14th February 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY, in Brazil, Indiana, USA – Jimmy Hoffa, US labour union leader (International Brotherhood of Teamsters) and convicted criminal (fraud, bribery, jury tampering). Last seen outside a suburban restaurant in Detroit on 30 July 1975, and declared dead in absentia 7 years later. In September 2012 the police dug up a concrete drive-way in Michigan after a tip-off of where the body had been buried, but they still haven’t found it.

The First Balkan War – the Deutsches Volksblatt publishes a report from southern Hungary, warning: The Serbian government must come to realize that their official denials [ of war crimes against Albanian communities] only serve to destroy Serbian credibility even further.

Finance and Politics: A French newspaper, Le Matin, publishes an article alleging corruption and insider trading in the awarding of a UK government contract to the Marconi company, and implicating various high ranking members of the UK Government. (The brother of the Attorney General is a Director of the Marconi Company). After being sued for libel the paper apologises and prints a complete retraction four days later.

At the Bow Street Police Court in London a preliminary hearing is given details of the alleged International Development Corporation fraud. The accountant, a Mr Garlick, and Francis Shackleton (brother of the famous explorer) are accused of defrauding Lord Ronald Gower of £40,000, and other parties of another £18,000.

Science and Technology: The International Aero Show opens at London’s Olympia Exhibition Centre.

Society and Culture: On the Liner “Baltic”, from the White Star Line, the Valentine Day menu consists of a hors d’oeuvres of celery; green turtle soup; Scotch salmon rémoulade; casserole of chicken à la Madrid; roast grouse; salade mercédès; pudding à l’Ambassadeur; and lemon ices for dessert.

Meanwhile, in Flanders (Belgium) The Flemish Government issues a Royal Decree which allows all municipalities that cannot prove their entitlement to an ancient coat of arms to petition for the granting of a new one.

Extreme Weather: Perth, in Western Australia, is reported as suffering from a “heat wave”.

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