Australia Day

Today is (the increasingly controversial) Australia Day, so here are three girls and a kangaroo in Australia, circa 1900-1910.

From the collection of the State Library of Queensland.

StateLibQld_1_100472Three girls and a kangaroo, 1900-1910. The girls pose in a garden in front of a shed covered in creepers. The girl on the right stands and holds the kangaroo aloft

On this day: the last Japanese Wolf

Wôkami_-_Carl_Hubert_de_VilleneuveThe Japanese wolf is considered to be extinct as the last specimens were recorded at Higashi-Yoshino village in Nara Prefecture, Japan in January 23, 1905.

Carl Hubert de Villeneuve’s 1820s sketch.

The last sighting of a Japanese wolf – a subspecies of the grey wolf – was recorded in Nara Prefecture on the 23rd of January, 1905.

In the century before, during the Meiji Restoration, killing the wolves had become a national policy.

A memorial statue now stands in the village of Higashiyoshino, where the last wolf was seen.

The animal is now considered extinct.

On this day: a film premiere in 1900

 Embarquement_d'un_bœuf,_Gabriel_VeyreEarly French filmmaker Gabriel Veyre premiered (Through Indochina (1st series). Bull being loaded on a ship) in Lyon on the 18th of November.

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Early French filmmaker Gabriel Veyre premiered À travers l’Indochine (1° série). Embarquement d’un boeuf à bord d’un navire (Through Indochina (1st series). Bull being loaded on a ship) in Lyon.

It was part of a series recorded in Tonkin (present-day Vietnam) between 1899 and 1900.

On this day: an assassination attempt in Belgium

Assassination_attempt_on_king_Leopold_II_of_Belgium_in_Bruxelles_1902Italian anarchist Gennaro Rubino tried - and failed to assassinate Belgian King Leopold II in Brussels on the 15th of

Italian anarchist Gennaro Rubino tried – and failed to assassinate Belgian King Leopold II in Brussels on the 15th of November, 1902.

1902Italian anarchist Gennaro Rubino tried - and failed to assassinate Belgian King Leopold II in Brussels on the 15th of November, 1902. Gennaro Rubino in 1894.

The would-be assassin in 1894.

The King, who was returning from a service to honour his wife Marie Henriette, who had died two months earlier, was not hit by any of the three bullets Rubino fired. However, Grand Marshall, Count Charles John d’Oultremont was nearly killed.

Rubino, who had fled Italy to avoid a lengthy prison sentence there, died in prison in 1918. Prior to the failed assassination, he had been working in Britain as a spy on Italian anarchists – a position he lost when it was discovered he sympathised with them.

At the time of the attempt on his life, the King – in his late sixties – had been estranged from his wife for some time, and had taken a teenage girl as his mistress. He died in December, 1909.

On this day: Edwardian London from the air

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7th November 1909: English scientist Norman Lockyer photographed London from the air with a use of a helium balloon. This image shows Sloane Square, on the boundaries of the Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Chelsea districts.

Lockyer, who – along with French scientist Pierre Janssen – was credited with discovering helium, was seventy-three at the time the photograph was taken.

On this day: Women Demonstrate in Scotland

_The_Great_Procession_and_Women's_Demonstration_,_1909_on_Princes_Street,_EdinburghThe Great Procession and Women's Demonstration - Edinburgh. 9th October 1909. Scotland. Women's Suffrag

This photograph shows the so-called Great Procession and Women’s Demonstration that took place in Edinburgh, Scotland on the 9th of October, 1909.

Amongst the banners being carried are those calling for Votes for Women. Women in the United Kingdom were not given equal voting rights as men until 1928.

On this day: the Coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra

Edward_VIIs_coronation_procession_London_9_August_1902Procession passing along a busy London thoroughfare during the Coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra (1841-1910) on 9 Au

The Procession in State through London’s streets.

The coronation of Britain’s King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra took place on the 9th of August, 1902, more than a year and a half after the death of Queen Victoria, Edward’s mother and predecessor.

The coronation, initially set for the 26th of June, was postponed because of the King’s ill health. This caused significant problems for many people. Numerous functions had been planned for the day, and foreign dignitaries were in London to celebrate. Additionally, rooms on the parade route across London had been rented for high prices, which resulted in landmark court cases when the customers missed out.

From his sickbed Edward insisted that the “Coronation Dinner for the Poor of London” go ahead as planned, and 500 000 meals were served.

The Procession in State – pictured above on revised August date – was supposed to include military units from a number of European countries, but they all had to return home before the coronation finally took place.

A second procession following the one on the day of the coronation was also postponed until the end of October, again because the King was in poor health.

Edward, overweight and a heavy smoker, died less than eight years after his coronation.

Alexandra lived another fifteen and a half years after her husband’s death.