#OnThisDay 22 May 1851 the NSW Government made the official announcement of the discovery of gold in the state. Edward Hargreaves discovered the gold at Summerhill Creek, near Bathurst. He notified the Government and was rewarded with an appointment as Commissioner of Land.
#OnThisDay 20 May 1867 applications for admission to the nautical school-ship, the Vernon, commenced. The Vernon was purchased by the Colonial Secretary in January 1867 and moored in Sydney Harbour. It was intended that vagrant and destitute boys would receive moral, nautical and industrial training along with elementary schooling.
The Vernon was replaced with the Sobraon in November 1892.
#OnThisDay 19 May 1948 the Federal Government announced that Australian rail gauge would be standardised. Three different gauges were in use around the country, meaning that passengers and goods often had broken travel, especially between States. A standard gauge of 1435mm was established for railways between all the state capitals.
#OnThisDay 18 May 1887 convict Margaret Greenwood died in a tram accident. Margaret arrived on the Caroline in 1833 to serve a seven year sentence. She married William Greenwood and had a family but hard luck later in life saw her in and out of prison. Margaret's gaol photo taken in 1875 leaves us with a rare view of a former Imperial convict.
#OnThisDay 17 May 1893 Archduke Franz Ferdinand arrived in Sydney for a private visit. His Imperial and Royal Highness Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Este was on a world tour on board the SMS Kaiserin Elisabeth. He spent much of his time in Australia hunting in the NSW outback near the towns of Nyngan and Narromine.
The Archduke's assassination in 1914 was one of the catalysts for the beginning of World War I.
#OnThisDay 15 May 1888 Louisa Lawson started publishing the Dawn in Sydney. The Dawn was a monthly journal for women that combined household hints, stories and fashion with political comment on topics such as female suffrage. It was an immediate success and continued to be printed for seventeen years. At the journal's height of popularity it employed 10 female staff, including female printers.
#OnThisDay 14 May 1920 Annie Turnbull went on trial for the manslaughter of Alice Berry in the Central Criminal Court in Sydney. She was found guilty but the verdict was later overturned. Annie made regular appearances in the Courts (and gaol records) for abortion related offences over a period of two decades.
#OnThisDay 13 May 1932 the NSW Premier, Jack Lang, was dismissed from office by NSW Governor Sir Philip Game. Lang is the only Premier of an Australian state to have been dismissed by the state Governor. The NSW government had accumulated large loans and during the Great Depression could not meet the interest payments. Lang found himself in a stand-off with the Commonwealth Government and withdrew £1 million of NSW Government money from the bank to prevent the Commonwealth Government from seizing it.
#OnThisDay 11 May 1813 Gregory Blaxland, William Lawson and William Wentworth departed Sydney on an expedition to find a route over the Blue Mountains. The trio reached Mt York on May 28 and three days later arrived at Mt Blaxland. At this point they turned back to Sydney having sighted the plains beyond and found a passage over the Blue Mountains
#OnThisDay 6 May 1873 a State funeral was held in honour of William Wentworth, who had died in England on March 20, 1872. Wentworth was well-known as an explorer (he found a route over the Blue Mountains along with Blaxland and Lawson), as an entrepreneur (he founded The Australian, NSW's first privately owned newspaper), as a politician (he was elected to the Legislative Council in 1843) and as landowner (he built Vauclause House and the surrounding estate).