On This Day 29 August

By TheBoldAge. Published 2020-08-29
In 1831 Faraday proved magnetic injunction; in 1842 China and the UK signed the Treaty of Nanjing leasing HK; in 1883 the English Channel rose following Krakatoa; in 1997 Netflix was founded. In 1930 the last inhabitants of St Kilda in Scotland were evacuated

In 1930 the Harebell brought the last 36 inhabitants of St Kilda to the Scottish mainland

St Kilda is located 64km west-northwest of North Uist and is the westernmost islands of the Outer Hebrides. It's largest island is called Hirta and it is thought that people had lived on the islands as far back as 2000 years, although the population never exceeded 200.

800px-Outer_Hebrides_UK_relief_location_map

If one word describes St Kilda, both then and now, it is isolation. As the 19th century progressed more people were visiting the islands from the mainland which allowed the locals to earn money - although it also brought with it diseases which were unknown on the islands one being known locally as "cnatan na gall" (lowlanders cold).

The First World War had an impact on the population, taking it down to 37 in 1928. Compounded with crop failures and illness the decision was made, collectively, that they would evacuate the island.

"The morning of the evacuation promised a perfect day. The sun rose out of a calm and sparkling sea and warmed the impassive cliffs of Oiseval. The sky was hopelessly blue and the sight of Hirta, green and pleasant as the island of so many careless dreams, made parting all the more difficult. Observing tradition the islanders left an open Bible and a small pile of oats in each house, locked all the doors and at 7 am boarded the Harebell. Although exhausted by the strain and hard work of the last few days, they were reported to have stayed cheerful throughout the operation. But as the long antler of Dun fell back onto the horizon and the familiar outline of the island grew faint, the severing of an ancient tie became a reality and the St Kildans gave way to tears." (Maclean)

Other events on this day

  • 1831: magnetic induction proven by Michael Faraday
  • 1842: Treaty of Nanjing signed leasing Hong Kong to the UK
  • 1883: English Channel rose following the Krakatoa explosion
  • 1930: the last inhabitants of St Kilda evacuated
  • 1997: Netflix was founded (originally a video-rental company)
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