Australia’s luckiest criminal

Convict Joseph Samuels was sentenced to death for burglary in Sydney in 1803. Whoever on the day of the execution 26th of September 1803, the rope broke 3 times. As Samuels was about to be executed the 4th time, the Governor stopped the proceedings on the grounds of divine intervention. Samuels left the gallows with […]

Australia’s largest anti-Chinese riots

On this day …….. 4th of August 1860 The ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ reports that gold has been found at Lambing Flat, later the scene of Australia’s largest anti-Chinese riots. The region surrounding present-day town of Young in the central southwest of New South Wales was first settled by pioneers seeking good grazing land for their […]

Gentleman Bushranger – Martin Cash

From one moral extreme to another, ‘Gentleman Bushranger’ Martin Cash was easily one of Australia’s most considerate criminals. Cash was originally sent to Sydney from Ireland in 1827 for shooting a rival suitor in the buttocks. After serving seven years, he left for Tasmania as a free man only to be charged shortly after with […]

The “Eternity” Man Dies

On this day …….. 30th of July 1768 Arthur Stace was born in Balmain, Sydney, in 1884. Growing up in a family of alcoholics, he fended for himself most of the time and also turned to drink. He returned from WWI shell-shocked, turning to a life of petty crime and a drinking habit that included […]

‘Bold Jack’ John Donohoe – Bushranger

Another Irish convict-turned-bushranger was ‘Bold Jack’ John Donohoe. He arrived in Sydney from Dublin as an 18-year-old in January 1825 to serve a life sentence on a settler’s farm in Parramatta. Donohoe escaped with two other convicts and together they formed a gang known as ‘The Strippers’ – named after their technique for taking everything […]

The “Talking Clock” Service is Introduced

On this day …….. 24th of July 1936 The world’s first ever “talking clock”, whereby people could ring a telephone number to find out what the time was, commenced operations in Paris in 1933. Australia received its first talking clock on the 24th of July 1936 in Sydney, serviced from the General Post Office. Previously, […]

Two North American Red Indians Lost in Sydney

On this day …….. 22nd of July 1891 On this day in 1891, a bizarre scene on the streets of Sydney wandering in the streets of Kings Cross, looking quite out of place, even in an area noted for its variety of human eccentricity, were two North American Red Indian Chiefs, apparently lost, unable to […]

House of Shells

A man named Sydney Darnley of Sydney, Australia, built a scale model of the Sydney Town Hall using 74,000 seashells.  

Tram Lands in Sydney Harbour

On this day …….. 21st of July 1952 On the morning of July 20, 1952, the wheels of a Mosman tram locked. Despite the best efforts of the driver, the tram skidded more than a kilometre and a half downhill – at an estimated speed of over 70km/h – until it crashed through the blocks […]

First Melbourne-Sydney Airmail

On this day …….. 18th of July 1914 The newspaper celebrated the first airmail flight from Melbourne Showgrounds to Moore Park, Sydney, on this day in 1914. The pilot carried 1785 postcards weighing in at 20kg.  

First Society of Cartoonists

On this day …….. 17th of July 1924 A cartoon is a drawing that makes a satirical, witty, or humorous point. On 17 July 1924, the world’s first society of cartoonists, the Black and White Artists’ Society, was formed in Sydney.  

Sydney Linked to Melbourne by Phone

On this day …….. 11th of July 1907 On this day in 1907, Sydney was linked to Melbourne by phone. In the words of the paper, “People can converse directly with the words as they fall from their lips picked up and instantly transmitted the whole six hundred miles on the wings of harnessed lightning”. […]