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].

24th May 1913 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in Langnau im Emmenthal in Switzerland – Hans Schwarzenbach, Swiss equestrian who won silver in the eventing event (?) at the Rome Olympics in 1960.

Arms Race: In Kiel, Germany the Germaniawerft shipyard launches the submarine “U24”. She will sink 34 ships before surrendering in November 1918.

Accidents and disasters: in Long Beach, California, the municipal pier collapses while 10,000 weekenders are crowded on to the pier. Thirty six people die.

In Smyrna (now Izmir) on the Turkish coast, the steamship Nevada strays into a mined part of the harbour, strikes three mines, and sinks with the loss of forty lives.

Empire: The British Empire celebrates “Empire Day”.

Each Empire Day, millions of school children from all walks of life across the length and breadth of the British Empire would typically salute the union flag and sing patriotic songs like Jerusalem and God Save the Queen. They would hear inspirational speeches and listen to tales of ‘daring do’ from across the Empire, stories that included such heroes as Clive of India, Wolfe of Québec and ‘Chinese Gordon’ of Khartoum. But of course the real highlight of the day for the children was that they were let of (sic) school early in order to take part in the thousands of marches, maypole dances, concerts and parties that celebrated the event. [“Historic UK” website – http://www.historic-uk.com/]

In Bulawayo, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) – The British South Africa Police Regimental Association is formed. The UK Branch is planning centenary celebrations in various locations across the UK this month.

25th April 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA – Earl Bostic, American Jazz and Rhythm and Blues alto-saxophonist.

Also, in Los Angeles, Kenneth Spencer, bass-baritone opera singer killed in an air crash in 1964.

Arms Race: The Italian Regia Marina launches the submarine “Nautilus”.

Britain’s first “Defensively Armed Merchant Ship” (DAMS), RMS Aragon (later HMT Aragon) leaves Southampton. After serving as a troop carrier at Gallipoli (1915), she will eventually (1917) be sunk in the Mediterranean by a german submarine, with the loss of 610 lives.

Women’s suffrage: in the UK, Royal Assent is given for the notorious “Cat and Mouse Act” whereby a suffragette hunger striker in prison can be released on health grounds and re-incarcerated as soon as feasible to complete her original term of sentence.

Crime and punishment: Ivory Frazer is hanged in New Mexico for the murder of a Deputy Sheriff.

Society and culture: the US Marine Corps Association is founded at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

23rd April 1913 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY, in Covington Tennessee – Admiral William Floyd Bringle – Commander of the US Seventh Fleet from 1967-1970, and of US Naval Forces Europe, 1971-73.

World Affairs: The Ottoman city of Iskodra (now Skadar in Albania, but also known as Scutari because of periodic Italian interest) surrenders to Montenegrin troops after a six month siege.

Arms Race: In Chatham, England, the Royal Navy launches HMS Lowestoft, a light cruiser.

War from the Air: In the UK Parliament, Mr Winston Churchill (First Lord of the Admiralty) is asked what steps are being taken to prevent English cities from being bombarded at night by foreign airships. He is also asked how much money is being provided for building  airships equal in power and speed to the Zeppelins being built by Germany [Hansard].

Accidents and disasters: In Courtney, Pennsyslvania, an explosion at a coal mine kills 96 miners.

Science and technology: King George and Queen Mary of Great Britain and Ireland visit the Birchenwood coking plant in Stoke-on-Trent  and are shown new equipment which turns 7000 tons of coal into 4500 tons of coke each week.

15th April 1913 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY – “Scouting” (for Boys) – the magazine of the Boy Scouts of America.

First Balkan War: Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire agree to a cessation of hostilities.

Arms Race: In Portsmouth, UK – HMS Spanker, originally launched in 1889, is recommissioned after being converted to a minesweeper.

Women’s Suffrage: In St Leonards-On-Sea, on England’s South Coast, “Levetleigh’ the country mansion of Arthur Du Cros, local Member of Parliament and outspoken critic of the suffragette movement, is destroyed in an arson attack. The suffragettes leave calling cards, including literature and a postcard.

Shipping Accidents: Today marks the first anniversary (1913) of the loss of 1502 lives when the RMS Titanic sank (in 1912) in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Society and culture: The society “Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor” is founded in Sydney, Australia, by Eileen O’Connor and Father Edward McGrath. Worthy Centenary!  http://ourladysnurses.org.au/

12th April 1913 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY, in Tokyo, Japan – Keiko Fukuda, the highest ranked female judo practitioner in history and until two months ago the sole surviving student of the founder of Judo. At 99 she was still teaching her art in the San Francisco Bay area, where she emigrated after first visiting in the 1950s and 1960s.  She died just two months ago, aged 99 and 10 months.

Obituary:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/9868578/Keiko-Fukuda.html

World Affairs/ Second Balkan War At a conference in St Petersburg dealing with the outcomes of the First Balkan War, Austria Hungary, Italy and Germany fail to obtain agreement (concessions) from Bulgaria for Rumania over the Silistra region on the Black Sea coast.

Arms Race: In Wellington, New Zealand, the battlecruiser “HMS New Zealand” starts a ten week tour during which around half a million New Zealanders will inspect their gift to the mother country. With 26 guns and 800 crew, the New Zealand will earn a reputation as a a “lucky” ship when it escapes significant damage or casualties at the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Some will attribute this to the Maori kilt and pendant which the captain wears during the battle.

Accidents and disasters: in the Wairarapa district of New Zealand an earthquake shakes the town. Te Hone Ngawhiro is struck by a piece of falling concrete as he flees from a local post office and is killed instantly.

Society and culture: In Britain, the weekly magazine “New Statesman” is founded by Sidney and Beatrice Webb. HAPPY CENTENARY!

Also founded today: The British Ecological Society, the first organisation of its kind in history – founded by 47 people invited by the British Vegetation Committee. HAPPY CENTENARY!

In California, the City of San Marino was incorporated. HAPPY CENTENARY!

8th April 1913 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY, in Porto Novo, French Dahomey (now Benin) – Sourou-Migan Apithy, a descendant of the Goun Royal Family. President of Benin in 1964-65 and famous as a dictator (one part of the “three headed monster” in Benin in the sixties) before he was overthrown. Returned later (in the seventies) and became a member of a presidential triumvirate before being overthrown in a coup and imprisoned. Died in exile in Paris in 1989.

World Affairs: China inaugurates its first elected Parliament in Beijing.

In Mexico, 30 are killed and 58 wounded in the (first) Battle Of Naco between government and rebel troops as part of the ongoing Mexican Revolution.

Empire:  In Calcutta (now Kolkata), India, a monument is unveiled to commemorate Earl Curzon of Kedleston, the Viceroy of India from 1899 to 1905. After Indian independence he will be replaced by  a statue of Sri Aurobindo, Indian nationalist, philosopher and freedom fighter.

Accidents: Members of the UK Royal Flying Corp are photographed on Salisbury plain dismantling the wreckage of 2 crashed aeroplanes.

At Ardler Colliery in Ayrshire, Scotland, Edward Dale is killed while pushing a coal wagon to the shaft. In the mistaken belief that a cage is there to receive the wagon, he pushes both the wagon and himself into the 108 foot shaft.