31st March 1913 (Monday)

BORN TODAY, in Oldham, England – Walter Winterbottom CBE, first manager of the England Football Team (1946-1962).

DIED TODAY, (both) in Rome, Italy – John Pierpont (J.P.) Morgan, financier, philanthropist, collector etc, etc, and The Honourable Sidney Herbert 14th Earl of Pembroke, 11th Earl of Mongomery GCVO PC, British Politician and Peer.

Arms Race: The French Navy launches the destroyer “Chalon-sur-Saone”

The Danish Royal Navy launches the Havmanden class submarine “Triton”, built by Whitehead & Co in Fiume (then in Austria-Hungary, now in Croatia).

Law and Order: Sergeant Crouch, aged 33,  of the Wiltshire (UK) police force is shot dead by a police constable Crouch has reported, before the assassin turns the gun on himself.

In the adjoining county of Dorset, in the village of Gussage St Michael, 24 year old Winifred Mitchell is murdered and buried in a pre-prepared shallow grave which two young boys had observed in the woods the previous day.

Society and Culture: The first meeting of the Hindi Association of the (US) Pacific Coast takes place in Bridal Veil, Oregon. It is more popularly known as the Ghadr (rebellion) Party.

Scottish born communist and political activist Jack Miles arrives in Brisbane having emigrated to Queensland with his wife, Elizabeth.

In Mumbai, India, the British authorities lay the foundation stone for the “Gateway of India”, a monumental memorial in Indo-Saracenic style to commemorate the landing, at that spot, of King George V of Britain and Ireland and his consort, Queen Elizabeth, two years earlier.

Music and entertainment: In Vienna, at a first night concert performance, fights break out between the audience and members of the Vienna Orchestra, bringing the concert to a premature close and earning it the title of “skandalkonzert”.

30th March 1913 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY, in Victoria on the Island of Gozo, Malta – Vincent “Censu” Tabone, 4th President of Malta (1989-1994). He died in 2012, shortly after celebrating his 70th Wedding Anniversary and less than a month before his 99th birthday. He was survived by his wife, eight children, nineteen grandchildren and twenty-four great grandchildren.

Art, Literature and Society: The English author, D.H. Lawrence brings to an end his 6 month stay in Gargnano, on Lake Garda in Italy, where he has been staying with his lover Frieda von Richtofen, the wife of his French Professor at Nottingham University. Lawrence later describes his lake-side escape from the industrialisation of the english midlands as “paradise”, where he finishes “Sons and Lovers” works on “Women in Love” and starts “The Rainbow”.

Arms Race: Meanwhile, 160 miles away at La Spezia naval yard, the Regia Marina (royal Navy)  is launching the battleship Andrea Doria, named after a sixteenth century Genoese admiral.

Sport: In an early game-rigging scandal, the English Football Association starts a two week enquiry into whether the recent match between Liverpool and Chelsea football clubs has been rigged.

29th March 1913 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY, in Garston, Liverpool – James Larkin (“Jack”) Jones CH, MBE – English trade union leader who fought with the British Battalion of the fifteenth International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War and was seriously wounded at the Battle of Ebro in 1938. Died in Peckham, South London, in 2009, aged 96.

Law, order and labour relations: In Sligo Town, in County Sligo, Ireland, the ” Sligo Champion” reports news of the ongoing industrial dispute between Sligo’s fishermen and dockers on one side and the Sligo Steam Navigation Company on the other. The Champion’s headlines read: “Grave condition of Affairs… Town thrown into Disorder…Baton charges on strikers…Sad death of unionman…Police and civilians injured…Scenes of wild disorder”.

Meanwhile in another part of the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the National Union of Railwaymen is formed today from the merger of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the General Railway Workers Union, and the United Pointsmen’s and Signalmen’s Society.

Shipping News: The SS Pennsylvanian is launched in Maryland US. After delivery to the American-Hawaiian steamship company to serve as a cargo ship in the Pacific she will become, in August 1914, only the second steamship to travel eastbound through the newly opened Panama Canal. Later still she will be requisitioned by the US Military after the US entry in World War One.

The French trawler “Tadorn” is destroyed off Howick in North East England by a fierce storm. Twenty five sailors are saved by the Boulmer lifeboat crew but another five are laid to rest in the local churchyard, far from their homes and loved ones.

Arms Race: Calshot Naval Air Station open on the south coast of England, as a Royal Flying Corps seaplane and flying boat testing station.

28th March 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY, in Elbistan, central southern Turkey – Astrid Aghajanian (born Helen Galdzakian) Armenian survivor of the 1915 genocide. After her father was shot, she and her mother escaped from forced march, were found first by Bedouin tribesmen (who sold them to another) and then saved by a Turkish Officer.

She eventually settled in Shoreham-by Sea (West Sussex) in England, via Aleppo (Syria), British Palestine (1920s), fleeing to Amman in Jordan in 1948, to Cyprus (Kyrenia) but forced to flee again after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.

She died in Gloucester (UK) in May 2012. “”You may destroy the spider’s home, but he will always build it again.”

Arms Race: The UK House of Commons (the lower house of the Parliament) votes for a major expansion of the British (military) fleet, which is expected to increase by five battleships, eight cruisers and sixteen torpedo boats.

Crime and Punishment: In Carroll Country, Virginia, USA, Floyd Allen and his son Claud are put to death in the electric chair. Floyd was convicted of obstructing justice, after which the judge, the sheriff, the county prosecutor and two other people were murdered in a courthouse shooting which Floyd was found guilty of instigating.

Accidents: At the Pitsea explosive factory in Essex, UK, which produces dynamite and gelignite, three men die and others are injured by an explosion in a guncotton drying stove.

One person dies and 28 are injured after a combination of driver error and inadequate signalling cause a railway accident at Marylebone Station in London.

History of Transport: The Oxford  based Morris car-plant in the UK produces its first ever vehicle: a “Bullnose Morris Oxford”.

Extreme Weather:  On South Island, New Zealand at least 3 people drown in severe flooding in Canterbury, Otago and Southland.

27th March 1913 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY, in West Ham, London – Stanley Reginald Knight, Royal Navy joiner (4th class). Perished with the sinking of HMS Hood, 24th May 1941, aged 28.

First Balkan War: In Sofia, Bulgaria, there are celebrations of the fall of Adrianople (Edirne) including a requiem for the dead and a Te Deum for the victory. King Ferdinand and the Royal Bulgarian princes travel to Adrianople.

Arms Race: Geoffrey de Havilland crashes while testing the B.S.1 (UK) Royal Air Force bi-plane, damaging the aircraft and breaking his jaw.

Accidents: At Irvine in Scotland, miner Robert McGrevey is killed instantly by a fall of coal.

Music and entertainment: In Helsinki, Finland – Jean Sibelius conducts the Philharmonic Society Orchestra for the first ever performance of his Opus 64 “The Bard”.


26th March 1913 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY, in Budapest, in Austria-Hungary (now just Hungary) – Paul Erdos, “legendarily eccentric” personality and the mathematician who “published more papers than any other mathematician in history” (wikipedia).

Arms Race: After the recent accidental wrecking of the airship “Mayfly” during trials, the UK First Lord of the Admiralty, Sir Winston Churchill, admits that  development of naval airships has been “retarded” and that the mishap of the Mayfly – or the “Won’t fly” as he prefers to call it –  is a serious setback.

First Balkan War: The Turkish city of Edirne, once the capital of the Ottoman Empire (known in Greek as Adrianople and Bulgarian as Odrin) is captured by Bulgarian troops  after a four month siege, when its commander, Mehmed Sukru Pasha, surrenders to the Bulgarian forces.  After centuries of coveting control of the Bosphorus, Bulgaria’s principal sponsor, Russia, is shocked that Bulgaria is so close to succeeding where Russia has so often failed.

Society and culture: In Worcester, Massachusetts, there is general excitement over a scheduled visit by the millionaire philanthropist Andrew Carnegie who is visiting to lay the cornerstone of a new public lending library. The great man is scheduled to arrive at 14.12hrs and to leave at 17.02hrs precisely, during which time he will wield a silver trowel especially made for the occasion.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day, Francesco Di Rago arrives in Sydney, Australia from his home town of Viggiano, Basilicata in Italy and soon opens a fruit shop in Military Road, in the (now) lovely Neutral Bay area of the city.



25th March 1913 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY, in Gronau, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany – Otto Gustaf Veenstra, originally a Dutch citizen, but later a German Citizen. Crew member on the Battleship Bismarck. Perished 27th May 1941 (aged 28) with the sinking of the Bismarck.

Extreme Weather: In Dayton, Ohio, 400 drown in (at that time) the worst flood event in US history, on the Great Miami River and the aptly named Mad River, in the Ohio River Valley. Elsewhere there is also widespread flooding in Indiana and Illinois.

Exploration: From Falmouth, UK – William Scoresby Routledge and his wife Katherine set sail in their 90 foot schooner “Mana”, bound for Easter Island where, from March 1914, they will initiate a survey of the island. The Routledges have previously (1910) published a book “With a Prehistoric People”, based on their time living with the Kikuyu people in “British East Africa” between 1906 and 1910.

Society and Culture: The town of Red Deer, in Alberta Canada is incorporated as a city as its population rises towards 2800.

24th March 1913 (Easter Monday)

BORN TODAY, in Morrisville, Pennsylvania, USA – Ralph Fox, American mathematician.

Society and culture: Inspectors for a Royal Commission visit two rows of miners’ homes in Merry’s row, Blantyre in Scotland. In their report they describe the dwellings as follows:

“They consist of 46 single- and 50 double-apartment houses. They are built with brick, and were erected between thirty and forty years ago, and are a very poor type of house, low-ceilinged and mostly damp. The rent per week, including rates, is 2s. 4d. and 2s. 11d. for single and double houses respectively. Within the last five years this property has been included in a special scavenging district, and consequently the sanitation of the place has been very much improved. The water is supplied by means of stand-pipes at intervals along the front of the row. There are no sculleries or sinks about the place, and all the dirty water is emptied into an open gutter. There is a washhouse to every six tenants, and a flush-closet to every three tenants. Bins are in vogue, with a daily collection of refuse. No coal-cellars or drying-greens. A man is kept for tidying up the place”.

Meanwhile, on the same day “The Scotsman” newspaper reports a fatal accident at a Fife Colliery, where a few days ago miner James Shepherd was killed by a five hundredweight stone which fell from the roof and pinned him to the floor. Aged 45, and married, he dies before he can be brought to the surface.

Also today, Lady Dorothy Nevill, english writer and horticulturalist, dies at her home in London, aged 86. The subject of a scandal at 21, after being caught in a summerhouse with a notorious womaniser, she  later becomes a noted horticulturalist, keeps exotic animals and farms silkworms on her estate in Sussex, and serves on the first committee of the Primrose League, a conservative organisation whose objectives include the conduct of public affairs for the common good and the defence of free enterprise.

23rd March 1913 (The earliest Easter Sunday in the twentieth, twenty first and twenty second centuries)

BORN TODAY, in Bremen Germany – Heinz Linge, Hitler’s valet. Imprisoned by the Soviets for 10 years and released in 1955.

World Affairs: In Mexico, the “Plan of Gaudalupe” is drafted – a manifesto to the nation. In it, Venustiano Carrnaza declares the illegality of the dictator Huerta’s position and rallies the Mexican people to take up arms in opposition to the recent coup.

Extreme Weather: Tornadoes sweep through Omaha, Nebraska, killing 150 people. As the storm activity moves east over the next few days it will kill over 1000 people, making it one of the most devastating natural disasters in US history.

Meanwhile, eleven hundred kilometres to the east, in Dayton, Ohio, a third day of storms is building towards a historic climax in two days time, which will bring flood waters 6 metres deep to parts of downtown Dayton.

In the UK, Worthing Pier in the South Coast resort, is wrecked by a storm, leaving its southern portion cut-off from the land.

22nd March 1913 (Easter Saturday)

BORN TODAY, in Cleveland, Ohio – Louis Robert (“Lew”) Wasserman, Chairman and CEO of MCA Inc (Music Corporation of America) for many decades. Died in Beverley Hills, 2002.

Arms Race: In France, the Brumaire Class submarine “Franklin” is launched. It will be scrapped in 1922.

Science and technology: Transatlantic wireless communication is achieved between Maryland, USA and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.

Society ands Culture: The British government in India bans the import (into India) of an anti-British newspaper “El Islam”, which supports the cause of Abdul Hafiz Mohamed Barkatullah (honorific, Maulana Barkatullah)  whose 1912 paper “Christian Combination against Islam” has urged muslims to support the German Kaiser against Anglo-Saxon “sea wolves”.

Infamous Crimes: Hyam Hyams dies of exhaustion and cardio-vascular degeneration In the Colney Hatch lunatic asylum, North London, where has been incarcerated (with brief intervals elsewhere) since 1889. Known for his violent record in the East End of London in the 1880s he was one of a long list of suspects for the notorious “Jack the Ripper” killings.