Friday, January 13, 2012

time line

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16 - 17

Only two programs, Four Corners and Playschool, have been running longer than BtN.

Help with essay on time line

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This script takes a look at our first ten years - 16 to 17.

Nineteen sixty nine, the rocket carrying the first man to walk on the moon blasts off. In the same year, something else was blasting off.

For the next thirty years Behind the News would be a classroom fixture, bringing the news of the day to generations of Australian school kids.

New technology meant we could explore areas we have never been before.

One small step for man - one giant leap for mankind

Neil Armstrong - First man on the Moon

Six hundred million people watched the first man walk on the moon through television. The next decade would bring many more advances.

The first health warnings appeared on cigarette packs, then cigarette advertising was banned.

We went metric. Pounds and ounces were out, in came grams and kilogams.

In nineteen seventy one the first microchip meant that instead of taking up entire rooms, computers could fit neatly onto desk tops.

In nineteen seventy eight, Lousie Brown was born, the worlds first test tube baby. Her mothers eggs had been taken and fertilised in a test tube and then planted back in the womb to grow.

Behind the News was looking at the arrival of the super fast concorde.

BtN has always tackled the big world events.

In nineteen sixty nine American and Australian troops began to leave Vietnam, where theyd been fighting against North Vietnam for four years.

Images like this, were seen thousands of kilometres away from the war, on television. It sparked protests across the world. Many people wanted peace.

In the U.S. half a million young people turned up for the Woodstock Music Festival.

By nineteen seventy two, the last Australian combat troops had come home, but the fighting between North and South Vietnam didnt stop until nineteen seventy five.

Nineteen seventy five was also the year Australia gave independence to its colony Papua New Guinea. It also marked the beginning of the East Timor conflict, when Indonesia invaded.

U.S. President Richard Nixon had resigned over a corruption scandal.

Britain was to elect its first female Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

Feminism was in full force, women in Australia were allowed to be paid the same as men, and BtN was tackling the most dramatic event in Australian politics.

Well may we say God Save the Queen, because nothing will save the Governor-General.

Gough Whitlam - Sacked Prime Minister

Prime Minister Gough Whitlam was sacked by the Governor-General.

It was a decade when politics entered sport in the biggest arena of them all - the Olympic Games.

In Munich Germany, in nineteen seventy two, two members of the Israeli team were killed and nine taken hostage. A rescue attempt went horribly wrong and all the hostages and five terrorists were killed.

But the games went on. Americas Mark Spitz won a record seven gold medals. Australias hero was swimmer Shane Gould with five medals including three gold.

On the soccer field Pele was the king, one of the worlds first sports superstar.

Big changes were happening to cricket. Media mogul Kerry Packer signed up the best players in the world to play the game in one day instead of five. World Series Cricket became a big hit.

Streakers were also all the rage at big sporting events, but most people wore clothes in public like these!

The music world mourned the death of the King of Rock n Roll, Elvis Presley.

New artists were making their mark. There was Swedish pop group ABBA. Glam Rock arrived, with stars like David Bowie in outlandish makeup and stage antics.

Films like Star Wars were using amazing special effects and the film Jaws prompted BtN to take a look at sharks in Australian waters.

The environment has always been big on BtN. We saw the awesome force of mother nature when Cyclone Tracey flattened Darwin on Christmas Day, nineteen seventy four. Fifty people died. BtN looked at the big job facing Darwin residents starting all over again.

Mother nature, we were discovering, was also very fragile. BtN featured poems from kids about the plight of whales.

Back then it was a joke that saving the whales was the only environmental issue around. The next decade, through the eighties, would change all that. One of the biggest issues on the planet, would be the planet.

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The Eighties

The ninety eighties began with a bang!

Mt St Helens in the United States erupted with a volcanic explosion that filled the air with so much ash, day turned to night.

A former Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan became the President of the United States.

At Ayers Rock in Australia, a baby called Azaria Chamberlain went missing. It was a saga that captivated us for the entire decade. Lindy Chamberlain the babys mother was jailed for murder, but always said that she didnt do it. She said a dingo had taken her baby. In nineten eighty seven, after numerous court battles the Chamberlains were finally pardoned.

The fairytale wedding of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer, was the most watched event on television.

Another golden couple of the eighties, British ice skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, won gold medals at the nineteen eighty four winter Olympics.

The hero of the summer games was American sprinter and long jumper Carl Lewis. He won four gold medals.

Australian tennis player Evonne (Goolagong) Cawley won her second Wimbledon title in nineteen eighty.

The whole country celebrated when Australia won the Americas Cup in nineteen eighty three. It was the first time it had ever been won by a crew from outside the U.S.

The win catapulted Men at Works song Down Under to the top of the charts. It became an unofficial Aussie anthem.

Our real national anthem Advance Australia Fair was made official in nineteen eighty four. We were bursting with national pride.

In nineteen eighty eight BtN was looking at Australias Bicentennial Year, our two hundredth birthday.

Many of the spectators, including the Prince and Princess of Wales came from all over the world to see what will be remembered by millions as a lifetime event.

BtN Reporter - 188

It was also a time of protest by Aboriginal Australians who saw it as the anniversary of European invasion.

By the end of the eighties Ayers Rock became Uluru, when it was handed back to Aboriginal people, and land rights were given to the Pitjantjatjara people in South Australia.

South Australians were cleaning up after the Ash Wednesday fires that killed seventy one people and wiped out hundreds of homes.

The wreck of the ship Titanic was discovered and a new disease was discovered too, AIDS.

Frightening ads warned us to be careful not to catch this disease.

The medical and scientific world would spend the rest of the decade and the next searching for a cure.

Money was a big theme in the eighties. We changed over to $1 & $ coins instead of notes.

After five years of economic growth the worlds stock markets crashed - in October nineteen eighty seven, a day known as Black Monday. Billions of dollars were lost, companies across the globe went broke.

Tiananmen Square in China was the scene of one of the most memorable images of the decade, when a lone protestor stood out against the might of the Chinese Army. About one thousand civilians are believed to have died in a protest against Chinas Communist Government.

Images of starving children in Africa had also touched the world. Popular musicians of the day got together and released a song to raise money to feed the millions of victims in the Ethiopian famine.

In Russia, an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant released huge amounts of radiation into the atmosphere. The area around the plant was evacuated and is still contaminated today.

The effect of nuclear energy on our planet became a big environmental issue.

On BtN we were talking about the hole in the ozone layer and why it was getting bigger.

The fight to save the Franklin River in Tasmania became Australias first big environmental battle.

Plans to flood the wilderness around the river and build a dam for hydro-electricity were stopped after environmentalists set up blockades in protest.

BtN was looking at greener ways to create energy. We featured the first World Solar Car Race from Darwin to Adelaide.

New technology was still having an impact on our lives. Mobile telephones were on the scene and CDs were invented.

And what music were we listening to then? Overseass there was Madonna. Back home we had Kylie. There was Boy George from Culture Club.

While boys were dressing like girls, girls were dressing for power, big shoulder pads were the go.

The bungee jumping craze began and the Cold War between superpowers Russia and the US ended.

After a forty year nuclear arms race both sides agreed to dismantle many of their weapons, there were enough to blow up the world several times over.

The Berlin Wall one of the symbols of the era was torn down, but one thing from the Cold war remained, a complicated communications link called the World Wide Web.

In the next decade - the nineties - we would be logging on to the Net - travelling down the information superhighway, launching in cyberspace.

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The Nineties

Nineteen ninety, a breakthrough!

British and French workers shake hands after spending three years digging a tunnel under the stretch of water that separates the two countries.

BtN was looking at other big breakthroughs.

In February nineteen ninety, after twenty seven years in prison South African black leader Nelson Mandela was released. It was the beginning of the end for the law of apartheid, which separated people of different races. Many countries stopped trading and playing sport with South Africa as a protest. In April nineteen ninety four, the country held its first free election and Nelson Mandela became the countrys first black president. The sporting ban was lifted and in nineteen ninety five South Africa hosted the Rugby World Cup, and won!


American Basketballer Michael Jordan was the worlds biggest sports star.

Aussie Kieran Perkins was the king of the pool, winning back to back Olympic golds in the 1500 metres freestyle.

When the Hockeyroos won gold at the Atlanta Olympics, team member Nova Peris-Kneebone became the first Aboriginal Australian to win an Olympic Gold Medal, and Cathy Freeman was burning up the track with Olympic silver.

Two years earlier, at the Commonwealth Games in Canada, Freeman celebrated a gold medal win by carrying the Australian and Aboriginal flags. It was a symbol of reconciliation, creating harmony between aboriginal and non-aboriginal Australia.


In nineteen ninety two, the High Court of Australia recognised traditional ownership of land belonging to Eddie Mabo, a Torres Strait Islander. It was the first official recognition that Aborigines were the first owners of Australia.

Mundaway Yunupingu was Australian of the year in nineteen ninety two. His band Yothu Yindi was an international hit.


Rap music was also huge, with bands like Public Enemy

We saw the rise of girl power, with the Spice Girls.

The birth of grunge gave bands like Nirvana legendary status. Their song Smell Like Teen Spirit became the anthem for a generation.

When lead singer Kurt Cobain committed suicide teenagers around the world mourned.


The world also mourned the death of Princess Diana who died in a car crash in Paris in nineteen ninety seven. The Princess had spoken out strongly for a ban on landmines; explosive devices that are put into the ground during wars, like the one between Iran and Iraq.

Iraq, led by Saddam Hussein, captured Kuwait, an area rich in oil. An alliance led by the US stepped in to free the country. They won, but Iraq had set the oilwells ablaze, and allowed oil to spew out across the land.

In Rwanda, Africa, relief workers had their hands full. More than half a million people died in fighting between two tribes, the Hutus and Tutsis.

BtN was looking at the civil war in our own backyard, in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. After ten years of fighting to become a separate country, Bougainvillians signed an agreement with the PNG Government.

PNG was also cleaning up after a massive tidal wave wiped out entire villages.

Back home, a landslide at Threbo in New South Wales claimed eighteen lives. The rescue of Stuart Diver, the lone survivor was seen live on television.

Hurricane Mitch devestated seven countries in South America, on BtN we were asking why the worlds weather was going wild.


The El Nino effect was said to be the cause of the hurricane, but many were blaming humans for the worlds climate change. Powerful countries were now gathering to talk about the greenhouse effect and how the planet was heating up. The plan was for all countries to cut the amount of greenhouse gases put into the atmosphere.

Humans were changing mother nature in other areas too. Science fiction became reality when Dolly the sheep became the worlds first cloned animal.


Virtual reality was the next step in computers.

Technology was also creating headaches, like hacking, a new kind of crime, electronic theft via computer. There is also the big Year 000 question will the worlds computers crash when the dates turn over to the year 000?


Preparing for the 000 Olympic Games in Sydney has been a big focus, getting ready for when the worlds attention will turn to Australia, and by the time this decade ends Australians will have made a choice between keeping our current system of Government, with the Queen as our head of state or becoming a republic.

The vote will happen in November. The outcome could have a big impact on how our nation enters the new millenium.

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