On this day…

H.M.S. Electra, PY0876

Source

H.M.S. Electra, struck by a “whirlwind” on the passage from Auckland, New Zealand to Sydney, New South Wales on the 20th of November 1856.

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On this day: free bread to honour the Queen

Canada honoured the Queen’s official birthday on the 21st of May this year. The British monarchs have celebrated an official birthday separate to their real birthday since the 1740s.

In 1859 this holiday occurred on the 24th of May, which was in fact Queen Victoria’s real birthday. To mark the occasion officials in Toronto handed out tickets for free loaves of bread.

1859-queens-birthday-vs As part of the celebrations surrounding Queen Victoria's birthday, the City of Toronto distributed free loaves of bread by way of tickets such as this one. Good f

On this day: the Black Thursday Bushfires

William Strutt, Black Thursday, February 6th (detail), 1864. Australian Art. Bushfires.

As depicted by English-born artist William Strutt in 1864.

One of the worst bushfire disasters in recorded Australian history, the Black Thursday fires took place on the 6th of February, 1851, in the colony of Victoria.

Severe drought in 1850 helped to create the conditions ideal for bushfires. An estimated maximum temperature of 47 °C and strong winds on the day of the disaster magnified the situation.

It is believed the fire started when two bullock drivers left burning logs unattended.

The disaster claimed the lives of twelve people and many animals, and caused significant damage to the countryside.

On this day…

On the 14th of April, 1877 Leslie’s monthly magazine announced the March 23 execution of John D. Lee, who took part in the Mountain Meadows massacre in 1857.

The massacre involved the Mormon Utah Territorial Militia, accompanied by some Paiute Native Americans, killing between 100 and 140 members of an emigrant party in Utah.

Source

494px-justice_at_lastjustice-at-last-execution-of-john-d-lee-for-complicity-in-the-mountain-meadows-massacre-14th-april-1877

On this day…

John D. Lee sits beside his coffin in Utah moments before his execution by firing squad on the 23rd of March, 1877.

He was the only person who was ever punished for playing a part in the 1857 Mountain Meadows massacre, when a Mormon militia killed over a hundred non-Mormon settlers over a number of days in September.

john_d__lee_pre-execution_photophoto-just-before-the-execution-of-john-d-lee-for-his-role-in-the-mountain-meadows-massacre-23rd-march-1877