10 October 1963

The Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty comes into effect.

The Partial Test Ban Treaty is the abbreviated name of the 1963 Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water, which prohibited all test detonations of nuclear weapons except for those conducted underground. It is also abbreviated as the Limited Test Ban Treaty and Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, though the latter may also refer to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which succeeded the PTBT for ratifying parties.

Negotiations initially focused on a comprehensive ban, but this was abandoned due to technical questions surrounding the detection of underground tests and Soviet concerns over the intrusiveness of proposed verification methods. The impetus for the test ban was provided by rising public anxiety over the magnitude of nuclear tests, particularly tests of new thermonuclear weapons, and the resulting nuclear fallout. A test ban was also seen as a means of slowing nuclear proliferation and the nuclear arms race. Though the PTBT did not halt proliferation or the arms race, its enactment did coincide with a substantial decline in the concentration of radioactive particles in the atmosphere.

The PTBT was signed by the governments of the Soviet Union, United Kingdom, and United States in Moscow on 5 August 1963 before being opened for signature by other countries. The treaty formally went into effect on 10 October 1963. Since then, 123 other states have become party to the treaty. Ten states have signed but not ratified the treaty.

9 October 1804

The capital of Tasmania, Hobart, is founded.

Hobart was established in 1804 at the mouth of the Derwent River, a year after Tasmania’s first settlement at nearby Risdon Cove. Only a collection of tents and huts then, its population consisted of 178 convicts, 25 Royal Navy marines, 15 women, 21 children, 13 free settlers, and 10 civil officers.

Hobart is Australia’s second oldest city and has an incredible waterfront location. From Old Wharf, where the first arrivals settled, round to the fishing village of Battery Point, the area known as Sullivan’s Cove is still the hub of this cosmopolitan city.

Attractions include the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Criminal Courts and Penitentiary Chapel, Battery Point, and Salamanca Place.

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery was built in 1863 and designed by the city’s best known colonial architect, Henry Hunter. The gallery now houses an excellent collection of early prints and paintings of Tasmania, Aboriginal artifacts, as well as botanical displays of native flora. The Criminal Courts and Penitentiary Chapel showcases underground passages, solitary confinement cells, and an execution yard.

Battery Point is a maritime village located near the early settlement and wharves. A site with narrow gas-lit streets lined with tiny fishermen’s and worker’s houses, cottage gardens, colonial mansions and pubs, this village is a reflection of early colonial days. The strategic site, with its views down to the Derwent River, was originally home to a gun battery, which was positioned to ward off potential enemy invasions. The old guardhouse, built in 1818, is just a few minutes walk from Hampden road and has a range of antique shops, art galleries, tearooms, and restaurants.

Salamanca Place was once the site of early colonial industries ranging from jam making to metal foundry. Today, the beautiful row of sandstone warehouses is now the heart of Hobart’s lively art and creative centre. There is a range of art and craft galleries, antique furniture stores, and antiquarian bookshops housed in these old buildings. This place is also famous for its Saturday morning market and the Salamanca Market, where many stalls filled with arts, crafts, and fresh food are displayed.

Click here to view the map by A Mault showing the features of the original settlement with modern streets overlaid.

It is taken from a survey by Surveyor-General Harris. The original was discovered in the NSW Lands Office and presented to the Tasmanian Lands Office.

8 October 1813

The Treaty of Ried is signed between Bavaria and Austria.

The Treaty of Ried of 8 October 1813 was a treaty that was signed between Bavaria and Austria. By this treaty, Bavaria left the Confederation of the Rhine and agreed to join the Sixth Coalition against Napoleon in exchange for a guarantee of her continued sovereign and independent status.

On 14 October, Bavaria made a formal declaration of war against Napoleonic France. The treaty was passionately backed by the Crown Prince Louis and by Marshal von Wrede.

7 October 1996

Fox News Channel start broadcasting.

The channel was created by Australian-born American media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who hired Roger Ailes as its founding CEO. The channel was launched on October 7, 1996 to 17 million cable subscribers. Prior to founding Fox News, Murdoch had gained significant experience in the 24-hour news business when News Corporation’s BSkyB subsidiary started Europe’s first 24-hour news channel, Sky News, in the United Kingdom in 1989. With the success of his fourth network efforts in the United States, experience gained from Sky News, and turnaround of 20th Century Fox, Murdoch announced on January 31, 1996, that his company would be launching a 24-hour news channel to air on both cable and satellite systems as part of a News Corp. “worldwide platform” for Fox programming, reasoning that “The appetite for news – particularly news that explains to people how it affects them – is expanding enormously.”

Exterior of the Fox News Channel studios in New York City
In February 1996, after former NBC executive and Republican political strategist Roger Ailes left America’s Talking now MSNBC, Murdoch called him to start the Fox News Channel. Ailes worked individuals through five months of 14-hour workdays and several weeks of rehearsal shows before launch, on October 7, 1996.

At launch, only 10 million households were able to watch Fox News, with none in the major media markets of New York City and Los Angeles. According to published reports, many media reviewers had to watch the first day’s programming at Fox News’ studios because it was not readily available. The rolling news coverage during the day consisted of 20-minute single topic shows like Fox on Crime or Fox on Politics surrounded by news headlines. Interviews had various facts at the bottom of the screen about the topic or the guest.

In the 2000 presidential election, Fox News, which was available in 56 million homes nationwide, saw a staggering 440% increase in viewers, the biggest gain among the three cable news television networks.

6 October 1903

The High Court of Australia sits for the first time.

In 1903 Canberra as the national capital did not exist. The legislative and administrative capital of the Commonwealth was Melbourne and so Melbourne hosted the first sitting of Australia’s highest court. At a meeting of the Federal Executive Council on 6 October 1903, the Governor-General, Lord Tennyson, signed the commissions appointing Chief Justice Griffith and Justices Barton and O’Connor to the Court.

The following day, in the Banco Court of the Supreme Court of Victoria, the first sitting of the High Court took place. In a solemn ceremony watched by a courtroom filled with distinguished guests, the Justices’ commissions were read, the judicial oaths administered and the Commonwealth Attorney-General, Senator JG Drake, presented his commission to the newly-sworn Court.

This painting depicts the Rt Hon Justice O’Connor taking the oath of office. Standing immediately before the Bench and administering the oath is the Registrar, Mr GH Castle and to his left is the Marshal, Mr W.D. Bingle. In the bottom left-hand corner is the Court Crier. At the Bar table from the bottom of the picture are: Senator Drake; New South Wales, Attorney-General Mr BR Wise; Mr Isaac Isaacs KC MP; Sir John Quick KC MP; Mr LE Groom MP representing the Queensland Bar in the absence of the Queensland Attorney-General; and Senator Dobson representing the Tasmanian Bar. Seated to the left of Senator Drake, and not shown in the painting, were: the Attorney-General of Victoria, Mr JM Davies MP; Mr Higgins KC MP and Mr Purves KC. Due to the tyranny of distance, there was no representative from Western Australia at the ceremony. On the upper right hand side, just to the right of the clock, one can see Lord Tennyson and to his left, Lady Tennyson. To the right of the Governor-General is the Prime Minister, the Hon Alfred Deakin MP. Following the swearing-in ceremonies, each of the senior legal representatives gave congratulating their honours on their appointment.

The first to speak was Senator Drake and it was an eloquent speech. According to a newspaper report in The Age on Wednesday, 7 October 1903:

[H]e said the country was to be congratulated on the establishment of a court which embodied the judicial power of the Commonwealth and would be the guardian and interpreter of the Constitution. With the Legislature, the Executive and the High Court, the Constitution in its great ideals was now complete. Time would evolve the union of heart and mind and purpose which made for true federation. The knowledge they had of the part that had been taken by their Honours in the past in guiding the aspirations of the people of Australia in the directions of the nobler conceptions of national life, the great care skill and pairs that had been devoted by them to framing the instrument of federation, were assurances that the court would zealously safeguard the Constitution and that the interpretation of its provisions would harmonise with the growth and development of national life. The decisions of the Court would bring life and spirit into the dry bones of the Constitution and the names of the first Justices of the Court would live in history with those of the illustrious expounders of American Constitutional law.

Senator Drake was followed in turn by Messrs Wise, Davies, Groom and Senator Dobson. Following the congratulatory speeches, each of the Justices responded. The Age reported:

The Chief Justice, in replying to the speeches, said… that the Court was entrusted with powers far reaching in their effect. It would be looked to for the solution to most difficult questions, to compose strifes between the States and possibly between the Commonwealth and the States. Upon its success or failure must depend to a great extend the future well being of the Commonwealth. His brother justices and he himself had before them to excite their emulation the great traditions of the British empire and the noble traditions of the Supreme Courts of the Australian States.

Justices Barton and O’Connor added their support to the Chief Justice’s words, each referring to the weighty responsibilities they now took upon themselves.

The ceremony was completed in less then 30 minutes and the Court adjourned until the next day to hear its first case, an application for special leave to appeal in the matter of D’Emden v Pedder. D’Emden v Pedder 1 CLR 91 involved an alleged breach of the Tasmanian Act which had led to the applicant, Mr D’Emden the Deputy Postmaster-General of Tasmania and a Commonwealth employee being fined one shilling by the Court of Petty Sessions in Hobart for failing to pay stamp duty of two pence on a receipt for his monthly salary – a decision later upheld by the Supreme Court of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Full Court. The High Court granted special leave to appeal, and the applicant succeeded. The High Court held that the Commonwealth was immune from state stamp duties, as were the states from Commonwealth imposts, under the doctrine of sovereign intergovernmental immunities, and in the absence of express Constitutional provision that government powers were fettered.