21st August 1915 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in Copenhagen – Anna Rachel Rastén, the Danish singer better known as Raquel Rastenni.


MODERN AGRICULTURE: In California, the Pacific Rural Press reports on a Texan farmer’s recent success in breeding “Cattelo”, a hybrid cattle and buffalo stock.



Gallipoli: In what will prove to be the last major offensive in the Gallipoli campaign, a force of New Zealand, Ghurka and (later) Australian troops launches the attack on “Hill 60”.


Armenian expulsions: Harrowing stories continue to emerge about the forced mass expulsion of Armenians through and out of Anatolia.



21st April 1915 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: on the island of Sandøy in Norway – Oddmund Myklebust, Norwegian fisherman and politician.


Society and culture: Speaking at a reception in Madras in British India [now Chennai in India] Ghandi praises the Madrassis for their fortitude during the long civil disobedience campaign in South Africa:

“It was the Madrassis who of all the Indians were singled out by the great Divinity that rules over us for this great work. Do you know that in the great city of Johannesburg, the Madarasis look on a Madrasis as dishonored if he has not passed through the jails once or twice during this terrible crisis that your countrymen in South Africa went through during these eight long years?”


Western Front: the second Battle of Ypres commences in Belgium.


17th January 1915 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: (only in the USA) – Vincent Kosuga – American onion farmer “best known for manipulating the onion futures market. Though he made millions of dollars on commodity trading, his actions were highly controversial and attracted government scrutiny. This scrutiny led to the passing of the Onion Future Act, which banned the trading of futures contracts  on onions.” [Wikipedia]



In the East: Russia occupies the historic region of Bukovina (now divided between Ukraine and Romania), and also Western Ukraine.




Mining accidents: At the village of Halmer End, in England’s North Staffordshire coal-fields, a coal gas explosion kills 9 miners, including Arthur Shufflebottom, aged just 16.


Society and culture: in the USA, the radical labour organizer and anarchist Lucy Parsons lead a hunger march in Chicago.


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.”



21st October 1914 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: in Tulsa, Oklahoma – Martin Gardner, mathematical gamester and “widely-read debunker of pseudoscientific canards”.



War on two fronts: the German army is heavily embroiled on the Western Front at Ypres and simultaneously on the Eastern Front, near Warsaw, where the Russians have driven the German forces back across the Vistula.




In the south of England a group of sightseers are enjoying an end of season trip to the seaside in a modern “charabanc” (pronounced in english – sharrabang)…


… meanwhile on the other side of the world, farmer George Adkin spends  his day in the rain, tending his sheep: docking the lambs, dagging the ewes and building a punga sheep bridge.



29th July 1914 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: in Turin, Italy – Marcel Bich, manufacturer and co-founder of Bic, “the world’s leading producer of ballpoint pens”.



Austrian gunboats on the Danube shell the Serbian capital, Belgrade.

The German government notifies Russia that if it continues with its “pre-mobilization” actions Germany will be forced to respond.

Cousins Willy and Niky, better known as Kaiser Wilhelm II, German Emperor and King of Prussia and Tsar Nicholas, Emperor of Russia, Grand Duke of Finland and King of Poland (respectively) begin a frantic exchange of telegrams.


Society and Culture: In the British House of Commons, clerks are busy duly recording the proceedings for the day in the official journal, “Hansard”:

Field Marshal Horatio Herbert, Viscount Kitchener of Khartoum and of the Vaal, in the Colony of the Transvaal, and of Aspall, in the county of Suffolk, Baron Kitchener of Khartoum and of Aspall, in the county of Suffolk, K.P., G.C.B., O.M., G.C.S.I., G.C.M.G., G.C.I.E., His Majesty’s Agent and Consul-General in Egypt and Minister Plenipotentiary in His Majesty’s Diplomatic Service, haying been created Baron Denton of Denton, in the county of Kent, Viscount Broome of Broome, in the said county of Kent, and Earl Kitchener of Khartoum and of Broome aforesaid—Was (in the usual manner) introduced.”


The motor industry: In an early example of product placement, Della Crewe, from Waco, Texas, and her dog, “Trouble”, complete the first, 2147 mile, leg of their adventure on (in?) a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and side-car.

“It was a great trip with miles of smiles,” she said, “and all of them Harley-Davidson smiles. Much of this happiness was showered upon me by the big Harley-Davidson family-dealers and riders-along the way. They were a princely lot of fellows and added many a link to the unbreakable chain of happy remembrances. Everywhere the glad hand was extended to me.” [Harley-Davidson.com]

Food and agriculture:  Farmer and diarist George Adkin spends a busy day working to improve his farmland near Wellington, New Zealand.



27th July 1914 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: The Association of Ethnic Bulgarians in Hungary, founded by the descendants of Bulgarian vegetable farmers who initially only came to Hungary for seasonal work, and brought with them a vegetable growing method that had been unknown in the country at the time.


Science and technology: In the US, the first transcontinental telephone line is completed, from New York to San Francisco. It will be tested in two days from now, but commercial services are delayed until 1915, to coincide with the San Francisco World Fair.


Society and Culture: As the countries of Europe increasingly move to a war footing, the German Kaiser “interrupts” his summer cruise to return to Germany.