130 Years Ago

Snow at the residence of Deacon Z.K. Graves in New Hampshire, USA on the 13th of March, during the Great Blizzard of 1888. The blizzard was one of the most severe weather events in the history of America.


Blizzard_of_March_1888_-_Banner_snow_drift_at_residence_of_Deacon_Z_K__Graves_(4382430724)Blizzard of March 1888 - Banner snow drift at residence of Deacon Z.K. Graves New Hampshire USA


On this day: a Ballet Premiere

Michaël Denard (James) et Ghislaine Thesmar (La Sylphide) entourés des « filles de l_air » lors du tournage du ballet en 1971 © Francette Levieux OnP


The romantic ballet La Sylphide premiered in Paris on the 12th of March, 1832. The ballet was created by Italian choreographer Filippo Taglioni as a showcase for his ballerina daughter Marie, the dancer generally credited with being the first to ever dance en pointe.

As the original production was lost, French choreographer Pierre Lacotte used old records and images to recreate a new production for the Paris Opera in the 1970s.

This promotional photograph by Francette Levieux is from the revival. It features Michaël Denard as James and Ghislaine Thesmar in the title role. Thesmar is the wife of Lacotte.

On this day: Italian defeat in Libya

Wrecked_Italian_aircraft_at_Tripoli_1943Wrecked Italian Fiat CR.42 and G.50 aircraft at Castel Benito airport, Tripoli, Libya, in 1943. 10th March 1943. Second World War. World War Two.

From the collection of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

Early in the twentieth century Italy took control of the North African nation of Libya. The country became known as Italian Libya after their victory in the Italo-Turkish War of 1911-12. However the Italians, aligned with Nazi Germany, began to lose ground in Africa as they were pushed back by the Allied troops in the early 1940s.

Many Muslim Libyans chose to fight with Italy during the Second World War, but by February of 1943 the Axis powers were forced out of the country, ending decades of Italian control.

The photograph above is dated the 10th of March, and was taken by the Australian armed forces as they advanced on Axis territory. It shows wrecked Italian aircraft at the destroyed Castel Benito airport in the capital city, Tripoli.

On this day: Cyclone destruction in Queensland

StateLibQld_2_182515_Destruction_of_part_of_Townsville_Grammar_School_caused_by_Cyclone_'Leonta'_in_1903Cyclone Leonta was a tropical cyclone that caused severe damage in North Queenslan

Rubble at Townsville Grammar School. X

Cyclone Leonta hit the north of the state of Queensland in Australia on the 9th of March, 1903.

StateLibQld_2_187151_Destruction_of_the_Burns,_Philp_and_Company's_Bulk_Store_in_Townsville_caused_by_Cyclone_'Leonta',_1903Cyclone Leonta was a tropical cyclone that caused severe damag

The ruined Burns, Philp and Company’s Bulk Store in Townsville. X

One of the most damaging storms recorded in the tropical region at the time, the storm lasted for around twelve hours.

StateLibQld_2_188687_Storm_damaged_Anglican_Cathedral,_Townsville,_1903Cyclone Leonta was a tropical cyclone that caused severe damage in North Queensland on 9 March 1903. It lasted for

Townsville’s Anglican Cathedral lost its roof. X

Significant destruction was recorded in Townsville, with buildings such as schools and churches suffering major damage.

StateLibQld_2_182511_Destruction_of_the_Townsville_Hospital's_Harvey_Ward_caused_by_Cyclone_'Leonta',_1903Cyclone Leonta was a tropical cyclone that caused severe damage in North Queensl

Destruction at Townsville Hospital. X

At least fourteen lives were lost in the storm, twelve in Townsville and two inland in the town of Charters Towers.

StateLibQld_2_85280_Australian_Joint_Stock_Bank_at_Bowen_after_the_1903_cycloneCyclone Leonta was a tropical cyclone that caused severe damage in North Queensland on 9 March 1903. It las

The damaged Australian Joint Stock Bank in Bowen. X

Severe damage was also recorded, with many houses lost, in towns such as Bowen and Ayr.


When Australian women were accidentally given the vote.

A reblog for International Women’s Day.

Sonya's Stuff

From my history blog.


Australian suffragettes in London in 1911

In the nineteenth century, in the colony of Victoria in Australia, the Electoral Act 1863 was passed. According to the act, “all persons” who owned property were entitled to vote. Though it was not intended to include women in this, there were plenty in the state who did, indeed own property.

In the 1864 elections, some women took advantage of this error and went to the polling stations, where their votes were recorded:


“At one of the polling booths in the Castlemaine district a novel sight was witnessed. A coach filled with ladies drove up, and the fair occupants alighted and recorded their votes.”
The Argus, 5 November 1864, p 4.

The oversight was quickly fixed, and a new law in 1865 once again took voting rights away from women. However, Australia was very early in granting women full voting rights…

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On this day: a Derailment in Victorian England

BASA-3K-7-518-56Seen here after derailing in a blizzard near Camborne, Cornwall on 8 March 1891.Great Western Railway No. 2128 Leopard (ex South Devon Railway Leopard). Victorian Era


8th March 1891: A derailment on England’s Great Western Railway. The locomotive is photographed after being caught in a blizzard in Cornwall, near Camborne.