Sir Robert Menzies

Posted in 1903

  • Jeparit railway stationSchoolboy Robert becomes a newspaper boy:

"Robert, anxious even as a small boy to get on in the world, and even more anxious to have a few extra pence in his pocket, sought permission to distribute newspapers for the newsagent down the street. This was forbidden, but not at all daunted, he proceeded to sell them at the railway station where he did a roaring trade. Soon this got to his father's ears and heavy paternal footsteps were heard hurrying to the station. The boy, seeing by his father's appearance that the game was up, but being full of spirit, dashed up to his parent and shouted with glee, 'Buy a paper, sir'."
Sir Percy Joske, Sir Robert Menzies, 1894-1978 - a new, informal memoir, 1978 p 1.

Australian Events

Posted in 1903

  • Deakin Government, September 24 (see Australian Prime Ministers)
  • Australia is the first nation to give women both the right to vote and the right to stand for parliament.
  • The High Court of Australia is established. The first sitting took place in the Banco Court of the Supreme Court building in Melbourne on 6 October. The Bench comprised three distinguished people who had been prominent in the Federal movement. They were The Chief Justice, Sir Samuel Griffith, Sir Edmund Barton and Richard Edward O'Connor.
  • Billy Hughes launches a ferocious attack in parliament on the protectionist policies of PM Alfred Deakin. The protectionists believe that tariffs protect Australian jobs and products against cheap imports, encourage secondary industries and provide a means to ensure that the benefits of Australia's world-competitive industries go to the population as a whole.
    The Age, 9 May 2001.

World Events

Posted in 1903

  • Dr Pierre Curie and Madame Marie Curie, with daughter IreneWright Brothers, Wilbur and Orville, make the first powered flight in a heavier-than-air machine, at Kitty Hawk, South Carolina, USA.
  • Henry Ford sets up his Motor Company.
  • The first coast to coast crossing of America by car, takes 65 days.
  • Marie and Pierre Curie share the Nobel Prize for Physics with scientist Henri Becquerel for their work on radioactivity. Marie Curie, discoverer of radium, becomes the first female Nobel Laureate.
  • Formation of the Women's Social and Political Union in Britain by Emmeline Pankhurst to demand votes for women. It is not until 1918, after proving their ability in almost every occupation during World War I, that women over the age "Votes for women"of 30 acquire the vote. They gain equality of franchise with men in 1928.
  • First Tour de France bicycle race.