On this day …….. 3rd of August 1856
Alfred Deakin was born on 3 August 1856 in Fitzroy, Melbourne. In 1879, Deakin gained a seat in the colonial Parliament of Victoria, and after holding office in several ministries, he began to turn his efforts towards the push for Federation. Following Federation in 1901, he was elected to the first federal Parliament as MP for Ballarat, becoming Attorney-General in Prime Minister Edmund Barton’s government. Deakin succeeded Barton as Prime Minister in 1902 when the latter retired. Deakin’s own Protectionist Party did not hold a majority in either house, and he was unwilling to accept aspects of Labor’s legislation, so he retired in 1904. Watson and Reid succeeded him, but when they proved unable to maintain a stable ministry, Deakin returned to office in 1905. He was pushed out by the Labor Party in 1908, but after forming a coalition with Reid, Deakin again returned as Prime Minister in 1909 heading up a majority government, a position he held until his defeat at the polls in 1910. Deakin retired from politics altogether in 1913, and died in 1919.