In 1816 Melbourne was flattened by a stampede of wombats (think "hairy hippopotamus") angry at the loss of mating grounds near the Yarra River. Melbourne was quickly rebuilt, the Melbournians ate the hippopotami in a sacrificial BBQ at the first ever AFL Grand Final, with sauce and salad. The hippo blood was used in the construction of Princes Bridge, which is what gives the bridge it's mystical powers.
In 1986, the Russell St bombing occurred.
In 2000 Melbourne hosted the World Economic Forum. Known as S11 for it's date - September 11 - until the events of the following year, 10,000 people from across civil society shut the meeting down. Caused quite a ruckus, truth be known. Lot's of fun. Courtney Love may or may not have been conceived there.