August 31 in history

August 31, 2010

On August 31:

12 Gaius Caligula, Roman Emperor, was born (d. 41).


1218 Al-Kamil became Sultan of Egypt, Syria and northern Mesopotamia on the death of his father Al-Adil.


1422  Henry VI became King of England at the age of 9 months.


1803 Lewis and Clark started their expedition to the west.


1870 Maria Montessori, Italian educator, was born (d. 1952).


1876 Ottoman sultan Murat V was deposed and succeeded by his brother Abd-ul-Hamid II.


1880 Wilhelmina I of the Netherlands, was born (d. 1962).


1886 An earthquake killed 100 in Charleston, South Carolina.

1888  Mary Ann Nichols was murdered, the first of Jack the Ripper’s known victims.

1894 The new Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration (IC&A) Act, a flagship policy of Richard Seddon’s Liberal government, made New Zealand the first country in the world to outlaw strikes in favour of compulsory arbitration. There were no major strikes for 11 years and wages and conditions generally improved.

Arbitration Act becomes law

1894 Albert Facey, Australian writer, was born (d. 1982).

1897  Thomas Edison patented the Kinetoscope, the first movie projector.


1907 Count Alexander Izvolsky and Sir Arthur Nicolson signed the St. Petersburg Convention, which resulted in the Triple Entente alliance.


1918 Alan Jay Lerner, American lyricist, was born (d. 1986).

Brigadoon 1947 a.JPG

1920 Polish-Bolshevik War: A decisive Polish victory in the Battle of Komarów.


1940 Pennsylvania Central Airlines Trip 19 crashed near Lovettsville, Virginia. The CAB investigation of the accident was the first investigation to be conducted under the Bureau of Air Commerce act of 1938.

1940 Jack Thompson, Australian actor, was born.


1943  The USS Harmon, the first U.S. Navy ship to be named after a black person, was commissioned.

USS Harmon

1945 The Liberal Party of Australia was founded by Robert Menzies.


1945 Van Morrison, Northern Irish singer-songwriter and musician, was born.

1949 The retreat of the Greek Democratic Army in Albania after its defeat in mountain Grammos marked the end of the Greek Civil War.

1949 Richard Gere, American actor, was born.

1957 The Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia) gained its independence from the United Kingdom.

1958 A parcel bomb sent by Ngo Dinh Nhu, younger brother and chief adviser of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem, failed to kill Sihanouk of Cambodia.

1958 Serge Blanco, French rugby union footballer, was born.

401 Serge Blanco.jpg

1962  Trinidad and Tobago became independent.

1965 Willie Watson, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

1965  The Aero Spacelines Super Guppy aircraft made its first flight.

1974 Leader of the Labour Party since 1965 and Prime Minister from late 1972, Norman Kirk, ‘Big Norm’, died suddenly at the age of 51. He was the fifth New Zealand PM to die in office.

Death of Norman Kirk

1978 William and Emily Harris, founders of the Symbionese Liberation Army, pleaded guilty to the 1974 kidnapping of

1986 Aeroméxico Flight 498 collided with a Piper PA-28 over Cerritos, California, killing 67 in the air and 15 on the ground.

1986 The Soviet passenger liner Admiral Nakhimov sank in the Black Sea after colliding with the bulk carrier Pyotr Vasev, killing 423.

Berlin (III).jpg

1991  Kyrgyzstan declared its independence from the Soviet Union.

1992  Pascal Lissouba was inaugurated as the President of the Republic of the Congo .

1993  HMS Mercury, shore establishment of the Royal Navy,  closed after 52 years in commission.

HMS Mercury II launch.jpg

1994 The Provisional Irish Republican Army declared a ceasefire.

1997 Diana, Princess of Wales, her companion Dodi Al-Fayed and driver Henri Paul died in a car crash in Paris.

1998 North Korea reportedly launches Kwangmyongsong, its first satellite.

1999 The first of a series of bombings in Moscow, killing one person and wounding 40 others.


1999 – A LAPA Boeing 737-200 crashed during takeoff from Jorge Newbury Airport in Buenos Aires, killing 65, including 2 on the ground.


2005  A stampede on Al-Aaimmah bridge in Baghdad killed 1,199 people.


2006 Edvard Munch’s famous painting The Scream, which was stolen on August 22, 2004, was recovered in a raid by Norwegian police.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

My Three Sons

August 30, 2010

Fred MacMurray would have been 102 today.

Word of the day

August 30, 2010

Ultracrepidarian – One who speaks above his/her level of knowledge, experience or expertise

Monday’s quiz

August 30, 2010

1.What breed of cattle is this?

2. Who said: “The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.”?

3. Whose third Law of Motion states: “That for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”?

4. In Spanish it’s estrella ; in French it’s étoile, in Italian it’s in Maori it’s whetu – what is it in English?

5. Which poet won the poetry section of this year’s NZ Post Book Awards (announced on Friday) for the book Just This?

Bark Up opens eyes to ag

August 30, 2010

A few decades ago most people who didn’t live on farms knew people who did.

That meant young people who might be interested in careers  on farms or in farm support had little difficulty in investigating opportunities.

It’s very different now. New Zealand is much more urbanised and a lot of children grow up with little or no idea about career opportunities in agriculture.

Enter the Haka Bark Up which Sally Rae reports introduced 120 year 10 – 13 pupils to agriculture and supporting industries.

Among the pupils Geraldine High School agriculture teacher Margaret Walker took to last year’s Omarama Bark Up was a teenager “with very little focus on life”.

But when he saw the shearing module, his eyes “lit up with a passion”, and now, 12 months down the track, he is about to start an apprenticeship.

That teenager, who would have otherwise dropped out of school, now has introductory qualifications through Tectra.

“Now he’s just waiting to sign on the dotted line for his apprenticeship. You couldn’t ask for a better story. From a kid who was just going to drop out, to a kid with a passion.”

When the ag-sag of the 80s hit job opportunities were lost on farms and in farm support. For a couple of decades agriculture hasn’t been on the radar for a most young people when they’re considering what they want to do when they leave school.

But changes in farming fortunes in recent years, especially but not only in dairying, have led to more employment opportunities.

Initiatives like the Bark Up are good for both young people whose eyes are opened to opportunities in agriculture and the people who could employ them.

Loitering without intent

August 30, 2010

One of the sorry images which has stayed with me after our return from Australia’s Top End  is the large number of Aborigine people wandering round without purpose, sitting in gutters or on the grass of parks, many waiting for the pubs and bottle stores to open at 2pm, all apparently with nothing to do and nowhere to go.

What does it say about their homes that they’d rather be loitering without intent in town than in their own places doing something constructive?

What does it say about a system which allows them to exist on benefits, leaving them with nothing constructive to do and nowhere else to go?

We saw art work produced by Arorigines and heard of tourist operations run by them but in the 12 days we were there saw only two working – one as a shop assistant, another as a guide.

We were told it wasn’t always as bad as this, many used to work in return for board, keep and some money. But when minimum wages were introduced the employers couldn’t afford to keep many of them because they didn’t do enough to justify what they’d have to be paid.

This should serve as a warning to us – the numbers of young Maori who are unemployed has risen considerably since youth rates were introduced.

Surely it’s better to be working and being paid what you’re worth than on a benefit because you don’t work well enough to earn a minimum wage?

August 30 in history

August 30, 2010

On August 30:

1363 Beginning date of the Battle of Lake Poyang; the forces of two Chinese rebel leaders— Chen Youliang and Zhu Yuanzhang—were pitted against each other in what is one of the largest naval battles in history, during the last decade of the ailing, Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty.


1574  Guru Ram Das became the Fourth Sikh Guru/Master.


1590  Tokugawa Ieyasu entered Edo Castle.


1720 Samuel Whitbread, English brewer, was born (d. 1796).


1791 HMS Pandora sank after running aground on a reef the previous day.


1797 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, English writer, was born (d. 1851).

Half-length portrait of a woman wearing a black dress sitting on a red sofa. Her dress is off the shoulder, exposing her shoulders. The brush strokes are broad. 

1799 Capture of the entire Dutch fleet by British forces under the command of Sir Ralph Abercromby and Admiral Sir Charles Mitchell during the Second Coalition of the French Revolutionary Wars.

1800 Gabriel Prosser led a slave rebellion in Richmond, Virginia.

North american slave revolts.png

1813  Battle of Kulm: French forces defeated by Austrian-Prussian-Russian alliance.

 Battle of Kulm by Kotsebu.jpg

1813  Creek War: Creek Red Sticks carried out the Fort Mims Massacre.

Massacre at Fort Mims.jpg

1835 Melbourne was founded.


1836 The city of Houston was founded by Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen.

1862  American Civil War: Battle of Richmond: Confederates under Edmund Kirby Smith routed a Union army under General Horatio Wright.

1862 – American Civil War: Union forces were defeated in Second Battle of Bull Run.

1871 Ernest Rutherford, New Zealand-born Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate, was born(d. 1937).

1873Austrian explorers Julius von Payer and Karl Weyprecht discover the archipelago of Franz Joseph Land in the Arctic Sea.

1903 Guide Joseph Warbrick and three tourists were killed instantly when Roturua’s Waimangu geyser erupted unexpectedly.

Four killed by Rotorua geyser

1908 Fred MacMurray, American actor, was born (d. 1991).

1909  Burgess Shale fossils discovered by Charles Doolittle Walcott.

Marrella, the most abundant Burgess Shale organism.

1912 Nancy Wake AC GM, New Zealand-born World War II secret agent, was born.

Nancy Wake (1945).jpg

1914  Battle of Tannenberg.

Russian prisoners tannenberg.jpg

1918  Fanny Kaplan shot and seriously injured Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin.


1922 Battle of Dumlupinar, final battle in Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922).


1930 Warren Buffett, American entrepreneur, was born.


1935 John Phillips, American singer/songwriter (The Mamas & the Papas), was born (d. 2001).

1942  World War II: Battle of Alam Halfa began.


1943 Jean-Claude Killy, French skier, was born.

1945 Hong Kong was liberated from Japan by British Armed Forces.

1945 – Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, General Douglas MacArthur landed at Atsugi Air Force Base.

1946 Peggy Lipton, American actress, was born.

1951 Dana, Irish singer and politician, was born.

Dana - All Kinds of Everything.jpg

1956 Lake Pontchartrain Causeway opened.


1962  Japan conducted a test of the NAMC YS-11, its first aircraft since the war and its only successful commercial aircraft.


1963 Hotline between the leaders of the U.S.A. and the Soviet Union went into operation.

1967  Thurgood Marshall was confirmed as the first African American Justice of the United States Supreme Court.


1972  Cameron Diaz, American actress, was born.

1974  A BelgradeDortmund express train derailed at the main train station in Zagreb killing 153 passengers.

1974 – A powerful bomb exploded at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries headquarters in Marunouchi, Tokyo – 8 killed, 378 injured.

1984   The Space Shuttle Discovery took off on its maiden voyage.

Space Shuttle Discovery

1995NATO launches Operation Deliberate Force against Bosnian Serb forces.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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