5th July 1915 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in Trinidad – Albon “Al” Timothy, aka  “Mr Excitement Himself”, “King Timothy”, and “Timothy Otis”  – jazz tenor saxophonist.


16th June 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Berwick-upon Tweed, near the English/Scottish border – Austen Young, ear, nose and throat specialist, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, and “inveterate golfer”.


World Affairs: In Mandalay, Burma – Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Indian Nationalist (“The Father of Indian Unrest”) is released from prison after serving a six year sentence, including transportation from his home state of Maharashtra, imposed by the British authorities for sedition.



Society and Culture: “Teddy” Roosevelt, big game hunter, explorer and ex-US President, visits the Natural History Museum in London, England.


Music and entertainment: Thirteen year old Louis Daniel Armstrong is released from Reform School after serving a sentence of nearly 18 months for a fire-arms offence on New Year’s Eve, 1912. While in Reform School he has learned to play cornet and bugle in the school band.



26th May 1914 (Tuesday)


~ in Jacksonville, Florida – Frankie Manning, swing dancer, “part of a new generation of Lindy Hoppers, and the most celebrated Lindy Hopper in history’ [Wikipedia]



~ In Philadelphia, PA – Harry Aaron Finkelman, better known as Ziggy Elman, trumpeter.



Sport: The “Shamrock IV”, a yacht designed and built as an American entry for the 1914 Americas Cup, is launched in Portsmouth, in Southern England. While being towed home to New York during August it be temporarily diverted to British Bermuda after war is declared. The 1914 Americas Cup, and those for the next 5 years, will all be cancelled. The race resumes in 1920.


Shipping News: Just over two years after “Titanic”, the Times of London reports another liner, the Canadian “Royal Edward” (en route from Montreal to Bristol) struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic a few days ago, “going dead slow at the time in a dense fog. The stem was twisted and the liner was leaking in the forepeak, but the damage was not serious.”




10th December 1913 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: in London, the youngest child of Charles Rothschild – Kathleen Annie Pannonica de Koenigswarter, “jazz patroness and writer, leading patron of bebop, and scion of the prominent Rothschild international financial dynasty” [Wikipedia].


Food and agriculture: in New Zealand, farmer and diarist George Adkin is celebrating the best price he has ever received for the sale of his lambs – at 15 shillings a head.



~ in the north of England, George Ball, a worker at a tarpaulin factory, beats his employer/ manager, Christina Bradfield to death with a blunt instrument, sews her into a sack and throws her in the local canal, where her body is later found when the sack fouls the canal gates. (Ball is hung for his crime in February 1914).


~ in Florence, an Italian called “Leonardo Vincenzo” (real name Vincenzo Peruggia) visits the offices of an art dealer to demand half a million lire for the return of the “Mona Lisa” painting, which was stolen in Paris 1911. The following day Mr Peruggia is arrested and the painting is finally recovered in a suitcase with a false bottom. He claims his main motive is to return the painting to Italy after Napoleon had stolen it for the French.



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.

16th May 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: In Milwaukee, Wisconsin – Woodrow (Woody) Charles Herman, jazz musician and big band leader.

Also, in Rosa, in the Veneto in Italy –  Sebastiano Baggio –  Italian Cardinal and President of the Vatican city State in 1984.

World Affairs: In a continuation of the hostilities between Italy and the Ottoman Empire in Libya (Italo-Turkish War, or Guerra di Libia) which was officially concluded during 1912, the Italians suffer a serious defeat by bedouin tribesmen at Sidi Garba, near Derna, in Tripoli. General Mabretti attacks what he believes to be a force of 2000 bedu, but is actually an army ten times larger armedwith cannons. An estimated 2000 Italian  lives are lost as the Italian army retreats in disarray, abandoning its dead and injured.

Science, technology and the weather:  In Falmer, Sussex, UK – the Race Hill Windmill, built in 1861, is blown down in a storm.

6th March 1913 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY, in Yoshino-gun village in ShimokitayamaNara, Japan – Kason Sugioka, Calligrapher and Winner of the Japanese Order of Culture (文化勲章 Bunka-kunshō). 

First Balkan War: At the Battle of Bizani in Epirus (modern Greece), turkish forces are cut off by a successful greek advance, and separated from the rest of the Ottoman army. Esat Pasha negotiates a surrender by the Turks late on March 6th.

World Affairs: In Mexico, the revolutionary Pancho Villa returns from exile in the USA with a plan to rebuild his army and overthrow the recently self promoted President, General Huerta.

Celebrations begin for the 300th Anniversary of the Romanov dynasty in Russia. In 4 years they will be swept away by the Bolshevik Revolution.

Society and Culture: Fire destroys thatched cottages at Newbold-on-Stour in Warwickshire (UK).

Women’s suffrage: In response to a question in the UK House of Commons, the Secretary of State for the Home Department explains that

“Fifteen women suffragist prisoners are now in prison, of whom ten are taking their food, three are being fed by tube, and one by cup, and one, who was received into prison last night, is refusing to take her food. Seven are in the prison infirmary—one on account of illness, two for purposes of observation, and four to facilitate the process of feeding. With the consent of the House, I should be glad to take this opportunity of giving full particulars as to the suffragist prisoners received into prison since the beginning of the year. They number fifty-five, including four men. Of these, thirty-two were released on expiration of sentence, or on payment of fine, or on bail at expiration of remand. Three of these thirty-two were fed forcibly; all the others took their food. Fifteen women, as I have already stated, and one man, are still in prison. There remain seven prisoners who have been released out of ordinary course because they refused food and were suffering from serious illness—four from heart disease, one from pleurisy, one from tuberculosis, and one was a paralytic, with a weak heart. Two of these prisoners were untried and may be rearrested.” [As reported in Hansard].

Music and entertainment: the San Francisco Bulletin uses the term “jazz” (believed to be the first appearance of the word in print).