December 1, 2019 — The first known case of COVID-19 is detected

The first official case of what would be designated as Covid 19 (Coronavirus disease 2019) was detected in the city of Wuhan, located in Hubei province China. In the year to come, it would spread quickly around the world, killing hundreds of thousands of people and infecting millions more – and although a majority of those who caught it recovered, many of these would be left with permanent damage it had caused.

In short order, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January, 2020, and upgraded that designation to pandemic on 11 March, 2020. It is the single greatest pandemic since the Influenza Pandemic almost exactly a century earlier.

An aerial view of the market, looking like a construction site.
By China News Service/中国新闻网, CC BY 3.0, Link

As mentioned in:

Thank God for the Nerds — Jon Lajoie

December 1, 2009 — Tony Abbott elected leader of the Liberal Party

Tony Abbott wasn’t supposed to be in the running. While it was obvious that Malcolm Turnbull wasn’t going to last as leader of the Liberal Party, his competitor for the role was Joe Hockey. Abbott only threw his hat into the ring at all because the conservative wing of the party didn’t like either Hockey or Turnbull.

But on the first round of voting, he won more votes than either of the other two. Hockey was eliminated, and in the second round of voting, Abbott narrowly defeated Turnbull. He would go on to become Prime Minister in 2013, and in due course, be knifed by his own party and replaced with a new leader, some guy named Malcolm Turnbull.

Julie Bishop’s tenure as Deputy Leader continued under the new leader.