18th November 1913 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Mohacs, Austria-Hungary, on the right bank of the Danube – Endre Rozsda, Hungarian-French painter. Settled in Paris in 1938 but forced to return to Hungary (Budapest) when the Germans occupied Paris. Fled (back to Paris) from communist repression in Hungary in 1956, and finally became a French citizen in 1970.


World Affairs: In Mexico City, the correspondent of the London Times, offers his views on the current state of the revolution, which has been dragging on for three years:

“A sinister impression is abroad that the Federal officers are not trying to suppress the revolution, and that civil war drags on because it is profitable. The root evil in Mexico is official corruption: no ignominy attaches to it, because no official is expected to be anything but corrupt.” [The Spectator]


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.

6th June 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Dublin, Ireland – Patrick Campbell, 3rd Baron Glenavy. Chief Petty Officer in the Irish Marine, journalist, humorist and television personality (“Call My Bluff”). Author of “How to become a scratch golfer” (1963).

Also, in Budapest, Austria Hungary (now just Hungary)  – Gobbi Hilda, Hungarian actress.

Arms Race: The German Zeppelin LZ-19 makes its inaugural flight. Like many of its (18) predecessors it will have a short life. In April 1914 it is damaged beyond repair in a thunderstorm and scrapped.

Society and Culture: At Stoney Creek, near Fort George on the Canadian side of Lake Ontario, a monument is unveiled to mark the centenary of the Battle of Stoney Creek (6th June 1813) The monument is “unveiled by Queen Mary in London, by means of a transatlantic cable.” (?)  [ http://www.battlefieldhouse.ca/monument.asp ]

In South Africa, 600 women, led by Mrs Molisapoli, march in protest to the trial in Bloemfontein of 80 women activists imprisoned in the Orange Free State province on 28th May for participating in anti-pass law demonstrations.

29th May 1913 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: in Baku in the Russian Empire (now Azerbaijan) – Hokuma Gurbanova, Azeri actress and the USSR’s “Peoples’ Artist” for 1965. Also awarded the Order of the Badge of Honour (1949); The Order of Lenin (1959); and the Order of the Red Banner of Labour (1973).

Also – in Nagyberezna, Austria-Hungary (later Veliky Bereznij in Russia, then Ukraine)  – Ivan Rohach, Ukrainian journalist, poet and writer. Personal secretary to the (nominal) Prime Minister of Carpatho-Ukraine (the Republic of Rusyn) which existed for 1 day – 15th March 1939, before being occupied by Hungary.

Society and Culture: In Paris, the Premiere of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” witnesses probably the most famous riot in musical history.

At Haggar’s Theatre, in Llanelly, Wales – Vulcana (born Kate Williams, daughter of a local preacher, now aged 38) beats rival strong woman Athelda in a competition to lift a challenge bell. With her partner, “Atlas”, she has been appearing as a stage act in London since 1892, having started at the age of 17.

28th May 1913 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: in Novonikolaevsk, Siberia – Monia Talan, MBE – Platoon Sergeant and later Company Sergeant Major, and member of the British elite Special Operations Executive. Refugee from the Russian Revolution aged 5, member of the Shanghai Volunteers in his youth, Hong Kong soldier and later businessman during and after World War 2.  Retired as a horse breeder with his Hungarian wife outside Melbourne, Australia in 1979.

Human rights: In a protest against the South African racist pass laws, a mass meeting of women in Waaihoek adopts a passive resistance stance. The women refuse to carry residential permits, and two hundred angry women march into town to see the mayor, later tearing up their passes and provoking 80 arrests.

Mysteries: Bertrand Russell records in a letter a recent meeting he has had with the philosopher Wittgenstein, and experiences “the younger generation knocking at the door”

We were both cross from the heat. I showed him a crucial part of what I had been writing. He said it was all wrong, not realizing the difficulties—that he had tried my view and knew it wouldn’t work. I couldn’t understand his objection—in fact he was very inarticulate—but I feel in my bones that he must be right, and that he has seen something that I have missed. If I could see it too I shouldn’t mind, but as it is, it is worrying, and has rather destroyed the pleasure in my writing—I can only go on with what I see, and yet I feel it is probably all wrong, and that Wittgenstein will think me a dishonest scoundrel for going on with it. Well, well—it is the younger generation knocking at the door—I must make room for him when I can, or I shall become an incubus. But at the moment I was rather cross”.

Three years later Russell wrote: “I saw he was right, and I saw that I could not hope ever again to do fundamental work in philosophy. My impulse was shattered, like a wave dashed to pieces against a breakwater”.[University College London – 2006: “What Wittgenstein saw and Russell missed”]

Society and technology: At Windsor Castle, England, a copy of today’s Paris newspaper, Le Matin – printed on silk – is delivered to King George V, having been flown across the channel. A second (back-up) copy – being delivered by a separate pilot – never arrives because the craft develops engine trouble and is forced to land short of its destination.

17th March 1913 (Monday)

BORN TODAY – Manohar Aich, Indian  bodybuilder, and  Charles McManis, US organ builder. Respectively Mr Universe (group III) 1952 and a founder member of the American Institute of Organ Builders.

Arms Race: The Uruguayan Air Force is founded.

At Govan on the Clyde (Scotland) the Fairfield Shipping Company launch HMS Fortune, the twenty first ship of the  British Royal Navy to carry that name. In just over three years she will be sunk at the Battle of Jutland (31 May/ 1st June 1916).

Music and entertainment: In Transylvania, Bela Bartok the Hungarian composer completes his two weeks collecting Romanin folk music.

Society and Culture: Buffalo, New York holds its first ever St Patrick’s Day Parade, when a group of Buffalo’s Irish immigrants decide to manifest their allegiance to both their native and their adopted countries. The first Parade Marshal Mike Quinn leads a group of 5,000 marchers from the Elk Street Market Terminal to Euclid Place and back in sub-zero temperatures.


Meanwwhile, in warmer climes, further South, Port Orange, in Volusia County, Florida (first settled in 1867) achieves “town status”.

HAPPY CENTENARY to the currently estimated 56,000 inhabitants of Port Orange “City”.

For those in the area: “The Centennial Celebration will start at 4 p.m. at Riverwalk Park off Ridgewood Avenue. There will be live music, carnival games, pony rides, gourmet food trucks, historic photos and displays and fireworks that start at about 7:45 pm” today.

14th February 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY, in Brazil, Indiana, USA – Jimmy Hoffa, US labour union leader (International Brotherhood of Teamsters) and convicted criminal (fraud, bribery, jury tampering). Last seen outside a suburban restaurant in Detroit on 30 July 1975, and declared dead in absentia 7 years later. In September 2012 the police dug up a concrete drive-way in Michigan after a tip-off of where the body had been buried, but they still haven’t found it.

The First Balkan War – the Deutsches Volksblatt publishes a report from southern Hungary, warning: The Serbian government must come to realize that their official denials [ of war crimes against Albanian communities] only serve to destroy Serbian credibility even further.

Finance and Politics: A French newspaper, Le Matin, publishes an article alleging corruption and insider trading in the awarding of a UK government contract to the Marconi company, and implicating various high ranking members of the UK Government. (The brother of the Attorney General is a Director of the Marconi Company). After being sued for libel the paper apologises and prints a complete retraction four days later.

At the Bow Street Police Court in London a preliminary hearing is given details of the alleged International Development Corporation fraud. The accountant, a Mr Garlick, and Francis Shackleton (brother of the famous explorer) are accused of defrauding Lord Ronald Gower of £40,000, and other parties of another £18,000.

Science and Technology: The International Aero Show opens at London’s Olympia Exhibition Centre.

Society and Culture: On the Liner “Baltic”, from the White Star Line, the Valentine Day menu consists of a hors d’oeuvres of celery; green turtle soup; Scotch salmon rémoulade; casserole of chicken à la Madrid; roast grouse; salade mercédès; pudding à l’Ambassadeur; and lemon ices for dessert.

Meanwhile, in Flanders (Belgium) The Flemish Government issues a Royal Decree which allows all municipalities that cannot prove their entitlement to an ancient coat of arms to petition for the granting of a new one.

Extreme Weather: Perth, in Western Australia, is reported as suffering from a “heat wave”.