Today in History: 26th of January

BY MATTHEW COLLINS - JANUARY 26, 2015

On this day in history...

Australia Day

On the 26th of January 1788, 11 ships under Captain Arthur Phillip arrived in Australia, carrying on board the land’s first European settlers.

Australia was originally intended to be a British “penal colony” to which convicts would be sent.

There were many hardships for the convicts attempting to make a living in the “alien” world which they had found themselves in, but the colony eventually began increasing in prosperity and, in 1818 the official holiday of "Australia Day" was established to commemorate the arrival of European settlers in Australia.

To this day, “Australia Day” is celebrated but whilst remembering the losses of the native Aborigines people at the hands of the settlers.

Caption: Artist's impression of the founding of Australia. Image courtesy of; www.magnoliabox.com

 

Discovery of the Cullinan Diamond

On the 26th of January 1905, one of the world’s largest diamonds ever to be discovered, was extracted from the Premier Mine, outside of Pretoria, and named after the mine’s founder, Sir Thomas Cullinan.

The rough diamond was an incredible 3 106 carats before being cut into nine large diamonds.

The largest of the diamonds was Cullinan I (commonly referred to as the “Star of Africa”), a precious stone of 530 carats which now sits upon the Royal Sceptre of the crowned jewels in England.

Caption: Cullinan I on the royal sceptre. Image courtesy of: orderofsplendor.blogspot.com

 

Republic Day in India 

On the 26th of January 1950, the constitution of India came into effect, officially making India an independent democracy and becoming known, to this day, as "Republic Day".

In 1947, after many years of non-violent resistance under Mahatma Ghandi, Britain eventually gave India and Pakistan independence, a move which has been said to have increased the momentum of independence in Africa.

To this day, India is regarded as the world’s largest democracy.

 

Caption: Good wishes on Republic Day. Image courtesy of: nonstopshow.com