19th May 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Vienna in the Austro-Hungarian Empire – Max Ferdinand Perutz, OM (Order of Merit); CH (Order of the Companions of Honour); CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire); FRS (Fellow of the Royal Society); emigree from Nazi Austria; accidental expert on glaciers; internee in Canada on the orders of Winston Churchill; molecular biologist; Nobel prize winner; founder and Chair of the Medical Reseach Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge (England).

His parents hoped that he would become a lawyer” [Wikipedia]


World Affairs: Essad Pasha Toptani,  a wealthy Albanian landowner who is also the minister of war and of the interior for the new Albanian state, and who is suspected of fomenting the Peasant’s Revolt, (later) records in his memorandum on Albania (1919) how a group of “Austrophile” gendarmes, led by a Dutch officer, attempt to take him prisoner:

“At the time, I was Minister of War and of Internal Affairs, and was interim Prime Minister. I consented, but on condition that the Italian Minister to the Albanian Court take charge of me. Under such circumstances, I was obliged to leave my country and take refuge initially in Rome and then in Paris”.


Science and technology: On New Zealand’s North Island, after centuries of going its own way, the Rangitāiki River (the longest river in the Bay of Plenty region) is from today re-channelled through a different, man-made, course so that a swamp can be drained and turned into farmland.


20th July 1913 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: Tommy “Old Reliable” Heinrich, major league baseball right fielder with the NY Yankees, 1937-42 and 1946-50.

World Affairs – the Fukien province in China joins other regions in declaring itself independent. China appears to be disintegrating.

Second Balkan War: Turkish troops retake Adrianople (Edirne) from Bulgaria after losing it in the first Balkan War earlier in the year.

12th July 1913 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: In Helsinki, Finland – Reino (“Repe”) Helismaa, singer-songwriter, musician and scriptwriter

World Affairs: The Jianxi province of central China declares its independence from the national chinese government.

Second Balkan War: Turkey becomes the fourth nation to take up arms in response to the Bulgarian attack on Serbia and Greece, marching into Thrace to reclaim lands lost during the First Balkan War.

Women’s Suffrage: Suffragette “Pilgrims” marching from Carlisle to London arrive in Birmingham.

Accidents: In Colchester, UK – 3 die and 16 are injured in a rail accident (collision and derailment).

Royal Lancastrian Progress: On the sixth day of their royal tour, King George V and Queen Mary visit Oldham.

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.

30th May 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Falls City, Nebraska – Pee Wee (George) Erwin, Jazz trumpeter.

World Affairs – in London, at the conclusion of the international conference which has lasted over 5 months, combatants of the First Balkan War sign the Treaty of London. The Balkan League (Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria, Montenegro), having defeated the Ottomans, successfully confirm the boundaries of the Turkish state in Eastern Thrace, substantially limiting Turkey’s territory in Europe. Issues relating to Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia and Thrace remain unresolved, thereby sowing seeds for later disputes – the earliest of which will re-emerge within weeks.

Crime and Punishment: Henry Brock is executed for murder in the State of Texas.

11th May 1913 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY, in Resende, Portugal – Edgar Cardoso, builder of bridges (literally, not metaphorically) on three continents across the Portuguese (ex) empire, including: Angola, Portuguese Guinea (now Guinea Bissau) and Mozambique in Africa; Macau and India in Asia; and of course in Portugal.

First Balkan War: The Bulgarian town of Silistra is awarded to Romania as part of the settlement.

Extreme Weather: A typhoon strikes the Philippines, killing over 800 people.

Society and Culture: In the US House of Representatives, Members wear white carnations to honor American Mothers – the first observance of Mothers’ Day in the USA.

Dr Marie Charlotte Carmichael Stopes, author of “Married Love” and “Wise Parenthood”, files for divorce on the grounds that her marriage has never been consummated.


5th May 1913 (Monday)

BORN TODAY, in Cincinatti, Ohio – larger than life swashbuckling Zorro, Tyrone Edmund Power. Son of Patia and Tyrone Snr, husband of Annabella (1939), Linda (1949) and Deborah (1958); lover of Judy Garland, Lana Turner, Thelma Ruby and Mai Zetterling; father of Romina (1951), Taryn (1953) and (posthumously) Tyrone Power IV (January 1959). Died in Madrid, while filming, in September 1958, and buried at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Immortalised on the album cover of the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Balkan Wars: Serbia and Greece sign a secret pact to fight against Bulgaria, their recent ally in the First Balkan War which is slowly being resolved at the London Peace Conference. The continuing bone of contention is the competing claims for parts of Macedonia which have been “recovered” from the Ottoman Empire, including access to the Mediterranean at (Thes)Salonica.

Arms Race: In Kiel, the German Imperial Navy launches the SMS Grosser Kurfurst, a battleship scuttled in 1919 to prevent her being taken into service by the British.

1st May 1913 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY, in Andhra Pradesh, India – Puchalapalli Sundaraiah, founding member of the Communist Party of India and leader of the Telengana Rebellion (peasants’ revolt) in Hyderabad between 1946 and 1951.

Also Felicity Watts (later Felicity Hanbury, and later still Air Commandant Dame Felicity Peake, DBE  – Dame of the British Empire), founding director of the UK’s (second) Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF) in 1949. An earlier WRAF existed briefly between 1918 and 1920, and the name was revived in 1949.

World Affairs: Montenegro agrees to end its occupation of Skadar (Scutari) in northern Albania if it is compensated with land elsewhere.

In a border skirmish in the remote region where Kenya and Abyssinia share an ill defined border, Kenyan Political Officer Leycester Aylmer and two of his soldiers are shot and killed by Abyssinian outlaws after a failed attempt to parley.

Transport: In London, England, a committee on London traffic accidents publishes its findings after investigating the sharp increase in serious accidents in recent years involving motor buses. Recommendations include fitting buses with gongs (they are too quiet when compared to horse drawn vehicles) and using “street orderly boys” to clear away mud more quickly. And (of course) “rules should be circulated widely by way of education and warning”.

Mysteries: Six miles north of the Seal Rock off New South Wales, Mr Thomas Brown, a passenger on the steam ship “Fitzroy” who has been locked in his cabin by the captain because of his strange behaviour, escapes while the captain is bringing him tea, and throws himself overboard. The vessel is stopped and a search undertaken, but Mr Brown is not found.

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.

19th April 1913 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY, probably in Bombay (now Mumbai) – Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy, 7th Baronet of Bombay, a title first bestowed (on the first Baronet, also Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy) in 1857, and then to each of the intermediate five – all known as Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy. in 1915 the Imperial Legislative Council (the legislature for India during the British Raj) passed the Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy Baronetcy Act to ensure that all successors will take this name and no other. The 7th Baronet (Sir James Jejeebhoy) died in 2006 and the eight Baronet (you guessed it) is now 55 years old. His heir apparent is Jehangir Jejeebhoy. There is no indication that the Jejeebhoys are related to Jehangir Cowasji Jehangir Readymoney (1853-1934), another famous member of the Bombay Parsi community, who makes an appearance here solely on the basis of his splendid name.

World Affairs: Montenegro refuses to participate in an armistice which is signed between Bulgaria/ Serbia and Turkey.

Society, Empire and Culture: in the Spanish zone (protectorate) of Morocco, Mulay al-Mahdi bin Isma’il bin Muhammad is appointed as “Jalifato” (Sultan’s representative).

Sport: At London’s Crystal Palace, Aston Villa beat Sunderland 1-0 in the 42nd FA Cup Final.

Accidents: In Paris, Isadora Duncan’s two children and their nanny drown after the car they are in plunges into the River Seine. After stalling the engine, the driver forgets to apply the handbrake before hand-cranking the engine.