Australia Doing Their Forefathers Proud

But a 200th birthday bash is clouded by the aborigines' plight

The nation's beginnings were unpromising, to say the least. On Jan. 26, 1788, after an eight-month journey that began in Portsmouth, England, Captain Arthur Phillip's fleet of eleven ships straggled into what would later be called Sydney Harbor with more than 700 convicted criminals. The men went ashore at once, but it was not until about two weeks later that the female convicts were permitted to leave the vessels. That night, in celebration of the women's arrival, sailors and guards made merry with rum. As the sky swelled with lightning and a driving rain, inhibitions melted. The resulting "debauchery and wild...

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