BORN TODAY: in Larvik, Norway – Thor Heyerdahl, wannabe Viking turned anthropo-mariner.
“Ultimately his interest in the legends and pictographs of curved reed or wooden boats led him to Azerbaijan, a Caucasus nation sandwiched between Russia to the North and Turkey and Iran in the south. There the 5,000 year old pictographs of crafts, reminiscent of ancient Viking ships, seemed to support Heyerdahl’s belief that significant sea travel, and long distance river travel, had been going on much earlier than most historians believed and in fairly “primitive” yet high effective craft — craft that decayed leaving little trace of existence or construction. While many historians believed that significant boat travel occurred only after the rise of large civilizations, Heyerdahl was certain that travel by boat created trade and cultural exchange and thus spurred the growth of the great civilizations. Thus, he claimed, boat travel was a leading cause of civilization, not merely one of its products. But the similarity between the pictographs and the ships of his Heyerdahl’s Norwegian ancestors had significance. They reminded him of ancient legends which claimed that his people had originally come from the land of Aser, east of the Black Sea.” [nndb.com]
Belgium: As the Belgian army begins to withdraw from Antwerp, the govenrment moves to Ostend, and nearly a quarter of a million residents flee towards France and the Netherlands. [Burg and Purcell].
Today a new British Army Division – the 7th – also lands at Zeebrugge, but is too little, too late, to save Antwerp from the Germans. [Peter Chasseaud “Mapping the First World War”]
Society and Culture: On a Royal train in a pine forest somewhere in Russia, British Major General Sir John Hanbury-Williams KCB, KCVO, CMG, dines with The Russian Emperor Tsar Nicholas II, and is “at once struck by his extraordinary likeness to our own King” (King George V of the United Kingdom and British Dominions and Emperor of India ~ his cousin).