Word of the day

April 13, 2015

Exogenous – of, relating to, or developing from external factors; caused by, growing or originating from outside an organism or system; (of a disease, symptom, etc.) caused by an agent or organism outside the body; having stems that grow by the addition of an annual layer of wood to the outside beneath the bark.


Rural round-up

April 13, 2015

Shearing king David Fagan calls time – Libby Wilson:

Shearing king David Fagan had a fitting send-off to his competitive career last night, cheered on by a capacity hometown crowd in his final shear in Te Kuiti.

Having shorn 26,000 sheep in the course of his 640 open wins stretching back 37 years, the 16-time national champion put down the handpiece after contesting the Running of the Sheep in his Te Kuiti home.

His final contest came against his nephew James Fagan, whose father John beat David to second place in the 1984 Golden Shears. . .

Running of the sheep craws big crowd to Te Kuiti – Mike Mather:

A mob of hundreds of determined sheep made their way down Te Kuiti’s main street on Saturday, flanked by thousands of cheering humans.

The ovine athletes were the unwitting participants in the Running of the Sheep, an annual event that is part of the town’s Great New Zealand Muster, held to celebrate its claim of being the country’s sheep capital, and which also includes the New Zealand Shearing Championships.

Although a tad skitterish at the start of their run, the flock behaved in a very un-sheeplike manner, running straight and true down the centre of Rora St, through the centre of the town.

Waitomo District Council community development co-ordinator Donna Macdonald said she was very impressed with the behaviour of both the 342 four-legged runners and their two-legged audience. . .

Nitrate absorption trialled – Allison Beckham:

Scientists are trialling a filter system which they hope will provide dairy farmers with a simple and cost effective way of removing nitrates and phosphorus before they reach waterways.

A nitrate catcher was commissioned recently near Waituna Lagoon, southeast of Invercargill, and a phosphorus catcher will be built nearby soon. . . .

Blazed a trail in sales – Sally Rae:

Looking back, Katrina Allan wonders how she ever managed to juggle motherhood with work and tertiary study.

But, with a determination to finish her university studies before her son started his, Mrs Allan (44) did manage, finishing a year before he started, although she joked that she never wanted to see another textbook again.

Mrs Allan has the distinction of being the first female salesperson at Alliance Group, having worked for the company for 17 years. . .

Securing Glenfern Sanctuary’s future:

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has announced the Government will contribute towards a joint bid to buy Glenfern Sanctuary on Great Barrier Island for the nation.

The Nature Heritage Fund, which is allocated at the Minister’s discretion, will put a significant amount of funding towards a consortium including the Auckland Council and Great Barrier Local Board looking to purchase Glenfern.

The sanctuary, in Port Fitzroy in the north of the island, was founded by the late sailing champion Tony Bouzaid in 1992 and is now for sale. . .

We don’t know how lucky we are – Chris Lewis:

As New Zealand Dairy farmers we often take for granted the sophistication of our industry and the relative ease we have in producing food for the nation and the World. April will not be one of those months for me.

I received a phone call last month from a Tear Fund organiser about this woman who was coming over from Sri Lanka to talk about the benefits of a project that has been designed and supported by TEAR Fund and the New Zealand Government, with Kiwi expertise to improve milk quality.  She is Selina Prem Kumar and is the Director of the successful dairy project in Sri Lanka. Her story will shock and move you.

The Wanni Dairy Regeneration programme she heads, started during the protracted civil war in Sri Lanka, has brought together both Singhalese and Tamil small hold dairy farmers for the common purpose of raising their incomes and revitalizing the dairy industry which stalled during the conflict. . .

A hill lambing made simple:

Zan Kirk, from Low Kilbride, in Dumfries, has struck upon a novel way of making hill lambing that little easier if you are dealing with small numbers, perhaps on the scale that smallholders deal with.

‘There comes a time in everyone’s life when things need to be made easier, computers help in many ways, but not with lambing. So here is the fail-safe way to a simple, stress-free lambing – keep your pet lambs and lamb them!
We have been doing this for some time now and most of our flock started out life as pet lambs. This removes the inherent fear that most sheep have of humans and means that, as we are getting on and still lambing outside, if we need to catch a ewe, most respond to a ‘shoogle’ of cake. They can then be caught, popped into the transport box and taken up to the shed to be lambed in comfort, and with warm water.
On Sunday, my most pet ewe lamb from last year lambed, albeit not in the best place – right in the middle of the field! I wandered up, asked her if she needed some help and she just sat there pushing. I helped lamb her, saw the lamb was breathing fine, told her how clever she was, gave her an hour and brought her into the shed for her tea and toast. . .


Are you getting enough?

April 13, 2015

It’s Iron Awareness week and too many people aren’t getting enough:

Iron deficiency remains an ongoing issue for many New Zealanders, with many unaware they have deficient levels.

According to the last national nutrition surveys, low iron levels were evident in one in 14 adult women over 15 years old with over a third of teenage girls aged 15-18 years not achieving their daily iron requirements.

Furthemore, 8 out of 10 toddlers are not meeting the recommended daily intake of dietary iron and 14% of children under 2 are deficient.

In recognition of these concerning statistics, Beef + Lamb New Zealand is pleased to facilitate an Iron Awareness Week commencing Monday 13th April, with an aim to raise awareness on the importance of dietary iron, recognising the signs of low iron and what you can do about it. . .

 That includes 10 tips to improve your iron intake:

Fatigue, lethargy, frequent infections and reduced resistance to cold. It may surprise you that these commonplace symptoms are often caused by iron deficiency and can be easily avoided by increasing your iron intake.

Follow these ten simple steps to make sure your daily intake is adequate:

Eat Lean Meat Regularly for Top Iron Intake

There are two types of iron in food: haem iron (found in meat and fish) and non-haem iron (found mainly in plants). Meat also contains some non-haem iron. The body absorbs the haem iron in meat much more efficiently than the non-haem iron in plant foods. For example 1/4 cup of cooked silverbeet contains 0.5mg of iron, but the body can only use about 5% of this. In comparison, 120g of cooked lean beef contains an average of 3.1mg of iron and the body absorbs around 25% of it. You would need to eat a massive 1kg of cooked silverbeet to get the same amount of iron provided by a serve of 120g of lean meat. This equates to a moderate serving of spaghetti bolognaise or a couple small lamb leg steaks.

See Red

Red meats are richer in haem iron than white meat, poultry and fish, so enjoy lean beef and lamb 3-4 times per week for a top iron intake. 

Get Plenty of Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps the body to use non-haem iron – the iron in plant foods. Include plenty of fruit and vegetables rich in vitamin C with your meals.

Eat Red Meat and Vegetables Together

Eat a combination of red meat and plant foods (vegetables, pasta, rice, legumes, fruits). Eating meat with plant foods will also help the body use more of the non-haem iron by up to four times. Examples of iron-rich meals include meat and vegetable stir-fry, a meat sauce with pasta and vegetables, or a lean beef salad sandwich.

Keep Your Meals Tannin Free

It is better to drink tea and coffee between meals, rather than with your meals. The tannin in tea, and to lesser extent coffee, reduces the amount of iron we can use from food.

Beware of Dieting

Studies show girls and women on low calorie diets do not get their daily iron requirements. Remember, lean beef and lamb are relatively low in calories yet high in iron and can be included in any weight reducing diet.

Extra Iron for Exercise

You need extra iron if you exercise strenuously and often. Have your iron levels checked regularly and ensure your diet is balanced and varied, including lots of foods high in haem iron. Iron-rich foods include beef, lamb, kidneys and liver.

Don’t Rely on Supplements

The iron in pills or supplements and fortified foods such as breakfast cereal is poorly absorbed. Don’t rely on these for your total daily iron needs, and only use supplements if advised by your doctor.

Choose from the Four Main Food Groups

A sure way to improve your iron intake is to eat a balanced and healthy diet. Each day you should eat a variety of foods from the main foods groups: breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables, dairy products and red meat, fish, chicken or a protein alternative (eg beans, lentils, eggs or tofu).

Be Extra Iron Smart if You’re at Risk

Infants, girls and women who have periods, teenagers, pregnant and nursing mothers, sports people, vegetarians and the elderly are most at risk of being iron deficient. Learn how to cook appealing, iron-rich dishes to suit you and your family. Look for ideas on quick and easy beef and lamb dishes. You’ll find recipe cards in supermarkets and butchers’ shops, or visit our website: http://www.recipes.co.nz


Seizing blue green initiative

April 13, 2015

Environmental issues concern people across the political spectrum and solutions are not the preserve of the political left.

Environment Minister Nick Smith recognises the opportunity to seize the blue green initiative:

. . . There is more fresh thinking going on in National about how New Zealand can better manage its rich heritage of natural assets than any other party.

It was a telling comment during Election 2014 when the Greens co-leaders stated their preference for ministerial offices, with one wanting Social Development and the other Economic Development.

And there has been a vacuum in Labour thinking on environmental issues from Opposition. There was not a single major environmental plank from Labour in either of the 2011 and 2014 elections. The portfolio once attracted Labour heavyweights like Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Helen Clark in the 1980s, but their last Environment Minister Trevor Mallard was given the role as punishment for heavyweight behaviour of a different kind, with a bit of biffo with Tau Henare. There have been 10 spokespeople since.

With the Greens being distracted over leadership and identity, and Labour showing little interest in these issues, we have an opportunity to go after the Greens soft vote.

Our principles of marrying good economic and environmental policies; of underpinning our policies with good science; and of moving from a polarised conversation on environmental issues to a more collaborative approach – we can appeal to New Zealanders’ practical, down-to-earth brand of environmentalism.

Environmental protection and enhancement and economic development aren’t mutually exclusive. It’s not only possible to have both, economic growth is essential to fund environmental initiatives.

Principles are important but it is results that matter most. Let me highlight 10 achievements that we have been able to deliver on in Government.

The first is this new Aotea Conservation Park opened yesterday on Great Barrier Island and championed by local MP Nikki Kaye.  We are protecting 12,000 hectares and New Zealand’s largest possum- and stoat-free forest, and some of the best stands of Maggie’s beloved kauri trees. Our $2.5 million investment in the new Aotea track opens up new opportunities for eco-tourism on the island.

The second achievement I want to highlight is our progress on marine protection. We’ve created a record number and area of new marine reserves. We are also the first Government to formally protect surf breaks, of which we have gazetted 17.

We are the Government that created the Environmental Protection Authority and a proper system for managing environmental effects in New Zealand’s huge Exclusive Economic Zone. Prior to our administration, many activities including deep sea drilling were allowed without any environmental assessment.

We also should take pride in the progress we have made in insulating over 300,000 old, cold, damp homes. The benefit from this energy efficiency initiative is not just in savings in power bills and greenhouse gas emissions, but in warmer homes and healthier families.

Nor should we be at all defensive about our progress in climate change policy. This area is notoriously difficult politics as you see in Australia where it has tripped up three consecutive prime ministers.

We successfully landed and implemented our moderated ETS in July 2010. Its initial impact has been small, with the carbon price being so low, but it is now $6.40, and is a sound platform on which to step up our efforts on climate change.

We should celebrate the progress we have made towards meeting our renewables target of 90 per cent by 2025. This is particularly telling in that through the previous two decades, New Zealand went backwards. Our policy prescription of time-constrained national consenting for major projects, genuine competition in electricity generation, and our policy of discouraging thermal generation with the ETS is working well.

Bluegreens have been at the forefront of our agenda to improve New Zealand’s freshwater management. When we came to Government, there was not even a requirement for those like irrigators extracting water from our lakes, rivers and aquifers to even meter what they took. We changed that with national regulations in 2009 in the spirit of you can’t manage what you don’t measure.

Talk of a National Policy Statement (NPS) on freshwater started in 1995 but it had gone nowhere. The Land and Water Forum helped us deliver the first NPS on freshwater in 2010 and the limit setting and minimum standards in 2014.

And we have put our money where our mouth is. We’ve committed over $350 million to clean-up initiatives, a fivefold increase on predecessors and in much more constrained financial times. We are getting real results in lakes like Rotoiti, Taupō and Waituna. Over 20,000 kilometres of rivers have been fenced.

We have also been making good progress on air pollution with the air we breathe today being the cleanest on record.

In 2009, we introduced tighter environmental standards on new and second-hand imported vehicles and toughened them again in 2012.

Fuel standards have been improved, reducing the sulphur content from 150 parts per million in 2008 first to 50ppm, and then to 10ppm.

We have also funded 40,000 conversions to cleaner home heating. These air quality improvements are saving over 100 premature deaths per year, and are more significant than more highly reported reductions in the road toll or homicide.

One of our most challenging environmental issues is the loss of so many of our native species, and particularly our birds. There was a time when the principal threat was hunting and loss of habitat, but the threat today is the stoats, rats and possums that kill 25 million of our native birds each year.

Our ninth significant achievement is Battle for our Birds, the largest pest control initiative totalling over one million hectares last year.

The tenth achievement I want to note is the New Zealand Cycle Trails. I confess that this initiative, unlike the others, did not have its genesis at a Bluegreens Forum, but came from the Prime Minister and his 2009 Job Summit. Members like Jacqui and Scott will attest to the success of these Cycle Trails in rural communities.

I list these 10 significant achievements to remind ourselves how far we’ve come, but also to inspire our work programme going forward.

The public banks political achievements and then wants more and the government has more:

The next significant initiative is the passage of the Environmental Reporting Bill, and the publishing in July of Environment Aotearoa.

New Zealand is the only OECD country to not have a statutory framework for environmental reporting. It is an anomaly out of step with our clean green brand. This new Act will rightly put our environmental management under scrutiny and improve the integrity of brand New Zealand.

We should not underestimate the power of open reporting systems to improve performance. This new Act is the environment equivalent of Ruth Richardson’s Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1993. Prior to these financial reporting requirements, New Zealand had one of the worst records of public finance management, but in the 20 years since we have moved to one of the best. It is also consistent with this Government’s National Standards policy in education, requiring the open reporting on student achievement.

The Fiscal Responsibility Act has led to better public financial management and far greater transparency. A statutory framework for environmental management should have similarly positive results.

The environment information is to be framed around five six-monthly reports covering air, atmosphere and climate, freshwater, land and marine domains, and a comprehensive State of the Environment report summarising all five domains, produced at three-yearly intervals. The reports are to be produced jointly by Statistics New Zealand and the Ministry for the Environment, with the three-yearly report audited by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

This initiative is also part of our plan to strengthen New Zealand’s environmental institutions. The model we have been developing, not indifferent to the role of Treasury, the Reserve Bank and the Auditor-General, is a strong policy-focused Ministry, an independent regulator with the EPA we established in 2010, and the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment as the system auditor.

The second big reform we want to advance in this term of Parliament involves Maggie, Nathan and I in a substantive reform of New Zealand’s system of marine protection, of which we had an entrée with this morning’s panel discussion.

We should be proud of National’s heritage, being the first country in the world to legislate for no-take marine reserves in 1971, but the Act is now outdated.

It does not provide for marine protection in the huge Exclusive Economic Zone. The process for establishing reserves is cumbersome and divisive. Nor is there adequate recognition of Māori interests.

The most exciting part of the reform is providing for a range of different types of Marine Protected Areas, as has become best international practice. Our new Act will enable us to declare, as now, areas to be fully protected as marine reserves, but will also allow recreational-only fishing parks, species-specific sanctuaries, as well as seabed reserves.

This work is the logical next step to our new EEZ laws, and parallels the evolution of our regulatory system on land.

The EEZ law is about setting the rules of economic development, the ocean equivalent of our RMA. The new Marine Protected Areas law is the equivalent of our National Park and Reserves Act.

Our ambition with our fisheries quota management system, our new EEZ law and this new Marine Protected Areas law is for New Zealand to be a world leader in the responsible use and conservation of the ocean environment. The next step in this work will be releasing a discussion document.

Bluegreens recognise that the RMA is New Zealand’s most important environmental law, covering the management of water, air, biodiversity, land use, noise and the coast, as well as all the complexities of urban development, covering subdivision, building height and shading restrictions, and the provision of the transport, communication and water infrastructure to make our cities function.

In our first phase of reforms, we set up the EPA and a system for national consenting that is working well. We put together rules on councils to process consents on time that has seen late consents plummet from 15,000 per year to under 1000 per year. We passed specific law to prevent the misuse of the RMA for restricting trade competition. The more difficult issues over urban development, infrastructure and Sections 6 and 7 were put off to specialist technical advisory groups.

Pulling this advice together into a Bill that we can secure a majority in Parliament has always been challenging and even more so since the Northland By-Election but I am still confident we will be able to progress substantive change. To that end we are continuing discussions with our confidence and supply partners consistent with the direction of reform I outlined in my speech at the beginning of the year.

It is not my intention to recite those 10 priorities for National, but I do want to reemphasise the direction of travel.

The first key change is improving the plan-making process. The current Schedule 1 process is cumbersome, costly and is not serving New Zealand’s environment or economy well. It takes an average of seven years to produce a plan change, when a sector like housing can go from boom to bust in just three years.

We keep having to pass special legislation to get around these problems. We had to do it to get some limits on water takes in Canterbury, to get a new unitary plan for the consolidated Auckland councils, to get a plan for Christchurch’s rebuild and through the Special Housing Areas to get some progress on Auckland’s housing shortage.

I am a strong enthusiast for the collaborative process recommended by the Land and Water Forum for water plans, but am also keen to enable use of this sort of approach to a wider range of resource management issues.

The second key directional change is stronger national direction and standardisation. Very few National Policy Statements or National Environmental Standards have been advanced over the 25-year history of the Act. We’ve done more in the last five years, than in the last 20, and have more in the pipeline.

We are currently consulting on a new National Environmental Standards for Telecommunication Facilities. It has been attacked by the Greens as undermining the environment and community consultation, but we are not going to progress a world-class communication network with each of our 67 councils having different rules on what sort of wi-fi panel, street cabinet, antennae or microwave communications tower is allowed.

We will also finalise a National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry this year.

Our phase two reforms will strengthen national standards and policy statements, and require councils to use standard planning templates so they get to decide where different rules apply, but the rules are standardised nationally.

Another key element of our reforms is how we balance between the rights of a person to reasonably use their property, and the wider community and environmental interests.

I have no difficulties with rules that limit intensification of land use where it results in pollution of public waterways or saying to a landowner you can’t remove a hundreds-year-old kauri tree. But how far should it go? I have constituents being denied consents for a home because the living areas face the sun rather than the street on the basis that there is a public good in them keeping an eye on the safety of the neighbourhood. I have another where the fence is deemed unacceptable because the gap between the pallings is too small. We do need to put some limits on how much we micro-regulate people’s lives.

We are a party that believes it is Government’s role to protect the environment but we also believe this should be limited and done in such a way that we don’t unduly interfere in people’s lives. We need new provisions that waive the need for resource consents where the environmental effects are negligible.

The issue of how we improve the way we deal with natural hazards, urban planning, housing affordability and infrastructure are key subjects in our discussions with our support parties.

The most straightforward should be increasing the status of significant natural hazards.

We will be doing a disservice to the people of Christchurch if we do not heed the lessons of the RMA policy failures of allowing new subdivisions in areas like Bexley, where the liquefaction risk was known and identified but ignored.

Kiwis value their environment, but they are practical people who recognise that we live in one of the most geologically active countries in the world with risks from earthquakes, floods, volcanic activity and landslides, and that our systems need to better manage these risks.

The most difficult issue to resolve is how we address the challenging problems around growth of our urban communities and housing affordability

The Special Housing Areas mechanism is working successfully by bypassing the normal RMA process. This law expires in September 2016 and we need to find a way in this package of reforms to maintain this momentum. Auckland’s housing supply issues go back over a decade, and will take many more years to resolve.

The underlying issue is that the RMA is not well-designed for dealing with urban issues. Most countries have a separate planning Act to resolve these. When we passed the RMA in 1991, we assumed other countries would follow suit and put their planning and environmental laws into one. It hasn’t happened, for the reason that it is not a comfortable fit. Dr Phil McDermott, a former Professor of Resource and Environmental Planning at Massey University, has recently written a paper on the case for new thinking in this area, suggesting separate resource and urban planning law. It is not an issue we should consider in this second phase of our RMA reforms, but is something Bluegreens need to think about in the longer term.

I want to conclude with comments on water reform.

Last week we reinvigorated the Land and Water Forum to advance the next stage of work in improving how we manage freshwater.

The most important goal will be in supporting the implementation of the National Policy Statement at regional and catchment level.

We have two further policy commitments on freshwater to deliver on this term.

The first is in developing a $100 million fund to support the retirement of buffer zones around sensitive lakes and rivers.

The second is on delivering a requirement for all dairy cattle to be excluded from waterways by 1 July 2017. The devil is always in the detail of such policies. We want to work with the Forum in ensuring this is done in a way that is both practical and effective. . .

Practical and effective – that is a good foundation for good policy.


Another Clinton contesting US presidency

April 13, 2015

Breaking news but no surprise – Hillary Clinton has announced she’s contesting the Democrat nomination for the US presidency.

It’s her second attempt and she has the support of the man who beat her the first time:

Over the weekend Ms Clinton earned high praise from Mr Obama.

“She was a formidable candidate in 2008. She was a great supporter of mine in the general election. She was an outstanding Secretary of State. She is my friend,” Obama said at a regional summit in Panama.

 She is the wife of former President Bill Clinton and the election could turn into a race between her and Jeb Bush, the son and grandson of former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. the son of former president George H.W. Bush and brother of former president George W. Bush.


Quote of the day

April 13, 2015
If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.Francis of Assisi

April 13 in history

April 13, 2015

1111 –  Henry V was crowned Holy Roman Emperor.

1250 The Seventh Crusade was defeated in Egypt, Louis IX of France was captured.

1256 – The Grand Union of the Augustinian order formed when Pope Alexander IV issues a papal bull Licet ecclesiae catholicae.

1570 Guy Fawkes, English Catholic conspirator, was born (d. 1606).

1598 Henry IV of France issued the Edict of Nantes, allowing freedom of religion to the Huguenots.

1742 George Frideric Handel’s oratorio Messiah made its world-premiere in Dublin.

1743 Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States, was born  (d. 1826).

1796 The first elephant ever seen in the United States arrived from India.

1808 Antonio Meucci, Italian inventor, was born (d. 1889).

1829 The British Parliament granted freedom of religion to Roman Catholics.

1849 Hungary became a republic.

1852 F.W. Woolworth, American businessman, was born  (d. 1919).

1861 American Civil War:  Fort Sumter surrendered to Confederate forces.

1866 Butch Cassidy, American outlaw, was born  (d. 1908).

1868  The Abyssinian War ended as British and Indian troops captured Magdala.

1870 The Metropolitan Museum of Art  was founded.

1873 The Colfax Massacre took place.

1892 Arthur Travers ‘Bomber’ Harris, British Air Force commander, was born  (d. 1984).

1892 – Sir Robert Alexander Watson-Watt, Scottish inventor, was born  (d. 1973).

1895 Sir Arthur Fadden, thirteenth Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1973).

1896 The National Council of Women was formed in Christchurch.

NCW formed in Christchurch

1902– James C. Penney opened his first store in Kemmerer, Wyoming.

1902 Philippe de Rothschild, French race car driver and wine grower, was born (d. 1988).

1906 Samuel Beckett, Irish writer, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1989).

1919 The Establishment of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea.

1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre: British troops massacred at least 379 unarmed demonstrators in Amritsar, India. At least 1200 wounded.

1919  Eugene V. Debs entered prison at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia for speaking out against the draft during World War I.

1920  Liam Cosgrave, fifth Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, was born.

1921 Foundation of the Spanish Communist Workers’ Party.

1923 Don Adams, American actor and comedian, was born (d. 2005).

1931 Jon Stone, co-creator of Sesame Street, was born (d. 1997).

1939  In India, the Hindustani Lal Sena (Indian Red Army) was formed and vows to engage in armed struggle against the British.

1941 – Pact of neutrality between the USSR and Japan was signed.

1943  World War II: The discovery of a mass grave of Polish prisoners of war executed by Soviet forces in the Katyń Forest Massacre was announced, alienating the Western Allies, the Polish government in exile in London, from the Soviet Union.

1943 James Boarman, Fred Hunter, Harold Brest and Floyd G. Hamilton took part in an attempt to escape from Alcatraz .

1943 The Jefferson Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. on the 200th anniversary of Thomas Jefferson’ss birth.

1944 Diplomatic relations between New Zealand and the Soviet Union were established.

1945 Judy Nunn, Australian actress, was born.

1945 German troops killed more than 1,000 political and military prisoners in Gardelegen.

1945 Ninth American army crossed the Elbe River.

1948 The Hadassah medical convoy massacre: In an ambush, 79 Jewish doctors, nurses and medical students from Hadassah Hospital and a British soldier are massacred by Arabs in Sheikh Jarra near Jerusalem.

1949 Christopher Hitchens, English-born journalist, critic, and author, was born (d. 2011).

1953  CIA director Allen Dulles launched the mind-control program MKULTRA.

1956 Peter ‘Possum’ Bourne, New Zealand rally driver, was born (d. 2003).

1964 – At the Academy Awards, Sidney Poitier became the first African-American male to win the Best Actor award for Lilies of the Field.

1969 Closure of the Brisbane tramway network.

1970 An oxygen tank aboard Apollo 13 exploded, endangering the crew and causing major damage to the spacecraft en route to the Moon.

1974 – Western Union (in cooperation with NASA and Hughes Aircraft) launches the United States’ first commercial geosynchronous communications satellite, Westar 1.

1975 Bus Massacre in Lebanon: Attack by the Phalangist resistance killed 26 militia members of the P.F.L. of Palestine, marking the start of the 15-year Lebanese Civil War.

1976 The United States Treasury Department reintroduced the two-dollar bill as a Federal Reserve Note on Thomas Jefferson’s 233rd birthday as part of the United States Bicentennial celebration.

1983 Harold Washington was elected as the first African-American mayor of Chicago.

1984 India moved into Siachen Glacier thus annexing more territory from the Line of Control.

1987 Portugal and the People’s Republic of China sign an agreement in which Macau would be returned to China in 1999.

1992 The Great Chicago Flood.

1997 Tiger Woods became the youngest golfer to win The Masters Tournament.

2009 – The world’s longest webcomic, Homestuck, officially began.

2014 – – A bus traveling from Villahermosa to Mexico City crashed into a tractor-trailer and caught fire, killing at least 36 people.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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