25th June 1913 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: In Cetinje, Montenegro (later Yugoslavia, then Serbia-Montenegro, now Montenegro again) – Peko Dapcevic, Yugoslav communist who fought in the Spanish Civil War, then joined the Partisan resistance to German  occupation in Yugoslavia, helped liberate Belgrade in 1944 and was appointed Chief of Staff of the Yugoslav Peoples’ Army under Tito in 1953.

Accidents and disasters: Near Ottawa, Canada, a train is derailed and two of its nine carriages plunge into the Ottawa River. Eight people are killed, including Patrick Mulvenna from Country Antrim, Northern Ireland, who has just arrived and is crossing Canada in search of a new life.

23rd June 1913 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in Ganja, Azerbaijan – Nigar Rafibeyli, daughter of the first Azeri surgeon to study in Europe (who was executed by the Bolsheviks in 1919). Nigar became a novelist, poet, film-maker and publisher in the 1930s and 1940s. In her honour, a street in Baku has been named after her.

World Affairs: The British light cruiser HMS Newcastle arrives in Shanghai, China, to replace HMS Bedford during the Shanghai Rebellion.

Society, culture and migration: In  Adelaide, South Australia, the P&O line’s steamship Beltana docks after a six week journey from London carrying 81 British farm apprentices. In total 172 young British men aged between 15 and 19 participated in the State of South Australia’s Government farm apprentice scheme during 1913 and 1914, until the First World War interrupted the migration process.

In Kenton, Ohio, the (US) National Onion Association (NAO) is founded. Happy centenary, NAO!

17th June 1913 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in the Blaenau Gwent area of South East Wales, Clydwyn ap Aeron Jones, migrant to Patagonia in South America where he was described as “one of the Colony’s most brilliant sons,  a prominent musician, one of the Wladfa’s dearest and one of its giants”.

Y Wladfa Gymreig is  the Welsh Colony in Patagonia, the main settlement being in Chubut, where Clydwyn was conductor of the Chubut United choir and one of the co-instigators of the campaign to re-establish the Gorsedd  (a Bardfest to promote literary scholarship and the creation of poetry and music in the Welsh tongue).

Society and culture: In the UK Parliament the Welsh Disestablishment Bill is passed on its second reading, enabling – in 1914 – the Church of England to be disestablished (separated from the state) in Wales and replaced by a separate Church of Wales.

14th June 1913 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: In Whitechapel, East London, to Polish and Romanian parents, Solomon Schwartz, better known  as Stanley Black, OBE, English pianist, bandleader, composer and conductor. Died in London in 2002, aged 89.

Women’s suffrage: At St George’s Church in Bloomsbury, London, a memorial service for Emily Wilding Davison, who died after throwing herself in front of the King’s Horse at the Epsom Derby, attracts large crowds to pay their respects. Six thousand women dressed in white parade in honour of their fallen comrade.

Arms Race: The German Imperial Navy launches the battlecruiser “Defflinger”.

Society and Culture: South Africa passes an Immigration Act restricting the movement of Asians and preventing immigration  from (for example) India.

King’s College, Queensland, founded in 1912 and admitting students since March 1913, is officially opened at Kangaroo Point in Brisbane, on the same day that electric lighting comes to the town of Hamley Bridge, in South Australia.

Exploration: The “Terra Nova” in which Captain Scott made his ill fated South Pole journey, returns to Cardiff where she is greeted by large crowds.

Accidents: Beneath Fifty sixth Street in New York City, eleven workers die when a subway collapses during construction.

20th May 1913 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: Five not at all of a kind:

In Ann Arbor, Michigan – William Redington Hewlett – co-founder of Hewlett Packard;

In Port de Paix, Haiti – Emile Jonassaint – Supreme Court Justice and temporary Head of State after the expulsion of the elected president in 1991;

In London, England – Jasmine Lydia Bligh – one of the BBC’s original three (female) TV presenters;

In Konigsberg, Germany (now Kaliningrad, an exclave of Russia inside Lithuania)  – Hans-Gunther Bethke –  Wehrmacht soldier and Iron Cross holder who was killed near Leningrad in 1942; and

In Lowell, Massachusetts – Vito Paulekas – son of Lithuanian immigrants, artist, “bohemian” and prime mover of the South California ‘freak scene” in the 1960s;

Arms Race: In Bath, Maine, USA, the US Navy launches the destroyer USS Cassin.

Women’s Suffrage – In Hastings, England, an angry mob of about 300 men attacks a meeting of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS).  Later the NUWSS sues the Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of Hastings under the Riot Damage Act to recover money they have been forced to pay to an hotelier for damage by the mob.

Society and Culture: London holds its first “Chelsea Flower Show”.

3rd May 1913 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY, in Vienna, Austria and Carlisle, England – Heinz Kohut and John Hunter Padel – a pair of shrinks who showed how different Chicago and Oxford can be, respectively  as a “self psychologist” and a classicist.

Colonial Unrest: In Rwanda, a District Report draws attention to recent operations  against local Ndungus and Basebya, who are in revolt (insurgents) against colonial impositions, and notes that Ndungusi, who claimed to be the son of the exiled Rwandan King, has been killed. The British officers in the area have recently gone on record that “until the natives have some means of earning money…premature taxation… would cause discontent and might result in migration to the [Belgian] Congo”.

Society and culture: Californian legislators pass an act (Alien Land Act) prohibiting Japanese immigrants from owning property in California.

28th April 1913 (Monday)

BORN TODAY, in Windhoek, Namibia – Walter Ehle, WW2 Luftwaffe night fighter ace. Died 18 November 1943, aged 30 during a crash landing in Belgium.

Global Finance: In order to repay a $10million bond due to Britain, Guatemala is forced to apply to the US for aid.

Early Flight: the first prototype of the Cody V experimental  biplane breaks up in mid air and crashes, killing the pilot, Lt L.C Rogers Harrison. The second (and only other) prototype is retired, eventually finding its way to the science museum in London.

Migration: Eva Theresa Korhammer, aged 5, from Ofuttak in Austria-Hungary (now Serbia) arrives in New York with her mother and siblings on board SS Bueruia, to join her father who is living in Pennsylvania.

Transport: The city of Aberdeen in Scotland begins an experimental “pay as you enter” fare collection arrangement on its local trams.

20th April 1913 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY, in Durrhennersdorf, upper Lusatia (now Saxony – just in Germany) – Willi Hennig, who shuffled the evolutionary pack by founding phylogenetic systematics (marginally?) better known as cladistics. Rarely, if ever, can a dipterans specialist and military entomologist (malaria swatter) have had such a seismic impact on the natural world, although I guess there may be others who have saved more lives.

Also Born today: The Romanian fair force, Corpul Aerian Romana.

Arms Race: The French battleship “Provence” is launched at the Arsenal de Lorient.

Society and Culture: In Levin, South Island, New Zealand, George Adkin – a farmworker – spends his day on his hobby of photography after recently visiting “HMS Wellington” as a sightseer. In the evening he meets his sweetheart at the local church service and arranges to take her to the pictures tomorrow evening.

In London, young men from the Victoria Working Boys Club enjoy a sunday river trip outing from London bridge to Hampton Court and back, held in honour of the upcoming marriage of Mr C.R Sebag-Montefiore and Miss de Pass.

In Rathmines (now a suburb of Dublin) Ireland, C.P Fitzgerald and friends meet and decide to form the Rathmines and Rathgar musical Society.

World Affairs: The Walloon Assembly of the Province of Wallonia in Southern (french speaking) Belgium chooses the Rooster as its regional emblem.

Migration: Joseph Pepo Grezeetich arrives in New York, from Croatia, via Southampton. He is on his way to join a former neighbour in California.

11th April 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY, in Paris, France – Oleg Cassini (Loiewski), fashion designer who dated Grace Kelly, Betty Grable, Lana Turner and Ursula Andress, and married Gene Tierney, but not necessarily in that order.

World Affairs: Nathaniel Griffith Lerotholi becomes paramount chief of Basutoland (a British Colony – Lesotho since independence in 1966).

Human Rights: The US Postmaster General proposes the segregation of black and white employees in the US postal service, and is unopposed, leading to active segregation of bathrooms and lunchrooms for employees later in the year.

The S.S Sutlej arrives in Fiji carrying 808 indentured Indian labourers destined to work in the plantations.

Women’s Suffrage: A cricket pavilion at the Tunbridge Wells cricket ground in England is burnt to the ground. The suffragettes leave their calling card – including a photograph of Mrs Pankhurst.


Society and Culture: In Marietta, Ohio, US, where martial law is still in place following the recent flooding, colonel John Patterson, President of the National Cash Register Company and a recent visitor as part of the Ohio (flood) relief commission, advocates diverting the Muskingum river to avoid Marietta and reduce the risk of future flooding.

At the old Parliament Building in Budapest, Abdu’l-Bahá, founder of the Baha’i faith, speaks to an audience of over 1000 listeners.

In Clanfield, Oxfordshire, UK, Frederick Whipp, 96 old former agricultural worker,  is buried in the local churchyard. He died recently in the Witney Union  workhouse in Curbridge.

Migration: At Mosman, in Sydney Australia, Gracius Joseph Broinowski dies, aged 76. Born in Poland in 1837 he studied at Munich University before leaving for Australia on a “windjammer” in 1857. He married the daughter of a whaling captain in 1863 and settled in Sydney around 1880, becoming famous for his illustrated works on Australian ornithology.

6th April 1913 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY, in Sydney, Australia – Eva Ensley Mary Scutts, later Mrs Basil Fanshawe Jagger of Surrey, England, and mother of Mick, Rock Legend, born 26th July 1943.

Migrants: Sonia Sophrin, a migrant from Russia, arrives in England to join other members of her family. After marrying Leonid Galpin, an electrical engineer (also from Russia) at the East London Synagogue in 1915 they will settle on Canvey Island in Essex.

Extreme Weather: In Future City, Illinois, the Ohio Valley floods cause the Ohio River to rise at the rate of 2 feet per hour. the river “relocates” all of the 200plus wooden homes and buildings in the town, which later all have to dragged back to town and anchored to trees. Around 170 properties are rescued and later still have to be returned to their proper locations.