Good morning, we will finish off August with one last Tony Robinson’s Time Travels. This would be a fun and frivolous series to show in the classroom. Tony Robinson goes back to 776 BC and looks back to the history of the Olympics in Game Changers. Sports have always had a part of history and have shaped the world in many ways. Tony kicks off his tour in Victoria and it is the World’s Most Sports Mad state. It was here a game was invented that prevented two nations from tearing themselves apart.
It is in the 1940s and the Americans were invading Australia. The Americans were well paid and flashed their money around town. This angered local soldiers and tensions grew. So, the governments organized a series of matches between the American and Australian soldiers came together and created a game. This game would combine the skills of American football and Australian Football. An American reporter called the game a combination of football, soccer, basketball, and aerial bombardment. The game was called Austus, a combination of the United States and Australia. The game cooled tensions between the Australians and the Americans and reforged their alliance.
Tony then goes further back in time and Ancient Greece. The games were called the Olympics and they were held every four years. These games were such a big deal that the Greeks built a large statue of Zeus. These games were held in honor of Zeus and were held at Olympia. Combat sports played a key role in the games. These were a test of a warrior’s fighting skills. The Romans also loved sport as well, but their love of sport ended the Ancient Greek Olympic games. The statue of Zeus was destroyed, and Olympia was destroyed. The games were eventually banned.
So how were the games revived? Tony travels 1,500 years into the future. The games inspired the people were in Much Wenlock in the 1850s. The local GP was William Penny-Brooks and he wanted to encourage the young men to exercise their minds as well as their bodies. He started an Olympian class which allowed the men to show off their skills in exercise. The first Wenlock games were held in 1850 and have been held every year baring World War I and World War II. It was the first organized game to be held for working-class people. Brooks had to fight opposition and won. His games had rules and the working men could win a medal at the end of victory. Eventually, Brooks expanded the games to other towns. A national game was born and was held at the Crystal Palace.
Brooks met a young aristocrat named Baron Pierre de Coubertin. They talked long into the night and Coubertin took Brooks’ dream and ran with it. Eventually and Olympic Committee was formed and the first games were held in 1896. Unfortunately, Brooks did not live long enough to see his dream come true. However, not everyone was invited to participate. Women were not allowed to complete. Fanny Durack was one of the first women swimmers who participated in the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm. She used the Australian Crawl to win a gold medal and set a world record.
Tony then goes to Rupert’s Wood in Australia to learn about the world’s strangest trophy. Cricket’s Ashes, the world’s strangest trophy was created in Australia. The story about this trophy is that the British Cricket Team lost to Australia and so the Australian Team was given ashes. However, Tony learns the true story. The trophy was created at Christmas Time after an unofficial game of cricket. The hostess tossed two small pieces of equipment into a fire and then put the ashes in a plain urn, thus the Ashes Trophy was born.
This would be an excellent episode to show in a physical education class as well as a history class.
Good morning. I have two more Time Travels I want to review for August and then we will move onto Nations at War for September. Tony Robinson continues his Time Travels featuring history’s Great Escapes. He kicks off this episode in prison and the first prison he visits is in Port Arthur in Tasmania. Port Arthur was the Alcatraz of Australia. In the 1830s and 1840s, the Port Arthur prison was part of the transportation system, and it housed the worse of the worse. It was considered inescapable. Port Arthur is a natural fortress. It was accessible by a narrow strip of land and this strip of land was protected by attack dogs.
When convicts got there first, they were given heavy, backbreaking work like chopping down and moving trees. If you were good, you could be trained in a trade. However, if you broke the rules, you went back to the heavy work only this time you were chained at your legs. The chains were heavy and there was no way you could get them off. There were more sinister punishments that were to be had as well. Isolation was one form of punishment that was used at Port Arthur. The prisoners were cut off from their fellow prisoners. The death rates were higher in isolation than they were doing hard labor. If a prisoner broke the rules there was a punishment cell. With Port Arthur’s strict rules, there were escape attempts. One man disguised himself as a kangaroo and escaped that way.
Tony then travels to the 1980s and a political act that shaped the destiny of a nation. New Zealand just had an election and the Labour Party’s anti-nuclear stance would come under scrutiny. New Zealand banned nuclear weapons and nuclear power from their country. The Americans were going to do some military exercises with Australia and New Zealand. This caused trouble between the Americans and the New Zealanders. The Americans eventually cut the New Zealanders out of the military exercises.
Tony then visits the site of MacArthur’s duel. John MacArthur was a soldier serving in Australia and he was the luckiest guy in Australian history. He would become a rich landowner. His fate was decided by the flip of a coin. MacArthur was challenged to a duel by his superior officer Patterson. He would win the duel but would be in hot water. The Governor shipped him back to England to face court-martial. MacArthur’s court-martial was quashed and went around Britain announcing that Australia could become Britain’s wool provider. Eventually, he was given a land grant and returned to Australia. On the ship, he ran into the Prince of Wales’ physician and convinced the man to give him some of the king’s sheep. With this exchange, Australia would become a large wool producer.
Flash forward to the 1930s, Melbourne, and the depression. The one place where people could escape their troubles was the racetrack. One horse captured the imagination of the people. His winning streak lifted the spirits of the people. However, with great success came enemies. The bookies were no longer making money on the races, so people thought that horse was better off dead. There was an attempt on the horse’s life and his owners had to hide the horse. Unfortunately, the phones and the power were cut to the farm. The night was uneventful, and the horse made it to the race. This horse would win the 1930 Melbourne Cup.
Tony then goes to the 1940s and visits a military prison. A group of inmates decided to break out of the prison. Twenty-two prisoners made the break for the yard. What happened to this group of prisoners? Tune into this episode to find out.
This is another fun and frivolous episode to check out for history or even a geography class.
Tony Robinson continues with his Time Travels in Eat, Drink and Be Merry. He explores the passion for eat and drink and how it altered the course of history. Where are the oldest grapevines? How did rum bring down a government? Why did the people riot against mutton? Who controlled fifty percent of the world’s trade at one time? Who really invented the Pavlova?
There was one drink above others that shaped civilization: Wine. The world’s oldest grapevines can be found in Australia and a vineyard in Australia. They were planted in 1843 and were planted by a German immigrant. A reclusive German immigrant had a mind for soil. He found an area in Australia where the soil had the potential to be fertile. He had a vision of vineyards and orchards. The people thought that he was joking, but he was serious. This area would eventually have a thriving wine industry.
However, it was another drink that brought down a government. It is 1808 and the Australia penal colony is getting off the ground. However, there is a problem: the ruling class felt increasingly vulnerable. The rulers had to rely on the army, however these were just ordinary blokes who wanted to take advantage of the situation. These soldiers cornered the market on Rum. Rum was considered a currency. Builders were paid in rum. Rewards for capturing criminals were given in Rum.
This payment in rum started when the Governor of Australia returned to England due to poor health. The officers took advantage of the power vacuum that was left and took over the government. The officers gave themselves land grants and enriched themselves. Eventually William Blythe was appointed governor and he was stickler for the rules. He would come face to face to John Macarthur a charismatic Australia who was heavily invested in the colony. Blythe was supposed to break up the rum cartel. John Macarthur and his rum cartel fought back, and Blythe was forced to resign.
The next Time Travel takes Tony to Adelaide, Australia and the Great Depression. The government provided the people with rations of food. In January 1931, the people rioted against the replacement of beef with mutton an inferior meat in the people’s eyes. It became known as the Beef Riots and as a result beef remained as part of the rations.
After this short Time Travel, Tony explores the history of the East India Trading Company. The 1500s were a period of exploration. The World was divided between Spain and Portugal. Only after the defeat of the Spanish Armada, that stranglehold on the world was broken. The East India Trading Company petitioned the king for permission to explore. The king granted this petition. Eventually the East India Trading Company controlled fifty percent of the world trade. This trading changed people’s taste. Britain was the first coffee drinking nation in the world. However, the East India Trading Company was not authorized to trade with coffee growing nations. Then they started to trade tea and they traded for tea with China. What did the East India Trading Company trade in order to get the tea? The answer may surprise you.
Tony’s last stop goes to the 1920’s New Zealand and a fight over desert. Anna Pavlova was on tour in New Zealand and Australia. Her dress inspired a desert, which would become known as the Pavlova. Who invented the Pavlova? Was it the Australians or the New Zealanders? Tune into this episode to find out what the Oxford dictionary has to say about the Pavlova.
This was an enjoyable episode about food and would be good to show in a food science class as well as a history class. For a history class, I would show the section on the East India Trading Company.
Good morning! We continue with Tony Robinson’s Time Travels in this episode: In Cold Blood. Tony arrives in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1954. He is exploring a trial of two young ladies. These ladies were so obsessed with which each other they would kill to stay together. The two ladies were named Juliet and Pauline. Pauline’s mother wanted to move out of New Zealand, separating the two girls.
The pair hatched a plan to murder Pauline’s mother. They lured her to a place outside of Christchurch, where the mother was brutally beaten to death. When the trial started, the courthouse was packed and the locals were curious to see who could commit the murder. The diary of the girls was read during the rial. On August 29, 1954, the girls were found guilty of murder, sentenced to five years in prison, and never saw each other again. They were sentenced to prison. After they got out of prison, they managed to live productive lives.
Tony then arrives in Australia and explores the shipwreck Batavia. The Batavia was going to Australia in 1629 from Holland to look for spices. Unfortunately, the ship went off course and wrecked off the west coast of Australia. Events spiraled out of control after this wreck. The captain took a few of his men and went to Jakarta for help. This left the survivors without a leader. A man named Jeronimus Cornelisz took charge. He sent off a group of men to look for food. He left the men behind and took control of the island. What ensued was murder and misery. Many of the passengers were massacred. Eventually, the captain returned and Jeronimus Corenlisz was hanged. A piece of the ship Batavia is in a museum.
Tony goes to Sydney and explores the year 1790. Sydney harbor was bristling with tension. The governor Captain Arthur Philip was under order to befriend the Aboriginal people. However, the Aboriginal people avoided the colony. Anyone who strayed from the colony in Sydney was killed by Aboriginal people. Arthur decided to kidnap an Aboriginal person. He kidnapped several more Aboriginal people. Eventually, tensions grew between the settlers and the Aboriginal people. The Aboriginal people attempted to assassinate Arthur Philip.
Captain Arthur Philip did not want the colonists to retaliate against the Aboriginal people. They came to the negotiation table. A meeting was arranged and the Aboriginal people were welcomed into the settlement. Unfortunately, this peace would not last as the men went and explored Australia. Tony then learns about John Horrocks. He was a man who wanted to make his mark on history. He was a farmer but then decided his forte was exploring. Horrocks then imported a camel. Camels are normally sweet-tempered but the camel Horrocks imported was ill-tempered. He bit the head of the tent master. Horrocks discovered a bird that he wanted to stuff. Harry shifted and knocked the gun, shooting Horrocks. Horrocks died twenty-three days later. He ordered the camel shot and it took two bullets to kill the camel.
Tony then goes to 1933 and the sporting pitch to explore the most brutal action that occurred in sporting history. A touring English cricket team was playing a game against the Australian cricket team. An Australian player was hit in the chest and the English team was accused of playing dirty. Tension rose and the Australian Prime Minister had to intervene. The English Captain’s actions tarnished cricket’s reputation.
This was a rather cool episode to view and I would recommend the first part for a library and information science class because it talks about Anne Perry. The third story of between the Aboriginals and the Sydney Colony would be a good section to show for a geography class.
Tony Robinson explores the Rebels with a Cause. These were the people who stood up and said no. He explores the different rebels through history. The first rebel is found in Sydney, Australia.
It was clear that the British were going to say in Australia. They settled in a place that was considered sacred to the Aboriginal people. Tony Robinson meets up with Leanne Tobin, an Australian of Aboriginal descent. She tells the story of one rebel. He was a magic man and challenged people who came to settle. He was a man who could change into a crow and this allowed him to spy on the British. This rebel did not like what he was seeing. This man went to challenge the British soldiers. The soldiers shot him but the man did not die. The fact that he did not die only became part of his legend. Eventually, he was defeated and Aboriginals and Aboriginal culture went underground.
Tony then returns to Britain and talks about Queen Boudica. Britain was under invasion by the Romans. The Romans were going to change Britain. Within months of the invasion, the Romans were in control over the southern half of the country. When the Romans invaded Britain, they discovered a land ruled by a variety of kings and kingdoms. These kings made deals with the Romans. These deals worked out well for the Romans until the Iceni king died. They seized the property of the Iceni, whipped the Iceni queen, and raped her daughter. This queen was Boudica and she fought the Romans. Eventually, the Romans gained the upper hand and Boudica killed herself.
Nine hundred years later, this spirit was found in one woman: Kate Sheppard. She fought for women’s right to vote. The first country in the world that allowed women to vote was New Zealand and she was born in Britain. She not only fought for the women’s right to vote, she felt that women would vote against liquor. This caused the liquor manufacturers to fight against Kate. Thousands of people signed a petition for the women’s right to vote. The issue was voted on in the New Zealand parliament and the women won the right to vote.
Tony then travels to Melbourne, Australia, and 1969. The center of the rebellion was found in a theatre. The actors were tackling the issue of censorship. A playwright took on the authorities and wrote a play where the actors shouted obscenities. The actors were arrested by the real authorities and were taken to jail. The audience followed the actors to the jail shouting the lines of the play. Eventually, the actors were charged and put on trial. The first trial ended in dismissal. Eventually, the censorship laws were overturned.
Finally, Tony goes to central Victoria and the goldfields. Due to the gold, the population in central Victoria exploded. Fortunes were made and unmade in the goldfields. The goldfields were home to extravagance and excess. Eventually, the government started charging diggers fees to the people. The people were unhappy with the diggers fee. A police force was sent to the goldfields to enforce the new rules. The diggers started to dig in and try to stop the license checks. The police responded with more license checks. Eventually, the diggers were attacked. Dozens lost their lives in the fight. The survivors were put on trial for treason. However, due to the gruesome manner people would be killed for treason, the survivors were found not guilty.
Tony goes to five different sites to explore history’s rebels. I would just show the section on Boudica for a history class.
Tony Robinson hosts the series Time Travels. He looks for the men and women who made a difference in history. These were moments when history changed forever. These are bits that the victors leave out. Travels around Australia to discover history’s hidden stories. He talks with historians and ordinary people to tease out the details. This is a fascinating series and Tony brings his Time Team experience and enthusiasm to each story.
In Secrets of the State, Tony Robinson explores the history-changing moments that the authorities do not want you to know about. In this episode, Tony starts in Australia. He goes back to World War II and a secret that was suppressed by the US Government. Australia was in the sites of Japan. Singapore had fallen and most of Indonesia was invaded. Would Australia be able to withstand a Japanese invasion?
The Australian coast was a valuable place for the Allies. The Americans started funneling supplies to Townsville. Eventually, soldiers made their way to Australia as well. Townsville population tripled. This was a segregated US Army. Black soldiers could go into town and mix with Australians. They could go to the movies and sit in front of taxis. They had more freedom in Australia than they had in America. Eventually, the white officers clamped down on these activities.
Finally, a mutiny exploded between the black soldiers and the white officers. The men machine-gunned the tents and set fire to the ammunition dumps. They demanded a white officer be returned to the men. The army met the soldiers' demands. Congressman Lyndon Johnson was sent to Australia to investigate the mutiny. A report was taken down. Johnson summarized the report to Roosevelt. The report was eventually buried.
Tony then goes back 200 years for another secret. This secret would determine the fate of empires. It was kicked off with a celestial event. King George III wanted this event to be observed and so sent scientists out to the South Pacific. James Cook was sent out to lead the expedition. He took the scientists to Tahiti.
This ship also had a secret agenda: they were going to find Australia. The British were going to build their empire on this rumored southland. In the King’s mind, there had to be a large continent to balance out North America. New Zealand was discovered and claimed for the British Empire. Finally, in 1770, the expedition found Australia. Cook and the scientists were the first people to see the east coast of Australia. Cook claimed Australia in the name of George III. Australia would eventually bring Britain great wealth.
So Tony goes from the 1770s to the 1960s to learn about a man who was impacted by the Cold War. He meets up with Philip Geri. Philip encountered this man, who was a spy. The Cold War came to Australia. This man was out recruiting young agents. Philip was given papers for his parents to sign. Philip would become a spy himself. After 23 years, his service ended and he was paid off.
So where else does Tony travel during this episode? What else does Tony learn about history’s forgotten stories? Tune into this episode to find out more.
Time Travels runs about thirty minutes and each section could be broken up into little sections for easy viewing or to incorporate into a lecture. Tony proves to be a delightful and cheeky narrator for this series and enjoys what he learns. Each section would be good to show in a history class depending on the subject discussed. Or if you wanted something fun to show as a brain break for students, then this series should be added to your arsenal.
Two more days and then Thirty-One Days of the Time Team will be done. It makes me sad to be winding down with the Thirty-One Days of the Time Team. IT was a nice little challenge to do for March and I’m glad that the Time Team came back to YouTube. In today’s episode, we will learn about King George III and his lost palace.
Kew Gardens is the setting for the Time Team. This was the site of the home of King George III called the white house palace. It was a favorite of King George III. The White House Palace was where King George III spent his later, made years locked up. What did it look like? Where was it located in the gardens? Time Team has three days to find out more about the palace.
The White House palace was a spectacular home for King George. A sundial seems to mark the spot where the palace was. However, it does not tell the Time Team what it looked like. Was it a house that had a façade or was it built from scratch? Geophysics works on the site. However, the results are confusing. There seems to be a four-meter wide wall. That does not sound right to the Time Team. So why was there a four-meter-wide feature on the geophysics results?
Trench one goes in. The Time Team carefully takes the top layers of turf off the lawn. There was a Tudor Mansion on the site. Was it knocked down to build a new home? Or did the architect just put a new face on the house? So far, all Phil is finding is gravel.
Stewart is looking at the records for the old palace. There was a survey done that revealed a plan of the palace. The plans highlight the location of the rooms. “Geophysics seems to be doing fine without the plan,” Tony quips. A second trench is put in the ground. Time Team is hoping that they end up in the White House. Phil Works with a turf cutter to help remove the turf.
The White House was where King George III stayed during his fits of madness. It was a time of change for Britain. England stood alone against France. The Industrial Revolution was occurring. Great Britain was growing wealthy.
Phil is excavating trench one. There is plenty of gravel but no archeology. Nick the site manager wants to close out the trench and move Phil on to another Trench. Phil insists on staying. However, everyone is growing worried. Was the building completely rubbed out of the landscape when it was taken down? Trench Two puts those fears to rest when there is brickwork is discovered. Back at trench one, there is evidence of a cellar, and Phil’s instincts are proven right.
Going into day two, things are going well for the Time Team. However, while John Gater reviews the geophysics results alongside the blueprints of the palace. None of it is making sense to John. Another trench will be needed to find the back of the palace. There is a problem: there is a gas pipe running through the lawn. This will prevent the Time Team from digging where they need to to find the back of the palace.
Trench one is yielding some more brick as well as a glass stem for a wine glass from the Georgian period. What else will Time Team find out about the White House? What will this dig tell us about King George III? Tune into this episode to find out more.
This episode would be a good episode to show while learning about King George III. This was the place where George III spent his last years.
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