24th May 1913 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in Langnau im Emmenthal in Switzerland – Hans Schwarzenbach, Swiss equestrian who won silver in the eventing event (?) at the Rome Olympics in 1960.

Arms Race: In Kiel, Germany the Germaniawerft shipyard launches the submarine “U24″. She will sink 34 ships before surrendering in November 1918.

Accidents and disasters: in Long Beach, California, the municipal pier collapses while 10,000 weekenders are crowded on to the pier. Thirty six people die.

In Smyrna (now Izmir) on the Turkish coast, the steamship Nevada strays into a mined part of the harbour, strikes three mines, and sinks with the loss of forty lives.

Empire: The British Empire celebrates “Empire Day”.

Each Empire Day, millions of school children from all walks of life across the length and breadth of the British Empire would typically salute the union flag and sing patriotic songs like Jerusalem and God Save the Queen. They would hear inspirational speeches and listen to tales of ‘daring do’ from across the Empire, stories that included such heroes as Clive of India, Wolfe of Québec and ‘Chinese Gordon’ of Khartoum. But of course the real highlight of the day for the children was that they were let of (sic) school early in order to take part in the thousands of marches, maypole dances, concerts and parties that celebrated the event. [“Historic UK” website – http://www.historic-uk.com/]

In Bulawayo, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) – The British South Africa Police Regimental Association is formed. The UK Branch is planning centenary celebrations in various locations across the UK this month.

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