Add Your Piece of History… 2nd August

2 Aug
  • On this day in 1870.  Tower Subway, the first tube railway in the world, is opened under the Thames River in London.    The London Underground is a public electric railway system that runs underground in central London and emerges above ground in the city’s suburbs.
  • On this day in 1997.  After three days, skiing instructor Stuart Diver is pulled alive from the rubble of the collapsed Thredbo resorts.  For three days after the collapse of the Alpine Way in Australia’s high country, Stuart Diver, 27, lay trapped between two concrete slabs, under mud, rubble and snow.  1350 volunteers and specialists in rescue operations worked in shifts around the clock to clear the rubble and find survivors.  Diver had been buried for 66 hours and was suffering severe hypothermia and poor circulation.  When Diver was finally lifted from his concrete and rubble prison on 2 August 1997, a resounding cheer rang across the mountainside.
  • On this day in 1922.  Scottish inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, dies.  Alexander Graham Bell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on 3 March 1847.  It was whilst living in Canada, from 1870, that Bell pursued his interest in telephony and communications.  On 7 March 1876, he was granted US Patent Number 174,465 for “the method of, and apparatus for, transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically …. by causing electrical undulations, similar in form to the vibrations of the air accompanying the said vocal or other sound” – the telephone.  Bell an others formed the Bell Telephone Company in July 1877.

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

Tower Subway, showing tubular construction wit...

Tower Subway, showing tubular construction with segmental cast-iron rings, 1870 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Portrait of Alexander Graham Bell Fra...

Portrait of Alexander Graham Bell  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bell on the telephone in New York (calling Chi...

Bell on the telephone in New York (calling Chicago) in 1892 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Add Your Piece of History… 1 August

1 Aug
  • On this day in 1831.    New London Bridge is opened, replacing the 600-year-old London Bridge.  Engineer John Rennie started construction in 1825 and finished the bridge in 1831.  It was opened by King William the fourth, accompanied by Queen Adelaide on 1 August 1931.  A necessary widening process 70 years later weakened the bridge’s foundations to the point where it began sinking an inch every eight years.  In 1968, it was auctioned and sold for $2,460,000 to Robert McCulloch who moved it to Havasu City, Arizona, where it was rebuild brick by brick, and finally opened and dedicated on 10 October 1971.  The current London Bridge was completed in 1972 and officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1973.  It was build in conjunction with the careful dismantling of the previous bridge, so that a river crossing was maintained in use at the site at all times.
  • On this day in 1873.  The world’s first cable car is installed in San Francisco.  The Californian city of San Francisco is notable for its steep streets.  Horse-drawn carriages could become dangerous in wet conditions, as the cobblestone roadways provided insufficient grip for the horses’ hooves.  In 1873, British inventor Andrew Smith Hallidie devised a system for overcoming the problem of public transport in the hilly city.  Using wire ropes, pulleys, tracks and grips, he invented the first cable car, based on a system he had already implemented in cable drawn ore cars for use in mines.  On 1 August 1873, the first cable car cruised down Clay Street, San Francisco, and was able to return back up the steep grade, a distance of 853 metres, rising 93 metres.

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

Opening of the new London Bridge in 1831

Opening of the new London Bridge in 1831 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Andrew Smith Hallidie

Andrew Smith Hallidie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

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

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.


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




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.


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


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.

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

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.


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


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

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



%d bloggers like this: