Historical events from 1 January 1900 to 31 December 1919
(-9999) = Day count to end of World War Two in Europe (day zero = Tuesday)
31/12/1919, Wednesday (-9,260)
30/12/1919, Tuesday (-9,261) In London, the first female bar student was admitted to Lincoln’s Inn.
29/12/1919, Monday (-9,262) Sir William Osler, medical teacher, died in Oxford, England.
22/12/1919. Monday (-9,269) David Lloyd George, the Prime Minister, announced plans for the partition of Ireland.
19/12/1919, Friday (-9,272) The Irish Republican Army (formerly Irish Volunteers) made an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Lord French, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
18/12/1919, Thursday (-9,273) Death of British aviation expert Sir John Alcock in a flying accident, six months after his pioneering transatlantic flight with Sir Arthur Brown.
17/12/1919. Wednesday (-9,274) Pierre Auguste Renoir died. He was born on 26/2/1841.
16/12/1919, Tuesday (-9,275) German troops left Latvia and Lithuania.
3/12/1919, Wednesday (-9,288) Pierre Auguste Renoir, French Impressionist painter, died near Cannes, aged 78.
30/11/1919, Sunday (-9,291) Women were allowed to vote for the first time in French elections.
28/11/1919. Friday (-9,293) (1) Viscountess (Nancy) Astor became Britain’s first woman MP. She took her seat in the House of Commons on 1/12/1919, elected by a substantial majority. She won the seat of Plymouth Sutton in a by-election caused by the elevation of her husband to the peerage. She retired from Parliament in 1945.
(2) Latvia declared war on Germany. German troops left Latvia and Lithuania on 16/12/1919.
27/11/1919. Thursday (-9,294) (1) Bulgaria signed the Treaty of Neuilly, recognising the independence of Yugoslavia. Western Thrace was ceded to Greece, thereby cutting off Bulgaria from the Mediterranean, and two small regions were ceded to Yugoslavia. The southern Dobruja was retained by Romania. Bulgaria was liable to pay reparations and its army limited to 20,000 men.
(2) A large meteor landed in Lake Michigan.
24/11/1919, Monday (-9,297) Proposals to divide Ireland in two, Ulster and the South, were submitted to the UK Cabinet.
19/11/1919, Wednesday (-9,302) In Italy, Benito Mussolini and 37 Fascists were arrested after rioting at the election of the Socialists.
15/11/1919. Saturday (-9,306) The Red Army captured Omsk.
12/11/1919. Wednesday (-9,309) Captain Ross Smith, his brother, and two others began the first flight from Britain to Australia. They arrived in Port Darwin, Australia, on 10/12/1919, winning a £10,000 prize from the Australian government for doing this.
11/11/1919, Tuesday (-9,310) Death of Andrew Carnegie, US steel magnate and philanthropist. Born in Dunfermline, Scotland, on 25/11/1835, his family moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when Andrew was 13. \he gave considerable sums to education and set-up the Carnegie Endowment for International Pece.
26/10/1919. Sunday (-9.326) Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, was born.
18/10/1919, Saturday (-9,334) Pierre Trudeau, Canadian Liberal and Prime \Minister, was born in Montréal, Quebec.
13/10/1919. Monday (-9,339) Dock strike in New York.
12/10/1919. Sunday (-9,340) British troops pulled out of Murmansk, Russia.
11/10/1919. Saturday (-9,341) The first airline meals were served, on a Handley-Page flight from London to Paris. They were pre-packed lunch boxes priced at 3 shillings (15p).
10/10/1919, Friday (-9,342) British teachers, their salaries still at pre war levels, asked for a doubling of their pay.
7/10/1919, Tuesday (-9,345) KLM, the Dutch national airline, the oldest established air carrier, was established. It began flights on 17/5/1920.
6/10/1919. Monday (-9,346) Norway adopted alcohol Prohibition.
2/10/1919, Thursday (-9,350) US President Wilson suffered a massive stroke, leaving his left side paralysed.
22/9/1919. Monday (-9,360) Major steel strike in the USA.
15/9/1919. Monday (-9,367) China ended its war with Germany.
10/9/1919, Wednesday (-9,372) (1) The TUC favoured nationalising the coal industry.
(2) The Treaty of St Germain was signed by the Allies with Austria at the Paris Peace Conference. Austria had to pay large reparations to the Allies, and recognise the independence of Yugoslavia, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary.
2/9/1919, Tuesday (-9,380) White Russian forces under Denikin captured Kiev, and came within 250 miles of Moscow, with backing from the UK. However a Red Army counter attack in December 1919 forced Denikin out of Kharkov and eventually back to the Caucasus, where he held on until March 1920. Denikin had a narrow Russophile view, and failed to see the need to link with Ukrainian and Polish anti-Bolshevik forces; he even blockaded Georgia and Azerbaijan, fearing these states would set up independent Republics.
1/9/1919, Monday (-9,381) The first intercontinental air service began, from Toulouse to Barcelona and Tangier. Services were extended to Casablanca in April 1920.
31/8/1919. Sunday (-9,382) The US Communist Party was founded.
29/8/1919, Friday (-9,384)
28/8/1919, Thursday (-9,385) Sir Godfrey Hounsfield, who invented the EMI scanner and winner of the Nobel prize for psychology in 1979, was born.
27/8/1919, Wednesday (-9,386) Louis Botha, South African Boer general and first Prime Minister from 1910, died.
25/8/1919. Monday (-9,388) Air service between London (Hounslow) and Paris (Le Bourget) inaugurated. This was the first international scheduled air service from Britain. The single fare was £21 for the 2 ½ hour journey, compared to the cost of rail and boat at £3 8s 5d. By 1/1/1920 three British companies were operating regular daily air services across The Channel, to Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam, for passengers, freight, and mail.
21/8/1919, Thursday (-9,392) Afghanistan became independent.
12/8/1919, Tuesday (9,401)
8/8/1919, Friday (-9,405) (1) The Treaty of Rawalpindi was signed. This ended the Third Afghan War, which had begun on 3/5/1919.
(2) F W (Frank Winfield) Woolworth, US merchant and founder of Woolworth stores in 1879, died.
3/8/1919, Sunday (-9,410) Riots in Liverpool during the policemen’s strike.
31/7/1919. Thursday (-9,413) Germany adopted the Weimar Constitution, named after the town where the constitution was drafted.
27/7/1919. Sunday (-9,417) Large scale race riots in Chicago.
25/7/1919, Friday (-9,419) (China, Russia) The Soviet Assistant Foreign Commissar, Leo Karakhan, issued the Karakhan Manifesto. This renounced all former Tsarist rights and privileges in China. Although Russia did not hand over the Chinese eastern Railway (it in fact sold it to the Japanese in 1935), this Manifesto did much to convince the Chinese radicals that Soviet Russia was their only ally.
23/7/1919, Wednesday (-9,421) Turkish Nationalists met at Erzurum to resist Allied plans to carve up Turkey.
22/7/1919, Tuesday (-9,422) British MPs formally approved the Treaty of Versailles. Only 4 MPs voted against, 3 of them Irish Nationalists objecting to the omission of Home Rule for Ireland.
20/7/1919. Sunday (-9,424) Sir Edmund Hillary, who conquered Mount Everest in 1953 with Tenzing Norgay, was born in Auckland, North Island, New Zealand.
18/7/1919, Friday (-9,426) The first Cenotaph, a temporary structure of wood and plaster, was erected in Whitehall, London, for a parade celebrating the Treaty of Versailles. It was so popular the Government decided to erect a permanent version.
13/7/1919, Sunday (-9,431) The British airship R34 arrived back in Pulham, Norfolk, having made the first transatlantic aerial round trip; she set out from East Fortune, Scotland, on 2/7/1919.
6/7/1919. Sunday (-9,438) The British airship R34 became the first to cross the Atlantic, flying from Edinburgh to New York in 108 hours. She had set out from East Fortune, near Edinburgh, on 2/7/1919. She set off from Long Island on 9/7/1919 on the return journey, arriving in Pulham, Norfolk, on 13/7/1919.
4/7/1919. Friday (-9,440) France demobilised its troops.
30/6/1919, Monday (-9,444) Lord Rayleigh, British scientist who discovered the inert gas argon in 1894 and won the Nobel prize, died in Witham, Essex, aged 76.
28/6/1919. Saturday (-9,446) The Treaty of Versailles was signed. This peace treaty between the Allies and the Germans was signed at Versailles and officially ended World War One, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand started it. Alsace Lorraine was returned to France, German colonies were under mandate, German East Africa went to Britain and German South West Africa (Namibia) to South Africa. The west bank of the Rhine and a zone 30 miles deep on its east bank was demilitarised. See 7/5/1919.
23/6/1919, Monday (-9,451) The British Government recommended nationalising the coal mines.
21/6/1919. Saturday (-9,453) German sailors unexpectedly scuttled the captive German fleet, 72 warships, at Scapa Flow. See 19/11/1918.
15/6/1919. Sunday (-9,459) John Alcock and Arthur Brown completed the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic. It took them 16 hours, 12 minutes, to fly from Lester’s Field, St John’s Newfoundland, to Derrygimla Bog, near Clifden, Ireland. They were both knighted for this achievement.
6/6/1919. Friday (-9,468) Finland declared war on Russia.
3/6/1919. Tuesday (-9,471) More British troops arrived at Archangel, Russia.
27/5/1919. Tuesday (-9,478) Lieutenant Commander Read and a crew of five, flying a Curtiss NC 4 seaplane, arrived in Lisbon via The Azores to complete the first flight across the Atlantic. They had left Trepassy, Newfoundland, on 16/5/1919.
26/5/1919, Monday (-9,479) North Sea Aerial Navigation Co inaugurated passenger flights between Hartlepool and Hull. In June further routes began, between Hull, Leeds and Hounslow (for London), and Scarborough, Leeds, Harrogate. Businesspeople liked the new fast link between London and the North.
24/5/1919. Saturday (-9,481) Having defeated Afghan raiders on the Indian border, the British bombed Jalalabad and Kabul.
16/5/1919. Friday (-9,489) Waldzin Valentino Liberace was born in Wisconsin. His father wanted him to be an undertaker.
15/5/1919, Thursday (-9,490) The Greek Army landed at Smyrna, under the protection of British, French, and US fleets, beginning an occupation of the area by massacring Turkish civilians.
14/5/1919. Wednesday (-9,491) Death of the American food manufacturer Henry John Heinz. Heinz founded his company in Pittsburgh in 1869 as a partnership to market and prepare horseradish. This company collapsed in the business panic of 1875 but Heinz reorganised it in 1876 and it re-emerged as a major food company by 1900. By 1905 the Heinz company was the USA’s largest manufacturer of pickles, vinegar, and ketchup, and employed thousands. The company was headed by members of the Heinz family until 1969.
13/5/1919, Tuesday (-9,492)
11/5/1919, Sunday (-9,494) The population of Vorarlberg, the westernmost province of Austria, voted for union with Switzerland by a large majority. However this transfer was not supported by the Allies or the Swiss Government, and Vorarlberg became one of the nine Austrian Bundeslander.
10/5/1919, Saturday (-9,495) The first airline in Britain started. It flew the 50 miles between Alexander Park, Manchester, and Blackpool in a 2-seater single engine Avro biplane. Services lasted until 30/9/1919, and cost £2 2s single or £4 4s return..
8/5/1919, Thursday (-9,497)
7/5/1919, Wednesday (-9,498) Peace terms were dictated to Germany. Germany had to ceded Alsace-Loraine to France; Upper Silesia, most of Poznan, and West Prussia went to Poland. This separated East Prussia from the rest of Germany as Poland gained a corridor to the sea at Danzig. North Schleswig went to Germany and Memel went to Lithuania. See 28/6/1919.
6/5/1919. Tuesday (-9,499) Peace conference shared out former German colonies.
5/5/1919, Monday (-9,500)
4/5/1919. Sunday (-9,501) News that the Treaty of Versailles been signed reached China. However, despite the fact that China had declared war on Germany in August 1917, and had over 200,000 soldiers to fight with the Allies, the Treaty stated that German concessions in China would not be returned to the Chinese but would be given to Japan. There were large anti-foreigner demonstrations in China. Over 3,000 students gathered in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, to protest at Japan’s continued occupation of Shantung after World War One had ended.
3/5/1919. Saturday (-9,502) Fighting broke out between Britain and Afghanistan, The Third Afghan War, see 8/8/1919.
2/5/1919. Friday (-9,503) German troops entered Munich to crush the fledgling Soviet Republic in Bavaria.
1/5/1919, Thursday (-9,504) The reclamation of the Zuyder Zee began.
20/4/1919, (-9,515) A Polish army under Pilsudski took the city of Vilnius, Lithuania, from the Soviets.
15/4/1919, Tuesday (-9,520) Passenger air services on a route between Berlin, Hanover and Rotthausen began, also Berlin to Warnemunde.
13/4/1919. Sunday (-9,522) The British fired on and massacred Indian Nationalist rioters in Amritsar, Punjab. A British officer panicked and ordered his troops to fire at point-blank range into a large crowd. 380 of Ghandi’s followers were killed and over 1200 injured. This massacre turned even moderate Indians against the British. The army had been called in by the police after several days of rioting against new security laws, in which some Europeans had been killed.
11//4/1919. Friday (-9,524) The International Labour Organisation was established.
10/4/1919, Thursday (-9,525) Rioting by Sikhs began at Amritsar, see 13/4/1919.
8/4/1919. Tuesday (-9,527) (1) The Red Army invaded the Crimea.
(2) Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia, was born in Selukwe, then Southern Rhodesia.
5/4/1919. Saturday (-9,530) Eamon De Valera became Sinn Fein’s president.
4/4/1919. Friday (-9,531) At Versailles, the Germans agreed to make Danzig a ‘free city’.
1/4/1919, Tuesday (-9,534) British troops supporting White Russian troops defeated a Bolshevik force.
23/3/1919. Sunday (-9,543) The Italian Fascist Party (Fascio di Combattimento) was founded in Milan by Benito Mussolini. The party aimed to fight both Liberalism and Communism. The Fascists wanted land for the peasants, abolition of the Senate, a seizure of Church property, and tax reform. However most of this agenda was already offered by the Socialists and by December 1919 the Fascists only had 870 members. During 1926 Party membership rose from 600,000 to 938,000. By the end of 1933 there were 1,400,000 members, a figure that went up to 2,633,000 by 1939.
22/3/1919. Saturday (-9,544) Bela Kun declared Hungary a Soviet Republic.
20/3/1919. Thursday (-9,546) Wireless telephone communication established between Ireland and Canada.
11/3/1919. Tuesday (-9,555) The Allies agreed to supply famine-hit Germany with food.
10/3/1919, Wednesday (-9,556) The UK Government was reported to favour the idea of a Channel Tunnel.
4/3/1919, Tuesday (-9,562) The Comintern was formed. This was the ‘Communist International’, to spread Communism worldwide.
1/3/1919, Saturday (-9,565) (1) Passenger air services between Berlin and Hamburg began.
(2) Anti Japanese colonialism demonstrations in Seoul, Korea.
22/2/1919. Saturday (-9,572) After the murder of the Bavarian Prime Minister, Kurt Eisner, a Soviet Republic was declared in Bavaria.
17/2/1919, Monday (-9,577) Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Canada’s first French-speaking Prime Minister, died.
6/2/1919, Thursday (-9,588) The first regular passenger air service. Planes flew from Berlin to Weimar, carrying mainly mail and newspapers, but some passengers also.
5/2/1919, Wednesday (-9,589) Andreas Papandreou, Prime Minister of Greece, was born.
3/2/1919, Monday (-9,591) (1) US President Woodrow Wilson attended the first meeting of the League of Nations in Paris.
(2) London tube workers went on strike for shorter hours.
31/1/1919, Friday (-9,594) In Glasgow, a sheriff was hit by a bottle as he read the Riot Act; 40 injured in clashes with police.
25/1/1919. Saturday (-9,600) The League of Nations was founded.
23/1/1919. Thursday (-9,602) The socialists won the German elections.
22/1/1919, Wednesday (-9,603) (1) The Red Army occupied Kiev, capital of the Ukraine.
(2) Czechoslovakia occupied Teschen (Tesin).
21/1/1919. Tuesday (-9,604) A Sinn Fein congress declared Irish Independence. Two Royal Ulster Constabularies were also murdered this day in Tipperary.
20/1/1919, Monday (-9,605)
19/1/1919. Sunday (-9,606) A pro-monarchist uprising in Portugal; the monarchy was proclaimed at Oporto.
18/1/1919, Saturday (-9,607) Peace talks opened at Versailles. See 20/1/1920. 27 nations attended; Germany was excluded
16/1/1919, Thursday (-9,609) The US ratified the 18th Amendment, prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquors after one year. See 16/1/1920.
13/1/1919. Monday (-9,612) Satyendra Prasano Sinha became the first Indian peer of Britain and so the first Indian member of the House of Lords.
12/1/1919, Sunday (-9,613) Delegates arrived in Paris for the Peace talks, see 18/1/1919.
11/1/1919. Saturday (-9,614) Romania annexed Transylvania.
7/1/1919, Tuesday (-9,618)
6/1/1919. Monday (-9,619) US President Theodore Roosevelt died at Sagamore Hill, Oyster Bay, New York State. He was the 24th President, from 1901 to 1909, and won the Nobel Prize in 1906. Starting his career as Chief of New York Police, he became President in 1901 when William McKinley was assassinated; he was elected in 1904 for a further term.
5/1/1919. Sunday (-9,620) (1) The Nazi (National Socialist) Party was founded in Germany. Adolf Hitler, a soldier in World War One who was awarded the Iron Cross for bravery, and who was angry at the armistice terms imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles, and extremely opposed to Communism, headed the new Party. Hitler was a poor student in the Austrian secondary school system. He became an artist but failed to gain entry to the Academy of Fine Arts; Hitler was a melancholic character, obsessed by fears that Jews, linked to communists, would take over the world.
(2) The Spartacus League initiated a week of revolt in Berlin. Led by Rosa Luxembburg and Karl Leibknecht, they wanted a Communist workers State in Germany
(3) Soviet forces entered Vilnius, Lithiania.
3/1/1919, Friday (-9,622) (1) Part of the Latvian Army defected to the Communists and Communist forces occupied Riga, capital of Latvia.
(2) Rutherford split the atom. He bombarded nitrogen nuclei with alpha particles.
31/12/1918, Tuesday (-9,625) The British War Cabinet met for the last time.
30/12/1918, Monday (-9,626) The German Communist Party was founded. However within a fortnight, irregular German troops had murdered its leaders.
29/12/1918, Sunday (-9,627) In Britain the Sunday Express newspaper was first published.
28/12/1918. Saturday (-9,628) Lloyd George’s coalition was re-elected to government. Lloyd George had the support of 478 MPs; the Opposition had 229 MPs, of whom 63 were Labour. One women was elected, Countess Markievicz, for a Dublin constituency. However as Sinn Fein candidate she would not take the oath of allegiance to the King and did not take her seat in the House.
27/12/1918, Friday (-9,629) (1) King George V and Queen Mary greeted President and Mrs Wilson of the United States.
(2) Poznan rebelled against the Germans, ending a 103-year-old German occupation.
26/12/1918, Thursday (-9,630)
25/12/1918, Wednesday (-9,631) Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt, was born in Talah Minufiya.
24/12/1918, Tuesday (-9,632) A UK commission on poverty recommended an end to workhouses.
20/12/1918, Friday (-9,636)
15/12/1918, Sunday (-9,641) The Portuguese President Sidonio Paes was assassinated.
14/12/1918, Saturday (-9,642) (1) Women aged over 30 voted in a general Election in Britain for the first time. Women could also stand as candidates in UK General Elections for the first time. 17 stood but only one was elected. See 6/2/1918.
(2) President Woodrow Wilson arrived in Paris for peace talks.
13/12/1918, Friday (-9,643)
11/12/1918, Wednesday (-9,645), Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Russian novelist, was born in Rostov.
10/12/1918, Tuesday (-9,646) Max Planck won the Physics Nobel prize for his work on quantum mechanics.
6/12/1918. Friday (-9,650) Allied troops occupied Cologne.
4/12/1918. Wednesday (-9,652) The proclamation of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, or Yugoslavia.
2/12/1918, Monday (-9,654) One of the last acts of the British War Cabinet; it demanded the extradition of the German Kaiser Wilhelm.
1/12/1918. Sunday (-9,655) (1) Denmark granted independence to Iceland; a 25-year union with Denmark was instituted.
(2) The British Second Army entered Germany.
30/11/1918. Saturday (-9,656) German occupation of Bucharest, capital of Rumania, ended, see 6/12/1916.
29/11/1918. Friday (-9,657) King Nicholas of Montenegro was deposed and his country was united with Serbia under King Peter.
27/11/1918, Wednesday (-9,659)
25/11/1918, Monday (-9,661) French troops entered Strasbourg.
24/11/1918, Sunday (-9,662) (1) Serbia took control of the Backsa, Baranya and western Banat regions from Hungary.
(2) The Communist Party of Hungary (Kommunistik Magyarorszagi Partja) was founded, and soon after, started publishing its own newspaper, Voros Ujsag (Red News)
23/11/1918, Saturday (-9,663)
22/11/1918, Friday (-9,664) (1) In London, 100 women police officers went on street patrol for the first time.
(2) The Poles took Lvov.
21/11/1918. Thursday (-9,665) Surrender of the German Fleet to the Allies at Scapa Flow, for internment. On 21/6/1919 it was scuttled at Scapa Flow, in the Orkneys.
20/11/1918, Wednesday (-9,666)
19/11/1918, Tuesday (-9.667) The UK government revealed that the War had cost 767,000 deaths and some 2.3 million injured.
18/11/1918. Monday (-9,668) (1) The German occupation of Brussels ended, see 20/8/1914.
(2) Latvia gained independence from Russia, then ruled by Lenin and soon to be known as the USSR.
16/11/1918, Saturday (-9,670) Hungary was proclaimed an independent Republic.
14/11/1918. Thursday (-9,672) Tomas Masaryk was elected first President of Czechoslovakia.
13/11/1918, Wednesday (9,673) Charles, the former Austro-Hungarian Emperor, formally renounced any participation in the Government of Hungary.
12/11/1918, Tuesday (-9,674) The Republic of Austria was declared, ending the Hapsburg Dynasty, as Emperor Charles abdicated.
11/11/1918. Monday (-9,675) (Britain, France-Germany, USA) Armistice Day. World War One ended. Fighting ceased on the Western Front, and Austro-Hungary signed an armistice with the Allies. See 29/9/1918. Church bells rang out across Britain in celebration. The Allies had not expected such a sudden collapse of Germany; in September 1918 they were planning campaigns for 1919. However General Ludendorff was shaken by the sudden Allied advance (see 8/8/1918) and begged Kaiser Wilhelm to seek an armistice immediately. The Armistice was signed in Marshal Foch’s railway carriage, near Compiegne. Warsaw became the capital of a restored Polish State. The armistice required Germany to relinquish 5,000 heavy guns, 30,000 machine guns, 2,000 aircraft, all U-boats, 5,000 locomotives, 150,000 wagons and 5,000 lorries. The surface fleet was to be interned (see 21/11/1918), the Allies were to occupy the Rhineland, and the blockade of German ports would continue. World War One cost 9 million lives, with a further 27 million injured. Britain alone had lost 750,000 men, and a further 200,000 from the Empire, with another 1.5 million seriously injured. The War had cost the Allies an estimated US$ 126 billion, and the Central Powers a further US$ 60 billion. Britons now celebrated, and wages rose, although higher food prices eroded some of those gains. Women, at least those over 30, finally had the vote, and smoking, gambling and movies boomed, with Charlie Chaplin as movie star.
The US was the greatest beneficiary of the War. US losses amounted to 53,000 men, a small number compared to 8,500,000 casualties of the European combatants. US industry had become more efficient, and key sectors such as chemicals had learned to do without Europe; the US aviation industry had been transformed. Economically, The US had needed European capital before 1914; by 1918 Europe owed the US some US$ 10,000 million.
9/11/1918. Saturday (-9,677) Kaiser William II abdicated and fled to Holland, and a German Republic was founded. On 11/11/1918 the Emperor of Austria, Karl, abdicated and a Republic was founded.
7/11/1918. Thursday (-9,679) Billy Graham, US evangelist, was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, the son of a dairy farmer.
6/11/1918. Wednesday (-9,680) Republic of Poland proclaimed.
5/11/1918, Tuesday (-9,681) The Poles occupied Lvov, Galicia.
4/11/1918, Monday (-9,862) Italian troops occupied Trieste. Under the Treaty of London (25/4/1915), The UK, France, and Russia agreed to give Trieste to Italy after the War.
3/11/1918. Sunday (-9,683) Austria signed an armistice with the Allies.
2/11/1918, Saturday (-6,984)
1/11/1918, Friday (-9,685) (1) In Lvov, the last Austrian Governor, Count Huyn, armed the Ukrainians who proclaimed an independent Republic of West Ukraine, in opposition to the Bolsheviks.
(2) Anglo-French troops took Constantinople.
31/10/1918. Thursday (-9,686) Ottoman Turkey surrendered to the Allies; the Dardanelles were reopened to Allied shipping. Anglo-French troops occupied Constantinople.
30/10/1918. (1) Wednesday (-9,687) An armistice was concluded aboard the British warship Agamemnon, at Mudros, between Britain and Turkey. However Turkey was to face some four more year’s fighting with Greece, and effectively with the Western Allies.
(2) Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Lawrence, ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, shocked King George V by turning down the Order of the Bath and Distinguished Service Order. Lawrence was disappointed at how the Arabs had not achieved independence after World War One but their land had been carved up between Britain and France. France, Catholic, took the Christian sites of Lebanon and Syria; Britain took Jordan and Iraq.
(3) Austria completed the evacuation of its troops from Italian territory. Austria became an independent German speaking state. See 23/10/1918.
(4) The Czechoslovak Republic was proclaimed. It was led by Jan Masaryk and Eduard Benes.
29/10/1918, Tuesday (-9,688) Croatia declared its independence.
28/10/1918, Monday (-9,689) (1) Mutiny broke out amongst German sailors at Kiel, spreading rapidly to Hamburg and Bremen. On 7/11/1918 insurrection broke out at Munich.
(2) Czechoslovakia declared its independence.
27/10/1918. Sunday (-9,690) Poland declared its independence.
26/10/1918. Saturday (-9,691) (1) In London alone, in the past week, Spanish flu claimed 2,225 lives.
(2) Aleppo, Syria, was captured from the Turks by British and Arab troops advancing from the south.
23/10/1918, Wednesday (-9,694) (1) The House of Commons voted to allow women MPs, by a margin of 274 to 25 votes.
(2) Italian forces counterattacked against the Austrians near Vittorio Veneto, reaching the Piave River on 27/10/1918, By 30/10.1918 the Italians, with the aid of British forces, had the Austrians in full retreat.
21/10/1918. Monday (-9,696) (1) The Mount Royal Ohara rail tunnel, Canada, 3.4 km long, opened.
(2) The Spanish Flu epidemic began in Britain. 150,000 died of this disease in the last quarter of 1918.. It killed twice as many as died in World War One.
20/10/1918. Sunday (-9,697) Germany stopped U-boat warfare.
19/10/1918 , Saturday (-9,698)
18/10/1918. Friday (-9,699) Lille was recaptured from the Germans.
17/10/1918. Thursday (-9,700) (1) Yugoslavia became independent from Austro-Hungary.
(2) Hungary declared its independence from Austria.
16/10/1918, Wednesday (-9,701)
15/10/1918, Tuesday (-9,702) Britain’s first oil well was sunk, at Hardstoft in Derbyshire.
14/10.1918, Monday (-9,703) The Czechoslovak National Council, meeting in Paris, organised a provisional Government headed by Thomas Masaryk as President.
13/10/1918, Sunday (-9,704) British troops occupied Tripoli, Lebanon.
12/10/1918, Saturday (-9,705)
11/10/1918, Friday (-9,706) In Puerto Rico a major earthquake had an estimated magnitude of 7.5 on the Richter scale
10/10/1918, Thursday (-9,707) 587 died when the Irish mailboat Leinster was torpedoed by a German U-boat.
9/10/1918, Wednesday (-9,708)
8/10/1918, Tuesday (-9,709) The French retook Cambrai, see 26/8/1914.
7/10/1918. Monday (-9,710) British troops took Beirut and Sidon.
3/10/1918, Thursday (-9,714) Tsar Ferdinand of Bulgaria abdicated.
1/10/1918. Tuesday (-9,716) Arab forces under Emir Faisal, including the British officer T E Lawrence, captured Damascus from the Turks.
30/9/1918. Monday (-9,717) Slovak Nationalist parties in Hungary voted to join with Czechoslovakia. However the Slovaks soon found the Czech government more centralist than they expected, or desired, and pressure grew for Slovak separation from Czechoslovakia.
29/9/1918. Sunday (-9,718) (1) Allied troops captured part of the Hindenburg Line. Ludendorff called for an armistice to avert a catastrophe for Germany. Negotiations opened with President Woodrow Wilson of the USA on 4/10/1918 but fighting continued till 11/11/1918.
(2) Bulgaria signed an armistice with the Allies.
26/9/1918, Thursday (-9,721) General Allied offensive on the Western Front; the Germans were fighting now only to cover their retreat.
22/9/1918. Sunday (-9,725) Turkish resistance in Palestine collapsed.
20/9/1918. Friday (-9,727) The British captured Nazareth.
19/9/1918, Thursday (-9,728) In Britain a Government commission investigated equal pay for women.
18/9/1918, Wednesday (-9,729) The British under General Allenby started a major offensive against the Turks, pushing them north out of Palestine.
15/9/1918, Sunday (-9,732) Mr C Chubb gave Stonehenge to the nation.
13/9/1918. Friday (-9,734) In the USA, 14 million men had registered for conscription.
9/9/1918. Monday (-9,738) Allied victory at Megiddo.
4/9/1918. Wednesday (-9,743) The Germans retreated to the Siegfried Line.
30/8/1918. Friday (-9,748) (1) London police went on strike. Prisoners had to be taken to court in taxis, but a major crime wave did not materialise. Bus drivers did traffic duty at major junctions. 2,000 police officers marched to a rally at Tower Hill, demanding wage rises and the reinstatement of a colleague dismissed for political activities. The key issue, however, was trade union recognition. Trade Unions had grown significantly during the War, from 4,145,000 members in 1914 to 6,533,000 members in 1918. Now working-class policemen, who kept union disputes in check, wanted their own union representation.
(2) British troops crossed the Somme.
25/8/1918. Sunday (-9,753) The Hungarian government expelled the Jews and confiscated their assets.
15/8/1918. Thursday (-9,763) The US severed diplomatic relations with the Bolshevik government of Russia.
13/8/1918, Tuesday (-9,765)
8/8/1918. Thursday (-9,770) General Haig initiated a surprise offensive against the Germans at Amiens which started a continuous retreat of the Germans through to Armistice Day on 11/11/1918. The lessons of The Somme (see 13/11/1916) had finally been learnt. Low flying aircraft drowned out the noise of tank manoeuvres, ammunition dumps were camouflaged, and decoy tank movements distracted the Germans. When the Allies began a major creeping bombardment, the tanks moved in behind to crush the barbed wire and infantry swiftly followed to consolidate the territorial gains. On their part, the Germans were demoralised by the stalling of their great Spring offensive (see 13/4/1918) and also by news of hunger, rioting and strikes back in Germany. Reinforced by US troops, the Allies found the Germans ready to retreat, and advanced eight miles on the first day. The battle lines had become mobile again, and were moving east. In Ludendorff’s words, it was a black day for the German Army.
The Allies were reinforced by US troops and further British troops were returning from Palestine. The British Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, agreed to release reserve divisions of conscripts, which he had held back, now convinced he was not simply sending them into another meat grinder like The Somme or Passchendaele. With an assembly of 456 tanks and 2,000 guns and howitzers the Allies forced the Germans back on a 14-mile front, for 8 miles. 400 German guns were captured, along with 12,000 prisoners. The new Allied tactics continued to work against stiff German resistance and by mid September the Germans had retreated to the massive defences of their Hindenburg Line, 3 miles in depth. However the Germans were demoralised and after 10 days of fighting the Hindenburg Line was broken through at Saint Quentin. German soldiers going on home leave, passing fresh troops travelling west to the front, taunted them with calls of ‘you’re only prolonging the war’. However casualties on all sides were very high. In the three months following Amiens, August 1918, 531,000 French soldiers died or were wounded or captured, as many as in the eight months of Verdun 1916. The figure for US soldiers for those three months was 127,000, over twice as many as lost in Vietnam. For British and Empire troops, the toll was 411,000, the same as during the 4 ½ months of The Somme. German losses were even higher; 785,000 killed and wounded, and 386,000 prisoners taken by the Allies.
A major issue for Germany was lack of food. Germany had been over 80% self-sufficient in food in 1914, but the military had removed labour from the farms without compensatory inputs of fertiliser or mechanisation. German food production plummeted and by 1918 German citizens had just 64% of pre-war cereals, 18% of the meat, and 12% of the fats they had consumed in 1913.
On the German Home Front, Ludendorff and the other Generals knew the War was lost weeks before the November 1918 Armistice. Although by then Germany was effectively a military dictatorship, the military pretended that surrender was only due to the wishes of civilian politicians. This perpetuated a post-War myth that the German Army had not been defeated at all, but betrayed by left-wing politicians, that the German Army was in fact invincible. Less than 20 years later that myth helped fuel the rise of the Nazis.
2/8/1918. Friday (-9,776) British, French, and US forces landed at Archangel to support White Russians against the Bolsheviks. Japan invaded Siberia.
29/7/1918. Monday (-9,780) Germany severed diplomatic relations with Ottoman Turkey.
18/7/1918. Thursday (-9,791) (1) Allied forces launched a counter offensive on the Marne, capturing Soissons (see 9/4/1918).
(2) Nelson Mandela, South African Black Rights campaigner and leader, was born (died 2013).
16/7/1918. Tuesday (-9,793) The last Tsar, Nicholas II, was murdered by the Bolsheviks along with his entire family, his daughters Olga, Tatiana, Marie, Anastasia, and his son Alexis, and domestic staff, and even his dog, in the cellar of a house in Ekaterinburg. Their bodies were thrown down a disused mineshaft. The Bolshevik government was afraid that anti-Bolshevik White Russians or Czechoslovak troops would liberate the Romanov family and restore them to power.
15/7/1918, Monday (-9,794) The Second Battle of the Marne began, when General Ludendorff attempted an advance; this was thwarted by British, French, and US troops. Marshall Ferdinand Foch of France launched an offensive on the Marne which led the Germans to seek an armistice in November 1918.
14/7/1918, Sunday (-9,795)
10/7/1918. Wednesday (-9,799) A provisional government of Siberia was set up.
9/7/1918, Tuesday (-9,800) America experienced its worst train accident. 101 were killed in Nashville, Tennessee.
8/7/1918, Monday (-9,801) National Savings Stamps went on sale in Britain.
1/7/1918, Monday (-9,808) A catastrophic explosion at the Chilwell munitions plant near Nottingham killed 134 workers. The women who worked there making nitrogen-based explosives were known as ‘Canary Girls’, because the chemicals turned theor skin yellow and hair green. The blast was heard 30 miles away, but news of it was suppressed. The Chilwell factory had produced 19 million shells, half of those used by British forces during the First World War. Of the 7,000 surviving workers, all but 12 were back working at Chilwell the day after.
26/6/1918. Wednesday (-9,813) The Bolshevik government in Russia faced enemies on all; sides. In the south, General Anton Denikin had seized large parts of the Caucasus and Ukraine. In the north bands of anti-Bolsheviks roamed at will. Former Czech prisoners of war had organised themselves into the Czech legion and had seized Osmk on the Trans-Siberian railway. Over 100 British marines had landed at Murmansk to keep the Bolsheviks out of that port.
20/6/1918, Thursday (-9,819) After protests, the UK Government cancelled Irish conscription. See 18/4/1918.
18/6/1918, Tuesday (-9,821) The UK Government asked for a further War Loan of £500 million. General rationing in the UK began on 19/6/1918.
15/6/1918, Saturday (-9,824) The Austrians began an offensive against the Italians along the Piave River Front; they were attempting to break through to the fertile farmlands of the Veneto. See 23/10/1918.
13/6/1918. Thursday (-9,826) A Turkish offensive in Palestine was halted.
10/6/1918, Monday (-9,829) The Battle of Belleau Wood ended.
6/6/1918, Thursday (-9,833) Battle of Belleau Wood began.
3/6/1918. Monday (-9,836) British postal charges were raised from 1d to 1 ½ d for a letter and 1d for a postcard.
28/5/1918, Tuesday (-9,842) Azerbaijan officially proclaimed its independence. Se 27/4/1920.
27/5/1918, Monday (-9,843) The Germans took Soissons in a thrust towards Paris.
26/5/1918, Sunday (-9,844) The short-lived Transcaucasian Republic broke up.
23/5/1918. Thursday (-9,847) Georgia declared independence from Russia.
19/5/1918. Sunday (-9,851) Britain jailed 500 Sinn Fein members, including Eamon De Valera.
18/5/1918, Saturday (-9,852) To curb growing revolutionary power in Ireland, the British Government declared Sinn Fein and the Irish Volunteers (now IRA) to be illegal organisations.
15/5/1918, Wednesday (-9,855) The US inaugurated the world’s first regular air mail service between New York and Washington. The US Navy operated the service, for the US Post Office.
12/5/1918, Sunday (-9,858) Julius Rosenberg was born (see 19/6/1953).
9/5/1918, Thursday (-9,861) British troops averted a German attack on Ostend, Belgium.
7/5/1918. Tuesday (-9,863) Romania signed a peace treaty with Germany (The Fourth Treaty of Bucharest). Southern Dobruja was transferred from Romania to Bulgaria; Bulgaria had been seeking the whole of the Dobruja. See 27/11/1919.
29/4/1918. Monday (-9,871) The last big German offensive on the Western Front petered out.
26/4/1918, Friday (-9,874) The Turks captured Kars, Caucasus, from Russia, however their cause was doomed as General Allenby made major gains in Palestine.
23/4/1918. Tuesday (-9,877) (1) In Ireland, a one-day strike against conscription was widely supported, except in Ulster.
(2) British forces raided Zeebrugge. They accomplished their objective of sinking concrete-filled British ships in the harbour entrance to block it, bottling up German submarines.
22/4/1918, Monday (-9,878) Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan united to form the short-lived Transcaucasian Republic, see 26/5/1918.
21/4/1918, Sunday (-9,879) Manfred von Richtofen, the ‘Red Baron’, German World War One air ace, was shot down and died in his famous red tri-plane behind British lines.
18/4/1918, Thursday (-9,882) In Britain, the age of military conscription was raised to 50, and extended to cover Ireland. See 20/6/1918. Sinn Fein, the Nationalists and the British labour Party all resisted this.
14/4/1918, Sunday (-9,886) (1) Following the collapse of the Russians, Turkey captured Batumi on the Black Sea. See 26/4/1918.
(2) In Finland, German General Goltz captured Helsinki from the Communists, see 3/3/1918.
9/4/1918. Tuesday (-9,891) (1) Germany launched a major offensive at Ypres. Reinforced by the arrival of 70 divisions freed up on the eastern front by the capitulation of Russia, Germany tried to knock the western Allies out of the war before new American troops could arrive. However instead of concentrating his attack here on the British forces, Ludenforff ordered secondary attacks on the French sector of the front at Chemin des Dames on 27/5/1918 and west of Reims on 15/7/1918. The Allied line held and a major counter offensive was launched on 18/7/1918,
(2) Latvia declared its independence.
6/4/1918. Saturday (-9,894) (1) US, British, and Japanese troops landed at Vladivostock.
(2) In Finland, the German General Mannerheim captured Tampere from the Communists, see 3/3/1918.
1/4/1918. Monday (-9,899) The Royal Air Force was formed, by amalgamating the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. Lord Rothermere at the Air Ministry in The Strand, London, was in charge.
29/3/1918, Friday (-9,902) In Quebec, Canada, the Compulsory Military Service Act of September 1917 provoked such severe rioting from this day until 2/4/1917 that 4 civilians were killed.
28/3/1918, Thursday (-9901) Ludendorff launched Operation Mars against the left wing of the British Third Army, to force a salient into Allied lines, but he was repulsed.
27/3/1918, Wednesday (-9,904) Henry Brooks Adams, historian, novelist and philosopher, died (born 16/2/1838).
26/3/1918, Tuesday (-9,905) The Battle of Rosieres, northern France, began.
25/3/1918, Monday (-9,906) Claude Debussy, French composer, died of cancer in London aged 55.
24/3/1918, Sunday, (-9,907) The Battle of Baupame, northern France, began.
23/3/1918. Saturday (-9,908) (1) German troops shelled Paris from a distance of 75 miles, using a large gun called ‘Big Bertha’.
(2) Lithuania declared its independence.
22/3/1918, Friday (-9,909) Cheddi Jagan, President of Guyana, was born.
21/3/1918. Thursday (-9,910) Major German offensive began on the Somme. This was Ludendorff’s desperate bid for victory before American troops could become effective. British casualties were over 300,000, and the Germans advanced on a 50 mile-wide front, in an attempt to reach the Channel ports, and drive a wedge between the British and French Armies, but the German advance was halted.
13/3/1918, Wednesday (-9,918) In Britain, it was announced that the minimum school leaving age was to be raised to 14, from 13; this measure was implemented in December 1918 under the Education Act.
7/3/1918, Thursday (-9,924) Bonar Law asked the UK Commons for another war loan of £600 million.
6/3/1918, Wednesday (-9,925) In Russia, at the 7th Party Congress in Moscow, the Bolshevik Party was renamed the Communist Party.
5/3/1918. Tuesday (-9,926) Moscow was declared the new capital of Russia, in place of Petrograd.
4/3/1918, Monday (-9,927) The railway from Cuffley, Hertfordshire, was extended through Hertford to rejoin the GNR main line at Langley Junction, see 4/4/1910.
3/3/1918. Sunday (-9,928) The Bolshevik government in Russia assigned the Treaty of Brest Litovsk with the Germans. Lenin insisted on signing, against the wishes of Trotsky. Trotsky wanted the Communist Revolution to spread throughout Germany, but Lenin feared the rapid advance of German troops into Russia, approaching Petrograd.
Russia lost heavily in terms of land and industry (Russia lost 56 million inhabitants, 79% of its iron, and 89% of its coal production), but the Bolsheviks needed peace at any cost before their new and shaky administration was overthrown, by Germany or by anti-Bolshevik White Russians and Czechoslovak troops. Under this Treaty, Finland regained its independence from Russia. The Baltic Republics were ceded to Germany. Communists (recruited from Finnish labourers) joined Red Guards to try and re-establish Communist control in Finland. Germany moved in to repulse them. See 6/4/1918. Turkey regained territories lost to Russia even in 1877.
26/2/1918, Tuesday (-9,933)
25/2/1918. Monday (-9,934) (1) Rationing of meat, butter, and margarine began in London and the Home Counties.
(2) Minsk was occupied by the Germans.
24/2/1918. Sunday (-9,935) Estonia declared its independence.
23/2/1918, Saturday (-9,936)
22/2/1918. Friday (-9,937) The world’s tallest man, Robert Wadlow, was born, weighing 8 ½ lbs. He grew to 8 foot 11 ½ inches in height and weighed 31 stone 5 lbs, when he died in 1940.
21/2/1918. Thursday (-9,938) Australian cavalry captured Jericho from the Turks.
18/2/1918, Monday (-9,941) Germany launched a big offensive on the Russian Front.
16/2/1918, Saturday (-9,943) Lithuania declared its independence from Russia.
9/2/1918. Saturday (-9,950) Ukraine signed a separate peace treaty with Germany.
6/2/1918. Wednesday (-9,953) (1) Married women in Britain aged over 30 got the vote, as did all men over 21, under the Representation of the People Act. See 14/12/1918.
(2) A deposit of £150 was required from UK Parliamentary candidates.
30/1/1918, Wednesday (-9,960) The Commons rejected the Lords’ proposal for proportional representation.
28/1/1918. Monday (-9,962) (1) A general workers strike began in Berlin.
(2) Lenin created a Red Army and the Cheka, a security police force.
23/1/1918, Wednesday (-9,967) The UK Government ordered restaurants to have two ‘meatless’ days a week.
17/1/1918, Thursday (-9,973) Sir Keith Joseph, British politician, was born.
15/1/1918, Tuesday (-9,975) Gamal Nasser, the first President of Egypt, was born in Alexandria.
10/1/1918, Thursday (-9,980) In Britain the House of Lords approved the Representation of the People Bill, giving women the vote. In Washington the House of Representatives also voted in favour of suffrage for women.
9/1/1918, Wednesday (-9,981) U.S troops engaged Yaqui Indian warriors in the Battle of Bear Valley in Arizona, a minor skirmish and one of the last battles of the American Indian Wars between the United States and American Indians.
8/1/1918, Tuesday (-9,982) Recruiting began in Britain for the WRNS; the Women’s Royal Naval Service.
31/12/1917, Monday (-9,990) During the year 1917 German submarines sank 6,500,000 tons of Allied shipping whilst only 2,700,000 tons was built. In April 1917 Britain had only two months’ worth of food stocks. However with US destroyer patrols searching for German submarines, escorted transatlantic convoys and the mining of the seas between Scotland and Norway, Allied losses were dramatically reduced and after April 1918 never exceeded 200,000 tons a month.
27/12/1917, Thursday (-9,994) The US Government took over the American railways.
22/12/1917. Saturday (-9,999) The Bolsheviks opened peace talks with Germany and Austria. The Allies accused |Russia of betrayal.
18/12/1917, Tuesday (-10,003) The United States Congress submitted Prohibition legislation to the states. The 18th Amendment was known as the Volstead Act, after its chief sponsor, Andrew Volstead of Minnesota. It took a further 13 months for the necessary three quarters of US states to ratify the Act for it to become law, see 16/1/1919.
17/12/1917. Monday (-10,004) Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, Britain’s first woman doctor, died.
16/12/1917, Sunday (-10,005) Arthur C Clarke, British science-fiction writer, was born.
12/12/1917, Wednesday (-10,009) The world’s worst train accident occurred, at Modane, France. 534 were killed.
9/12/1917. Sunday (-10,012) Jerusalem was surrendered by the Turks to the British under General Allenby.
7/12/1917. Friday (-10,014) The USA declared war on Austria.
6/12/1917. Thursday (-10,015) (1) Finland became independent from Russia.
(2) As the Russian Army disintegrated after the October Revolution into bands of raiders, Romania and Russia signed an armistice.
5/12/1917. Wednesday (-10,016) Russia signed an armistice with Germany, at Brest-Litovsk.
3/12/1917, Monday (-10,018) (1) The Quebec Bridge over the St Lawrence River opened. 87 lives were lost during its construction.
(2) Britain refused to recognise Bolshevik Russia. Meanwhile German and Austrian delegates met at Brest-Litovsk to end Russian participation in World War One, see 3/3/1918.
1/12/1917. Saturday (-10,020) German East Africa cleared of German forces.
29/11/1917, Thursday (-10,022) The Inter Allied War Conference opened. Lloyd George of Britain, Georges Clemenceau of France and Baron Sidney Sonnino of Italy were concerned that US soldiers and material quickly reach the front lines against Germany, since post-Revolution Russia had ceased fighting.
20/11/1917. Tuesday (-10,031) (1) Major British tank offensive at Cambrai. The Battle of Cambrai ended on 3/12/1917.
(2) The Republic of the Ukraine was declared.
19/11/1917. Monday (-10,032) (1) A Revolutionary Council was established in Petrograd, with Leon Trotsky as leader.
(2) Indira Ghandi born in Allahabad. India’s first woman Prime Minister, she was the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru.
18/11/1917, Sunday (-10,033) Pedro Infante, Mexican actor and singer, was born.
17/11/1917, Saturday (-10,034) Death of the sculptor Auguste Rodin, aged 77.
16/11/1917. Friday (-10,035) Bolshevik troops took Moscow.
15/11/1917, Thursday (-10,036) General Allenby advanced to within three miles of Jaffa.
14/11/1917. Wednesday (-10,037) Jaffa (Joppa) was captured by the British, under General Allenby, from the Turks.
13/11/1917. Tuesday (-10,038) In London, bankers and Chambers of Commerce called for the decimalisation of the British currency.
12/11/1917, Monday (-10,039) Austrian forces established a bridgehead at Zenson, 20 miles north-east of Venice.
11/11/1917, Sunday (-10,040) Liliuokalani, Queen of Hawaii, died.
10/11/1917, Saturday (-10,041) The Third Battle of Ypres ended, see 31/7/1917. The plans of British General Haig to break through the German lines was in tatters; all the Allies had gained was a few square miles of swamp and an obliterated village, after 156 days of fighting and 250,000 deaths, at Paschaendaele. The tremors from the mining of the Messines Ridge had been felt in Downing Street. That August had been the wettest in living memory, turning the ground into an impassable quagmire; Allied troops faced death by drowning as much as by gunfire. The constant shelling had disrupted the system of dykes and streams which drained the flat fields of Flanders. Meanwhile in Palestine, British forces captured Tel-Aviv.
9/11/1917. Friday (-10,042) Arthur Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary, unveiled plans for a Jewish national homeland in Palestine. The message was conveyed to the Zionist representative, Baron Rothschild. The British Wear cabinet, under David Lloyd George, believed that Zionist support would help the war effort, especially against the Ottoman Turks. Arabs outnumbered Jews by ten to one in Palestine but Zionist leaders like Dr Chaim Weizmann would try and build up their numbers.
8/11/1917, Thursday (-10,043) In Russia, The People's Commissars gave authority to Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, and Joseph Stalin.
7/11/1917 (25/10 in Russia). Wednesday (-10,044) The Bolshevik Revolution, which led to the world’s first Communist Government under Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov Lenin. Prime Minister Alexander Kerensky’s government was overthrown. See 6/3/1918.
6/11/1917. Tuesday (-10,045) Canadian troops captured the village of Paschendaele, during the Third Battle of Ypres.
5/11/1917. Monday (-10,046) American troops under General Pershing went into action for the first time on the Western Front.
2/11/1917. Friday (-10,049) UK foreign secretary Arthur Balfour stated British support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine, to Lord Rothschild. The Balfour Declaration gained Jewish support during World War I, and in 1945 sparked a flood of Jewish refugees to Palestine after World War II. This led to clashes with both Arabs and the British administration. Britain withdrew in 1948; the State of Israel was proclaimed on 14/5/1948.
31/10/1917. Wednesday (-10,051) (1) The Italian army was shattered unexpectedly by a German onslaught in northern Italy and was retreating towards the Piave River, just 15 miles from Venice. The Italian Second Army had held the Austrians off during 1916 and had captured the fortress of Monte Santo only 2 months earlier. The Italians had seemed well dug in around the mountains of Caporetto and Udine. However a heavy creeping artillery barrage by the Germans and gas attacks drove the Italians back. Morale collapsed within the Italian army, and despite roadblocks and court martials, up to half a million soldiers deserted. A further 300,000 Italian soldiers were captured by the Germans, and the Italians lost 10,000 dead and 30,000 wounded in the German attacks.
(2) British forces under General Allenby captured Beersheba from the Turks. This opened the way for the British capture of Jerusalem and the rest of Palestine.
Meanwhile in 1916 Britain and France had secretly signed the Sykes-Picot agreement to divided up the Ottoman Lands in the Middle East after the War. France was to get the north-western half of the Fertile Crescent, that is Syria and Lebanon; Britain was to get the south-east, Jordan and Iraq. The Catholic church wanted French control of the Mediterranean coast, where many Maronite Christians lived, and Britain wanted French lands between them and the Russians to the north. Britain retained an air corridor to Iraq through Jordan; Britain was dropping poison gas on rebellious Iraqi Arabs. France divided off Lebanon as a Christian Republic from Syria; it also divided off Hatay and gave that to Syria, due to lobbying from Hatay’s Turkish minority. The Allies also considered giving Palestine to Belgium. They also, at the Treaty of Sevres (10/8/1920) backed the formation of a Kurdish State, but refused to allow the Kurds in Iraq or Syria to be part of this State; the idea never materialised.
24/10/1917, Wednesday (-10,058) The Austrian offensive against Italy was halted on the Piave River. Boroevics army was so reduced by Italian forces during August and September 1917 that Germany and Austria feared a collapse of Austro-Hungary.
23/10/1917, Tuesday (-10,059) The Battle of Caporetto began.
22/10/1917, Monday (-10,060) The Trans-Australia Railway opened, from Kalgoorlie to Port Augusta.
20/10/1917. Saturday (-10,062) 4 Zeppelins were shot down over France after raids on the UK.
15/10/1917. Monday (-10,067) The legendary Dutch spy Mata Hari, who danced in the nude, was executed by a firing squad in Paris, having been found guilty of espionage by the Germans.
9/10/1917, Tuesday (-10,073) Stalin joined the Bolshevik Committee.
5/10/1917. Friday (-10,077) Sir Arthur Lee donated Chequers to the nation as a country retreat for British Prime Ministers.
4/10/1917, Thursday (-10,078) British victory on Passchendaele Ridge.
2/10/1917, Tuesday (-10,080)
1/10/1917. Monday (-10,081) (1) Air raids on London.
(2) Damascus fell to General Allenby.
30/9/1917. Sunday (-10,082) The ex-Tsar and family were exiled to Siberia.
27/9/1917, Thursday (-10,085) The painter Edgar Degas died, aged 83 (born 19/7/1834, in Paris).
20/9/1917. Thursday (-10,092) The first RSPCA animal clinic was opened in Liverpool.
17/9/1917. Monday (-10,095) The Germans captured the port of Riga from the Russians.
15/9/1917. Saturday (-10,097) (1) Russia was declared a Republic with a provisional government, by Soviet Party Prime Minister Aleksandr Kerenski.
(2) China offered the Allies 15,000 troops to fight on the Western Front.
14/9/1917. Friday (-10,098) German submarine shelled Scarborough.
11/9/1917, Tuesday (-10,101) Ferdinand Marcos, President of the Philippines, was born.
2/9/1917, Sunday (-10,110) Major German night time air raid on Dover.
30/8/1917. Thursday (-10,113) Denis Healey, British Labour politician, was born.
20/8/1917, Monday (-10,123) (1) Over 100 killed in an air raid on Thanet and Sheppey.
(2) The French broke through the Verdun front on an 11 mile wide offensive.
18/8/1917, Saturday (-10,125) Caspar Weinberger, US Republican politician and Secretary of Defence for Ronald Reagan, was born in San Francisco.
15/8/1917, Wednesday (-10,128) In Lausanne Dmowski formed a Polish National Committee, It was almost a government-in-exile, recognised by the Allies as representing Polish interests.
14/8/1917. Tuesday (-10,129) China declared war on Germany and Austria.
4/8/1917. Saturday (-10,139) The US said avoiding conscription could be punished with execution.
31/7/1917. Tuesday (-10,143) The Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) began, see 10/11/1917.
29/7/1917, Sunday (-10,145) Taking advantage of Revolutionary chaos, the Finns declared their independence from Russia.
28/7/1917, Saturday (-10,146) The formation of the Royal Tank Corps in the British Army was authorised.
26/7/1917, Thursday (-10,148)
25/7/1917, Wednesday (-10,149) Mata Hari, a Dutchwoman called Margaretha Geetruida Macleod (nee Zelle), aged 41, who used her charms to tempt French Army officers to betray military secrets, was found guilty of spying by a military court (despite very little evidence of her guilt) and sentenced to death by firing squad. She was initially hired by the French to spy in German-occupied Belgium.
24/7/1917, Tuesday (-10,150) UK MPs were alarmed to discover the war was costing Britain £7 million per day.
22/7/1917, Sunday (-10,152)
20/7/1917, Friday (-10,154) The Pact of Corfu proclaimed the Union of South Slavs, or Yugoslavia. When Serbia was invaded in World War One, the Serbs established a government in exile on Corfu. The Serbian Prime Minister Paslic agreed with the leader of the south Serbs, Ante Trumbic, that the Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, and Montenegrins, should unite to form a single state; Yugoslavia. In the 1920s, Serbia came to dominate this union, and other national groups claimed Paslic had tricked Trumbic at Corfu.
19/7/1917. Thursday (-10,155) Mutinies broke out in the German Navy. The German Reichstag passed a motion to end the war.
18/7/1917, Wednesday (-10,156)
17/7/1917. Tuesday (-10,157) Churchill returned to UK government as Minister for Munitions.
16/7/1917. Monday (-10,158) The provisional government in Petrograd, Russia, crushed the Bolshevik uprising. The Bolshevik leader, Vladimir Lenin, fled to Switzerland. However on 7/11/1917 Kerensky, leader of the Russian provisional government, was ousted by Lenin.
15/7/1917, Sunday (-10,159) US Congress passed the Espionage Act. Section 1 introduced heavy penalties, of up to 20 years in prison, for anyone causing insubordination or disloyalty in the armed forces, or obstructing recruitment; 2,000 prosecutions were brought under this measure. The Act also empowered the US Postmaster to exclude from the mail any material in violation of Section 1.
14/7/1917, Saturday (-10,160) General Pershing, 57, arrived in Paris to set up the headquarters of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF).
7/7/1917. Saturday (-10,167) Air raids on London and Margate killed 97 and injured 193.
5/7/1917, Thursday (-10,169) Joe Gormley, President of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), was born.
29/6/1917. Friday (-10,175) Ukraine declared its independence. Greece declared war on Germany.
27/6/1917. Wednesday (-10,177) 14,000 American troops arrived in France to fight with the Allies. The American expeditionary force was commanded by General John Pershing.
19/6/1917, Tuesday (-10,185) (1) Large Commons vote in favour of giving women over 30 the vote.
(2) All German titles and names are renounced by the British Royal Family, who adopted the name Windsor. The old name had been Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
16/6/1917. Saturday (-10,188) The first pan-Soviet Congress opened in Petrograd.
14/6/1917. Thursday (-10,190) Air raid on London, the first by German fixed-wing aircraft. In a daylight raid, 162 Londoners died and 432 were injured. 16 children died in a Poplar school.
13/6/1917, Wednesday (-10,191) Large German air raid on Folkestone, Shorncliffe and other Kent towns. 95 died and 260 were injured.
12/6/1917. Tuesday (-10,192) The pro-German King Constantine of Greece, who dismissed the pro-Allied government of Venizelos, was himself forced to abdicate by the Allies.
10/6/1917. Sunday (-10,194) Sinn Fein uprising in Dublin.
8/6/1917. Friday (-10,196) Haig launched a new Flanders offensive.
7/6/1917, Thursday (-10,197) The British captured the Messines Ridge. The British had begun tunnelling under the Ridge from august 1915, and placed high explosives in the tunnels, detonated at 3.10 am. A million pounds of explosive was used, and the explosion was heard in London and Dublin.
6/6/1917, Wednesday (-10,198)
4/6/1917. Monday (-10,200) (1) In France, with the co-operation of the provisional Russian government, a Polish army was formed to fight Germany.
(2) Brazil declared war against Germany and seized all German ships in its ports.
3/6/1917. Sunday (-10,201) Italy declared Albania a protectorate.
29/5/1917. Tuesday (-10,206) US Democrat and 35th President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, the second of nine children. He was America’s first Roman Catholic President, and the youngest to date.
25/5/1917. Friday (-10,210) Air raid on Folkestone.
18/5/1917. Friday (-10,217) (1) Trotsky returned to Russia from the USA
(2) The US introduced selective conscription.
17/5/2017, Thursday (-10,218) Kerensky became head of the Soviet interim government.
15/5/1917. Tuesday (-10,220) Henri Petain became French Commander in Chief.
13/5/1917, Sunday (-10,222) At Fatima, a small town in north east Portugal, three shepherd girls aged 10 - 13 saw a vision of a lady outside the town. The vision reappeared at monthly intervals and on 13/10/1917 declared itself to be ‘Our Lady of the Rosary’.
12/5/1917. Saturday (-10,223) The British army began to accept men aged 41-50.
10/5/1917, Thursday (-10,225)
5/5/1917. Saturday (-10,230) The Battle of Arras, 9 April to 5 May. The Allied Spring offensive against the Germans pushed them back 3 to 4 miles from the eastern suburbs of Arras, capturing several important hills.
4/5/1917. Friday (-10,231) Widespread mutiny amongst French units on the Front.
3/5/1917, Thursday (-10,232) US destroyers arrived to join the British navy.
2/5/1917, Wednesday (-10,233) King George V called for national restraint in bread consumption.
26/4/1917. Thursday (-10,239) German naval raid on Ramsgate.
20/4/1917. Friday (-10,245) The US broke off relations with Turkey.
17/4/1917. Tuesday (-10,248) On his return to Russia (from Zurich) with the other Bolshevik leaders, Vladimir Illyich Lenin demanded a transfer of power to workers Soviets.
16/4/1917, Monday (-10,249) Bakerloo line trains began running from Queens park through to Watford.
15/4/1917, Sunday (-10,250)
14/4/1917, Saturday (-10,251) Dr Zamenof, Polish linguist and inventor of Esperanto, died.
13/4/1917, Friday (-10,252) Stalin was released from exile in Siberia (imposed 1913).
12/4/1917, Thursday (-10,253)
11/4/1917. Wednesday (-10.254) (1) Brazil broke off relations with Germany after the steamer Parana was torpedoed off France. On 1/6/1917 Brazil revoked its neutrality in the War as a mark of ‘continental solidarity and friendship with the USA’. After more Brazilian shipping was sunk, Brazil declared war on Germany on 26/10/1917. Brazil’s direct contribution to the war was the dispatch of part of its fleet to European waters and the sending of a medical mission and some aviators to the Western Front. The main contribution was placing its food supplies and other resources at the disposal of the Allies.
(2) British general Sir Edmund Allenby, commander of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, occupied Jerusalem following his victory in Palestine over the Turks.
10/4/1917.Tuesday (-10,255) Canadian troops captured Vimy Ridge in northern France, with heavy casualties. This was a major assault during the Battle of Arras, World War One.
9/4/1917, Monday (-10,256) The Canadians stormed Vimy Ridge, see 10/4/1917.
8/4/1917, Sunday (-10,257)
7/4/1917. Saturday (-10,258) Cuba declared war on Germany.
6/4/1917. Friday (-10,259) The USA declared war against Germany, with a declaration signed by President Woodrow Wilson. This followed the revealing by the British on 1/3/1917 of the Zimmerman Telegram, a missive from Germany to Mexico urging it to declare war on the USA and recover its lost territories. The German Foreign Minister, Arthur Zimmerman, had sent a coded telegram to the German Ambassador in Mexico offering an alliance against the US, in which Mexico would recover its territories of New Mexico, Texas and Arizona. British naval intelligence intercepted and decoded the message and passed it to President Wilson. American shipping bound for Britain had also been attacked by German submarines.
The Germans did not believe that the US could raise and equip an effective army quickly enough to make a difference in Europe, and that even if they did, it could not be transported across a submarine-infested ocean. They seriously underestimated the determination and resources of the US. The US did indeed have only a relatively small standing army, 300,000 men including the National Guard and reserves, but conscription was introduced and many willingly signed up.
Meanwhile this day the King and Queen of England attended a Thanksgiving service at St Pauls Cathedral for the US’s entry into the ‘war for freedom’.
4/4/1917, Wednesday (-10,261)
3/4/1917, Tuesday (-10,262) Vladimir Illyich Lenin returned to Moscow from exile.
2/4/1917, Monday (-10,263) US President Wilson asked the US Congress to pass a resolution to declare war on Germany.
1/4/1917, Sunday (-10,264) Scott Joplin, American composer, died in poverty in an asylum.
31/3/1917, Saturday (-10,265) Emil von Behring, immunologist (born 15/3/1854 in Hansdorf, Germany), died in Marburg, Germany.
30/3/1917, Friday (-10,266)
29/3/1917, Thursday (-10,267) In Britain, Lloyd George announced plans to give women over 30 the vote.
28/3/1917. Wednesday (-10,268) The first women’s service unit, the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, was formed.
26/3/1917. Monday (-10,270) Britain attacked the Turks at Gaza (First Battle of Gaza).
21/3/1917. Wednesday (-10,275) Ex-Tsar Nicholas II and his family were arrested.
20/3/1917. Tuesday (-10,276) (1) A German U-boat sank a fully-lit hospital ship.
(2) Dame Vera Lynn was born.
19/3/1917, Monday (-10,277)
18/3/1917. Sunday (-10,278) Ramsgate and Broadstairs shelled from the sea.
17/3/1917. Saturday (-10,279) The British heavily defeated the Turks near Gaza.
16/3/1917, Friday (-10,280) An interim Soviet Russian government was set up.
15/3/1917. Thursday (-10,281) Czar Nicholas II abdicated in Pskov. The 300-year Romanov dynasty ended (see 8/3/1917).
13/3/1917, Tuesday (-10,283)
12/3/1917, Monday (-10,284) Izvestia, the official daily newspaper of the USSR, was founded.
11/3/1917. Sunday (-10,285) The Allies captured Baghdad from Ottoman Turkey.
10/3/1917, Saturday (-10,286) A Soviet, or council, of workers and soldiers was set up in Russia.
9/3/1917, Friday (-10.287)
8/3/1917. Thursday (-10,288) (1) The Russian ‘February’ (old style calendar) Revolution began at Petrograd. Widespread demonstrations were sparked by food shortages; more ominously for Tsar Nicholas II, soldiers refused to open fire on the crowds. The Russian army had suffered severe casualties against the Germans and was more on the people’s side. Soldiers were defecting and joining the demonstrators. See 15/3/1917.
(2) US marines landed in Cuba to help the civil authorities.
(3) Graf von Zeppelin, German airship pioneer, died in Charlottenburg, near Berlin.
7/3/1917. Wednesday (-10,289) The Dixie Band One-Step was the world’s first jazz record to be released. Ironically it was by the all-white Original Dixieland Jazz Band.
5/3/1917, Monday (-10,291)
2/3/1917. Friday (-10,294) The US Congress passed the Jones Act, making Puerto Rico a US territory.
1/3/1917, Thursday (-10,295) Robert Lowell, US poet, was born in Boston, Massachusetts.
28/2/1917, Wednesday (-10,296)
26/2/1917. Monday (-10,298) (1) News of the sinking of the Cunard liner Laconia by German U-boats reached capitol Hill just as Congress was debating measures to protect US shipping from the growing menace of U boats in the Atlantic. Earlier in February 1917 a US ship, the Housatonic was sunk, making a total of 134 neutral ships destroyed by the Germans in the last 3 weeks. The US navy was already mounting patrols to protect its ships in the Atlantic.
(2) US Congress created the McKinley National Park, covering 2,500 square miles. It is now much larger, and known as Denali.
25/2/1917. Sunday (-10,299) The Germans retreated on the Ancre, and on 28/2/1917 the British captured Gommecourt.
20/2/1917, Tuesday (-10,304) The USA bought the Dutch West Indies.
13/2/1917, Tuesday (-10,311) (1) Britain introduced new regulations to allow women to be taxi drivers.
(2) The Dutch spy Mata Hari was arrested by the French.
10/2/1917. Saturday (-10,314) Weizmann and the British Government discussed plans for a Jewish homeland.
7/2/1917. Wednesday (-10,317) All US citizens in Germany were held as hostages.
3/2/1917. Saturday (-10,321) The USA broke off relations with Germany.
2/2/1917, Friday (-10,322) In the UK, bread rationing began.
31/1/1917. Wednesday (-10,324) Germany announced a policy of unrestricted naval warfare. All ships, passenger or cargo, found by Germans could now be sunk without warning. This was a calculated risk by Germany because it was bound to involve US shipping being sunk, and would therefore bring the USA in against Germany. But Germany reckoned on the inevitability of the USA entering the war against here soon anyway, and believed she could win the war before this happened. The German Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Von Holtzendorff, presented a memo to the Kaiser saying that if 600,000 tons of Allied shipping could be sunk each month, within five months Britain would have to surrender. In fact, in the worst month, April 1917, German U-boats sank 869,103 tons of shipping, 373 ships. The British adopted a convoy system, despite fears that a convoy’s speed was limited to that of the slowest ship. The Navy had feared it had too few destroyers for this job but then realised that it had enough if only ocean-going ships, not cross-Channel traffic, was guarded.
Meanwhile the British navy deployed Q-ships, gunships disguised as merchant ships which lured U-boats to the surface then opened their gun hatches at the last moment. The first trial convoy ran from Gibraltar on 10/5/1917. The convoy system worked; of 26,604 vessels convoyed in 1917, only 147 were sunk. Meanwhile the Germans lost 65 of their 139 U-boats. Meanwhile Allied shipping blockaded German trade, creating shortages of tea and coffee, but more seriously, fertiliser shortages too. In the final German land offensive of 1918, advancing German troops discovered their privations were not being endured by the enemy, and German morale fell.
29/1/1917. Monday (-10,326) US immigration policy now required all immigrants to know at least 30 words of English and banned all Asians except Japanese.
22/1/1917, Monday (-10,333) US President Woodrow Wilson delivered a speech to the Senate, ‘Peace Without Victory’, condemning European imperialism and militarism and calling for a League of Nations.
11/1/1917, Thursday (-10,344) The war was costing Britain £5.7 million per day.
10/1/1917, Wednesday (-10,345) William ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody died, aged 71. He was a pony express rider before the Civil War, in which he fought; after, he supplied meat to the workers of the Kansas Pacific Railroad, hence his name. As chief of scouts for the US military he fought in several battles against the Indians, which made him famous.
9/1/1917. Tuesday (-10,346) The Russian Prime Minister, Alexander Trepov, resigned in the face of strikes, food shortages, and anti-war protests. He was succeeded by Dimitri Golitzin.
4/1/1917, Thursday (-10,351) Britain and Germany agreed to exchange all internees aged over 45.
1/1/1917, Monday (-10.354) The railway from St Johns, SE London, through Blackheath Hill to Greenwich, closed. The railway from Monmouth to Coleford closed.
31/12/1916, Sunday (-10,355) By the end of 1916, Russia had seen some 3,600,000 of its citizens killed or wounded in the Great War, and a further 2,000,000 taken prisoner by the Central Powers.
30/12/1916. Saturday (-10,356) In Russia, Gregory Rasputin, the infamous Siberian ‘seer’ and miracle worker, was murdered, aged 44.
23/12/1916, Saturday (-10,363) The Irishmen interned after the Easter Rising were released (see 1/5/1916).
15/12/1916. Friday (-10,371) The Battle of Verdun, which began on 21/2/1916, ended. 364,000 Allied soldiers and 338,000 German soldiers, had died in this battle.
14/12/1916, Thursday (-10,372) After a referendum in favour amongst the Danish electorate, the sale of the Danish West Indies (Virgin Islands) was ratified, to the US, for US$ 25 million.
13/12/1916. Wednesday (-10,373) New British offensive in Mesopotamia.
7/12/1916. Thursday (-10,379) In Britain, David Lloyd George succeeded Herbert Asquith as Prime Minister (see 8/4/1908). A Coalition government led by the Liberals was formed.
6/12/1916, Wednesday (-10,380) (1) The Connaught rail tunnel, Canada, 8.5 km long, opened.
(2) The Central Powers occupied Bucharest.
5/12/1916, Tuesday (-10,381) An explosion at the Barnbow munitions factory, Leeds, killed 35 women. The incident was censored and went unreported at the time. War production resumed within a week, with wages on £12 a week, equivalent to over £1,000 a week in 2015.
1/12/1916, Friday (-10,385) The lights of the Statue of Liberty were turned on by President Wilson.
24/11/1916, Friday (-10,392) Sir Hiram Maxim, English-born US inventor of the machine gun in 1883, died in London.
22/11/1916, Wednesday (-10,394) Jack London, author and campaigner for social justice (born 12/1/1876 in San Francisco) died destitute of a drugs overdose.
21/11/1916. Tuesday (-10,395) Emperor Franz Josef, ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire since 1848, died. He was succeeded by his 29-year old grandson, Charles I.
20/11/1916, Monday (-10,396) Railway electrification from London Waterloo reached Claygate.
16/11/1916, Thursday (-10,400)
14/12/1916, Tuesday (-10,402) (USA, Denmark) A referendum in Denmark agreed by 64.3% for to 35.7% against to agree to the sale of the Danish West Indies to the US, for the sum of US$ 25 million. These islands became the US Virgin Islands; they were of strategic importance to the US now that the Panama Canal had opened. The islands were formally handed over on 1/4/1917, just before the US declared war on Germany.
13/11/1916, Monday (-10,403) The Battle of the Somme ended. It had begun on 1/7/1916, and succeeded in driving the Germans north towards the coast, but cost over 600,000 Allied lives; 420,000 British and 200,000 French. German casualties were 450,000. At Verdun, ten months of fighting had cost another 400,000 men from both sides. The Allies gained, at the Somme, some two miles of ground for these casualties, about five lives lost per inch gained. The Germans knew the ‘Big Push’ was coming, and had prepared well by stockpiling ammunition then sitting deep in underground bunkers waiting. The Allied bombardment fully announced this push, but did not destroy the German bunkers. After the bombardment the Allied soldiers walked forward over no man’s land carrying their kit, guns, and grenades, at least 30 kg or 60 lbs per person on a hot summer day. The Germans, as soon as the bombardment ended, climbed back up and scythed down the Allies in a hail of machine gun fire. On the first day of that offensive, the Allies lost 19,000 men with a further 57,000 wounded, the greatest loss ever on a single day. Bad communications and slowness meant the few gains made were mostly lost again.
12/11/1916, Sunday (-10,404) Percival Lowell, US astronomer who predicted the existence of the planet Pluto prior to its discovery in 1930, died in Flagstaff, Arizona.
10/11/1916, Friday (-10,406) Theobald von Bethmann, German Chancellor, made a speech to the Reichstag pledging that Germany would join or even lead a peace league after the War, to prevent such a catastrophic war from ever happening again. In part he was responding to anti-war concerns from Social Democrats within Germany. The German Government was also now open to a peace agreement for the same reason as the Allies opposed it – because Germany was now in control of large swathes of Europe from France to Russia.
7/11/1916. Tuesday (-10,409) (1) Woodrow Wilson was re-elected US President.
(2) Janet Rankin became the first woman member of the US Congress.
3/11/1916, Friday (-10,413) London’s bakers were accused of profiteering after raising the price of bread to 10d a loaf. A price freeze was anticipated following a government commission on wheat prices. There was also concern about rising rates of sexually-transmitted diseases in Britain, with 50,000 cases reported amongst servicemen in 1916.
31/10/1916, Tuesday (-10,416) Charles Taze Russell, who founded the modern-day Jehovah’s Witnesses, died.
26/10/1916. Thursday (-10,421) Francois Mitterand, President of France from 1981, and founder of the French Socialist Party, was born.
24/10/1916. Tuesday (-10,423) French troops broke open a four mile stretch of the German lines at Verdun, and another offensive started there.
16/10/1916. Monday (-10,431) (1) The Allies took Athens.
(2) The East Kent Light Railway, 25 ½ miles, opened to passengers, between Shepherdswell and Wingham.
1/10/1916. Sunday (-10,446) A Zeppelin was brought down at Potters Bar, Hertfordshire.
29/9/1916, Friday (-10,448) The British Government asked people to observe a ‘meatless day’ to prevent food price rises.
28/9/1916, Thursday (-10,449) John D Rockefeller became the world’s first billionaire.
27/9/1916. Wednesday (-10,450) Greece declared war on Bulgaria, which itself had declared war on Rumania earlier in the month.
24/9/1916, Sunday (-10,453) The French bombed the Krupp works at Essen. A second Zeppelin was shot down in England.
17/9/1916, Sunday (-10,460) Manfred von Richtofen, the ‘Red Baron’, Germany’s greatest air ace, won the first of his 80 confirmed kills over Cambrai, France.
16/9/1916. Saturday (-10,461) A provisional ‘government of Czechoslovakia’ was recognised by Britain and France.
15/9/1916. Friday (-10,462) Tanks went into battle for the first time, for the British Army at the battle of Flers on the Somme. They were invented by Sir Ernest Swinton, weighed 30 tons, and travelled at 4mph. It was hoped they would break the stalemate of trench warfare. Some German soldiers fled, thinking the Devil had come. The tank forces achieved their objective but infantry reserves could not arrive in time to consolidate the successes.
13/9/1916, Wednesday (-10,464) Roald Dahl, author of children’s books, was born in Llandaff, Glamorganshire.
10/9/1916. Sunday (-10,467) The Allies launched an offensive in Salonika.
8/9/1916, Friday (-10,469) US President Woodrow Wilson promised women the vote.
6/9/1916, Wednesday (-10,471) US retailer Clarence Saunders opened the first ‘Piggly Wiggly’ supermarket, in Memphis, Tennessee.
4/9/1916. Monday (-10,473) British troops took Dar Es Salaam in east Africa.
3/9/1916. Sunday (-10,474) The first Zeppelin was shot down, by Captain Leefe Robinson, at Cuffley, Hertfordshire, using the newly-invented Pomeroy incendiary bullets.
30/8/1916. Wednesday (-10,478) Paul Von Hindenburg became Chief of General Staff in Germany. He became Commander in Chief on the Western Front on 29/11/1916.
28/8/1916. Monday (-10,480) Italy declared war on Germany.
27/8/1916. Sunday (-10,481) Rumania declared war on Germany, see 6/12/1916. Austria declared war on Rumania.
24/8/1916. Thursday (-10,484) Eight people were killed in a Zeppelin raid on London.
22/8/1916, Tuesday (-10,486) Romania declared war on Austro-Hungary. Its troops crossed the passes into Transylvania but were expelled again by mid-November.
20/8/1916. Sunday (-10,488) The Allies began an offensive against Turkey in Mesopotamia.
19/8/1916. Saturday (-10,489) German warships bombarded the east coast of England.
17/8/1916, Thursday (-10,491) The UK, France, Russia, and Italy guaranteed Romania the Banat, Transylvania, the Hungarian Plain as far as the Tisza River and Bukovina as far as the Prut River, if it declared war on Austro-Hungary.
9/8/1916. Wednesday (-10,499) Italian troops took Glorizia.
7/8/1916. Monday (-10,501) Iran formed an alliance with Britain and Russia.
6/8/1916, Sunday (-10,502) Dom Mintoff, Labour politician and Prime Minister of Malta, was born.
5/8/1916. Saturday (-10,503) The British defeated the Turks in a naval battle off Port Said.
3/8/1916. Thursday (-10,505) Sir Roger Casement, the Irish Nationalist, was hanged in Pentonville |prison, London, for treason, because of his attempts to induce Germany to support the cause of Irish independence. He was a former diplomat who had exposed slavery in the Congo. Casement had been found guilty and sentenced on 29/6/1916. There were intense efforts made for his reprieve, but the prosecution, with the connivance of the British Government, released his ‘black diaries’, with evidence of his homosexuality, making any reprieve impossible.
23/7/1916, Sunday (-10,516) Sir William Ramsey, chemist who discovered helium, and isolated neon, krypton, and xenon, died in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1904.
15/7/1916, Saturday (-10,524) Edward Boeing set up the Pacific Aero Products Company in Seattle.
9/7/1916. Sunday (-10,530) British Prime Minister (1970-74) Edward Heath, was born in Broadstairs, Kent.
6/7/1916. Thursday (-10,533) Russia and Japan signed a peace treaty.
2/7/1916. Sunday (-10,537) Hundreds died in race riots in St Louis, USA.
1/7/1916. Saturday (-10,538) (1) Battle of the Somme began. Britain and France launched a major offensive. This offensive lasted until 8/11/1916, and one million were killed, including 500,000 British. However the Germans were only beaten back ten miles – over one casualty per inch of ground won. The Germans retained the key rail junction of Bapaume. On this first day of battle alone, there were over 100,000 casualties, including 60,000 British. However for the Germans the massive casualties of the Somme made it impossible thereafter to obtain enough trained soldiers, hence it marked the turning point of the War for France.
(2) The US States of Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, and South Dakota brought in Prohibition, bringing the number of states banning alcohol to 24.
(3) Coca Cola introduced its distinctively-shaped bottle
27/6/1916, Tuesday (-10,542) King George V confirmed that women were eligible to receive the Military Medal.
25/6/1916, Sunday (-10,544) Thomas C Eakins, US artist, died (born 25/7/1844).
24/6/1916. Saturday (-10,545) A new German offensive began at Verdun.
23/6/1916. Friday (-10,546) A Russian offensive captured most of Galicia.
21/6/1916. Wednesday (-10,548) Hussein, the Grand Sheikh of Mecca, declared war on Ottoman Turkey with the aim of achieving Arabia’s independence from Britain.
8/6/1916, Thursday (-10,561) Professor Sir Francis Crick, who along with J D Watson discovered DNA, was born.
5/6/1916. Monday (-10,564) Lord Kitchener, British General and conqueror of the Sudan, born 24/6.1850 near Listowel, County Kerry, died when his cruiser HMS Hampshire hit a German mine off the Orkney Islands, en route to Russia. There were no survivors.
2/6/1916. Friday (-10,567) Second Battle of Ypres.
31/5/1916. Wednesday (-10,569) Battle of Jutland. On 31/5/1916 German Admirals Scheer and Hipper set sail from the Jade and Elbe estuaries. British intelligence picked up on this and Admirals Beatty and Jellicoe set out to engage them. Beatty happened to meet Hipper’s battle cruiser squadron, and the two main fleets began to engage. Although the British suffered larger losses, the British fleet had been much larger to begin with, and Scheer managed to retreat back to the safety of the Jade estuary. The German fleet rarely ventured to sea after this.
28/5/1916, Sunday (-10,572) The Sopwith triplane, first triplane fighter to enter military service, was introduced by the British.
21/5/1916, Sunday (-10,579) (1) Daylight saving time began in Britain. It was introduced by William Willett, to save coal stocks by reducing the demand for electric lighting.
(2) Keadby swing road bridge, Lincolnshire, opened over the River Trent. It was necessary to serve the growing traffic between Immingham Docks (opened 1912) and the developing coalfields of South Yorkshire.
17/5/1916. Wednesday (-10,583) The Daylight Saving Act was passed. Clocks went forward in Britain for the first time on 21/5/1916, causing some confusion. See 7/8/1925.
12/5/1916. Friday (-10,588) James Connolly was the last of the seven rebels who signed the proclamation of an Irish Republic during the Easter Rising (see 29/4/1916) to be executed. Wounded in the Easter Rebellion, he was taken to face the firing squad on a stretcher.
10/5/1916, Wednesday (-10,590) Shackleton reached South Georgia (see 9/4/1916).
8/5/1916. Monday (-10,592) Australian and New Zealand troops arrived in France.
3/5/1916, Wednesday (-10,597) Padraic Pearse, (1879-1916), leader of the 1916 Easter Rebellion against the British in Dublin, was executed at Kilmainham Gaol.
1/5/1916, Monday (-10,599) 400 Irish rebels arrived at Liverpool docks for internment in Britain. See 23/12/1916.
30/4/1916, Sunday (-10,600) The Easter Rebellion in Ireland against the British ended with 450 dead and 3,000 wounded.
29/4/1916. Saturday (-10,601) British troops surrendered to the Ottoman Turks after a siege of 143 days at Kut-el-Amara in Iraq. See 22/11/1915.
26/4/1916 Wednesday (-10.604)
25/4/1916, Tuesday (-10,605) Anzac Day was first celebrated in London.
24/4/1916. Monday (-10,606) Roger Casement was arrested as he landed in Ireland from a German submarine. The Irish wanted Germany to supply arms for a rebellion against the British and even for a German invasion of Ireland; however German support was lukewarm. The Easter Rebellion began in Dublin against British rule, on Easter Monday. The rebellion ended on 30/4/1916. It was followed by British reprisals, led by the notorious Black and Tans. The rebellion had begun almost unnoticed by the British. The arrest of Roger Casement lulled the British into a false sense of security. On Easter Monday few paid attention to the columns of soldiers marching into central Dublin, where they seized the General Post Office for their headquarters. From the steps of this building General Pearce read a proclamation declaring the establishment of the Republic of Ireland. Many British Army officers were on leave to attend a horse race meeting and the city only contained 1,200 British troops. By the time the British authorities realised what was happening the rebels had taken over the entire city centre and established a cordon of fortified posts in the suburbs. However the might of the British Army soon arrived, with heavy artillery, and bombarded the city centre; the Post Office caught fire and was destroyed. The rebels had no choice but to surrender unconditionally.
17/4/1916. Monday (-10,613) The Boer leader Jan Smuts led an anti-German drive from Kenya.
15/4/1916, Saturday (-10,615) Between November 1914 and this day the British had prosecuted some 500 Irish people under DORA (Defence Of The Realm Act), since World War One broke out. This caused resentment in Ireland, leading to the Easter Rising.
14/4/1916. Friday (-10,616) The Allied bombarded Istanbul.
9/4/1916, Sunday (-10,621) Shackleton and his crew left the ice floe in small boats. They reached Elephant Island on 12/4/1916 (see 10/5/1916).
1/4/1916, Saturday (-10,629) A German Zeppelin airship dropped its bombs on Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire.
24/3/1916. Friday (-10,637) German forces sank a cross-Channel steamer, the Sussex, after a decision in February 1916 that German forces would sink any armed merchant ships on sight. See 31/1/1917.
21/3/1916. Tuesday (-10,640) Austrian soldiers killed 10,000 Serbian civilians.
20/3/1916. Monday (-10,641) Food scarcities in Germany caused rationing to begin.
19/3/1916. Sunday (-10,642) German seaplane raids on Deal, Dover, Margate, and Ramsgate.
15/3/1916. Wednesday (-10,646) The US mounted a punitive raid into Mexico in revenge for the raids of Pancho Villa into New Mexico on 9/3/1916.
11/3/1916. Saturday (-10,650) British Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson was born in Huddersfield, Yorkshire.
10/3/1916, Friday (-10,651) The UK War Office urged women to be less extravagant in their dress. From now until the end of the war there would be no imports of spirits, pianos, or motors.
9/3/1916. Thursday (-10,652) Germany declared war on Portugal.
2/3/1916, Thursday (-10.659) The Russians took Bitlis, in Turkestan, from the Ottoman Turks.
23/2/1916, Wednesday (-10,667) The British Government urged well-off families to release their servants for ‘more useful purposes’.
22/2/1916. Tuesday (-10,668) Tsar Nicholas II opened the Duma (Parliament).
21/2/1916 Monday (-10,669) Battle of Verdun began. The Germans launched an all-out attack on the fortress of Verdun, but Petain took over the defence and repulsed the Germans, achieving victory by June 1916. See 15/12/1916. The previous commander, General Joseph Joffre, had ignored intelligence reports and, believing the German attack would come at Champagne, failed to reinforce Verdun.
19/2/1916, Saturday (-10,671) (1) In Britain, National Savings Certificates went on sale.
(2) Ernst Mach, Austrian scientist after whom the speed of sound in air is named, died the day after his 78th birthday.
16/2/1916, Wednesday (-10,674) The Russians captured Erzerum, in the Caucasus, from Turkey.
11/2/1916, Friday (-10,679) Kaiser Wilhelm II ordered an escalation of the U-boat warfare.
8/2/1916. Tuesday (-10,682) Food shortages caused riots in Berlin. Food rationing began in Germany on 20/3/1916. The British blockade deprived Germany of food imports.
31/1/1916. Monday (-10,690) Zeppelin raids on Shrewsbury killed 59 persons.
29/1/1916. Saturday (-10,692) (1) Zeppelins bombed Paris for the first time.
(2) Military tanks were trialled at Hatfield, Hertfordshire.
28/1/1916. Friday (-10,693) British and Belgian troops took Yaounde, capital of the German colony of Cameroon.
27/1/1916. Thursday (-10,694) In Berlin, the German Communist Party, Spartacus, was formed.
25/1/1916, Tuesday (-10,696)
24/1/1916. Monday (-10,697) Conscription started in Britain. It was for single men aged 19-30.
23/1/1916, Sunday (-10,698) London’s Natural History Museum and British Museum were closed for the duration of the War.
17/1/1916. Monday (-10,704) Russia began an offensive against Turkey.
14/1/1916. Friday (-10,707) Zuider Zee dam in the Netherlands collapsed, causing extensive flooding.
12/1/1916, Wednesday (-10,709) Pieter Botha, South African President, was born in Paul Roux in the Orange Free State.
8/1/1916. Saturday (-10,713) (1) The Lower Hauenstein rail tunnel, Switzerland, 8.5 km long, opened.
(2) Gallipoli was evacuated by Allied troops. This was the end of an unsuccessful attempt to capture Constantinople. See 20/12/1915.
6/1/1916, Thursday (-10,715) The Commons voted in favour of conscription by 403 votes to 103, although the Home Secretary Sir John Simon resigned over the issue. Single men were to be conscripted first; armed service became compulsory for single men aged between 18 and 41. Many British soldiers had been killed in the War, and volunteering rates had dropped off sharply.
1/1/1916, Saturday (-10,720) In Britain, women’s employment had risen by two million over the past 12 months.
31/12/1915, Friday (-10,721) On the Western Front, positions have scarcely changed for a year amongst the trenches, despite appalling casualties. Major attacks became bogged down in bad weather, and tens or hundreds of thousands died for little territorial gain by either side. France had seen, during 1915, 330,000 soldiers killed and a further one million wounded, in addition to the 900,000 killed or wounded during 1914. In 1915 alone, 170,000 German soldiers were killed and 680,000 wounded. In 1915 alone, Britain saw 73,000 soldiers killed and 240,000 wounded.
20/12/1915. Monday (-10,732) Australian, New Zealand, and British troops were evacuated from the ill-fated Gallipoli expedition. See 25/4/1915. The aim had been to capture the Dardanelles and Constantinople, and so knock Turkey out of the war, and link up with the Russian Black Sea Fleet. However disease, flies, fever, and mosquitoes, and the incompetence of the Allied commanders, were compounded by the fact that landings were not made until two months after Turkish positions here had been bombarded. Hence the element of surprise was lost, and the Turks had ample time to prepare strong defences. Evacuation was completed by 8/1/1916, without casualties. An ingenious plan involved loading provisions onto the Gallipoli beaches in daylight, but at night men, guns and horses were evacuated, leaving rifles set to fire automatically at intervals. At the last moment an Allied destroyer trained a searchlight on the Turkish lines, the Turks fired back, and under this exchange of fire the Allies slipped away undetected.
13/12/1915, Monday (-10,739) B J Vorster, President of South Africa, was born.
12/12/1915. Sunday (-10,740) In Germany, Hugo Junkers built the first all-metal aeroplane. The Junkers J1 first flew at Dessau.
8/12/1915, Wednesday (-10,744) Battle of the Falkland Islands. A British squadron sank four out of five German ships, killing Admiral Von Spree and his two sons.
6/12/1915. Monday (-10,746) Germany occupied Bucharest, capital of Rumania, ending Rumania’s war effort against Germany. See 30/11/1918.
4/12/1915. Saturday (-10,748) The US state of Georgia officially recognised the Klu Klux Klan.
25/11/1915, Thursday (-10,757) (1) The White supremacist society Klu Klux Klan was revived at Stone Mountain, Georgia, by Colonel William Simmons. The original Klan, from Greek kuklos = circle, was formed as a secret Confederate Army. Its ‘night riders’ in their hooded costumes terrorised Blacks. The new Klan also opposed Catholics, Jews, immigration, birth control, the repeal of Prohibition, pacifism and Darwinism, as well as Black people.
(2) General Augusto Pinochet, Chilean dictator who overthrew Allende in 1973, was born.
23/11/1915, Tuesday (-10,759)
22/11/1915. Monday (-10,760) General Charles Vere Ferrers Townshend was advancing by boat on Baghdad with a force of 9,000 men of the 6th Indian Division. The land was roadless, an ‘arid billiard table’ as he described it. At Ctesiphon, 20 miles short of Baghdad, Townshend came up against a large, well supplied force. He was short of supplies because a stingy and over-optimistic government in India expected him to get all the supplies he needed in Baghdad. Townshend’s forces drove out the Turks but at a loss of 40% of his men. He was now unable to withstand any Turkish counter-attack, let alone advance further, so he retreated to Kut with 1,600 Turkish prisoners of war and 4,500 wounded from both sides. The Invasion of Mesopotamia was to secure the oil but that only required the occupation of a small area around Basra. This would, keep the Turks away from the Iranian port of Abadan, terminus of the Anglo-Iranian pipeline which supplied the Royal navy with oil. Kut was besieged by the Turks, from 8/12/1915. Townshend had 13,500 inside to feed, including some 2,500 Indian non-combatants and 2,000 sick and wounded. There were also 6,000 Arabs. They had to contend with freezing cold and torrential rain. A relief force never got near enough; three relief attempts were made, at a cost of 23,000 casualties. The Indians would not eat meat, although the oxen were slaughtered for food by the British, then the camels, horses, and finally cats, starlings, dogs, and hedgehogs. Gallipoli had been evacuated by the British on 8/1/1916 and elated by this, and now with troops to spare from there, the Turks refused a ransom of £2million (£67million in 2002 prices) to let the defenders leave. Kut was the first siege in which supplies were dropped by air, including flour for the Indian’s chappatis. However the Turks and their German allies had more and better aircraft. Finally Kut surrendered on 27/4/1916, with rations down to seven ounces of grain a day for the 12,000 men there. More Indian and British soldiers died during the forced march from Kut to captivity in Mesopotamia or even all the way to Turkey. However Townshend was in relatively comfortable captivity near Constantinople. Kut finally fell to the Allies in February 1917, and Baghdad fell in March 1917.
14/11/1915, Sunday (-10,768) Death of Booker T Washington, first principal of the Tuskegee Institute (Alabama) for Blacks.
13/11/1915. Saturday (-10,769) Churchill resigned from the cabinet over the Dardanelles.
11/11/1915, Thursday (-10,771)
10/11/1915, Wednesday (-10,772) (1) A survey showed that women working in UK factories have enabled production to rise by 250%, see 24/2/.1915 and 20/10/1915.
(2) Britain annexed the Gilbert and Ellice Islands.
9/11/1915, Tuesday (-10,773) British war casualties now totalled 510,000.
25/10/1915, Monday (-10,788) The railway between London Waterloo and East Putney was electrified.
20/10/1915, Wednesday (-10,793) UK Prime Minister Lloyd George allowed women to step into many male employment roles, three months after 30,000 women marched down Whitehall demanding ‘The right to serve’. Trades Unions were concerned in case the move depressed wages.
17/10/1915. Sunday (-10, 796) Russia and Italy followed Britain and France in declaring war on Bulgaria.
16/10/1915. Saturday (-10,797) The Allies blockaded Bulgarian ports. France declared war on Bulgaria.
15/10/1915. Friday (-10,798) Britain declared war on Bulgaria. France declared war on Bulgaria on 16/10/1915.
14/10/1915. Thursday (-10,799) Bulgaria and Serbia each declared war on the other.
13/10/1915, Wednesday (-10,800) The British Government banned ‘treating’ – buying drinks for another – in an effort to curb drunkenness amongst factory workers.
12/10/1915. Tuesday (-10,801) (1) The UK government broke off relations with Bulgaria.
(2) British nurse, Edith Cavell, was executed by a German firing squad in Brussels for helping Allied prisoners escape over the Dutch frontier; she had given medical attention to both Allied and German casualties equally. The Brussels authorities had ordered her execution, which was opposed by the Kaiser and the German High Command as a political mistake, carried out quickly by the German occupation regime in Belgium before Berlin was informed. Her death aroused patriotic fervour in Britain against Germany.
9/10/1915. Saturday (-10,804) The Serbian capital, Belgrade, fell to the Austro-German army.
5/10/1915. Tuesday (-10,808) Allied troops landed at Salonika, Greece, to help Serbia (see 26/4/1915). These troops probably dissuaded Greece from joining the German side, and in 1918 took part in an offensive against Bulgaria, but otherwise played little role in the war.
1/10/1915, Friday (-10,812) The Grenchenberg rail tunnel, Switzerland, 9 km long, opened.
28/9/1915. Tuesday (-10,815) (1) The British defeated the Turks at Kut El Amara in Mesopotamia.
(2) Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg was born (see 19/6/1953).
26/9/1915. Sunday (-10,817) (1) British and French troops began two big offensives, in Champagne and Flanders.
(2) Kier Hardie, founder of the Labour Party, died.
25/9/1915. Saturday (-10,818) (1) The Battle of Loos began, and the London Regiment’s 18th battalion went over the top kicking a football.
(2) The British forces used poison gas for the first time. Its first use was by the Germans on 22/4/1915.
24/9/1915, Friday (-10,819)
23/9/1915. Thursday (-10,820) King Constantine of Greece began mobilising against Bulgaria, in aid of Serbia.
22//9/1915. Wednesday (-10,821) Bulgaria mobilised its army and declared war on Serbia.
21/9/1915, Tuesday (-10,822) Stonehenge was sold at auction for £6,600. A Mr Chubb bought it as a present for his wife.
20/9/1915, Monday (-10,823)
19/9/1915. Sunday (-10,824) The Germans took Vilna (Vilnius), capital of Lithuania.
18/9/1915, Saturday (-10,825) (1) The Kaiser gave renewed assurances that passenger ships would not be attacked.
(2) The British government revealed that the war was costing £3.5 million daily.
(3) German forces entered Vilnius, Lithuania.
15/9/1915, Wednesday (-10,828) The Entente (France, UK) promised Bulgaria part of Macedonia if she declared war on Turkey.
13/9/1915. Monday (-10,830) The process for making cornflakes was patented by Frank Martin. The previous combination of corn, oats, and grain proved indigestible for the public.
11/9/1915. Saturday (-10,832) The first Women’s Institute in Britain was formed, in Anglesey, Wales. The first Women’s Institute was founded in Canada in 1897.
6/9/1915. Monday (-10,837) (1) The first military tank, the No.1 Lincoln, modified and renamed Little Willie, had its first run.
(2) Bulgaria signed a military accord with Germany and Austria. Bulgaria was seeking territory held by Greece and Serbia that it felt should be Bulgarian, see 10/8/1913. See 15/9/1915.
30/8/1915. Monday (-10,844) The great Russian fortress of Brest-Litovsk fell to the Germans.
29/8/1915. Sunday (-10,845) The UK sent £55,000,000 in gold to pay the USA for munitions.
25/8/1915, Wednesday (-10,849)
21/8/1915. Saturday (-10,853) Italy declared war on the Ottoman Empire.
20/8/1915, Friday (-10,854) Paul Erlich, bacteriologist, died of a stroke in Bad Homburg, Germany. Born in Strehlen, Silesia (now Poland) on 14/3/1854, he laid the foundations for the use of chemotherapy in treating disease. In 1909 he developed the first compound designed specifically to cure a disease; Salvarsan, for syphilis.
19/8/1915, Thursday (-10,855) Battle of the Gulf of Riga. The German High Seas Fleet was able to clear the Russian minefields and enter the gulf, but withdrew after German cruiser SMS Moltke was hit by a torpedo fired by British submarine HMS E1.
18/8/1915, Wednesday (-10,856) The Germans took the fortress of Novo Georgievsk.
17/8/1915, Tuesday (-10,857) The Germans took Kovno.
16/8/1915, Monday (-10,858) The Allies promised the Kingdom of Serbia, should victory be achieved over Austria-Hungary and its allied Central Powers, the territories of Baranja, Srem and Slavonia from the Cisleithanian part of the Dual Monarchy, along with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and eastern Dalmatia from the Krka River to Bar.
15/8/1915, Sunday (-10,859) The Allied landings at Suvla, Dardanelles, were completed.
14/8/1915, Saturday (-10,860) A rail crash in Weedon, England killed ten people.
13/8/1915, Friday (-10,861) George Joseph Smith, the infamous ‘Brides in the Bath’ murderer, was hanged by John Ellis at Maidstone Prison. Smith had ‘married’ three different women, then murdered them to claim on life insurance policies or gain their fortunes.
10/8/1915, Tuesday (-10,864)
6/8/1915. Friday (-10,868) New Allied landings on Gallipoli. See 8/1/1916.
5/8/1915. Thursday (-10,869) Austro-German forces took Warsaw as the Russian abandoned it.
4/8/1915, Wednesday (-10,870) Nurse Edith Cavell was arrested in Brussels, see 12/10/1915.
27/7/1915. Tuesday (-10,878) Revolution in Haiti.
15/7/1915. Thursday (-10,890) 200,000 Welsh miners went on strike for more pay.
10/7/1915, Saturday (-10,895) Saul Bellow, US author, was born in Lachine, Quebec.
9/7/1915. Friday (-10,896) German South West Africa (Namibia) was conquered. All German troops surrendered to Botha (South Africa), see 14/4/1915.
5/7/1915, Monday (-10,900)
3/7/1915, Saturday (-10,902) The war was costing Britain £3 million daily.
2/7/1915, Friday (-10,903) Porfirio Díaz, 29th President of Mexico (born 1830) died.
1/7/1915, Thursday (-10,904) A packet of aspirin cost 3d (1p) and a pair of silk stockings at Harrods was 3s 11d (19.5p). A British train driver got £2 0s 6d (202.5p) a week. A female cotton weaver got 18s 6d (92.5p) a week. The Secretary of the Lunacy Commission got £800 a year.
27/6/1915, Sunday (-10,908)
24/6/1915, Thursday (-10,911) Professor Fred Hoyle, British astronomer and science fiction writer, was born.
23/6/1915, Wednesday (-10,912) Italy launched its first major military campaign in World War One with an army of 225,000 under command of Luigi Cadorna attacking Austro-Hungarian positions above the Isonzo River in the Alps.
22/6/1915. Tuesday (-10,913) The Austrians retook Lemberg (Lvov), capital of Galicia, which they had lost to Russia on 3/9/1914.
20/6/1915, Sunday (-10,915)
11/6/1915. Friday (-10,924) Serbian troops invaded Albania and took Tirana, the capital.
10/6/1915, Thursday (-10,925) Second Battle of Garua. The remaining 249 German and African troops stationed in garrisons around Garua, Kamerun surrendered to British and French forces.
9/6/1915, Wednesday (-10,926) British troops in France were first issued with hand grenades.
8/6/1915, Tuesday (-10,927) Kayyar Kinhanna Rai, Indian poet, known for his poems and activism work for an independent India, was born in Kayyar, India (died 2015).
7/6/1915, Monday (-10,928) The British air force downed a German Zeppelin. Sub-Lieutenant Warneford took his aircraft over the airship and dropped six 20-pound bombs, one of which hit its target. For this Warneford was awarded the Victoria Cross.
6/6/1915, Sunday (-10,929) The Kaiser promised that in future the German Navy would not attack passenger vessels. However on 28/6/1915 a German submarine sunk the passenger liner Armenia off Cornwall, and the passenger liner Arabic was sunk on 19/8/1915.
5/6/1915, Saturday (-10,930) French sculptor and draughtsman Henri Gaudier-Brzeska was killed in action in World War One, aged 23.
4/6/1915. Friday (-10,931) Austro-German troops retook Premsyl from the Russians.
31/5/1915, Monday (-10,935) German airship bombing raid on London; Stoke Newington was badly damaged and 7 Londoners died.
27/5/1915. Thursday (-10,939) (1) The Turkish government decided to deport the entire Armenian population to Syria and Mesopotamia, suspecting them of lack of loyalty. The deportation involved much cruelty against the Armenians. Of the total Armenian population of 1.8 million, a third were deported, a third escaped deportation, and a third were killed. The Russians conquered Turkish Armenia in 1916 and proclaimed ‘the liberation of the Armenian people from the Turkish yoke’ but prevented the Armenians from returning to their homeland as they planned to settle the area with Cossacks.
(2) Zeppelin raid on Southend, Essex.
26/5/1915. Wednesday (-10,940) The first Zeppelin raids on London. A ton of bombs was dropped from one airship, killing 7 and injuring 15.
25/5/1915. Tuesday (-10,941) (1) Prime Minister Herbert Asquith of Britain formed a wartime Liberal-Conservative coalition, replacing the former Liberal Government; Asquith remained Prime Minister. The Liberal Government had been shaken by the scandal of British troops in the front line facing a shortage of high explosive shells.
(2) The Austrians bombarded Venice.
24/5/1915. Monday (-10,942). The Austrian fleet bombarded Ancona, N.E. Italy.
23/5/1915, Sunday (-10,943) Italy entered the war on the Allied side, see 25/4/1915.
22/5/1915. Saturday (-10,944) The Gretna Green troop train disaster, the worst on Britain’s railways, took place; 227 died. Three trains had collided at Quintinshill, and 200 of the casualties were Scots Guards on the way to war. The shocked and dishevelled survivors were mistaken for German POWs and stoned by civilians.
20/5/1915, Thursday (-10,946) Moshe Dayan, Israeli military commander and politician, was born in Deganya.
17/5/1915. Monday (-10,949) Zeppelin raid on Ramsgate, Kent.
16/5/1915, Sunday (-10,950) The Mont d’Or rail tunnel, between France and Switzerland, 6 km long, opened.
13/5/1915, Thursday (-10,953) In Britain, street violence against those suspected of being ‘aliens’ increased following the sinking of the Lusitania on 7/5/1915.
11/5/1915, Tuesday (-10,955) German-owned businesses, shops and restaurants, in the London suburbs of Bethnal Green, Camden Town, Limehouse, Poplar, Stepney and Walthamstow were attacked, burnt and destroyed. Traders at Smithfield Market refused to trade with ethnic Germans, even if they had been naturalised as Britons. An American trader at Smithfield who was inclined to trade with the foreigners was also beaten up. The unrest was in response to the sinking of the Lusitania four days earlier.
10/5/1915. Monday (-10,956) (1) Zeppelin raid on Southend, Essex.
(2) Fierce fighting in the Ypres area.
(3) Denis Thatcher, wife of Margaret, British Prime Minister, was born.
9-25/5/1915, Battle of Aubers Ridge (second battle of Artois); the French advanced three miles at great cost.
7/5/1915. Friday (-10,959) The Lusitania, captained by William Thomas Turner, was torpedoed. 1,400 people drowned 8 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale, near Cork. 128 Americans were among the 1,208 casualties, including friends of President Woodrow Wilson and the millionaire yachtsman Alfred Vanderbilt, as the ship made its way back to Liverpool on a voyage from New York. America condemned the torpedoing of the ship by a German submarine as an act of piracy and this brought the USA into the War.
The 30,000 tonne Lusitania had sailed from New York on 1/5/1915. She carried 1,257 passengers, including 128 Americans; 702 crew; and an estimated 3 stowaways. Her cargo list, later a source of controversy, included small arms cartridges, uncharged shrapnel shells, cheese, furs, and, oddly, 205 barrels of oysters. The Germans later claimed the ‘oysters’ were actually heavy munitions whose explosion had doomed the ship. However there was no second explosion after the torpedo hit; there were no heavy munitions and rifle rounds burned harmlessly, like firecrackers, and did not explode.
Cunard had shut down the Lusitania’s fourth boiler room to save on coal but even at the reduced maximum speed of 21 knots it was reckoned she could outrun any German U-boat. Passengers ignored warnings from the German Embassy published in the New York Press not to cross the Atlantic under a belligerent flag, and the lifeboat drills on board were palpably inadequate. The Lusitania had plenty of lifeboats but most were unlaunchable because the ship listed heavily as water poured through lower deck portholes, opened for air despite orders to close them. She sank within 18 minutes of being hit.
The sinking of the Lusitania deepened American hostility towards Germany but President Woodrow Wilson’s administration was split between the hawks and doves, and it was another 2 years before America entered the war.
6/5/1915, Thursday (-10,960) Orson Wells, American actor and film director, was born,
5/5/1915, Wednesday (-10,861)
4/5/1915, Tuesday (-10,962) Italy denounced the Triple Alliance (Italy, Germany, Austro-Hungary). This was a preparatory move to her entering the War on the Allied side on 23/5/1915.
3/5/1915, Monday (-10,963) The war was costing Britain £2 million per day.
2/5/1915, Sunday (-10,964) German forces broke through on the Eastern Front at Gorlice.
1/5/1915, Saturday (-10,965) (1) Widespread resentment by British workers at alcohol sales restrictions.
(2) The US ship Gulflight was sunk without warning by a German U-boat.
(3) The Austrian commander Mackensen reversed earlier weaknesses of the Austrian Army, which in Spring 1915 was on the verge of collapse after repeated Russian attacks. At Dunajec-San, he forced the Russians to retreat.
30/4/1915. Friday (-10,966) (1) Germany invaded the Russian Baltic provinces.
(2) Zeppelin air raids on Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds.
27/4/1915, Tuesday (-10,969)
26/4/1915. Monday (-10,970) Allied forces established themselves on the Gallipoli Peninsula, having landed the previous day, 25/4/1915. This was an attempt to take control from the Dardanelles from Turkey, and open up a supply route to Russia. The Allies hoped, against all evidence, that the landing itself would provoke a coup in Turkey and remove it from the War. Russian Jews, who saw the ottoman Empire as a barrier to a Jewish Homeland, supported the exercise. Forces landed included 27,500 British, 18,100 ANZACs, and 16,800 French. However the landing site was fully exposed to Turkish fire, and evacuation of Allied troops was the only option. Also on 25/9/1915 the Germans attacked Serbia and Allied forces had to go to Salonika to buttress Serbian resistance (see 5/10/1915). Evacuation began on 8 December 1915 and was completed by 9 January 1916. The Dardanelles expedition cost 70,700 British casualties (26,000 dead), 25,700 Australians (7,800 killed), 23,000 French (8,000 killed), 7,100 New Zealanders (2,445 killed) and 5,500 Indians (1,682 killed). However the evacuation was managed with very little loss of life.
25/4/1915. Sunday (-10,971) Italy signed a secret treaty, the Treaty of London, with Britain, France, and Russia. Italy agreed to enter the war on the Allied side within one month in return for territorial gains. Italy was to gain the Austrian provinces of Trentino, South Tyrol, Istria, Gorizia, Gradisca, and Trieste, also a large stretch of the Dalmatian coast and islands, some Albanian territory around Valona, full sovereignty over the Turkish-controlled Dodecanese Islands, the Turkish province of Adalia in Asia Minor, colonial gains in Africa, and a share of war indemnities. The Allies agreed to this because they believed that Italian intervention would soon destroy Austro-Hungary, opening the ‘back door to Germany’. Italy duly entered the war on 24/5/1915, but the expected breakthrough against Austria never materialised. When the Bolsheviks took over in 1917 they revealed the terms of this secret treaty, which ran totally against the ethnic-determination principles of President Wilson of the USA; he stated he did not consider the treaty terms as binding. At the Paris Peace Conference the UK and France also opposed implementation of the treaty’s terms, and Italy received far less than originally specified. This created popular resentment in Italy and was a factor in the rise of Mussolini and Fascism in Italy.
24/4/1915. Saturday (-10,972) The arrest in Constantinople (now Istanbul) of 235 Armenian academics, politicians, lawyers and journalists. Another 600 were later detained. All were sent to Anatolia, most of them slaughtered. Turkey feared they would collaborate with Russia. On this day the Ottoman Interior Minister, Talaat Pasha, gave the order for the Armenian Massacre. Many Armenians were deported to the Syrian desert to die.
22/4/1915. Thursday (-10,974) (1) The British began a new offensive at Ypres.
(2) The Germans began using poison gas, chlorine, against the British north of Ypres. 4,000 tons of chlorine were sent over Allied lines, killing 6,000. Many Germans were also killed whilst releasing the gas and they did not press forward, losing any advantage gained from using the gas. The new weapon was used by Britain on 25/9/1915.
20/4/1915. Tuesday (-10,976) President Wilson declared the USA to be strictly neutral in the Great War.
14/4/1915. Wednesday (-10,982) (1) Zeppelin air raid on Lowestoft and Maldon, Essex.
(2) South African troops began an offensive to clear the Germans from German south-west Africa (now Namibia). See 9/7/1915.
5/4/1915. Monday (-10,991) France began a broad offensive from the Meuse to the Moselle.
30/3/1915, Tuesday (-10,997) In Britain King George V offered to give up alcohol as an example to the munitions workers.
23/3/1915, Tuesday (-11,004) The Hungarian fortress of Przemysl fell to Russian forces.
21/3/1915, Sunday (-11,006) Frederick Winslow Taylor, the inventor of modern scientific time-management, died.
20/3/1915. Saturday (-11,007) German air raid on Deal, Kent.
18/3/1915, Thursday (-11,009)
16/3/1915, Tuesday (-11,011) Britain’s Jockey Club decided that the War should not stop horse racing.
15/3/1915, Monday (-11,012) US soldiers under General Pershing entered Mexico to hunt down the revolutionary Pancho Villa.
14/3/1915, Sunday (-11,013) The German battle cruiser Dresden was sunk.
13/3/1915, Saturday (-11,014)
11/3/1915. Thursday (-11,016) Britain began a naval blockade of Germany.
10/3/1915, Wednesday (-11,017) Battle of Neuve-Chapelle began. By 12/3/1915 the Allies had captured the village and just 4 square miles of countryside. 40,000 Allied soldiers fought, and of these there were 7,000 British and 4,200 Indian casualties; the Germans lost a similar number. This amounted to one casualty per 5,000 square feet of ground won.
1/3/1915. Monday (-11,026) Britain began blockading German ports.
26/2/1915. Friday (-11,029) Clydeside armament workers went on strike for more pay.
21/2/1915. Sunday (-11,034) German air raid on Essex.
19/2/1915 Friday (-11,036) The Dardanelles campaign began. A Franco-British fleet began shelling Turkish fortifications along the Dardanelles, to open up the strategic waterway to get munitions to Russia via the Black Sea, and deliver Russian grain to France and the UK. Spotter planes from the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal were directing the gunners by radio.
18/2/1915. Thursday (-11,037) (1) Germany’s blockade of Britain by submarine began.
(2) Shackleton’s ship Endurance became stuck in pack ice.
17/2/1915. Wednesday (-11,038) Germany captured the Polish port of Memel.
11/2/1915. Thursday (-11,044) (1) British seaplanes and airplanes bombarded Bruges and Ostend.
(2) London’s Bakerloo Line was extended from Kilburn Park to join the Euston main line railway at Queens Park. See 31/1/1915.
7/2/1915-15/2/1915. Battle of the Masurian Lakes. The Russian 10th Army was defeated by the Germans under Otto Von Below.
4/2/1915, Thursday (-11,051) (1) British war casualties now stood at 104,000 dead.
(2) Germany began using submarines in warfare to blockade Britain.
(3) The Sarajevo conspirators were executed in Bosnia.
2/2/1915. Tuesday (-11,053) The Turks were defeated on the Suez Canal.
1/2/1915, Monday (-11,054) British passport holders were required to carry photographs, not just written descriptions.
31/1/1915, Sunday (-11,055) London’s Bakerloo Line was extended from Paddington to Kilburn Park. See 11/2/1915.
30/1/1915, Saturday (-11,056) John Profumo, British Cabinet Minister involved in the Profumo Affair with Christine Keeler and a Russian attaché, was born.
26/1/1915, Tuesday (-11,060)
25/1/1915. Monday (-11,061) (1) In Canada, the Northern Railway from Lake Superior to the Pacific Coast was completed.
(2) Mussolini formed the Fasci d’Azione Rivoluzionara in Milan.
24/1/1915. Sunday (-11,062) (1) 1,000 British suffragettes arrived in France to fill factory jobs vacated by men away on the Front, see 10/11/1915.
(2) Admiral Hipper was intercepted by the British navy off Dogger Bank after bombardment of UK coastal towns. The superior British force sank the German battleship, Blucher. After this German naval raids on UK coastal towns ceased.
18/1/1915. Monday (-11,068) Japan made ’21 Demands’ on China, which if accepted would virtually give Japan sovereignty over China.
15/1/1915. Friday (-11,071) German Zeppelin airships dropped bombs on villages in Norfolk, killing five people. Great Yarmouth was bombed.
13/1/1915. Wednesday (-11,073) (1) South African troops occupied Swakopmund in German South West Africa.
(2) An earthquake killed 20,000 in central Italy.
12/1/1915. Tuesday (-11,074) The US Congress defeated a Bill for women's suffrage.
7/1/1915, Thursday (-11,079) Heavy rain caused floods in the Thames Valley, turning Windsor Castle into an island.
3/1/1915, Sunday (-11,083) Tear gas was used in warfare for the first time; by Germany against the Russians, in Poland.
2/1/1915, Saturday (-11,084) |John Hope Franklin, US historian, was born.
1/1/1915, Friday (-11,085) The Ilford rail crash in Essex, England killed ten people and injured another 500 passengers.
31/12/1914, Thursday (-11,086) (1) At the end of 1914, France alone had seen 900,000 of its citizens killed or hospitalised.
(2) The Canterbury to Whitstable railway closed.
30/12/1914, Wednesday (-31,087) First Battle of Champagne. As the French launched a new assault, the German counterattacked their right flank and took out three lines of defence and inflicted major casualties.
29/12/1914, Tuesday (-11,088) The first Zeppelin appeared over the British coast. The Daily Mail newspaper cost ½ d.
27/12/1914, Sunday (-11,090)
25/12/1914. Friday (-11,092) In World War One, an informal truce between the combatants ended at midnight.
24/12/1914. Thursday (-11,093) The first air raid on Britain took place (see 1/11/1911). A single bomb fell in the grounds of St James Priory, Dover.
22/12/1914, Tuesday (-11,095)
20/12/1914, Sunday (-11,097) The British Protectorate of Egypt was established, with Hussein Kamil as Sultan.
19/12/1914. Saturday (-11,098) Britain declared Egypt to be a British Protectorate, deposing the ruler, Khedive Abbas II, who had sided with Germany’s ally, Turkey. Abbas II, born 14/7/1874, who succeeded his father on 8/1/1892, died in Geneva on 21/12/1944.
18/12/1914, Friday (-11,099)
17/12/1914. Thursday (-11,100) Anzac (Australia, New Zealand, army corps) troops occupied Samoa and German New Guinea.
16/12/1914. Wednesday (-11,101) The German navy bombarded Hartlepool, Scarborough, and Whitby with over 1,000 shells, killing 102.
15/12/1915, Tuesday (-11,102) Serbian troops retook Belgrade from the Austrians.
14/12/1914, Monday (-11,103)
12/12/1914 Saturday (-11,105) The New York Stock Exchange reopened, for the first time since World war One began. It was hoped to raise money for the war effort, but stock values plummeted.
11/12/1914, Friday (-11,106) The Royal Flying Corps adopted the roundel now used by the RAF.
10/12/1914, Thursday (-11,107)
9/12/1914, Wednesday (-11,108) The first warship built as an aircraft carrier was commissioned. HMS Ark Royal, originally designed as a merchant ship, but acquired by The Admiralty whilst under construction at Blyth, was launched in September 1914.
8/12/1914. Tuesday (-11,109) Battle of the Falklands. Six of the seven ships in the German Pacific Squadron were sunk. Admiral Sturdee’s victory over Vice-Admiral von Spee ended German naval activity in the southern Atlantic and Pacific oceans, allowing the British navy to concentrate on home waters and the Mediterranean for the remainder of World War One.
6/12/1914. Sunday (-11,111) The Germans captured Lodz, Poland.
1/12/1914, Tuesday (-11,116) The British Government suppressed anti-enlistment newspapers in Dublin.
30/11/1914, Monday (-11,117) The Great War was spreading from the Franco-German border to encompass the world. There was fighting in the Dardanelles region of Turkey, Britain has occupied Cyprus, Russia invaded Armenia and naval battles off Sumatra. There were also conflicts in various parts of Africa between German and Allied colonies.
29/11/1914, Sunday (-11,118) Japanese forces seized German territory at Kiaochow, China, thereby winning favour with the Allies. However Japan then went on to try and establish a virtual protectorate over most of China.
28/11/1914, Saturday (-11,119)
27/11/1914, The UK passed the Defence of the Realm Act (DORA), enabling the government to requisition factories and censor the press. Further restrictions were imposed as the War progressed.
(2) Britain’s first policewoman went on duty, on completion of her training, in Grantham, Lincolnshire.
26/11/1914, Thursday (-11,121) At Sheerness, Kent, the HMS Bulwark exploded, killing 700 people.
23/11/1914. Monday (-11,124) The British navy bombarded Zeebrugge.
21/11/1914. Saturday (-11,126) Indian troops occupied the port of Basra, Persia.
17/11/1914, Tuesday (-11,130) Lloyd George announced that Income tax would double in 1915 to pay for the war, then costing Britain £1 million per day.
14/11/1914. Saturday (-11,133) (1) The Sultan of Turkey declared a Jihad, or Holy War, against the Allies.
(2) Lord Roberts, Boer War commander, died whilst visiting British troops in the field in France.
13/11/1914. Friday (-11,134) (1) General Botha’s forces crushed the rebellion of General Christaan de Wet in the Orange Free State, opening the way to march on the German colonists of South West Africa.
(2) The brassiere was patented in the USA by heiress Mary Phelps Jacob.
10/11/1914, Tuesday (-11,137) The Australian cruiser Sydney sank the German cruiser Emden off Sumatra. This cleared the Indian Ocean of German forces.
7/11/1914. Saturday (-11,140) The German fortified city of Qingdao (Tsingtao) in China surrendered to the Japanese, see 27/8/1914.
6/11/1914, Friday (-11,141) British troops landed at Fao (now Iraq) and captured the Turkish fort there.
5/11/1914. Thursday (-11,142) Following Russia, Britain and France declared war on the Ottoman Empire. Britain annexed Cyprus. However the Dardanelles were now closed to Allied shipping, and it was vital to be able to get supplies to support Russia. The ports of Archangel and Vladivostock were ice-bound, so an attempt was made to seize the Dardanelles by the Gallipoli campaign (see 25/4/1915).
4/11/1914. Wednesday (-11,143) (1) At the Ritz-Carlton hotel, New York, Edna Chase of Vogue magazine organised the first catwalk fashion show.
(2) The Russians declared war on Turkey and invaded Armenia, part of the Ottoman Empire.
3/11/1914. Tuesday (-11,144) (1) German ships bombarded Yarmouth.
(2) Britain declared the North Sea to be a military area, dangerous to merchant shipping, and mined it. Germany responded on 4/2/1915 by making a similar declaration and also mining, the area of the English Channel and waters around Ireland. Germany began a submarine blockade of Britain. On 1/3/1915 Britain announced that all ships presumed to be carrying goods of enemy origin, destination or ownership would be seized, regardless of ownership or destination of the ship.
2/11/1914, Monday (-11,145)
1/11/1914. Sunday (-11,146) The British fleet was defeated at the Battle of Coronel, Chile.
31/10/1914, Saturday (-11,147) The front line in the Great War had stabilised into trench warfare, stretching from the Swiss border to the English Channel (see 30/9/1914). Fierce battles raged for front-line towns such as Ypres, and Paris was bombed by Zeppelins.
30/10/1914, Friday (-11,148)
29/10/1914, Thursday (-11,149) (1) (Germany, Turkey) Turkish warships bombarded the Russian ports of Sevastopol, Odessa and Novorossiysk. In Turkey the Young Turks, in 1908, had had two aims; to pull together the disintegrating remains of the Ottoman Empire, and to recover land lost to Russia. However they found the Turkish Treasury in debt to European banks by the then-colossal sum of £200 million. They sought an alliance with a wealthy European nation that could help rebuild the Turkish economy. Britain, which had helped found Turkey’s National Bank in 1908, was approached, as an enemy of Germany with whom the former Turkish Sultan Abdul Hamid had been friendly. Britain declined the approach, believing that an alliance with Turkey would unite Europe against it. Turkey again approached Britain during the Balkan War (1912-13) and was again rebuffed. In July 1914 France also rejected overtures by Turkey. Moreover on 1/8/1914 Winston Churchill ordered the requisition of two warships being built in Britain for the Turkish Navy. Meanwhile the German General Otto Liman von Sanders was assisting the modernisation of the Turkish Army. Germany hoped that Turkey, possibly allied with Bulgaria, would threaten Russia without direct German involvement. The Young Turk, Ismail Enver Pasha, Minister for War, approached the German Ambassador in Constantinople on 22/7/1914 to propose a formal alliance. The German Ambassador, Freiherr von Wangenheim, declined; Germany assessed that an alliance with Turkey would exacerbate tensions with Russia, and therefore be of advantage to Britain and France, but be of no gain to Germany because of the weak state of the Turkish Army, and the parlous state of the Turkish economy that retarded the development of the Turkish military. However Kaiser Wilhelm II, Emperor of Germany, on learning of Enver’s approach, overruled Wangenheim and instructed Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann to open negotiations with Turkey. A secret treaty of alliance between Germany and Turkey was signed on 2/8/1914, essentially a mutual guarantee of defence against, only, any attack by Russia. The secrecy allowed Enver to hedge his bets and only intervene against Russia when it suited him. Therefore although Germany had mobilised against Russia on 1/8/1914 Enver did not attack immediately. German Admiral Wilhelm von Souchon sailed two German ships, the SMS Goeben and SMS Breslau, past British ships in the Mediterranean just hours before Britain declared war on Germany, on 4/8/1914. Britain chased these ships but did not prevent their arrival at Constantinople, where they became part of the Turkish navy, replacing the ships confiscated by Britain. They were renamed the Yavuz Sultan Selim and the Midilli, and Turkey also received 20 million marks in gold by train from Germany, to assist in updating Turkish military capabilities. Once the gold was received, and Turkey had witnessed German successes against the Russians in East Prussia (following initial defeats inflicted on Germany at Tannenbirg and the Marne) the Yavuz Sultan Selim and the Midilli, complete with German crews, bombarded the Russian ports. Churchill was not too perturbed by Turkey’s entry into the Great War on the German side. Almost all the Turkish Army’s 43 divisions were only on peacetime strengths of 4,000 men, not the wartime basis of 10,000. The Turkish divisions based in Mesopotamia (now Iraq), also Arabia and the Levant, were manned by local recruits of dubious loyalty to the Ottoman Empire. The British enjoyed easy victories against these divisions in the Basra area, where the local oilfields were secured. However later in the war the Young Turks reinforced the fighting capabilities of the army, giving Britain a harder battle.
(2) Near Nieuport, Netherlands, the Yser area was flooded tactically.
28/10/1914. Wednesday (-11,150) (1) Turkey attacked Russian ports in the Black Sea. Turkey had just been delivered two German battleships, the Goeben and Breslau, as replacements for two British battleships which had just been completed in British shipyards but which the British now refused to deliver. Renamed the Jawus and the Midilli, under Admiral Souchon, these ships bombarded Odessa, Sebastopol, and Feodorian. This provoked a declaration of war by Russia against Turkey on 4/11/1919 (qv); also by Britain and France on 5/11/1914.
(2) Jonas Salk, US bacteriologist who discovered the anti-poliomyelitis vaccine, was born in New York City, to Polish-Jewish immigrant parents.
27/10/1914, Tuesday (-11,151) Dylan Marlais Thomas, Welsh poet, was born in Swansea, the son of a schoolmaster.
22/10/1914. Thursday (-11,156) Britain ordered all foreign ships out of the Suez Canal.
17/10/1914. Saturday (-11,161) German U-boats raided Scapa Flow, the main base of the British Fleet. Four German destroyers were sunk.
15/10/1914. Thursday (-11,163) The Germans, having captured Ghent and Bruges, took Ostend.
14/10/1914. Wednesday (-11,164) British and French troops occupied Ypres. The Belgian government fled to France. Canadian troops arrived in Britain.
13/10/1914, Tuesday (-11,165)
12/10/1914, Monday (-11,166) The German Army entered Lille, after several days bombardment.
11/10/1914. Sunday (-11,167) Paris was bombed.
10/10/1914. Saturday (-11,168) The Germans took Antwerp.
9/10/1914, Friday (-11,169) The Germans took Ghent.
6/10/1914, Tuesday (-11,172) Thor Heyerdahl, Norwegian adventurer, leader of the Kon Tiki expedition, was born in Larvik.
4/10/1914, Sunday (-11,174) The first bomb was dropped on London.
3/10/1914, Saturday (-11,175) The first national flag day was held in England, in aid of the Belgian Relief Fund.
2/10/1914, Friday (-11,176)
1/10/1914. Thursday (-11,177) Turkey closed the Dardanelles.
30/9/1914, Wednesday (-11,178) Paris was saved from occupation as German forces were driven back (see 31/8/1914). However |British losses were heavy and Germany still occupied a strip of northern France, along with almost the whole of Belgium. and all of The Netherlands. See 31/10/1914.
29/9/1914, Tuesday (-11,179)
28/9/1914. Monday (-11,180) German guns began bombarding Antwerp. Antwerp capitulated on 10/10/1914.
27/9/1914. Sunday (-11,181) The Russians invaded Hungary.
26/9/1914. Saturday (-11,182) The Australians took the German port of Friedrich Wilhelmshafen in German New Guinea.
25/9/1914, Friday (-11,183)
24/9/1914, Thursday (-11,184) First use of radio in an aircraft in warfare, during the First Battle of the Aisne.
23/9/1914. Wednesday (-11,185) (1) The British suffered heavy casualties at Mons, and retreated.
(2) British aviators bombed the Zeppelin shed at Dusseldorf.
22/9/1914. Tuesday (-11,186) Three British cruisers, Aboukir, Hogue, and Cressy, were torpedoed by a German submarine, 1,500 were killed.
18/9/1914, Friday (-11,190) In Britain, the Irish Home Rule Bill received Royal Assent. However it was suspended the same day due to the War.
16/9/1914, Wednesday (-11,192) Trench warfare began on the Aisne salient.
14/9/1914. Monday (-11,194) (1) The Allies drove back the Germans on the Marne, relieving the threat to Paris. The Germans retreated to Verdun.
(2) The Russians were forced to retreat from East Prussia, after the battle of the Masurian Lakes.
13/9/1914, Sunday (-11,195) The Battle of the Aisne began. It lasted until 28/9/1914.
11/9/1914, Friday (-11,197)
9/9/1914, Wednesday (-11,199) The first Battle of the Marne ended when the German advance on Paris under Von Moltke was halted by the British Expeditionary Force and the French under Joffre and Foch. This marked Germany’s furthest penetration into France.
8/9/1914, Tuesday (-11,200) The French fortress of Maubeuge fell to the Germans.
7/9/1914, Monday (-11,201)
6/9/1914. Sunday (-11,202) Battle of the Marne began. Advances by British and French forces. The Germans retreated to Verdun.
5/9/1914. Saturday (-11,203) The Germans took Rheims.
4/9/1914. Friday (-11,204) Britain, France, and Russia agreed not to make separate peaces.
3/9/1914. Thursday (-11,205) (1) A new Pope, Benedict XV, was elected in Rome.
(2) Russian forces took Lvov.
2/9/1914. Wednesday (-11,206) (1) The Ottoman Empire mobilised its forces.
(2) The Japanese began landing forces at Lungkow, 150 miles north of Tsingtao, see 27/8/1914.
1/9/1914, Tuesday (-11,207)
31/8/1914. Monday (-11,208) (1) The German General Hindenburg had reversed earlier Russian successes (see 24/8/1914), surrounding and beating the Russians under General Samsonov, at the Battle of Tannenburg, taking 100,000 Russians prisoner. In the following week, Russian General Rennenkampf was forced to retreat and east Prussia was cleared of Russian forces. In France the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) initially held back the German advance but the French retreated, leaving the flank of the BEF exposed. The allies retreated towards Paris, but then halted the German forces before they occupied Paris. See 30/9/1914.
(2) St Petersburg was renamed Petrograd.
30/8/1914. Sunday (-11,209) (1) The Germans took Amiens.
(2) A New Zealand expeditionary force occupied the former German colony of Samoa.
29/8/1914, Saturday (-11,210) Battle of Guise, northern France.
28/8/1914. Friday (-11,211) (1) The Germans began besieging Antwerp (see 18/8/1914), capturing it on 10/10/1914.
(2) The British sank three German cruisers and two destroyers off Heligoland Bight, opening the war at sea.
26-31/8/1914. Germany defeated Russia at the Battle of Tannenberg.
27/8/1914, Thursday (-11,212) Japanese forces began a blockade of Kiaochow Bay, China, to force the surrender of the German stronghold of the town of Tsingtao there. See 2/9/1914, 7/11/1914.
26/8/1914, Wednesday (-11,213) (1) The German cruiser Magdeburg ran aground in the Baltic whilst on a reconnaissance mission. Unable to free her, the captain, Richard Habenicht, decided to scuttle his ship; however the appearance of two Russian cruisers prompted the German crew to set off the explosives prematurely. Habenicht and 57 of his crew were captured. Significantly also captured were German code books; Germany did not realise this had happened and carried on using the same codes for radio messages, enabling the Allies to track German warship movements.
(2) The Germans occupied Cambrai. See 8/10/1918.
25/8/1914, Tuesday (-11,214) The Germans sacked Louvain.
24/8/1914. Monday (-11,215) Belgian forces attacked the rear of the German right flank, to ease the pressure on the British and French left flank. This campaign halted on 25/8/1914 when news arrived of the Franco-British retreat into France, but the Belgian offensive had tied down some German forces. On learning, on 7/9/1914, that some of these forces were to be sent to France, the Belgians launched a fresh offensive on 9/9/1914, a crucial day in the Battle of the Marne. Meanwhile the Russians under General Alexander Samsonov and General Paul Rennenkampf were advancing into East Prussia, driving back a numerically inferior German force. See 31/8/1914.
23/8/1914. Sunday (-11,216) (1) Battle of Mons, in Belgium near the French frontier. The heavily outnumbered British Expeditionary Force under Sir John French, in its first important battle, was forced to retreat after bitter fighting with Germany. This retreat continued until the Marne, where the tide turned against Germany.
(2) Japan declared war on Germany. This was due to the treaty of mutual defence concluded between Japan and the UK on 30/1/1902. The Germans had not responded to an ultimatum by Japan issued 14/8/1914. See 17/8/1923.
22/8/1914, Saturday (-11,217) The Germans took Namur. The fortress of Namur had been expected to hold out for several months; its ‘impregnable’ defences were shattered by new German high explosives.
21/8/1914. Friday (-11,218) (1) German atrocities were committed in Belgium to deter Belgian civilian resistance. On 21-22 August 384 Belgian civilians were shot in the market square at Tamines, and from 24 to 30 August the Cathedral city of Louvain was given to looting and burning by German troops.
(2) The Germans took Brussels. See 18/11/1918. France and Russia agreed that on Germany’s defeat an independent Poland would be restored, France would recover Alsace Lorraine and Denmark would recover Schleswig-Holstein from Germany, Bohemia would have independence from Austro-Hungary, and all German colonies would be confiscated.
20/8/1914. Thursday (-11,219) (1) The German army was defeated by the Russians at Grumbinnen; Russian forces had mobilised faster than anticipated.
(2) In Rome, Pope Pius X died.
(3) French forces made headway a short distance into Germany but were turned back this day in battles at Mulhouse and Strasbourg.
19/8/1914, Wednesday (-11,220) First use of aerial reconnaissance by Britain in warfare. Captain Philip Joubert de la Ferte and Lt Gilbert Mapplebeck flew over Nivelle and Genappe, to ascertain the positions of Belgian troops and German cavalry.
18/8/1914. Tuesday (-11,221) The Belgian government left Brussels for Antwerp. See 28/8/1914.
17/8/1914. Monday (-11,222) A British Expeditionary Force of 70,000 men landed in France.
16/8/1914 Sunday (-11,223) Liege, Belgium, fell to the Germans. The Battle of Liege had begun on 4/8/1914 and the resistance here had seriously delayed the German occupation of Belgium.
15/8/1914, Saturday (-11,224) (1) Russia invaded East Prussia.
(2) The 40-mile long Panama Canal opened; construction work had begun on 4/7/1914. The first ship to pass through the canal, this day, was the SS Ancon. Ships passed through three locks 30 metres wide and 300 metres long, rising to 85 feet above sea level at Lake Gatun, which had been created by damming a river, before descending through more locks. Since 1914 over one million ships have used the Canal, saving 3,000 miles and eight days of travel around Cape Horn. In 2013 12,036 vessels, carrying 319 million tonnes of cargo, transitted the Canal, paying US$ 1,800 million in tolls. 86.7 million tons of this cargo originated from the USA, and 49.8 million tons was destined for the USA. In 2013 some 3% of world maritime cargo, worth US$ 270 billion (UK£ 160 million at 2014 exchange rates). However many 21st century cargo ships are too big for the Canal, and in 2006 the Panama Canal Authority announced expansion plans, costed at US$ 3,200 million, due for completion in 2016.
14/8/1914, Friday (-11,225) Japan demanded that Germany withdraw warships from the China and Japan region by15/9/1914, see 23/9/1914.
13/8/1914, Thursday (-11,226)
12/8/1914. Wednesday (-11,227) Britain and France declared war on Austria.
11/8/1914. Tuesday (-11,228) Young men in Britain formed long queues outside army recruiting offices, anxious not to miss the war, which was expected to be over by Christmas. Farm boys, city workers, peers, and dustmen left their jobs ‘to serve King and country’. Schoolboys gave false ages and friends join up together to fight together on the front. War was seen not only as a patriotic duty but as a break from a humdrum existence. However Sir Edward Grey, the Foreign Secretary, was more realistic. He said ‘the lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime’.
10/8/1914, Monday (-11,229) Olympia was used as a detention centre for 300 German-born citizens under the wide emergency powers of the Defence of the Realm Act.
9/8/1914. Sunday (-11,230) The first British troops arrived in France. The British Expeditionary force was landed from 9th to 17th August at Boulogne.
8/8/1914. Saturday (-11,231) German troops entered Liege, Belgium.
7/8/1914. Friday (-11,232) (1) The French counter offensive began. French troops entered the upper Alsace, partly for political effect and partly to distract from the main French goal of destroying a German base at Basle and the Rhine bridges below this. By 19/8/1914 this French force reached the Rhine.
(2) Britain issued ten shilling and £1 notes.
6/8/1914. Thursday (-11,233) (1) A major deployment of German troops westwards began. Between 1870 and 1914 the number of double German railway lines running towards her western frontier had been raised from 9 to 13, and all German railway development required approval from the Chief of Staff. Now, 550 trains a day crossed the Rhine, westwards, and by 12//8/1914 seven German armies of a total of 1.5 million men were fully supplied. The first British casualties of the War occurred when the Royal Navy cruiser HMS Amphion was damaged by mines in the North Sea and 150 men died as she sank.
(2) Austro-Hungary declares war on Russia. Serbia declared war on Germany.
5/8/1914. Wednesday (-11,234) The first electric traffic light signals to control road traffic were installed in Cleveland, Ohio.
4/8/1914. Tuesday (-11,235) Britain declared war on Germany for violating the Treaty of London. President Wilson declared the USA neutral. That morning, Germany began the invasion of Belgium (see 2/8/1914, and 6/8/1914). The Austrian ultimatum to Serbia brought Russia in as Serbia’s ally, and Germany entered as Austria’s ally. Britain might well have stayed neutral had Germany not invaded Belgium in an attempt to outflank France. Germany began mining Danish waters and requested Denmark to mine the Great Belt. Denmark, believing Germany would mine it anyway, said it would do so. Britain believed the war would be over by Christmas.
3/8/1914. Monday (-11,236) (1) Germany declared war on France, after false accusations of French air raids on Nuremberg. Germany had sought assurances that France would not intervene in a Russo-German war, but France merely said it would ‘act in its own interests’. Germany was seeking control over Belgium and the French coast from Dunkirk to Boulogne, cession by France to Germany of the Briey-Longwy iron basin and the fortress of Belfort, and German control of the French and Belgian colonies in Africa. France had fewer fighting men, with a total population of 40 million against 65 million Germans. However Russian and French forces combined were bigger than Germany plus Austria; Germany could, though, bank on Russia being slow to mobilise.
(2) Britain warned Germany it would honour the 1839 Treaty of London guaranteeing Belgian neutrality.
2/8/1914. Sunday (-11,237) (1) Britain mobilised the Royal Navy after Germany declared war on Russia.. The British Cabinet had finally agreed that a German presence in French Channel ports could not be tolerated, and so France must be helped against Germany (see 9/8/1914), although at the end of July most of the Cabinet had been for non-intervention in Europe.
(2) Belgium had failed to guarantee German troops free passage across its territory, as demanded by a German ultimatum delivered on the evening of 2/8/1914; Germany occupied Luxembourg, and invaded Belgium 2 days later, on 4/8/1914. Russian troops crossed into East Prussia.
1/8/1914. Saturday (-11,238) Kaiser Wilhelm II declared war on his cousin Czar Nicholas II. Italy declared herself neutral. France ordered the mobilisation of the army, but as a last-minute gesture had withdrawn its forces to 10 km behind the frontier. Denmark declared itself neutral, and mobilised an emergency force of 54,000 men.
31/7/1914. Friday (-11,239) (1) Germany ordered a general mobilisation of the army, rejecting Britain’s offer of mediation in the Austro-Serbian crisis as ‘insolence’.
(2) The New York stock exchange closed with the outbreak of World War One.
30/7/1914. Thursday (-11,240) (1) The Czar of Russia ordered general mobilisation of the army.
(2) The British Government shelved plans for Irish Home Rule, as the threat of European war loomed.
(3) European stockmarkets began to panic as war loomed.
29/7/1914, Wednesday (-11,241) (1) Russia, under Tsar Nicholas II, ordered a limited mobilisation of its 1.2 million strong army against Austria. However this move reassured Serbia in its resistance, and produced a German mobilisation.
(2) The first test call was made on the new transcontinental telephone line between New York and San Francisco.
28/7/1914. Tuesday (-11,242) Austria declared war on Serbia. See 23/7/1914. Belgrade was bombarded by Austria on 29/7/1914, the first engagement of World War One. The Austrians took Belgrade on 30/7/1914, and Russia began to mobilise. The Serbs initially drove back the invading Austrians and themselves entered southern Hungary in the autumn of 1914. Russia attacked Austria and made advances against the Austrians in southern Galicia. France, as the ally of Russia, was also drawn in. Germany moved to help Austria and in early 1915 drove the Russians out of southern Galicia. Later in 1915 the Germans overran Serbia. On 9/10/1915 Belgrade fell to the Germans. Italy declared war on Austria on 23/5/1915, and here too the Germans were needed to help Austria against Italy.
27/7/1914, Monday (-11,243)
26/7/1914. Sunday (-11,244) Serbia mobilised its army. Meanwhile in view of the deteriorating international situation, the British Admiralty ordered the Fleet, which had assembled at Portland for review, not to disperse. On 29/7/1914 the Fleet was able to set sail for the North Sea, giving Britain a vital dominance there for the duration of the War.
25/7/1914, Saturday (-11,245) 66 year old WG Grace batted for the last time in a competitive match, scoring 69 not out.
24/7/1914. Friday (-11,246) The Russian Council of Ministers began plans for partial mobilisation of the army.
23/7/1914. Thursday (-11,247) Austria determined that the government of Serbia was involved in the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand on 28/6/1914, and sent an ultimatum to the President of Serbia, Narodna Odbrana, drafted so as to prepare for war with Serbia. The terms were designed to be too humiliating for Serbia to accept. In fact Serbia accepted most of the terms, but insisted that an Austro-Serbian judicial enquiry into the assassination would be subject to Serbian law, and Austria rejected this condition. See 28/7/1914.
22/7/1914, Wednesday (-11,248) In Europe the financial press began to realise a major war might be starting. The first symptom of crisis was a rise in insurance rates for shipping.
8/7/1914, Wednesday (-11,262) The UK Government accepted the Lords’ amendment to the Home Rule Bill (for Ireland) excluding Ulster. However on 30/7/1914 the Home Rule process was shelved due to the growing crisis in Europe. In an attempt at compromise, the Bill allows counties of Ireland to vote on staying out of Home Rule for six years, until there have been two British General elections. However this was unpopular with both Nationalists (who wanted no exemptions) and Loyalists (who wanted no time limit).
5/7/1914. Sunday (-11,265) Germany promised support to Austria.
2/7/1914, Thursday (-11,268) Joseph Chamberlain, British politician, died.
1/7/1914. Wednesday (-11,269) In 1914 Marks and Spencer took over the London Penny Bazaar Company. Cadburys chocolate bars cost 1d, 22p in 2003. It also cost 1d to post a letter anywhere in the UK, and the Manchester Guardian cost 1d.Thomas Cook, travel agents, could arrange a 15-day Grand Tour through Switzerland for £30 (£1,350 in 2003), and the middle classes could go to the Italian Riviera for two weeks for £14 (£630 in 2003). Tours of the Indian Empire cost 70 guineas (£73 10s, or £3,300 in 2003). In 1914 the General Post Office (GPO) took over the telephone exchange in Portsmouth, leaving Hull as the only area with its own exchange. Doctors at Middlesex Hospital first successfully treated cancer with radium, and Guglielmo Marconi announced he could light a lamp six miles away by means of wireless power. The Ford model T cost £220 (£10,400 in 2003); it was made at Trafford Park, Manchester, and each car took 12 hours to build.
500g of streaky bacon cost 5p. 500g of beef cost 5p. 250g of cheddar cheese cost 2p. 250g of butter cost 6p. 500g of margarine cost 3p. 1 kg old potatoes cost 1p. 125g of loose tea cost 2p. 6 eggs cost 3p. 1 kg granulated sugar cost 2p. 800g sliced white bread cost 1p. 1 pint of pasteurised milk cost 1p.
30/6/1914, Tuesday (-11,270)
28/6/1914. Sunday (-11,272) Assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, nephew of Franz Joseph, in the Bosnian town of Sarajevo. Along with his wife he was shot and killed by the terrorist Gavril Princip, thus precipitating World War One. Born in Graz, Austria, in 1863, Ferdinand was the eldest son of the Archduke Charles Louis, who was the brother of the emperor Francis Joseph. When Francis Joseph died in 1896 Ferdinand became heir to the throne but because of his bad health in the 1890s his younger brother Otto was regarded as more likely to succeed to the throne of Austria. In foreign affairs he tried, without endangering the alliance with Germany, to restore Austro – Russian understanding. In 1913 Ferdinand became Inspector General of the Army. This was just before he was assassinated in June 1914, starting World War One with Austria’s declaration of war against Serbia. The assassin’s first bullet hit the archduke in the neck; his second hit his wife, who had flung herself in front of him. She died almost immediately, he died ten minutes later.
Gavril Princip was born in June or July of 1894 in the village of Obljaj, in what is now Bosnia. His father was a postman and the Princip family was very poor, and heavily taxed by local overlords. Bosnia had been part of the Ottoman Empire until 1878 when it was taken by Austria. Gavril left Obljaj for Sarajevo in 1907, enrolling in a secondary school where he did well academically; here he joined other teenagers seeking home rule for the Slav peoples. Archduke Ferdinand wanted to balance out competing nationalisms within his empire by minimising the over-arching influence of Serbia amongst the Slavic peoples under Austrian rule. Princip wanted Bosnia to become part of a greater independent Serbia. See 23/7/1914.
Gavril himself, arrested immediately after the shooting, was just under the 20-year age limit for the death sentence under Hapsburg law; he received a 20-year prison term, to be denied food one day each month, and was chained to the wall of his cell. He died in Spring 1918, just before the end of World War One, of skeletal tuberculosis that had caused the amputation of his right arm.
26/6/1914, Friday (-11,274) Anti-British Irish tried to smuggle in an arms cache bought in Belgium into Howth bay. Police intercepted them and a gun battle ensued.
23/6/1914, Tuesday (-11,277) Britain’s Royal Air Force was formed.
15/6/1914, Monday (-11,285) Yuri Andropov, Russian President, was born in the village of Nagutskyoye, north of the Caucasus Mountains.
14/6/1914, Sunday (-11,286) Severe thunderstorms in London brought ten cm of rain in three hours.
13/6/1914, Saturday (-11,287) Pancho Villa defeated President Huerta’s troops at Zacatecas.
12/6/1914, Friday (-11,288)
11/6/1914. Thursday (-11,289) Bomb outrage by suffragettes in Westminster Abbey.
10/6/1914, Wednesday (-11,290) Sylvia Pankhurst was arrested for the 8th time.
29/5/1914, Friday (-11,302) The Canadian Pacific liner Empress of Ireland was wrecked in the St Lawrence River, drowning over 1,000.
25/5/1914, Monday (-11,306) The Home Rule Bill was passed by the Commons, without separate provision for Ulster.
22/5/1914. Friday (-11,309) Suffragettes protested outside Buckingham Palace. Emmeline Pankhurst was arrested as she tried to present a petition.
15/5/1914, Friday (-11,316) The Commons rejected the idea of Home Rule for Scotland.
9/5/1914. Saturday (-11,322) Earthquake killed over 150 in Catania, Italy.
8/5/1914, Friday (-11,323) The US Congress officially recognised Mothers’ Day, setting it as the second Sunday in May thereafter.
6/5/1914. Wednesday (-11,325) The House of Lords rejected the Women's Enfranchisement Bill.
4/5/1914, Monday (-11,327) UK taxation rose. Income tax now began at 10 ½ d in the £ on annual income over £1,000.
25/4/1914, Saturday (-11,336) The Ulster Volunteer Force took over the town of Larne for the night, cutting communications and rendering the town authorities impotent as they unloaded 25,000 rifles and 3 million rounds of ammunition from a collier ship, the Clydesdale. She also unloaded Loyalist guns at Bangor and other Ulster ports. The munitions, bought in Hamburg, had been loaded aboard the Fanny, and described as zinc plates, before being transferred to the Clydesdale at sea. The munitions unloaded at Larne were then driven away into the night in 700 cars and lorries.
21/4/1914, Tuesday (-11,340) US troops occupied the Mexican city of Vera Cruz to prevent German weaponry reaching the Mexican military.
17/4/1914. Friday (-11,344) A suffragette bomb destroyed the pier at Great Yarmouth.
13/4/1914, Monday (-11,348) George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion caused a stir with its use of the word ‘bloody’.
6/4/1914, Monday (-11,355) The short Northern Line extension from Strand (Charing Cross) to Charing Cross (Embankment) opened, to improve connections to the District and Bakerloo lines.
4/4/1914, Saturday (-11,357) A rally in Hyde Park, London, protested against the possible use of the British army against Loyalists in Ulster.
30/3/1914. Monday (-11,362) 100,000 miners in Yorkshire went on strike.
27/3/1914. Friday (-11,365) The first ‘successful’ blood transfusion took place, in a hospital in Brussels.
20/3/1914, Friday (-11,372) The Curragh Mutiny in Ireland. British Army Officers refused to act against Protestant paramilitaries.
16/3/1914, Monday (-11,376) Madame Caillaux, wife of the French Finance Minister, shot dead the editor of Le Figaro to protect her husband against libel.
15/3/1914, Sunday (-11,377) In the UK, the price of The Times was halved to one penny.
14/3/1914, Saturday (-11,378) Peace was concluded between Turkey and Serbia.
13/3/1914, Friday (-11,379) Saroj Dutta, Indian Communist Leader, active in the Naxalite movement in India, was born (died 1971).
12/3/1914, Thursday (-11,380) George Westinghouse, American engineer who patented the Westinghouse Railway Brake in 1868, died in New York City.
11/3/1914, Wednesday (-11,381) John Mackay, Australian explorer and founder of the city of Mackay, Queensland in Australia, died.
10/3/1914. Tuesday (-11,382) Suffragettes rioted in London. Mary Richardson, militant suffragette, attacked Velasquez’s Rokeby Venus in London’s National Gallery with a meat cleaver. See 2/7/1928. On 4/6/1913 Suffragette Emily Davison was seriously injured after throwing herself under the King’s horse, Anmer; she later died.
25/2/1914, Wednesday (-11,395) The Ulster Volunteer Force now had 100,000 members.
7/2/1914, Saturday (-11,413) A report on working-class conditions in Dublin revealed that 22% of the population lived in one-room tenement buildings in extreme squalor. Many of these tenements were served by just one courtyard tap, the basement rooms enjoyed very little light or ventilation, and human excreta littered the yards and passages. 118,000 people lived in these conditions, which were said to be comparable with living conditions in Calcutta. The tuberculosis death rate was the highest of any city in the British Isles.
2/2/1914, Monday (-11,418) (1) The Cub Scouts were founded at Robertsbridge, Sussex.
(2) A 900-mile railway opened between Dar-Es-Salaam and Tanganyika.
20/1/1914, Tuesday (-11,431) Roy Plomley, who created ‘Desert Island Discs’, was born. He began his career as a copywriter for an advertising agency then became an actor. He then became an announcer for a French commercial radio station. He was awarded the OBE in 1975.
8/1/1914, Thursday (-11,443) Doctors at the Middlesex Hospital successfully treated cancer with radium.
7/1/1914, Wednesday (-11,444) Patrick Weston Joyce, Irish historian, author of The Origin and History of Irish Names of Places, born 1827, died this day.
6/1/1914. Tuesday (-11,445) Suffragettes burned down a church near Henley on Thames.
5/1/1914, Monday (-11,446)
3/1/1914. Saturday (-11,448) The suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst was re-arrested. This was under the ‘Cat and Mouse’ Act which enabled the UK government to release suffragette hunger strikers from prison so they would not die and become martyrs, only to re-arrest them when they recovered.
2/1/1914, Friday (-11,449) The Battle of Ojinaga. An estimated 1,000 casualties were reported as the battle moved into its second day, with Pancho Villa’s troops under the command of Gen. Toribio Ortega Ramírez slowly gaining against defending Federal troops in Ojinaga, Mexico in spite of constant artillery bombardment. Many Federal troops deserted and crossed the U.S. border into Presidio, Texas where the United States Army assisted the Red Cross in setting up a mobile hospital to treat wounded while at the same time disarming and turning away hundreds of others.
1/1/1914, Thursday (-11,450) (1) The USA’s first regular passenger air service began. Passengers were carried, on at a time, twenty miles across Tampa Bay between St Petersburg and Tampa, Florida, for US$ 5, saving a 36 mile road trip around the Bay. The service was discontinued after 4 months.
(2) Lloyd George called the arms build-up in western Europe ‘organised insanity’.
30/12/1913, Tuesday (-11,452)
25/12/1913, Thursday (-11,457) In New York, a couple were arrested for kissing in the street.
24/12/1913, Wednesday (-11,458) The Italian Hall Disaster. A stampede at the Italian Hall in Calumet, Michigan killed 73 people (59 of them children) during a Christmas Eve celebration for over 400 striking miners and their families. An unknown person had yelled "Fire!" (even though there wasn't one). Speculation included the theory that an anti-union ally of mine management had yelled out the false alarm in order to disrupt the party.
23/12/1913, Tuesday (-11,459) The Federal Reserve, the Central banking system of the USA, was established.
22/12/1913, Monday (-11,460) British racing driver L.G. Hornsted set a new land speed record in excess of 200 kph at the Brooklands racing circuit in southern England.
21/12/1913. Sunday (-11,461) The world’s first crossword was published, in the New York World, compiled by Liverpool-born Arthur Wynne. The first British crossword appeared on 2/11/1924.
18/12/1913, Thursday (-11,464) (1) Lord Plymouth gave money to enable the Crystal Palace to be bought for the nation.
(2) Willy Brandt, German Chancellor, was born in Lubeck as Karl Herbert Frahm.
15/12/1913, Monday (-11,467) The world’s biggest battlecruiser, HMS Tiger, was launched in Glasgow.
12/12/1913. Friday (-11,470) Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa which had been stolen from the Louvre three years earlier was found in a bedroom of a small hotel in Florence. An Italian, Vicenzo Peruggia, was arrested.
11/12/1913, Thursday (-11,471) Menelik II, Emperor of Ethiopia, died.
4/12/1913, Thursday (-11,478) Emmeline Pankhurst was arrested at Plymouth on her return from the USA.
1/12/1913, Monday (-11,481) The Bakerloo Line was extended from Edgware Road to Paddington.
30/11/1913. Sunday (-11,482) Charlie Chaplin made his film debut in Mack Sennett’s short film Making a Living.
25/11/1913, Tuesday (-11,487) In Natal, police opened fire on demonstrators protesting against the imprisonment of Mahatma Ghandi, killing 2 and injuring 20.
22/11/1913, Saturday (-11,490) Benjamin Britten, English composer, was born in Lowestoft, Suffolk.
21/11/1913, Friday (-11,491) Death of Tokugawa Keiki, last of the Japanese shoguns who controlled the country from 1603 to 1867.
17/11/1913. Monday (-11,495) The steamship Louise became the first ship through the Panama Canal.
15/11/1913, Saturday (-11,497) In Mexico, rebel leader Pancho Villa took Ciudad Juarez.
13/11/1913, Thursday (-11,499) Peace was concluded between Turkey and Greece. Greece acquired Crete and the Aegean Islands, excepting Tenedos and Imbros; also the Dodecanese Islands remained under Italian occupation.
10/11/1913, Monday (-11,502) In Battersea, London, Britain’s first Black mayor was elected.
7/11/1913. Friday (-11,505) (1) Box Hill, Surrey, was formally given to the nation.
(2) Birth of the French novelist and playwright Albert Camus. He was born in Algeria and studied philosophy. He worked as an actor, teacher, and journalist; and was active in the French Resistance in World War II. But he found fame as an existentialist writer; for example his nihilist novel The Outsider, 1942, contained the line “Mother died today. Or perhaps it was yesterday. I don’t know”. He was awarded the Nobel prize for literature I 1957, and died in 1960.
26/10/1913, Sunday (-11,517) Hugh Scanlon, British trade unionist, was born.
20/10/1913, Monday (-11,523) Emmeline Pankhurst was released as US President Wilson reversed her deportation order.
17/10/1913. Friday (-11,526) Serbia invaded Albania.
14/10/1913, Tuesday (-11,529) (1) The world’s first oil-powered battleship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, was launched.
(2) Britain’s worst coal mining disaster occurred at Universal Colliery, Senghenydd, Glamorgan, when 439 died in a pit explosion. The blast was heard 11 miles away in Cardiff.
10/10/1913. Friday (-11,533) The Panama Canal was completed.
30/9/1913, Tuesday (-11,543) Rudolf Deisel, German inventor of the diesel engine, died, vanishing from a steamer whilst crossing the English Channel.
29/9/1913, Monday (-11,544) The Treaty of Constantinople, an addition to the Treaty of Bucharest (see 10/8/1913), settled the frontier between Bulgaria and Turkey.
26/9/1913, Friday (-11,547)
24/9/1913, Wednesday (-11,549) Ulster Unionists blocked Irish Home Rule. Protestants in Ulster vowed to fight rather than accept rule by Catholic Dublin. The Ulster Volunteer Force held a military parade in Belfast.
23/9/1913, Tuesday (-11,550) The Ulster Unionist Council, with Sir Edward Carson as its Chairman, drew up plans for resisting government from Dublin, and to set up an alterative Belfast government. The Council voted to raise a £1 million indemnity fund to insure the Ulster Volunteer Force against loss or injury when acting on behalf of the provisional Ulster government. Meanwhile Irish nationalists were alarmed at the prospect of Ulster being excluded from Home Rule legislation.
21/9/1913. Sunday (-11,552) Turkey and Bulgaria settled their border dispute; Turkey kept Adrianople.
31/8/1913, Sunday (-11,573) The astronomer Sir Bernard Lovell was born in Gloucestershire. He was a pioneer in the field of radio astronomy.
20/8/1913. Wednesday (-11,584) (1) Adolphe Pegond baled out of a plane at 700 feet, becoming the fist person to parachute from a plane.
(2) Harry Brearley of Sheffield cast the first stainless steel.
19/8/1913, Tuesday (-11,585)
16/8/1913, Saturday (-11,588) Menachem Begin, Prime Minister of Israel 1977-83, was born in Russia.
15/8/1913, Friday (-11,589) Dr. Albert Schweitzer performed major surgery for the first time at the site of what would become the Albert Schweitzer Hospital at Lambaréné in Gabon, at that time a part of French Equatorial Africa.
14/8/1913, Thursday (-11,590) In Britain, street deaths involving motor buses have risen 500% since 1907.
13/8/1913, Wednesday (-11,591) Archbishop Makarios, President of Cyprus 1960-77, was born near Paphos, the son of a farmer.
10/8/1913. Sunday (-11,594) The Third Treaty of Bucharest ended the Second Balkan War. Rumania gained the fertile area of Southern Dobruja, which had been Bulgarian since 1878, whilst Serbia and Greece divided Macedonia between them; again territory that Bulgaria wanted. Greece received Salonika, a major port. Bulgaria merely received the mountainous areas of Pirin and Dospat, and two small Mediterranean ports called Dedeagach and Lagos; Bulgaria was left resentful. Turkey’s possession in Europe were limited to the area around Constantinople and Adrianople. Albania was created. See 6/9/1915. In the First World War, the losers by this Treaty (Turkey and Bulgaria) fought on the German side; the gainers (Greece, Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro) fought on the Allied side.
7/8/1913. Thursday (-11,597) France introduced conscription.
31/7/1913, Thursday (-11,604) Lloyd George said the Lords should be abolished.
22/7/1913, Tuesday (-11,613) Edinburgh Zoo opened.
19/7/1913, Saturday (-11,616) Paignton Zoo (Primley Zoological Gardens) opened.
18/7/1913, Friday (-11,617) Turkish forces recovered Adrianople from the Bulgarians, who took the city in March 1917.
16/7/1913, Wednesday (-11,619)
15/7/1913. Tuesday (-11,620) (1) The Lotschberg rail tunnel, Switzerland, 15 km long, opened.
(2) In Richmond Park, near London, a woman was arrested for wearing a split skirt.
(3) The House of Lords again rejected an Irish Home Rule Bill.
14/7/1913. Monday (-11,621) US Republican and 38th President, Gerald Ford, was born in Omaha, Nebraska, as Leslie king Junior.
13/7/1913, Sunday (-11,622)
12/7/1913, Saturday (-11,623) (1) At the Craigavon Meeting, 150,000 Ulstermen pledged to resist Home Rule by force.
(2) Turkey seized Adrianople.
11/7/1913, Friday (-11,624) Romania invaded Bulgaria.
10/7/1913. Thursday (-11,625) Russia declared war on Bulgaria. 500,000 Romanian troops crossed the frontier into Bulgaria, occupied southern Dobruja, and advanced on Sofia.
9/7/1913, Wednesday (-11,626)
8/7/1913, Tuesday (-11,627) (1) Sylvia Pankhurst sentenced to three months in prison.
(2) China agreed to grant independence to Mongolia.
7/7/1913, Monday (-11,628) The Home Rule Bill was passed again by the Commons.
3/7/1913. Thursday (-11,632) Romania mobilised its troops. in response to Bulgaria’s attack on its neighbours.
1/7/1913. Tuesday (-11,634) (1) In the UK, apples cost 3d (1.25p) a pound. A Daisy vacuum cleaner cost £3 13s 6d (£3.68). Clemak safety razors cost 5s (25p). The average price of a semi-detached house in London was £600.
(2) Greece and Serbia declared war on Bulgaria.
(3) Zanzibar was incorporated into British East Africa.
29/6/1913. Sunday (-11,636) (1) Women got equal voting rights with men in Norway.
(2) Bulgaria signed a defensive pact with Austro-Hungary.
(3) Bulgaria launched a surprise attack on Serbia and Greece, thereby starting the Second Balkan War. Bulgaria was then invaded by Romania and Turkey. See 10/8/1913.
26/6/1913, Thursday (-11,639)
24/6/1913. Tuesday (-11,641) Greece and Serbia broke their alliance with Bulgaria over a border dispute. On 29/6/1913 Greece and Serbia were attacked by Bulgaria.
23/6/1913, Monday (-11,642) Michael Foot, UK Labour Party Leader, was born.
16/6/1913, Monday (-11,649) The railway from Mansfield Colliery to Clipstone, Nottinghamshire, opened.
14/6/1913, Saturday (-11,651) Funeral of Emily Davidson, suffragette, see 4/6/1913.
6/6/1913. Friday (-11,659) Germany passed a Bill for a large increase in its army.
4/6/1913, Wednesday (-11,661) Emily Davidson, a suffragette, born 1872, was trampled when she fell under King George V’s horse, Anner, at Tattenham Corner in the Derby Races, Epsom. She died from her inquiries on 8/6/1913, and her funeral was on 14/6/1913. She intended only to grab the horse’s reins as it approached the winning post, but her publicity stunt went tragically wrong.
30/5/1913. Friday (-11,666) Turkey signed a peace treaty with the Balkan League (the Treaty of London), ending their war. Under this Treaty Salonika was formally assigned to Greece.
26/5/1913. Monday (-11,670) Miss Emily Duncan became Britain’s first woman magistrate. She was appointed a Justice of the Peace in West Ham, London.
25/5/1913, Sunday (-11,671) The broadcaster Richard Dimbleby was born.
23/5/1913. Friday (-11,673) London set a 10mph speed limit at Hyde Park Corner.
20/5/1913. Tuesday (-11,676) The first Chelsea Flower Show opened in London.
15/5/1913, Thursday (-11,681) The Home Secretary banned public meetings by suffragettes.
13/5/1913, Tuesday (-11,683) The Russians first flew the biggest aircraft to date. Designed by Sikorsky, with a 92-foot wingspan, the Bolshoi offered luxurious civilian transport, with armchairs, sofas and ample vodka.
7/5/1913. Wednesday (-11,689) A suffragette bomb was found in St Paul’s Cathedral.
29/4/1913, Tuesday (-11,697) The improved version of the zip fastener, as we have it today, was patented by a Swedish engineer, Gideon Sundback, from New Jersey.
22/4/1913. Tuesday (-11,704) Montenegro captured Scutari after a 6 month siege.
16/4/1913, Wednesday (-11,710) Turkey signed an armistice with Bulgaria.
8/4/1913. Tuesday (-11,718) China’s first parliament opened, in Beijing.
3/4/1913. Thursday (-11,723) The suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst was jailed for 3 years for inciting her supporters to place bombs at Lloyd George’s house.
2/4/1913, Wednesday (-11,724) Montenegro rejected demands from five European nations (Austria-Hungary, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia) to withdraw its troops from Albania.
1/4/1913, Tuesday (-11,725) The Elsenham to Thaxted railway opened.
31/3/1913, Monday (-11,726) New York’s Ellis Island, where new migrants were processed, received a record 6,745 admissions.
30/3/1913, Sunday (-11,727) Censu Tabone, President of Malta, was born.
29/3/1913, Saturday (-11,728) R. S. Thomas, Welsh poet, was born in Cardiff (died 2000)
28/3/1913. Friday (-11,729) The first Morris Oxford car left the factory at Cowley, near Oxford.
27/3/1913, Thursday (-11,730) The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Futrell v. Oldham that Junius Futrell was the Governor of Arkansas, after Futrell and former President William Kavanaugh Oldham had both claimed the office
26/3/1913. Wednesday (-11,731) The Balkan allies took Adrianople from Turkey after a 155 day siege.
18/3/1913, Tuesday (-11,739) George I, King of Greece from 1863, was assassinated in Salonika by a Greek called Schinasi. Constantine I became King of Greece, in the newly-occupied city of Salonika. Constantine opposed the pro-Allied policy of Venizelos, and in June 1917 the Allies forced his abdication in favour of his second son, Alexander, who ruled until dying from a monkey bite in October 1920. A plebiscite two months later voted overwhelmingly for the return of Constantine I. However Constantine was unfairly blamed for Greek military failure in action against Turkey in Anatolia and Smyrna, and he abdicated on 27/9/1922. He died in exile in Sicily a year later.
12/3/1913. Wednesday (-11,745) Canberra became the federal capital of Australia.
10/3/1913, Monday (-11,747) Harriet Tubman, who led many US slaves to freedom in the 1850s, died in Auburn, New York.
9/3/1913, Sunday (-11,748) Andre Courreges, French couturier who invented the mini skirt in 1964, was born.
7/3/1913, Friday (-11,750)
6/3/1913. Thursday (-11,751) Hostilities resumed in the Balkans; the Greeks took Janina, capturing 32,000 Turks.
5/3/1913, Wednesday (-11,752) 71 sailors drowned when the German destroyer S-178 was accidentally rammed by the German cruiser Yorck in the North Sea off of Helgoland.
4/3/1913. Tuesday (-11,753) Woodrow Wilson became President of the USA.
3/3/1913, Monday (-11,754) Harold Stone, US actor, was born (died 2005).
2/3/1913. Sunday (-11,755) A mob attacked suffragettes in London's Hyde Park.
1/3/1913, Saturday (-11,756) The International Lawn Tennis Federation was set up at a meeting in Paris attended by 13 countries.
25/2/1913. Tuesday (-11,760) (1) In the UK, suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst went on trial accused of the bomb explosion at Lloyd Georges house (19/2/1913). Mrs Pankhurst founded the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in 1903 to press for voting rights for British women; women in Australia and New Zealand already had the vote. The WSPU was adopting increasingly militant tactics.
(2) (USA, price) In the USA, Federal income tax was introduced. By the 16th Amendment the US Government was authorised to raise a tax of between 1% and 6% on incomes of more than US$ 4,000 (US$ 3,000 for bachelors) without having to share this tax revenue between the States of the Union according to their population.
22/2/1913. Saturday (-11,763) Death of the Dowager Empress of China.
20/2/1913. Thursday (-11,765) Great fire in Tokyo.
19/2/1913, Wednesday (-11,766) A bomb exploded at Lloyd George’s house; nobody was hurt. On 24/2/1913 Emmeline Pankhurst was arrested in connection with this incident.
10/2/1913. Monday (-11,775) The remains of Captain Scott and two of his companions, who died returning from the South Pole in January 1912, were found dead, just 11 miles from a safe camp.
7/2/1913, Friday (-11,778) 5,000 Turks died in a battle with Bulgaria.
5/2/1913, Wednesday (-11,780) Sylvia Pankhurst began a hunger strike whilst in prison.
3/2/1913. Monday (-11,782) (1) Bulgaria re-stared the Balkan War. On 7/2/1913 a Turkish-Bulgarian battle left 5,000 Turks dead, and on 26/3/1913 the Bulgarians captured Adrianople from Turkey.
(2) In the USA, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. This authorised the imposition of income tax.
2/2/1913. Sunday (-11,783) Grand Central Station in New York, the world’s largest railway station, opened.
31/1/1913. Friday (-11,785) The House of Lords rejected a Bill for Irish Home Rule, by 326 votes to 69. the Ulster Volunteer Force was formed to resist Home Rule.
28/1/1913, Tuesday (-11,788)
23/1/1913, Thursday (-11,793) Enver Pasha, leader of the Young Turks, entered the principal council chamber of the Sublime Porte with Talat and Kemal and shouted “Death to Kamil Pasha”. They forced the Grand Vizier to resign at gunpoint and shot dead the Minister of War, General Nazim. Enver then forced the Sultan to appoint his ally, Shevket, as Grand Vizier. The British ensured safe passage for Kamil out of Turkey but he was never reinstated as Grand Vizier. Enver, Talat and Kemal went on to establish a military junta to govern Turkey.
22/1/1913, Wednesday (-11,794) Turkey accepted a ceasefire ultimatum.
20/1/1913, Monday (-11,796)
17/1/1913, Friday (-11,799) Serbian troops massacred Muslims.
16/1/1913, Thursday (-11,800) The Home Rule Bill passed its second Commons reading.
15/1/1913, Wednesday (-11,801) The first Benefits for sickness (10 shillings, 50p, a week), unemployment (7 shillings, 35p, a week), and maternity benefit (30 shillings, £1.50, a week) were introduced in Britain.
10/1/1913, Friday (-11,806) Gustav Husak, First Secretary of the Hungarian Communist Party, was born.
9/1/1913. Thursday (-11,807) (1) Turkey breached the armistice by attacking Bulgaria. Turkey accepted a ceasefire ultimatum on 22/1/1913.
(2) Birth of Richard Nixon at Yorba Linda, California. Nixon was the 37th President of the US.
7/1/1913, Tuesday (-11,809) The UK Government introduced proportional representation into the Home Rule Bill to protect the interests of Protestants.
2/1/1913. Thursday (-11,814) Turkey agreed to give up almost all its European territories.
1/1/1913, Wednesday (-11,815) Film censorship began in Britain.
25/12/1912, Wednesday (-11,822) Italy sent troops to Albania to suppress unrest there.
18/12/1912. Wednesday (-11,829) The Piltdown Man was discovered in Sussex, claimed to be the fossilised skull and other remains of the earliest known European man. On 21/11/1953 it was revealed as a hoax, the skull was that of an orang-utan.
16/12/1912, Monday (-11,831) The Balkan Peace Conference began in London.
8/12/1912, Sunday (-11,839) The German Kaiser held a secret meeting with his military chiefs. It was agreed that the Schlieffen Plan, to quickly conquer France before turning east on Russia, should not be delayed much beyond 1914 because after that swifter Russian mobilisation would cause a collapse of the German Eastern Front before France fell. . The Schlieffen Plan, named after Graf Schlieffen, Chief of the German General Staff 1890-1905, was to attack France through Belgium, by-passing the heavily-fortified Franco-German frontier. German troops defending this frontier were to be reduced, possibly even allowing for French advances into Germany here. However the German advance through Belgium would then swing eastwards to the south west of Paris and come round to hit the French Army in the rear. Schlieffen allowed for ten German divisions to hold the Russian front until France could be crushed (six weeks allowed for this task); also for a British Expeditionary Force of 100,000 to assist the French.
5/12/1912, Thursday (-11,842) Italy, Germany and Austria renewed their Triple alliance for a further six years.
4/12/1912. Wednesday (-11,843) Turkey concluded an armistice with Bulgaria and Serbia; Greece also ceased fighting.
30/11/1912, Saturday (-11,847) Bulgaria and Turkey signed an armistice.
28/11/1912. Thursday (-11,849) Albanian independence was proclaimed and confirmed in London on 20/12/1912 in principle and the new state’s borders were confirmed on 29/7/1913. However these borders included less than half of the ethnic Albanians.
27/11/1912. Wednesday (-11,850) France and Spain agreed on their respective spheres of influence in Morocco.
18/11/1912. Monday (-11,859) The Serbs occupied Monastir.
16/11/1912. Saturday (-11,861) Suffragettes, who had walked from Edinburgh to London, presented a petition to the Prime Minister.
11-16/11/1912. First International Motor Show, at Olympia.
12/11/1912, Tuesday (-11,865)
8/11/1912. Friday (-11,869) The Greeks occupied Salonika. This was during the First Balkan War, and ended 482 years of Turkish occupation.
5/11/1912, Tuesday (-11,872) (1) The British Board of Film Censors was appointed.
(2) Woodrow Wilson was elected US President, the first Democrat President for 20 years. The Republican vote was split between Roosevelt and Taft, allowing Wilson to win with only 42% of the vote.
3/11/1912. Sunday (-11,874) (1) Turkey appealed for mediation in the war with Italy, by the great European powers.
(2) Alfredo Stroessner, President of Paraguay, was born.
1/11/1912. Friday (-11,876) The Greeks occupied Samothrace.
28/10/1912, Monday (-11,880) Birth of Sir Richard Doll, British cancer specialist who proved the link between cigarette smoking and cancer.
23/10/1912. Wednesday (-11,885) The Greeks routed the Turks at Sarandaporos.
19/10/1912. Saturday (-11,889) Allied Balkan armies invaded Turkey.
18/10/1912. Friday (-11,890) The Ottoman Turks agreed to cede Tripoli and Cyrenaiaca (now Libya) to Italy, at the Peace of Lausanne. Greece declared war on Turkey.
17/10/1912, Thursday (-11,891) Turkey declared war on Serbia and Bulgaria.
16/10/1912, Wednesday (-11,892)
15/10/1912, Tuesday (-11,893) Turkey made peace with Italy at Ouchy.
14/10/1912. Monday (-11,894) (1) President Roosevelt was shot and seriously wounded by a demented man in Milwaukee.
(2) The Turks invaded Serbia. Greece, Serbia, and Bulgaria issued ultimatums to Turkey demanding the demobilisation of the Turkish Army in the Balkans.
8/10/1912. Tuesday (-11,900) Montenegro declared war on the Ottoman Empire.
1/10/1912, Tuesday (-11,907) Greece, Bulgaria, and Serbia prepared to fight Turkey.
30/9/1912, Monday (-11,908) Russia mobilised its forces in response to unrest in the Balkans.
28/9/1912, Saturday (-11,910) A week of rallies and speeches in Ulster ended with a pledge to defeat Home Rule. Sir Edward Carson vowed to fight Home Rule, collecting 471,414 signatures, some people signing in their own blood. See 9/5/1912.
23/9/1912. Monday (-11,915) Mack Sonnett released the first Keystone Cops film.
21/9/1912, Saturday (-11,917) Ian McGregor, chairman of British Steel and British Coal, was born.
4/9/1912, Wednesday (-11,934) The first tube train collision in London, 22 were injured.
1/9/1912, Sunday (-11,937) French troops quelled an uprising in Morocco.
27/8/1912. Tuesday (-11,942) Tarzan of the Apes, by Edgar Rice Burroughs, first went into print as a magazine serial.
26/8/1912. Monday (-11,943) (1) Britain’s heaviest August rainfall on record occurred at Norwich, where six inches fell in twelve hours.
(2) The Tickhill Light Railway opened from Bawtry to Haxey.
19/8/1912. Monday (-11,950) William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, born on 10/4/1829, died aged 83. He was succeeded as leader of the Salvation Army on 21/8/1912 by Mr Bramwell Booth.
11/8/1912, Sunday (-11,958) In Morocco, Sultan Mulai Hafid abdicated.
10/8/1912, Saturday (-11,959) The Republic of China's provisional government enacted its election law, creating a lower house of Parliament, and limiting voting rights to male citizens aged over 21, had two years residency in their district, and met property and educational restrictions.
9/8/1912. Friday (-11,960) Earthquake in Constantinople, Turkey, killed 6,000.
8/8/1912, Thursday (-11,961) The Pope issued an encyclical about abuse of the indigenous tribes in the Putumayo region of Peru.
7/8/1912. Wednesday (-11,962) Japan and Russia reached agreement on their spheres of influence in Mongolia and Manchuria.
6/8/1912, Tuesday (-11,963) U.S. President Taft asked Congress to fix maximum tolls for the Panama Canal.
5/8/1912, Monday (-11,964) In Chicago, the Progressive Party, nicknamed the "Bull Moose" Party to rival the Republican elephant and Democrat donkey, called itself to order as its founding convention opened at noon
4/8/1912, Sunday (-11,965) Raoul Wallenberg, Swedish diplomat, was born to a wealthy family in Stockholm. He is famed for saving Jews scheduled for Nazi death camps by giving them Swedish documentation, enabling them to flee to that neutral country. In 1945 he was taken from Budapest as the Soviets occupied the city; he was suspected of espionage and his fate has never been determined.
3/8/1912. Saturday (-11,966) The Ottoman Turks granted Albania limited autonomy.
2/8/1912, Friday (-11,967) Tibetans were routed by Chinese soldiers at Lhasa.
1/8/1912, Thursday (-11,968) The Jungfrau rail tunnel, Switzerland, 7.5 km long, opened.
31/7/1912, Wednesday (-11,969) Milton Friedman, US economist and Nobel Prize winner in 1976, was born in Brooklyn, New York.
30/7/1912, Tuesday (-11,970) In Japan, Emperor Meiji Tenno died. He was succeeded by Yoshihito.
28/7/1912. Sunday (-11,972) London’s Central Line was extended from Bank to Liverpool Street.
23/7/1912, Tuesday (-11,977) In the US, the ‘Modesty League’ protested against tight dresses.
22//7/1912. Monday (-11,978) To counter the growing German naval threat, the British Admiralty recalled warships from the Mediterranean to begin patrols in the North Sea.
21/7/1912, Sunday (-11,979) Second reading of the Franchise Bill, giving all men over 21 the vote.
15/7/1912. Monday (-11,985) National Insurance, or social payments, devised by Lloyd George, began in Britain.
12/7/1912, Friday (-11,988) 12,000 Ulstermen demonstrated against Home Rule for Ireland.
6/7/1912, Saturday (-11,994) The 5th Olympic Games opened in Stockholm.
3/7/1912, Wednesday (-11,997) The Board of Trade Inquiry into the Titanic disaster found Captain Smith (who went down with his ship) guilty of negligence.
2/7/1912, Tuesday (-11,998) Serbia allied with Greece and Bulgaria against Ottoman Turkey, see 29/5/1912.
1/7/1912, Monday (-11,999) The first Royal Command Performance took place at the Palace Theatre, London, watched by King George V and Queen Mary.
28/6/1912, Friday (-12,002) The suffragettes began a window-smashing campaign at Post Offices and Labour Exchanges.
25/6/1912, Tuesday (-12,005) Asquith was attacked in the Commons over the force-feeding of suffragettes on hunger strike in prison.
23/6/1912, Sunday (-12,007) (1) A bridge over the Niagara Falls collapsed, killing 47.
(2) Alan Mathison Turing, British mathematician who invented the Turing Machine, was born. He was the son of Julius and Sara Turing.
17/6/1912. Monday (-12,013) Discovery of the production of synthetic rubber on a commercial scale.
16/6/1912. Sunday (-12,014) Enoch Powell was born in Stechford, Birmingham.
15/6/1912, Saturday (-12,015) The railway from Watford to Croxley Green was opened.
14/6/1912, Friday (-12,016) King Frederick VIII of Denmark died, aged 69. He was succeeded by his son, 41-year old Christian X.
8/6/1912. Saturday (-12,022) In Los Angeles, Carl Lemmie founded Universal Studios.
6/6/1912, Thursday (-12, 024) A huge volcanic eruption began at Mount Katmai, Alaska, creating the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes.
31/5/1912. Friday (-12,030) (1) The first motor car museum was opened in London, at 175 Oxford Street. The oldest exhibits were an 1861 Crompton steam car and an 1894 Bremer petrol car. In March 1914 the museum moved to the Crystal Palace. However when the First World War broke out the space was needed for storage; some cars were returned to their owners but others were left on open waste ground near Charing Cross Station and allowed to disintegrate.
(2) US marines landed in Cuba to suppress a slave revolt.
30/5/1912, Thursday (-12,031) Wilbur Wright, older of the two Wright Brothers who invented the airplane, died aged 45 of typhoid fever at Dayton, Ohio. Wilbur had become ill on 4/5/1912 while on a business trip to Boston. On 17/12/1903 Wilbur became the second man to pilot an airplane, after his brother Orville made the first flight.
29/5/1912, Wednesday (-12,032) Greece signed an anti-Ottoman alliance with Bulgaria. Serbia joined the alliance on 2/7/1912.
28/5/1912, Tuesday (-12,033) The Titanic enquiry in the US gave a verdict of negligence.
27/5/1912, Monday (-12,034) Sam Snead, US golfer, was born.
26/5/1912, Sunday (-12,035), The UK was paralysed by a transport strike.
20/5/1912, Monday (-12,041)
16/5/1912, Thursday (-12,045) MPs backed a Bill that would disestablish the Church in Wales, despite opposition by church leaders.
15/5/1912, Wednesday (-12,046) Crown Prince Christian, brother of King Haakon VII of Norway, was proclaimed as King Christian X of Denmark
14/5/1912, Tuesday (-12,047) August Strindberg, playwright, died in Stockholm, Sweden.
10/5/1912, Friday (-12,051)
9/5/1912, Thursday (-12,052) In Britain the Liberal Government’s plans to give Ireland Home Rule came closer this day when the House of Commons gave the Home Rule Bill a second reading, voting for it by 360 votes to 266. Tory MPs were firmly opposed and the Liberals relied on Irish Nationalist and Labour MPs to get the Bill passed. The Parliament Act, passed in 1911, ensured Conservative opposition in the House of Lords would not block the Bill. Ireland might have Home Rule by 1914. However the Home Rule issue had sharpened divisions between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland. Belfast, with its flourishing shipbuilding industry, was now the largest city in Ireland, and both merchants and workers there were opposed to rule from Dublin. Sir Edward Carson, a Dublin-born Protestant, planned to recruit some 80,000 armed volunteers to fight for Ulster to remain in the UK, see 28/9/1912.
8/5/1912, Wednesday (-12,053) Pilot Lieutenant Samson, flying a Short S38, made the first ever take off from a moving ship. The HMS Hibernia, off Weymouth, was moving at 10 knots.
7/5/1912, Tuesday (-12,054)
5/5/1912. Sunday (-12,056) The first issue of Pravda, meaning Truth, appeared in Russia.
4/5/1912. Saturday (-12,057) The Italians occupied the island of Rhodes, formerly held by the Ottoman Turks.
30/4/1912, Tuesday (-12,061) Wilbur Wright, American aviation pioneer and first to make a controlled flight in 1903, died in Dayton, Ohio.
20/4/1912, Saturday (-12,071) Bram Stoker, Dublin-born creator of Dracula in 1897, died aged 65 in London.
19/4/1912, Friday (-12,072) The U.S. Hydrographic Office and representatives of the steamship lines agreed that the winter time course of ships would be 270 miles south of the course taken by the Titanic, adding between 9 and 14 hours to the trip. The new route would be 3,080 miles rather than 2,858 miles.
18/4/1912, Thursday (-12,073) The liner Carpathia arrived in New York, carrying survivors of the Titanic disaster.
17/4/1912, Wednesday (-12,074) The Lena massacre: Russian soldiers fired into a crowd of gold miners, who had gone on strike in Siberia to demand a reduction in the workday and improved food and sanitation. According to official figures, 270 miners were killed and another 250 wounded, and the dead were buried in a mass grave.
16/4/1912, Tuesday (-12,075) (1) The Channel was first flown by a woman, Harriet Quimby.
(2) The Daily Herald began publication in London.
15/4/1912. Monday (-12,076) The Titanic, steaming too fast through a sea full of icebergs, sank on her maiden voyage. Of the 2,340 passengers and crew, 1,513 perished in the icy seas; only 732 survived. The first lifeboat to get away was almost empty, occupied only by the director of the line and their friends. Many first class passengers got priority over cheaper ‘steerage’ passengers. However there was also heroism; John Jacob Astor stayed behind after ensuring his bride was on a lifeboat, and the band, who played hymns as the ship sank beneath it. With 16 watertight compartments the Titanic, 270 metres long, was considered ‘unsinkable’ and so only had enough lifeboat places for 1,178. Before she sailed from Southampton on 10/4/1912, an engineer stated ‘God himself could not sink this ship’. Off Newfoundland, a lookout reported an iceberg, the First Officer ordered a turn to port, and the Titanic missed the berg, but an underwater projection of ice struck her below the waterline, ripping open five of the sixteen watertight compartments. With this many compartments flooded, the ship began to sink, flooding further compartments. Many passengers could not accept that the ship was sinking, and only 800 only got aboard the lifeboats, and one lifeboat was sucked under as the Titanic sank. However later theories suggest that the real cause was poor rivets, that popped, causing a seam along the ship to split open.
14/4/1912, Sunday (-12,077) China's President Yuan Shih-kai issued a manifesto asking the five separate race groups in the nation to unite through intermarriage.
13/4/1912, Saturday (-12,078) In Britain the Royal Flying Corps, forerunner of the Royal Air Force, was formed.
12/4/1912, Friday (-12,079) Clara Barton (born 25/12/1812 near Oxford, Massachusetts) died at Glen Echo, Maryland. She founded the American Red Cross in 1881, having worked in Europe with the Red Cross there to alleviate the suffering caused by the Franco-Prussian War.
11/4/1912. Thursday (-12,080) Irish Home Rule Bill introduced to the UK Parliament.
10/4/1912, Wednesday (-12,081) Troops were called out to quell riots in Wigan.
9/4/1912. Tuesday (-12,082) Major demonstration by 200,000 people against Irish Home Rule Bill in Belfast.
4/4/1912. Thursday (-12,087) A Chinese republic was declared in Tibet.
31/3/1912. Sunday (-12,091) Major demonstration in Dublin for Irish Home Rule; 100,000 present.
30/3/1912. Saturday (-12,092) By the Treaty of Fez, Morocco became a French protectorate. This Treaty was terminated on 2/3/1956.
29/3/1912. Friday (-12,093) Captain Robert Falcon Scott died in his tent in Antarctica, returning from his expedition to the South Pole.
28/3/1912, Thursday (-12,094) In the Boat Race, both Oxford’s and Cambridge’s boats sank. The race was re-run.
27/3/1912. Wednesday (-12,095) British Labour leader and Prime Minister 1976-1979,, James Callaghan, was born in Portsmouth.
23/3/1912, Saturday (-12,099) Wernher von Braun, German rocket scientist, was born in Wirsitz.
17/3/1912, Sunday (-12,105) Lawrence Oates died heroically during the return journey from the South Pole. On his 32nd birthday he left the tent, saying, ‘I am just going outside, and I may be some time’.
16/3/1912, Saturday (-12,106) Thelma Nixon, wife of America’s 37th President, was born in Ely, Nevada, as Thelma Ryan.
12/3/1912, Tuesday (-12,110) The Girl Guide movement was founded in America by Juliette Gordon Low.
8/3/1912, Friday (-12,114) The foundation stone of London’s County Hall was laid.
7/3/1912. Thursday (-12,115) Henri Semiet made the first non-stop flight from London to Paris, taking three hours.
6/3/1912, Wednesday (-12,116) The National Biscuit Company (now Nabisco) introduced the Oreo cookie.
5/3/1912, Tuesday (-12,117) British police raided the offices of the Women’s Social and Political Union.
4/3/1912, Monday (-12,118) 96 women were arrested after a suffragette raid on the House of Commons.
3/3/1912, Sunday (-12,119) Mexican General Pascual Orozco, who had helped Francisco I. Madero win the revolution of 1911 and become President of Mexico, declared a revolt against the Madero government after having been denied a major role. Orozco and his followers, the "Orozquistas", then assisted Victoriano Huerta in overthrowing Madero.
2/3/1912, Saturday (-12,120) As rioting broke out in response to the fall of the Manchu Dynasty in China, Beijing was placed under martial law. Foreign troops arrived the next day to protect the citizens of their respective nations.
1/3/1912, Friday (-12,121) (1) Suffragettes smashed windows in the West End of London. Co-ordinated attacks by groups of women with stones or hammers hidden under their muffs saw a trail of destruction emerge within 20 minutes from Oxford Street to The Strand and Piccadilly; two women also threw stones at 10 Downing Street. 120 were arrested, including Emmeline Pankhurst. Suffragette militancy had increased after they saw the Government grant concessions to striking railworkers and miners, after strikes had escalated into civil disorder.
(2) The first parachute jump from a moving plane was made, over Missouri, USA, by Albert Berry. He jumped at 1500 feet over Jefferson Barracks, St Louis.
29/2/1912, Thursday (-12,122) Military revolt in Beijing.
21/2/1912, Wednesday (-12,130)
14/2/1912. Wednesday (-12,137) Arizona became the 48th state of the USA.
13/2/1912, Tuesday (-12,138) Bulgaria and Serbia signed an agreement forming the Balkan League.
12/2/1912, Monday (-12,139) The Chinese Manchu dynasty came to an end when the weeping Empress, Dowager Longyu, read out an edict of abdication on behalf of the 5-year-old Chinese boy-Emperor, Pu-Yi. However the Imperial family were allowed to continue to live in the Forbidden City, with a stipend of US$ 4 million a year.
11/2/1912, Sunday (-12.140) The Niger-Chad border was delineated by the Governors-General of French West Africa and French Equatorial Africa.
10/2/1912. Saturday (-12,141) Charles Lister. Lord Joseph Lister, surgeon and discoverer of antiseptics, died aged 84 at Walmer, Kent.
6/2/1912, Tuesday (-12,145)
30/1/1912, Tuesday (-12,152) The UK House of Lords rejected Irish Home Rule Bill.
18/1/1912, Thursday (-12,164) British explorer Captain Scott reached the South Pole, with his companions Lawrence Oates, Lieutenant Bowers, Edward Wilson, and Edgar Evans, only to find that Roald Amundsen had beaten them by 35 days, leaving a tent behind for proof. All five died on the return journey. Amundsen, with his fast dog sleds, had possessed superior equipment.
10/1/1912, Wednesday (-12,172) The first flying boat, designed by Glenn Curtis, made its maiden voyage at Hammondsport, New York.
8/1/1912, Monday (-12,174) The Africa National Congress was formed in South Africa.
6/1/1912. Saturday (-12,176) New Mexico became the 47th State of the USA.
3/1/1912, Wednesday (-12,179) The UK Cabinet was divided over votes for women. Ulster Unionists said they would ignore Irish Home Rule.
1/1/1912. Monday (-12,181) (1) The Republic of China was officially proclaimed.
(2) The British Post office took over the National Telephone Company, for the sum of £12,515,264.
(3) Harold ‘Kim’ Philby, the British traitor who spied for Soviet intelligence, was born.
31/12/1911. Sunday (-12,182) Marie Curie received her second Nobel prize, unprecedented in the history of the award.
29/12/2011, Friday (-12,184) Chinese revolutionary Dr Sun Yat Sen (1866-1925) became the first President of the Republic of China.
14/12/1911. Thursday (-12,199) (1) The Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen beat the British team, led by Captain Scott, to the South Pole. The British relied on motorised transport and ponies, the Norwegians on dog sleds. Captain Scott arrived at the South Pole on 17/1/1912 to find the Norwegians had beaten him to it. Scott set out with 11 men from Cape Evans, Antarctica, on 24/10/1911; his motorised sledges soon broke down, and the ponies had to be shot due to the cold. Therefore the hardest part of Scott’s journey, the part from the final food dump (left for the return journey) to the South Pole, 240 kilometres, and back, had to be done on foot with barely a month’s provision for the five men attempting the journey. On the return journey blizzards slowed Scott’s team, reducing their daily rations.
(2) Miss Eleanor Davies Colley, MB London, became the first woman to be admitted to the Royal College of Surgeons.
13/12/1911, Wednesday (-12,200) The P & O liner Delhi foundered with the Princess Royal on board, but she and most of the other passengers on board were rescued.
12/12/1911, Tuesday (-12,201) King George V was crowned Emperor of India, and founded the city of New Delhi, as new capital to replace Calcutta.
6/12/1911. Wednesday (-12,207) Russia announced that Mongolia was a Russian protectorate.
2/12/1911, Saturday (-12,211) Chinese Republicans captured Nanking.
29/11/1911, Wednesday (-12,214) The US journalist Joseph Pulitzer died.
14/11/1911, Tuesday (-12,229) The Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen (1872 – 1928) reached the South Pole ahead of Scott.
13/11/1911. Monday (-12,230) Bonar Law became leader of the Tory Party, succeeding Arthur James Balfour.
12/11/1911. Sunday (-12,231) Rev. Chad Varah, founder of The Samaritans, was born
11/11/1911. Saturday (-12,232) The British King and Queen left Britain for the sea voyage to India. On 12/12/1911 there was a splendid ceremony at the Delhi Durbar, at which it was announced that henceforth Delhi would be the capital of India in place of Calcutta.
10/11/1911, Friday (-12,233) The first regular civil airmail service began between Hounslow (London) and Paris. Mail was surcharged at 2s 6d an ounce, of which the airline received b2s. The high price deterred customers, and an average of only 46 letters a day were carried.
9/11/1911, Thursday (-12,234) A squadron of soldiers, the 18th Hussars, with rifles, patrolled the streets of Tonypandy, south Wales, after clashes between striking miners and the police, in which the police had been stoned.
8/11/1911, Wednesday (-12,235) Arthur Balfour, Conservative leader, resigned.
7/11/1911, Tuesday (-12,236)
6/11/1911, Monday (-12,237) Madero made himself President of Mexico.
5/11/1911. Sunday (-12,238) Italy announced that it had taken from Turkey the territories of Libya, Tripolitania, and Cyrenaiaca.
1/11/1911. Wednesday (-12,242) (1) The world’s first air raid. The Italian, Lt Guilio Gavotti, took off from Tripoli and dropped a 2 kg bomb on the Turks at Ain Zara, Tripolitania; he then dropped three more such bombs on Turkish troops at Tagiura. A second air raid on Ain Zara three days later brought a strong protest from the Turks that the Italians were contravening the Geneva Convention, and considerable world-wide discussion ensued on the ethics of air bombardment.
(2) The first edition of Woman’s Weekly was published. See 2/11/1903, Daily Mirror as woman’s newspaper. See also 2/11/1924, first British crossword.
30/10/1911, Monday (-12,244) Guided by the Regent, Prince Chun, the Emperor Pu Yi granted China a constitution. This was to combat growing support for the rebel Republican army of Sun Yat Sen.
29/10/1911. Sunday (-12,245) (1) First stone of the Drury Lane Theatre laid.
(2) Joseph Pulitzer, US newspaper publisher who instituted an annual journalism prize, died.
27/10/1911, Friday (-12,247) After a bank robbery in Paris, the three criminals involved made the first ever getaway in a motor car.
25/10/1911. Wednesday (-12,249) The last horse bus ran in London, from London Bridge station to Moorgate Street.
23/10/1911. Monday (-12,251) (1) First aerial reconnaissance in warfare. The Italian Captain Piazza, during the Italian Turkish war of 1910-11, took off from Tripoli and flew over Turkish troops camped at Aziza.
(2) Winston Churchill was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty.
20/10/1911. Friday (-12,254) Italy defeated the Turks at Tripoli, Libya.
11/10/1911. Wednesday (-12,263) Earthquake in California killed 700.
10/10/1911, Tuesday (-12,264) The Imperial Manchu Dynasty, which had ruled China since 1644, was forced to abdicate ‘voluntarily’ and a Kuomintang Republic was proclaimed at Wuchang, under Sun Yat-Sen.
9/10/1911, Monday (-12,265) The King George V, Britain’s biggest battleship to date, was launched.
6/10/1911. Friday (-12,268) Barbara Castle, British Labour politician, was born.
4/10/1911. Wednesday (-12,270) Britain’s first escalators were introduced, connecting the District and Piccadilly lines at Earl’s Court station in London.
30/9/1911. Saturday (-12,274) Italian troops attacked the Turks in Tripoli harbour.
29/9/1911. Friday (-12,275) (Italy, Greece, N Africa) Italy declared war on Turkey, having been assured of the neutrality of other European countries. The Italian Navy bombarded Preveza, and Italian forces landed at Tripoli and in Cyrenicia. This was in retaliation for the alleged mistreatment of Italians in Libya. The Italians expected the Arabs to welcome them as liberators from Turkish rule, but instead the Arabs sided with the Turks in resisting Italian rule. In May 1912 Italy invaded some islands off Turkey, including Rhodes, to put further pressure on Turkey. Then Italy had some unexpected good fortune when in 1912 Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece started the Balkan War against Turkey, forcing the Ottomans to surrender Libya to Italy. However Arab resistance continued and despite a permanent Italian garrison of 50,000 troops Italian rule only covered Tripoli and other major towns. At least, though, Italy could now claim to have its own African colony.
24/9/1911, Sunday (12,280) Konstantin Chernenko, Soviet politician, was born.
14/9/1911, Thursday (-12,290) Russian Prime Minister Pyotr Stolypin was assassinated when a police double agent shot him at the opera in Kiev; he died on 18/9/1911. He had held the post for 6 years; his predecessor managed only one year, in the turmoil of Russian politics. He was ruthless and simply crushed any opposition, which made him unpopular and he fell out with the Tsar, Nicholas, also his Council of Ministers and the Duma (Parliament).
9/9/1911, Saturday (-12,295) The first experimental airmail service in Britain began, operating between Hendon aerodrome and Windsor, 19 miles . The service was discontinued on 26/9/1911.
6/9/1911. Wednesday (-12,298) The British TUC condemned the use of troops in strikes.
5/9/1911, Tuesday (-12,299) The first adult literacy school in the United States began, when Cora Wilson Stewart, school superintendent for Rowan County, Kentucky, began what she called the Moonlight Schools. The night classes at the county's 50 schools took place so long as the Moon was bright enough for students to safely travel. She had expected that 150 might come; however, 1,200 signed up.
4/9/1911. Monday (-12,300) Flooding along China’s Yangtze River killed 100,000 people.
1/9/1911, Friday (-12,303)
28/8/1911, Monday (-12,307) A heat wave sent the mortality rate in London soaring to 19 per 1,000.
27/8/1911. Sunday (-12,308) At Hamburg the German Kaiser made his ‘place in the sun’ speech, foreshadowing a large increase in the German navy. Britain responded by increasing its navy, although Anglo-German relations remained friendly.
26/8/1911, Saturday (-12,309) A heatwave killed 2,500 children in London.
24/8/1911, Thursday (-12,311)
23/8/1911, Wednesday (-12,312) Violent anti-Semitic riots in Wales.
22/8/1911, Tuesday (-12,313) The Mona Lisa was stolen from The Louvre, Paris.
21/8/1911, Monday (-12,314)
18/8/1911. Friday (-12,317) In the UK, the Official Secrets Bill got Royal Assent.
17-19/8/1911. Railway strike in the UK. Armed troops were called out to assist the police in safeguarding the nation’s food supplies. Food convoys left main railway goods junctions under heavy guard.
14/8/1911, Monday (-12,321) South Wales miners ended their strike after 14 months.
10/8/1911, Thursday (-12,325) In the House of Lords Tory peers abstained, thereby allowing passage of the controversial budget delayed from a year ago. MPs salaries were now £400 a year.
8/8/1911. Tuesday (-12,327) Violence flared in Liverpool’s streets as a nationwide strike continued. The strike by railwaymen, dockers, and other transport workers threatened a nationwide famine, and warships stood by to help merchant ships off Liverpool to unload. 50,000 troops stood by in Liverpool.
3/8/1911. Thursday (-12,332) Aeroplanes were put to military use, when Italian planes reconnoitred the Turkish lines near Tripoli.
1/8/1911. Tuesday (-12,334) Germany began to fortify Heligoland, a small island in the North Sea.
28/7/1911, Friday (-12,338) The French Chief of Staff resigned over the Dreyfus Affair.
21/7/1911, Friday (-12,345) Lloyd George, Chancellor of the Exchequer, warned Germany not to threaten British interests in the western Mediterranean, or Gibraltar. See 1/7/1911. Germany denied such ambitions, but Britain began preparing for war with Germany.
20/7/1911, Thursday (-12,346) 20 rioters in Wales shot dead by troops.
19/7/1911, Wednesday (-12,347) The Liver Building in Liverpool was opened.
11/7/1911, Tuesday (-12,355) Liverpool’s Gladstone Dock was opened by King George V.
5/7/1911. Wednesday (-12,361) Birth of Georges Pompidou, in Montboudif, Auvergne. He was French President from 1969 until his death in 1974.
1/7/1911, Saturday (-12,365) (1) The Shops Act provided for a half-day holiday for shop workers.
(2) Germany sent a gunboat to Agadir, Morocco, to protect German commercial interests there from French expansion in Morocco. Britain was concerned about Germany’s ambitions in Africa so close to Gibraltar. See 21/7/1911.
30/6/1911, Friday (-12,366) In London, the population of Barnet was 11,335; in 1901 it had been 3,375.
25/6/1911, Sunday (-12,371)
23/6/1911. Friday (-12,373) Coronation of King George V.
22/6/1911, Thursday (-12,374) Liverpool’s Liver Clock, called ‘Great George’, began showing the time.
21/6/1911, Wednesday (-12,375) The ship RMS Olympic completed its first transatlantic trip, arriving in New York after a voyage of 5 days, 16 hours and 42 minutes.
20/6/1911, Tuesday (-12,376) Britain’s first trolley bus ran, in Leeds.
19/6/1911, Monday (-12,377)
17/6/1911. Saturday (-12,379) In the UK, 60,000 women demonstrated for women’s suffrage, marching through London to a meeting at the Albert Hall.
16/6/1911. Friday (-12,380) The French army occupied Fez, in Morocco.
7/6/1911. Wednesday (-12,389) A severe earthquake shook Mexico City, killing over 100.
31/5/1911. Wednesday (-12,396) The Titanic was launched at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast.
30/5/1911, Tuesday (-12,397) The Indianapolis motor race was first held.
25/5/1911, Thursday (-12,402) The Mexican dictator Portofirio Diaz was ousted after 45 years rule.
18/5/1911. Thursday (-12,409) The composer Gustav Mahler died of heart disease in Austria, aged 51.
15/5/1911, Monday (-12,412) King George V and his cousin the Kaiser reasserted their friendship.
12/5/1911. Friday (-12,415) Display of military aviation at Hendon. The Festival of Empire opened at Crystal Palace.
11/5/1911, Thursday (-12,416) The Mexican rebel Francisco Madero established a new capital at Ciudad Juarez.
9/5/1911, Tuesday (-12,418) The British Parliament agreed to Home Rule for Ireland.
30/4/1911. Sunday (-12,427) Women got the vote in Portugal.
16/4/1911, Sunday (-12,441) Guy Burgess, English civil servant who spied for the Russians, was born in Devonport. He died in August 1963 in a Moscow hospital.
7/4/1911, Friday (-12,450) The House of Commons gave a second reading to a Bill giving copyright during an author’s lifetime and for 50 years after their death.
4/4/1911, Tuesday (-12,453) (1) The Duke of Marlborough and other former pupils at Eton opposed the abolition of birching at the school.
(2) Massachusetts refused to give women the right to vote.
31/3/1911. Friday (-12,457) UK shop-workers won the fight for a 60-hour week.
26/3/1911, Sunday (-12,462) Tennessee Williams, US playwright, was born in Columbus, Mississippi.
25/3/1911, Saturday (-12,463) Jack Ruby, American nightclub owner, and killer of Lee Harvey Oswald, was born as Jack Rubenstein in Chicago (died 1967).
24/3/1911. Friday (-12,464) Denmark abolished the death penalty.
17/3/1911. Friday (-12,471) In Norway, Anna Rogstadt took her place as the country’s first woman MP.
10/3/1911. Friday (-12,478) France adopted Greenwich Mean Time as standard time across the country.
9/3/1911, Thursday (-12,479) The British Government announced that five more battleships were to be built.
1/3/1911, Wednesday (-12,487)
24/2/1911, Friday (-12,492) The Reichstag voted to increase the German Army by half a million men.
23/2/1911, Thursday (-12,493) Quanah Parker, 65, Principal Chief of the Comanche Nation, died.
22/2/1911, Wednesday (-12,494) Canada voted to remain a part of the British Empire.
20/2/1911, Monday (-12,496)
18/2/1911. Saturday (-12,498) The first official airmail flight. Henri Pecquet flew a load of 6,000 letters and cards 5 miles from Allahabad, India, to Naini Junction, where they were transferred to the railway.
17/2/1911, Friday (-12,499) The city of Lakewood, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, was incorporated.
16/2/1911, Thursday (-12,500) The first Monte Carlo car rally started.
11/2/1911, Saturday (-12,505)
6/2/1911. Monday (-12,510) (1) Ronald Reagan, American Republican and 40th President, was born in Tampico, Illinois.
(2) The Labour Party elected Ramsay MacDonald as its leader, replacing Kier Hardie.
(3) A large part of Constantinople was destroyed in a fire.
5/2/1911, Sunday (-12,511) Revolution in Haiti was suppressed after its leader, General Montreuil Guillaume, was captured by government troops and shot.
4/2/1911, Saturday (-12,512) Rolls Royce adopted the Sprit of Ecstasy statuette on their cars, made in Derby, England.
1/2/1911, Wednesday (-12,515) HMS Thunderer, the last battleship to be built on the Thames, was launched from the old Thames Ironworks at Silvertown.
25/1/1911. Wednesday (-12,522) US troops were sent to Rio Grande in the Mexican Civil War.
21/1/1911. Saturday (-12,526) The first Monte Carlo Rally began. It was won, seven days later, by Henri Rougier from France.
18/1/1911. Wednesday (-12,529) US pilot Eugene Ely, in a Curtiss aircraft, made the first landing on the deck of a ship; the cruiser Pennsylvania in San Francisco Bay.
17/1/1911, Tuesday (-12,530) Sir Francis Galton, English scientist and writer on eugenics, died aged 88.
16/1/1911, Monday (-12,531) Major oil find in Borneo.
11/1/1911, Wednesday (-12,536) (1) The Jehovah’s Witnesses released their film, The Photodrama of Creation, in New York. By the end of 1911 nine million people had seen it, mainly in N America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
(2) 18 killed in riots in Bombay, India.
3/1/1911. Tuesday (-12,544) The siege of Sydney Street took place when 1,000 police and soldiers besieged three anarchists suspected of killing three policemen at a house in London’s East End. 2 Anarchists were killed as the house caught fire; the ringleader, ‘Peter the Painter’, escaped.
20/12/1910. Tuesday (-12,558) Liberals and Tories tied in the UK general election. Liberals and Conservatives got 272 seats each (from 397 Liberal MPs). The Liberals under Herbert Asquith remained in power with the backing of 42 Labour MPs and 84 Irish Nationalists. The Tories lost support because their blocking of the Budget landed Britain with a £10 million debt. If the House of Lords still blocked the Budget, Asquith threatened to create 300 new peers to ensure it passed, a measure reluctantly agreed to by King George V. Reform of the powers of the House of Lords has now become a major political issue. This issue sidelined Liberal policies for home rule for Wales and Scotland. In the event, World War One also delayed home rule for Ireland.
18/12/1910. Sunday (-12,560) Mr Tom Sopwith won a £4,000 aviation prize by flying from Eastchurch, Sheppey, to Beaumont, Belgium. He covered the 177 miles in 3 ½ hours.
10/12/1910, Saturday (-12,568) In the UK, the Liberal agenda included Irish Home Rule and abolition of the House of Lords.
9/12/1910, Friday (-12,569) The Turks suppressed an Arab uprising in Palestine.
5/12/1910, Monday (-12,573) A convoy of barges on the River Volga sank, killing 350 workmen.
3/12/1910. Saturday (-12,575) (1) The first neon lighting was used, at the Paris Motor Show. In 1910, in Britain, an Austin car, ‘Ascot’ model, cost £420. It had 15 horsepower, and the hood, windscreen, windshield, and headlights were extra.
(2) Mary Baker Eddy, American founder of the Christian Scientists, died.
(3) France occupied the Moroccan port of Agadir.
23/11/1910, Wednesday (-12,585) The American Dr Hawley Crippen was hanged in London’s Pentonville Prison for the murder of his wife, Cora.
18/11/1910, Friday (-12,590) Suffragettes attacked the House of Commons; 119 people were arrested.
14/11/1910. Monday (-12,594) (1) There were more than 100 arrests when suffragettes tried to storm the House of Commons.
(2) Pilot Eugene Ely, in a Curtiss biplane, made the first take-off from a ship, the US light cruiser Birmingham, at anchor in Chesapeake Bay.
7/11/1910, Monday (-12,601) Leo Tolstoy, author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina, died.
30/10/1910. Sunday (-12,609) Henri Durant, Swiss founder of the Red Cross in 1863, died.
23/10/1910, Sunday (-12,616) Vajiravudh (1881-1925) was crowned Rama VI, King of Thailand.
22/10/1910. Saturday (-12,617) American born Dr Hawley Harvey Crippen was convicted at the Old Bailey of poisoning his wife Belle Elmore. The trial began on 18/10/1910. Born in Michigan, USA, Crippen achieved notoriety as a poisoner. He graduated from Michigan University, and married. He then moved to England where he worked as a dentist and medicine salesman. After a party at his home in Holloway, London, on 31/1/1910, he poisoned his wife. The police began inquiries after he brought a young typist, Ethel Le Neve, to live in the house. The couple fled, and the remains of Crippen’s wife Belle were found in the cellar on 14/7/1910. Crippen was caught after the captain of the ocean liner Montrose radioed a message about two suspicious passengers to Scotland Yard. He was arrested on SS Montrose on 31/7/1910, with Ethel dressed as a boy. He was charged on 29/8/1910. This was the first time radio had been used to track down a criminal. Crippen was hanged on 23/11/1910 at Pentonville Prison, still protesting his innocence.
20/10/1910, Thursday (-12,619) The Titanic’s sister ship, RMS Olympic, was launched from the Harland and Wolf shipyard in Belfast. She didn’t sink, earning the nickname ‘Old Reliable’.
4/10/1910, Tuesday (-12,635) Portugal, having been a monarchy since 1128, became a Republic. King Manuel II fled to Britain, where he died in 1932. The new Portuguese Republic was headed by 67-year old Teofilo Braga.
3/10/1910. Monday (-12,636) A revolution in Portugal ousted King Manoel II. He and his mother left for England and Portugal became a Republic on 7/10/1910.
2/10/1910, Sunday (-12,637) The asteroid Interamnia, seventh largest in the Solar System (300 km in diameter) was discovered by Italian astronomer Vincenzo Cerulli from an observatory in Teramo.
1/10/1910, Saturday (-12,638) (1) The Ricken rail tunnel, Switzerland, 9 km long, opened.
(2) Bonnie Parker, US outlaw of the Bonnie and Clyde duo, was born in Rowena, Texas.
30/9/1910, Friday (-12,639) US terrorist J.B. McNamara planted a time bomb in a passage beneath the headquarters of the Los Angeles Times newspaper, with 16 sticks of dynamite set to explode after working hours. Two other bombs were placed outside the homes of the Times owner and the secretary of the Merchants and Manufacturers Association. The bomb outside the Times building detonated shortly after 1:00 a.m. on Saturday, triggering an explosion of natural gas lines and setting a fire that killed 20 newspaper employees.
29/9/1910, Thursday (-12,640) US artist Winslow Homer died at his studio in Maine..
19/9/1912, Monday (-12,650) The first scheduled international airline service began, when Count Zeppelin’s airships started a regular service between Hamburg, Germany, and Copenhagen, Denmark, and on to Malmo, Sweden.
17/9/1910, Saturday (-12,652) A London doctor stated that if lunacy kept increasing at the current rate, the sane would be outnumbered by the insane within 40 years.
12/9/1910. Monday (-12,657) The world’s first policewoman, Alice Stebbins Wells, formerly a social worker, joined the Los Angeles Police.
29/8/1910, Monday (-12,671) Dr Crippen was charged with murder.
28/8/1910. Sunday (-12,672) Montenegro declared independence from Turkey under King Nicholas.
27/8/1910. Saturday (-12,673) (1) Thomas Edison, in New Jersey, demonstrated talking movie pictures for the first time in his New Jersey laboratory. He used a device that was part phonograph, part camera, to record sounds and pictures simultaneously. He predicted that moving pictures with sound in colour would soon be possible.
(2) Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who dedicated her life to the relief of the poor in India, was born in Skopje (Yugoslavia), of Albanian parents.
22/8/1910. Monday (-12,678) Japan formally annexed Korea.
14/8/1910, Sunday (-12,679) A fire at the World Exhibition, Brussels, destroyed some paintings.
13/8/1910. Saturday (-12,687) Florence Nightingale, born 12/5/1820, died in London aged 90. See 16/3/1908, 29/11/1907, and 4/11/1854.
12/8/1910, Friday (-12,688) Yusof bin Ishak, first President of Singapore 1965–70, was born in Perak State (died 1970)
11/8/1910. Thursday (-12,689) Mr Drexel set a new aviation altitude record, reaching 6,750 feet in a Bleriot monoplane.
3/8/1910. Wednesday (-12,697) Muslim Druzes killed 100 Jews in Palestine.
31/7/1910, Sunday (-12,700) The murderer Dr Crippen was arrested aboard the SS Montrose just before docking in Quebec. He was the first criminal to be captured by the use of wireless.
27/7/1910. Wednesday (-12,704) Turkey threatened Greece with war if it accepted Cretan representatives in Parliament.
12/7/1910, Tuesday (-12,719) Charles Stewart Rolls, aviator and co-founder of Rolls Royce, died at an air crash in Bournemouth.
4/7/1910. Monday (-12,727) Russia recognised Japanese occupation of Korea in return for a free hand in Manchuria.
1/7/1910. Friday (-12,730) (1) South Africa became a dominion of the British Empire.
(2) The Central Line was extended from White City to Ruislip.
28/6/1910. Tuesday (-12,733) Westminster Cathedral, Catholic, was consecrated.
22/6/1910, Wednesday (-12,739) John Hunt, leader of the successful expedition to climb Everest in 1953, was born.
19/6/1910. Sunday (-12,742) Father’s Day was instituted in the USA.
18/6/1910, Saturday (-12,743) The city of Glendale, Arizona, was incorporated.
17/6/1910, Friday (-12,744) The United States Lighthouse Service was created as federal agency to regulate lighthouses throughout the nation. The office of the Commissioner was transferred to the United States Coast Guard in 1935.
16/6/1910, Thursday (-12,745) A cloudburst in Hungary added to existing flood waters, killing 800 people in villages in the Kronstadt district, another 180 in Temesvar and 100 in Moldava.
15/6/1910, Wednesday (-12,746) Captain Scott set out on his ill-fated second expedition to the South Pole, on the ship Terra Nova.
14/6/1910, Tuesday (-12,747) The University of the Philippines Los Baños was opened as a college of agriculture, with 50 students taught by Dr. Edwin Copeland.
13/6/1910, Monday (-12,748) Mary Whitehouse, General Secretary of the National Viewers and Listeners Association, was born.
12/6/1910, Sunday (-12,749) Torrential rains caused floods throughout central Europe. The Ahr River overflowed in Germany, killing 200 people around Oberammergau.
11/6/1910, Saturday (-12,750) Jacques Cousteau, French underwater explorer who invented the aqualung, was born in Saint Andre, Gironde, France.
10/6/1910, Friday (-12,751) Sir Charles Hardinge, British Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, was appointed as the Viceroy of India, succeeding the Earl of Minto.
9/6/1910, Thursday (-12,752) The first trials of aircraft reconnaissance. During a record-breaking2 ½ hour, 145 km, flight from Camp de Chalons, Mourmelon, to Vincennes, Captain Marconnet, squeezed between the pilot and the engine, took aerial photographs of the territory below.
7/6/1910, Tuesday (-12,754)
5/6/1910, Sunday (-12,756) Death of American short-story writer O. Henry (real name William Sydney Porter).
4/6/1910, Saturday (-12,757) Christopher Cockerell, who invented the amphibious hovercraft, was born in Cambridge.
3/6/1910, Friday (-12,758) Ecuador and Peru withdrew their troops from the border between the two nations as the first step in the mediation of their dispute.
2/6/1910. Thursday (-12,759) Mr C S Rolls flew from Dover to Calais and back without landing in France, taking 90 minutes for the whole return journey.
1/6/1910, Wednesday (-12,760) The first white settlements on the banks of Alaska's Iditarod River were made when a steamer brought gold prospectors to within 13 km of a gold strike. By August, there were two towns, each with 2,000 people: Iditarod and Flat.
31/5/1910. Tuesday (-12,761) (1) The colonies of the Cape of Good Hope, Natal, the Transvaal, and the Orange River Colony united to form the Union of South Africa, see 31/5/1902.
(2) Lord Baden Powell’s sister, Agnes, announced the formation of the Girl Guides.
(3) Elizabeth Blackwell, English-born American doctor, the first woman to gain an MD degree in 1849, from Geneva College, New York State, died. Despite hostility during her education and career, she succeeded in opening up the field of medicine to women. She retired to Hastings, UK, where she died.
27/5/1910, Friday (-12,765) Robert Koch, German bacteriologist and Nobel Prize Winner who discovered the tuberculosis bacillus, died.
18/5/1910. Wednesday (-12,774) (1) The first Air Traffic Conference opened in Paris.
(2) The Earth passed through the tail of Halley’s Comet; some people feared disaster.
6/5/1910. Friday (-12,786) Accession of King George V, 44, to the British throne. His coronation was on 22/6/1911. He succeeded Edward VII, who died aged 68, from pneumonia. The funeral of Edward VII was on 20/5/1910.
5/5/1910. Thursday (-12,787) Earthquake in Nicaragua killed 500.
4/5/1910. Wednesday (-12,788) Lloyd George introduced a National Health Insurance Bill.
28/4/1910. Thursday (-12,794) M Paulham flew from London to Manchester, winning the Daily Mail prize of £10,000 for the first person to accomplish this.
25/4/1910, Monday (-12,797) King Albert I opened the World Exhibition in Brussels.
21/4/1910. Thursday (-12,801) Mark Twain, American author, died un Reading, Connecticut, aged 74.
5/4/1910. Tuesday (-12,817) France banned kissing on its railways, because it caused delays.
4/4/1910, Monday (-12,818) (1) The first Commons reading of a Bill to abolish the Lords’ power of veto.
(2) The railway from Enfield, north London, to Cuffley opened. See 4/3/1918.
3/4/1910, Sunday (-12,819) While in Rome, former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt announced that he would not meet with Pope Leo XIII because of the Vatican's request that Roosevelt not meet first with local Methodists. In March, former Vice-President Charles W. Fairbanks declined an audience for the same reason.
2/4/1910. Saturday (-12,820) A German scientist made artificial rubber.
1/4/1910, Friday (-12,821) The Trentham Gardens branch, Stoke on Trent, opened.
30/3/1910, Wednesday (-12,823)
28/3/1910. Monday (-12,825) The first seaplane took off, from near Marseilles. Called the Hydravion, it was designed by Frenchman Henri Fabre. It flew 1,650 feet.
27/3/1910. Sunday (-12,826) Mount Etna in Italy erupted.
20/3/1910, Sunday (-12,833)
11/3/1910, Friday (-12,842) A dam burst in The Rhondda, Wales, sweeping away 500 children; 494 were rescued.
10/3/1910. Thursday (-12,843) (1) D W Griffith made the first Hollywood film. He discovered an obscure location near Los Angeles called Hollywood where the light was very good, for shooting the film Old California; the film industry then took off rapidly here.
(2) China abolished slavery.
(3) The world’s first night aeroplane flight was made, in Argentina by Aubrun.
9/3/1910, Wednesday (-12,844) Madame. Ekaterina Breshkovskaya, 66, sometimes referred to as the "Grandmother of the Russian Revolution" was convicted on charges of conspiracy and sentenced to exile in Siberia, but her co-defendant Nikolai Tchaikovsky was acquitted.
8/3/1910. Tuesday (-12,845) The French Baroness de Laroche became the first woman pilot.
23/2/1910. Wednesday (-12,858) The Dalai Lama and several noted Tibetans fled from Lhasa to India, as Chinese troops occupied Tibet.
21/2/1910, Monday (-12,860) Douglas Bader, World War Two fighter pilot and squadron leader, was born in London.
20/2/1910, Sunday (-12,861) Egypt’s Christian PM, Butros Ghali, was assassinated by a Nationalist.
19/2/1910. Saturday (-12,862) Manchester United played their first Football League match at their new stadium, Old Trafford
16/2/1910. Wednesday (-12,865) Madame Curie succeeded in isolating one tenth of a milligram of Polonium, which was more radioactive than Radium. She named the element after her native Poland.
8/2/1910. Tuesday (-12,873) W Boyce founded the Boy Scout movement in America.
2/2/1910, Wednesday (-12,879) The British army was concerned about a possible shortage of horses if war should break out with Germany.
1/2/1910. Tuesday (-12,880) Britain’s first Employment Exchanges were set up. The 80 Exchanges were flooded by people seeking work. See 1/1/1910.
31/1/1910. Monday (-12,881) (1) Britain and Russia intervened as political unrest shook Iran.
(2) Dr Hawley Harvey Crippen poisoned his wife Belle Elmore, music hall singer, then cut her in small pieces and buried her in the cellar. See 22/10/1910. Telling suspicious friends of Elmore that she had gone to America, Dr Crippen brought secretary Ethel Le Neuve, 27, into his house as his lover.
26/1/1910. Wednesday (-12,886) Thousands fled their homes in Paris as the Seine flooded. The river rose 8 metres above normal, causing 400 million Francs damage (over Euro 1 billion in 2015 prices).
15/1/1910. Saturday (-12,897) UK General Election. German rearmament was a major issue.
7/1/1910. Friday (-12,905) Mr Latham broke the record height in aviation by exceeding 3,000 feet.
4/1/1910, Tuesday (-12,908) The first Juvenile Courts in Britain opened in London.
1/1/1910, Saturday (-12,911) Britain passed the Labour Exchange Act, see 1/2/1910.
31/12/1909, Friday (-12,912) Henry Ferguson made the first aeroplane flight from Irish soil, at Hillsborough near Belfast.
30/12/1909, Thursday (-12,913) The first aeroplane flight of over 100 miles was made.
23/12/1909. Thursday (-12,920) Prince Albert took the oath of fidelity of the Belgian constitution and became King Albert I of Belgium. He was born on 8/4/1875 at Brussels. He died from a fall whilst rock climbing at Namur on 17/2/1934.
20/12/1909, Monday (-12,923) The first cinema opened in Ireland, the Volta in Dublin.
17/12/1909, Friday (-12,926) Albert I, 34, succeeded his uncle Leopold II as King of Belgium, who died, aged 74, this day.
16/12/1909, Thursday (-12,927) US marines forced the resignation of President Jose Zelaya of Nicaragua.
10/12/1909, Friday (-12,933) Herbert Asquith, British Prime Minister, promised self-rule for Ireland in a speech at the Royal Albert Hall.
7/12/1909, Tuesday (-12,936) A proclamation was read on the steps of the Royal Exchange, London, announcing the creation of the self-governing Union of South Africa.
30/11/1909, Tuesday (-12,943) The House of Lords threw out a Budget by Liberal Chancellor Lloyd George they considered too left-wing. Prime Minister Herbert Asquith now faced a General Election. The controversial Budget proposed taxing the highest 10,000 earners with incomes over £5,000 a year in Britain an extra 6d in the £ income tax, over and above the rate of 1 shilling 2d in the £ paid by all earners above £2,000 a year, a rise from 1 shilling in the £. Unearned income was also to be taxed at 1s 2d in the £. Death duties were to be doubled. The tax money would fund rearmament and old age pensions. The Tories described the Budget as a tax on the propertied classses. On 3/12/1909 King Edward VII dissolved Parliament, and taxes on alcohol, tobacco and cars were suspended as no Budget had been passed. For half a century it had been accepted that the unelected Lords could not veto a money Bill from the elected Commons, but the Tories argued this Bill had too many non-financial measures to come under this rule.
28/11/1909, Sunday (-12,945) In France, a law was passed giving pregnant women 8 weeks maternity leave.
14/11/1909. Sunday (-12,959) The US President, William Taft, announced that a naval base would be built on Hawaii at Pearl Harbour to protect the US from attack from Japan.
13/11/1909, Saturday (-12,960) Two bombs were thrown at the Viceroy of India, The Earl of Minto.
5/11/1909. Friday (+12,968) The first Woolworth store opened in Britain, in Lord Street, Liverpool.
31/10/1909, Sunday (-12,973) (1) The National University of Ireland, Dublin, came into being.
(2) Queens University, Belfast, came into being.
26/10/1909, Tuesday (-12,978) Ahn Jung-geun, a Korean nationalist and independence activist, shot dead Hirobumi Ito, the Japanese colonial governor of Korea, on a station platform at Harbin.
22/10/1909. Friday (-12,982) Elise Deroche, who used the self-created title Baronne de la Roche, became the first woman to fly solo.
21/10/1909, Thursday (-12,983) Halley’s Comet was sighted from Cambridge Observatory, UK.
16/10/1909, Saturday (-12,988) The first commercial airline began. Count Zeppelin’s Deutsche Luftschiffahrt Aktiengesellschaft, or Delag, flew airships between the major German cities.
2/10/1909. Saturday (-13,002) The first Rugby match at Twickenham was played – Harlequins versus Richmond.
28/9/1909. Tuesday (-13,006) London confirmed that suffragettes were being force-fed.
20/9/1909, Monday (-13,014) The South Africa Act received the Royal Assent.
18/9/1909, Saturday (-13,016) Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first Prime Minister, was born in Ankroful. He was President from independence in 1957 until an army coup sent him into exile in Guinea in 1966.
11/9/1909, Saturday (-13,023) Halley’s Comet was first observed, at Heidelberg.
4/9/1909. Saturday (-13,030) The first Boy Scout rally took place at Crystal Palace, south London. The Boy Scout movement was begun in 1908 by Baden Powell; he set up a Scout camp for 20 boys on Brownsea Island in 1908. In 1910 the Scout movement spread to the USA, and became so successful that in 1911 Baden-Powell left the army to develop it; the Scout movement received a Royal Charter in 1912.
30/8/1909, Monday (-13,035) Floods in Mexico killed 1,400.
22/8/1909, Sunday (-13,043) 5 US workers died in steel industry riots.
16/8/1909, Monday (-13,049) The Conservative leader Arthur Balfour argued that giving equal rights to South African Black people would undermine White civilization.
11/8/1909, Wednesday (13,054) The first SOS signal was sent, by wireless.
2/8/1909. Monday (-13,063) The US military accepted its first heavier-than-air flying machine, built by the Wright Brothers.
30/7/1909, Friday (-13,066) Northcote Parkinson, British author, historian and journalist, best known for stating Parkinson’s Law that work expands to fill the time available, was born.
27/7/1909, Tuesday (-13,069) MPs gave the South African Union Bill its second reading, but deplored the fact that the Bill would deny the Black population the right to vote.
25/7/1909. Sunday (-13,071) Louis Bleriot became the first man to fly across the English Channel. He flew from Les Barques near Calais to Northfall Meadow near Dover Castle, covering 26 miles in 43 minutes. Aged 37, born on 1/7/1872 in Cambrai, France, Bleriot won £1,000 for his flight, in a plane designed by himself, a prize awarded by the Daily Mail for the first person to perform this feat. Bleriot died in August 1936. The British now realised that the Channel was less of a defensive barrier than it used to be.
24/7/1909, Saturday (-13,072) Aristide Briant became French PM.
14/7.1909, Wednesday (-13,082)
7/7/1909, Wednesday (-13,089) The Tauern rail tunnel, Austria, 9 km long, opened.
6/7/1909, Tuesday (-13,090) Andrei Gromyko, President of the USSR, was born near Minsk, to a peasant family.
29/6/1909. Tuesday (-13,097) 120 suffragettes arrested outside the Houses of Parliament, London.
26/6/1909. Saturday (-13,100) King Edward VII opened the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
20/6/1909, Sunday (-13,106) The German Army adopted the Zeppelin as its first air arm.
12/6/1909. Saturday (-13,114) Natal voted for union with South Africa.
11/6/1909. Friday (-13,115) Earthquake killed 60 in Provence, France.
7/6/1909. Monday (-13,119) France joined the arms race by announcing it was to spend £120 million on new naval ships.
1/6/1909, Wednesday (-13,124) The Seattle World Fair opened.
24/5/1909, Monday (-13,133) (1) Bristol University received a Royal Charter.
(2) The Pentraeth to Red Wharf Bay railway (Anglesey) opened.
23/5/1909, Sunday (-13,134) US police broke up a lecture given by the anarchist Emma Goldman.
7/5/1909, Friday (-13,150) Edwin Land, American inventor of the Polaroid lens and the instant camera, was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
2/5/1909, Sunday (-13,155) The railway spur from Osterley to Hounslow Town, originally closed on 1/4/1886, but later re-opened with electrification, finally closed.
30/4/1909, Friday (-13,157) Juliana, Queen of the Netherlands, was born.
29/4/1909. Thursday (-13,158) A radical budget presented by the Liberal government of Britain, under David Lloyd-George, chancellor of the Exchequer, angered the Tories. It contained provisions for a new ‘supertax’ of 6d in the pound on the 10,000 people in Britain with incomes of over £5,000 a year, to pay for old age pensions and re-armament. The standard rate of income tax remained at 9d in the pound for income up to £2,000 and one shilling per pound for income above that. Luxury taxes on alcohol, tobacco, and petrol also rose. The idea was to shift taxation from the workers as producers of wealth tp its possessors, the wealthy bosses.
27/4/1909, Tuesday (-13,160) Mehmed V (1844-1918) succeeded his father as Sultan of the Ottoman Empire/
23/4/1909. Friday (-13,164) Moslem fanatics backed by the sultan massacred at least 30,000 Armenians.
22/4/1909, Thursday (-13,165) In Westminster a Bill was introduced to abolish censorship in plays.
20/4/1909, Tuesday (-13,167)
19/4/1909. Monday (-13,168) Turkey recognised Bulgarian independence. On 27/4/1909, Germany, Austria, and Italy also recognised Bulgarian independence.
18/4/1909, Sunday (-13,169) Joan of Arc was beatified by the Roman Catholic Church; she was canonised in 1920.
11/4/1909, Sunday (-13,176)
10/4/1909. Saturday (-13,177) British forces landed at Tabriz, Iran, as famine caused fears of unrest.
9/4/1909, Friday (-13,178) The first closed-top double-decker buses ran in Britain, in Widnes. In London there were police restrictions against roofed-in upper decks and such buses did not run there until 2/10/1925.
7/4/1909, Wednesday (-13,180)
6/4/1909. Tuesday (-13,181) Commander Peary of the USA became the first person to reach the North Pole, with a Black assistant, Matthew Henson, and four Eskimos.. It was his sixth attempt in 15 years.
5/4/1909, Monday (-13,182) The Aerial League of the British Empire was founded, to promote British superiority in the air.
4/4/1909, Sunday (-13,183) The Young Turk, Mahmud Shevket, entered Constantinople, and imposed his will on the National Assembly and the Old Turks.
24/3/1909, Wednesday (-13,194) Clyde Barrow, one of the Bonnie and Clyde outlaws, was born in Toledo, Texas.
21/3/1909, Sunday (-13,197) Reginald McKenna, First Lord of the Admiralty, caused dismay in the House of Commons when he stated that the UK Government had underestimated Admiral von Tirpitz’s programme to expand the German navy.
19/3/1909, Friday (-13,199) Britain’s first international aircraft exhibition opened.
16/3/1909, Tuesday (-13,202) The first meeting of the Port of London Authority.
15/3/1909. Monday (-13,203) The new Selfridges (American-owned) store opened on a 6 acre site in Oxford Street, London.
4/3/1909, Thursday (-13,214) William Taft was inaugurated as US President.
28/2/1909, Sunday (-13,218) Professor Linus Pauling, American chemist and physicist, Nobel Prize winner, was born.
24/2/1909. Wednesday (-13,222) (1) Serbia made demands on Austria for Bosnia-Hercegovina.
(2) Colour films were shown to the public for the first time, in Brighton.
17/2/1909. Wednesday (-13,229) (1) A Royal Commission on Britain’s Poor Laws said no more children should live in workhouses. In urban areas, up to a third of older people also died in Poor Law institutions, which included children’s homes, infirmaries and lunatic asylums as well as workhouses. The Old Age Pension, which started on 1/1/1909, should ease the financial destitution of poorer older people.
(2) Geronimo, the last Apache chief to surrender, died at his ranch on an Oklahoma reservation, aged 90.
9/2/1909. Tuesday (-13,237) In London a court ruled that a woman could not have a divorce even if her husband had deserted her.
8/2/1909, Monday (-13,238) The UK Government announced that six more Dreadnought battleships were to be built for the Navy.
7/2/1909, Sunday (-13,239)
22/1/1909, Friday (-13,255) U Thant, diplomat and Secretary General to the United Nations, was born in Pantanaw, Burma.
21/1/1909. Thursday (-13,256) Tennessee adopted alcohol prohibition.
18/1/1909. Monday (-13,259) New Zealand brewers abolished barmaids and banned women from buying alcohol in bars.
16/1/1909. Saturday (-13,261) The magnetic south pole was found by Sir Ernest Shackleton, who was knighted later the same year.
12/1/1909. Tuesday (-13,265) Turkey accepted Austria’s offer of 2.5 million Turkish Pounds for Bosnia-Hercegovina.
11/1/1909. Monday (-13,266) Four murderers were publicly guillotined in northern France.
5/1/1909. Tuesday (-13,272) (1) Hindus and Moslems rioted in Calcutta.
(2) The Colombian Government formally recognised Panamanian independence.
1/1/1909. Friday (-13,276) In Britain, men and women over 70 began to draw Old Age Pensions. The rate was 5 shillings (25p) a week. See 7/5/1908.
31/12/1908, Thursday (-13,277) (1) Wilbur Wright set a new aeroplane flight duration time of 2 hours 20 minutes.
(2) Simon Weisenthal, noted hunter of Nazi war criminals, was born; he died in 2005.
28/12/1908. Monday (+13,280) An earthquake killed more than 75,000 people in Messina, Sicily, over half the population. This was the most violent earthquake ever recorded in Europe.
24/12/1908, Thursday (-13,284) In Paris, President Armand Fallieres opened the first international aviation show.
22/12/1908. Tuesday (-13,286) In New York, Katie Mulcaney became the first woman arrested under a new law prohibiting women from smoking in public.
21/12/1908, Monday (-13,287) The Port of London Authority was constituted.
20/12/1908, Sunday (-13,288)
18/12/1908, Friday (-13,290) Wilbur Wright became the first man to attain the height of 360 feet in a plane.
17/12/1908, Thursday (-13,291) Birth of US chemist Willard Frank Libby, who developed radio-carbon dating.
10/12/1908. Thursday (-13,298) (1) Ernest Rutherford was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work on radioactivity and the atom.
(2) In Britain, the National Farmers Union was founded.
2/12/1908. Wednesday (-13,306) In China, the child emperor Pu Yi succeeded to the throne, aged 2. His father, the Regent Prince Chun, held the real power. Pu Yi was forced to abdicate in 1912 aged 5 as Republican forces gained strength in China.
1/12/1908, Tuesday (-13,307) Italy demanded that Austria pay compensation for the annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, see 7/10/1908.
28/11/1908. Saturday (-13,310) The Court of Appeal in Britain ruled that Unions could not use their funds for political purposes. Many Labour MPs depended on sponsorship by the Unions.
26/11/1908, Thursday (-13,312) Charles (Lord) Forte, hotelier, was born. He opened Newport Pagnell services on the M1 in 1959, and died in 2007.
19/11/1908, Thursday (-13,319) A court in St Petersburg was adjourned when the prosecuting council refused to deal with Russia’s first female barrister.
15/11/1908. Sunday (-13,323) (1) Death of the Chinese Empress Dowager Cixi, at 37 years of age. Her suspicious demise (she was not unhealthy) greatly reduced the chances of a smooth transition to a constitutional monarchy in China.
(2) Austria sent troops to the Serbian frontier.
14/11/1908, Saturday (-13,324) Joseph McCarthy, US politician and lawyer noted for his purge against Communists, was born in Grand Chute, Wisconsin.
9/11/1908. Monday (-13,329) Britain’s first woman Mayor, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, was elected, at Aldeburgh, Suffolk.
7/11/1908, Saturday (-13,331) The British Navy launched its biggest battleship to date, the HMS Collingwood.
6/11/1908, Friday (-13,332) A cotton workers strike in Lancashire ended after seven weeks with the workers accepting a pay cut.
3/11/1908. Tuesday (-13,335) William Howard Taft, republican candidate, was elected 27th President of the USA.
28/10/1908, Wednesday (-13,341) Enver Hoxha, Stalinist dictator of Yugoslavia from the end of World War Two till his death in 1985, was born. He declared the country atheist in 1967.
24/10/1908. Saturday (-13,345) The suffragettes Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughter Christabel were jailed.
21/10/1908. Wednesday (-13,348) (1) The Prime Minister of Britain, Herbert Asquith, announced emergency measures to deal with unemployment. The jobless were to be recruited into the Post Office, the dockyards, and the Army Special Reserve.
(2) (Aviation, Women’s Rights) Over London the suffragettes made the first ever leaflet raid, hiring an airship and throwing out leaflets demanding ‘Votes for Women!’.
16/10/1908, Friday (-13,353) (1) The first powered aeroplane flight in Britain, at Farnborough, piloted by the American Samuel Franklin Cody. He flew 1,390 feet in 27 seconds.
(2) A new harbour at Dover was opened as part of a national system of defence.
8/10/1908. Thursday (-13,361) The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame’s children’s book, was published. It was still in print in 2001.
7/10/1908. Wednesday (-13,362) (East Europe, Greece-Turkey) Austria annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina, taking advantage of instability within the Ottoman Empire. Though formally part of the Ottoman Empire, its Serb-Croat population favoured union with Serbia. Other European countries were shocked at Austria’s move. Serbia was especially angry that Serbs in the region had not got autonomy. However Russia agreed with Austria not to oppose this annexation in return for Austria supporting the opening of the Dardanelles to Russian warships. Turkey accepted cash compensation for the loss of Bosnia and Hercegovina on 12/1/1909. See 1/12/1908.
6/10/1908. Tuesday (-13,363) Crete declared itself independent of Turkey and joined Greece.
5/10/1908. Monday (-13,364) Prince Ferdinand declared Bulgaria independent of Ottoman Turkey. Austria annexed Bosnia and Hercegovina. Russia wanted Turkey weak so as not to block its plans for expansion.
29/9/1908. Tuesday (-13,370) (1) In Switzerland, the international conference on worker’s rights banned night shifts for children under 14.
(2) Passenger services began on the Haughley to Laxfield line.
24/9/1908, Thursday (-13,375) Persons over 70 in Britain began applying for pensions, see 1/1/1909.
22/9/1908, Tuesday (-13,177) Bulgaria declared its independence from Ottoman Turkey
17/9/1908. Thursday (-13,382) The first plane crash fatality occurred when a passenger of Orville Wright died. The fatality was Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge, of the US signal corps, and the accident happened near Fort Meyer, Virginia, when a propeller broke in mid-flight and the plane plunged 150 foot to the ground.
16/9/1908. Wednesday (-13,383) Buick and Oldsmobile merged to form General Motors.
12/9/1908, Saturday (-13,387) Winston Churchill married Clementine Hosier.
30/8/1906, Sunday (-15,400) The railway from Fishguard and Goodwick to Fishguard Harbour opened.
27/8/1908, Thursday (-13,403) Lyndon Baines Johnson, American Democrat and 36th President, was born in Johnson City, Texas.
25/8/1908, Tuesday (-13,405) Henri Becquerel, French scientist who studied radioactivity, died (born 1852).
19/8/1908, Wednesday (-13,411) King Leopold II of Belgium, under pressure from other European monarchs, handed over control of the Belgian Congo (Congo Free State), later known as Zaire, to the Belgian State. Leopold had ruled the region autocratically for 24 years. The region had been explored by Henry Stanley, the expedition financed by a European consortium headed by King Leopold. This consortium sought to make financial gains from the Congo’s agricultural and mineral wealth, including ivory, rubber and palm oil. Trade agreements were made with the Congo’s tribal leaders and by 1884 Leopold claimed the colony as a personal possession. The rest of Europe consented to this claim. However by the 1890s Leopold saw fit to treat the Congo’s inhabitants as he liked; slavery was introduced, many brutalities were committed and under his rule the Congo population fell to 8 million, an estimated drop of 70%. The Brussels parliament agreed to pay Leopold 120 million Francs for the territory, and it became the Belgian Congo until independence in 1960.
15/8/1908, Saturday (-13,415) Winston Churchill announced his engagement to Clementine Hosier.
14/8/1908, Friday (-13,416) (1) An airship blew up over London, killing one person.
(2) The first international beauty contest was held at the Pier Hippodrome, Folkestone, Kent. Contestants included six English, three French, one Irish, and one Austrian.
12/8/1908, Wednesday (-13,418) (Price, Roads, USA) The Model T Ford began rolling off the production line. Priced at US$ 825, the cost was kept low by mass production using standardised parts. Instead of one man assembling an entire car, each worker preformed just one task as the car moved along a conveyor belt. By this production line method, the time to assemble a car was cut from 14 hours to 2. To motivate his workforce, Henry Ford raised wages from US$ 2.34 for a 9 hour day to US$ 5 for an 8 hour day. Productivity improvements meant Ford could reduce the car’s price to US$ 300. Over 15 million Model Ts were built and by the time production ceased in 1927 half the cars in the US were Fords.
6/8/1908, Thursday (-13,424) The British Admiralty stated that the new battleships being built by the Germans would be the most heavily armed in the world.
5/8/1908, Wednesday (-13,425) Harold Holt, Australian Prime Minister 1966-7 who backed US intervention in Vietnam and sent Australian troops there, was born.
26/7/1908. Sunday (-13,435) (1) The Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI, was established in Washington DC. Before this date the US Department of Justice often called on Secret Service ‘operatives’ to help in its investigations. These operatives were well trained and dedicated but expensive. They reported not to the Attorney General but to the chief of the Secret Service. Bonaparte created a special agents force, to report not to the chief of the Secret Service but to the Chief Examiner, Stanley Finch, later head of the FBI. This force of 34 agents later became a permanent part of the Department of Justice.
(2) Salvadore Allende, President of Chile 1970-3, was born.
24/7/1908, Friday (-13,437) Sultan Abdulhamid II, ruler of the Ottoman Empire, was forced to implement reforms by the Young Turk (Jonturkler) Movement. This included the reinstatement of the 1876 constitution and the recall of Parliament, both suspended under the Sultan’s autocratic rule. The Young Turk Movement began in 1889 when a group of medical students at the Istanbul Academy started a campaign to overthrow the Sultan. The Movement spread to other colleges, and the authorities tried to suppress it; they exiled many Young Turks to Paris, where they continued to plan for a revolution.
16/7/1908, Thursday (-13,445) Fire at Moorgate tube station.
13/7/1908, Monday (-13,448) (1) An explosion 1,000 x greater than Hiroshima flattened 80 million trees over 800 square miles near the River Tungaska, Siberia. It is thought to have been a meteor or comet.
(2) The 4th Olympic games opened at the newly-built White City stadium in west London. The Games were originally scheduled for Rome, but Italy was facing financial issues, including costs arising from a 1906 eruption of Mount Vesuvius (7/4/1906). The Finnish team made a political point by refusing to carry the Russian flag; the Olympic Committee refused to allow them to carry their own flag, so they marched flagless. Also some athletes with Irish Republican sympathies refused to compete in the British team.
10/7/1908, Friday (-13,451) (1) The British announced the deployment of a new torpedo, with a four mile range and a speed of four knots.
(2) Britain passed the Invalid and Old Age Pensions Act, giving non-contributory pensions for those over 70. See 1/1/1909.
8/7/1908. Wednesday (+13,453) The German Navy was catching up in strength with the British, according to the 'World Navy List'.
3/7/1908, Friday (-13,458) In Ottoman Turkey, Major Ahmed Niyazi revolted against the provincial authorities, under the autocratic rule of Sultan Abdulhamid II. The rebellion quickly spread to other army divisions, forcing concessions by the Sultan.
1/7/1908, Wednesday (-13,460) The Holland Arms to Pentraeth railway (Anglesey) opened. The Birmingham (Tyseley) to Stratford on Avon (Bearley) railway opened.
24/6/1908, Wednesday (-13,467) Grover Cleveland, American Democrat, 22nd and 24th President, between 1865 and 1897, died in Princeton, New Jersey.
23/6/1908, Tuesday (-13,468) Mohammed Ali Shah of Persia mounted a successful coup with the help of the Cossack brigade; he then imposed martial law in Tehran.
22/6/1908, Monday (-13,469) Six Black people accused of murder were lynched in the USA.
21/6/1908, Sunday (-13,470) (1) A crowd of 200,000 in Hyde Park demonstrated for votes for women.
(2) Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Russian composer, died at Lyubensk.
12/6/1908. Friday (-13,479) London's Rotherhithe Tunnel opened. It runs between Rotherhithe and Stepney.
10/6/1908, Wednesday (-13,481) The Gravehals rail tunnel, Norway, 5.5 km long, opened.
6/6/1908. Saturday (+13,485) France passed a law decreeing that divorce was automatic after three year’s separation.
4/6/1908. Thursday (-13,487) An attempt was made to assassinate Major Alfred Dreyfus.
28/5/1908, Thursday (-13,494) Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, was born in London.
26/5/1908. Tuesday (-13,496) (1) Significant oil fields were found in Persia (Iran), the first oil strike in the Middle East.
(2) The US State of North Carolina introduced Prohibition, banning alcohol.
23/5/1908, Saturday (-13,499) Famine in Uganda killed 4,000.
16/5/1908. Saturday (-13,506) The UK launched its first diesel submarine, called D-1, from Barrow in Furness.
14/5/1908, Thursday (-13,508) The Franco-British exhibition opened on 200 acres of land at Wood Lane, north of Shepherd’s Bush, London. The site, called White City, was served by an extension of the Central Line from Shepherds Bush. The Prince of Wales opened the exhibition, which was also used for the 1908 Olympic Games.
11/5/1908, Monday (-13,511) The foundation stone of the Liver Building, Liverpool, was laid.
10/5/1908. Sunday (-13,512) Mother’s Day was first celebrated in the USA.
7/5/1908. Thursday (-13,515) Old Age Pensions were introduced in Britain, at 5 shillings (25p) a week, by Prime Minister Asquith, for people over 70. A married couple would get 7 shillings 6d. Only those earning under ten shillings a week were eligible. See 1/1/1909. At this time, renting a single room cost 2s 6d a week, a half cwt (25kg) of coal cost 6d, 4 loaves of bread cost 6d, a quarter lb (110g) of tea cost 6d, a quart of milk cost 3d, a half lb of sugar cost 1d, 7lbs of potatoes cost 3d, 1lb of cheese cost 2d, and a half lb of meat cost 3d. Total cost, 5 shillings.
13/4/1908, Monday (-13,539) Floods in China killed 2,000.
12/4/1908, Sunday (-13,540) Herbert Asquith was appointed Prime Minister, replacing Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, who had resigned through ill-health.
8/4/1908. Wednesday (-13,544) In the US, President Roosevelt issued an injunction allowing Blacks to use the same train carriages as Whites in the South.
2/4/1908, Thursday (-13,550) The destroyer HMS Tiger collided with the cruiser HMS Berwick near the Isle of Wight, killing 35 sailors.
1/4/1908, Wednesday (-13,551) The Territorial Army was officially founded, as the Territorial Force, by Lord Haldane.
21/3/1908, Saturday (-13,562) (1) Frenchman Henri Farman piloted the world’s first passenger flight, over Paris.
(2) Abraham Maslow, US psychologist, was born (died 1970).
16/3/1908. Monday (-13,567) Florence Nightingale, aged 87, was awarded the Freedom of the City of London. Born in 1820 to a middle class family in Derbyshire, she became interested in hygienic care for the sick after visiting a German religious hospital in 1850 which specialised in hygiene and care. In 1854 she was disturbed by terrible reports of the conditions in military hospitals there. She took 37 nurses and arrived at the hospital at Scutari, arriving on 4/11/1854. The military did not at first take her seriously, but her determination won through and she reduced the hospital’s death rate from 42% to just 2%. After the Crimean War she trained nurses in London and worked to improve the care for the sick.
7/3/1908, Saturday (-13,576) Germany launched its first Dreadnought battleship.
4/3/1908. Wednesday (-13,579) The whip was banned as a means of corporal punishment in US schools.
29/2/1908, Saturday (-13,583) Onnes, a Dutch scientist in Leyden, announced he had liquefied helium.
24/2/1908. Monday (-13,588) Japan and the USA agreed to limit Japanese migration to the US. President Roosevelt was concerned at working-class migration into the US following an influx of Chinese coolies. Chinese migration began to fall from its peak of 107,000 a year; Japanese migration only began more recently and in 1900 there were only 25,000 Japanese in the whole of the USA.
23/2/1908, Sunday (-13,589) Sir William McMahon, Australian Liberal and 25th Prime Minister, was born.
20/2/1908, Thursday (-13,592) The Russian General Stossel was sentenced to death for surrendering to the Japanese.
13/2/1908, Thursday (-13,599) Tsar Nicholas II of Russia was encouraging anti-Semitism.
8/2/1908. Saturday (-13,604) Czar Nicholas II ordered Russian troops to the Iranian border after Turkey made incursions into Iran.
1/2/1908, Saturday (-13,611) Carlos I, King of Portugal, was assassinated along with his son, Prince Luiz, by soldiers after a failed revolution. He was succeeded by his 18-year old younger son, Manoel II.
30/1/1908. Thursday (-13,613) Mohandas Ghandi, who led a campaign against the requirement for all Asian people to register, was released from a South African prison by General Smuts.
26/1/1908, Sunday (-13,617) The first Boy Scout troop was registered, in Glasgow.
23/1/1908, Thursday (-13,620) A 7,000 mile telegraph line from Britain to India began operations.
22/1/1908. Wednesday (-13,621) The British Labour Party decided to adopt Socialism.
16/1/1908. Thursday (-13,627) The first issue of Scouting For Boys, Baden-Powell’s fortnightly journal of the scouting movement, was published.
8/1/1908, Wednesday (-13,635) Count Von Zeppelin announced plans to build an airship capable of carrying 100 people.
7/1/1908, Tuesday (-13,636) Sir Frederick Gibberd, town planner who designed Harlow New Town, was born (died 1984). He also designed Didcot power station (1968), the Intercontinental Hotel at Hyde Park Corner, London (1975), Liverpool’s Catholic cathedral (1967), and the Regent’s Park mosque (1977).
6/1/1908, Monday (-13,637) 2,000 textile workers went on strike in Oldham, Lancashire.
5/1/1908, Sunday (-13,638)
1/1/1908. Wednesday (-13,642) The US state of Georgia introduced prohibition, banning alcohol.
31/12/1907. Tuesday (-13,643) 167 Duma (Parliament) deputies jailed for treason in Russia. See 14/10/1907.
26/12/1907, Thursday (-13,648) The first session of the Indian National Congress was halted after clashes between moderates and extremists.
17/12/1907, Tuesday (-13,657) Lord Kelvin, physicist and inventor, died.
14/12/1907, Saturday (-13,660) In St Petersburg, 38 soldiers were sentenced to life imprisonment for surrendering to the Japanese at Port Arthur.
13/12/1907, Friday (-13,661) The liner Mauretania ran aground at Liverpool.
12/12/1907, Thursday (-13,662) Dinizulu, King of the Zulus, surrendered to the British; a Zulu rebellion had been triggered by the imposition of a poll tax.
10/12/1907. Tuesday (-13,664) Rudyard Kipling was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, the first time it had been awarded to an English writer.
8/12/1907, Sunday (-13,666) King Oscar II of Sweden died, aged 78. His eldest son, Gustav V, 49, became King.
6/12/1907, Friday (-13,668) The USA suffered its worst mine disaster. 361 died at Monongah, West Virginia.
30/11/1907, Saturday (-13,674) Aldwych Station, London, opened. The Great Northern and Strand Railway (GNSR) was intended to have its southern terminus at Holborn but the creation of Kingsway and Aldwych as a slum clearance programme by the Greater London council persuaded the GNSR to continue another 524 metres to serve the theatres and offices in the new development. However the plan by Charles Yerkes to join up the Brompton and Piccadilly line with the GNSR at Holborn left Aldwych as an awkward spur, see 15/12/1906 and 30/9/1994.
29/11/1907. Friday (-13,675) Florence Nightingale, aged 87, the ‘Lady with the Lamp’, was presented with the Order of Merit by Edward VII for her work during the Crimean War, see 4/11/1854.
16/11/1907. Saturday (-13,688) (1) Suffragettes shouted down Herbert Asquith, Chancellor of the Exchequer, at a meeting in Warwickshire. An Act was passed in 1907 allowing women to sit as councillors, but they still lacked the vote. Despite divisions within the Women’s Social and Political Union, with some members seeing Mrs Pankhurst as too domineering, the campaign for female suffrage continued unabated.
(2) Oklahoma was admitted as the 46th State of the USA.
13/11/1907, Wednesday (-13,691) In France, Mr Paul Cornu built a prototype helicopter, or ‘direct lifter’ as he called it. It rose 4 feet into the air and stayed there for 60 seconds.
26/10/1907. Saturday (-13,709) The UK’s Territorial Army was conceived by the Secretary of State for War, Richard Haldane.
18/10/1907, Friday (-13,717) Plans were announced for an International Court of Justice, to be set up in The Hague.
14/10/1907. Monday (-13,721) Third parliament (Duma) formed in St Petersburg. See 31/12/1907.
11/10/1907. Friday (-13,724) The British luxury liner Lusitania broke the record for crossing the Atlantic by 11 hours 46 minutes, making the crossing to New York in just 4 days, 19 hours, and 52 minutes. With 1,200 passengers and 650 crew, she averaged 24 knots.
4/10/1907, Friday (-13,731) Riots in India were blamed on a visit by UK MP Kier Hardie to the colony
26/9/1907. Thursday (-13,739) New Zealand became a dominion. It had become a colony of Britain in 1840. A series of wars between the British and the native Maoris ended with peace in the 1870s. Full independence was achieved in 1947.
13/9/1907, Friday (-13,752) The British ocean liner Lusitania arrived in New York on her maiden voyage, having crossed the Atlantic in a record 5 days, at average speed 23 knots.
10/9/1907, Tuesday (-13,755) (1) Britain’s first military airship flew successfully at Farnborough.
(2) The world’s longest and hardest motor race, from Beijing to Paris, ended with victory by Prince Borghese of Italy, who completed the 8,000 mile course in 62 days. He faced desert, swamps, mountains, a bushfire, and a Belgian policeman who stopped him for speeding.
4/9/1907. Wednesday (-13,761) Edward Greig, Norwegian composer, died in Bergen.
31/8/1907, Saturday (-13,765) The UK and Russia agreed an entente, defining spheres of influence in Persia, Tibet, and Afghanistan. There was an implicit agreement that Britain would not allow Russia to control the Bosporus, and the entente opened up the London money markets to Russia, allowing it to recover from the Japanese defeat of 1904/5.
13/8/1907, Tuesday (-13,783) (1) An Anglo-Russian agreement recognised Afghanistan as an independent Kingdom; a Republic since 1973.
(2) Two civilians were killed by British troops in Belfast. The docks strike in Belfast had been called by James Larkin the dockworkers union leader in May 1907, in response to pay rates as low as 10 shillings a week, and he had urged mill workers to join the strike. A local magistrate, Major Martin Thackeray, attempted to read the Riot act to a crowd of 500 strikers who were throwing stones at police, but he had to admit he was inaudible. Four soldiers were injured by stones. Unrest grew and on 11/8/1907 a police van was ambushed on Grosvenor Road. A crowd of 2,000 gathered and attacked a barracks. The Government sent in 2,600 soldiers as well as 80 cavalry and 500 police. Some soldiers smashed doors and windows of homes. Whilst stationed to protect workers in the Catholic Falls Road area, soldiers shot dead a woman looking for her child and a man returning from his work.
4/8/1907, (-13,792) The French navy bombarded the Moroccan port of Casablanca.
2/8/1907, (-13,794) Dr Herbert Tidswell, a Devon GP, spoke out at a meeting of the British Medical Association about the undesirability of allowing children to smoke. He claimed smoking could cause cancer, but other doctors were unconvinced that moderate smoking was dangerous.
30/7/1907, Tuesday (-13,797) British troops sent in to quell rioting in Belfast.