31st August 1913 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: Near Bristol, England – SIr Alfred Charles Bernard Lovell, Professor of Physics at Manchester University, founder of the Jodrell Bank observatory and President of the Royal Astronomical Society, who gave his name to asteroid “8079 Bernardlovell”, discovered in 1985.



Labour Relations: In Dublin, Ireland at a strikers meeting in O’Connell Street where James Larkin is making a speech, the Dublin police baton charge the crowd, causing two deaths and two hundred injured. (Ireland’s first “Bloody Sunday”).



Arms Race: In Japan, Prince Hiroyasu is promoted to the rank of rear admiral and named the commanding officer of the Yokosuka Military District.


Sport: In Eindhoven, Netherlands – the football (soccer) club PSV  (Philips Sport Vereniging), Eindhoven is founded.


30th August 1913 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in London, England – Sir John Richard Nicholas Stone, “eminent British economist” who married the dismal science of economics to the even more dismal arithmetic of modern accounting to create the concept of national income and expenditure, thereby earning himself a Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Sadly, however, his work did not make the world a less dismal place.


Sport: In North London, the (Woolwich) Arsenal football club play their first practice match at their new ground – the Highbury stadium. Unfortunately the public cannot be admitted because the ground is still a building site and considered too dangerous.


29th August 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Krakow, then in Galicia, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, now in Poland) – Jan Ekier, pianist and composer. As he approaches his centenary, his work was being celebrated at the Chopin Festival in Dusznik (also in Poland) earlier this month.



Labour Relations: In Russia, V.I.Lenin publishes his article “Class War in Dublin”, stressing that “the class struggle, which permeates the whole life of capitalist society everywhere, has become accentuated to the point of class war. The police have positively gone wild; drunken policemen assault peaceful workers, break into houses, torment the aged, women and children. Hundreds of workers (over 400) have been injured and two killed—such are the casualties of this war. All prominent workers’ leaders have been arrested. People are thrown into prison for making the most peaceful speeches. The city is like an armed camp”.

Analysing the causes, he concludes that “National [ie British] oppression and Catholic reaction have turned the proletarians of this unhappy country into paupers, the peasants into toilworn, ignorant and dull slaves of the priesthood, and the bourgeoisie into a phalanx, masked by nationalist phrases, of capitalists, of despots over the workers; finally, the administration has been turned into a gang accustomed to every kind of violence.”


CORRECTION: Since the events Lenin is describing did not take place until 31st August (“Bloody Sunday”) it’s reasonable to assume that the 29th August date is in the (“Old Style”) Julian calendar,which was twelve days behind the Gregorian in 1913. Russia did not switch to the Gregorian system until 1918. Or, of course, Lenin may have been even more of a visionary than previously realised…


Accidents & disasters: In Fredericktown, Ohio, the business district is destroyed by a conflagration after a fire takes hold in a clothing store.


28th August 1913 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: in Trst, Austria-Hungary (occupied by Italy after 1918, officially annexed to Italy as “Trieste” in 1920, occupied by Germany after the Italian Armistice in 1943, taken by Yugoslavia for forty days in 1945, a “United Nations Free Territory” from 1947-54, under Allied Military rule, and returned to Italy in 1954) – Boris Pahor – a man destined to spend his life with no country to call his own after the disappearance of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Emblematic of life on a twentieth century geo-political fault line.


He is finally – late in his 100th year – receiving some recognition from his native and adoptive lands… A few days ago, on 23rd August 2013 Italy conferred on him the title of “Honorary Citizen of Trieste”, the first ever minority Slovene to receive this recognition.


Trieste - the City in the Bay

Trieste – the City in the Bay

27th August 1913 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: in the Marshall Islands, in the Northern Pacific – Viella Galvez,  Filipina ballet dancer.


World Affairs: US president Wilson addresses congress regarding the (ongoing) revolution in Mexico, noting that  (in the fourth year of revolution) “war and disorder, devastation and confusion, seem to threaten to become the settled fortune of the distracted country”, urging all American citizens to leave the country “at once”, and stressing his duty to “see to it that neither side to the struggle now going on in Mexico receive any assistance from this side the border. I shall follow the best practice of nations in the matter of neutrality by forbidding the exportation of arms or munitions of war of any kind from the United States to any part of the Republic of Mexico”.


Society and Culture: In Norfolk, Virginia, USA – the Wells Theatre opens for burlesque and vaudeville shows.


Early flight: Russian Lt Pyotr Nestrov becomes the first person to “loop the loop” in an aeroplane.


Accidents: In  Romford, Essex, England – Police Constable  Joseph Watt, aged 32, suffers serious injury while trying to stop a runaway horse in the High Street. He subsequently dies of his injuries on 8th September 1913.


26th August 1913 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Bay City, Michigan – Dorothy Banaszak (nee Herek), housewife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother. Died in 2011, aged 97, in Bay City.


Labour Relations: In Dublin, Ireland – tram drivers and conductors leave their vehicles in the street as the Dublin lock-out escalates.


Migration: At Ellis Island, New York – Nathan Baker lands from Trieste after a 17 day voyage through the Mediterranean and across the Atlantic. A Russian hebrew, he has travelled from Chojnik in Russia (now in Poland). It will be between 9 and 10 years before he sees his wife and children again.


Society & culture: In Auckland, New Zealand, the sisters of Mercy purchase the property which will become the Monte Cecilia school.


25th August 1913 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in Spokane, Washington State, USA – Bob Crosby, musician and leader of the Bob Crosby orchestra. Kid brother to Bing (born 1903).


Shipwrecks: At Pencarrow Head in New Zealand, the steamship “Devon” a British passenger and refrigerated cargo vessel, runs aground and is wrecked.


Society and culture: Despite this being the last Monday in August, the British did NOT enjoy a summer public (“bank”) holiday today.  Until 1971 the summer bank holiday always took place on the first monday in August, not the last.


…nevertheless a very quiet day…

24th August 1913 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: Flight Lieutenant William Louis Buchanan (“Billy”) Walker, Battle of Britain survivor who died in October 2012, aged 99 years.




22nd August 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: In Marina di Pisa, in Italy – Bruno Pontecorvo, Italian nuclear physicist; Jewish refugee from Paris in the 1940s, emigrant from Spain to the USA and later Canada; British citizen and nuclear physicist appointed Professor of Physics at University of Liverpool, which position he never took up, having already turned soviet spy,  defecting to the USSR via Sweden and Finland in the summer of 1950.


Accidents and disasters: In a gold mine in Mysore State, India – 50 miners die when their cage falls to the bottom of the shaft.