23rd February 1913 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY, in Ashekpur, Tangail District, Bengal, India (now part of Bangladesh) – Protul Chandra Sorcar, Indian magician and presenter of the Indrajal show, live and on Television.

Law and Order: In Clarendon County, South Carolina, Marion Cantri is lynched for the crime of assault.

Joseph Stalin is arrested by the Russian secret police as he arrives in Petrograd for the International Women’s Day. He is imprisoned for four years, and will be released in 4 years time, shortly before the Russian Revolution.

Society and Culture: Meanwhile Tsar Nicholas II and his family attend a lavish Gala ball at the “Assembly of Nobles” (now the Philharmonic Hall) in St Petersburg.

Second Balkan War (prelude): Romania agrees to an arbitration over its disputed boundary with Bulgaria


16th January 1913 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY – Miroslaw Zulawski, in Nisko, Poland. Poet, soldier, war correspondent, editor-in chief, screenwriter, diplomat and Polish ambassador to Senegal and Mali.

First Balkan War – in the UK, there are “questions in the house” about atrocities being committed against muslims in Albania, Macedonia and Thrace.

Following the coup in Istanbul the new Turkish government hardens its position  on the Bulgarian occupation of Adrianople (Edirne), leading Bulgaria to denounce the recently signed armistice.

Mathematics and literature: G.H. Hardy, a prominent English mathematician receives a letter from an unknown Indian clerk called Ramanujan, who is “discovered” to be a mathematical genius, and is invited to join Hardy in Cambridge. The subsequent events are the subject of a novel published in 2007 by David Leavitt: “The Indian Clerk”

Shipping disaster: The “Veronese” a British packet boat sinks off Porto, Portugal, with a loss of 40 lives.


9th January 1913 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY – Richard Milhous Nixon, in Yorba Linda, California. 37th US President from 1969 to 1974, when he resigned in the face of almost certain impeachment over the Watergate Scandal. Died 1994 (aged 81).

Sovereign states: Portugal’s Prime Minister resigns during the “First Republic” period.

Naval arms race: The UK’s Royal Navy’s Arethusa Class light cruiser, HMS Galatea is laid down at a Clydesdale shipyard. She will launch in May 1914, see action from 1916 during World War 1, and be sold for scrap in 1921.

Transport revolution: In Exeter, UK – a local newspaper reports that a farrier (a specialist in looking after horses’ hooves) has been made bankrupt at the Exeter Court because of – “the introduction of motor cars and a system of electric tramways in Exeter, which [has] caused a considerable reduction in the number of horse drawn cabs plying for hire……and subsequently a loss of trade to the debtor, who did the shoeing of the horses”.