On this day: Mount Lamington Erupts

On the 18th of January, 1951 Mount Lamington in Papua New Guinea, just north of Australia, began to erupt.

A jeep stuck up a tree. From the collection of the National Library of Australia, Canberra.

On the 18th of January, 1951 Mount Lamington in Papua New Guinea, just north of Australia, began to erupt.

The worst of the devastation came three days later when a violent blast led to the deaths of some 3000 people, and left more than 5000 homeless.

The following year Australian vulcanologist Tony Taylor was awarded the George Cross for his work during the disaster.

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Australians off to war.

6th_Division_boards_the_troopships,_Pyrmont,_Sydney,_9-10_January_1940_-_by_Sam_Hood_(4175140213)Members of the Second Australian Imperial Force boarding ships for the Middle East. Secon

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9th-10th January 1940: Members of the Second Australian Imperial Force boarding ships in Sydney to travel to the Middle East. These soldiers defeated the Italians in North Africa. Second World War.

On this day…

Katarina Witt

East German figure skating star Katarina Witt is photographed here on the 9th of January, 1982. She was sixteen years old when the picture was taken.

Witt went on to win both the World and European titles that year. Two years later she won her first of two Winter Olympic gold medals, at the Sarajevo Games.

On this day: Italian Prisoners of War

Italian_soldiers_taken_prisoner_during_Operation_CompassA column of Italian prisoners captured on Bardia, Libya, march to a British army base on 6 January 1941. Australian Second World

6th January 1941: A column of Italian soldiers, captured after their defeat by combined Australian and British forces, are marched to an army base after the Battle of Bardia in Libya.

Bardia was the first battle planned and commanded by Australians in the Second World War. Italy was aligned with Nazi Germany in the war.