On this day: the Violet Town rail accident

Southern Aurora collision, Violet Town, 7 February 1969.


Otherwise known as the Southern Aurora rail disaster, the Violet Town accident happened in Australia on the 7th of February, 1969 on the overnight train between Sydney and Melbourne.

1969 Southern Aurora train crash at Violet Town


Occurring about one kilometre out Violet Town in the state of Victoria, the accident happened when the driver of the passenger train, the Southern Aurora, had a heart attack and collided with a freight train.

Nine people died and forty were injured. The driver of the other train was one of the people killed, though he tried to take cover in the engine room.

Floods in Australia

The 1971 Canberra Flood was at its worst on the 26th of January, when seven people aged between six and twenty were killed when their cars were carried away by floodwaters.

Floodwaters at Yamba Drive Melrose Drive Intersection - 1971 by Australian Capital Territory, Canberra.


However, Australia’s capital city remained underwater, as seen here in images taken at the beginning of February.

Canberra Flood 1971 Woden


In the background of the pictures is the Woden Town Centre (a commercial centre in the suburbs) under construction.


One hundred years ago today: Canada’s Parliament Burns

The Centre Block of the Canadian Parliament buildings in Ottawa caught alight on the night of the 3rd of February, 1916. Seven people were killed, and the building was destroyed.

Because the fire occurred in the middle of the First World War, at the time it was suspected German arsonists were involved.

Here, the building is seen still alight in the early hours of the 4th.


Parliament_Ottawa_in_fireCentre Block fire, Parliament Buildings. Photograph taken at 1230 a.m., a few minutes before the collapse of the tower. 3-4th February 1916.


A day of mourning in Canada

A poster from the 31st of January, 1901 in Toronto, Canada, announces a day of mourning for Queen Victoria. The Queen died on the 22nd, and her funeral was on the 2nd of February, the day the mourning was scheduled for.

Proclamation_-_Day_of_mourning_in_Toronto_for_Queen_Victoria_February_2,_1901Poster proclaiming a day of mourning in Toronto on the day of Victoria's funeral.1901.

On this day: Queen Victoria’s funeral

the Funeral Cortège passes the London and County Bank in the High Street. Queen Victoria's funeral. 2nd February 1901.

Queen Victoria’s funeral took place on the 2nd of February, 1901. The Queen died on the 22nd of January, following a month of ill health, bringing an end to the Victorian era.

Queen Victoria's funeral1

Victoria’s son became king, beginning the much shorter Edwardian era. At the time of her death, Victoria had been queen for 63 years and seven months.

Funeral procession of Queen Victoria 2nd February 1901

It is said that as she was laid to rest, it began to snow.

On this day: the Mayon Volcano eruption

The Mayon Volcano in the Philippines has erupted numerous times, but the worst event took place on the 1st of February, 1814.

An old photograph of the Cagsawa ruins with the façade still standing. The church was largely destroyed during the 1814 eruption of Mayon.

Many decades later (though the actual date is unknown) the 18th-century Franciscan Cagsawa church was still standing (though badly damaged). The ruins have since disintegrated significantly.

The disaster killed between 1200 and 2200 people, with different records stating wildly different numbers.

Mount Mayon in eruption on July 21, 1928.

Since then, the volcano has erupted a number of times, including in July 1928, photographed above.