8th September 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: Sir Denys Louis Lasdun, English Brutalist architect whose work includes the Royal National Theatre on London’s South Bank and the “Norfolk Terrace” Halls of Residence at the University of East Anglia.



In Lancashire, in England’s North-West, the Accrington Observer & Times reports on the “Franco-British successes in Great Battle” (the Battle of the Marne) and the raising, locally, of a battalion of 1100 men, who will come to be known to history as the “Accrington Pals”.


Meanwhile, the “Daily Mail” reports: “A large firm of wholesale provision merchants, Messrs. Sainsbury, advertised for 200 single women to replace a portion of the 500 of the firm’s employees who have joined the colours”.


At Tournan-en-Brie, near the French front line – Thomas James Highgate, a farm labourer from Kent aged 19, becomes the first British soldier of World War 1 to be executed for desertion. (Posthumously pardoned with around 300 others in 2006). [Wikipedia]



The former White Star Line transatlantic ocean liner, the RMS Oceanic – recently re-commissioned as an armed merchant cruiser and renamed HMS Oceanic – runs aground off Foula in the Shetland Islands and (eventually) has to be scrapped.


13th April 1914 (Monday)

BORN TODAY  – A miscellany of thirteen on the 13th:

1. in Machilipatnam, Andar Pradesh – Ananda Mohan (later Sri Vidya Prakasananda Giri Swamy ), a revered Hindu guru.


2.  in Aalborg, Denmark – Børge Mogensen, furniture designer.


3.  In Lacombe, Alberta, Canada – Ruth Evangeline, a daughter for Mr and Mrs Fred Lange.


4.  Manuel Sadosky, Argentine scientist.


5.  Ajit Singh, “freedom fighter”


6. In Brazil – Maria A Berea, Women’s world chess championship challenger 1939.


7. In Lancashire, England – Olive Daley, a bricklayer’s daughter.


8. in Brookings, South Dakota – Professor Robert H Burris, biochemist.


9. In Beykoz, Istnabul – Orhan Veli Kanık, Turkish poet.


10. Alois Bachinger, Austrian farmer and politician.


11. in Vienna – Hilda Aufrichtig, a daughter for Alois and Bertha.


12. In Saskatoon, Winnipeg – Harold Nelson Semmens, Canadian architect.


13. In Stoke-on-Trent, England – “the Majestic Cinema”.


8th December 1913 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in Brooklyn, New York, to Romanian immigrant parents – Delmore Schwartz, poet and short story writer who died of heart failure at 52. Described by singer Lou Reed as “the first great man that I ever met”, Schwartz was the model for Von Humboldt Fleischer in Saul Bellow’s “Humboldt’s Gift”


Society and culture – revolving doors

~ In German speaking Switzerland, the Gstadd Palace luxury hotel opens its doors for the very first time. Happy Centenary!


~ In St Helens, Lancashire, England – the “Robin Hood” public house closes its doors for the very last time.


~ In Kentish town, North London, the “Gaumont” cinema opens its doors for the very first time, with a showing of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The House of Temperley”, Britain’s tenth full-length feature film.


~ Meanwhile  the “Picture House” in Halifax, Yorkshire, opens its door to a new film “Sixty Years A Queen”, celebrating the life and reign of Queen Victoria, twelve years after her death.


Colonial Unrest: In Punjab, North Western British India, the revolutionary newspaper of the Indian Independence Movement, “Ghadar”, is published for the first time.


4th November 1913 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: In Switzerland, Paul Irniger – fraudster, robber and murderer who became, at the age of 25, the second to last person judicially executed in Switzerland – guillotined on the 25th August 1939.


Crime and Punishment: In Wolverhampton, England, Josiah Davies murders his landlady, for which crime he will be convicted in December 1913 and executed (hanged) in March 1914.


World Affairs:

~ In Constantinople (now Istanbul) in Turkey, representatives of the Ottoman Empire and of Persia sign a protocol defining the boundary between Persia and the Turkish lands (which are now part of Iraq).


~ The Kingdom of Bavaria, which has been “annexed” by the German Empire since 1871 (when the crown was offered to King William I of Prussia) amends its constitution to include a clause specifying that if a regency for reasons of incapacity lasts for ten years with no expectation that the King will ever be able to reign, the Regent can proclaim the end of the regency and assume the crown himself. Bavaria’s most recent two kings have been Ludwig II (1864-1886) who “bankrupted the country building fairytale castles and hosting Wagner concerts”, before he was mysteriously drowned, and his younger brother and successor King Otto, who was declared insane in 1875. King Otto was “by some accounts not even aware that he had become King” [Colonel J’s Bavaria].


Natural Disasters: in the Apurimac region of Peru an earthquake kills 155 people.


A sign of the times?  The pre-dreadnought class steel armoured battleship launched in 1891 – HMS “Empress of India” is ignominiously used for target practice, presumably by her fully dreadnought class successors, and sent to a watery grave.


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.


4th October 1913 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: In St Petersburg (later Petrograd, now St Petersburg again), Russia – Anatol Kagan: exiled with his father to Berlin in 1922, but unable (as a foreigner) to work there after obtaining his architecture qualification . Emigrated to Melbourne, Australia in 1939, where he pursued a career in both the private and the public sectors until his retirement in 1973.


Science and technology: Mallorca, Spain, inaugurates it first electric tram line.


Society and Culture: “Captain” W.E.Johns, a sanitary inspector from the sleepy town of Swaffham in Norfolk, England, joins the Territorial Army as a Private in the King’s Own Royal Regiment (Norfolk Yeomanry). After fighting on the Macedonian front and joining the Royal Flying Corp during World War 1, his 46 year writing career will include 160 books, most of which (over 100) will feature the fictional James Bigglesworth – “Biggles” – pilot, hero and adventurer.


26th September 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Zemmin, Western Pomerania – Berthold Beitz, German industrialist who saved 250 Jewish workers by falsely describing them as essential workers at an oil facility in Poland in the 1940s; head of the Krupp steel conglomerate in the 1950s; and awarded the title “Righteous Among Nations” by the Israeli Holocaust Society in 1973.


Society and culture: in Britain the periodical “Building News” publishes illustrations of the radical new concrete terraces (a small artificial “mountain range”) for the better enjoyment of bears, goats and deer at the Regents Park Zoological Gardens in London. One hundred years later the Mappin Terraces at London Zoo are used to display wallabies and emus.


4th September 1913 (Thursday)


~ In Osaka, Japan ~ Kenzo Tange, Pritzker Prize winning architect and designer of the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima.

~ In Brooklyn, New York – Meyer “Micky” Cohen, infamous Los Angeles gangster.


Infamous Crimes: The village of Muhlacker, in Baden-Wurttenberg, Germany, is terrorised during the night by a local resident teacher, who sets fire to parts of the village, kills his own wife and family, kills another ten villagers and injures a further sixteen.


24th April 1913 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY, in New York – The Woolworth Building. At 57 stories it was the highest skyscraper in the world until the Chrysler Tower opened in 1930.

Also born today, Dieter Grau, rocket scientist, first for Germany and later for the USA.

Arms Race: In Castellammare Di Stabia, south east of Naples, the Italian Regia Marina launches the battleship Caio Duilio. She will successfully survive two world wars and be sold for scrap in 1957.

Women’s suffrage: In the UK Parliament, a petition from suffragette organisations is read in the Lower House:

To the honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in Parliament assembled. The humble petition of the undersigned representatives of organisations of working women respectfully showeth: That Mr. Speaker, having informed us that it is in the power of your honourable House to pass a Resolution whereby women shall be granted permission to appear at the Bar of the House, we representing 34,500 working women pray your honourable House to pass such a Resolution to enable us to lay before the House their special claims to enfranchisement, feeling that the exclusion of working women from the rights of citizenship is detrimental to the nation. Because women as wage-earners occupy a weaker position in the industrial world than men, and therefore specially require the protection of the vote in dealing with industrial legislation affecting women workers. Because the majority of married working women who are not wage-earners are deeply concerned as wage-spenders in all industrial legislation and in such social questions as taxations, education, housing, and land reform. Because the lives of women are greatly affected by questions of national service and foreign policy, and they should, therefore, have a voice therein as citizens. Because so long as women are excluded from the counsels of the nation their capacity for public service is lost to the State. Because justice demands political freedom for men and women alike, and the refusal of it to working women hinders them in the struggle they are daily waging to raise the burdens of poverty from their homes and gain a happier future for then children. And your Petitioners will ever pray. MARGARET LLEWELLYN DAVIES, hon. general secretary, Women’s Co-operative Guild. MARION PHILLIPS, general secretary, Women’s Labour League. CHARLOTTE M. WILSON, hon. secretary, Fabian Women’s Group. ELIZABETH GILROY, secretary National Assurance of Midwives. [reproduced from HANSARD].