7th February 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Barcelona, Spain – Ramon Mercader, Spanish communist and Soviet Agent who murdered Leon Trotsky in Mexico in 1940. Mercader served 20 years in a Mexican prison, was awarded the Order of Lenin by Joseph Stalin, made a hero of the Soviet Union in 1961 and died in Cuba in 1978.

Accidents & disasters: At the Rufford Colliery Nr Mansfield, Nottinghamshire (UK), a water barrel weighing over 5 tons and being used to remove excess water falls down the mine shaft killing 14 men and injuring 4 others.

Meanwhile at the Lanarkshire Colliery in Scotland, an accumulation of gas causes an explosion killing a mine worker and overcoming members ot the rescue party with noxious fumes.

Labour relations: in the Coal Mine Wars of West Virginia, USA, a shooting incident between striking workers and mine guards provokes a strong response from the mine authorities and guards, who use an armored train in an attempt to arrest strikers for “inciting a riot”.  In the resulting confrontation strikers are shot dead by gun-fire from the “Bull Moose Special” armored train.

Society and Culture: Boston Opera Company star baritone Vanni Marcoux is so busy taking his bows to rapturous applause at the end of his performance that he is struck by heavy descending stage curtain and hospitalized with concussion.

Wilfred Owen, WW1 soldier and poet, relinquishes his position as Lay Assistant to the Reverend Wigan of Dunsden Parish, near Reading (UK) after physical and mental breakdown.


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