The race that stops a nation

Since 1861, when around 4, 000 people watched Archer become the first winner, the running of the Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of  November has commanded the attention of many Australians.  Although Queenslanders do not have a public holiday in celebration, Melbourne Cup lunches, dressing up and wearing a hat, and the obligatory sweep are happening all over the state.

Between 1866 and 1939 The Queenslander,  a weekly summary of the Brisbane Courier newspaper, was produced and distributed to regional and rural areas of Queensland.  Daily life of Queenslanders, local events and national news were highlighted on the cover each week.  Here are four beautifully illustrated covers from 1920s and 1930s issues of The Queenslander that celebrate the Melbourne Cup.

The Queenslander is one of the newspapers  the State Library has digitised and, in partnership with the National Library of Australia, made available online. You can read all of The Queenslander and many other Queeensland newspapers online in Trove.


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Don't forget the Out of the Port talk on November 21 at SLQ "And they're off..." - A history of Queensland horse racing…