19th May 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Vienna in the Austro-Hungarian Empire – Max Ferdinand Perutz, OM (Order of Merit); CH (Order of the Companions of Honour); CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire); FRS (Fellow of the Royal Society); emigree from Nazi Austria; accidental expert on glaciers; internee in Canada on the orders of Winston Churchill; molecular biologist; Nobel prize winner; founder and Chair of the Medical Reseach Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge (England).

His parents hoped that he would become a lawyer” [Wikipedia]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Perutz

World Affairs: Essad Pasha Toptani,  a wealthy Albanian landowner who is also the minister of war and of the interior for the new Albanian state, and who is suspected of fomenting the Peasant’s Revolt, (later) records in his memorandum on Albania (1919) how a group of “Austrophile” gendarmes, led by a Dutch officer, attempt to take him prisoner:

“At the time, I was Minister of War and of Internal Affairs, and was interim Prime Minister. I consented, but on condition that the Italian Minister to the Albanian Court take charge of me. Under such circumstances, I was obliged to leave my country and take refuge initially in Rome and then in Paris”.

http://www.albanianhistory.net/texts20_1/AH1919.html

Science and technology: On New Zealand’s North Island, after centuries of going its own way, the Rangitāiki River (the longest river in the Bay of Plenty region) is from today re-channelled through a different, man-made, course so that a swamp can be drained and turned into farmland.

http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/bay-of-plenty-places/page-8

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25th March 1914 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: Among the ashes of two Balkan Wars, In Salonica,  (until just before that time, in the Ottoman province of Macedonia, but just recently becoming Thessaloniki in newly expansionist Greece) – Aris Football Club, named after the God of War.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aris_F.C._(Thessaloniki)

~ Also, in Cresco. Iowa – Norman  Borlaug, “The Man Who Saved a Billion Lives”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Borlaug

http://biologie.univ-mrs.fr/upload/p210/Norman_E._Borlaug.pdf

20th July 1913 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: Tommy “Old Reliable” Heinrich, major league baseball right fielder with the NY Yankees, 1937-42 and 1946-50.

World Affairs – the Fukien province in China joins other regions in declaring itself independent. China appears to be disintegrating.

Second Balkan War: Turkish troops retake Adrianople (Edirne) from Bulgaria after losing it in the first Balkan War earlier in the year.

12th July 1913 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: In Helsinki, Finland – Reino (“Repe”) Helismaa, singer-songwriter, musician and scriptwriter

World Affairs: The Jianxi province of central China declares its independence from the national chinese government.

Second Balkan War: Turkey becomes the fourth nation to take up arms in response to the Bulgarian attack on Serbia and Greece, marching into Thrace to reclaim lands lost during the First Balkan War.

Women’s Suffrage: Suffragette “Pilgrims” marching from Carlisle to London arrive in Birmingham.

Accidents: In Colchester, UK – 3 die and 16 are injured in a rail accident (collision and derailment).

Royal Lancastrian Progress: On the sixth day of their royal tour, King George V and Queen Mary visit Oldham.

28th June 1913 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in Byton, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, in the Province of Wloclawek (Poland) – Leon Nowakowski, Priest of the diocese of Wloclawek. Killed by the nazis in October 1939 (aged 26).

Also: in Nowy Sącz (then in Austria-Hungarian Galicia, soon to be annexed by Russia, then occupied by Germany [WW1], briefly claimed by Ukraine, then part of Poland, before being re-occupied by Germany [WW2] and finally (?) settling in Poland, just north of the Slovakian border) – Efraim Racker, “Austrian” biochemist who grew up in Vienna, but fled to Britain before settling in the USA. “the regional Jewish community [of Nowy Sącz] numbered about 25,000 before World War 2… ninety percent of them died or did not return” [Wikipedia].

World Affairs: the Bulgarian king Ferdinand I orders his army to march into the disputed areas of Macedonia which were  taken from the Ottoman Empire by Greece and Serbia during the First Balkan War. This action destroys the Balkan League, and also forces Russia to rethink its strategic positions in the southern Balkans between the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires. the Second Balkan War will be short but bloody, and leave all parties dis-satisfied and with their objectives in the Balkans and the Aegean unresolved. In exactly one year from today the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand will be assassinated in Sarajevo…

King George of V of Great Britain and Ireland is visited by a delegation of four Tibetan boys bearing letters and gifts from the 13th Dalai Lama.

Accidents: In London’s Hyde Park, Captain Matthew Meiklejohn, who lost his right arm but gained the Victoria Cross at the Battle of Elandslaagte in the Boer War, in 1899, is out riding when his horse bolts. Unable to control the horse with just one  arm he narrowly prevents the horse from trampling a group of children by forcing it up against the railings of Rotten Row. Impaled on the railings, he dies of his injuries on 4th July.

Society and Culture: At London’s “Olympia” Exhibition Centre, Londoners are enjoying the 7th International Horse Show.

30th May 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Falls City, Nebraska – Pee Wee (George) Erwin, Jazz trumpeter.

World Affairs – in London, at the conclusion of the international conference which has lasted over 5 months, combatants of the First Balkan War sign the Treaty of London. The Balkan League (Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria, Montenegro), having defeated the Ottomans, successfully confirm the boundaries of the Turkish state in Eastern Thrace, substantially limiting Turkey’s territory in Europe. Issues relating to Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia and Thrace remain unresolved, thereby sowing seeds for later disputes – the earliest of which will re-emerge within weeks.

Crime and Punishment: Henry Brock is executed for murder in the State of Texas.

24th May 1913 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in Langnau im Emmenthal in Switzerland – Hans Schwarzenbach, Swiss equestrian who won silver in the eventing event (?) at the Rome Olympics in 1960.

Arms Race: In Kiel, Germany the Germaniawerft shipyard launches the submarine “U24”. She will sink 34 ships before surrendering in November 1918.

Accidents and disasters: in Long Beach, California, the municipal pier collapses while 10,000 weekenders are crowded on to the pier. Thirty six people die.

In Smyrna (now Izmir) on the Turkish coast, the steamship Nevada strays into a mined part of the harbour, strikes three mines, and sinks with the loss of forty lives.

Empire: The British Empire celebrates “Empire Day”.

Each Empire Day, millions of school children from all walks of life across the length and breadth of the British Empire would typically salute the union flag and sing patriotic songs like Jerusalem and God Save the Queen. They would hear inspirational speeches and listen to tales of ‘daring do’ from across the Empire, stories that included such heroes as Clive of India, Wolfe of Québec and ‘Chinese Gordon’ of Khartoum. But of course the real highlight of the day for the children was that they were let of (sic) school early in order to take part in the thousands of marches, maypole dances, concerts and parties that celebrated the event. [“Historic UK” website – http://www.historic-uk.com/]

In Bulawayo, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) – The British South Africa Police Regimental Association is formed. The UK Branch is planning centenary celebrations in various locations across the UK this month.