Australia: John Gorton, Former Prime Minister Died
On this day in 2002, John Gorton, the 19th Prime Minister of Australia died. Sir John Grey Gorton was born in Melbourne, Victoria, on the 9th September 1911 and died in Sydney, New South Wales. He was Prime Minister from the 10th January 1968 to the 10th March 1971.
OK, just a little trivial history for today perhaps – though I am sure that some people will see this as very interesting news. ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb,’ that is the nursery rhyme, was first published on this day in 1830 by publishers Marsh, Capen & Lyon. The nursery rhyme was written by Sarah Josepha Hale
and was apparently based on a real life situation.
For a book of poems for children by the author Sarah Hale, including Mary Had a Little Lamb –
Germany – World War II: Heinrich Himmler Committed Suicide
Heinrich Himmler, a leading Nazi and mass murderer in World War II, committed suicide on this day in 1945. This before he was brought to justice for his crimes.
Himmler was born on the 7th October 1900. He became a leading member of the Nazi Party and was a major player in the leadership that brought about the Holocaust (the mass murder of millions of Jews, Roma, Poles, Communists and POWs).
On this day in 1904 the International Federation of Association Football (Federation Internationale de Football Association), more commonly known as FIFA, was formed. Fifa is the international governing body for football (soccer). FIFA is made up of 208 national football associations and its president is currently Sepp Blatter.
FIFA seems to be more in the news these days for accusations of corruption than for its showpiece the FIFA World Cup of football.
England: Sir Thomas More Resigns His Office as Lord Chancellor of England
Sir Thomas More was born on the 7th February 1478. More’s political career began modestly enough, but rose through the ranks of power to become Lord Chancellor in 1529. However, he eventually ran into conflict with the king over the issue of papal authority versus that of the king. It was to be his undoing before Henry VIII, as he was unable to accept the Act of Supremacy.
On this day in 1532, Sir Thomas More resigned his office as Lord Chancellor of England, citing health issues. The true cause of his resignation was undoubtedly his position on the royal claim to supremacy in England.
Eventually his position led to his total fall from grace and he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. He was then tried for treason and finally beheaded on the 6th July 1535.
More had been an aggressive and vocal opponent of the reformation within Henry VIII’s inner circle. He was a severe persecutor of the Protestants and the church, being a staunch Roman Catholic (recognized by Roman Catholicism as a saint) to the bitter end.
The Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance is Signed
The Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, also known as the Warsaw Pact, was signed in Warsaw, Poland. This was the military alliance signed by the Eastern Bloc of nations, namely the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Albania. The treaty came about in response to West Germany being included in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on the 9 May 1955. These were the two major treaties to come out of post war (WWII) Europe and were the opposing parties of the Cold War.
On this day in 1787, 11 ships known as the First Fleet left England for Australia. On board were 1487 people, including 778 convicts. Their destination was Botany Bay in what was then known as New Holland. The expedition was under the leadership of Captain Arthur Phillip, soon to be Governor Phillip and later Admiral Phillip. The First Fleet arrived at Botany Bay from the 18th January 1788.
An account of the journey can be found at the Internet Archive. I am currently working on a copy of this work for the Tracing our History website.
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