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Tasmania History Timeline

1900s continued
  • (1916) Daylight savings time introduced as temporary wartime measure
  • (1917) Ridgeway Reservoir completed
  • (1919) Worldwide Spanish influenza epidemic reached Tasmania, affected 1/3 of population, claimed 171 lives
  • (1929) Northern Tasmania flooded, 22 killed; dam burst damaged Derby township and tin mines
  • (1932) Lyell Highway opened, linked Hobart with West Coast
  • (1932) Former Premier Joseph Lyons became prime minister, only Tasmanian to hold that office
  • (1936) The last known Tasmanian tiger (Thylacine) died at Hobart's Beaumaris Zoo
  • (1939-1945) World War II
  • (1940) German naval raiders planted mines off Hobart and other Australian areas; Hobart closed to shipping because of mine threat; Bass Strait closed after mine sank British steamer
  • (1943) Enid Lyons elected first woman of House of Representatives
  • (1948) Margaret McIntyre won Legislative Council seat, became first woman member of Tasmanian Parliament
  • (1951) Hartz Mountains National Park proclaimed
  • (1954) Hobart Rivulet area damaged after severe floods affected southern and eastern Tasmania
  • (1965) Oil drilling began in Bass Strait
  • (1967) Black Tuesday bushfires claimed 62 lives, destroyed more than 1,300 homes
  • (1967) Indigenous Australians received right to vote
  • (1968) Death penalty abolished
  • (1969) Launceston experienced worst flooding in 40 years
  • (1973) Australia's first legal casino, Wrest Point Hotel Casino, opened in Hobart
  • (1975) MV Lake Illawarra freighter crashed into Tasman Bridge, 12 died, part of bridge collapsed
  • (1977) Newly repaired Tasman Bridge reopened
  • (1981) Devonport proclaimed city
  • (1981) Bushfires destroyed 40 homes in Zeehan
  • (1982) Conservationists blockaded Gordon-below-Franklin hydro-electric dam work
  • (1982) Liberal government elected for first time in state's history
  • (1983) Federal regulations blocked Franklin Dam construction; High Court ruled in favour of federal sovereignty, ended the proposed Gordon-below-Franklin scheme
  • (1983) Tasmanian Aboriginal Land Council established
  • (1986) Aboriginal rock paintings discovered by archaeologists in southwest, believed to be 20,000 years old
  • (1992) Aborigines occupied Risdon Cove in protest of land claims
1900s continued
  • (1992) State's unemployment rate reached 12.2%, jobs declined in public and private sectors; workers' rally forced temporary closure of House of Assembly
  • (1993) Tasmania's unemployment rate 13.4%
  • (1995) Unemployment rate dropped to 9.6%
  • (1996) Martin Bryant killed 35 people, injured 20 in shooting rampage at Port Arthur historic site, Supreme Court sentenced him to life in prison
  • (1998) Storms and massive seas claimed six lives in Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
  • (1999) Wild winds and heavy rain caused chaos across Tasmania
  • (2001) Tasmanian Australian rules football clubs took national stage playing home and away VFL games for the first time in 120 years
  • (2003) Fires posed the worst fire threat in 30 years
  • (2003) Richard Butler appointed governor
  • (2003) Same-sex adoptions legalized
  • (2004) Richard Butler resigned at request of the premier
  • (2006) Beaconsfield mine collapsed, one miner killed, two trapped underground for 14 days
  • (2010) Labor Party Premier David Bartlett won fourth consecutive term
  • (2011) Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) opened in Hobart, became top tourism attraction within a year
  • (2013) Wild fires destroyed more than 100 buildings, communities is some areas cut off
  • (2013) Cruise ship rescued French sailor off coast of Tasmania

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.