11/13/2009

trivial things

  • Store being open for business on Sundays only started in 1989. Most small town places are closed up on Saturdays.
  • In the first 4 years that Te Papa, a large museum in Wellington,  was open, there were more than 6 million visitors.
  • 'Velvet Face', 'Minstrel' and 'The Herald' were three of the first recording labels in NZ. 
  • In 1938, a cloudburst hit Wairoa and 21 people drowned.
  • Charles Darwin was responsible for the first recorded cricket match played in NZ, in 1835.
  • In 1923, divorce was possible only after three years of living separately. Now it's possible after one year separation.
  • Experiments in aerial sowing of farmlands were made from a hot-air balloon near Blenheim.
  • NZ logged the first UFO encounter by radar and camera.
  • Car registration became compulsory in 1905.
  • The streets of the town of Stratford are all named after characters or places from Shakespeare plays. It is located on the Patea River, hence it calls itself Stratford upon Patea.
  • The first functioning electron microscope was set up in NZ in 1949.
  • NZer Lorraine Downes was Miss Universe 1983.
  • In 1869, prostitutes had to register with the police and were examined regularly for contagious diseases.
  • NZ had the first women police officers in 1942.
  • There were no radio broadcasts in NZ prior to WWI. After the war, NZ and the Falkland Islands were the only countries in the world where locals were banned from owning a radio receiver.
  • High winds blew a passenger train off the Rimutaka Rail incline in 1880, killing 3 children and injuring 21 others.
  • In 1906, basketball rules were misinterpreted and netball was born in NZ.
  • Trains crossing the runway of Gisborne Airport have to give way to landing planes. Only cars must give way to planes in Ohakea.
  • In 1942, Japanese reconnaissance flights were made over Wellington and Auckland.
  • Cecil Wood build NZ's first motorcycle in 1901. He also build the first motorcar that he drove around in Timaru.
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