19th June 1915 (Saturday)


~ at the New York naval shipyard – USS Arizona, a Pennsylvania class battleship sent to the bottom of Pearl Harbour on 7th December 1941, aged 26, along with 1,177 US servicemen.


~ In Brooklyn – the Fourth Avenue subway, with trains running to Coney Island.


~ in the Bronx – Julius Schwartz, pioneer comic editor.


~ In Harlem – Henry Christian LeTang, choreographer.


15th June 1915 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Purwokerto on the Island of Java in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia ) – her mother a descendent of the Maharaja of Java,  of Hindu, Polish, German and French extraction, her father a Danish engineer – Nini Arlette Thielade, ballet dancer.


17th December 1914 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: in Havana – Fernando Alonso, cuban ballet dancer and co-founder of the Cuban National Ballet [wikipedia].



in the Caucasus: Turkish forces launch an attack on Russian forces in an engagement which will last until mid January.


Western Front: On the Battlefield of “Hill 141” in the La Boiselle district of the Somme, german machine guns cut down a french attack at dawn:

“I never saw any attack that was as thoroughly killed before it got under way as this one…the french losses during the brief space of about 20 minutes were over 2,500 dead and wounded. The dead were still on the plateau when we left La Boiselle later in March 1915”.

[Hans Ludwig, quoted in Ralph J Whitehead’s “The Other Side of the Wire”]

The account is corroborated by an anonymous British nursing sister who records in her diary today: “The French also lost heavily, and lie unburied in hundreds” adding optimistically: …“but the men say the germans were still more badly ‘punished’ “. [Diary of a nursing sister on the western front, 1914-1915].


18th September 1914 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Charleston, New Zealand – Eileen May Norris, post office worker, piano player, dancer and benefactrix.



In Oxford, England, the young arabist and archaeologist turned intelligence officer, T. E. Lawrence, is frustrated because he has been refused a request to join the fighting on the Western front. His minders are keeping him in reserve against the possibility of war in the Middle East. He writes to a friend in the Lebanon: “I have a horrible fear that the Turks do not intend to go to war”.  [Quoted in “Lawrence In Arabia – War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East” by Scott Anderson].



Leisure: New Zealand farmer and diarist George Adkin spends an evening at the cinema watching “Judith of Bethulia”, an early US biopic of the siege of the Jewish town of Bethulia by the Assyrians.

According to wikipedia: “The film caused controversy with its inclusion of an orgy scene”. George’s assessment at the time is that the film is “very wonderful”.

Perhaps the censors got to it before George did…








3rd August 1914 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in Bellevue , France – a son and third child to the dancer Isadora Duncan, each with different fathers. Her first two children drowned in a freak motor accident in the River Seine in Paris in April 1913. This third child survived only a few hours.




Eastern Front: German troops invade Poland, capturing Kalish, Chenstokhov and Bendzin.

Western Front: Belgium rejects the German ultimatum at 7.00AM. The British government and parliament, previously divided along party lines, finds solidarity in its interests to preserve Belgian neutrality. The British foreign secretary  comments:

“The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime”

Germany declares war on France as one and a half million German troops move towards Belgium and France. Another half million are moving Eastward…


Sources: “Almanac of World War 1”  – “The Guns of August” – “Hansard” (record of the proceedings of the British Parliament).



Migration: The town of Utica, in Oneida County, New York State enjoys “Old Home Week” when former citizens who have gone out into the world are welcomed back, and everyone’s mutual prosperity is celebrated.


 Globalisation: the Panama Canal is officially opened to commercial traffic. (some sources say August 15th).



11th July 1914 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in Buenos Aires – Aníbal Carmelo Troilo, Argentine bandoneonist and tango musician.


Society and culture: Leading anarchist Alexander Berkman addresses a large crowd at a rally of like-minded supporters in Union Square, New York City.



~ In Jedburgh, on the English/ Scottish border, at 6.00AM precisely,  the traditional ceremonies for the opening of Jedburgh Border Games are carried out, “as they have been done since their inauguration in 1853”.  


~George Herman “Babe” Ruth makes his major league baseball debut.



5th May 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: In Harbin, China – to Russian parents, Eugenia Fomenko. Daughter of a suspected (Russian) US agent; architect in Harbin; dancer in Shanghai (with new name of  Jeanne LeGon); emigrant to the US; successful department store worker in Brooklyn; sportswear executive in Dallas, and briefly in California; suspected communist spy; divorcee; spouse of a Russian nobleman emigre with dubious connections (now Mrs Jeanne de Mohrenschildt); adventurer in Mexico and Central America; supporter of Russian emigres and refugees in Dallas; expatriate with interesting connections in Haiti; witness at the Warren Commission into the assassination of John Kennedy; widow of a man whose exact role (if any)  in the assassination remains unclear to this day. [Spartacus Educational]