28th June 1913 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in Byton, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, in the Province of Wloclawek (Poland) – Leon Nowakowski, Priest of the diocese of Wloclawek. Killed by the nazis in October 1939 (aged 26).

Also: in Nowy Sącz (then in Austria-Hungarian Galicia, soon to be annexed by Russia, then occupied by Germany [WW1], briefly claimed by Ukraine, then part of Poland, before being re-occupied by Germany [WW2] and finally (?) settling in Poland, just north of the Slovakian border) – Efraim Racker, “Austrian” biochemist who grew up in Vienna, but fled to Britain before settling in the USA. “the regional Jewish community [of Nowy Sącz] numbered about 25,000 before World War 2… ninety percent of them died or did not return” [Wikipedia].

World Affairs: the Bulgarian king Ferdinand I orders his army to march into the disputed areas of Macedonia which were  taken from the Ottoman Empire by Greece and Serbia during the First Balkan War. This action destroys the Balkan League, and also forces Russia to rethink its strategic positions in the southern Balkans between the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires. the Second Balkan War will be short but bloody, and leave all parties dis-satisfied and with their objectives in the Balkans and the Aegean unresolved. In exactly one year from today the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand will be assassinated in Sarajevo…

King George of V of Great Britain and Ireland is visited by a delegation of four Tibetan boys bearing letters and gifts from the 13th Dalai Lama.

Accidents: In London’s Hyde Park, Captain Matthew Meiklejohn, who lost his right arm but gained the Victoria Cross at the Battle of Elandslaagte in the Boer War, in 1899, is out riding when his horse bolts. Unable to control the horse with just one  arm he narrowly prevents the horse from trampling a group of children by forcing it up against the railings of Rotten Row. Impaled on the railings, he dies of his injuries on 4th July.

Society and Culture: At London’s “Olympia” Exhibition Centre, Londoners are enjoying the 7th International Horse Show.

27th May 1913 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: In Budapest, Austria-Hungary (now just in Hungary) – Enver Colakovic, Bosnian novelist, poet and translator.

Arms Race: At Horten, on the Oslofjord in Norway, the Norwegian Royal Navy launches the destroyer Garm. Destroyed by the Luftwaffe on 26th April 1940 during the German invasion of Norway.

Women’s Suffrage: Sylvia Pankhurst establishes the East London Federation of Suffragettes. It is considered by many – including her own family – to be too democratic and working class, and six months later is excluded from the Women’s Social and Political Union.

Science and technology: At Montrose Scotland, Desmond Arthur becomes the first fatality from an aircrash in Scotland when the right wing of his aircraft snaps off at 2500 feet. He is killed instantly on impact and buried in Sleepyhillock Cemetery in Montrose. Later he participated in the one of the most famous ghost stories from World War I  after multiple sightings of the ‘Irish Apparition’ or the ‘Montrose Ghost’, starting in 1916 and recurring as recently as 2012.

On 27 May 1963, Sir Peter Maselfield, was flying his Chipmunk monoplane close to Montrose while en route from Dalcross to Shoreham, when he saw what he believed was a 70 horsepower B.E.2 biplane; the pilot was wearing a leather flying helmet, goggles and a flying scarf. Masefield landed when he believed he had seen it crashing, but on reaching the ground discovered that there was no plane or crash site”. [Wikipedia].

17th February 1913 (Monday)

BORN TODAY, in Sarajevo (then) in the Austro-Hungarian Empire – Oskar Danon, Bosnian Jewish conductor and composer, Professor at the Belgrade music academy and president of the Association of Musical Arts of Serbia. Died in Belgrade in 2009, aged 96.

World Affairs: The US President provides assurances to President Madero of Mexico that the US has no plans to interfere in the Mexican Revolution except to protect the lives of US citizens. Meanwhile, south of the border US Ambassador Wilson communicates that General Huerta has communicated that President Madero will be removed from power imminently.

Science and Technology: In Columbus Ohio, a speed test is held by the city’s fire department between four of the best horse drawn fire engines and a new motor driven apparatus. In a three mile race the new technology proves to be around twice as fast, and the city places early orders for the new machines.

The US Army tests its first “automatic pilot” device which is called a gyrostabiliser by its inventor, Lawrence Sperry.

Labour Relations: The State of Oregon becomes the first ever US State to introduce a minimum wage law.

Society & Culture: At the 69th Regiment Armory in New York CIty, the “International Exhibition of Modern Art” provides US Citizens with a first major viewing of hundreds of avant garde paintings and sculptures etc. This exhibition (“the Armory Show”) wil come to be seen as the introduction of modern art to America.