On this day: a new Parliament House

Construction of New Parliament House, Canberra, 26 April 1988. Australia. Federal Government.

In this photograph dated the 26th of April, 1988, the massive flagpole is constructed on top of Australia’s new Parliament House in the capital city, Canberra.

The new building was constructed at the time of Australia’s bicentenary, replacing what would become known as Old Parliament House, the white building at the front of the picture.

New Parliament House was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on the 9th of May.

 Opening_parliament_house_1988Crowds attend the official opening of the new Parliament House Building in 1988. Canberra.

The official opening in 1988.

On this day: the 1983 US embassy attack

The April 18, 1983, United States embassy bombing was a suicide bombing in Beirut, Lebanon, that killed 63 people, including 17 Americans. 3 days afterwards.

On the 18th of April, 1983 a car bomb was detonated by a suicide attacker outside the United States embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. Sixty-three people were killed and over a hundred injured.

The bombing came after America and other Western countries intervened in the Lebanese Civil War. The victims included over thirty Lebanese employees, seventeen Americans, and various passersby.

The attack was claimed by the Islamic Jihad Organisation, a pro-Iranian group.

President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan pay their respects and tribute to the 13 American civilian and 4 U.S. military personnel victims of the embassy bombing. Beirut. Leban

Ronald and Nancy Reagan view the caskets of the Americans killed. X

Following the bombing, the US embassy was moved to an allegedly safer location.

However, the new embassy was bombed by Islamic militant group Hezbollah the following year, killing another twenty-four people.

The Lebanese Civil War continued until 1990.

On this day…

People magazine cover from the 1st of April, 1985. Featured are English actress Jacqueline Bisset and her then partner Alexander Godunov. Godunov was a Soviet ballet star who defected in the late 1970s, becoming a featured actor in Hollywood until his shock death a decade after this picture was taken.

Alexander Godunov People 21st April 1985 Cover

On this day: the Irish government stands up to the Catholic Church

On the 12th of March, 1985, the government of the Republic of Ireland finally stood up to the powerful Catholic Church and legalised contraception.

feminists-on-the-platform-of-connolly-station-dublin-in-1971-prior-to-boarding-the-belfast-train-contraceptive-train-contraception-illegal-in-the-republic-of-ireland

Women leave Dublin on their protest journey to Belfast.

The 1970s saw feminists travelling to Belfast in Northern Ireland and returning home with contraceptives, risking arrest for importing illegal products. They were met by protestors upon their arrival home.

Illegal in the Republic in all circumstances until 1980, a new law allowed some contraception to be dispensed by a pharmacist to people with a doctor’s prescription.

This highly restrictive law was finally changed five years later, despite conservative opposition.

american-letter-to-complain-about-womens-rights-and-ireland-legalising-contraception

Some Americans were so outraged that “Holy Ireland” now allowed contraception, they wrote to the Prime Minister to complain.

Even so, advertising of contraceptives was still banned, and Ireland continued to have one of the highest birth rates in the developed world.

On this day: a Prime Minister and a President

British leader Margaret Thatcher and US President Ronald Reagan watch the Changing of the Guard at the White House on the 26th of February 1981.

1981 is considered to be the toughest of the prime ministership of Thatcher, the “Iron Lady”. In the weeks after this picture was taken race riots broke out across England, and a number of Irish demonstrators died in hunger strikes while imprisoned.

X

421px-thatcher_-_reagan_c872-9british-leader-margaret-thatcher-and-us-president-ronald-reagan-watch-the-changing-of-the-guard-at-the-white-house-on-the-26th-of-february-1981

On this day…

This image is of a reenactment of the First Fleet of British ships arriving in Sydney Harbour in 1788.

Taken on Australia Day (26th January), this was Australia’s bicentenary in 1988.

first-fleet-reenactment-for-australias-bicentenary-australia-day-26th-january-1988-sydney-harbour

On this day: the Newcastle Earthquake

At 10:27am on the 28th of December, 1989, an earthquake hit Newcastle, Australia. Measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale, the quake caused around $4 billion damage to the New South Wales city, left thirteen people dead, and injured over 160 others.

the-earthquake-hit-newcastle-on-december-28-1989-at-10-27am

X

Nine people were killed in the Newcastle Workers Club, where the floor collapsed.

george-hotel-in-newcastle-just-after-the-earthquake-on-the-day-of-its-demolition-as-a-result-of-earthquake-damage

X

As there was a bus strike the day of the disaster, fewer people than usual were in town.