On This Day……… 1st April 1860

Celebrating ancient festivals came easily to new gold rush settlements. Chiltern in North East Victoria, was only a few months old when April Fools Day came around in 1860, but did they forget their ancient customs? Unfortunate doctors and lawyers, whose sleep was disturbed by midnight calls to attend imaginary emergencies, and to take death – bed wills at 3am from soundly sleeping men in robust health, would mutter an emphatic “no”. According to the Chiltern Standard, half the towns business and professional people were got out of bed under one pretext or another.



On This Day……… 1st April 1958

On this day in 1958, William O’Mealley, become the last man to be legally flogged in Australia. This would happen in Pentridge Prison, Melbourne.



ON THIS DAY …….. 1st April 1901


Catherine and Hester Brown, mother and daughter, were charged with the murder of a newly-born male child on this day in 1901, at Healesville. Hester Brown, in a statement made to the police, and which was read in court, admitted having given birth to an illegitimate male child on the same day. She saw the child after birth on the bed, and then fainted. On returning to consciousness she heard the infant breathing hard. Then she fell asleep. She was afterwards informed by her mother that the baby was dead, and that she and her mother had smothered and buried it. She knew where the child was buried, and so did her daughter Emma. She further said she had wished the infant to live, and that it was not her fault that it was not alive now. The jury found that the accused were guilty of concealment of birth.



On This Day – April 1, 1938

Verdict of Murder.

At the Inquest, conducted by the deputy coroner (Mr, G. Moore) to-day, concerning the death of a newly born male child, whose body was found on the property of Devonshire Sands Ltd., at Long Gully on April 1, police evidence revealed that a piece of elastic was tied round the neck of the baby. A post mortem examination conducted by Dr. M. Jacobs showed that the child had been strangled. Efforts by the police to establish the identity of the child and to find who placed it at the spot where it was discovered had been fruitless. The coroner recorded a finding of murder against some person or persons unknown.

On This Day……… 1st April 1927

A novel hoax was played in Melbourne, Victoria on April Fools Day 1927, when a well padded wallet was nailed to the roadway opposite Spencer street Station. Many thousands of people hurrying on their way to work passed it, with some even trying to pick it up. All failed, much to the delight of the hoaxer watching.