12th January 1915 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Boston, Massachusetts – Richard Evans Schultes, the “father of modern ethnobotany” and co-author of “The Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred, Healing, and Hallucinogenic Powers” (1979). [Wikipedia].



Addiction: The R.J Reynolds tobacco company advertises its “Camel” brand in the New York Times: “You can’t buy a more delightful cigarette than Camels at any price”.

Women’s suffrage: The US House of Representatives votes, 204-174, to reject a constitutional amendment to give women the right to vote.


Exploration: In Antarctica, explorer Ernest Shackleton and his team spend part of their day photographing young empire penguins…


A farmer’s life: in New Zealand, sheep farmer George Adkin fills his day with raddle and “matted, yellow, broken fleeces”, and fills his mind with dreams of his beloved fiance, Maud.


Meanwhile – on a dairy farm in Kent, Connecticut, farmer’s daughter Lucy Seger records her routine today:

“30 [fahrenheit] above. Cold rain. It rained all day. I did housework same as usual. Made a cake. Nellie came down after milk. I cleaned house in morning and mother finished it in afternoon. She finished her ironing also. After dinner I went to Kent after children. I went to Watson’s and bought some outing flannel and apron gingham, twenty five cent of Xmas cards.”



1st August 1914 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in Belfast, in British Ireland – Cecil Allan – (Northern) Irish footballer.



The French and German governments both order full mobilization, and – before any declaration of war – German troops cross the border into Luxembourg to secure strategic railroad and telegraph locations.

In Berlin, the crowds who have been waiting apprehensively to hear whether Russia will accept the German ultimatum to stop its mobilization process (deadline 5.00pm today) are “electric with rumour”.  When the order to mobilize comes the crowd is “instantly converted from Marx to Mars”  by their “instinctive fear and hatred of the Slavic hordes… From the moment the order was given, everything was to move at fixed time according to a schedule precise down to the number of train axles that would pass over a given bridge within a given time“. [Barbara Tuchman: “The Guns of August”].

At seven in the evening in St Petersburg (shortly to be renamed Petrograd, to rid it of its germanic sounding name) Germany declares war on Russia because “Jurists at the [German] Foreign Office insisted it was legally the correct thing to do” [Tuchman]

In Britain, First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill orders the immediate seizure in the shipbuilders’ yards of two battleships which are being built for the Turkish Government, the finances for which have been raised by severe taxation and public subscription of the Turkish people. Turkey, which has not yet indicated its position in the coming conflict, is outraged. [Almanac of World War 1].

Also in Britain, where the government is split on whether or not to support France against Germany,  the Governor of the Bank of England (the Central Bank) phones Lloyd George, the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister) to tell him that the “City” (London’s financial interests) are “totally opposed to our intervening”. [Tuchman].


Women’s suffrage: In Lisburn, in the North of British Ireland, a group of suffragettes attempt to blow up Lisburn Cathedral.






8th July 1914 (Wednesday)


~ In Calcutta (now Kolkata) in British India – “Comrade Jyoti Basu, the last surviving member of the first polit bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPIM) and the former Chief Minister of the state of West Bengal” [Proletarian online]


~ in Killowen, Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland – Sister Rose (Anne Mary) Lynch, teacher of religion, history, english, french and music [Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena Newcastle Natal].


~ In Pittsburgh, PA – William Clarence (“Billy”) Eckstein – “the first African-American singing idol” [NNDB].


In Grand Rapids, Michigan – Barbara Louise Karduz, daughter, wife, mother, grandmother.


Womens’ suffrage:  From the Glasgow Herald, 9th July 1914:

“A dastardly attempt was made in the early hours of yesterday morning by suffragists to fire and blow up Burns’s Cottage, Alloway, the birthplace of the national poet, which is annually visited by thousands of pilgrims from all parts of the world. The attempted outrage was fortunately frustrated by the timely appearance on the scene of the night watchman, but the fact that an attempt was made to destroy a shrine that Scotsmen in all parts of the world regard as sacred has roused in the locality the most intense indignation.”

After further investigation the arsonist, Janet Parker, is discovered to be the niece of the First Earl Kitchener, soon to be appointed the UK’s Secretary of State (Minister) for War.



3rd July 1914 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in London – Leueen MacGrath, London and Broadway actress.


~ Also Marmaduke Pattle, South African and Royal (British) Air Force fighter pilot shot down and killed in action near Athens, Greece, in April 1941, aged 26.


World Affairs: At the Simla conference in India, where the British are attempting to separate China and Tibet, the Chinese representative refuses to sign the final accord, which is signed only by Britain and Tibet.


Women’s suffrage: In Edinburgh’s Sheriff Court there are “stormy scenes” as suffragette Maude Edwards is charged with slashing a portrait of the King in the Royal Scottish Academy. Later in the day she is admitted to Perth Prison.



24th June 1914 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: Cecile Pearl Witherington (later Corniole), Alias “Agent Wrestler” – British spy, codename “Marie” who parachuted (back) into France in September 1943. Recommended for a military cross after the war, but ineligible on the grounds of her gender. Offered the (civil) MBE medal, she refused it, with the comment: “there was nothing remotely ‘civil’ about what I did.” [Wikipedia].



Women’s suffrage: In Nottingham, in England’s Midlands, the King and Queen are visiting the local lace market as part of a three day tour.  Suffragette Irene/ Eileen Casey, already wanted by the police, is arrested nearby in possession of explosives, fusewire, detonators and a map showing the main area of the Royal visit.



2nd June 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Zawiercie in Silesia (historically Polish, Austro-Hungarian, Russian, Polish etc) – Tadeusz Nowak, Polish fighter pilot shot down and killed over the Channel/ Manche on 21st September 1941, aged 27.


Suffragettes: In London, young ladies are chaining themselves to the railings outside Buckingham Palace…


1st June 1914 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in Vienna, Austria-Hungary – Franz Kraemer, Canadian broadcaster, and “pioneer of opera on TV”.


Society and Culture: In Vienna, Generalmajor Viktor Weber von Webenau becomes a member of the “Supreme Military Court”, quickly rising to the position of Vice President in July.


World Affairs: On a quiet Monday evening in the Balkans, 19 year old Gavrilo Princip and 18 year old Trifun Grabež, two young men with dreams of a better world, cross over the Drina River from Serbia to Bosnia with assassination on their minds.


Women’s suffrage: In the village of Wargrave in central England, suffragettes are suspected of starting the blaze which destroys the village church. (more dreams of a better world?).


Irish suffragettes: In Belfast, in British Ireland, suffragettes stage a “counter demonstration” when large numbers of mill-girls turn out to welcome the Unionist leader, Sir Edward Carson. In the ensuing fracas, “the [mill] girls caught one of the militant women, and, stripping her of nearly all clothing, spanked her with her own shoes. It was only with difficulty that the police,who were stopped by the mill hands, rescued the suffragette from her painful predicament.”  [The Melbourne Argus, 3rd June 1914]

(multiple dreams of a better world…)


22nd May 1914 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: At Granville Summit, Pennsylvania – Vance Packard, Sociologist, who laid bare for us: the Hidden Persuaders; the Status Seekers; The Waste Makers; The Pyramid Climbers; the Naked society; the Nation of Strangers; and Our Endangered Children, etc


Women’s suffrage: Arrests of protesters continue on London’s streets…


18th May 1914 (Monday)


~ in Nové Mesto nad Váhom (“the new town on the River Vah”) in the Austro-Hungarian Empire (later in Czechoslovakia, now in Slovakia) – Stefan Schwarz, survivor of Sachsenhausen and Buchenwald, Professor of Mathematics, and Head of the Mathematical Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences from 1966 until 1987.


~ In Plovdiv, Bulgaria – Boris Christoff, “probably the best known of all Bulgarian opera singers”.


~ in Kishinev in Imperial Russia (now Chișinău, capital of the Republic of  Moldova) – Alla Nikolayevna Bayanova, “Russian romance singer singer sometimes compared with Edith Piaf for her simple yet dramatic style of performance”. [Wikipedia].


Women’s Suffrage: In well-to-do Hampstead, in London – the personal property of Mrs Louisa Thomson Price is auctioned to settle her debts for unpaid taxation. Mrs Price is a member of the Women’s Tax Resistance League, whose motto is ” No taxation without representation”.


15th May 1914 (Friday)

BORN TODAY:  at Lutopecny, near Kroměříž, in the Moravia region of Czechoslovakia – Alois Siska, survivor. “One man’s struggle against Nazi tyranny, the elements and Communism” .


Arms Race: The British First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill visits the the Naval Wing of the Royal Flying Corps in Kent.


Women’s suffrage: In the west of England, the Western Times reports: “Men support suffrage”:

“A meeting under the auspices of the National Union of Women Suffrage Societies and the Conservative and Unionist Women’s Franchise Association was held at the Barnfield Hall, Exeter, Tuesday afternoon. Miss Montgomery, who was announced to preside, was unable to be present… In the evening, at the Barnfield Hail, there was meeting for men only in connection with the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies. It was the first of such meetings promoted by the Southwestern Federation, and though the hall was not full, the attendance was certainly good, and a smack of novelty was lent to the proceedings by the fact that smoking was permitted—a concession, if that description may be used, which those on the platform took full advantage of.”     [Western Times – 15 May 1914]