31st October 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Auburndale, Wisconsin, USA – Norma Budtke, farm worker, factory worker, domestic worker and hospital housekeeper, who died in Owen, Wisconsin, 35 miles from Auburndale, in 1995, aged 81.


Society and culture: In New York City, Chaya Kaufman, aged 15 – originally from Proskurov in the Russian Empire (now Khmelnytskyi in Ukraine) marries her 28 year old schoolteacher, Will Durant. In 1968 they jointly won a Pulitzer Prize and in 1977 were granted a Presidential Medal of Freedom for their services to historical study. They died within two weeks of each other in 1981.


~London’s “Building News” reports the opening of a grand new building on London’s Kingsway “Imperial House”, where slum clearance and “Hausmannisation” is being pursued by London County Council in order to rival the beauty of Paris.


30th October 1913 (Thursday)


~ In Berlin, Germany – Hans Berndt, International Footballer

~ In Stockton-On-Tees, England – Michael “Micky” Fenton, International Footballer

~ In Ellendale, North Dakota, USA – Bob Pylman, American Footballer.




Arms Race: On the River Medway in Kent, England, the British Royal Navy Launches its latest submarine – HMS E8.


Society and culture: Ernest Jones establishes the London Psychoanalytical Society, which will be renamed the British Psychoanalytical Society in 1919.


29th October 1913 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: in East Preston, Sussex, England – Oliver Louis Zangwill, influential British neuropsychologist and  Professor Emeritus at Cambridge, after whom the Oliver Zangwill Centre for specialist rehabilitation after brain injury (in Cambridge, England) is named.


Society and culture: V.I.Lenin publishes his paper, “Capitalism and Workers’ migration” in Pravda:  “Emancipation from the yoke of capital is impossible without the further development of capitalism, and without the class struggle that is based on it. And it is into this struggle that capitalism is drawing the masses of the working people of the whole world, breaking down the musty, fusty habits of local life, breaking down national barriers and prejudices, uniting workers from all countries in huge factories and mines in America, Germany, and so forth.”


~ In South Africa, as part of ongoing protests against the treatment of Indian labourers, Mahatma  Gandhi begins leading strikers (illegally) over the Transvaal border along the Durban/Johannesburg railway line.Hundreds of men, women and children led by Gandhi march from Newcastle into the Transvaal to purposefully defy the Immigrants Regulation Act of 1913.


~ In Wellington, New Zealand, as part of the ongoing “Great Strike”,  more than a thousand strikers brake through the gates of the Basin Reserve, where they hold a protest meeting.


Ancient migrations:  In Balreegan Quarry in Scotland, a Roman coin hoard is discovered in a small earthenware jug about 3 1/2″ high, consisting of 125 brass coins ranging from Constantine I to Decentines. The hoard is believed to have been concealed around 354 AD.


28th October 1913 (Tuesday)

all things english & ever so slightly eccentric…


BORN  TODAY: A brace of english exportable thespians:

~ In London, England – Douglas Seale, stage and film actor and Disney voiceover, who died in New York in  1999, aged 86.

~ In London, England – Peter Patrick Brabazon Browne, stage name Peter Grenville, stage and film actor and director, who died in New York in 1996, aged 82

Crime and punishment: At St Paul Walden in Hertfordshire, England – Albert Edward Fox, half of the infamous Fox twins of Stevenage, and brother of Edward Albert Fox, steals seven tame turkeys belonging to Harold Knight, for which crime he is later convicted and sentenced to 6 months hard labour.


Society and culture: In the City of Leicester, in England, the newly formed Wire Fox Terrier Association holds its first “show”. Mr George Raper judges the dogs and Mr Robert Vicary, the bitches.


Music and madness: Great aunt Bubbles (aka Diana Whishaw Benson) is born in the Lodge of Fiddington House, a lunatic asylum on the northern edge of Salisbury Plain in southern England, from where she will become an accomplished musician. In 1940 she divorced her husband after he refused to allow her to bring her grand piano to the Island of Malta, where has was stationed during the war. He later “described the experience as ‘not unlike standing on a rake in such a way that the handle leaps up and belts you in the face’. She subsequently converted to Catholicism and became a nun”.


27th October 1913 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: Near Lodge Grass, Montana, USA  – Joseph Medicine Crow-High Bird, tribal historian, anthropologist and author: “Born into [the] illustrious warrior tradition of the Crow, this dude had some pretty hardcore badasses to look up to as a young man” .

[Badass of the week: Quote: “This shit is so crazy you couldn’t even make it up”]


~ Also, in Prostějov, in Austria-Hungary (later Czechoslovakia, and later still the Czech Republic) – Otto Wichterle, chemist, inventor of sylon, and of soft contact lenses now worn by around 100 million people worldwide. No badass, he.


World Affairs: The Emir of Kuwait signs an agreement with Britain giving the British the right to to approve or deny any concessions for foreign powers to drill for oil in Kuwait.


Extreme Weather – the worst tornado in British history, with winds in excess of 160mph, kills 3 and injures scores more as it rips through South Wales on its way from Devon to Cheshire.


Women’s suffrage: In Bristol, England  the Suffragettes’ shop in Queen’s Road, is attacked and seriously damaged.


Society and culture: In New Zealand, young farmer George Adkin is “sickened” by the spring sight of “Foxgloves up in their thousands”.


26th October 1913 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: In Bangkok, Thailand – the Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute, founded in response to the death of the Princess Momchaoying Banlusirisarn Diskul from Rabies in 1911. Originally named the “Pastura Sabha” after Louis Pasteur, but later renamed to commemorate the Princess’s grandmother, who donated funds for the purchase of medical equipment and facilities.


~ Also, in Tuncurry, NSW, Australia – the Tuncurry Afforestation Camp, with its stated purpose: “to provide prisoners with a modified form of prison life and the opportunity to acquire skills which could be used on release“.

(QUOTE: “An area of 6,000 acres was selected and twenty prisoners, plus four officers, commenced work in November 1913. Various preparations, such as fencing, levelling and grass-planting were undertaken. Tree-planting began in May and in the next few months the number of trees planted by prison labour was 121,896.” UNQUOTE).  [NSW Government State Records]


Accidents and disasters: Seven Milwaukee firemen die when the Goodyear Tyre Company building collapses after an explosion caused by the fire.



25th October 1913 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in Godesberg (then  in Prussia, now Bad Godesburg, part of Bonn in Germany) – Nikolaus ‘Klaus’ Barbie, “The Butcher of Lyons”, son of a bitter, angry World War 1 veteran wounded at Verdun and taken prisoner by the French. After World War 2 Barbie junior worked first for the British until 1947 and then joined the 66th Detachment of the US Army counter intelligence corps, who refused to hand him to the French for war crimes. In 1965 he joined the West German foreign intelligence agency, later emigrating to Bolivia, from where he was extradited to France in 1983. Convicted to life imprisonment in 1987, aged 74, he died 4 years later, at 77, of natural causes.


Accidents: Three die and 20 are injured in a train collision at Waterloo junction in London.


Society and culture: In Britain the “Spectator” magazine, announces the creation (before today’s accident) of a Royal Commission “to inquire into the relation between the railway companies and the State in respect of matters other than safety of working and conditions of employment, and to report what changes, if any, are desirable”. [Spectator, 25th October 2013].


Crime of Passion: In California, Mrs. Elizabeth Amelia Drown, after failing twice to shoot herself in her jealous grief for her husband’s affair with another woman, finds that the shots have woken her husband. His last words may well have been “What if I do love her? Go away. I’m going to bed.”


24th October 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Bassano del Grappa, Italy – Tito Gobbi, Italian operatic baritone.


Ireland: At Ballymoney, County Antrim, Ireland, around 400 Protestants attend a rally in support of Home Rule (ie Independence) for Ireland.


Labour Relations: In Wellington, New Zealand, deteriorating industrial relations between employers and wharf workers (“wharfies”) lead to the first violent clashes in what will – in due course – become  a general strike.


23rd October 1913 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: in Portland, Oregon – Arthur Ruitian Chen, US aviator of Chinese and Peruvian descent who joined the Guangdong Provincial Air Force in 1932, completed further flight training in Munich, Bavaria, Germany with the Luftwaffe before returning to China to fight the Japanese between 1937 and 1945. discharged from the Chinese air force in 1945 so that he could join the United States Army Air Forces.  After his death in 1997, posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame of the American Airpower Heritage Museum in Midland, Texas, United States and now recognised as the first American ace of World War 2.


Accidents: Manchester, Connecticut suffers its largest ever fire when local school buildings housing 1000 teachers and pupils are destroyed in an afternoon fire. “Because of the insistence of School Superintendent Fred A. Verplanck in conducting routine fire drills, all students and teachers escaped the burning building without loss of life and without serious injury” [Manchester Historical Society, September 2013].

Click to access couriersept13.pdf

Women’s suffrage: In protest at the arrest of Mary Richardson and Rachel Pease for arson, British suffragettes set light to and destroy the Bristol University Sports Pavilion, leaving a card demanding the release of Richardson who had been forcibly fed while awaiting trial.


Shipping accidents:

~ the French liner Amiral Exelmans runs aground and is lost on a reef at Tabou, on the West African coast, en route from  Dunkerque to Gabon. Her engine room is completely flooded when her hull is holed by the reef.

~ the steamship “Chesterfield” is lost off the mouth of the Brisbane River in Australia, with the loss of two lives.



22nd October 1913 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: in Hue, French Indochina (now Vietnam) – Bao Dai, King of Annam (a “protectorate” of French Indochina) from 1926 to 1945, and briefly the last Emperor of Vietnam when the Japanese ousted the French in 1940 and ruled through him.


Accidents & Disasters: An explosion at the Dawson coal mine in New Mexico kills 263 mine workers.


Crime: The Cornell Daily Sun reports an interesting case of extortion:

“Chemists employed by the postal authorities discovered today colonies of germs in a letter sent to extort money from Mrs. Frederick Steele, a wealthy suburban resident. The letter warned Mrs. Steele that it contained 2,000,000 malignant bacilli with which she was infected by opening it and demanded a sum of money in return for a supply of the only serum that could cure her. Indications of the presence of a germ culture were found by the government chemist who, however, were unable to state the nature of the disease they might convey”. [the Cornell Daily Sun, 22nd October 1913].


Elsewhere in the US, the papers report the breaking up of a “wholesale jewellery smuggling” operation from Canada into the USA.