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21st century

Have Australia’s gun law reforms effectively stopped firearm massacres?

Published recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine, scholars at the University of Sydney and Macquarie University used mathematical techniques to test the null hypothesis that the rate of mass shootings in Australia before and after the 1996 law reforms is unchanged.

The National Firearms Agreement, enacted after the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania in which 35 died and another 23 were seriously injured, saw the destruction of more than a million firearms—perhaps a third of the country’s private gun stock.

Continue reading “Have Australia’s gun law reforms effectively stopped firearm massacres?”

1824 – The National Gallery

10 May

The National Gallery in London opens to the public on this day in 1824.

Continue reading “1824 – The National Gallery”

1916 – ANZAC Day

25 April

ANZAC Day is commemorated for the first time on the first anniversary of the landing at ANZAC Cove. Continue reading “1916 – ANZAC Day”

1937 – Daffy Duck’s first appearance

17 April

Daffy Duck is an animated cartoon character produced by Warner Bros. Styled as an anthropomorphic black duck, the character has appeared in cartoon series such as Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, where he usually has been depicted as the best friend and occasional arch-rival of Bugs Bunny. Continue reading “1937 – Daffy Duck’s first appearance”

1964 – Ford Mustang is introduced to the North American market

17 April

The Ford Mustang is an American automobile manufactured by Ford Motor Company USA. Continue reading “1964 – Ford Mustang is introduced to the North American market”

1939 – Francis Ford Coppola, American director, producer, and screenwriter

7 April

Francis Ford Coppola (born on this day in 1939) is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. He was part of the New Hollywood wave of film making. Continue reading “1939 – Francis Ford Coppola, American director, producer, and screenwriter”

2001 – Mars Odyssey is launched

7 April

2001 Mars Odyssey is a robotic spacecraft orbiting the planet Mars. The project was developed by NASA, and contracted out to Lockheed Martin, with an expected cost for the entire mission of US$297 million. Its mission is to use spectrometers and a thermal imager to detect evidence of past or present water and ice, as well as study the planet’s geology and radiation environment. Continue reading “2001 – Mars Odyssey is launched”

1889 – The Eiffel Tower is officially opened

31 March

The Eiffel Tower is a wrought iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Constructed in 1889 as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair, it was initially criticized by some of France’s leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but has become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognisable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest structure in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world: 6.98 million people ascended it in 2011. The tower received its 250 millionth visitor in 2010.

Continue reading “1889 – The Eiffel Tower is officially opened”

1964 – Jeopardy!, hosted by Art Fleming, debuts

30 March

Jeopardy! is an American television game show created by Merv Griffin. The show features a quiz competition in which contestants are presented with general knowledge clues in the form of answers, and must phrase their responses in the form of questions. Continue reading “1964 – Jeopardy!, hosted by Art Fleming, debuts”

1911 – The M1911 .45 ACP pistol becomes the official U.S. Army side arm

29 March

The M1911 is a single-action, semi-automatic, magazine-fed, recoil-operated pistol chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge. It served as the standard-issue sidearm for the United States Armed Forces from 1911 to 1986. Continue reading “1911 – The M1911 .45 ACP pistol becomes the official U.S. Army side arm”

2003 – Invasion of Iraq

20 March

The 2003 invasion of Iraq lasted from 20 March to 1 May 2003 and signalled the start of the Iraq War, which was dubbed Operation Iraqi Freedom by the United States (prior to 19 March, the mission in Iraq was called Operation Enduring Freedom, a carry over from the War in Afghanistan). The invasion consisted of 21 days of major combat operations, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and deposed the Ba’athist government of Saddam Hussein. The invasion phase consisted primarily of a conventionally fought war which concluded with the capture of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad by American forces.

160,000 troops were sent by the Coalition into Iraq, during the initial invasion phase, which lasted from 19 March to 9 April 2003. About 130,000 were sent from the USA alone, with about 28,000 British Soldiers, Australia (2,000), and Poland (194). 36 other countries were involved in its aftermath. In preparation for the invasion, 100,000 U.S. troops were assembled in Kuwait by 18 February. The coalition forces also received support from Kurdish irregulars in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Continue reading “2003 – Invasion of Iraq”

2008 – GRB 080319B: A cosmic burst that is the farthest object visible to the naked eye is briefly observed

19 March

GRB 080319B was a gamma-ray burst (GRB) detected by the Swift satellite at 06:12 UTC on this day in 2008. The burst set a new record for the farthest object that was observable with the naked eye: it had a peak visual apparent magnitude of 5.8 and remained visible to human eyes for approximately 30 seconds. The magnitude was brighter than 9.0 for approximately 60 seconds. Continue reading “2008 – GRB 080319B: A cosmic burst that is the farthest object visible to the naked eye is briefly observed”

1985 – First episode of Neighbours broadcast

18 March

Neighbours is an Australian television soap opera. It was first broadcast on the Seven Network on this day in 1985. It was created by TV executive Reg Watson, who proposed the idea of making a show that focused on realistic stories and portrayed adults and teenagers who talk openly and solve their problems together. Seven decided to commission the show following the success of Watson’s Sons and Daughters, which aired on the network. Continue reading “1985 – First episode of Neighbours broadcast”

1988 – Johnson South Reef Skirmish

14 March

The Johnson South Reef Skirmish of 1988 was a naval battle that took place between Chinese and Vietnamese forces over Johnson South Reef in the Spratly Islands on this day. Continue reading “1988 – Johnson South Reef Skirmish”

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