Sunday, January 26, 2014



Sydney, Australia (JFK+50) JFK+50 wishes a HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY today, January 26, 2014, to all our friends and relatives* Down Under.

Australia Day, the national day of the continent-nation, marks the anniversary of the first British fleet to arrive here in Sydney on January 26, 1788.

Today's celebration comes on the 226th birthday of Australia.

Similar to July 4th, Independence Day, in the United States, Aussies celebrate with family gatherings, "barbies" (barbecues) and picnics.

Australia Day has become the largest civic event in the nation.

*My mother was born and raised in Sydney.  Our relatives include uncles, aunts and cousins who we hope enjoy this important day in their country's history.

Jennifer White with her Aussie Relatives
Cecile and Wayne, Elaine and Les
Photos by John White
July 2010 


Sydney, New South Wales (JFK+50) Seventeen years after the discovery of the continent by Captain James Cook, Captain Arthur Phillip arrived in Port Jackson (Sydney Cove) and Botany Bay with the first convicts banished from England.  

The fleet of eleven ships had been at sea for eight months.

Landing at Sydney Cove, 1788

New South Wales had been planned as a penal colony and Captain Phillip had been directed to establish an agricultural work camp for British convicts.

Before leaving England, Captain Phillip declared...

"In a new country there will be no slavery and hence no slaves."

Governor Lachlan Macquarie made the 30th anniversary of this day a public holiday in 1818.  It was celebrated by the firing of 30 guns.

In 1937, the celebration would include the first Sydney Regatta and in 1988, the Bicentenary Celebration would see the arrival of Tall Ships from around the world and the first re-enactment of the landing of the fleet.

Governor Lachlan Macquarie


Sydney, New South Wales (JFK+50) 206 years ago today, January 26, 1808, the governor of New South Wales, William Bligh, was arrested by Major George Johnson and the New South Wales Corps under his command.

Governor William Bligh

The Governor had made many enemies among the most influential families in the colony.  He also had made controversial rulings such as the banning of the use of spirits in payment for goods.

The revolt was to be the only successful armed takeover of government in Australia's history.

Because of Governor Bligh's ruling on spirits, historians call it...
"The Rum Rebellion". 

Bligh, who was found hiding under his bed,  was held in custody for a year refusing to go back to England until he was officially relieved.  

The colony remained under martial law until General Lachlan Macquarie arrived as the new governor in 1810. 

Major Johnson went under court martial for mutiny, was found guilty, but received a light sentence.  He was able to return to his Sydney home as a free citizen.  The New South Wales Corps, however, was disbanded.