3rd December 1914 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: in London, England – Tanya Moiseiwitsch, theatre designer.



The Balkan Front: At the Battle of Kolubara, the Serbs launch their counter-attack against the Austro-Hungarian forces.


In the Middle East: At the juncture of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in Turkish Mesopotamia (now Southern Iraq), an Anglo-Indian force is advancing on the town of Al-Qurnah


The Western Front: at Hazebrouck in the arrondissement of Dunkirk, near the French border with Belgium, Britain’s King George V  and Belgium’s King Albert attend a “march past” of Belgian troops.



20th October 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Stockwell, London – Maudie Joan Littlewood, “The Mother of Modern Theatre” [Wikipedia].



War at Sea: Off the Norwegian coast, the British cargo ship SS Glitra becomes the first merchant vessel ever to be sunk by a submarine when the crew of German U-boat U-17 board her, evacuate the crew and open the ship’s sea cocks. [Burg and Purcell].

Western Front: fighting is intensifying around Ypres, with the arrival of the British 1st Corp and the forward push of the German fourth army.


In the (British) Empire: The SS Geelong leaves Hobart in Tasmania, carrying 36 officers and 898 troops bound for Egypt.





11th April 1914 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in Concordia, in the province of Entre Rios in Argentina – Hector Alaya, composer and guitarist.


World Affairs: In Newcastle, in northern England, the UK’s anarchists hold their national conference.


Arms Race: Surveying the curious position of the British Army after the recent “Curragh Mutiny” (the refusal of some British Officers to follow orders in suppressing para-military unionist activity in Ireland), the “Spectator” magazine contrasts the situations in the UK and Germany:

“The difficulty here is to get the Army to use the sword and the bayonet, the rifle and the machine gun upon the civilian. In Germany the difficulty is to prevent the Army using them”.


Labour Relations: “Industrial Workers of the World”, the international revolutionary industrial labor organisation, stages a rally in New York City.


Theatre: At Her Majesty’s Theatre in London’s West End, George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion” receives its London premiere, having previously opened in a German language version in Vienna (October 1913) and in New York (March 1914).


29th January, 1914 (Thursday)


~At Castle Hill, New South Wales, – Wilbur Kentwell “Australia’s maestro of the theatre organ”.

~ in Avellaneda, Argentina – Salustiano Paco (“Hector”) Varela, tango bandoneonist, and accountant.




~ in Worthing, southern England, the “Picturedrome” cinema (now the Connaught Theatre) opens, with seating for 860 people.


~ in the US, “Little Billy’s triumph” a 10 minute film, is released. “Young Little Billy wants to buy some ice-cream with the dime his mother gave him, but the neighborhood bullies have other plans for that dime”.  Cinema has come a long way… or has it?


4th December 1913 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: In Vienna, Austria-Hungary – Robert Adler – son of Max Adler, the sociologist,  and inventor of the world’s first TV remote control, and hero of couch potatoes everywhere. Refugee from the nazis he fled to London before emigrating to the US in 1941, where demand for labour saving TV devices was at its highest…


~ Also, in Montreal, Canada – Mark Robson, prolific film director whose output included Peyton Place (1957) and Valley of the Dolls (1967), thereby doing his fair share to boost demand for TV remote control devices.


~ and in Glasgow, Scotland – ISOTOPES.


Women’s suffrage – Courtesy of the UK’s infamous “cat and mouse act”, Mrs Emily Pankhurst finds she is temporarily introduced to the pleasures of Exeter gaol, in the west of England.


Society and Culture:

~ The Daily Mail (UK newspaper) reports on the 200th performance of “The Marriage Market” at Daly’s Theatre in London: ” Miss Gertie Millar as a fascinating Western girl finds an ideal partner in the imperturbable Englishman of Mr. G. P. Huntley… Mr. Harry Dearth as the Captain uses his fine voice to excellent effect in a rollicking sailor song, “Here’s good luck to the ladies.”  


~ The Manchester Guardian (newspaper) reports on a recent aristocratic fund raising event at London’s Albert Hall in aid of East End invalid kitchens: “Lady Randolph Churchill plays Empress Theodora in lavish fundraiser”. (aka – rich girls love to dress up).


~ Meanwhile, in Russia –  V.I. Lenin publishes his paper: “The Poverty of the People’s Teachers”.  “The Russian state spends hundreds of millions of rubles on the maintenance of its civil service, the police, the army, etc., while dooming teachers in the people’s schools to starvation. The bourgeoisie “sympathises” with public education—with the proviso, however, that the teachers live in worse conditions than the servants in the manor-houses and the houses of the rich….”


Extreme Weather – Georgetown, Colorado, records the highest single day’s (recorded) snowfall in US history – 63 inches (1.6 metres).


1st December 1913 (Monday)


~ In Weatherford, Texas – Mary Virginia Martin. mother of Larry (“JR Ewing”) Hagman at 17; then Kiss the Boys Goodbye at 28; Happy Go Lucky at 29; and finally Peter Pan at 47.  A life on Broadway, on tour, and on the big screen, complete with Tony, Emmy, and two Hollywood Stars.


~ In Stoney Point, Alexander County, North Carolina – “Baby Boy” Goble, who died of measles 2 months later. “He was more than likely named, but there is no record or recollection of that name by living siblings.”


World Affairs: On the Island of Crete, After 267 years, 7 months and 7 days of occupation by Turkey, “the Greek flag is raised on top of the fortress of Firka, on the western side of the harbour of Chania, in front of the King of Hellenes, Constantine, the Greek Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos and a tearful, emotional and enthusiastic crowd of proud Cretans”.  


Empire: In Patna, in British India, His Excellency the Viceroy and Governor-General of India, Lord Hardinge of Penshurst lays the foundation stone for the new High Court Building. In his speech he expresses his confidence “that within its walls in future days justice will be administered with courage and impartiality to the terror of evil-doers, and to the triumph of every cause which is right and true, so that the High Court of Bihar shall earn a name for sound sense and good law.”


Society and culture:

~ Marshal-Admiral Viscount Kato Tomosaburpo – a future Prime Minister of Japan – is appointed Commander-In-Chief of the 1st Fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy.


~ in Pittsburg, PA, Gulf Oil opens the world’s first ever drive up gasoline (petrol) station.


~ in Auckland, New Zealand, 18000  people attend the opening day of the Industrial, Agricultural and Mining exhibition which will run until APril 1914.


Extreme Weather: Snow arrives in the City of Denver, Colorado – the first of five days of snow that will render the city impassable.


24th November 1913 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in Greystones, County Wicklow, in British Ireland (now the Republic of Ireland) – Geraldine Fitzgerald, Irish theatre actress (Dublin, 1932) and London film actress (Twickenham, 1934-1937), Broadway theatre actress (1938) and award winning Hollywood star by 1939.


Early Flight: In San Diego, California – two young US army officers die when their airship crashes to the ground from a height of 80 feet.


Sales and marketing: In Ithaca, New York, the Modern Method Laundry is experimenting with some modern advertising:  “If we were not pretty good, we would not be as large” (Eat your heart out, Madison Avenue).


Society and Culture: At Blundells school in the West of England, 18 year old Lionel Harding from Westward Ho! in North Devon applies to join the Woolwich Military Academy.  In a little over 18 months from now, he will be posted to France (15th June, 1915), injured multiple times the following day and die two days later from  his injuries, never to reach 20 years old.