19th June 1915 (Saturday)


~ at the New York naval shipyard – USS Arizona, a Pennsylvania class battleship sent to the bottom of Pearl Harbour on 7th December 1941, aged 26, along with 1,177 US servicemen.


~ In Brooklyn – the Fourth Avenue subway, with trains running to Coney Island.


~ in the Bronx – Julius Schwartz, pioneer comic editor.


~ In Harlem – Henry Christian LeTang, choreographer.


15th June 1915 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Purwokerto on the Island of Java in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia ) – her mother a descendent of the Maharaja of Java,  of Hindu, Polish, German and French extraction, her father a Danish engineer – Nini Arlette Thielade, ballet dancer.


17th December 1914 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: in Havana – Fernando Alonso, cuban ballet dancer and co-founder of the Cuban National Ballet [wikipedia].



in the Caucasus: Turkish forces launch an attack on Russian forces in an engagement which will last until mid January.


Western Front: On the Battlefield of “Hill 141” in the La Boiselle district of the Somme, german machine guns cut down a french attack at dawn:

“I never saw any attack that was as thoroughly killed before it got under way as this one…the french losses during the brief space of about 20 minutes were over 2,500 dead and wounded. The dead were still on the plateau when we left La Boiselle later in March 1915”.

[Hans Ludwig, quoted in Ralph J Whitehead’s “The Other Side of the Wire”]

The account is corroborated by an anonymous British nursing sister who records in her diary today: “The French also lost heavily, and lie unburied in hundreds” adding optimistically: …“but the men say the germans were still more badly ‘punished’ “. [Diary of a nursing sister on the western front, 1914-1915].


3rd August 1914 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in Bellevue , France – a son and third child to the dancer Isadora Duncan, each with different fathers. Her first two children drowned in a freak motor accident in the River Seine in Paris in April 1913. This third child survived only a few hours.




Eastern Front: German troops invade Poland, capturing Kalish, Chenstokhov and Bendzin.

Western Front: Belgium rejects the German ultimatum at 7.00AM. The British government and parliament, previously divided along party lines, finds solidarity in its interests to preserve Belgian neutrality. The British foreign secretary  comments:

“The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime”

Germany declares war on France as one and a half million German troops move towards Belgium and France. Another half million are moving Eastward…


Sources: “Almanac of World War 1”  – “The Guns of August” – “Hansard” (record of the proceedings of the British Parliament).



Migration: The town of Utica, in Oneida County, New York State enjoys “Old Home Week” when former citizens who have gone out into the world are welcomed back, and everyone’s mutual prosperity is celebrated.


 Globalisation: the Panama Canal is officially opened to commercial traffic. (some sources say August 15th).



11th July 1914 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in Buenos Aires – Aníbal Carmelo Troilo, Argentine bandoneonist and tango musician.

Click to access Phantastango-2013-2-TheBeautifulFive.pdf

Society and culture: Leading anarchist Alexander Berkman addresses a large crowd at a rally of like-minded supporters in Union Square, New York City.



~ In Jedburgh, on the English/ Scottish border, at 6.00AM precisely,  the traditional ceremonies for the opening of Jedburgh Border Games are carried out, “as they have been done since their inauguration in 1853”.  


~George Herman “Babe” Ruth makes his major league baseball debut.



26th May 1914 (Tuesday)


~ in Jacksonville, Florida – Frankie Manning, swing dancer, “part of a new generation of Lindy Hoppers, and the most celebrated Lindy Hopper in history’ [Wikipedia]



~ In Philadelphia, PA – Harry Aaron Finkelman, better known as Ziggy Elman, trumpeter.



Sport: The “Shamrock IV”, a yacht designed and built as an American entry for the 1914 Americas Cup, is launched in Portsmouth, in Southern England. While being towed home to New York during August it be temporarily diverted to British Bermuda after war is declared. The 1914 Americas Cup, and those for the next 5 years, will all be cancelled. The race resumes in 1920.


Shipping News: Just over two years after “Titanic”, the Times of London reports another liner, the Canadian “Royal Edward” (en route from Montreal to Bristol) struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic a few days ago, “going dead slow at the time in a dense fog. The stem was twisted and the liner was leaking in the forepeak, but the damage was not serious.”




5th May 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: In Harbin, China – to Russian parents, Eugenia Fomenko. Daughter of a suspected (Russian) US agent; architect in Harbin; dancer in Shanghai (with new name of  Jeanne LeGon); emigrant to the US; successful department store worker in Brooklyn; sportswear executive in Dallas, and briefly in California; suspected communist spy; divorcee; spouse of a Russian nobleman emigre with dubious connections (now Mrs Jeanne de Mohrenschildt); adventurer in Mexico and Central America; supporter of Russian emigres and refugees in Dallas; expatriate with interesting connections in Haiti; witness at the Warren Commission into the assassination of John Kennedy; widow of a man whose exact role (if any)  in the assassination remains unclear to this day. [Spartacus Educational]


2nd May 1914 (Saturday)

The Great Outdoors:

~ The residents of Gawthorpe, in Yorkshire, England, are crowning their May Queen and enjoying some traditional May Day dancing from the younger generation. “Seats, 1 penny each”.


~ Farther South, at London’s (Kennington) Oval cricket ground, Londoners are enjoying the first day of a three day match between Surrey and Northamptonshire.


~ and farther West, Welshmen are watching Aberavon Rugby Football club defeat the Blaina team 10-0 in the Welsh Cup Final at Bridgend.


Much earlier in the day,  Australians are spectating on a busy day in the South Australian football league.


and later the same day, in Buffalo, New York, the local school team is losing to a visiting side from the Central high School.



1st May 1914 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Broken Hill, New South Wales – Colin Andrew Huddleston, Australia’s “most well known [square dance] caller”.


World Affairs 

~ In China, dictator Yuan Shikai convenes a body of 66 men from his cabinet who produce a “constitutional compact” that effectively replaces China’s provisional constitution.


~ In Bucharest, on International Labour Day, Romanian socialists march, and then “feast” (picnic?).


Science and technology: The UK’s official meteorological service officially adopts metric measurement of rainfall – a change which has not prevented routine re-conversion back to inches for the British public benefit for the last 100 years!


Exploration: On the River of Doubt in Amazonia, Colonel Theodore Roosevelt records the life threatening, life claiming, and  historic achievements of the party’s efforts to map over 1500 kilometres of previously unmapped waterways.







15th April 1914 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: In Norwich, England – John Gregory, dancer.


World Affairs: At the Simla conference in India, where the British are attempting to separate China and Tibet, the Chinese representative objects to Tibet being given equal status with China in the preamble to the draft convention.

Click to access TheEasternHimalayasinSinoIndianRelations_TSMurthy.pdf

Ireland: The paramilitary Ulster Volunteer Force lands 25,000 German, Austrian and Italian rifles and three million rounds of ammunition at Larne in county Antrim. Irish nationalists accuse the British Government of “turning a blind eye” to the operation in order to give the Protestant unionists an advantage in the ongoing dispute over Irish Home Rule.


Empire and migration: reporting on the preparations for the Diamond Jubilee of the (British) settlement in Waipu in 1854, the New Zealand Herald explains that the monumental “Lion Rampant” has been delayed in its shipment from England, and won’t now be arriving in time for the Jubilee celebrations.