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Add Your Piece of History… 31 July

31 Jul
  • On this day in 1942.  The town of Mossman in far north Queensland is bombed by the Japanese.   In WWII, the first real attack of the Japanese on an Australian base occurred with the bombing of Darwin on 19 February 1942.  That attack was the first of about 90 attacks that occurred at various places in and around Australia during the war.  Shortly after this initial attack, the northwest coastal towns of Broome and Wyndham also came under fire, followed by Derby a few weeks later.  It is less well known that the town of Mossman, near Cairns, was also bombed.  On the night of 31 July 1942, Sub Lieutenant Mizukura dropped eight bombs, thinking that the lights he saw were Cairns.  In fact it was Mossman, and while the other seven bombs have never been recovered, one fell on a sugar cane farm near Saltwater, Mossman.  It caused a crater that measured 7 metres wide and a metre deep, and sent flying shrapnel through the window of a nearby farmhouse.  Farmer Felice Zullo’s two and a half year old daughter was wounded in the head from shrapnel which entered the house while she was in her cot at the time.
  • On this day in 1947.  J.K. Rowling celebrates her birthday today.  Joanne Kathleen Rowling was born in Chipping Sodbury, England.  J.K. Rowling is the author of the Harry Potter books.  The use of J.K. Rowling was the publisher’s decision to stop boys from being discouraged by the story’s author being female.

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Author J.K. Rowling reads from Harry Potter an...

Author J.K. Rowling reads from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at the Easter Egg Roll at White House. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Add Your Piece of History… 30th July

30 Jul
  • On this day in 1768.  James Cook receives sealed secret orders prior to his first journey in the Endeavour.  Entitled “Secrete Instructions for Lieutenant James Cook Appointed to Command His Majesty’s Bark the Endeavour 30 July 1768.  The instructions commanded Cook to find the Great South Land, a ‘Land of great extent’ that was believed to exist in the Southern hemisphere.  Although the continent of Australia had been discovered by the Dutch in the early 1600’s, it was not thought to be “Terra Australis Incognita”, or the mysterious “Unknown Southern Land”.  Cook was instructed ‘…. to proceed to the Southward in order to make discovery of the Continent above-mentioned until you arrive in the latitude of 40 degrees, unless you sooner fall in with it’.  He was then ordered ‘with the Consent of the Natives to take possession of Convenient Situations in the Country in the Name of the King of Great Britain’.  Cook, was awarded the power to consign any indigenous inhabitants of the Great South Land under the King of England’s authority.

 

  • On this day in 2003.  The final original VW Beetle automobile is produced.  The final original VW Beetle (No. 21,529,464) was produced at Puebla, Mexico.  The final car was immediately shipped off to the Volkswagen company’s museum in Wolfsburg, Germany.  During the Beetle’s production which commenced in 1938 and ended in 2003, over 21 million Beetles in the original design were made.

 

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Add Your Piece of History… 29th July

29 Jul
  • On this day in 1942.  During World War II, Japanese forces attack Kokoda on the island of New Guinea, forcing Australian troops to retreat.  There at Kiokoda, at 2:30 in the morning on the 29 July 1942, the Australian troops were attacked by Japanese forces led by Captain Ogawa.  Within an hour, the Australian defence line collapsed.  Major Watson of the Papuan Infantry Battalion, ordered the forces to retreat to Deniki.  Seven Australians had been killed and 6 wounded, compared to the Japanese losses of 12 dead and 26 wounded.  Months later, with much assistance from the Papua New Guinean natives, dubbed “Fuzzy Wuzzy Angles”, the Australian troops turned back the Japanese forces, which then retreated to bases at Buna, Gona and Sanananda.  Here, the Japanese were eventually defeated in a hard fought campaign which lasted through December 1942 to 23 January 1943, one year after the Japanese first landed at Rabaul.

 

  • On this day in 1981.  Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer marry.  Buckingham Palace announced the engagement on 24 February 1981 of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.  When they married on 29 July 1981, it was classed as a fairytale wedding. Charles, 32, and Diana, 20, were married at St Paul’s Cathedral in a ceremony attended live by 3500 guests and viewed by a television audience of 750 million.  Difficulties within the royal marriage were reported within a few years, in 1985.  Fifteen years after the “fairytale wedding”, the marriage ended in divorce.  Diana agreed to relinquish the title of “her royal highness’, to be known in the future as Diana, Princess of Wales.

 

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A map of the Kokoda Trail/Track as it was in 1...

A map of the Kokoda Trail/Track as it was in 1942. It has been rotated so the trail which runs roughly NE from Port Moresby runs up and down the page. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Princess Diana's Wedding dress, 1981

Princess Diana’s Wedding 1981

 

The Princess of Wales on her wedding day

The Princess of Wales on her wedding day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Add Your Piece of History… 28th July

28 Jul
  • On this day in 1923.  Construction begins on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  In 1912, John Bradfield was appointed chief engineer of the bridge project, which also had to include a railway.  Plans were completed in 1916 but WWI delayed implementation until 1922.  Workshops were set up on Milson’s Point on the North Shore where the steel was fabricated into girders.  Granite fort he bridge’s construction was quarried near Moruya.  It took 1400 men 8 years to build.  16 lives were lost during its construction, while up to 800 families living in the path of the proposed Bridge path were relocated and their homes demolished when construction started.  The Premier of New South Wales, Jack Lang, opened Sydney Harbour Bridge on the 19th of March 1932.
  • On this day in 1945.  A B-25 Mitchell bomber crashes into the into the 79th story of the Empire State Building killing 14 people. The freak accident was caused by heavy fog.  It slammed into the building at 322 kilometres per hour.  The aircraft’s wings were torn off and a 5m x 6m hole gouged in the side of the building.  One engine flew right through the Empire State Building and out the other side, and crashed through the roof of a nearby building.

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School Children on Bridge - Sydney Harbour Bri...

School Children on Bridge – Sydney Harbour Bridge opening (Photo credit: State Records NSW)

English: First train across Sydney Harbour Bri...

English: First train across Sydney Harbour Bridge carrying Dr.J.J.C. Bradfield. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Add Your Piece of History… 27th July

27 Jul
  • On this day in 1940.  Cartoon character Bugs Bunny makes his first appearance in the animated cartoon, ‘A Wild Hare’.

 

  • On this day in 1586.  Sir Walter Raleigh brings the first tobacco to England from Virginia.

 

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The first on-screen appearance of Bugs Bunny, ...

The first on-screen appearance of Bugs Bunny. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Add Your Piece of History… 26th July

26 Jul
  • On this day in 1908.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) commences operations.

 

  • On this day in 1943.  Mick Jagger was born on this day in Dartford, Kent, England.  Michael Philip “Mick” Jagger is an English musician, singer, songwriter and actor, best known as the lead vocalist and a founding member of The Rolling Stones.

 

 

 

  • On this day in 1964.  Sandra Bullock celebrates her birthday.  Sandra Annette Bullock is an American actress and producer.  She has starred in films such as Speed (1994), Hope Floats (1998), Miss Congeniality (2000), The Lake House (2004) and The Blind Side.

 

  • On this day in 1951.  Walt Disney’s 13th Animated film, Alice in Wonderland, premiers in London, United Kingdom.

 

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Mick Jagger - The Rolling Stones live at San S...

Mick Jagger – The Rolling Stones live at San Siro Stadium, Milan, Italy – june 10th, 2003 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Actress Sandra Bullock at the 83rd Academy Awards.

Actress Sandra Bullock at the 83rd Academy Awards. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

English: Screenshot of Alice from the trailer ...

Screenshot of Alice from the trailer for the film Alice in Wonderland (1951). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Add Your Piece of History… 25th July

25 Jul
  • On this day in 1967.  Matt LeBlanc celebrates his birthday.   Matt is an American actor, best known for his role as Joey Tribbiani on the sitcom ‘Friends’.  He was born in Newton, Massachusetts.

 

  • On this day in 1917.  The exotic dancer Mata Hari is sentenced to execution by firing squad by a French court for spying on Germany’s behalf during World War I.

 

  • On this day in 2000.  113 people are killed as the Concorde crashes just north of Paris.   A Concorde jet on its way from France to New York crashed just a couple of minutes after a left hand engine caught fire during take off.  All 109 people on board were killed, as were another 4 on the ground.  The report from France’s Accident Investigation Bureau (BEA) found that a 40 cm piece of metal had been lost by another plane that took off minutes earlier, puncturing one of the Concorde’s tyres.  Debris was subsequently flung into the fuel tank, starting the fire that downed the aircraft.

 

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Friends cast in first season. Front: Cox, Anis...

Friends cast in first season. Front: Cox, Aniston. Back: LeBlanc, Kudrow, Schwimmer, Perry. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Mata Hari

Mata Hari (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Add Your Piece of History… 24th July

24 Jul
  • On this day in 1969.  Apollo 11 splashes down safely in the Pacific Ocean, following the successful moon walk.  After launching from the moon’s surface, it took 6 hours to dock with the command module, the Columbia, piloted by astronaut Michael Collins, who had remained in orbit.  The Apollo 11 re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere, deployed gigantic parachutes to slow their descent, and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean.  They underwent decontamination procedures where they splashed down, and were then transported by helicopters to the U.S.S. Hornet.  After this, they were quarantined in a sealed van for several weeks to ensure they were free of ‘lunar germs’.
  • On this day in 1998.  Bindi Sue Irwin was born on this day.  Bindi is an Australian teen actress, television presenter and daughter of the late Steve Irwin.  Bindi was born in Buderim, Queensland.
  • On this day in 1965.  The Beach Boys ‘California Girls’ is released.

Please feel free to add your piece of history (something personal or general history).

Apollo 11 Crew in Raft before Recovery - GPN-2...

Apollo 11 Crew in Raft before Recovery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

bindi irwin; steve irwin; crocodile hunter

Add Your Piece of History… 23rd July

23 Jul
  • On this day in 1903.  The Ford motor company sells its first ever car.   Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, was born on 30 July 1863 in Michigan, USA.  Dr. Ernst Pfenning of Chicago, Illinois, became the first owner of a Ford Model A.

 

  • On this day in 1962.   Australian swimmer Dawn Fraser becomes the first woman to swim 100m freestyle in under one minute.  Dawn Fraser was born on the 4th September 1937 in Balmain, New South Wales, Australia.  She was 15 years old when coach Harry Gallagher noted her exceptional swimming talent and took her under his wing, preparing her for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.  Between 1956 and 1964, Fraser broke the women’s world record for the 100 metre freestyle 9 successive times.

 

  • On this day in 1986.  Prince Andrew marries Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey.  Together the Duke and Duchess of York have two children, Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice of York, born 8 August 1988 and Her Royal  Highness Princess Eugenie of York, born 23 March 1990.  The Duke and Duchess of York divorced in May 1996.

 

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Portrait of Henry Ford (ca. 1919)

Portrait of Henry Ford (ca. 1919) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson (Photo credit: Burns Library, Boston College)

 

Add Your Piece of History… 22nd July

22 Jul
  • On this day in 1926.  Babe Ruth caught a baseball at Mitchell Field in New York.  The ball had been dropped from an air plane flying at
    250 feet.

 

  • On this day in 1933.  Wiley Post ended his around-the-world flight. He had travelled 15,596 miles in 7 days, 18 hours and 45 minutes.

 

  • On this day in 2009.  The longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century, lasting up to 6 minutes and 38.8 seconds, occurred over parts of Asia and the Pacific Ocean.

 

Please feel free to add your piece of history (something personal or general history).

 

Babe Ruth, full-length portrait, standing, fac...

Babe Ruth, full-length portrait, standing, facing slightly right, in baseball uniform, holding baseball bat.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

English: Wiley Post, American aviator

Wiley Post, American aviator (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

English: A total solar eclipse occurred on Jul...

A total solar eclipse occurred on July 22, 2009. It was the longest total solar eclipse during the 21st century, not to be surpassed until 13 June 2132.  It lasted a maximum of 6 minutes and 39 seconds off the coast of Southeast Asia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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