November 9, 2011 · 8:51 am
Fun Facts About the Founding of Australia
Captain Arthur Phillip
On January 26, 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip guides a fleet of 11 British ships carrying convicts to the colony of New South Wales, effectively founding Australia. After overcoming a period of hardship, the fledgling colony began to celebrate the anniversary of this date with great fanfare.
Australia, once known as New South Wales, was originally planned as a penal colony. In October 1786, the British government appointed Arthur Phillip captain of the HMS Sirius, and commissioned him to establish an agricultural work camp there for British convicts. With little idea of what he could expect from the mysterious and distant land, Phillip had great difficulty assembling the fleet that was to make the journey. His requests for more experienced farmers to assist the penal colony were repeatedly denied, and he was both poorly funded and outfitted. Nonetheless, accompanied by a small contingent of Marines and other officers, Phillip led his 1,000-strong party, of whom more than 700 were convicts, around Africa to the eastern side of Australia. In all, the voyage lasted eight months, claiming the deaths of some 30 men.
The first years of settlement were nearly disastrous. Cursed with poor soil, an unfamiliar climate and workers who were ignorant of farming, Phillip had great difficulty keeping the men alive. The colony was on the verge of outright starvation for several years, and the marines sent to keep order were not up to the task. Phillip, who proved to be a tough but fair-minded leader, persevered by appointing convicts to positions of responsibility and oversight. Floggings and hangings were commonplace, but so was egalitarianism. As Phillip said before leaving England: “In a new country there will be no slavery and hence no slaves.”
Though Phillip returned to England in 1792, the colony became prosperous by the turn of the 19th century. Feeling a new sense of patriotism, the men began to rally around January 26 as their founding day. Historian Manning Clarke noted that in 1808 the men observed the “anniversary of the foundation of the colony” with “drinking and merriment.”
Finally, in 1818, January 26 became an official holiday, marking the 30th anniversary of British settlement in Australia. And, as Australia became a sovereign nation, it became the national holiday known as Australia Day. Today, Australia Day serves both as a day of celebration for the founding of the white British settlement, and as a day of mourning for the Aborigines who were slowly dispossessed of their land as white colonization spread across the continent.
Special thanks to History.com
Filed under Historical Events & Figures, Travel
Tagged as Aborigines, Arthur Phillip, Australia, Australia Day, British, Captain Arthur Phillip, celebration, climate, colonization, colony, convict, disastrous, dispossessed, drinking, egalitarianism, England, farmer, fleet, Flogging, founding, government, hanging, HMS Sirius, holiday, leader, Manning Clarke, Marine, merriment, mourning, national holiday, New South Wales, officer, patriotism, penal, poor soil, settlement, slave, slavery, sovereign nation, starvation, work camp, worker
September 13, 2011 · 10:45 am
The Pearl Harbor Memorial rests atop the sunken USS. Arizona
Facts About the Attack on Pearl Harbor
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt
President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy,” in reference to the attack.
- Three prime targets escaped damage, the U.S. Pacific Fleet aircraft carriers, the Lexington, Enterprise and Saratoga. They were not in the port when the attack took place.
- Another target, the base fuel tanks also escaped damage.
- Casualties included 2,335 servicemen and 68 civilians.
- 1178 people were wounded.
- The day after the attack the U.S. and Britain declared war on Japan.
- Pearl Harbor is the Naval Base for the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
- Pearl Harbor is the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
- Pearl Harbor has 10 square miles of navigable water.
- The harbour is on the southern coast of Oahu.
- The Japanese were interested in the Hawaiian islands since the islands were annexed by the U.S. in 1898.
- An admiral said, “leaving aside the unspeakable treachery of it, the Japanese did a fine job.”
- Japanese suffered just small losses.
- The attack crippled the United States fleet.
- The Japanese deceived the U.S. by saying false statements and expressed interest in continued peace.
- Americans think of the attack as very dishonorable.
- The attack was planned weeks in advance.
- The main reason for the attack was over economic issues.
- Because of the unpreparedness of the U.S. military, Admiral Husband Kimmel and General Walter Short were relieved of duty.
- The attack severely crippled the U.S. naval and air strength in the Pacific.
- Of the eight battleships, all but the Arizona and Oklahoma were eventually repaired and returned to service.
- On December 8, 1941, Congress declared war on Japan with only one vote against it. The vote against it was of Represenative Jeannette Rankin of Montana, who had also voted against U.S. entry into World War I.
- Once the fleet was out of action, Japan would be able to conquest a great area.
- A U.S. Army private who noticed the large flight of planes on his radar screen was told to ignore them because a flight of B-17s from the continental U.S. was expected at the time.
- More than 180 U.S. aircraft were destroyed.
Special thanks to www.bigsiteofamazingfacts.com and www.absoluteastronomy.com
Filed under Historical Events & Figures
Tagged as 1941, a date that will live in infamy, Admiral Husband Kimmel, Admiral Nagumo, Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku, aerial attack, air, air raid, air strength, aircraft, aircraft carrier, aircraft carriers, airfield, America, American, anti-aircraft guns, attack, attack wave, B-17, base, base fuel tanks, Britain, carrier, carriers, casualties, casualty, civilian, civilians, Congress, conquest, damage, December 7, economic, economy, embargo, FDR, fleet, force, Franklin D Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, General Walter Short, Gibraltar of the Pacific, harbor, Hawaii, headquarters, HI, honor, Husband Kimmel, Japan, Japanese, Japanese force, Jeannette Rankin, memorial, Nagumo, naval, naval strength, navigable water, Oahu, Pacific, Pearl Harbor, plane, planes, port, President Franklin D Roosevelt, President Roosevelt, radar, radar screen, servicemen, ship, shipyard, submarine, submarines, supplies, surprise, surprise attack, target, targets, U.S., U.S. Pacific Fleet, United States, USS Arizona, USS Enterprise, USS Lexington, USS Oklahoma, USS Saratoga, Walter Short, War, water, World War I, World War II, wounded