On this day: Sequoia National Park is Founded

Sequoia National Park Established 25th September 1890

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Sequoia National Park in California, USA, was established on the 25th of September, 1890.

Ash Mountain Entrance Sign, Sequoia National Park.

In the mid-twentieth century. Source

Famous for its giant sequoia trees, the park is home to the world’s largest tree, and is also famous for preserving a pre-European landscape in the state.

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On this day: the birth of a theatre star

Fred & Adele Astaire. circa 1906. The photograph is a publicity photograph illustrating Fred Astaire and Adele Astaire in a vaudeville act entitled A Rainy Saturday.

Fred and Adele Astaire, circa 1906.

Adele Astaire, stage star and sister of her movie star brother, Fred, was born in Omaha, Nebraska on the 10th of September, 1896. Her birth name was Adele Marie Austerlitz, but the surname was changed to make her sound more “American”. As a child, she and her brother moved to New York to attend the Alviene Master School of the Theatre and Academy of Cultural Arts.

Publicity photograph of Fred Astaire and Adele Astaire in 1921.

In 1921

Three years Fred’s senior, Adele was actually the more successful stage performer of the two siblings. However her brother went on to find Hollywood fame, and while Adele considered moving into film, she abandoned the plan, admitting to being intimidated by her brother.

Astaire married twice (her first husband died in this thirties), and had three children. She was considered the more personable of the two siblings.

She died in January of 1981, at the age of eighty-four.

On this day: the opening of the Queen Victoria Building

Designed as a marketplace, the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney, Australia opened on the 21st of July, 1898.

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The building was designed in Victorian Romanesque style by Scottish-born architect George McRae, and constructed between 1893 and 1898.

invitation_to_qvb_opening_1898-blank-formal-invitation-card-to-the-ball-for-the-opening-of-the-queen-victoria-market-building-on-21-july-1898

Invitation to the opening. X

More than a thousand guests attended a ball on the night of the building’s opening, where Sydney’s Lord Mayor, Matthew Harris, gave a speech.

The Sydney icon survived twentieth-century discussions of remodelling and even demolition, and today is a popular tourist attraction and shopping destination.

On this day: work on the Uganda Railway begins.

This image was taken on the 30th of May, 1896, when construction on the Uganda Railway began.

The project was started in British East Africa, and many of the workers were brought over from India. Several thousand chose to stay on in Africa after the work was done.

Despite its name, the railway was in in what is now Kenya, with Uganda being the destination.

Uganda_railway_first_work First day of work in the Uganda railway, 30th May 1896.

On this day: the Khodynka Tragedy

Chodynka The Khodynka Tragedy (Russian Ходынская трагедия) was a human stampede that occurred on 30 May [O.S. 18 May] 1896, in Moscow Russia during festivities after the

The Khodynka Tragedy was a deadly stampede that happened during coronation celebrations for Russia’s last emperor, Nicholas II, in 1896.

Falling on the 18th of May on the old calendar (which equates to the 30th of May on the new calendar), 1389 people were trampled or suffocated to death when panic broke out in a crowd of many thousands.

Kratky,_Frantisek_-_Tragedie_na_Chodynskem_poli_(1896) Victim of the Khodynka Tragedy in Moscow Russia 1896

People crowd around one of the victims.

Evidence of the tragedy was cleared away before many at the event in Moscow became aware of it, and Nicholas and his wife Alexandra continued with their schedule, including attending a ball with French diplomats that evening. It was decided it was more important to have good relations with the French than to appease the people of the Russian Empire.

The minor imperial response to the disaster did no favours for the family’s public image.

On this day: the Pullman Strike

A nationwide railway strike in the United States, which came to be known as the Pullman Strike, occurred on the 11th of May, 1894.

Considered a revolutionary moment for labour laws in America, nearly 4000 workers for the Pullman Company refused to work after a reduction in their wages.

The image below shows workers protesting outside the Arcade Building in Pullman, Chicago.

Pullman_strikers_outside_Arcade_Building Chicago The Pullman Strike was a nationwide railroad strike in the United States on May 11, 1894.