Today – despite some people’s best efforts to tear it down – The Rocks district in the centre of Sydney is one of Australia’s most historic. The date of this photograph is estimated as Edwardian, but it is only a guess taken from the fashions etc.
The Knickerbocker Storm, a blizzard that hit Washington D.C. in the United States for two days in 1922, led to the collapse of the Knickerbocker Theatre just after 9pm on the 28th of January.
Ninety-eight people were killed, and a further one hundred and thirty-three injured in the collapse.
The tragedy was caused by snow gathering on the flat roof until it gave way under the strain. People who were there said they were given no warning (no sounds of the building straining under the weight, for example).
The silent film Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford (1921) was playing at the time it happened.
Both the theatre’s architect and its owner committed suicide in the years afterwards.
The theatre in October, 1917.
The storm hit other areas of the United States, including heavy snowfall in Maryland and Virginia. Temperatures stayed many degrees below freezing for much of the event.
The First Fleet entering Port Jackson on the 26th of January, 1788. Drawn 1888.
The first Winter Olympics opened in Chamonix, France on the 25th of January, 1924.
Though both Figure Skating and Ice Hockey had featured in Summer Games in the past, there’d never been an official event for winter sport before.
This was the first Olympics Sonja Henie, who I (accidentally – no matter what people have thought in the past!) share my name with skated. She was eleven at the time, and got nowhere in the 1924 competition, but she would go on to win gold at the next three Games and then have a successful movie career.
On the 22nd of January, 1901, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland died at the age of eighty-one.
A woman who inherited the throne at eighteen, she reigned for sixty-three years and seven months and was Britain’s longest-serving monarch, as well as the world’s longest-serving female monarch.
Queen Victoria receiving the news of her accession to the throne, 20 June 1837.
She was buried in a white dress and her wedding veil, as she had left instructions for her funeral to be white. Her death marked the end of the Victorian era and the beginning of the Edwardian Era.
On the 20th of January, 1788, the main body of the First Fleet arrived in Botany Bay, modern-day Australia.
The First Fleet, consisting of eleven ships of convicts, marines and seamen, had left England in 1787.
Botany Bay was deemed unsuitable for a colony, with concerns about the lack of fresh water and the swampy land, and the fleet moved further north, to Port Jackson. The fleet’s arrival in the second port is marked by Australia Day on the 26th of January.