12th December 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Battersea, South London – David Gommon, British painter.


World Affairs: Menelik II, the Emperor of Ethiopia and “the first black African king in modern history to engage in slavery of white European (Italian) war captives held as slaves”, dies, aged 69 years.


Accidents and disasters: In Manly, Iowa – eight miles north of Mason City – a fire threatens to destroy the entire town before it is brought under control by firemen rushed in on a special train for Mason city.


Science and technology: In Chicago, Vol 3, issue 12 of the “Electric Vehicles Magazine” features on its cover the Ohio Electric Motor Car Company’s Brougham Model.


Infamous Crimes: In the second of three “Brides in the Bath murders”, George Smith’s new (second) wife, Alice Burnham, is found dead in her bath.


11th March 1913 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY, in Schrimm, Posen (then in Germany – now Srem, Poznan, in Poland) – Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke, World War 2 fighter ace, shot down and killed in May 1944 after being credited with shooting down 162 enemy aircraft, 137 of which were on the Eastern Front.

World Affairs: Under the “Anglo-German Agreement of 11th March 1913”, these two countries agree the frontiers of Cameroon and Nigeria (the boundary was still in dispute in October 2002).

News reaches Australia, via London, that the empress Taitu, consort and widow of the Emperor  Menelek of Abyssinia (Ethiopia), aged 69, has been released after being interned in the imperial palace for three years. The “Barrier Miner” of Broken Hill, NSW, describes her as having “married Menelek in 1883. She was a princess of Tigre and had already been married four times previously…a woman of great influence”.

Music and entertainment: Luigi Russolo publishes “The Art of Noises” an avant garde exploration of electronic music.

27th February 1913 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY, at Bieliny in South Central Poland – Kazimierz Sabbat, President of the Polish Government in Exile (based in London) from 1986 to 1989. He died in London, aged 76, in 1989 – on the same day that the Parliament in Poland elected its first President since the 1950s (Wojciech Jaruzelski, who would be replaced in 1990 by Lech Walesa of the Polish second republic).

World Affairs: The Albanian Congress of Trieste convenes in Trieste, Austria- Hungary (now part of Italy). The objectives of the congress include the preparation of a request for Albania to be formally recognized as independent by the Great Powers, the delineation of its borders, and a treaty of friendship with neighboring Aromanian (Vlach) populations.

Natural disasters:  Ethiopia experiences the Asmara earthquake, a strong seismic event felt as far away as Kassala in Eastern Sudan.

Society & culture: In London, the first edition of the journal “Muslim India and the Islamic Review” is published. It will change its name to “The Islamic Review and Muslim India” in 1914 and to simply “The Islamic Review” in 1921.

Empire: In Windhoek, in the German Protectorate of German South West Africa (now Namibia), John Ludwig – pioneer tobacco farmer – dies and becomes (on 1st March) the first person to be buried in the Klein Windhoek cemetery. He is considered by many to be the founder of Klein Windhoek.