31st December 1913 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: at the very end of the day1914, a year that will change the world in more ways than can ever be counted.

“The Centenary of Peace”

In London’s “Spectator” magazine, three days into the New Year 1914, a reader will write:

Now that we are about to celebrate the centenary of peace between the two great branches of the English speaking people, I hope we may all look forward to another year, 1915, wherein to celebrate another centenary of peace between ourselves and our once traditional enemies the French. I also often think it would be wiser to discontinue the celebration of ” Trafalgar ” or any other battle day, when all wise people now know peace is far more glorious than war. 


but history marches on, one day at a time…


Births – Amagao Haruhisa and Shimazu Takahisa, Japanese Samurai and Warlords

Deaths – Donato Bramante, Italian Architect; Anne of Brittany, Queen of France with two different kings

War – France fights the Holy Roman Empire; the English fight the Scots; the largest warship in the World is launched at Woolwich, on the River Thames.


Births – Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria, Governor of the Spanish Netherlands

Deaths – Elizabeth Bathory, Hungarian serial killer.

Marriage – Pocohontas marries English colonist John Rolfe in Virginia

War – Civil War in Japan; England and the Holy Roman Empire fights Spain and the (German) Catholic League.


Births – Percivall Pott, English surgeon; Carl Philip Emmanuel Bach, German composer

Deaths – Mamia III Gurieli, Prince of Guria; Ivan Botsis, Russian Admiral of Greek origin; Anthony Gunther, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst.

War – Austria fights France; Russia fights Sweden; Barcelona taken by the French; Ottomans fight Venetians.


Births – Taras Shevchenko, Ukrainian poet; Michael Bakunin, Russian anarchist.

Deaths – Abdullah I Al-Sabah, ruler of Kuwait, Maria Carolina of Austria, queen of Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies.

Wars: Denmark gives up Norway to Sweden in exchange for parts of Pomerania; Britain fights the USA; Napoleon fights everyone; Paris is occupied by hostile Europeans (“the sixth coalition”); Napoleon is exiled to Elba; the British occupy Washington DC and burn the White House.

1914 – the year ahead, one hundred years ago today.


2014 – the year ahead…

30th December 1913 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: ~ In Manila, Philippines, the shrine for the annual remembrance of the martyrdom of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, who was judicially executed by the Spanish authorities for rebellion, sedition and forming an illegal association on this day in 1896.


Unveiling Jose Rizal Monument, Luneta (Rizal) Park, Manila, Philippines, December 30, 1913

World Affairs: The Sydney Morning Herald reports on the worst famine in Japan’s provinces of Aomoji and Hokkaido for over 40 years. “Runs on the local banks continue…many thousands of people are starving, and parents are selling their daughters, numbers of whom are arriving daily in Tokyo for the Yoshiwara [red light district] or for shipment abroad.” 


Society and culture: The Mona Lisa, recently recovered after being stolen from the Louvre by an Italian two years ago, is returned to France by the Italian authorities.


29th December 1913 (Monday)


~ Near Lille, in France – Luxemburger Pierre Werner: husband, father, Doctor of Law, civil servant, Minister of Finance and of Defence, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Justice, author of the “Werner Plan” which anticipated Maastricht, Prime Minister,  and Chairman of television and satellite companies.

Click to access bio_eng1.pdf

~ Also, in Funchal, Madeira – The Britannic Lodge of Madeira, lodge number 3683 under the numbering system introduced in 1894.


World Affairs: In Adelaide, South Australia, “The Register” reports the latest news from Calcutta (now Kolkata) and South Africa on “The Indian problem”.


Holidays over: New Zealand farmer and diarist George Adkin is parted from his loved one, and heads back, starry eyed, to reality.


28th December 1913 (Sunday)


~ in Beijing (then known in the West as Peking) – Wang Luobin, Chinese folk song writer who, after graduating from music school in Beijing, spent 50 years collecting and revising western Chinese folk songs.


~ In Berlin – Polish musician Jozef Kropinski, survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald.


~ in Ofena, Italy – Paolo Silveri, operatic baritone.


Archaeology: In the Ancient Greek and Roman town of Cyrene in Libya,  Italian troops find a headless marble sculpture, “Venus of Cyrene”, after torrential rains washed away the topsoil at Trajan’s Baths in the Sanctuary of Apollo.  After a long sojourn in Italy she returned home to Cyrene in 2008.


27th December 1913 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in Malta, Ohio – the Doty twin – Winston and Weston – child film stars of the silent era who both perished at a new year’s party on 1st January 1934 when “The New Year flood of 1934” swept through Montrose, California, killing around 40 people.


Shopkeepers’ woes: shopkeepers in the town of Ryde on the Isle of Wight (England) are complaining of a “dull” Christmas and poor sales brought on by a shortage of money and the increasing popularity of shopping by post. Plus ca change…


Romance: in New Zealand, Farmer George is in the summertime of love.


Boxing Day, 26th December 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Petropavlovsk in the Russian Empire (now Petropavl in Kazakhstan) – Vladimir Tretchikoff, the man who brought us the painting “Chinese Girl” (aka “the Green Lady”) one of the best selling art prints of the twentieth century. With his family he fled to China in 1917 before moving to Singapore, and eventually to South Africa, but only after his passenger ship was bombed by the Japanese and he was taken captive by the Japanese for the remainder of the war.


Antipodean romance: George Adkin, New Zealand farmer and diarist waxes lyrical on a wonderful day with his beloved Maud, concluding his diary entry with: “a most enjoyable, successful + never-to-be forgotten day.”  [Museum of New Zealand].


Globalisation:  The Western Mail, in Perth, Western Australia, reports on recent efforts by the Philippines authorities to introduce the plant Carludovica palmata, so that the locals can compete in the global market for Panama Hats.


Christmas Day, 1913 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: in Wuppertal, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany  – Oberstabarzt (Military Doctor) Ernst Gadermann, German World War 2 doctor, recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross, veteran  Luftwaffe gunner and post war cardiologist, chief of the 1972 summer olympics sports medicine faculty.


Christmas entertainment: In Baroona, Queensland, Australia – and no doubt in many other homes around the world – a piano provides the centrepiece for a family Christmas.


The call of duty: In Gervais, Oregon, Marshall John Zoller of the Gervais PD succumbs to gun-shot wounds sustained two weeks ago while confronting two burglars. He leaves behind a widow and 12 children.


Christmas Eve, 1913 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: in Buffalo, New York – Adolf Reinhardt, abstract painter.


Disasters and accidents: In Calumet, Michigan – seventy three men, women and (59) children are crushed to death in the “Italian Hall disaster” (also known as the “1913 Massacre”) when someone falsely shouts “fire” at a Christmas party.


22nd December 1913 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: place unknown – Sikkimese rifleman Padam Singh Gurung, Ghurka rifleman, world war 2 veteran and recipient of the Burma War Medal, Jammu and Kashmir Medal, Independence Medal (India) and Republic Day Award (Sikkim). Died in July 2012 in his 99th year.


Transport: At the Brooklands racing circuit in southern England, Briton LG “Cupid” Hornsted sets a new land speed record in excess of 200 kilometres per hour driving in a Benz 200 horse power racing car (“Blitzenbenz”).


Accidents: In Melbourne, Australia – the “Argus” reports the death of 19 year old Gordon Campbell Murch, killed by a motor car while riding his bicycle.


Society and Culture: The Plattsburgh Daily Press in New York state reports an upcoming conference of hygienists whose aim is “to produce a better race of men”.


Women’s suffrage: Lilian Lenton, serial suffragette arsonist, is re-arrested (after escaping from a nursing home) for an arson attack on a house in Cheltenham, England.