30th June 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Chaves, Portugal – Francisco da Costa Gomes, 15th President of the Portuguese Republic, 1974-1976.


World Affairs: The Austrian foreign minister informs Germany that the Serbia government is responsible for the assassination of the Archduke Franz-Ferdinand. [Almanac of World War 1]


Accidents: In Manitoba, the bridge spanning the Winnipeg River collapses, plunging a train into the river and killing engineer George Wrighton.




29th June, 1914 (Monday)

BORN TODAY:   in Little Tew, in Oxfordshire – Nancy Sandars, archaeologist.


World Affairs: In Sarajevo, Catholic Croats and Muslims riot (together), attacking Serbians and their homes and businesses. [“Almanac of World War 1“]. Fifty are injured, and one is killed. There are also anti-Serbian riots in Vienna.


~ in Pokrovskoye, in the Tyumen Oblast, in Russia – Khioniya Guseva tries to assassinate Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin, the Russian mystic, faith healer and private adviser to the Romanovs. She is judged to be insane and committed to an asylum until 1917.


A wandering archaeologist: Thomas Edward Lawrence, a twenty five year old Oxford graduate and archaeologist, is taking a break in England and writes to a friend that he will be in England for another 2 or 3 weeks, after which he expects to return to his duties at Carchemish in Syria. [“Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East”, by Scott Anderson].




28th June 1914 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: A century of strife…

World Affairs: In Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 19 year old Gavrilo Princip, Serbian by descent, Bosnian by birth, and Austro-Hungarian by Habsburg diktat, steps into the sunlight from a crowd of onlookers and fires two shots from his Belgian John Browning pistol, killing both the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his morganatic wife, Sophia Maria Josephine Albina Countess Chotek of Chotkova and Wognin and Duchess of Hohenberg. This single act unleashes the accumulated political tensions of the last twenty years, triggering a hundred years of conflict, analysis, accusations and debate. The rest, as they say, is history.

At his trial Princip declared: “I am a Yugoslav nationalist, aiming for the unification of all Yugoslavs, and I do not care what form of state, but it must be freed from Austria”…



27th June 1914 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in London – Robert Fordyce Aickman, co-founder of the english Inland Waterways Association, preserving the country’s canal system.


World Affairs: In London, the American Colonel House, foreign adviser to  US president Woodrow Wilson, has lunch with the British Foreign Secretary  (Minister for Foreign Affairs). Colonel House has just returned from Berlin and Paris as part of a peace-keeping mission. The two men agree that “neither England, Germany, Russia, nor France desire war.”


26th June 1914 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Stroud, in the West of England – Laurence Edward Alan “Laurie” Lee, Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE), poet, dreamer, romantic, adventurer etc, often asked by young students “where Laurie Lee was buried” [Wikipedia].


Society and Culture: in Poulshot Church of England School, in rural Wiltshire, the Head Teacher is concerned about attendance, noting that “the farmers are busy with their hay, and some of the children are being made use of in the hay field occasionally.”


Transportation: In the City of Kingston-upon-Hull, on England’s East Coast, King George V officially opens the King Geroge Dock, mainly built for the export of coal.




25th June 1914 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: in Gelsenkirche, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany – Lorenz Marie Hackenholt, “gas chamber expert”.


World Affairs: Archduke Franz-Ferdinand, heir to the thrones of Austria-Hungary, arrives by train in the town of Ilidza, a suburb of Sarajevo, where he is joined by his wife,  Sophie. He will spend the weekend inspecting military manoeuvres while she visits (catholic) churches, schools, charities etc.


Fire: In Massachusetts, the Great Salem fire destroys  1376 buildings, making 20,000 homeless.


Postcard from Salem


Society and Culture:  At Number 8, Second Avenue, in Forest Town, in England’s industrial midlands, Elijah Mottishaw, miner, and his wife Sarah, get a “surprise” visit from George Frederick Ernest Albert Windsor and his wife, Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes, better known as King George V of the United Kingdom and Dominions (and Emperor of India), and his wife, Queen Mary.



24th June 1914 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: Cecile Pearl Witherington (later Corniole), Alias “Agent Wrestler” – British spy, codename “Marie” who parachuted (back) into France in September 1943. Recommended for a military cross after the war, but ineligible on the grounds of her gender. Offered the (civil) MBE medal, she refused it, with the comment: “there was nothing remotely ‘civil’ about what I did.” [Wikipedia].



Women’s suffrage: In Nottingham, in England’s Midlands, the King and Queen are visiting the local lace market as part of a three day tour.  Suffragette Irene/ Eileen Casey, already wanted by the police, is arrested nearby in possession of explosives, fusewire, detonators and a map showing the main area of the Royal visit.



23rd June 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Ireland – Iris Frances Mary Combe, collie lover, border, rough and smooth.


World Affairs: In Mexico, in the fourth year of the revolution, at the Battle of Zacatecas, Pancho Villa’s forces defeat the troops of General Luis Medina Barron, which leads (on July 15th) to the resignation of General Huerta.


Arms Race: After having been widened to take larger ships, the Kiel Canal, linking the North Sea with the Baltic, is re-opened by Kaiser Wilhelm II. In Britain, well informed observers have believed for many years that this event will bring the naval arms race to a climax and signal the start of the long expected Anglo-German naval war.


Law and Order: In Taradale in victoria, South Australia the “desperate ruffian” Charles Sanger, better known as the “Fryerstown bushranger’, is arrested while trying to rob Gorman’s, the bakers.




In Gloucestershire, in England’s West Country, a young poet is unexpectedly delayed for a few minutes on a train, and manages to immortalize the moment:


Yes, I remember Adlestrop–
The name, because one afternoon
Of heat the express- train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.

The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
No one left and no one came
On the bare platform. What I saw
Was Adlestrop – only the name

And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
No whit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky.

And for that minute a blackbird sang
Close by, and round him, mistier,
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

EDWARD THOMAS 1878 – 1917  (killed in action on the Western front, April, 1917)

21st June 1914 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: in Victoria, British Columbia – Wiliam Spencer Vickrey, post Keynesian economist and Nobel Laureate.


World Affairs: Serbian diplomat Jovan Jovanovic warns Leon Bilinski, the Austrian finance minister, that there may be an assassination plot against Archduke Franz Ferdinand when he visits Sarajevo next week. His warning is ignored.


Extreme Weather: the city of Termez in Central Asia (previously belonging to the Emirate of Bukhara, at this time part of Imperial Russia, later in the Soviet Union, and now the most Southern point in Uzbekistan)  experiences the hottest temperature ever recorded in Uzbekistan – 49.6 celsius.


Sport: In Buenos Aires – England’s Exeter City football club beat a team representing Southern Argentina 3-0.