19th May 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Vienna in the Austro-Hungarian Empire – Max Ferdinand Perutz, OM (Order of Merit); CH (Order of the Companions of Honour); CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire); FRS (Fellow of the Royal Society); emigree from Nazi Austria; accidental expert on glaciers; internee in Canada on the orders of Winston Churchill; molecular biologist; Nobel prize winner; founder and Chair of the Medical Reseach Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge (England).

His parents hoped that he would become a lawyer” [Wikipedia]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Perutz

World Affairs: Essad Pasha Toptani,  a wealthy Albanian landowner who is also the minister of war and of the interior for the new Albanian state, and who is suspected of fomenting the Peasant’s Revolt, (later) records in his memorandum on Albania (1919) how a group of “Austrophile” gendarmes, led by a Dutch officer, attempt to take him prisoner:

“At the time, I was Minister of War and of Internal Affairs, and was interim Prime Minister. I consented, but on condition that the Italian Minister to the Albanian Court take charge of me. Under such circumstances, I was obliged to leave my country and take refuge initially in Rome and then in Paris”.

http://www.albanianhistory.net/texts20_1/AH1919.html

Science and technology: On New Zealand’s North Island, after centuries of going its own way, the Rangitāiki River (the longest river in the Bay of Plenty region) is from today re-channelled through a different, man-made, course so that a swamp can be drained and turned into farmland.

http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/bay-of-plenty-places/page-8

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2nd April, 1914 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY:

~ In Toronto, Canada – Edwin Alonzo Boyd, hobo turned infantryman, and later leader of the “Boyd Gang”, infamous for their bank robbing exploits.

http://www.nndb.com/people/477/000094195/

~ in London, England – (Sir) Alec Guinness, one time leader of the infamous “Lavender Hill Mob”, and later the Chief Clerk in Prague in 1919 (“Kafka”), before eventually morphing into Obi-Wan Kenobi.

http://www.nndb.com/people/751/000023682/

23rd June 1913 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in Ganja, Azerbaijan – Nigar Rafibeyli, daughter of the first Azeri surgeon to study in Europe (who was executed by the Bolsheviks in 1919). Nigar became a novelist, poet, film-maker and publisher in the 1930s and 1940s. In her honour, a street in Baku has been named after her.

World Affairs: The British light cruiser HMS Newcastle arrives in Shanghai, China, to replace HMS Bedford during the Shanghai Rebellion.

Society, culture and migration: In  Adelaide, South Australia, the P&O line’s steamship Beltana docks after a six week journey from London carrying 81 British farm apprentices. In total 172 young British men aged between 15 and 19 participated in the State of South Australia’s Government farm apprentice scheme during 1913 and 1914, until the First World War interrupted the migration process.

In Kenton, Ohio, the (US) National Onion Association (NAO) is founded. Happy centenary, NAO!