5th September 1915 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: in Colombo in British Ceylon  – Arthur Terence Sahanandan Paul, pioneering Sri Lankan cardiothoracic surgeon.



Protest: In Zimmerwald, Switzerland, delegates from international socialist parties in 11 countries hold a conference to advocate anti-militarist and pacifist policies and (for some) international socialist revolution, later making this small Swiss town a part of the foundation myth of the Soviet Union.


21st June 1914 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: in Victoria, British Columbia – Wiliam Spencer Vickrey, post Keynesian economist and Nobel Laureate.


World Affairs: Serbian diplomat Jovan Jovanovic warns Leon Bilinski, the Austrian finance minister, that there may be an assassination plot against Archduke Franz Ferdinand when he visits Sarajevo next week. His warning is ignored.


Extreme Weather: the city of Termez in Central Asia (previously belonging to the Emirate of Bukhara, at this time part of Imperial Russia, later in the Soviet Union, and now the most Southern point in Uzbekistan)  experiences the hottest temperature ever recorded in Uzbekistan – 49.6 celsius.


Sport: In Buenos Aires – England’s Exeter City football club beat a team representing Southern Argentina 3-0.



14th June 1914 (Sunday)


~ in Korostienie in the Zhitomir region, Ukraine, Imperial Russia – Piotr Kozachenko, graduate of the Odessa Military Air College (1936) who fought with the Chinese forces against the Japanese in 1937 and for the Soviet Union against Finland in the Winter War in 1939-1940. On the first day of the Great Patriotic War against Germany (in 1941) he claimed his first successes against German aircraft, and in 1942 was fighting on the North Caucasus front. After receiving the Golden Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of Lenin in May 1943 he began operating over the Crimea area on the 2nd Ukrainian Front. He died during a mission over Danzig, Germany (now Gdansk in Poland) in March 1945, aged 30.


~ in Nagutskaya, in the Caucasus region of  Imperial Russia, Yuri Andropov: orphan; loader; telegraph clerk; sailor on the Volga; young communist; local and then national activist; Soviet Ambassador to Budapest during the Hungarian uprising; Chairman of the KGB; Politburo member; interrogator; invader of Afghanistan; and General Secretaty of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. {Wikipedia].


World Affairs: Russian Tsar Nicholas II, who has been taking a holiday in Russian Crimea, visits the Romanian King, by sea, in Constanta, Romania, along with the Russian foreign Minister, Sazonov. On the agenda is the tenuous balance of power in the Balkan’s in recent years, where  Ottomans, Habsurgs, Russians and Italians have been vying for position.


Extreme Weather: In South West London, England a freak thunderstorm causes death and flooding. Among the dead are three young children sheltering under a lightning struck tree in an area known as “The Frying Pan” on Wandsworth Common.


Arts and Literature: Publisher A.C MClurg of Chicago publishes the first book edition of Edgar Rice Burrough’s “Tarzan of the Apes”


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.



Boxing Day, 26th December 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Petropavlovsk in the Russian Empire (now Petropavl in Kazakhstan) – Vladimir Tretchikoff, the man who brought us the painting “Chinese Girl” (aka “the Green Lady”) one of the best selling art prints of the twentieth century. With his family he fled to China in 1917 before moving to Singapore, and eventually to South Africa, but only after his passenger ship was bombed by the Japanese and he was taken captive by the Japanese for the remainder of the war.


Antipodean romance: George Adkin, New Zealand farmer and diarist waxes lyrical on a wonderful day with his beloved Maud, concluding his diary entry with: “a most enjoyable, successful + never-to-be forgotten day.”  [Museum of New Zealand].


Globalisation:  The Western Mail, in Perth, Western Australia, reports on recent efforts by the Philippines authorities to introduce the plant Carludovica palmata, so that the locals can compete in the global market for Panama Hats.


20th December 1913 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in Alexanderkrone, Siberia in the Barnaul Mennonite settlement – David Friesen, businessman and Anabaptist church leader who emigrated from the Soviet Union to Canada in 1926, aged 12.


World Affairs: in London, the Spectator magazine reports how the arrival of a German military mission in Turkey (under the command of General Liman von Sanders) has caused consternation in British, French and Russian diplomatic circles, who perceive it to threaten their strategic interests in this most sensitive part of the world.


Global Finance: A cartoon by Walter J Enright in Harper’s Weekly shows a fat and obviously rich  (top hatted) financier lording it over cities and industries, propped up by (other peoples’ money being held in) banks and insurance companies.


7th December 1913 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: in Narva, then in Russia, but later in independent Estonia before the second world war (eventually) brought Estonia into the Soviet Union – Eugenia Moorberg, better known as Kersti Merilaas, disreputable bourgeois nationalist poet and children’s author.


Law and order: During the ongoing Michigan Copper Strike, a boarding house owner, Thomas Dally, and two English brothers at the boarding house in Painesdale, Arthur and Harry Jane, are killed by random rifle shots fired into the house from nearby woods. The Jane brothers have just arrived with the intention of strike breaking/ scabbing. Later, two Finnish immigrant brothers named Huhta, and an Austrian named Verbanac, are charged with first degree murder in connection with the shooting, but Verbanac escapes from custody and is never recaptured.


15th October 1913 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: In Riga (at that time part of Russia, but dominated by German speakers; taken by the Germans in 1917 and retained as part of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk; independent Latvia between the two world wars; annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940; recaptured by Germany in 1941; retaken by the Red Army in 1944 and part of the Soviet bloc; currently independent again since 1991) – Wolfgang Luth, U-boat Captain, shot dead in 1945 by a sentry (acting on Luth’s previous orders) after the Captain failed to give the proper pass-word.


Accidents and disasters: A rail accident in the St James’ area of Liverpool, England, kills 6 and injures 63 others.

As this week racks up its third tragedy, following the loss of the SS Volturno (130 lives) last Wednesday, and the explosion at the Senghenydd colliery (440 lives) yesterday, it is becoming known as “Black Week”.



World Affairs: In South Africa, Mahatma Gandhi begins his march from his farm at Phoenix, near Durban, to the Natal border with the Transvaal, with the intention to cross the border illegally in support of rights for Indians in South Africa. With subsequent and surprising support from no less a figure than Lord Hardinge, the Viceroy of India, Ghandi’s reputation as an international figure will be established.


High Society: At St James’s Palace, London –  Princess Alexandra Victoria Alberta Edwina Louise, second Duchess of Fife and great granddaughter of Queen Victoria marries Prince Arthur Frederick Patrick Albert of Connaught and Strathearn, grandson of Queen Victoria.


17th July 1913 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: in Marseilles, France – to Catholic and Atheist parents – Roger Garaudy, youthful protestant, French resistance member, post-war communist, Marxist, deputy speaker of the National Assembly, expelled from the communist party for criticising the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, political philosopher and convert to Islam (Ragaa Garaudy) in 1982.

World Affairs: Sheikh Abdullah Bin Qassim Al-Thani becomes the ruler of Qatar, succeeding Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, who had reigned since 1878 after the death of Sheikh Mohammed bin Thani, who had ruled since 1850.

Second Balkan War: Bulgarian Prime Minister Stoyan Petrov Danev resigns and is replaced by Vasil Hristov Radoslavov.

Early Flight: On Salisbury Plain in England, Major Alexander Hewetson is killed when his Bristol Prier-Dickson monoplane crashes during his test flight for his aviator certificate. The inquest concludes that the accident was caused by lack of skill on the part of the pilot.

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!