On this day: the opening of the Blackwall Tunnel

The Blackwall Tunnel, which runs under the River Thames in London, was opened by the Prince of Wales on the 22nd of May, 1897.

Section_of_the_Blackwall_Tunnel A photograph showing a framing section of the Blackwall Tunnel being constructed at the Thames Ironworks. 1895.

Under construction in 1895.

Work began on the tunnel in 1892 and construction cost £1.4 M. 800 men were employed and seven deaths were recorded.

A postcard depicting the entrance to the Blackwall Tunnel in 1899Blackwall_Tunnel_1899

The tunnel in 1899.

A second tunnel was opened in 1967.

On this day…

King George V presents a trophy to the captain of the New Zealand Services Rugby Team in London on the 16th of April, 1919.

Rugby saw a revival in 1919, as during the First World War few international rugby matches were played. However, from 1914-18 the sport was continued by men in military service.


King_George_V_presents_a_cup_to_the_captain_of_the_winning_New_Zealand_Services_Rugby_Team,_LondonKing George V presents a cup to the captain of the winning New Zealand Services Rugby Team, London. 16 April 1919.

On this day: the Yonge Subway Line

Canada’s first subway line opened in Toronto on the 30th of March, 1954. Called the Yonge subway when it opened, it ran from Union Station.

Front Street outside Union Station being excavated to create the tracks. 1950. X

Front_street_excavationFront Street in Toronto being excavated in 1950 for the new subway.

A 1950 image of houses demolished to make way for the line. X

750px-Yonge_subway_home_demolitionView after homes were demolished to make way for Toronto’s (and Canada’s) first subway line. 1950.

On this day: the Winecoff Hotel fire

The Winecoff Hotel fire of December 7, 1946 was the deadliest hotel fire in United States history, killing 119 hotel occupants, including the hotel's owners. Daisy B. McCumber

Daisy B. McCumber jumps from the hotel. She sustained serious lifelong injuries, but survived.

On the 7th of December, 1946, a fire broke out at the Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. Killing 119 people, including the owners, it is the deadliest hotel fire in US history.

Hotel guests found themselves unable to escape, and some tied bed sheets together to try and get to the bottom of the fifteen-floor building. However, the sheets broke. Fire fighters were hampered by falling bodies, causing them injuries.

Of the dead, thirty-two died by falling, including those who misjudged the distance to the next roof and tried to jump across.


On this day: Julia Ward Howe died in 1910

Image of Julia Ward Howe as it appears on page 793 of Volume 2 of the History of Woman Suffrage, which was published in 1887.

Julia Ward Howe in the History of Woman Suffrage, published in 1887.

Prominent American activist Julia Ward Howe was born in New York City on the 27th of May, 1819.

She went onto achieve a dazzling array of things over her life, coming to prominence as a social activist, poet and abolitionist, as well as being before her time in the struggle for women’s rights.

Her most famous achievement is probably the penning of The Battle Hymn of the Republic.

Marrying a man eighteen years her senior, she had six children. However, her husband took issue with her feminist writing and the couple eventually separated.

Julia Ward Howe, half-length portrait, seated, facing left. Date c1908 Apr. 27.

c. 1908

Ward Howe died of pneumonia at home on the 17th of October, 1910. She was ninety-one. After her death her children collaborated on her biography, and the book went on to win a Pulitzer Prize.

The Australian Olympic Team, 1932.

The Australian Olympic Team at the Olympic Stadium, Los Angeles, 1932.

The Australian Olympic Team at the Olympic Stadium in Los Angeles in 1932.

Australia sent twelve athletes to the Los Angeles Games, and came home with five medals. Three of those medals were gold, and were won by teenage swimmer Clare Dennis, cyclist Edgar “Dunc” Gray and rower Henry “Bobby” Pearce. Swimmer Philomena “Bonnie” Mealing won silver, while freestyle wrestler Eddie Scarf won bronze.