History Bytez

Byte Sized bits of History



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?”


The National Library of Australia invites applications for 2018 Community Heritage Grants. Now in its 25th year, this popular grants program makes available up to $15,000 to community groups to help preserve and manage locally held but nationally significant cultural heritage collections.


1936 – Australian cricketer Jack Fingleton becomes the first player to score centuries in four consecutive Test innings

7 December

John “Jack” Henry Webb Fingleton OBE (28 April 1908 – 22 November 1981) was an Australian cricketer who was trained as a journalist and became a political and cricket commentator after the end of his playing career. Continue reading “1936 – Australian cricketer Jack Fingleton becomes the first player to score centuries in four consecutive Test innings”

1854 – Battle of the Eureka Stockade

3 December

The Eureka Stockade in 1854 was a rebellion of gold miners of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, who revolted against the colonial authority of the United Kingdom. The Battle of the Eureka Stockade, was fought between miners and the Colonial forces of Australia on this day in 1854 at Eureka Lead and named for the stockade structure erected by miners during the conflict. The rebellion lasted for less than half an hour and resulted in the deaths of at least 27 people, the majority of whom were rebels. Continue reading “1854 – Battle of the Eureka Stockade”

1864 – Great Fire of Brisbane

1 December

The Great Fire of Brisbane was a major conflagration that swept through the central parts of Brisbane in the Colony of Queensland (now a state of Australia) on this day in 1864. Continue reading “1864 – Great Fire of Brisbane”

1965 – First female judge appointed in Australia

23 September – On this day

Roma Flinders Mitchell was born in Adelaide on 2 October 1913. Continue reading “1965 – First female judge appointed in Australia”

2015 – Australia (Politics in Australia 1996-2015)

14 September – On this day

A slight (and I stress slight) glimmer of hope for the people of Australia, as on this day the ruling Liberal (Conservative) government deposed Prime minister Tony Abbott and replaced him with Malcolm Turnbull. Continue reading “2015 – Australia (Politics in Australia 1996-2015)”

1914 – HMAS AE1 lost with all hands

14 September – On this day

HMAS AE1 (originally known as just AE1) was an E-class submarine of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). She was the first submarine to serve in the RAN, and was lost at sea with all hands near East New Britain, Papua New Guinea, on this day in 1914, after less than seven months in service. Continue reading “1914 – HMAS AE1 lost with all hands”

1914 – Battle of Bita Paka

11 September – On this day

The Battle of Bita Paka was fought south of Kabakaul, on the island of New Britain, and was a part of the invasion and subsequent occupation of German New Guinea by the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (AN&MEF) shortly after the outbreak of the First World War.

AN&MEF marching in Sydney before departure
AN&MEF marching in Sydney before departure

Continue reading “1914 – Battle of Bita Paka”

1754 – William Bligh born

9 September – On this day

William Bligh was born on this day in 1754 but it is not clear where. It is likely that he was born in Plymouth, Devon, where Bligh’s father, Francis, was serving as a Customs Officer. Bligh’s ancestral home of Tinten Manor in St Tudy near Bodmin, Cornwall, is also a possibility. Continue reading “1754 – William Bligh born”

1888 – Charles “Terror” Turner

6 September – On this day


Charles Turner becomes the first bowler to take 250 wickets in an English season, he was born 16 November 1862 in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia, and was a bowler who is regarded as one of the finest ever produced by Australia. His ‘unplayability’ on treacherous pitches earned him the nickname “Terror” Turner. Continue reading “1888 – Charles “Terror” Turner”

1768 – First Voyage of Capt. Cook

26 August – On this day

In 1766 the Royal Society engaged James Cook to undertake an expedition to travel to the Pacific Ocean to observe and record the transit of Venus across the Sun. On this day Cook departed for his first voyage and circumnavigation of the globe (1768-1771). Continue reading “1768 – First Voyage of Capt. Cook”

1860 – Burke and Wills

20 August 1860 – On this day

Australian explorers Robert O’Hara Burke and William John Wills departed from Royal Park, Melbourne to commence their doomed expedition to cross the Australian continent from South to North.

1930 – The Sydney Harbour Bridge

19 August On This Day – the two halves of the arch are joined

The ‘first sod’ had been turned on the 28 July 1923 at Milsons Point. Arch construction itself was not begun until the 26 October 1928. Less than two years later, on this day in 1930 (a Tuesday), the two halves of the arch were joined, enabling the arch to become self-supporting.

Continue reading “1930 – The Sydney Harbour Bridge”

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