Today in History

Content by F T.Bear

Good morning! Rise and shine!

Today in history is a place for you early risers to exercise your brains as you wait for the day to begin. Please, by all means, bring your own bits of history to the comments section and add your memories of what YOU did on this day however many years ago.

The beauty of an early morning historical post is that the date can mean the event happened today “our time” or today “other side of the world” time.

From the life and death of Plato through to the latest most recent history as it happens, we intend on bringing you stimulating and educational historical knowledge.

July 31

1843, the foundation stone is laid for the Royal Victoria Theatre on Manners St. in Wellington. The new theatre was seen as a necessary concomitant of an advanced state of civilization, in another first for Wellington the theatre was lit by whale oil lamps.

1976, At the Montreal Olympics, John Walker, wins the gold medal in the 1500 meters.

1941, Herman Goering, issues an order to SS General Reinhard Heydrich “to submit to me as soon as possible a general plan of the administrative material and financial measures necessary for carrying out the desired final solution of the Jewish question”

1917, The Third Battle of Ypres, also known as the Battle of Passchendaele begins in Belgium. The battle would last 3 months and 10 days and would result in the deaths of at least 500,000, although there is considerable speculation about this figure and some would have the number closer to 800,000. This included at least 2700 New Zealanders.

1970,  Black Tot Day, the last day of the officially sanctioned rum ration in the Royal Navy. The ration, originally beer (1 gallon), had been used since the 17th century, it was changed to 1/2 pint of rum in 1655. It had been reduced over time, down to about 71mls in 1850. The Australian Navy had ended the practice in 1921, the Canadians in 1972, and NZ in 1990.