15th December 1913 (Monday)

LAUNCHED TODAY:  At the John Brown shipyard, in Clydebank, Scotland – the British Royal Navy launches HMS Tiger, its most heavily armoured battlecruiser, costing 2.5 million British pounds. Tiger fought at the Battle of Jutland in 1916. she was decommissioned and sold for scrap in 1932.



Animal Rights: At Kensington Town Hall in London, author John Galsworthy delivers a speech protesting against cruelty to performing animals.


Extreme Weather: The English are busy reflecting on their extremely mild (“unseasonable”) weather. “The heat of the sunshine was hardly less extraordinary for the time of year, and it was possible to sit writing out of doors until the sun had set and it was too dark to see” [The Spectator, 27th December 1913].



9th December 1913 (Tuesday)

NOT BORN TODAY:  On Deception Island, in the South Shetland archipelago, in Antarctica, a passing whaler removes  two eggs from the nest of an unlucky chinstrap penguin (Pygoscelis antarctica),  and later passes them to Falkland Islander, Mrs Vera Packe. The eggs are now in the care of the Norfolk Museum in England. How the parent penguins felt about the tragedy is lost for all time.



4th March 1913 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY, in Senatobia, Mississippi – Willie Johnson, electric blues guitarist and principal guitarist in Howlin’ Wolf’s band  between 1948 and 1953.

World Affairs: Woodrow Wilson inaugurated as the 28th US President, replacing President William Taft.

Arms Race: The USS Arizona is ordered. She will launch in June 1915 and see active service for over 26 years before being sunk at Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941.

In response to growing concerns by the Dutch government that it is no longer properly equipped to protect its Empire, the shipbuilder Germaniawerft, based in Kiel, Germany, submits a proposal for a revised battleship design to the Dutch Navy.

Animal rights: The Weeks-McLean Act prohibits the spring hunting and marketing of migratory birds in the USA.

21st February 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY, in Ohio, USA – Ross Rocklin (aka Ross Rocklynne), sci-fi author in the so called “Golden Age” of Science Fiction (1938 to 1946).

Human Rights: the State of Arkansas abolishes the practice of convict leasing. It will remain legal in Alabama until 1928 and will not be completely eradicated until World War 2. Matthew Mancini described this vicious labour system in his book “One Dies, Get Another – Convict Leasing in the American South, 1866-1928”.

Society and culture: In Choctaw County, Oklahoma, the “Fort Towson Enterprise” reports on the improving conditions after the recent smallpox epidemic in Hugo:

“There has been a great and decided change for the better in the smallpox situation, not only to Hugo but all over the county, the past week. Very few new cases have developed, and very few cases of varloloid, which would indicate that all cases are successfully quarantined and there is no chance, practically, for exposures. This is glad and welcome news to the people of the county. There has been a terrible fear, and justly, by the people of the county to visit Hugo the past few weeks, but the official report below given evidence of the disappearance of the dread malady”.

The official report then summarizes that only 33 deaths have occurred in Hugo in the last week, 14 white patients and 19 negroes.

Science & Technology: Meanwhile the “Athens Banner” from Atlanta, Georgia, reports on the innovative use of electric heating to bring forward the season for successfully hatching “electric hatched chicks”.