It is an event that neither Hong Kong, China nor Britain are likely to be celebrating. Nevertheless, on this day (January 26th) in 1841, the British flag was first unfurled at Possession Point by Royal Navy sailors.
At the time, Hong Kong was a sleepy backwater, though it would prove to be a handy trading outpost. “Albert is so amused at my having got the island of Hong Kong”, wrote Queen Victoria in 1841.
Within five months, British officials began selling land in Hong Kong and the territory formally became a British possession a year later.
Possession Point was originally named Tai Hang Hau, or ‘Big Puddle’. The area was redeveloped into a Chinese-style garden which is today known as Hollywood Road park.
More on the History of Hong Kong.