29th July 1914 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: in Turin, Italy – Marcel Bich, manufacturer and co-founder of Bic, “the world’s leading producer of ballpoint pens”.



Austrian gunboats on the Danube shell the Serbian capital, Belgrade.

The German government notifies Russia that if it continues with its “pre-mobilization” actions Germany will be forced to respond.

Cousins Willy and Niky, better known as Kaiser Wilhelm II, German Emperor and King of Prussia and Tsar Nicholas, Emperor of Russia, Grand Duke of Finland and King of Poland (respectively) begin a frantic exchange of telegrams.


Society and Culture: In the British House of Commons, clerks are busy duly recording the proceedings for the day in the official journal, “Hansard”:

Field Marshal Horatio Herbert, Viscount Kitchener of Khartoum and of the Vaal, in the Colony of the Transvaal, and of Aspall, in the county of Suffolk, Baron Kitchener of Khartoum and of Aspall, in the county of Suffolk, K.P., G.C.B., O.M., G.C.S.I., G.C.M.G., G.C.I.E., His Majesty’s Agent and Consul-General in Egypt and Minister Plenipotentiary in His Majesty’s Diplomatic Service, haying been created Baron Denton of Denton, in the county of Kent, Viscount Broome of Broome, in the said county of Kent, and Earl Kitchener of Khartoum and of Broome aforesaid—Was (in the usual manner) introduced.”


The motor industry: In an early example of product placement, Della Crewe, from Waco, Texas, and her dog, “Trouble”, complete the first, 2147 mile, leg of their adventure on (in?) a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and side-car.

“It was a great trip with miles of smiles,” she said, “and all of them Harley-Davidson smiles. Much of this happiness was showered upon me by the big Harley-Davidson family-dealers and riders-along the way. They were a princely lot of fellows and added many a link to the unbreakable chain of happy remembrances. Everywhere the glad hand was extended to me.” [Harley-Davidson.com]

Food and agriculture:  Farmer and diarist George Adkin spends a busy day working to improve his farmland near Wellington, New Zealand.