Five Minutes of Heaven (What Society Must Do)


Happy birthday Liam Neeson, 58 today.

Unchained Melody


Happy birthday Tom Jones 70 today.

Monday’s quiz


1. Name the five Play School toys.

2. Name the programme set in a North Island timber town which starred Dame Pat Evison.

3. Name the drama set in a fictional publishing firm the stars of which included Ilona Rogers and Miranda Harcourt.

4. Who used to say “by hokey” and what show did he compere?

5. Name three of the four people who shared an office in Gliding On.

Jessica Watson’s homecoming


The Sunshine Coast had two reasons to celebrate yesterday – it was Queensland Day and also Jessica Watson’s official homecoming.

She set sail from Caloundra at 4am, went up the coast to Alexandra Headland then doubled back along Mooloolaba beach.

It’s difficult to make out the pink hull in the middle of the flotilla but the photo does give some idea of how small Ella’s Pink Lady is and what an accomplishment it was for the 16 year-old to sail that little boat single handed round the world.

Crowds lined the banks of the Mooloolaba River to cheer her as she went past at the end of her homecoming journey.

To sail round the world alone must have taken maturity beyond her years. That will help her deal with the publicity she’s facing now she’s home and with her next adventure – whatever that may be.

The blog of her journey is here.

Who’s to be the next Governor General?


Queens Birthday is as good a time as any to speculate on who our next Governor General might be.

Trans Tasman’s weekly newsletter (you can subscribe here) suggests an unofficial list might include former Commonwealth Secretary-General Sir Don McKinnon, former PMs Jim Bolger and Dame Jenny Shipley and former Trade Mnister and chair of the Asia 2000 Foudnation Philip Burdon.

I’d have thought Jim’s strong republican sympathies might preclude him. I think any of the others would be very good in the role and I’d put Jenny at the top of the list.

June 7 in history


On June 7:

1099  The First Crusade: The Siege of Jerusalem began.


1420 Troops of the Republic of Venice captured Udine, ending the independence of the Patriarchate of Aquileia.

1494  Spain and Portugal signed the Treaty of Tordesillas which divided the New World between the two countries.

Front page of the Treaty

1628 The Petition of Right, a major English constitutional document, became law when granted the Royal Assent by Charles I.

The Petition of Right

1654 Louis XIV was crowned King of France.

1692  Port Royal, Jamaica, was hit by a catastrophic earthquake; in just three minutes, 1,600 people were killed and 3,000 seriously injured.
1692 Jamaica earthquake is located in Jamaica

1761 John Rennie, Scottish engineer, was born  (d. 1821).

Portrait of male with white hair wearing a white cravat and blue jacket. 

1776 Richard Henry Lee presented the “Lee Resolution” to the Continental Congress; it was seconded by John Adams and led to the United States Declaration of Independence.


1778 Beau Brummell, English fashion leader, was born  (d. 1840).


1800  David Thompson reached the mouth of the Saskatchewan River in Manitoba.


1831 Amelia Edwards, English author and Egyptologist, was born  (d. 1892).

1832 Asian cholera reached Quebec brought by Irish immigrants, and killed about 6,000 people..

1862  The United States and Britain agreed to suppress the slave trade.

1863 During the French intervention in Mexico, Mexico City wais captured by French troops.


1866  1,800 Fenian raiders were repelled back to the United States after they looted and plundered around Saint-Armand and Frelighsburg, Quebec.

1868 Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Scottish architect, designer, and watercolourist, was born (d. 1928).


1880  War of the Pacific: The Battle of Arica, assault and capture of Morro de Arica (Arica Cape), that ended the Campaña del Desierto (Desert Campaign).

Arica battle.jpg

1892  Benjamin Harrison became the first President of the United States to attend a baseball game.

1893 Gandhi’s first act of civil disobedience.


1905  Norway’s parliament dissolved its union with Sweden.


1906  Cunard Line’s RMS Lusitania was launched at the John Brown Shipyard, Glasgow.

1909 Mary Pickford made her screen debut at the age of 16.

1917 Gwendolyn Brooks, American poet, was born (d. 2000).

1917 Dean Martin, American actor, was born (d. 1995).

1917  World War I: Battle of Messines –  the attack on Messines  began at 3.10 a.m. with the explosion of huge mines that had been placed under the German lines by tunnellers. Almost immediately, New Zealand troops of 2nd and 3rd (Rifle) brigades left their trenches and advanced towards the ridge in front of them, on which lay the ruins of Messines village. Australian and British troops on either side of them did the same.

The Battle of Messines

1919  Sette giugno: Riot in Malta, four people killed.

Sette Giugno

1921 Dorothy Ruth, American horse breeder; adopted daughter of Babe Ruth, was born (d. 1989).


1929 John Napier Turner, Canadian seventeenth Prime Minister of Canada, was born.


1931 Malcolm Morley, English painter, was born.

1936 The Steel Workers Organizing Committee, was founded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Philip Murray was elected its first president.

1938 The Douglas DC-4E made its first test flight..

1940 Tom Jones, Welsh singer, was born.

1940  King Haakon VII of Norway, Crown Prince Olav and the Norwegian government left Tromsø  and went into exile in London.


1942  World War II: The Battle of Midway ended.

SBDs approach the burning Mikuma (Center).

1942 World War II: Japanese soldiers occupied the American islands of Attu and Kiska, in the Aleutian Islands off Alaska.


1944 World War II: The steamer Danae carrying 350 Cretan Jews and 250 Cretan partisans was sunk without survivors off the shore of Santorini.

1944  World War II: Battle of Normandy – At Abbey Ardennes members of the SS Division Hitlerjugend massacred 23 Canadian prisoners of war.


1945  King Haakon VII of Norway returned with his family to Oslo after five years in exile.


1948  Edvard Beneš resigned as President of Czechoslovakia rather than signing a Constitution making his nation a Communist state.


1952 Liam Neeson, Northern Irish actor, was born.

1955  Lux Radio Theater signed off the air permanently.

1958 Prince, American musician, was born.

1965  The Supreme Court of the United States decided on Griswold v. Connecticut, effectively legalizing the use of contraception by married couples.

1967  Israeli forces entered Jerusalem during the Six-Day War.

1971  The United States Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Paul Cohen for disturbing the peace, setting the precedent that vulgar writing is protected under the First Amendment.

1972 Karl Urban, New Zealand actor, was born.


1975  Sony introduced the Betamax videocassette recorder for sale to the public.

Betamax Tape v2.jpg

1976  MacDonalds opened for the first time in New Zealand at Cobham Court, Porirua.

McDonald's arrives in NZ

1977  500 million people watched on television as the high day of Jubilee got underway for Queen Elizabeth II.


1981 The Israeli Air Force destroyed Iraq’s Osiraq nuclear reactor during Operation Opera.


1982  Priscilla Presley opened Graceland to the public.

1989  A Surinam Airways DC-8 Super 62 crashed near Paramaribo Airport  Suriname  killing 168.

1991 Mount Pinatubo exploded generating an ash column 7 km (4.5 miles) high.


1993  The Holbeck Hall Hotel in Scarborough, UK, fell into the sea following a landslide.

Site of Holbeck Hall lHotel andslide.jpg

1995  The long range Boeing 777 entered service with United Airlines.

Aircraft landing approach. Front quarter view of twin-engine jet in flight with flaps and landing gear extended.

1998  James Byrd, Jr. was dragged to death in a racially-motivated crime.


2006 British Houses of Parliament were temporarily shut down becasue of an  anthrax alert.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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