Jan 2, us secretary of State John Hay announced the Open Door Policy to prompt trade with China. This policy rejected efforts to carve up China or restrict its




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1909       


Jan 9, The Silver Dart made the 1st manned flight in Canada. It was funded by the Aerial Experiment Association, founded by Alexander and Mabel Bell.

Feb 12, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded by 60 people gathered in NYC to discuss recent race riots and how to fight discrimination.

Apr 6, 1st credit union formed in US.
Apr 6, Explorers Robert E. Peary, Matthew A. Henson and four Inuits became the first men to reach the North Pole along with 4 Eskimos. Peary used Ellesmere Island as a base for his expedition to the North Pole.

Jul, Imprisoned English suffragette Marion Dunlop refused to eat. Prison officials, afraid that she might die and become a martyr to her cause, released her. Soon after, so many suffragettes had adopted the same tactics that prison authorities began force-feeding the women.

Aug 24, Workers started pouring concrete for Panama Canal.

-Adolf Hitler painted a series of views around Linz, Austria, including the watercolor "Mountain Chapel."

-Maria Montessori (1870-1952) authored her first book, “The Montessori Method,” to explain the origins and applications of her educational theories.

-California legalized the sterilization of convicted sodomites.
-The California State Automobile Association produced its first road map.


1910


Feb 19, Mary Mallon (aka Typhoid Mary) was released from 4 years of quarantine on New York’s North Brother Island. In 1914 she caused a typhus outbreak in the Sloane Maternity Hospital. She was again arrested and returned to North Brother Island where she died Nov 11, 1938.

Feb 25, The Dalai Lama fled from the Chinese and took refuge in India.

Apr 14, President William Howard Taft began a sports tradition by throwing out the first pitch on baseball’s Opening Day

Apr 21, Halley’s Comet was visible in the night sky. Entrepreneurs peddled "comet gas masks" for people worried about the Earth's passage through poisonous cyanogen gas in the comet's tail.

Jun 16, The first Father's Day was celebrated in Spokane Washington by Mrs. John Bruce Dodd. [see June 19 Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, is credited with the concept for Father's Day. Dodd sought a way to honor her own father, who had raised her as a single parent. In 1924 the holiday was approved by President Calvin Coolidge and, in 1972, President Richard Nixon officially recognized the third Sunday in June as Father's Day.

Jul 4, African-American Jack Johnson knocked out Jim Jeffries in the 15th round of a heavyweight boxing match in Reno, Nevada. As Johnson entered the ring a band played “All Coons Look Alike to Me.” Johnson’s victory prompted race riots in major cities across the United States leaving as many as 26 people dead. Jack London covered the match and coined the phrase "The great white hope" in his story.

Aug 27, Thomas Edison demonstrated the first "talking" pictures using a phonograph in his New Jersey laboratory.

-Gambling in Nevada was outlawed.


1911


Feb 22, Canadian Parliament voted to preserve the union with the British Empire.

May 15, The Supreme Court ordered the dissolution of Standard Oil Company, ruling it was in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The anti-trust suit led to the dissolution of Standard Oil Co. of John D. Rockefeller. From its remains 34 new companies were formed that included Exxon, Mobil, Amoco, Chevron, Arco and Conoco. Rockefeller’s quarter interest in the parent turned into a quarter interest in all the offspring

Dec 14, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the South Pole, beating an expedition led by Robert F. Scott. The best book on Scott and Amundsen is by Roland Huntford "Scott and Amundsen."

-Louis Chevrolet helped establish the Chevrolet Motor Company.

-Henry Ford reduced the retail price of the Model T to $690


1912


Feb 3, New U.S. football rules were set: the field was shortened to 100 yds.

Feb 14, Arizona became the 48th state of the Union.

Apr 10, The 66,000 ton RMS Titanic left port from Southampton, England, on its ill-fated maiden voyage with 2,223 people.

Apr 14, The British liner Titanic, on her maiden voyage and hailed as ‘the unsinkable ship,’  collided with an iceberg in the North Atlantic and began sinking.

April 15, The Titanic strikes and iceberg and sinks killing 1523 people

May 5, The Soviet Communist Party newspaper Pravda began publishing. Iosif Vis-sarionovich Dzhugashvili took the name Stalin, meaning "man of steel," about the time he helped found the Russian Communist newspaper Pravda.  Stalin specialized in writing about national minorities in Russia and went on to become editor of Pravda.

Jun 19, A new labor law is passed by Congress, extending the 8-hour working day to all workers under federal contract.

Nov 4, Arizona and Kansas granted women the right to vote. Wisconsin voted against suffrage for women.

-Prizes were added to boxes of Cracker Jacks.

-In Canada the 1st Calgary Stampede began as a rodeo organized by American Guy Weadick, a trick roper.


1913       


Feb 3, The 16th Amendment to the Constitution, providing for a federal income tax, was ratified. The new income tax laws included an exemption on life insurance to help widows and orphans. The 1st $3,000 was exempted. The top rate on incomes over $500,000 was 6%.

Oct 10, Panama Canal was completed when President Woodrow Wilson triggered a blast which exploded the Gamboa Dike by pressing an electric button at the White House in Washington, D.C.

Nov 17, The first ship sailed through the Panama Canal.

-Peppermint Life Savers were introduced.


1914


Feb 7, Charlie Chaplin debuted "The Tramp" in "Kid Auto Races at Venice."

Jun 28, Austrian Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to Austria-Hungary,  and his wife, Sofia, were assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia, by a Serb nationalistWithin minutes, both the Archduke and Sophia were dead. Princip was arrested, but political tensions were so high between Austria-Hungary and Serbia that war broke out as a result. Like falling dominoes, international alliances brought one country after another into the conflict. The event triggered World War I.

July 27, Germany informed Belgium and Luxembourg of its intention to pass its troops through Jul 27, British troops invaded the streets of Dublin, Ireland, and began to disarm Irish rebels.

Jul 28, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, beginning World War I.

Aug 1, Germany declared war on Russia at the onset of World War I.

Aug 3, Germany invaded Belgium and declared war on France at the onset of World War I. The German plan for victory in France was known as the Schlieffen Plan, and was based on a quick strike and the capture of Paris.

Aug 15, The Panama Canal opened to traffic. The Panama Canal, a 52-mile waterway, was completed. Some 5,000 workers, just 350 of them white, perished in the American effort. In 1977 David McCullough authored "The Path Between the Seas," a definitive account of the building of the Panama Canal

Sep 12, The First Battle of the Marne ended in an Allied victory against Germany. The German advance into France was stopped. 20th century history turned on this pivotal event.

Oct 12, The 1st battle at Ypres, France, began.

Nov 17, US declared Panama Canal Zone neutral.

Dec 25, German and British troops declared an unofficial truce to celebrate Christmas during World War I.

-Detroit got its first stop sign.

-In Washington D.C. houses of prostitution were banned.

-Believing that every woman should have the right to plan the size of her family, Margaret Sanger published a magazine with information about birth control methods. Sanger was charged under the Comstock Law of 1873 with mailing obscene literature, but the charges were dropped. Two years later, Sanger spent 30 days in jail when she opened America’s first birth control clinic in Brooklyn.

-Henry Ford (1863-1947) introduced his $5 a day pay that made it possible for the average worker to buy a car. 231,000 "Tin Lizzies" were built this year.


1915       


Jan 1, German submarine U-24 sank the British battleship Formidable in the English Channel whilst on patrol and exercise with the 5th Battle Squadron.

Feb 18, Germany began a blockade of England.

Mar 3, The film "The Birth of a Nation" debuted in New York City. The motion picture brought Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh and Wallace Reid to the silver screen in what has frequently been called the greatest silent film ever produced (very racist!).

Apr 5, Jack Johnson (1878-1946), African-American heavyweight champion boxer since 1908, lost the heavyweight championship in Cuba to Jess Willard in the 26th round (possibly fixed).

Apr 25, Australian and New Zealand troops landed at Gallipoli in Turkey in hopes of attacking the Central Powers from below. Allied soldiers, ANZAC, invaded the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey in an unsuccessful attempt to take the Ottoman Turkish Empire out of the war. The allies were defeated in one of the deadliest battles of the war

May 7, In the 2nd year of WWI, the British Cunard ocean liner Lusitania, on a voyage from New York to Liverpool, sank off the coast of Ireland in only 18-21 minutes after being struck by a torpedo fired by the German U-boat U-20. Of 1,959

May 23, Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary in World War I. Italy entered World War I and came up against the Austro-Hungarian forces including many Slovenians in the Julian Alps near Trieste. Over 29 months 12 major battles were fought along the Soca River.

Jun 21, Germany used poison gas for the first time in warfare in the Argonne Forest.

Aug 23, Czar Nicolaas II took control of the Russian Army.

Dec 4, Ku Klux Klan received a charter from Fulton County, Ga.

-Twentieth Century Fox was founded.


1916


Jan 29, Grigori Rasputin, Russian mystic, shaman, grubby peasant, and influential favorite of the Romanov court, survived a failed attempt to poison him. Prince Felix Yussoupov, an effete, wealthy young aristocrat, shot and killed Rasputin and in effect, brought down the Russian Empire.

Feb 21, The World War I Battle of Verdun began in France with an unprecedented German artillery barrage of the French lines; the French were able to prevail after 10 months of fighting.

Mar 9, Pancho Villa led 1,500 horsemen in a night raid on Columbus, New Mexico. 18 US soldiers and citizens were killed as the town was looted and burned. President Woodrow Wilson responded by ordering General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing to "pursue and disperse" the bandits. Wilson called out 158,664 National Guard members to deal with the situation.

Apr 9, The German army launched it's third offensive during the Battle of Verdun.

Apr 24, Some 1,600 Irish nationalist, the Irish Volunteers, launched the Easter Rising by seizing several key sites in Dublin, including the General Post Office. Eemon de Valera was one of the commandants in the uprising. It was provoked by impatience with the lack of home rule and was put down by British forces several days later. Michael Collins, a member of Sinn Fein, led the guerrilla warfare. 116 soldiers and 16 policemen were slain along with 62 rebels

Apr 28, The British declared martial law throughout Ireland.

May 3, Irish nationalist Padraic Pearse and two others were executed by the British for their roles in the Easter Rising.

May 9, The Sykes-Picot Agreement was a secret understanding between the governments of Britain and France defining their respective spheres of post-World War I influence and control in the Middle East. The boundaries of this agreement still remains in much of the common border between Syria and Iraq. Britain and France carved up the Levant into an assortment of monarchies, mandates and emirates.

May 22, French troops occupied parts of Fort Douaumont, Verdun.

May 31, During World War I, British and German fleets fought the Battle of Skagerrak at Jutland off Denmark and 10,000 were left dead. There was no clear-cut victor, although the British suffered heavier losses.

Jul 1, At 7:30AM, a 5 day, continuous, British artillery bombardment of German lines stopped, and 11 British divisions (100,000 men) went "over the top" toward the Germans. By 9AM 22,000 were dead & another 40,000 were wounded in what became known as the Battle of the Somme. These attacks continued for another five months, costing the British over one million killed & wounded. Field Marshal Douglas Haig commanded the British forces. 4 months of stalemate cost 420,00 British casualties.

Aug 27, Italy declared war on Germany.

Sep 3, The German Somme front was broken by an Allied offensive. Allies turned back the Germans in the Battle of Verdun.

Sep 15, Armored tanks were introduced by the British during the Battle of the Somme.

Oct 5, Corporal Adolf Hitler was wounded in WW I.

Nov 7, Republican Jeannette Rankin (R-Montana), lifelong feminist and pacifist of Montana, became the first woman elected to Congress. As legislative secretary of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, Rankin helped the women of Montana win the vote in 1914, six years before all American women won the vote. Rankin was elected as a delegate-at-large to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Nov 28, The first (German) air attack on London.

Dec 3, French commander Joseph Joffre was dismissed after his failure at the Somme. General Robert Nivelle became the new French commander-in-chief.
Dec 15, The French defeated the Germans in the World War I Battle of Verdun.

Dec 18, The Battle of Verdun ended with the French and Germans each having suffered more than 330,000 killed and wounded in 10 months.

Dec 29, According to the New Style calendar (Dec. 16th by the Old Style), Grigory Rasputin, the so-called "Mad Monk" who had wielded great influence with Czar Nicholas II, was murdered by a group of Russian noblemen in St. Petersburg. Rasputin drowned when he was thrown through a hole in the ice of the Neva River. A conspiracy, believing Rasputin had too much influence on the empress, formed to assassinate him, and on the night of December 29-30, they poisoned his wine--but he did not die. They shot him twice, but when he still refused to die, they drowned him.

-US troops were still fighting skirmishes on some islands of the Philippines to this time.

-James L. Kraft invented processed cheese, which resulted in his Kraft empire.

-Lewis Terman, Stanford psychology professor known as the father of American IQ testing, developed and published the "Stanford Revision and Extension of the Binet-Simon Intelligence Scale," commonly known as Stanford-Binet.

-US Marines occupied the Dominican Republic.


1917       


Jan 19, The Zimmermann Note, a coded message sent to Germany’s minister in Mexico by German Foreign secretary Arthur Zimmermann, proposed an alliance between Germany and Mexico in the event war broke out between the U.S. and Germany. Intercepted by British naval intelligence, the note proposed, among other things, "We shall give generous financial support, and it is understood that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona." The message was forwarded by the British to the U.S., which subsequently released it to the press on March 1.

Feb 23, The February revolution began in Russia (OS calendar

Feb 24, The British presented the decoded Zimmermann telegram, a German plot for Mexican help, to Pres. Wilson and an enraged Wilson released the document to the American public on March 1. On April 6, 1917, America formally declared war on Germany and her Allies.

Feb 28, Russian Duma set up a Provisional Committee; workers set up Soviets.

. Mar 8-12, Russia’s democratic February revolution took place in Russia. The "February Revolution" (according to the Old Style calendar that Russians used) began with rioting and strikes in the Russian army garrison at Petrograd.

Mar 12, Russian troops mutinied in the "February Revolution."

Mar 16, Nicholas II, Czar of Russia, abdicated in favor of his brother Michael. The czar, his wife Alexandra, their four daughters and son Alexis, heir to the throne, were held prisoner by the Bolsheviks for several months at Tsarskoye Selo palace near Petrograd. In August 1917, the family was transported to distant Siberia to prevent any attempt to restore them to the throne. In July 1918, the entire royal family was executed by local Bolsheviks.

Mar 17, Czar Michael abdicated after one day in favor of a provisional government under Prince George Evgenievich Lvov

Mar 22, The U.S. became the first to recognize the Kerensky Government in Russia.

Mar 27, The Seattle Metropolitans became the first US team to win the Stanley Cup as they defeated the Montreal Canadiens.
Mar 31, The United States took possession of the Virgin Islands, which it had purchased from Denmark for $25 million.

Apr 3, Lenin left Switzerland for Petrograd.

Apr 9, Battle of Arras began as Canadian troops launched a massive assault on Vimy Ridge in France.

Apr 16, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin returned to Russia after years of exile to start the Bolshevik Revolution.

Apr 20, In the Pravda newspaper Lenin named Russia "Free land of world."

Jun 4, American men begin registering for the draft.

Jun 7, British Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig launched his assault in Flanders to take German pressure off his French allies. For months, troops of the British Expeditionary Force fought a series of pointless battles in a nightmarish landscape of knee-deep shell holes filled with mud and blasted, skeletal trees. When the campaign finally ground to a halt on November 10, 1917, the BEF had suffered losses of 300,000 men and German losses were around 200,000--for a total gain of four miles.

Jun 16, The 1st Congress of Soviets convened in Russia.

Jun 17, The Russian Duma met in secret session in Petrograd and voted for an immediate Russian offensive against the German Army.

Jun 19, King George V ordered the British royal family to dispense with German titles and surnames. The family took the name  "Windsor."

Jun 26, General John "Black Jack" Pershing arrived in France with the first of the 14,000 American Expeditionary Force.

Jun 29, The Ukraine proclaimed independence from Russia.

Jul 11, The Allied assault on Flanders, Belgium, began and lasted to Nov 10, for a total gain of four miles and the occupation of Passchendaele. 9 major battles took place during this period in the Allied attempt to capture Passchendaele. In preparation for the attack the Allies fired some 4.2 million shells. In 2006 military teams around Flanders still retrieved 2-3 dozen shells per day.  

Jul 17, The British royal family adopted the Windsor name. King George V changed the family name to the House of Windsor from the German-sounding House of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha.

Jul 22, British bombed German lines at Ypres with 4,250,000 grenades.

Jul 31, The third Battle of Ypres commenced as the British attacked the German lines.

Aug 4, Pravda called for the killing of all capitalists, priests and officers.

Sep 4, The American expeditionary force in France suffered its first fatalities in World War I when a German plane attacked a British-run base hospital..

Sep 15, Russia was proclaimed a republic by Alexander Kerensky, the head of a provisional government.

Sep 17, The German Army recaptured the Russian [Latvian] Port of Riga from Russian forces.

Oct 8, Leon Trotsky was named chairman of Petrograd Soviet.

Oct 15, Mata Hari (b.1876), the woman whose name has become synonymous with a seductive female spy, was executed by the French outside Paris on charges of spying for the Germans during World War I.

Oct 23, Lenin spoke against Kamenev, Kollontai, Stalin and Trotsky.

Oct 25(OS), In Russia Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin seized power. Lenin (1870-1924) and Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), seized power from Russian socialist Alexander F. Kerensky (1881-1970) who had taken over the government in July of 1917. Kerensky sent troop on this day to shut down the Bolshevik press in Petrograd (Leningrad, St. Petersburg). Kerensky’s ministers at the Winter Palace surrendered in the face of Bolshevik armed might

Nov 7, (October 25 on the older Julian calendar then used by Russia), the provisional government of Premier Aleksandr Kerensky fell to the Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. He called his followers the Bolsheviks, meaning the majority, when they formed for a short period the majority of a revolutionary committee. The Bolsheviks became a majority of the ruling group, but they were only a small part of the total Russian population. Decades of czarist incompetence and the devastation of World War I had wrecked the Russian economy and in March 1917, Czar Nicholas II abdicated. Kerensky's provisional government struggled to maintain power until Lenin's Bolshevik followers stormed Petrograd and seized all government operations. Lenin and his lieutenant, Leon Trotsky, quickly confiscated land and nationalized industry and in March 1918, Russia withdrew from World War I by signing the humiliating Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany. Bloody civil war raged in Russia for the next two years as the anti-Bolshevik White Army battled the Communists for control.

Nov 8, The People's Commissars "gave" authority to Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin.

Nov 10, The assault on Flanders, begun July 11, finally ground to a halt. The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) had suffered losses of 300,000 men and German losses were around 200,000--for a total gain of four miles and the occupation of Passchendaele.

Nov 10, New Soviet government suspended freedom of the press.

Nov 17, Lenin defended the "temporary" removal of freedom of the press.

Nov 20, In the 1st tank battle Britain broke through German lines.

Nov 26, Bolsheviks offered armistice between Russian and the Central Powers.

Dec 6, Finland declared independence from Russia (National Day).

Dec 6, Former Czar Nicholas II and family were made prisoners by the Bolsheviks in Tobolsk.

Dec 6, In Nova Scotia some 2000 people were killed and thousands wounded following an explosion in Halifax harbor. The Imo, a Norwegian freighter ship, had collided with the French munitions ship Mont Blanc and a fire soon caused a massive explosion.

Dec 24, The Kaiser warned Russia that he would use "iron fist" and "shining sword" if peace was spurned.

-Schick developed the electric razor.

-A world-wide influenza pandemic occurred and is later thought to have been caused by the leap of a swine virus to humans. In 1999 Gina Kolata authored "Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus That Caused It." The 1918-1919 Spanish flu killed 20-100 million people worldwide and 550,000 in the US.

-In Russia the Bolsheviks tried banning money in favor of barter after the revolution, but chaos resulted and they accepted money as a necessary evil.

-In Russia the Don Cossacks declared their own independent republic during the unrest that led to the Bolshevik Revolution.

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