The date was 24 October 1889. The place was Tenterfield, a small town in Northern NSW. The protagonist was New South Wales Premier and Colonial Secretary Henry Parkes.

Following a banquet in his honour, Parkes delivered a speech, which later would be remembered as “The Tenterfield Oration”. In it he picked up on two main and very important issues: the national defence of the Australian continent and the major disadvantages suffered by the populations of border towns, such as Tenterfield due to the trade barriers between the various self ruling colonies, such as Queensland and New South Wales. Parkes called for a constitutional convention with the aim to prepare the ground work for a federation of the Australian colonies. Parkes died in the Sydney suburb of Annandale five years before Federation would become reality and bear the name he had proposed: Commonwealth of Australia

Elsewhere in the world, the Cath├ędrale Notre-Dame de Chartres, 80km southwest of Paris, was consecrated in the presence of King Louis IX (1260), the Peace of Westphalia was signed in Muenster and Osnabrueck, ending the 30 Years War and the Holy Roman Empire by returning – much to the Vatican’s displeasure – the sovereign power back to the Imperial States (1648), the world’s first football club, Sheffield F.C., was founded in England (1857), the United Nations Charter became effective (1945) and the Yom Kippur War ended (1973).

Born today were, amongst others, British bass guitarist William George Perks, better known as Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones (London, 1936), Australian business man and politician Malcolm Turnbull (Sydney, 1954) and Russian multibillionaire and owner of the Chelsea football club, Roman Abramovich (Saratov/Sovietunion, 1966)

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