14th July 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Panama, Kenneth B Clark – psychologist who studied the effects of racial prejudice on children.


World Affairs: In a telegram to the German Kaiser, Baron Tschirschky (the German Ambassador to Vienna) confirms that Hungarian premier, Count Tisza, has been brought around to the idea of war, and that the Austro-Hungarian authorities have decided to send an ultimatum to the Serbian government. The text will be ready by 19th July, but a decision has been made to delay issuing it until after the French President, Poincare, finishes his state visit to Russia, to reduce the likelihood of a quick and well coordinated reponse from Russia and France.


Exploration: In London’s docklands, the SS “Montcalm” arrives from Manitoba, Canada with a cargo of 99 “endurance dogs”. Each dog has travelled first by freight train from Winnipeg to Manitoba and each is caged individually. They are part of the preparations for Ernest Shackleton’s trans-Antarctic expedition. The “Endurance” will leave Plymouth, bound first for Buenos Aires, on 8th August.


Mysteries: The German cargo ship “Werner Kunstmann” founders on the Goswick Sands in England’s northern waters. “Reputed to have been scuppered following reports that she was on route to supply her cargo of iron ore to German factories which had been building up in their preparations for the start of World War 1. All 17crew were saved when the ship ran aground in fine weather on the Goswick sand ridge and was lost”. [The Berwick Advertiser].


Womens’ Suffrage: Militant suffragette Maude Edwards is released from Perth prison on the grounds that “excitement is injurious to [her] health”.



17th November 1913 (Monday)

BORN TODAY:  in Bridgeport, Connecticut – the profession of dental hygienists.



Colonial unrest: On the Manggadh Hill on the Gujarat-Rajasthan border in British India as many as 1,500 followers of social reformer Govind Guru, a banjara (Gypsy) from Vedsa village near Dungarpur in Rajasthan, are massacred by British forces.

World Affairs:  In Panama, the USS Ancon Steam becomes the first vessel to sail the entire length of the new canal from one ocean to another.

Society and Culture:

~ {Ancient] in the village of Nafferton in the East Riding of Yorkshire in England, the ancient Court Leet (a mediaeval tradition dating back many hundreds of years) meets for the very last time. The Village itself dates back to before the Norman invasion in the eleventh century (“Nadfartone” = scandinavian for Nafftan’s farm).


~ [and modern] In Germany, Kaiser Wilhelm bans the armed forces from dancing the tango.


Labour Relations: In Wellington, New Zealand, George Adkin – farmer turned special constable – packs up and heads for home after collecting his pay of eight pounds for his sixteen day’s duty (ten shillings per day). {Museum of New Zealand].


11th October 1913 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in Rochester, New York – Joe Simon, comic book creator.

Early flight: Romanian aviator Gheorghe Negel dies when his Farman aeroplane crashes in the city of Targoviste.


Arms Race: The German Imperial Navy launches (the first) submarine U-29. (another will be launched nearly 23 years later, in August 1936).


Society and culture: in the newly completed Panama Canal, a man gets into difficulty while swimming and has to be rescued by one Captain Morgan (of the SS. Ecuador) who jumps 40 feet from the bridge to rescue him.


10th October 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY:  Somewhere in the USA – Paul C Fisher, inventor and patent holder for the “Fisher Space Pen…the most lucrative [patent] in the history of pens”.

“The Space Pen (also known as the Zero Gravity Pen), marketed by Fisher Space Pen Company, is a pen that uses pressurized ink cartridges and is claimed to write in zero gravity, underwater, over wet and greasy paper, at any angle, and in a very wide range of temperatures. The Fisher Space Pen was invented by American industrialist and pen manufacturer Paul C. Fisher and is manufactured in Boulder City, Nevada, United States of America. Paul C. Fisher first patented the AG7 “anti gravity” pen in 1965. Pens claiming some or all of the same abilities have also appeared on the market from other manufacturers”. [Wikipedia]


~ In Chicago, Illinois – the Swedish National Society of Chicago (Svensk Nationalforbundet i Chicago).


~ In Cleveland, Ohio – Janis Carter, “B-Movies” bigamist (“I married an angel” 1942: “I married a communist” 1949: “My forbidden past” 1951 etc).


World Affairs: In Washington DC, President Woodrow Wilson presses a button which telegraphically sends an electrical charge which detonates the Gamboa Dike on the Panama Canal, thereby completing the construction of the Panama Canal a mere 94 years after the Spanish Government first authorised the building of a canal.


~ In Mexico, Presdient (General) Huerta orders the arrest of 110 members of the Chamber of Deputies after widespread protests at the disappearance of Senator Belisario Dominguez.

~ In China, the the Chief of Beijing’s mounted police is arrested and charged with plotting to assassinate the President.

29th March 1913 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY, in Garston, Liverpool – James Larkin (“Jack”) Jones CH, MBE – English trade union leader who fought with the British Battalion of the fifteenth International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War and was seriously wounded at the Battle of Ebro in 1938. Died in Peckham, South London, in 2009, aged 96.

Law, order and labour relations: In Sligo Town, in County Sligo, Ireland, the ” Sligo Champion” reports news of the ongoing industrial dispute between Sligo’s fishermen and dockers on one side and the Sligo Steam Navigation Company on the other. The Champion’s headlines read: “Grave condition of Affairs… Town thrown into Disorder…Baton charges on strikers…Sad death of unionman…Police and civilians injured…Scenes of wild disorder”.

Meanwhile in another part of the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the National Union of Railwaymen is formed today from the merger of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the General Railway Workers Union, and the United Pointsmen’s and Signalmen’s Society.

Shipping News: The SS Pennsylvanian is launched in Maryland US. After delivery to the American-Hawaiian steamship company to serve as a cargo ship in the Pacific she will become, in August 1914, only the second steamship to travel eastbound through the newly opened Panama Canal. Later still she will be requisitioned by the US Military after the US entry in World War One.

The French trawler “Tadorn” is destroyed off Howick in North East England by a fierce storm. Twenty five sailors are saved by the Boulmer lifeboat crew but another five are laid to rest in the local churchyard, far from their homes and loved ones.

Arms Race: Calshot Naval Air Station open on the south coast of England, as a Royal Flying Corps seaplane and flying boat testing station.