27th January 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Imperial Russia – Anna Larina, revolutionary. Later, Mrs Bukharin. Enemy of the Stalinist regime – internally exiled; imprisoned; informed of her husband’s death by a fellow inmate tapping on the prison walls. Released 21 years after her imprisonment, after Stalin’s death. She lived to see her husband “rehabilitated”, 50 years after his death.


~ Also, in Chicago, Illinois – William Edward McManus, Catholic Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana.


World Affairs: The Austro-Hungarian consul in Prizren in Serbian Kosovo (previously part of the Ottoman Empire) reports back to his government about Serbian discrimination against muslims and catholics, and on how the Serbians fear an attack from nearby Albania.


Society and culture: Catholic missionaries from South Africa cross the border and begin their work in Mbabane, in Swaziland.


Women’s rights: In Manitoba, Canada, activist and writer Nellie McClung is rebuffed by the Manitoban Premier, who tells her he believes that “woman suffrage would break up the home and send women to mix up in political meetings”.

Meanwhile, black women in South Africa protest at their inclusion in Pass legislation (restricting rights of movement) previously reserved for African men only.



23rd September 1913 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Barnstaple, Devon, England, – Hubert Henry Eastmond, emigrant to New Zealand aged 13 on the steam ship Matarori, leaving Southampton for Auckland in August 1927.


World Affairs: In Macedonia, the Albanian Minister of War, Isa Boletini (nickname Luani Kosoves – “The Lion of Kosovo”) leads an uprising against Serbian occupation, thereby rejecting the recent decision of the “Ambassadors Conference” regarding Albania’s border.


Early Flight: Roland Garros becomes the first aviator to fly across the Mediterranean Sea, from France to Tunisia.


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.

20th March 1913 (Maundy Thursday)

BORN TODAY, in Krakow, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now Poland) – Leopold Pfefferberg, Polish-American holocaust survivor who inspired “Schindler’s Ark”. DIed in Beverley Hills in 2001.

World Affairs: The President of the Kuomintang Party in China, Sung Chiao-Jen, is shot and fatally wounded while waiting for a train in Shanghai.

First Balkan War: In Vienna, the Neue Freie Presse reports that Serbian Orthodox priests in Albania, with the help of the Serbian military, have forcibly converted 300 Catholics from Dakovica (in Kosovo), and that one Catholic father who refused to renounce has been tortured and bayoneted to death.

Extreme Weather: In Wabash County, Indiana, USA, a fierce storm breaks around 10.00pm which will build overnight and in the following days into a tale of flooding and destruction.

Society and culture: The Palladium Playhouse (Cinema) opens in Brixton, South London – built for and operated by the National Electric Theatres Company. “The Fridge” nightclub which took over the venue in the early 1980s finally closed its doors to the Brixton public on 17th March 2010.

Law and Order: In Chicago, a jury of 12 is asked to examine the painting “September Morn” by Paul Chabas to decide whether the painting, a print of which has been hanging in a downtown store window, contravenes the city’s municipal code, which bans the exhibition of lewd pictures or “other thing whatever of an immoral or scandalous nature”. The jury take only 30 minutes to throw the case out, even though municipal experts and moralists determine that it is an “improper exhibition of human nakedness”. After the jury’s ruling, the shopkeeper presents each jury member with a personal copy of the “September Morn”.


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”.

9th February 1913 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY, at Kapurthala, Punjab, India – Zia Fatehabadi, Urdu Poet, Central Banker and astrologer.

First Balkan War: The Austro-Hungarian consul in Skopje reports continuing atrocities perpetrated by Serbian soldiers against Turkish refugees and Albanian muslims in Kosovo.

World Affairs – In Mexico City the “Ten Tragic Days” of the Mexican Revolution begin with an assault on the National Palace by the Military Cadets. The assaults fails and in the ensuing confusion over 400 combatants and spectators are killed.

Science and technology: The Astra Clement-Bayard airship (dirigible) No5 takes to the air from its birthplace in North East France after the French army decided to pursue airship operations.

Out of this World: A unique meteor display appears across the night sky in Canada, the North Eastern United States, the Western North Atlantic and Bermuda with a total reported track in excess of 6000 miles. The “procession” consists of between 40 and 60 fireballs, each visible for half a minute or more and in total taking around 5 minutes to cross the night sky in any individual location.