Here's some history about the Australian national holiday.
On January 26, 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip took formal possession of the colony of New South Wales and became its first Governor. The fledging colony soon began to celebrate the anniversary of this date. Manning Clarke notes that in 1808 the "anniversary of the foundation of the colony" was observed in the traditional manner with "drinking and merriment".The first official celebrations were held in 1818 to mark the 30th anniversary of white settlement. Governor Macquarie officiated at a thirty-gun salute during the day and a dinner ball at Government House that evening.
I've been monitoring the "gay patriot" in the Land of Oz, RomeoMike... and he has three good posts reflecting on Australia Day, 2005.
Happy Australia Day! - Wednesday, Jan. 26
Another Perfect Day (a photoblog) - Wednesday, Jan. 26
Holiday Memories and Symbols - previous post from Jan. 10. From this posting, I wanted to highlight this section:
I have decided to fly one next to the Aussie flag at home this Australia day. We'd thought hard about the appropriateness of such symbolism on our national day. In the end though, the US is our greatest ally who has always stood by us and with whom we are united, we are greatly indebted, the US is doing so much to help the big picture around the world yet receives ingratitude or hostility from so many quarters; how couldn't we?Can someone please remind me when we get close to July 4th to go out an buy an Australian flag to return the favor!!!