history, part one


Today is not going to be insights of Australia, but some Australian history.

For about 50,000 years, the Aboriginies dominated Australia; but all of that would change. In 1770, a British naval lieutenant named James Cook anchored on a beach in Australia. He was going to name the harbor that he landed on Stingray Harbour Bay. But after his botanists drew and studied many new and strange plants, the name was changed to Botany Bay. Cook's memorial is a fountain that shoots water 100 ft into the air on a lake in Canberra (even though Botany Bay is in Sydney). Cook reached London a year later to report to the crown what he discovered.

Cook died in 1779 at the hands of Polynesians in Hawaii, which he also discovered for the West.

The British first decided to use Australia as a big, open-air prison. They sent prisoners, mostly male but also some female, halfway around the world to serve out their sentences. Further exploration of Australia, to the south, the north, and the west, took place in the early 1800's starting with the sea, then by the land.

In 1851, gold was found, and there was a major Gold Rush in Australia. Gold was discovered near a place called Bathurst. After that great find, the population of Australia skyrocketed. People everywhere around the world settled in Australia, and the original convicts were soon a minority. Soon, people were hired to dig for gold on their land. There was something called the license fee. This fee made it so that none of the miners get the gold they discovered in the mines; in fact, they were paid only £1 a month (in American money, that's about 80 cents). In 1854, a miner was beaten to death by a publican. Enraged, the miners rebelled. They fought for the killed miner, and the abolition of the license fee. Many died in the rebelion. In late 1854, the license fee was abolished. The reason this uprising is so important is that even though the miners lost, the British soon realized that Australia would have to become an independent, self-ruling country, like America.

In 1901, Australia became a country. In 1913, Canberra was made Australia's capital.

In 1914, Australia became involved with the First World War. In this war, 68% of Australia's soldiers were wounded or died. Almost one-fifth of Austrlalia's young men were taken by that war. The Great Depression of Australia happened between 1929-1933. The depression was deepened when Britain took £30,000,000 from Australia to help their own economic problems. In 1942, Australia teamed up with the US against the Japanese in the Pacific War of World War II. Together, we pushed out the Japanese out of Australia. In this war, 10,000 Australians died in Europe, 17,000 in the Pacific, and 8,000 in the Japanese camps.

I'll talk about Australia after World War II tomorrow.

Posted by Joe on January 12, 2009, Canberra, History.


Last weekend, we went over to our friends the Shea's house. They took us for a walk in a field on a windy day out in a field covered with long grass. Of course, with the long grass and the wind, it looked like the waves of the ocean. We walked on a path on the right side of the field and then we saw some kangaroos. Bishop Shea (he's the bishop of our ward) told me to go ahead and chase the kangaroos. As a teenager who loves to run (even though I can't run as fast as other guys), I couldn't resist. I ran towards them; when I got about 10 meters away from them, they began to hop away. I got real close to one for a time; but my running was no match for their hopping. As I started to walk back, I noticed a mother kangaroo and her joey just standing a couple yards ahead of me. They started hopping toward the fence. The mother went through the fence fine, but the joey had some trouble getting through, but eventually it got through. We went back to the Sheas where we had some dinner. We got home and we went to bed.

We got up the next morning and had some breakfast. We went to the Canberra Deep Space Comunications Centrre. It was this place that Neil Armstrong contacted when beaming the first pictures back from the Moon. When we got there, you notice these huge dishes; the largest one was pointing up, it was for listening for aliens. The other two were for contacting space craft. We looked around at all the models and stuff about space. There was one thing that really caught my eye: Aerogel. It was a substance used by the astronauts to gather elements from comets and such. It's called Aerogel because it is 99.98% air. It looked like jello about to disappear. Although I already knew this, I think that it's interesting to know that the stars are different; like instead of the big dipper, they have the southern cross which is on their flagg.


Posted by Joe on January 11, 2009, Canberra.