubt that the US empire is falling.  bring it on, i say, before they destroy all of the middle east and much of the rest of the world.  they now have over 1,000 military bases globally.  plenty of evidence in this new book .....

Wonder who will be next Kika ... Russia, China or an outsider, like the Mule in Asimov's trilogy.



My NBN gear or part of it arrived this morning.

I will let folks know how the transition goes.

My Landline/ Mobile was with Telstra. Internet with Westnet.

It all rolls over to Westnet in the next few days.

Esperance is via satellite .

I hope.


All the very best SD. Will be interested to see how you go.

It's available in my area but have been holding off. Have checked out the nearest node ... 450+ metres from my place.

I'm on unlimited data (ADSL) now at a very reasonable rate. Speed is fine for me at the moment @ 16.3 Mbps download, 0.92 Mbps upload Latency: 45 ms.

Will be awaiting your updates as I'll have to make a decision soon. NBN or bugger it and upgrade my mobile plan instead.



Unpacked the modem and could not get it to work.'My p/word proved to be useless as well.

I spent a fair bit of the arvo on this.

I finally phoned to get some assistance only to be told the NBN isn't even hooked up yet. I asked him why they were sending me gear when there is no connection yet. No real answer. I shall be advised soon and yes my current p/word is useless when it comes to the NBN .

Not a good start.

I have resored all the bits of string to their original places and will put the NBN out of my mind for the time being.

He did tell me it will do its thing automatically when it is finally connected.

I have had a bunch of emails over the last week or so telling me about all the gear that was on its way. Why bother if it is not connected.

Take it easy.


What can I say apart from "What a c*** up!!".



Britain's economy is bigger than thought because officials have not have been counting the telecoms industry properly, a report has found.


The strides made in broadband and digital technology have not been properly measured by the UK's official statistical body, researchers said.


The Office for National Statistics failed to spot that the sector has become up to 90 per cent more efficient over the past five years.


It means the UK's productivity has been underestimated and that the UK's economy could be bigger than previously thought.


Theresa May and her Chancellor Philip Hammond will welcome news Britain's economic performance is better than previously thought.



Read more:

A reasonable measure of a country’s economic footprint on the world economy is how much it could potentially change demand or supply on world markets. 

When countries export they have to accept payment based on market exchange rates. Likewise when countries import they must pay in foreign currency based on market exchange rates. This means that to compare China’s market size with the US, we need to convert China’s GDP, measured through China’s currency renminbi, to US dollars, using market exchange rates. 

China’s GDP measured at market exchange rates, however, is only US$9 trillion - almost half that of the US.

World Bank 

Apple Inc. said it will bring hundreds of billions of overseas dollars back to the U.S., pay about $38 billion in taxes on the money and invest tens of billions on domestic jobs, manufacturing and data centers in the coming years.

This is only one company that will put America First 

Whilst Australia fiddles and listens to the Keatings and Dystardis we have o idea of the power of the USA .

we are tiny not as big as the Us smallest State .

yet have a land mass and resources desired by China .

time to get real ...

20 January

On this day:

1649 – Charles I of England goes on trial for treason and other "high crimes".
1841 – Hong Kong Island is occupied by the British.
1880 – Andrew George Scott, known as bushranger Captain Moonlite, was hanged in Sydney.
1887 – The United States Senate allows the Navy to lease Pearl Harbor as a naval base.
1906 – Aristotle Onassis, Greek shipping magnate is born.
1918 – A cyclone severely damages Mackay in Queensland.
1936 – Edward VIII becomes King of the United Kingdom.
1945 – World War II: Evacuation of East Prussia - Germany begins the evacuation of 1.8 million people from East Prussia, a task which will take nearly two months.

US Presidential Inaugurations

1945 – Harry S. Truman commences his second term as 33rd President of the United States.
1953 – Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President.
1961 – John F. Kennedy, 35th President. Second youngest man to take office.
1969 – Richard Nixon, 37th President.
1989 – George H. W. Bush, 41st President.
1993 – Bill Clinton, 42nd President.
2001 – George W. Bush, 43rd President.
2009 – Barack Obama, 44th President. First African-American to hold office.
2017 – Donald Trump, 45th President. Oldest person to hold office.

Charles I of England

Charles I (1600–1649) was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles was born into the House of Stuart as the second son of King James VI of Scotland, but after his father inherited the English throne in 1603, he moved to England, where he spent much of the rest of his life. He became heir apparent to the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland on the death of his elder brother, Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, in 1612.

Charles I in Three Positions by van Dyck, 1635–36.

After his succession, Charles quarrelled with the Parliament of England, which sought to curb his royal prerogative. Charles believed in the divine right of kings and thought he could govern according to his own conscience. Many of his subjects opposed his policies, in particular the levying of taxes without parliamentary consent, and perceived his actions as those of a tyrannical absolute monarch.

His religious policies, coupled with his marriage to a Roman Catholic, generated the antipathy and mistrust of Reformed groups, led to the Bishops' Wars, strengthened the position of the English and Scottish parliaments and helped precipitate his own downfall.

Charles depicted by Wenceslaus Hollar on horseback in front of his troops, 1644.

From 1642, Charles fought the armies of the English and Scottish parliaments in the English Civil War. After his defeat in 1645, he surrendered to a Scottish force that eventually handed him over to the English Parliament. Charles refused to accept his captors' demands for a constitutional monarchy. Charles was moved to Hurst Castle at the end of 1648, and thereafter to Windsor Castle.

Charles at his trial, by Edward Bower, 1649. He let his beard and hair grow long because Parliament had dismissed his barber, and he refused to let anyone else near him with a razor. Charles in the dock with his back to the viewer facing the High Court of Justice, 1649.

In January 1649, the Rump House of Commons indicted him on a charge of treason, which was rejected by the House of Lords. The idea of trying a king was a novel one. The Chief Justices of the three common law courts of England – Henry Rolle, Oliver St John and John Wilde – all opposed the indictment as unlawful. The Rump Commons declared itself capable of legislating alone, passed a bill creating a separate court for Charles's trial, and declared the bill an act without the need for royal assent.

The High Court of Justice established by the Act consisted of 135 commissioners, but many either refused to serve or chose to stay away. Only 68 attended Charles's trial on charges of high treason and "other high crimes" that began on 20 January 1649 in Westminster Hall. He was declared guilty and sentenced to death.

Contemporary German print of Charles I's beheading.

Charles's was beheaded on Tuesday, 30 January 1649 on a scaffold erected in front of the Banqueting House of the Palace of Whitehall. With the monarchy overthrown, England became a republic or "Commonwealth". The House of Lords was abolished by the Rump Commons, and executive power was assumed by a Council of State.

All significant military opposition in Britain and Ireland was extinguished by the forces of Oliver Cromwell in the Third English Civil War and the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is an autonomous territory on the eastern side of the Pearl River estuary in East Asia, south of the mainland Chinese province of Guangdong, and east of the former Portuguese colony and fellow special administrative region of Macau. From the 1800s to the 1930s the territory was largely dominated by the British Empire who occupied it and claimed it as a colony in January 1841.

Possession Point, Hong Kong in the early 20th century.

China was the main supplier of its native tea to the British, whose annual domestic consumption reached 13,600,000 kg in 1830, an average of 0.47 kg per head of population. From the British economic standpoint, Chinese tea was a crucial item since it provided massive wealth for the taipans—foreign (especially British) businessmen in China—while the duty on tea accounted for 10% of the British government's income.

Some of the earliest items sold to China in exchange for tea were British clocks, watches and musical boxes known as "sing-songs". These were not enough to compensate for the trade imbalance caused by the massive quantities of tea exported and the insistence by the Chinese that it be paid for in silver. After the 1757 territorial conquest of Bengal in India, the British had access to opium and increased their opium exports to China. Lin Zexu, a special Chinese commissioner appointed by the Qing Daoguang Emperor, wrote a letter to Queen Victoria in 1839 taking a stance against the acceptance of opium in trade. He confiscated more than 20,000 chests of opium already in Hong Kong and supervised their destruction.

Britain occupies Hong Kong on 20 January 1841 and claimed Hong Kong as a colony on 26 January 1841.

The Queen saw the destruction of British products as an insult and sent the first expeditionary force to the region. The First Opium War (1839–1842) began at the hands of Captain Charles Elliot of the Royal Navy and Capt. Anthony Blaxland Stransham of the Royal Marines.

After a series of Chinese defeats, Hong Kong Island was occupied by the British on 20 January 1841. Sir Edward Belcher, aboard HMS Sulphur, landed in Hong Kong on 25 January 1841. Commodore Sir Gordon Bremer raised the Union Jack and claimed Hong Kong as a colony on 26 January 1841 at Possession Point. He erected naval store sheds there in April 1841.

Captain Moonlite

Andrew George Scott (baptised 5 July 1842 – 20 January 1880), also known as Captain Moonlite, was an Irish-born Australian bushranger and folk figure. Scott was born in Rathfriland, Ireland and trained to be an engineer, completing his studies in London. The family moved to New Zealand in 1861 and later to Australia where in Melbourne, he met Bishop Charles Perry and was appointed lay reader at Bacchus Marsh, Victoria in 1868. He was then sent to the gold mining town of Mount Egerton.

Andrew George Scott.

On 8 May 1869, Scott was accused of disguising himself and forcing Egerton bank agent Ludwig Julius Wilhelm Bruun, a young man whom he had befriended, to open the safe. Bruun described being robbed by a fantastic black-crepe masked figure who forced him to sign a note absolving him of any role in the crime. The note read "I hereby certify that L.W. Bruun has done everything within his power to withstand this intrusion and the taking of money which was done with firearms, Captain Moonlite, Sworn."

Bruun claimed the man sounded like Scott but no gold was found in Scott's possession. Scott in turn accused Bruun and local school teacher James Simpson of the crime, who then became the principal suspects in the minds of police. Scott left for Sydney soon afterwards.

Andrew George Scott, Captain Moonlite.

Scott resigned his lay-readership, bought two horses, kept a groom, and played as a gentleman. Between July and December 1869 he was absent and was supposed to have made a voyage to Fiji, but on 28 December he was in Sydney selling at the mint 120 ounces of retorted gold, resembling in fineness and other qualities the metal taken from the bank at Egerton. After this he went to the Maitland district, near Newcastle and was there convicted on two charges of obtaining money by false pretences for which he was sentenced to twelve and eighteen months' imprisonment. Scott served fifteen months, at the expiration of which he returned to Sydney, where in March 1872, he was arrested on the charge of robbing the Egerton Bank and forwarded to Ballarat for examination and trial.

Darlinghurst Gaol record of AG Scott, alias Captain Moonlite, November 1879. State Records NSW.

He succeeded in escaping gaol by cutting a hole through the wall of his cell and gained entrance into the cell adjoining, which was occupied by another prisoner, who was as desirous of escaping as himself. Together they seized the warder when he came on his rounds, gagged him and tied him up. Making use of his keys, they proceeded to other cells, liberating four other prisoners, and the six men succeeded in escaping over the wall by means of blankets cut into strips, which they used as a rope. Scott was subsequently re-captured, tried, convicted and sentenced to 10 years' hard labour. Despite some evidence against him, Scott claimed innocence in this matter until his dying day. Scott only served two-thirds of his sentence of 10 years, was released from HM Prison Pentridge in March 1879.

James Nesbitt.

On regaining freedom, Scott met up with James Nesbitt, a young man whom he had met in prison. While some disagree on the grounds of speculation, he is considered by many to be Scott's lover.

With the aid of Nesbitt, Captain Moonlite began a career as a public speaker on prison reform trading on his tabloid celebrity. At some time during this period Scott seems to have decided to live up to this legend and assembled a gang of young men, with Nesbitt as his second in command. The gang commenced their careers as bushrangers near Mansfield, in Victoria. While travelling through the Kellys' area of operation, the gang were frequently mistaken for The Kelly Gang and took advantage of this to receive food and to seize guns and ammunition from homesteads.

The gang left Victoria in the later part of 1879 and travelled north across the border into New South Wales to look for work, far from the police surveillance that stymied any opportunity of employment in Victoria. It was in the southern district of the New South Wales colony that they entered upon the full practice of their profession.

The siege of Wantabadgery station.

In one act they made themselves notorious. On Saturday evening, 15 November 1879 they entered the little settlement of Wantabadgery, about 28 miles from Gundagai, and proceeded to "bail up" all the residents. Scott's gang held up the Wantabadgery Station near Wagga Wagga on 15 November 1879 after being refused work, shelter and food terrorising staff and the family of Claude McDonald, the station owner.

Scott also robbed the Australian Arms Hotel of a large quantity of alcohol and took prisoner the residents of some other neighbouring properties, bringing the number of prisoners to 25 in total. A small party of four mounted troopers eventually arrived, but Scott's well armed gang captured their horses and held them down with gunfire for several hours until they retreated to gather reinforcements, at which point the gang slipped out.

They then holed up in the farmhouse of Edmund McGlede until surrounded by a reinforcement of five extra troopers led by Sergeant Carroll. Constable Edward Webb-Bowen was killed in the initial police assault. Nesbitt was also shot and killed, attempting to lead police away from the house so that Scott could escape. When Scott saw Nesbitt shot down and was distracted, McGlede took the opportunity to disarm the gang leader and with the other members wounded, or captured on attempting to flee, the fire fight came to a close. Rogan succeeded in escaping, but was found next day under a bed in McGlede's house.

Capture of Captain Moonlite.

Scott denied shooting Webb-Bowen. Witnesses confirmed that Scott was armed with a Snider rifle and the policeman had died from a bullet fired by a Colt’s pistol. It was never discovered who used that weapon in the firefight, policeman or civilian, and it was not found afterwards. Scott was found guilty despite deflecting as much blame for the robbery from his companions as possible and the jury recommended mercy for three of them.

Headstone at Gundagai cemetery.

Scott and Rogan were hanged together in Sydney at Darlinghurst Gaol at 8 o'clock on 20 January 1880.

Scott went to the gallows wearing a ring woven from a lock of Nesbitt's hair on his finger and his final request was to be buried in the same grave as his constant companion. His request was not granted by the authorities of the time, but in January 1995, his remains were exhumed from Rookwood Cemetery in Sydney and reinterred at Gundagai next to Nesbitt's grave.

Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor is a lagoon harbour on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. During the early 19th century, Pearl Harbor was not used for large ships due to its shallow entrance. The interest of United States in the Hawaiian Islands grew as a result of its whaling, shipping and trading activity in the Pacific.

Throughout the 1820s and 1830s, many American warships visited Honolulu. In most cases, the commanding officers carried letters from the U.S. Government giving advice on governmental affairs and of the relations of the island nation with foreign powers. In 1841, the newspaper Polynesian, printed in Honolulu, advocated that the U.S. establish a naval base in Hawaii for protection of American citizens engaged in the whaling industry.

Pearl Harbor in the 1880s.

From the conclusion of the Civil War, to the purchase of Alaska, to the increased importance of the Pacific states, the projected trade with countries in Asia and the desire for a duty-free market for Hawaiian staples, Hawaiian trade expanded. In 1865, the North Pacific Squadron was formed to embrace the western coast and Hawaii. As a result, the United States claimed Midway Island. The Secretary of the Navy was able to write in his annual report of 1868, that in November 1867, 42 American flags flew over whaleships and merchant vessels in Honolulu to only six of other nations. This increased activity caused the permanent assignment of at least one warship to Hawaiian waters.

Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

The United States and the Hawaiian Kingdom signed the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875. On January 20, 1887, the United States Senate allowed the Navy to exclusive right to maintain a coaling and repair station at Pearl Harbor.

The US took possession on November 9 that year. The Spanish–American War of 1898 and the desire for the United States to have a permanent presence in the Pacific both contributed to the decision. The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan on December 7, 1941, was the immediate cause of the United States' entry into World War II.

Aristotle Onassis

Aristotle Socrates Onassis (20 January 1906 – 15 March 1975), commonly called Ari or Aristo Onassis, was a Greek shipping magnate who amassed the world's largest privately owned shipping fleet and was one of the world's richest and most famous men. He was known for his business success, his great wealth and also his personal life, including his marriage to Athina Mary Livanos (daughter of shipping tycoon Stavros G. Livanos); his affair with famous opera singer Maria Callas; and his 1968 marriage to Jacqueline Kennedy, the widow of American President John F. Kennedy.

Onassis in 1932. Tina and Ari Onassis with their children. Maria Callas and Aristotle Onassis. Aristotle Onassis and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis on their wedding day 1968.

Onassis was born on 20 January 1906 in Smyrna and fled the city with his family to Greece in 1922 in the wake of the Greco-Turkish War. He moved to Argentina in 1923 and established himself as a tobacco trader and later a shipping owner during the Second World War.

Moving to Monaco, Onassis rivalled Prince Rainer III for economic control of the country through his ownership of SBM and in the mid 1950s sought to secure an oil shipping arrangement with Saudi Arabia and engaged in whaling expeditions. In the 1960s Onassis attempted to establish a large investment contract, Project Omega, with the Greek military junta, and sold Olympic Airways which he had founded in 1957.

Onassis's world-famous yacht Christina O together with its tender.

Onassis was greatly affected by the death of his 24-year-old son, Alexander, in a plane crash in 1973, and died two years later.

Mackay cyclone 1918

The Mackay cyclone on January 20–21, 1918 killed 30 people and destroyed 1,000 buildings when record low pressures brought category 4 winds to the town, causing a 3.6-metre tidal surge. The cyclone hit on the evening of Sunday, January 20, but its deadliest element was the 'tidal wave' that swept through the streets early the following morning, destroying almost everything in its path.

Residents survey the damage in the main street. Mackay Regional Council.

“Roofs were sliced off and blown away in one piece, homes were pitched headlong into the street, there were people clinging to the remnants of their homes and struggling to safety. Houses were being lifted off the blocks and slammed back onto them.”

Houses were torn off their stumps, unroofed, and in many cases, destroyed. Mackay Regional Council.

The brick Town Hall was one of the only structures left intact and in the days after the cyclone it became a shelter for more than 60 homeless residents. The Sydney Street bridge connecting Mackay city to the north collapsed onto the steamer Brinawarr, with the ship's master and his son lucky to escape the overturned vessel. A local boat owner established a makeshift ferry service to allow travel between areas north and south of the river.

The Sydney Street bridge collapsed. Mackay Regional Council.

The Mackay population at the time was just under 10,000. After the cyclone, Mackay was completely cut off, with no news reaching the outside world for up to a week. Three steamers were sunk and three were grounded. One observer saw a wall of water 7.6 m high sweep over the beaches towards the town at 5 am 21 January at the height of the cyclone. In 1987 a survivor recalled seeing waves 2.4 to 2.7 m high breaking in the centre of Mackay.

In Mackay the death tally was 20 on the 31st January 1918 and it is now though that a total loss of thirty people lost their lives in the cyclone and the subsequent floods in Central Queensland.

Residents hung up their sodden belongings along Sydney Street. Mackay Regional Council.

Full ABC story.

Edward VIII

Edward VIII (Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David; 1894–1972) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Empire, and Emperor of India, from 20 January 1936 until his abdication on 11 December the same year.

Edward in uniform as colonel of the Welsh Guards, 1919.

Edward was the eldest son of King George V and Queen Mary. He was named Prince of Wales on his sixteenth birthday, nine weeks after his father succeeded as king. As a young man, he served in the British Army during the First World War and undertook several overseas tours on behalf of his father.

"The Year of the Three Kings", postcard 1936.

Edward became king on his father's death on 20 January 1936. However, he showed impatience with court protocol, and caused concern among politicians by his apparent disregard for established constitutional conventions.

Only months into his reign, he caused a constitutional crisis by proposing marriage to Wallis Simpson, an American who had divorced her first husband and was seeking a divorce from her second. The prime ministers of the United Kingdom and the Dominions opposed the marriage, arguing that a divorced woman with two living ex-husbands was politically and socially unacceptable as a prospective queen consort.

Edward abdicated on 11 December 1936. He was succeeded by his younger brother, George VI. With a reign of 326 days, Edward is one of the shortest-reigning monarchs in British history.

Evacuation of East Prussia

The evacuation of East Prussia was the movement of the German civilian population and military personnel in East Prussia and the Klaipeda region between 20 January and March 1945 as part of the evacuation of German civilians towards the end of World War II. It is not to be confused with the expulsion after the war had ended.

East Prussia (red), was separated from Germany and Prussia (blue) proper by the Polish corridor between World War I and World War II. The area, divided between the Soviet Union and Poland in 1945, is 340 km east of the present-day Polish–German border.

The evacuation, which had been delayed for months, was initiated due to fear of the Red Army advances during the East Prussian Offensive. Some parts of the evacuation were planned as a military necessity, Operation Hannibal being the most important military operation involved in the evacuation.

However, many refugees took to the roads on their own initiative because of reported Soviet atrocities against Germans in the areas under Soviet control. Both spurious and factual accounts of Soviet atrocities were disseminated through the official news and propaganda outlets of Nazi Germany and by rumours that swept through the military and civilian populations.

East Prussian refugees.

Despite having detailed evacuation plans for some areas, the German authorities, including the Gauleiter of East Prussia, Erich Koch, delayed action until 20 January, when it was too late for an orderly evacuation, and the civil services and Nazi Party were eventually overwhelmed by the numbers of those wishing to evacuate.

Coupled with the panic caused by the speed of the Soviet advance, civilians caught in the middle of combat, and the bitter winter weather, many thousands of refugees died during the evacuation period.

A large part of the German civil population of about 2.5 million managed to evacuate, though about 25,000–30,000 were killed during the Soviet offensive. The Red Army eliminated all pockets of resistance and took control of East Prussia in May 1945 and Soviet authorities registered 193,000 Germans in East Prussia but an estimated 800,000 returned after the end of hostilities, most of whom were later forcibly expelled by the Soviet and Polish authorities.

The exact number of civilian dead has never been determined, but is estimated to be at least 300,000. A population which had stood at 2.2 million in 1940 was reduced to 193,000 at the end of May 1945.

Captain Starlite - what a great story, so unusual for a man who was a qualified engineer to be hell bent on criminal behaviour.  Have no idea why he was called Captain Starlight or sometimes Captain Starlight.

Onassis broke Maria Callass' heart when he married Jackie Kennedy, (she was the love of his life) only to crawl back later on and begged her to come back.  Thanks RnR

Had never heard about the refugees from East Prussia and never realised Prussia was split in two during the war.

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