Friday, June 25, 2010

Lord Wiki Teaches Me about Melbourne in the 20th Century

Royal Exhibition Building Melbourne
Okay. Now I'm going to do the 20th Century.

Does that begin in 1900 or 1901? I think that's a bit confusing. I thought 2010 was the end of the 2000's, but then I've heard some people say that it begins in 2001. So, I'm not quite sure.

On 1 January 1901, Australia did the Federation thing. I already knew that...thankfully. I'm glad I remember at least SOME things.

Before Parliament moved to Canberra, it was held in the Melbourne Exhibition Building. Well, that I did NOT know. I knew Parliament was originally done in Melbourne, but I didn't know the exact building.

The first meeting was in May. It's kind of funny that it took three months to have the meeting. I'd think they'd be excited to get things started. Then again, the American president is elected in November, and then has to wait over two months to get into office. I suppose these things take time.

Here's the website for the Melbourne Exhibition Building. It looks very modern. Did they tear the old one down, and make a new one?

Oh! Never mind. I'm looking at the wrong place. Oops.

Here's the right one. It's the ROYAL Exhibition Building. This is the one in Carlton Gardens. I remember it a bit. Was there a fire? Or am I thinking of a Sydney fire? Yeah. I think I'm thinking of the Sydney one.

The Australia Parliament was in Melbourne until 1927.

What else.....

Melbourne prospered, and it's population grew after World War II. There were a lot of immigrants/refugees coming in.

In 1956, the Olympics were held in Melbourne. I remember that. An Asian-Australian guy convinced those in charge to do a march thing with people from the various countries walking together. I really like that.

What was that guy's name again?

Here we go.....

It was John Wing. Here's a whole website about him. I think it's a beautiful story.

There was other fun stuff going on in Melbourne during the post-war era. Lord Wiki says the CBD was spiffed up a bit. I'm guessing maybe that was done for the Olympics. You gotta dust when expecting visitors.

In 1960, the Chadstone Shopping Centre was opened. I guess that's important. Is it a mall?

I'm seeing a map on their website. It looks like one.

We went to a mall in Dallas a couple of weeks ago. Tim had a work event to go to. I was a bit excited, because we don't go to malls much. But then after being there for an hour or two, I remembered why we don't go to malls too much.

And American malls are very aggravating because they serve most of their drinks in Styrofoam cups. I hate that. I think Australia has less of that.

Then there's all the people with their shopping bags. And it seems like a mass of excessive consumerism. Everyone looks like MALL people. You know, it's those people who don't care much about anything except fashion and getting new stuff. Although it's probably just a perception thing. A small percentage are probably like that. The rest are probably people like us...ones who rarely do the mall thing. Plus, I shouldn't be insulting. I was once kind of a mall person myself.

Let me get back to history. This post is getting long, and I was hoping to avoid that.

Sometime in the 20th century, there was a public housing controversy. I'm not in the mood to go much into that. I think it was basically about getting rid of the old to put up high rise buildings. That usually gets people a bit itchy.

Lord Wiki says that the 1970's were a prosperous time for Melbourne. They were Australia's business and financial center. Then in the late 1970's, Sydney took over.

From 1989 to 1992, Melbourne was having financial problems. It sounds like things improved fairly quickly. That's good.

Well, that's it for Lord Wiki's history lesson.

Next, he'll be teaching me geography and climate. All I know is that it's hot as hell in summer.
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