7th November 1914 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in Neola, Iowa – Raphael Aloysius Lafferty, “secret sci-fi genius more than ready for a comeback” and possibly “the most important science-fiction writer you’ve never heard of” [the Guardian book blog].




In the USA, the “Fort Wayne News” reports that the Armenians in Turkish Armenia are “aiding the Russians in the campaign against Turkey” and besieging the Turkish town of Van.


8th March 1914 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: in Indianapolis, Indiana – Priscilla Shortridge: daughter of Elmer and Minnie; in due course a “statuesque brunette”; later Miss Miami Beach; and later still Mrs Lawson. Then she became Princess Aura, daughter of Ming the Merciless, before settling for “Mrs Curtis”. Only in Hollywood…


Women’s suffrage: International Women’s Day, a movement which has been growing for several years, takes place for the first time on 8th March, on which day it will, in future, settle. This year, the event in Germany (“Frauen-Tag”) is dedicated to women’s right to vote, which will not finally be won for another 4 years.



Spanish suffrage: Spain holds a General election. Well, sort of…


18th December 1913 (Thursday)


~ In Lubeck, Germany – Willy Brandt, leader of the German Social Democratic Party from 1964 to 1987, German Chancellor from 1969-1974, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1971 for his Ostpolitik (efforts to reconcile West Germany with its Eastern neighbours)  and author of “the Brandt Report”, which helped to re-define the world in terms of North and South.


~ in Roanoke, Virginia – Margaret Schuyler Fisher, better known as Lynn Bari, prolific Hollywood film start whose filmography spanned 30 years of US cinema, q937 to 1938.


~ In Manhattan, New York City – Alfred Bester, science fiction author.


21st February 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY, in Ohio, USA – Ross Rocklin (aka Ross Rocklynne), sci-fi author in the so called “Golden Age” of Science Fiction (1938 to 1946).

Human Rights: the State of Arkansas abolishes the practice of convict leasing. It will remain legal in Alabama until 1928 and will not be completely eradicated until World War 2. Matthew Mancini described this vicious labour system in his book “One Dies, Get Another – Convict Leasing in the American South, 1866-1928”.

Society and culture: In Choctaw County, Oklahoma, the “Fort Towson Enterprise” reports on the improving conditions after the recent smallpox epidemic in Hugo:

“There has been a great and decided change for the better in the smallpox situation, not only to Hugo but all over the county, the past week. Very few new cases have developed, and very few cases of varloloid, which would indicate that all cases are successfully quarantined and there is no chance, practically, for exposures. This is glad and welcome news to the people of the county. There has been a terrible fear, and justly, by the people of the county to visit Hugo the past few weeks, but the official report below given evidence of the disappearance of the dread malady”.

The official report then summarizes that only 33 deaths have occurred in Hugo in the last week, 14 white patients and 19 negroes.

Science & Technology: Meanwhile the “Athens Banner” from Atlanta, Georgia, reports on the innovative use of electric heating to bring forward the season for successfully hatching “electric hatched chicks”.