Return to home1916 This year
was covered by British historian Keith Jeffery in his 2015 book
“1916: A Global History."
(Econ, 1/2/16, p.52)
1916 Jan 2, The U.S. instructed
Ambassador Sharp to tell the Entente in Paris that America would
reject the German peace offer.
1916 Jan 3, Betty Furness,
consumer advocate, TV spokesperson for refrigerators, was born.
(440 Int'l. 1/3/99)
1916 Jan 3, Three armored
Japanese cruisers were ordered to guard the Suez Canal.
1916 Jan 11, Russian General
Yudenich launched a WWI winter offensive and advances west.
1916 Jan 12, Pieter W. Botha,
later president of South Africa, was born in Orange Free State.
1916 Jan 14, British
authorities seized German attaché von Papen’s financial records
confirming espionage activities in the U.S.
1916 Jan 18, The Russians
forced the Turkish 3rd Army back to Erzurum.
1916 Jan 24, Rafael Caldera,
president of Venezuela (1969-1974), was born.
(WP, 6/29/96, p.A20)
1916 Jan 27, President Woodrow
Wilson opened a preparedness program.
1916 Jan 28, Louis D. Brandeis,
a private practice attorney and leader in the US Zionist movement,
was appointed by President Wilson to the Supreme Court, becoming its
first Jewish member. He served until 1939.
(AP, 1/28/98)(SFC, 10/6/05, p.A15)
1916 Jan 29, The steamer
Aberdeen wrecked off the coast of San Francisco. 8 men were reported
killed. Other source says the crew of the Aberdeen was rescued.
(http://tinyurl.com/jmy95ys)(SSFC, 1/24/16, DB
1916 Jan 29, 1st bombings of
Paris by German Zeppelins took place.
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. The
prince dined out on his story for many decades, becoming a jet-set
celebrity. He restored his old wealth, lost in the Soviet
Revolution, by suing anyone who wrote about Rasputin without his
permission. [see Dec 16, Dec 30, 1916]
1916 Jan 30, In San Francisco
police Chief D.A. White issued orders to all commanders to carry out
a Police Commission program to clean out the Tenderloin. Chief White
said he will create a Moral Squad to enforce rules regulating
dancing and drinking throughout the city.
(SSFC, 1/29/17, DB p.50)
1916 Jan 30, Sir Clements
Markham (b.1830), English explorer and geographer, died.
1916 Jan 31, President Woodrow
Wilson refused the compromise on Lusitania reparations.
1916 Feb 3, Canada’s original
parliament buildings, in Ottawa, burned down.
1916 Feb 5, Enrico Caruso
recorded "O Solo Mio" for the Victor Talking Machine Co.
1916 Feb 6, Germany admitted
full liability for Lusitania incident and recognized the United
State's right to claim indemnity.
1916 Feb 6, Ruben Dario
(b.1867), Nicaraguan poet, died. Dario, one of Nicaragua's
best-known poets, is considered the father of the Modernismo
1916 Feb 8, Demonstrators
protested against food shortages in Berlin.
1916 Feb 9, Conscription began
in Great Britain as the Military Service Act becomes effective.
1916 Feb 11, Baltimore Symphony
Orchestra presented its 1st concert.
1916 Feb 11, Emma Goldman was
arrested for lecturing on birth control.
1916 Feb 13, Vilhelm Hammershoi
(b.1864), Danish painter, died. He is most celebrated for his
interiors, many of which he painted at his residence in Copenhagen.
(Econ, 7/5/08, p.94)
1916 Feb 15, Ian Ballantine,
publisher (Ballantine Books), was born.
1916 Feb 16, Russian troops
conquered Erzurum, Armenia.
1916 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. German Gen’l. Erich von
Falkenhayn launched the attack.
(AP, 2/21/98)(HN, 2/21/01)(Sm, 2/06, p.38)
1916 Feb 23, Secretary of State
Lansing hinted that the U.S. might have to abandon the policy of
avoiding "entangling foreign alliances."
1916 Feb 23, French artillery
killed the entire French 72nd division at Samogneux, Verdun.
1916 Feb 24, Jules Verne’s
"20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" opened in New York.
1916 Feb 26, Jackie Gleason,
comedian (Ralph Kramden in the Honeymooners), was born in Brooklyn,
1916 Feb 26, Mutual signed
Charlie Chaplin to a film contract.
1916 Feb 26, General Henri
Philippe Petain took command of the French forces at Verdun. A line
of bayonets protruding from the earth still testifies to French
valor at Verdun in World War I.
1916 Feb 26, Germans sank the
French transport ship Provence II, killing 930.
1916 Feb 26, Russian troops
conquered Kermansjah, Persia.
1916 Feb 28, Haiti became the
first U.S. protectorate.
1916 Feb 28, Henry James
(b.1843), US-British writer (Bostonians), died in London. His books
included “The American“ (1877) and “The Golden Bowl" (1904). In 2004
Colm Toibin authored “The Master," a novel that explores James’
private life. In 2007 Peter Brooks authored “Henry James Goes to
6/19/04, p.E1)(WSJ, 3/31/07, p.P11)
1916 Feb 29, Dinah Shore,
actress and singer, was born. [see Mar 1, 1917]
(SFC, 2/29/00, p.A1)
1916 Mar 1, Germany began
attacking ships in the Atlantic.
1916 Mar 1, A conference
of Lithuanians in Berne (Mar 1-5) demanded for the 1st time the full
independence of Lithuania.
1916 Mar 3, Robert Whitehead,
Broadway producer (Bus Stop, A Man for All Seasons), was born.
1916 Mar 6, Rochelle Hudson
(d.1972), American film actress (That's My Boy), was born in
Oklahoma City, Ok.
1916 Mar 6, The Allies
recaptured Fort Douamont in France.
1916 Mar 7, French Defense
Minister Joseph Gallieni resigned from his position.
1916 Mar 8, US invaded Cuba for
3rd time. This time "to end corrupt Menocal regime."
1916 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
(HN, 3/9/99)(SFC, 5/17/06, p.A11)(AP, 3/9/07)
1916 Mar 9, Germany declared
war on Portugal.
1916 Mar 10, US President
Woodrow Wilson ordered General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing to
pursue and capture Pancho Villa, following Villa’s raid in New
(SFC, 3/11/09, p.B2)
1916 Mar 10, James Herriot
(d.1995), Scottish writer and country veterinarian (All Creatures
Great and Small), was born as James Alfred Wight, in Sunderland,
England. [Other sources give his birthday as Oct 3.]
1916 Mar 14, In the Battle of
Verdun Germans attacked on Mort-Homme ridge, West of Verdun.
1916 Mar 15, Harry James
(d.1983), American band leader and trumpet player, was born, He is
best remembered for his hit "You Made Me Love You." He married Betty
1916 Mar 15, General Pershing
and his 15,000 troops chased Pancho Villa into Mexico. US troops
pursued the guerillas, killing 50 on US soil and 70 more in Mexico.
General Pershing failed to capture the Villa dead or alive. Villa
was assassinated at Parral in 1923.
(HN, 3/15/98)(MC, 3/15/02)
1916 Mar 16, In San Francisco
members of the Hop Sing tong stationed snipers on roofs in Chinatown
where they shot Ng Ling, a Suey Ong man, as he unlocked his store at
742 Washington Street. Ling’s chances for recovery were slight.
(SSFC, 3/113/16, DB p.50)
1916 Mar 18, On the Eastern
Front, the Russians countered the Verdun assault with an attack at
Lake Naroch. The Russians lost 100,000 men and the Germans lost
1916 Mar 19, Irving Wallace,
author (People's Almanac, The Man), was born.
1916 Mar 19, The First
Aerosquadron took off from Columbus, NM, to join Gen. John J.
Pershing and his Punitive Expedition for Pancho Villa in Mexico.
1916 Spring, Mata Hari made
contact with German intelligence through her lover Alfred Kiepert.
She traveled to Cologne and Frankfurt, was shown how to use
invisible ink, and was given the code name H-21.
(WSJ, 1/16/97, p.A16)
1916 Mar 25, Ishi, the last
Yahi Indian in California, died of tuberculosis at the Univ. of
California Hospital. His body was cremated but his brain was removed
and shipped to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC. The
documentary film "Ishi, the Last Yahi" was made by John Harrison
Quinn (d.2000 at 59). In 2004 Orin Starn authored "Ishi's Brain: In
search of the Last "Wild" Indian."
(SFC, 1/26/00, p.A24)(SSFC, 2/8/04, p.M1)(SSFC,
3/20/16, DB p.50)
1916 Mar 29, Eugene McCarthy,
U.S. senator and 1968 presidential candidate, was born in Watkins,
(HN, 3/29/01)(MC, 3/29/02)
1916 Mar 29, The Italians
called off the fifth attack on Isonzo.
1916 Mar 30, Pancho Villa
killed 172 at the Guerrero garrison in Mexico.
1916 Mar 31, General Pershing
and his army routed Pancho Villa’s army in Mexico.
1916 Mar 31, In San Francisco
one Chinese man was killed and another fatally injured as police
raided the Wah Fat Social Club at 10 Ross Alley in Chinatown. Four
timbered doors were chopped down by police to gain entry.
(SSFC, 3/27/16, p.50)
Apr 1, The first US national women's swimming championships
1916 Apr 2, German troops
overtook Bois de Caillette.
1916 Apr 3, Herb Caen (d.1997),
columnist (SF Chronicle), was born in Sacramento, Calif.
1916 Apr 4, US Senate agreed
(82-6) to participate in WW I.
1916 Apr 5, Gregory Peck, film
actor (To Kill a Mockingbird), was born in La Jolla, Calif.
(HN, 4/5/01)(MC, 4/5/02)
1916 Apr 6, German government
OK’d unrestricted submarine warfare.
1916 Apr 9, The German army
launched its third offensive during the Battle of Verdun.
1916 Apr 10, The Professional
Golfers' Association of America (PGA of America) was founded by
Lewis Rodman Wanamaker (1863-1928). In 1943 the PGA inserted a
"Caucasians only" clause into its bylaws. The clause was not dropped
1916 Apr 11, Alberto E.
Ginastera, composer (Panambi), was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
1916 Apr 12, Beverly Cleary,
American writer, was born. Her children’s books included the Ramona
Quimby series which stemmed from “Henry Huggins" (1950).
(SFC, 5/6/06, p.E1)
1916 Apr 12, American
cavalrymen and Mexican bandit troops clashed at Parole, Mexico.
1916 Apr 14, Emerson Buckley,
composer, was born.
1916 Apr 14, Sir Ernest
Shackleton and his 27 man crew landed at Elephant Island off the
(ON, 5/00, p.10)
1916 Apr 16,
In Norway Lars Korvald (d.2006), later prime minister
(1972-1973) was born on a farm near the southeastern village of
Nedre Eiker. He graduated from the Norwegian Agricultural College in
1943, and became an agriculture teacher.
1916 Apr 20, The Chicago Cubs,
after merging with the Chicago Whales, began playing at Weeghman
Park. In 1926 the stadium became known as Wrigley Field.
1916 Apr 20, German-British sea
battle off Belgian coast.
1916 Apr 21, Bill Carlisle, the
infamous ‘last train robber,’ robbed a train in Hanna, Wyoming.
1916 Apr 22, Yehudi Menuhin
(d.1999), violinist, was born in New York.
(SFC, 3/13/99, p.A1)(HN, 4/22/01)
1916 Apr 23, Lord Dunsany's
"Night at an Inn," premiered in NYC.
1916 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. The 1999 novel "A Star
Called Henry" by Roddy Doyle was set in this period. Film footage of
the Easter Rising was sold at auction in 2000 for $115,000 to a
private Irish resident.
(WSJ, 10/11/96, p.A8)(SFEC, 12/22/96, Z1 p.6)(AP,
4/24/97)(SFEC, 9/19/99, BR p.1)(SFEC, 6/11/00, p.A30)(ON, 9/04, p.5)
1916 re: Apr 24, In "Easter"
William Butler Yeats wrote: "All changed, changed utterly: A
terrible beauty is born."
(NOHY, 3/1990, p.212)
1916 re: Apr 24, "The history
taught stopped at 1916, they didn’t deal with the war of
independence or the civil war." Thus said Neil Jordan, director of
the 1996 film "Michael Collins."
(SFC, 9/22/96, Par p.31)
1916 Apr 26, Morris L. West,
novelist (Shoes of the Fisherman), was born in Australia.
1916 Apr 28, The British
declared martial law throughout Ireland.
1916 Apr 29, The Easter Rising
in Dublin collapsed as Irish nationalists surrendered to British
authorities. Irish nationalists set post office on fire in Dublin
during Easter Uprising.
(AP, 4/29/98)(HN, 4/29/98)
1916 Apr 29, The British 6th
Indian Division under General Townshend surrendered to Ottoman
Forces at the Siege of Kut after a siege of 147 days. Around 13,000
Allied soldiers survived to be made prisoners.
1916 May 1, Glenn Ford, actor,
was born in Quebec, Canada. He starred in the film "The Blackboard
(HN, 5/1/99)(MC, 5/1/02)
1916 May 3, Irish nationalist
Padraic Pearse and two others were executed by the British for their
roles in the Easter Rising.
1916 May 4, Responding to a
demand from Pres. Wilson, Germany agreed to limit its submarine
warfare, averting a diplomatic break with Washington. However,
Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare the following year.
1916 May 5, US Marines began an
invasion of the Dominican Republic after the country's Secretary of
War, Desiderio Arias, seized power from Juan Isidro Jimenes Pereyra.
1916 May 8, Sir Ernest
Shackleton with 6 men man crew completed a 16-day voyage of 800
miles from Elephant Island to South Georgia Island in the lifeboat
(ON, 5/00, p.10)
1916 May 9, The
Sykes-Picot Agreement, a secret understanding between the
governments of Britain and France, defined their respective spheres
of post-World War I influence and control in the Middle East. It was
signed on 16 May 1916. Italian claims were added in 1917. Britain
and France carved up the Levant into an assortment of monarchies,
mandates and emirates. The agreement enshrined Anglo-French
imperialist ambitions at the end of WW II. Syria and Lebanon were
put into the French orbit, while Britain claimed Jordan, Iraq, the
Gulf states and the Palestinian Mandate. Sir Mark Sykes (d.1919 at
age 39) and Francois Picot made the deal. As of 2016 the boundaries
of the agreement remained in much of the common border between Syria
2/27/00, p.A17)(Econ, 5/7/15, SR p.5)
1916 May 11, Einstein's paper
“The Basis of the General Theory of Relativity" was published.
1916 May 11, Max [Johann BJM]
Reger (43), German composer, pianist, organist, died.
1916 May 13, The 1st US
observance of American Indian Day. American Indian and Alaska Native
Heritage Month originated in 1915 when the president of the Congress
of American Indian Associations issued a proclamation declaring the
second Saturday in May each year as American Indian Day. The first
American Indian Day was celebrated in May 1916, in New York. In
1990, President George H.W. Bush signed a joint congressional
resolution designating November 1990 as National American Indian
Heritage Month. Similar proclamations have been issued each year
(SS, Internet, 5/13/97)(www.aifisf.com/news.htm)
1916 May 13, Sholem Aleichem
(b.1859), Yiddish writer (Fiddler on the Roof), died in NY. He was
born as Solomon Rabinowitz (1859) in Russia. His work included
“Tevye the Dairyman," a series of stories published from 1894-1914.
(www.britannica.com)(WSJ, 9/22/07, p.W6)
1916 May 15, U.S. Marines
landed in Santo Domingo to quell civil disorder. [see May 5, 1916]
1916 May 18, US pilot Kiffin
Rockwell shot down German aircraft.
1916 May 20, The Saturday
Evening Post cover featured a Norman Rockwell painting.
1916 May 20, Sir Ernest
Shackleton with 2 men crew reached a whaling station on St. Georgia
Island after their ship sank in the ice of Antarctica. Shackelton's
own account of the venture was titled: "South." In 1959 Alfred
Lansing wrote "Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage." A
biography of Shackleton was written in 1985 by Roland Huntford.
(WSJ, 4/2/98, p.B1)(SFEC, 1/24/99, BR p.6)
1916 May 20, A tornado hit
Codell, Kansas. More hit on the same date in 1917 and 1918.
1916 May 22, French troops
occupied parts of Fort Douaumont, Verdun. They surrendered to German
forces after two days of fighting.
1916 May 24, US pilot William
Thaw shot down a German Fokker.
1916 May 25, Virginia Ginny
Simms, actress, singer (Kay Kyser Band), was born.
1916 May 27, French Gen. Joseph
Simon Gallieni (b.1849) died. He had been called out of retirement
at the onset of war to serve in the Ministry of War in Paris and
orchestrated the allied victory at the Battle of the Marne (1914).
1916 May 28, Walker Percy,
writer (The Moviegoer, Love in the Ruins), was born in Birmingham,
(HN, 5/28/01)(MC, 5/28/02)
1916 May 29, Official flag of
president of United States was adopted.
1916 May 29, U.S. forces
invaded the Dominican Republic and stayed until 1924.
1916 May 30, Dr. Joseph W.
Kennedy, scientist, discoverer of plutonium, was born.
1916 May 30, Herbert Smith was
the chief designer at Sopwith and came up with the Sopwith Triplane
in 1916--the inspiration for other triplanes that followed. In the
spring of 1916, Herbert Smith, the chief designer at Sopwith, began
work on a successor to the well-regarded Sopwith Pup. He set out to
design a plane that could climb faster, fly higher, maneuver as well
as if not better than its predecessor and, if possible, afford
better visibility than the Pup. Surprisingly, the prototype that
emerged from the Sopwith hangar on May 30, 1916, was not a biplane
but a triplane. The design impressed the pilots who flew it and the
pilots who flew against it. Soon many other triplane designs
appeared in the skies.
1916 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.
1916 Jun 1, The National
Defense Act increased the strength of the U.S. National Guard by
450,000 men. The legislation set up uniform standards for training,
unit size and required all enlistees to take a dual oath to obey the
state’s governor and the US president.
(HN, 6/1/98)(SFC, 5/17/06, p.A11)
1916 Jun 5, Lord Herbert
Horatio Kitchener, British war hero, died when a German mine sank
his battleship in the North Sea. In 2001 John Pollock authored
"Kitchener: Architect of Victory, Artisan of Peace."
(WSJ, 2/27/00, p.A24)
1916 Jun 8, Francis Crick,
co-discoverer of the structure of DNA (Nobel 1962), was born.
(HN, 6/8/98)(MC, 6/8/02)
1916 Jun 9, Robert S. McNamara,
U.S. Secretary of Defense (1961-1968) under presidents John F.
Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, was born. He oversaw the American
buildup and fighting in the Vietnam War.
(HN, 6/9/99)(MC, 6/9/02)
1916 Jun 10, Mecca, under
control of the Turks, fell to the Arabs during the Great Arab
Revolt. Sharif Hussein, Arab Emir of Mecca, led the revolt.
(HN, 6/10/98)(ON, 10/05, p.7)
1916 Jun 10, Hussein bin Ali
began serving as the King of Hejaz and continued to October 3,1924.
He was followed by Ali bin Hussein who continued until December 19,
1925. The Hashemite Kingdom of Hejaz was a state in the Hejaz region
in the Middle East, the western portion of the Arabian peninsula
ruled by the Hashemite dynasty. It achieved national independence
after the destruction of the Ottoman Empire by the British Empire
during World War I when the Sharif of Mecca fought in alliance with
the British Imperial forces to drive the Ottoman Army from the
Arabian Peninsula during the Arab Revolt. The new kingdom had a
brief life and then was conquered in 1925 by the neighboring
Sultanate of Nejd under a resurgent House of Saud, creating the
Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd. On 23 September 1932, the Kingdom of
Hejaz and Nejd joined the Saudi dominions of Al-Hasa and Qatif, as
the unified Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
1916 Jun 15, President Woodrow
Wilson signed a bill incorporating the Boy Scouts of America.
1916 Jun 17, American troops
under the command of Gen. Jack Pershing marched into Mexico. US
Gen’l. Pershing led an unsuccessful punitive expedition against
Francisco "Pancho" Villa. [see Mar 31]
(SFC, 1/26/98, p.A17)(MC, 6/17/02)
1916 Jun 18, In San Francisco
the newly completed baths at the Dolores playground were dedicated
and opened to the 43,000 children of the Mission district. The new
open-air tank was built at a cost of about $20,000.
(SSFC, 6/12/16, DB p.50)
1916 Jun 21, Mexican troops
beat a US expeditionary force under Gen Pershing.
1916 Jun 23, Carleton Watkins
(b.1829), California photographer, died in obscurity at Napa State
Hospital. He was later considered the greatest documentarian of
Western landscape ever to heft a camera.
1916 Jun 24, John Ciardi, poet,
1916 Jun 26, Russian General
Aleksei Brusilov renewed his offensive against the Germans.
1916 Jun 29, Sir Roger David
Casement, the Irish-born diplomat knighted by King George V in 1911,
was convicted of treason for his role in Ireland's Easter Rebellion,
and sentenced to death.
1916 Jul 1, Olivia DeHavilland
(Academy Award-winning actress: To Each His Own , The Heiress
; Gone with the Wind), was born.
1916 Jul 1, Dwight D.
Eisenhower married Mary "Mamie" Geneva Doud in Denver.
1916 Jul 1, Roland Robert Tuck,
London, British Spitfire ace during World War II who shot down 29
enemy planes Tuck's hard-won flying skill and a remarkable run of
good fortune contributed to victory in the Battle of Britain, was
1916 Jul 1, In France 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.
Some 57,500 British soldiers were killed or wounded on the first day
of the battle. 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 420,000 British casualties. In 2014 Joe Sacco
authored “The Great War: July 1, 1916 – The First Day of the Battle
of the Somme.
(AP, 7/15/09)(Econ, 6/4/11, p.93)(Econ, 1/4/14,
1916 Jul 1, British court
martial was held for the Dublin Easter uprising.
1916 Jul 2, Barry Gray, radio
talk show host, was born.
1916 Jul 2, Ken Curtis Lamar,
actor (Ripcord, Festus-Gunsmoke), was born in Colorado.
1916 Jul 3, The 1st of 3 fatal
shark attacks occurred near the NJ shore.
1916 Jul 3, Hetty Green
(b.1834), American investor, died in NYC. In 2012 Janet Wallach
authored “The Richest Woman in America: Hetty Green in the Gilded
(SSFC, 10/21/12, p.F7)
1916 Jul 4, Tokyo Rose, (Iva
Toguri D'Aquino), was born in Los Angeles. She did propaganda
broadcasts against the U.S. from Japan during World War II.;
imprisoned after the war, then received presidential pardon in 1977.
(IB, Internet, 12/7/98)
1916 Jul 4, Nathan’s Famous Hot
Dogs opened a stand at Brooklyn’s Coney Island and held an eating
contest as a publicity stunt that became an annual event.
(SFC, 7/5/97, p.A3)
1916 Jul 4, Poet Alan Seeger
died in action at Befloy-en-Santerre. Born in New York City in 1888,
Seeger went to Paris in 1912 and joined the French Foreign legion at
the outbreak of WWI. He was killed in the Battle of the Somme. He
wrote the lines: I have a rendezvous with death / At some disputed
(SFEC, 3/16/97, z1 p.2)(HNQ, 8/23/98)
1916 Jul 9, The 1st cargo
submarine to cross Atlantic arrived in US from Germany.
1916 Jul 11, Dan Patch
(b.1896), a record-breaking, Indiana-born, harness race horse, died
and was buried in Minnesota. He was the first harness race horse to
break the 2-minute mile. In 2008 Charles Leersen authored “Crazy
Good: The True Story of Dan Patch, The Most Famous Horse in
America." Here Leersen details the pharmacopoeia used in racing at
the turn of the century.
(WSJ, 5/17/08, p.W9)
1916 Jul 14, Natalia Ginzberg,
Italian novelist (The Dry Heat, Family Sayings), was born.
1916 Jul 15, The Boeing Co.,
originally known as Pacific Aero Products, was founded in Seattle by
1916 Jul 15, A series of
engagements in the Battle of the Somme began at Delville Wood and
continued to September 3 between the armies of the German Empire and
the British Empire. A brigade of South Africans held the wood until
19 July at a cost of four-fifths of its men injured or killed.
1916 Jul 9, Edward Heath
(d.2005), later PM of England (1970-1974, was born in Kent county.
(SFC, 7/18/05, p.B6)
1916 Jul 19, In the WWI Battle
at Fromelles, France, German machine guns and artillery left over
5,500 Australians and over 1,500 British killed, wounded or missing
in less than 24 hours.
(SFC, 7/20/10, p.A2)
1916 Jul 22, In San Francisco
some 50,000 people marched in a Preparedness Day parade sponsored by
business leaders and opposed by labor. A bomb went off on Market St.
at Steuart during the parade. 10 people were killed including George
E. Lawlor and Arthur Nelson. The bomb was set by a professed
anarchist. Labor leader Tom Mooney was convicted, but it turned out
that the evidence was fabricated. In 1918 Mooney’s death sentence
was commuted to life in prison by Gov. William Stephens. In 1930
Gov. Clement Young denied a pardon for Mooney. Labor activist Warren
K. Billings was also convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
Mooney was pardoned in 1939 by Democratic Governor Culbert Olson.
Billings served 23 years in prison before being pardoned by Gov.
7/22/97)(SFEC, 12/26/99, p.W5)(SFC, 9/22/01, p.A3)(OAH, 2/05,
p.A10)(SFC, 7/8/05, p.F6)(SSFC, 4/27/08, DB p.58)(SSFC, 12/18/11, DB
p.42)(SFC, 5/17/14, p.C3)(SSFC, 10/29/17, DB p.54)
1916 Jul 24, John D. MacDonald,
author was born.
1916 Jul 25, An explosion at
the Cleveland Waterworks tunnel project trapped 12 men and 18
would-be rescuers. 8 men were saved and 10 bodies were recovered by
a team led by black inventor Garrett A. Morgan (d.1963) dressed in
his new Safety Hood.
(ON, 3/02, p.12)
1916 Jul 28, David Brown,
director (Jaws, Planet of the Apes), was born in NYC.
1916 Jul 28, Laird Cregar,
actor (Charley's Aunt, Hangover Square), was born in Phila.
1916 Jul 30, German saboteurs
blew up a munitions pier on Black Tom Island, Jersey City, NJ. 7
people were killed. The explosion shattered windows in downtown
Manhattan and the noise was heard as far away as Maryland. Damages
totaled about $20-25 million. After much legal maneuvering a
commission in 1939 ruled that Germany was guilty of sabotaging Black
Tom and another plant in Kingsland, NJ, and awarded$50 million to
the claimants. In 1953 the new Federal Republic of Germany began
making payments. The last payment was made in 1979.
p.36,77)(http://tinyurl.com/gogm59p)(Econ, 12/19/15, p.40)
1916 Aug 3, Roger Casement,
knighted for his service in the Congo, was hanged at London’s
Pentonville Prison for his activities on behalf of Irish
(SFEM, 8/16/98, p.12)(HN, 8/3/99)
1916 Aug 4, The United States
signed a treaty to purchase the Danish Virgin Islands for $25
million. The US purchased the southern Virgin Islands including St.
Thomas, St. John, St. Croix and about 50 other small Caribbean
islets and cays from Denmark. They were then known as the Danish
West Indies. The Act of March 3, 1917, authorized payment by the US
of $25 million for the Virgin Islands.
(WUD, 1994, p.1595)(AP, 8/4/97)(HNQ, 11/20/99)
1916 Aug 5, The British navy
defeated the Ottomans at the naval battle off Port Said, Egypt.
1916 Aug 5, George Sainton Kaye
Butterworth (31), composer, died.
1916 Aug 6, Richard Hofstadter,
physicist who won the Nobel prize in 1961 for his studies of
neutrons and protons, was born.
1916 Aug 7, Persia formed an
alliance with Britain and Russia.
1916 Aug 11, The Russia army
took Stanislau, Poland, from the Germans.
1916 Aug 12, In Paris Jean
Cocteau took pictures of Pablo Picasso, poet Max Jacob and painter
Amedeo Modigliani and other friends as they met for lunch and passed
the afternoon. It all came out in the 1997 book by Billy Kluver: A
Day With Picasso."
1916 Aug 16, In San Francisco
the 1,000 ton Ohio Building, created for the Panama-Pacific Expo,
was dragged on skids to a barge and shipped 23 miles to San Carlos.
In 1956 it was intentionally torched to clear the property.
(SFC, 2/24/21, p.B5)
1916 Aug 17, The Ohio Building
was towed from the SF Panama-Pacific Int'l. Exhibition to San Carlos
on 2 barges by 2 tugboats. It became a barracks for pilots during WW
(Ind, 6/30/01, 5A)
1916 Aug 17, Umberto Boccioni
(b.1882), Italian painter and sculptor, died. He was thrown from his
horse and trampled during a cavalry training exercise. He helped
shape the revolutionary aesthetic of the Futurism movement as one of
its principal figures.
1916 Aug 25, The National Park
Service was established within the Department of the Interior by the
Organic Act. Horace Albright and Stephen Mather helped persuade the
US Congress to establish the organization.
1916 Aug 25, Erich Von Stroheim
Jr, actor, director (Napoleon, Sunset Blvd), was born.
1916 Aug 25, Van Johnson
(d.2008), film actor, was born in Newport, RI.
(SFC, 12/13/08, p.A5)
1916 Aug 27, Italy declared war
1916 Aug 28, C. Wright Mills
(d.1962), sociologist, writer (The Power Elite), was born in Waco,
1916 Aug 28, Germany declared
war on Romania.
1916 Aug 28, Italy’s
declaration of war against Germany took effect during World War I.
1916 Aug 29, Congress created
the US Naval reserve.
1916 Aug 29, The US Jones Law
(Act of Congress of August 29, 1916), also known as the Philippine
Autonomy Act of 1916, replaced the Philippine Organic Act of 1902
that earlier served as a constitution for the Philippine Islands.
Manuel Luis Quezon (1878-1944), Resident Commissioner to Washington,
D.C. since 1909, pushed the passage of the Jones Act.
1916 Aug 29, Gen Von Hindenburg
became German Chief of Staff.
1916 Aug 29, Transportship
Hsin-Yu & cruiser Hai-Yung collided and 1000 people were killed.
1916 Aug 30, Sir Ernest
Shackleton rescued the crew he had left behind on Elephant Island.
(WSJ, 4/16/99, p.w14)
1916 Aug 31, Daniel Schorr,
broadcast journalist (CBS), was born in NYC.
1916 Aug 31, In Indonesia the
Surabaya Zoo was established based on Acceptance Letter of the
general Dutch Governor, by the name of “Soerabaiasche Planten-en
Dierentuin" (the Botany Garden and the Surabaya Animal) on the merit
of a journalist named H. F. K. Kommer who had the hobby of gathering
1916 Sep 1, The US Congress
passed the Keatings-Owen Act, which banned child labor from
interstate commerce. In 1918 it was declared unconstitutional by the
(http://tinyurl.com/2gx7pm)(ON, 2/07, p.6)
1916 Sep 1, Bulgaria declared
war on Romania as the First World War expanded.
1916 Sep 2, Two airborne planes
communicated directly by radio for the 1st time.
(SSFC, 12/14/03, p.D2)
1916 Sep 3, The German Somme
front was broken by an Allied offensive. Allies turned back the
Germans in the Battle of Verdun.
(HN, 9/3/98)(MC, 9/3/01)
1916 Sep 6, Clarence Saunders
opened his first Piggly Wiggly grocery store in Memphis, Tenn. He
pioneered self-service in the US and obtained a patent. He later
franchised over a 1,000 stores.
(WSJ, 11/16/98, p.A12)(Econ, 10/2/04, p.18)(AP,
1916 Sep 7, The U.S. Congress
passed the Workman’s Compensation Act.
1916 Sep 11, The "Star Spangled
Banner" was sung at the beginning of a baseball game for the first
time in Cooperstown, New York.
1916 Sep 13, Roald Dahl
(d.1990), son of Norwegian immigrants, was born in Llandaff, Wales.
He is best known for his children’s books such as "James and the
1916 Sep 15, Armored tanks were
introduced by the British during the Battle of the Somme.
1916 Sep 19, The 1st landing on
Schiphol, Farman F-22 of Soesterberg.
1916 Sep 21, Ewing Marion
Kauffman (d.1993) was born in Garden City, Missouri. In 1950 he
formed Marion Laboratories and sold the company to Merrell Dow in
1989. He founded the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in 1966 to
foster education and entrepreneurship.
1916 Sep 22, Warren Billings,
one of 5 people charged in the July 22 San Francisco Preparedness
Day bombing, was sentenced to life in prison.
(SFEC, 12/26/99, p.W5)
1916 Sep 26, A Bishop spoke
against Catholics joining trade unions
1916 Sep 27, Constance of
Greece declared war on Bulgaria.
1916 Oct 3, James Alfred Wight
Herriot (d.1995), Yorkshire veterinarian and author, was born. His
books include "All Creatures Great and Small."
1916 Oct 4, The California
State Federation of Labor maintained its policy of banning Japanese
workers from joining labor unions.
(SFEC, 12/26/99, p.W5)
1916 Oct 4, National Lead, US
Steel (preferred) and Peoples Gas were removed from the Dow Jones.
AT&T was first added to the DJIA.
(WSJ, 5/28/96, R45,46)(WSJ, 4/2/04, p.C1)
1916 Oct 5, Corporal Adolf
Hitler was wounded in WW I.
1916 Oct 7, In the most
lopsided victory in college football history, Georgia Tech defeated
Cumberland University of Lebanon, Tennessee, 222-0 in Atlanta.
1916 Oct 10, Antonio Sant’Elia
(b.1888), Italian architect, was killed during the Eighth
Battle of the Isonzo. He was a key member of the Futurist movement
(Econ, 2/22/14, p.71)
1916 Oct 14, C. Everett Koop,
U.S. Surgeon General (1981-1989), was born.
(HN, 10/14/00)(MC, 10/14/01)
1916 Oct 16, Margaret Higgins
Sanger opened the first birth control clinic at 46 Amboy St. in
Brooklyn. She spent 30 days in jail when she opened America's first
birth control clinic. Sanger coined the term "birth control" and
made the cause a worldwide movement. After opening her clinic in
Brooklyn, she was jailed for creating a public nuisance. Born in
Corning, New York, on September 14, 1883, Sanger died in 1966.
(AP, 10/16/97)(HNQ, 9/11/98)
1916 Oct 16, The Philippine
Commission was abolished and the Philippine Legislature was
inaugurated. It consisted of the Senate and the House of
Representatives. Native legislators were 1st elected but the US
governors general remained in charge for years.
1916 Oct 19, Emil Gilels,
pianist (Brussels Competition-1938), was born in Odessa, Ukraine.
1916 Oct 19, Karl-Birger
Blomdahl, Sweden, opera composer (Herr von Hancken), was born.
1916 Oct 21, US Army formed
Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC).
1916 Oct 24, Henry Ford awarded
equal pay to women. Industrialist Henry Ford helped lead American
war production with the gigantic facility at Willow Run.
1916 Oct 25, German pilot
Rudolf von Eschwege shoot down his first enemy plane, a Nieuport 12
of the Royal Naval Air Service over Bulgaria.
1916 Oct 26, French leader
Francois Mitterrand, was born. He served as President of France from
(HN, 10/26/98)(MC, 10/26/01)
1916 Oct 26, Margaret Sanger
was arrested for obscenity (advocating birth control).
1916 Oct 27, The 1st published
reference to "jazz" appeared in Variety.
1916 Oct, T.E. Lawrence (of
Arabia) met with Feisal Hussain for the 1st time.
1916 Nov 2, France reconquered
Ft Vaux, Verdun.
1916 Nov 3, On the Baltic off
of Finland a German U-boat under Captain Bruno Hoppe ordered Captain
E.B. Eriksson of the Swedish schooner Jonkoping to halt for an
inspection. Beverages headed for the Russians were discovered and
the ship was evacuated and sunk. In 1998 some 1,000 bottles of 1907
Heidsieck Monopole champagne were recovered, of which 500 were
preserved in drinking condition. Hoppe later sank the schooner Akir.
The 66-ton Joenkoeping was sunk in the Baltic Sea by a German
U-boat. It carried 44 creates of champagne, 67 barrels of cognac,
and 17 barrels of port wine intended for the Russian army. Divers
planned to recover the cargo in 1998.
(SFC, 7/11/98, p.A14)(SFC, 9/21/98, p.A19)(AP,
1916 Nov 4, Walter Cronkite,
news anchor for CBS (1962-1981), was born.
(HN, 11/4/98)(MC, 11/4/01)
1916 Nov 7, President Woodrow
Wilson was re-elected over Charles Evans Hughes, but the race was so
close that all votes had to be counted before an outcome could be
determined, so the results were not known until November 11.
President Woodrow Wilson was elected for a second term largely
because he had successfully kept America out of the war that was
raging in Europe since 1914. His campaign slogan was: "He kept us
out of the war." Wilson beat Charles Evans Hughes, a former Supreme
Court Justice with an electoral college vote of 277-254. Wilson’s
victory in California, 13 electoral votes, by 3,773 votes gave him
277 electoral votes to 254 for Hughes. Wilson carried the popular
vote 9.1 million to 8.5 for Hughes.
(HN, 11/7/98)(HNPD, 2/24/99)(SFC, 10/9/99,
p.A21)(SFEC, 10/29/00, p.A1) (SFC, 11/10/00, p.A3)
1916 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. During her
first term in Washington (1917-1919), Rankin strongly supported
isolationism--she was one of 49 members of Congress to vote against
war with Germany in 1917. Rankin served another term in the House of
Representatives from 1941 to 1943, where she created a furor as the
only legislator to vote against declaring war on Japan after the
Pearl Harbor raid. This unpopular stand ended her political career,
but Rankin remained politically active, even leading a 1968 march to
protest American involvement in Vietnam. Jeanette Rankin died in
(AP, 11/7/97)(HN, 11/7/98)(HNPD, 11/6/98)
1916 Nov 7, Grand duke Nikolai
Nikolayevich warned the czar of an uprising.
1916 Nov 8, Peter Ulrich Weiss,
German novelist and dramatist, was born. His work included
"Marat/Sade" and "The Investigation."
1916 Nov 14, Frederick Libby
(d.1970), American WW I ace, was awarded the Military Cross by King
George V at Buckingham Palace. He wrote an account of his
experiences later published as "Horses Don’t Fly."
(WSJ, 8/16/00, p.A20)
1916 Nov 16, French
adjutant-chief Eugene Rouges died with several of his men when a
German artillery shell exploded in their trench in Gradesnica,
Macedonia. In the 1990s villagers began finding a liquid fortune in
vintage cognac buried in the old trenches.
1916 Nov 17, Shelby Foote,
American writer famous for his three volume book on America’s Civil
War, was born.
1916 Nov 18, Gen. Douglas Haig
finally called off 1st Battle of the Somme in Europe.
1916 Nov 20, Thomas McGrath,
poet and novelist, was born.
1916 Nov 21, The HMHS
Britannic, the sister ship of the Titanic, sank in the Kea Channel
off Greece after being hit by a mine or a torpedo. 30 people in
lifeboats died from the suction of the sinking ship. The Britannic,
launched in 1914 from the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast,
Ireland, included an additional expansion joint due to design update
following the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.
1916 Nov 21, Franz Jozef I,
King of Austria and Hungary, died.
1916 Nov 22, Jack London,
American writer, died in Glen Ellen, Ca., of a kidney disease,
gastrointestinal uremic poisoning. An overdose of morphine was also
suspected. He had written 50 books. London produced 200 short
stories, 400 nonfiction articles and 20 novels. A 1998 biography by
Alex Kershaw was titled: "Jack London: A Life." In 2010 James L.
Haley authored “wolf: The Lives of jack London.
11/20/96, p.A17)(SFEC, 1/25/98, BR p.3)(Econ, 8/14/10, p.69)
1916 Nov 24, Forrest J.
Ackerman, coined the term "sci-fi," was born.
1916 Nov 27, The German
submarine UB-29 departed on its final mission with 22 sailors and
soon went missing. In 2017 Belgian divers investigated the
submarine's wreck off the coast of Belgium. Officials were able to
identify it after finding the tag of the U-boat.
1916 Nov 28, Vyes Theriault,
French-Canadian author, novelist, was born.
1916 Nov 28, Hiram Bingham,
American explorer, wrote a letter to Gilbert H. Graham, the
president of National Geographic, in which he stated that artifacts
from his 3rd expedition to Peru belonged to the Peruvian government,
which expected their return in 18 months. A dispute over the return
of artifacts from Yale back to Peru continued in 2006. In 2010 Yale
made arrangements to return the collection in stages over the next 2
(SFC, 3/10/06, p.A12)(Econ, 11/27/10, p.47)
1916 Nov 28, The first (German)
air attack on London.
1916 Nov 29, US declared
martial law in Dominican Republic.
1916 Nov 30, In San Francisco
mantel builder Gaetano Tugrassio (51) was shot and killed in a
revolver battle with three extortionists at 735 Columbus Ave.
(SSFC, 11/27/16, DB p.50)
1916 Nov, Ray Conniff (d.2002),
bandleader and composer, was born in Attleboro, Mass.
(SFC, 10/19/02, p.A21)
1916 Nov, T.E. Lawrence was
assigned as the British liaison to Arab Prince Feisal Hussain.
1916 Dec 1, King Constantine
Greece refused to surrender to the Allies.
1916 Dec 2, Paolo Tosti,
Italian-born composer and music teacher, died at the Hotel Excelsior
in Rome. In 1894 Tosti joined the British Royal Academy of Music as
a professor. In 1906, he became a British citizen and was knighted
two years later by his friend, King Edward VII. In 1913 he returned
to Italy to spend his last years there. Tosti wrote a total of 360
songs in his lifetime including: “Goodbye," “Forever," and “Mother."
1916 Dec 3, French commander
Joseph Joffre was dismissed after his failure at the Somme. General
Robert Nivelle became the new French commander-in-chief.
1916 Dec 5, Hans Richter (73),
1916 Dec 5, David Lloyd George
replaced Herbert Asquith as the British Prime Minister.
1916 Dec 9, Kirk Douglas, film
star, was born as Issur Demsky in Amsterdam, NY.
(SSFC, 10/8/06, Par
1916 Dec 12, Worst train
disaster ever took place in Modane, France, 543 French Soldiers were
1916 Dec 14, Shirley Jackson,
novelist and short story writer (Life Among Savages, The Lottery),
1916 Dec 14, People of Denmark
voted to sell Danish West Indies to United States for $25 million
[see Aug 4]. This included the islands of St. John, St. Thomas and
(AP, 12/14/02)(Econ, 7/16/16, World IF p.7)
1916 Dec 15, The French
defeated the Germans in the World War I Battle of Verdun. [see Dec
1916 Dec 17, Gregory Rasputin
(45), the Russian monk and confidant to Czarina Alexandra, died
after he was shot by Prince Yussoupov (Youssoupoff). The monk, who
had wielded powerful influence over the Russian court, was murdered
by a group of noblemen. He was fed cakes and wine laced with
cyanide, then shot a number of times and finally drowned. In 1957
Youssoupoff (d.1967) authored a memoir in France that in 2003 was
translated into English: Lost Splendor: The Amazing Memoirs of the
Man Who Killed Rasputin." A TV version of Rasputin was made for HBO
in 1996 [see Dec. 30].
(WSJ, 3/25/96, p.A-15)(AP, 12/16/97)(SSFC,
1916 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. [see Dec 15]
1916 Dec 30, According to the
New Style calendar (Dec. 17th by the Old Style), Grigory Rasputin,
the so-called "Mad Monk" who had wielded great influence with Czar
Nicholas II, was murdered in St. Petersburg. Rasputin drowned when
he was thrown through a hole in the ice of the Neva River. When
Rasputin was introduced to the Russian royal family in 1905, he
demonstrated an ability to heal the royal son Alexis and was then
welcomed into the family circle. Rasputin was considered a holy
peasant, but his belief that sinning was necessary for salvation led
him to seduce women and other scandalous behavior. 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 [see Dec 17].
1916 Marcel Duchamp displayed a
plastic typewriter cover as finished work of art, a dadaist
still-life with the logo "Underwood."
(WSJ, 6/4/97, p.A16)
1916 A glass mural, "Dream
Garden," was made by Maxfield Parrish and Louis Tiffany. the 15 x 49
foot work was commissioned by Cyrus Curtis and sold for over $5
million in 1998.
(SFC, 7/24/98, p.C11)
1916 Albert Gleizes painted his
ethereal Florent Schmidt at the Piano.
(WSJ, 2/8/96, p.A-12)
1916 Egon Schiele, Viennese
artist, made his "Reclining Woman Exposing Herself."
(WSJ, 11/19/97, p.A20)
1916 Egon Schiele painted a
view of Krumau, Bohemia. In 2003 it sold for £12.6 million.
(Econ, 8/23/03, p.55)
1916 Henry Tonks (1862-1937),
English surgeon and artist, painted “The Birth of Plastic Surgery."
It depicted the operating theater of Harold Gillies, the pioneer of
facial reconstructive surgery.
1916 Henry Tonks, artist, did
Studies of Facial Wounds. It was inspired by the shrapnel horrors of
(WSJ, 6/15/95, p.A-14)
1916 Paul Strand, photographer,
broke from soft focus and created his own modernist approach to
(SFEC, 6/21/98, DB p.22)
1916 William Boetcker
(1873-162), a German-born Presbyterian minister and member of the
anti-trade union Citizen’s Alliance, published a leaflet entitled
"Lincoln on Private Property." On the backside he included a set of
his best aphorisms as the "Ten Cannots." These included “You cannot
strenghten the weak by weakening the strong."
(Econ, 4/27/13, p.16)(http://tinyurl.com/d5ynf42)
1916 Albert Einstein published
his book “Relativity: The Special and the General Theory," in an
effort to make relativity understandable to the layman. His work
predicted the existence of pulsars, which were first discovered in
1916 Ring Lardner (1885-1933),
American humorist and writer, authored “You Know Me Al." It traced
the 1st season of a rookie hurler for the Chicago White Sox."
(AP, 5/14/99)(HN, 3/6/01)(WSJ, 12/2/06, p.P8)
1916 Vilfredo Pareto
(1848-1923), Italian engineer, sociologist, economist, political
scientist, and philosopher, authored “Treatise on General
Sociology." Here he developed the notion of the circulation of
elites, the first social cycle theory in sociology.
1916 Ida Tarbell (1857-1944),
American investigative journalist, authored "New Ideals in Business,
An Account of Their Practice and Their Effects upon Men and
1916 Frederick J. Waugh, a
noted marine painter, authored "The Clan of Munes," a children's
book about troll-like figures set in the Cathedral Woods of Monhegan
Island, Maine. The book was later thought to have inspired a
tradition of building fairy houses in the Cathedral Woods.
(WSJ, 1/18/00, p.A1,8)
1916 Sarah Williamson authored
“A California Cook Book." It was reprinted in 2009.
(SSFC, 1/17/10, p.K2)
1916 In "Easter" William Butler
Yeats wrote: "All changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is
(NOHY, 3/1990, p.212)
1916 The opera "Die Toten
Augen" (The Dead Eyes) by composer Eugen D'Albert (b.1864 in
Glasgow) was first performed in Dresden under Fritz Reiner.
(SFEC, 1/30/00, DB p.33)
1916 George Gershwin at 18
wrote his first published song: "When You Want ‘Em, You Can’t Get
‘Em. When You Got ‘Em, You Don’t Want ‘Em."
(SFEC, 3/16/97, z1 p.2)
1916 Eric Satie composed "Trois
1916 In Miami industrialist
James Deering (d.1925) built the Vizcaya villa in Italian
Renaissance style with formal gardens as his winter home on S. Miami
Ave. The local government acquired the villa in 1952 and turned it
into a museum.
(Hem. 1/95, p. 60)(WSJ, 7/9/99, p.W2)(WSJ,
1916 The Goodyear Redwood
Lumber Co. constructed Harbor House in Elk, Ca., (once Greenwood
Landing). It served as an executive residence and quarters for
(SFEC, 4/13/97, p.T9)
1916 The Frenchglen Hotel was
built for cattle traders and stockmen in southeastern Oregon. It was
named after Peter French.
(SFEC, 7/6/97, p.T5)
1916 Photographer Alfred
Stieglitz (52) met artist Georgia O’Keeffe (29).
(SFC, 6/23/96, p.B9)
1916 Margaret Sanger (d.1966)
founded Planned Parenthood.
(SFC, 11/13/96, p.E10)
1916 The George Gustav Heye
Center was founded. [see 1874-1957, Heye]
(Wired, Dec., ‘95, p.117)
1916 Virginia schoolboy Antonio
Gentile won a nation-wide contest and $5 to create a logo for a
snack food company. His Mr. Peanut idea was enhanced by a
professional artist and became the logo for the Planters
1916 Fenton U-turn Weems ran
171 yards for a touchdown at the Rose Bowl where Washington State
beat Brown 14-0. He had become disoriented, ran the wrong way,
turned around and scored.
(SFEC, 3/2/97, z1 p.4)
1916 Glenn Springs, Texas.
"During the Pancho Villa troubles in Mexico, several hundred hungry
bandits crossed the border and sacked the town..."
1916 Pres. Woodrow Wilson put a
Maine Park under federal protection and dubbed it Sieur de Monts
(SFC, 7/21/96, p.T6)
1916 The 1915 film "Birth of a
Nation" was shown to Pres. Woodrow Wilson, the first motion picture
shown in the White House.
(SFC, 7/5/97, p.E3)
1916 Pres. Woodrow Wilson
signed the Harrison Drug Act. It required all persons licensed to
sell narcotics to file an inventory of their stocks with the IRS. It
outlawed the use of cocaine, which had been a key ingredient in many
patent medicines. [2nd source says the act was created in 1914]
(SFEC, 3/16/97, Z1 p.2)(SFC, 10/4/97, p.E3)
1916 Pres. Wilson signed the
federal estate tax into law. It was a levy on the transfer of large
fortunes between generations. In 2006 Michael Graetz and Ian Shapiro
authored “Death by a Thousand Cuts," a unique portrait of American
politics as viewed through the lens of the death tax repeal saga.
(WSJ, 7/13/00, p.A1)(Econ, 6/10/06, p.25)
1916 The US federal government
relegated the Koi Nation, one of the remaining groups of the Pomo
people, to a rancheria near Clear Lake, Ca., that could not support
the tribe. Leaders instead settled in Sebastopol and Santa Rosa. A
2019 federal court decision recognized the tribe along with the
right to establish a sovereign land base. In 2021 the tribe
purchased land for a casino in Sonoma County.
(SFC, 9/16/21, p.C6)
1916 Anton Dilger (1884-1918),
an American educated as a surgeon in Germany, set up a basement
laboratory in Washington DC for cultivating anthrax bacteria and
Pseudomonas mallei to infect horses and cattle destined to supply
Allied armies. German saboteurs disseminated the bacteria. Dilger
later moved to Mexico to help goad Mexico into attacking the US. He
died of the Spanish flu in Madrid. In 2007 Robert Koenig authored
“The Fourth Horseman: One Man’s Mission to Wage the Great War in
(SSFC, 1/14/07, p.M2)
1916 US troops were still
fighting skirmishes on some islands of the Philippines to this time.
(WSJ, 11/19/97, p.A6)
1916 Farm Credit Services of
America was founded as the 1st of America’s government sponsored
(Econ, 8/28/04, p.68)
1916 Fairbanks, Alaska, caught
fire. The town's bacon supply was burned as fuel to keep the steam
powered water pump running. The event was later covered by Margaret
Murie (d.2003) in her 1962 autobiography "Two in the Far North."
(SFC, 10/24/03, p.A16)
1916 In San Francisco a bronze
bust of Miguel de Cervantes surrounded by Don Quixote and Sancho
Panza was erected in Golden Gate Park.
(SFC, 6/12/99, p.A20)
1916 Mr. and Mrs. Adolph
Spreckels presented an Alexis Rudler bronze cast of Rodin’s "The
Thinker," to SF.
1916 In San Francisco a
9-storey building at 150 Otis St. was built to serve as the city’s
first juvenile hall and detention center. In 2010 plans were
underway to convert it to permanent living space for homeless
(SFC, 4/23/10, p.C2)
1916 In San Francisco a set of
4 linked homes on Russian Hill, designed by Willis Polk, were built
at 1-7 Russian Hill Place.
(SSFC, 9/27/09, p.C2)
1916 In San Francisco a two
storey structure was built at 611 Sutter St. In 1986 4 stories were
added on top.
(SSFC, 9/29/13, p.C5)
1916 In San Francisco the
California Academy of Sciences moved to a new building in Goldengate
(SFC, 10/21/04, p.A15)
1916 In San Francisco Jelly
Roll Morton opened the Jupiter on Columbus Ave.
(SFEC, 4/12/98, p.D7)
1916 An 8-foot addition was
made to the 24-foot fountain bestowed to SF by Charlotte Mignon
(Lotta) Crabtree in 1875.
(SFC, 4/10/98, p.A1)
1916 In San Francisco Harry B.
Allen began developing the Sea Cliff tract. Final stages were
reached in 1928.
(SFC, 8/29/03, p.E3)
1916 In San Francisco the
New Mission theater on Mission Street was built by the Reid Brothers
architects. In 1932 it was remodeled by architect Timothy Pfleuger.
It was shuttered in 1993. In 2003 it was purchased by developer Gus
Murad from City College for $4.5 million. In 2012 Murad proposed to
renovate it as a 5-screen movie house.
(SFC, 1/10/13, p.D1)
1916 In San Francisco the Royal
Theater on Polk St. opened as a nickelodeon.
(SFC, 2/24/98, p.B5)
1916 In San Francisco a 1.5
mile stretch of Market Street from the ferry to Seventh Street was
illuminated with electric lights.
(SSFC, 2/15/15, p.C6)
1916 In San Francisco the last
of 21 sections of the seawall beneath the Embarcadero was completed.
Some stretches near Fisherman’s Wharf were upgraded in following
(SSFC, 7/10/16, p.A14)
1916 Over 450 acres in Colma,
Ca., were devoted to raising violets. 100 dozen bunches were taken
to SF daily.
(GTP, 1973, p.59)
1916 The San Diego Zoo in
Balboa Park was founded.
(Hem., 8/96, p.21)
1916 The beach community at
Willow Camp, Ca., was renamed Stinson Beach after the largest land
owners in the area, Rose and Nathan Stinson.
(SFC, 11/27/07, p.A13)
1916 Mining students at UC
Berkeley began construction of the Lawson Adit, a tunnel on the
Berkeley campus, as part of their mining studies.
(SSFC, 3/16/14, p.C1)
1916 Oakland Preserving Co.
became the California Packing Co.
(SFC, 3/1/97, p.B1)
1916 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.
His son Frederick Terman was later considered the father of a
technical revolution. He encouraged his students to start local
businesses that led to the growth of Silicon Valley.
(WSJ, 7/18/97, p.A15)(SFEC, 3/1/98, p.W31)(WSJ,
1916 Mt. Lassen, Ca., was made
a National Park.
(SFEC, 8/13/00, p.T8)
1916 A broken wheel on a
General Motors car caused product liability to be expanded
beyond an explicit violation of contract.
(Econ, 8/30/14, p.22)
1916 The Detroit Glass Minnow
Tube was first introduced about this time. It is a fish lure where
the angler pours a little water and live bait into a glass tube that
is capped before casting.
(Hem, 8/95, p.97)
1916 Joe Saunders of Nebraska
launched the first car hire business when he began lending his ford
Model T to traveling salesmen.
(Econ, 10/9/10, p.91)
1916 In Nevada drillers on the
30,000 acre Fly Ranch in the Hualapai Flat struck geothermal water
and gave birth to the Fly Geyser. It transformed the area into a
(NH, 7/98, p.83)
1916 Bandelier National Park,
NM, was named after anthropologist Adolph F.A. Bandelier. [see 1880)
(SSFC, 8/1/04, p.D7)
1916 Todd Shipyards was formed
in Brooklyn, NY, in a merger of several companies that included
Robins Dry Dock & Repair Co. From 1958 to 1986 it was led by
John T. Gilbride (1916-2007), whose father had run Robins. Todd
filed for bankruptcy protection in 1987 and emerged from bankruptcy
(WSJ, 3/24/07, p.A8)
1916 Cincinnati, Ohio, decided
to construct a new subway system. The project was abandoned in 1948.
Two miles of tunnels under the city have never been used.
(Econ., 1/2/21, p.8)
1916 A Westinghouse engineer in
Pittsburgh started to play music over the air to his friends. By
1920 the company had a radio station operating on the factory roof.
(WSJ, 1/12/98, p.A19)
1916 In Utah the US government
took land from the Ute Indians for the rights to oil shale reserves.
In 2000 84,000 acres were given back.
(SFC, 1/14/00, p.A12)
1916 The Four Wheel Drive Auto
Co. of Clintonville, Wis., got a boost from WW I demand for its
(WSJ, 9/16/05, p.W12)
1916 Robert Brislawn, a Wyoming
horse-packer, began trading Indians for their best mustangs.
(SFC, 9/2/96, p.A3)
1916 Charlie Chaplin’s paycheck
was the highest in the land with the possible exception of steel
magnate Charles Schwab.
(WSJ, 7/17/96, p.A12)
1916 The Dow Jones was expanded
to 20 stocks.
(WSJ, 6/3/96, p.C1)
1916 Whitman Publishing became
a subsidiary of Western Printing and Lithographing Co., which became
Western Publishing in 1960. They published Little Golden Books under
the Golden Press name.
(SFC, 4/15/98, Z1 p.6)
1916 The US Gypsum Co. invented
a building board, with gypsum sandwiched between sheets of tough
paper, that it called Sheetrock (drywall). It replaced multiple
plaster coats and became popular after WW II.
(SFC, 10/29/03, p.F1)
1916 James L. Kraft invented
processed cheese, which resulted in his Kraft empire.
(SFC, 10/9/99, p.B3)
1916 A formula for household
bleach was devised.
(SFC, 7/14/99, p.7)
1916 Edouard Heuer pioneered
the chronos, or stopwatch. It indicated 1/100th of a second.
(Hem., 2/96, p.113)
1916 Hand operated windshield
wipers, stop lights and rearview mirrors became standard on some
(WSJ, 6/19/96, Adv. Supl)
1916 The US had 270,000 miles
of railway. By 1986 this would diminish by half.
(NG, 5/88, pres. intro.)
1916 A single farm worker
in 1916 provided food and farm products to seven Americans. By 1972
that number had grown to 60.
1916 Psychologist James Leuba
conducted a random poll of selected scientists to inquire if they
believed in God. 40% said that they believed in God. A 1997 poll by
Edward Larson that followed the 1916 procedure produced similar
results. Leuba predicted that disbelief would spread as education
(SFC, 4/4/97, p.A12)
1916 William Hubble
(1889-1953), American astronomer, published photographs of NGC 2261
and found the nebula had changed size and shape over the previous 8
years. This work led to his doctoral thesis: Photographic
Investigations of Faint Nebulae" and job offer to Mount Wilson
Observatory in southern California.
(ON, 12/10, p.1)
1916 Charles Dawson, a
paleontologist involved in the 1912 Piltdown Hoax, died.
(Pac. Disc., summer, ‘96, p.48)
1916 Henry James (b.1843),
American novelist and brother of William James, died. His novels
included "The Ambassadors," "The Golden Bowl," "The Wings of the
Dove," "The Beast in the Jungle," and "The Portrait of a Lady." In
2000 Robert B. Pippin authored "Henry James and Modern Moral Life."
Pippin held that James was trying to work out a practical morality
without recourse to religion or ethical principles.
(WUD, 1994, p.762)(WUD, 1994, p.A38)
1916 Percival Lowell, American
astronomer, died. He believed that an unknown planet was affecting
the orbit of Neptune, which was discovered in 1930. The first two
letters of Pluto commemorate his name.
(Disc. Ch., 7/23/95)(SFEC, 5/30/99, Par p.13)
1916 Josiah Royce (b.1855),
American philosopher and educator, died.
(WUD, 1994, p.1249)
1916 Charles Taze Russell
(b.1852) died. He founded the International Bible Students
Association. In the 1870’s Russell abandoned the Adventist movement
and formed his own in Pennsylvania, which was later named Jehovah’s
Witnesses. His early followers were called "Russellites."
1916 Charles de Foucauld, a
former French army officer turned monk who lived among the Tuareg
people in the Sahara, was killed in an anti-French uprising in
Algeria. In 2005 he was beatified by Pope Benedikt XVI. Inspired by
the monk, groups known as the Little Sisters and Little Brothers of
Jesus were formed in Algeria.
1916 C.F. Dixon-Johnson
authored "The Armenians," with the aim of "presenting the public an
opportunity of judging whether or not 'the Armenian Question' has
another side than that which has been recently so assiduously
promulgated throughout the Western World."
1916 Arnold Toynbee edited a
document titled: "The Treatment of the Armenians in the Ottoman
1916 Charles I took the throne
and worked for peace as the Austro-Hungarian empire neared its end.
He abdicated at the end of the war in 1918 and died in Portugal in
1922 at age 34. In 2003 the Vatican attributed a miracle to the last
emperor of Austria-Hungary, paving the way for the eventual
beatification and sainthood of Charles I.
1916 In Britain Cecil Chubb
bought the property that contained Stonehenge from a Wiltshire
(HT, 3/97, p.22)
1916 Britain appointed a Royal
Commission to investigate the calamitous attack on the Dardanelles.
(Econ, 11/4/06, p.67)
1916 British Summer Time was
introduced by the Parliament.
1916 Cameroon was a German
colony until this year, when British and French troops forced the
Germans out. The two countries divided it into separate spheres of
influence that were later formalized by the League of Nations, the
forerunner to the UN.
1916 The remains of the Spinops
sternbergorum, which comes from the same herbivore family as the
Triceratops, were discovered in a quarry known as the "bone bed" in
Alberta, Canada. A. Smith Woodward, the Museum Keeper of Geology
didn't think much of the find, describing it as "nothing but
rubbish" and the remains were simply transferred into storage. In
2011 scientists identified the bull-size dinosaur as a new species
from 76 million BC in the Late Cretaceous.
1916 Germany reduced its
retirement age from 70, which was fixed by Bismarck, to 65.
(Econ, 11/26/05, p.16)
1916 Germany adopted daylight
(SSFC, 3/27/05, Par p.15)
1916 The German firm BMW began
life assembling aircraft engines.
(Econ, 3/12/15, p.64)
1916 Oskar Dressel and Richard
Kothe of Bayer, Germany, developed the drug suramin. For a long time
it was used to treat the sleeping sickness spread by tsetse flies.
In 2014 research suggested that the drug could alleviate the
symptoms of autism in mice.
1916 The Hashemites of Jordan
with British help raised the flag of revolt against Turkish rule.
(Econ, 5/14/16, SR p.7)
1916 In Namibia it was the
beginning of 73 years of occupation [by South Africa].
1916 A disastrous breach of
Dutch coastal defenses occurred.
1916 In the Philippines native
legislators were 1st elected but the US governors general remained
in charge for years.
(SSFC, 5/11/03, p.D6)
1916 A Russian submarine sank
off Sweden’s eastern coast after it collided with a Swedish ship in
poor visibility, killing all 18 crew members. Wreckage of the
submarine was found in 2015.
1916 Ottoman troops led by
Fakhreddin Pasha occupied Medina. They were later accused of
stealing money and manuscripts from the city.
1916 Tahsin Yazici served as a
division commander fighting the British at Gallipoli.
1916 In South Africa the Univ.
of Fort Hare (UFH) was officially established.
(MT, Fall/99, p.13)
1916 Independent sultanates
ruled the Darfur region of Sudan until this year.
(WPR, 3/04, p.32)
1916-1922 Charlie Dalton later wrote the book
"With the Dublin Brigade" that covers this period of the Irish
(SFEC, 10/20/96, p.C13)
1916-1922 David Lloyd George of Wales served as
the Prime Minister of Britain.
(SFEC, 5/10/98, p.T4)
1916-1924 US Marines occupied the Dominican
(SFC, 5/17/96, p.A-14)
1916-1931 The Indian rupee was the legal tender of
(WSJ, 11/7/03, p.A10)
1916-1996 Stavros Niarchos, Greek shipping tycoon.
He was a fierce rival of Aristotle Onassis and earned millions of
dollars shipping crude oil around the world. He married the former
wife of Onassis after Onassis latched on to Jackie Kennedy. He died
on Apr 15, in Switzerland and was buried there.
(SFC, 4/18/96, C-4)
1917 Jan 2, Pietro Bandini
(b.1852), Italian Jesuit missionary and founder of Tontitown, Ark.,
died at St. Vincent Infirmary in Little Rock (Pulaski County) of
1917 Jan 2, In Florida Sidney
Catts (1863-1936), a Baptist anti-Catholic minister from Alabama,
became the state’s 22nd governor and served until 1921. He claimed
Catholics were storing arms in a Tampa cathedral.
1917 Jan 5, Wieland Wagner,
German opera director (grandson of Richard Wagner), was born.
1917 Jan 5, Jane Wyman
(d.2007), film star, was born as Sarah Jane Mayfield Fulks in St.
(SFC, 9/11/07, p.A2)
1917 Jan 5, Bulgarian and
German troops occupied the Port of Braila in East Romania.
(HN, 1/5/99)(WUD, 1994, p.178)
1917 Jan 6, Hendrik P.G. Quack
(82), lawyer and economist (Bank of Netherlands), died.
1917 Jan 10, Buffalo Bill Cody,
army scout and Indian fighter, died. Edward Zane Carroll Judson
wrote about Western themes using the name Ned Buntline. The author
is best known for his dime novels about William "Buffalo Bill" Cody.
(MesWP)(HNQ, 4/9/00)(MC, 1/10/02)
1917 Jan 10, Germany was
rebuked as the Entente officially rejected a proposal for peace
talks and demanded the return of occupied territories from Germany.
1917 Jan 14, The Provisional
Parliament was established in Poland.
1917 Jan 17, The United States
paid Denmark $25 million for the Virgin Islands.
1917 Jan 18, Philip Boileau
(b.1863), Canada-born artist, died in the US. He was known for his
portraits of beautiful women, the “Boileau Girls."
1917 Jan 19, John Raitt, Bonnie
Raitt's father, singer, actor (Pajama Game, Carousel), was born.
1917 Jan 19, Silvertown Essex's
ammunition factory exploded and 300 died.
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. State Department, which
subsequently released it to the press on March 1.
1917 Jan 22, President Wilson
pleaded for an end to war in Europe, calling for "peace without
victory." (By April, however, America was also at war.)
1917 Jan 24, Ernest Borgnine,
actor (Ice Station Zebra, McHale, Marty), was born in Hamden, Ct.
1917 Jan 25, In San Francisco
some 300 prostitutes led by Reggie Gamble descended on the Central
Methodist Church and Pastor Rev. Paul Smith. His campaign to rid the
city of prostitution threatened their livelihood. The protest failed
and within days police began raiding houses in the Uptown
Tenderloin. In 1918 Smith made a movie titled “The Finger of
Justice" starring matinee idol Crane Wilbur as “fighting parson."
The film failed to gain national prominence and in 1922 Smith left
the ministry, moved to Los Angeles and began a used car
(SFC, 6/13/15, p.C1)
1917 Jan 25, In San Francisco
thousands of people crammed into the Dreamland Rink at Post and
Steiner demanding that City Hall take action against the
Tenderloin’s boisterous nightlife. The campaign aimed to shut down
the cafes and saloons where men and women freely comingled.
(SSFC, 2/12/17, p.C4)
1917 Jan 28, US forces were
recalled from Mexico after nearly eleven months of fruitless
searching for Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa, accused of leading
a bloody raid against Columbus, New Mexico.
1917 Jan 31, Germany
resumed unlimited sub warfare, saying that all neutral ships that
are in the war zone would be attacked.
(AP, 1/31/98)(HN, 1/31/99)
1917 Jan, The 5-member white
Dixie Jass Band from New Orleans led by Nick LaRocca cut its first
jazz records: "Darktown Strutters’ Ball" and "Indiana" for Columbia
Records in NYC.
(SFC, 12/27/99, p.E3)(SFC, 1/19/02, p.D5)
1917 Jan, A fire at the
Kingsland munitions factory in New York destroyed 1.3 million
1917 Jan, In Norway a piece of
sugar containing anthrax bacilli was found in the luggage of Otto
Karl von Rosen, when he was apprehended in Karasjok for suspected
espionage and sabotage.
(NH, 10/98, p.18)
1917 Feb 1, Admiral Tirpitz
(1849-1930) announced that Germany would attack all shipping in the
North Atlantic with its feared U-Boats. [see Jan 31]
(WSJ, 1/29/96, p. C-1)(WUD, 1994 p.1488)
1917 Feb 3, The United States
broke off diplomatic relations with Germany, which had announced a
policy of unrestricted submarine warfare. A German submarine sank
the U.S. liner Housatonic off coast of Sicily.
(AP, 2/3/97)(HN, 2/3/99)
1917 Feb 5, Congress nullified
President Woodrow Wilson's veto of the Immigration Act, a law
severely curtailing the immigration of Asians. Literacy tests were
(AP, 2/5/97)(HN, 2/5/99)
1917 Feb 5, Mexico’s
constitution was adopted.
(HFA, ‘96, p.22)(AP, 2/5/97)
1917 Feb 7, The British steamer
California was sunk off the coast of Ireland by a German U-boat.
1917 Feb 8, The British
steamship Mantola was torpedoed by a German submarine off the coast
of Ireland. All but seven crew members, who drowned when their
lifeboat overturned, were rescued by the HMS Laburnum. The ship sank
the next day. The British Ministry of War Transport paid a War Risk
Insurance Claim for £110,000 (in 1917 value) for silver that was on
board when the ship sank. In 2011 Odyssey Marine Exploration
discovered the ship.
1917 Feb 9, In San Francisco
Thomas Mooney was found guilty of murder in the July 22, 1916,
Preparedness Day parade bombing on Market St. that left 10 people
(SSFC, 2/5/17, DB p.54)
1917 Feb 11, Sidney Sheldon,
American novelist, was born.
1917 Feb 14, In San a police
raid closed down the Barbary Coast. The red lights of the Barbary
Coast went out. Louis Sidney "Sid" LeProtti was the pianist who led
the So Different Jazz Band at Purcell’s, one of the most famous
Negro dance halls in the country at 520 Pacific St. of the San
Francisco Barbary Coast district. A 1982 book by Tom Stoddard: "Jazz
on the Barbary Coast" covers the era.
(SFC, 4/14/96, p.C-15)(SFEC, 4/12/98, p.D7)(SSFC,
1917 Feb 15, The Main Branch of
the SF Public Library at the Civic center was dedicated. It was
designed by George Kelham in the Beaux-Arts Classical style at a
cost of $1.1 million. The interior was adorned with murals by
Frank Vincent De Mond and by Gottardo Piazzoni in 1932.
(440 Int’l., 2/15/99)(SFC, 11/28/96,
p.C6)(SFC,12/10/97, p.E1)(WSJ, 1/19/98, p.A20)(SFEC, 1/23/00, DB
1917 Feb 15, In San Francisco
two men were killed in an explosion in the Twin Peaks tunnel near
the Laguna Honda station. Two others were probably fatally injured
and four others seriously hurt in the delayed explosion of a
(SSFC, 2/12/17, DB p.50)
1917 Feb 15, M Wolf discovered
asteroid #865 Zubaida.
(440 Int’l., 2/15/99)
1917 Feb 16, The 1st Madrid
synagogue in 425 years opened.
1917 Feb 17, Edmund Bishop
(70), English secretary of Thomas Carlyle, died.
1917 Feb 19, American troops
were recalled from the Mexican border.
1917 Feb 19, Carson McCuller,
writer (The Heart is a Lonely Hunter), was born.
1917 Feb 20, Kern, Bolton &
Wodehouse's musical "Oh, Boy!," premiered in NYC.
1917 Feb 20, Ammunitions ship
exploded in Archangel harbor, Russia, and about 1,500 died.
1917 Feb 21, The SS Mendi
steamship sank after being accidentally rammed in the British
Channel by the SS Darro, an empty meat ship bound for Argentina. 607
members of the South African Labour Corps, 9 officers and 33 crew
lost their lives. The crew of the Darro made no attempt to rescue
1917 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.
(HNPD, 2/24/99)(MC, 2/24/02)
1917 Feb 25, Anthony Burgess,
English writer (A Clockwork Orange), was born.
1917 Feb 26, President Wilson
publicly asked congress for the power to arm merchant ships. When
the United States entered World War I, propagandist George Creel set
out to stifle anti-war sentiment. Pres. Wilson, following his 1916
re-election, had asked the NY publicist to design a public relations
campaign to swing the country’s interests to support Britain and
(HN, 2/26/98)(AH, 6/07, p.46)
1917 Feb 26, Utrecht Harbor,
Netherlands, held its 1st Annual fair.
1917 Feb 27, John Connally,
Texas Governor, wounded in the assassination of President John
Kennedy, was born.
1917 Feb 28, AP reported that
Mexico and Japan would ally with Germany if US enters WW I.
1917 Feb 28, Russian Duma set
up a Provisional Committee; workers set up Soviets.
1917 Feb, Mata Hari was
arrested in Paris for spying.
(WSJ, 1/16/97, p.A16)
1917 Mar 1, Robert Lowell, Jr.,
poet, was born. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1947 for Lord Weary's
1917 Mar 1, Dinah Shore, singer
(See the USA in a Chevrolet), was born in Winchester, Ten. [see Feb
1917 Mar 1, The 1st US federal
land bank was chartered.
1917 Mar 2, President Woodrow
Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act giving Puerto Ricans US
citizenship. The Jones Act separated the Executive, Judicial, and
Legislative branches of Puerto Rican government, provided civil
rights to the individual, and created a locally elected bicameral
legislature. The two houses were a Senate consisting of 19 members
and a 39-member House of Representatives. However, the Governor and
the President of the US had the power to veto any law passed by the
legislature. Also, the US Congress had the power to stop any action
taken by the legislature in Puerto Rico.
1917 Mar 2, Desi Arnaz
(Desiderio Alberto Arnez y de Acha III) was born in Santiago, Cuba.
His father was the mayor of Santiago.
1917 Mar 3, Congress passed the
1st excess profits tax on corporations.
1917 Mar 4, Republican Jeanette
Rankin of Montana took her seat as the first woman elected to the
House of Representatives.
1917 Mar 5, The 1st jazz
recording for Victor Records was released by RCA Victor in Camden,
NJ. Viktor issued "Dixie Jass Band One-Step" and "Livery Stable
Blues" by The Dixie Jass Band.
(SFC, 1/19/02, p.D5)(MC, 3/5/02)
1917 Mar 5, In San Francisco
Bing Kong gunmen, financed by the Bow Leongs in Portland, killed
three Chinese and wounded a Filipino bystander.
(SSFC, 3/5/17, DB p.54)
1917 Mar 6, Dr. Chandra
Chakraverty was arrested in NYC for violating US neautrality laws.
He had been by Berlin to arrange for arms sales to India in the
Annie Larsen affair. German military attache Franz von Papen had
arranged for 10,000 rifles to be loaded on a chartered ship called
the Annie Larsen. The plot failed when US federal agents seized
office files of German official Wolf Von Igel in NYC. The files
contained information about the entire conspiracy.
1917 Mar 8, The US Senate voted
to limit filibusters by adopting Rule XXII, the cloture rule,
introduced at the urging of Pres. Wilson. The Senate had operated
without a cloture rule since 1806. The rule required a 2/3 vote. In
1975 it amended to a 3/5 vote.
(AP, 3/8/98)(Econ, 5/21/05, p.30)(Econ, 2/20/10,
p.24)(Econ, 4/8/17, p.25)
1917 Mar 8, Ferdinand von
Zeppelin (78), Dutch count, air pioneer, died.
1917 Mar 8, Russian
women commenced a strike for "bread and peace" in response to
the death over 2 million Russian soldiers in war. This was 23
February on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia. This day on
the Gregorian calendar in use elsewhere was 8 March.
1917 Mar 8-1917 Mar 12,
Russia’s democratic February revolution took place. The "February
Revolution" (according to the Old Style calendar that Russians used
it was Feb 23-27) began with rioting and strikes in the Russian army
garrison at Petrograd.
(AP, 3/8/98)(LHC, 3/8/03)
1917 Mar 9, Algirdas Julius Greimas,
Lithuanian semiologist and mythologist, was born in Tula, Russia. He
died Feb 27, 1992, in Paris.
1917 Mar 9, A Lithuanian committee in St.
Petersburg accepted a declaration for Lithuanian autonomy.
1917 Mar 11, British troops
1917 Mar 12, The British
government shut down migration from India, after more than half a
million people had come as laborers to the Caribbean.
(Econ, 3/11/17, p.34)
1917 Mar 12, Russian troops
mutinied in the "February Revolution." [see Mar 8]
1917 Mar 14, China broke off
diplomatic relations with Germany.
1917 Mar 15, Nicholas II, last
Russian tsar, said he will abdicate.
1917 Mar 16, Nicholas II, Czar
of Russia, abdicated in favor of his brother Michael. He was forced
to sign a document of abdication after being brought down by
political unrest and widespread starvation stemming from Russia’s
staggering losses in WWI. 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.
1917 Mar 17, Czar Michael
abdicated after one day in favor of a provisional government under
Prince George Evgenievich Lvov (55).
(PCh, 1992, p.722)
1917 Mar 18, The Germans sank
the U.S. ships, City of Memphis, Vigilante and the Illinois, without
any type of warning.
1917 Mar 19, Dino Lipatti,
composer, pianist, was born.
1917 Mar 19, The US Supreme
Court, in Wilson v. New, upheld the Adamson Act, the eight hour work
day for railroad workers.
(HN, 3/19/98)(AP, 3/19/08)
1917 Mar 19, A German submarine
in the Mediterranean Sea sunk the French battleship Danton. In 2009
the Danton was discovered on the seabed southwest of Sardinia.
1917 Mar 20, Dame Vera Lynn,
British songstress, was born. She sang "White Cliffs of Dover" and
"Lily Marlene" during World War II.
1917 Mar 20, Gideon Sundback,
Swedish-born engineer, patented an all-purpose zipper while working
for the Automatic Hook and Eye Co. of Hoboken, New Jersey. The
zipper name was coined by B.F. Goodrich in 1923, who used it to
fasten rubber galoshes. In 1994 Robert Friedel authored “Zipper: An
Exploration in Novelty."
(ON, 7/04, p.5)(www.inventors.about.com)
1917 Mar 21, Loretta Perfectus
Walsh was sworn in as the US Navy’s first chief petty officer.
1917 Mar 22, The U.S. became
the first to recognize the Kerensky Government in Russia.
1917 Mar 22, In Brazil Caixa
Economica de Sao Paulo first opened its doors. In 2008 the bank was
bought by Banco do Brazil.
(http://tinyurl.com/2wkhujw)(Econ, 5/15/10, SR
1917 Mar 23, A 4 day series of
tornadoes killed 211 in Midwest US.
1917 Mar 23, Austrian Emperor
Charles I made a peace proposal to French President Poincare.
1917 Mar 27, The Seattle
Metropolitans became the first US team to win the Stanley Cup as
they defeated the Montreal Canadiens.
1917 Mar 28, The Women’s Army
Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was founded, these were Great Britain’s first
official service women.
1917 Mar 28, Puccini's "La
Rondine," premiered in Monte Carlo.
1917 Mar 28, Jews were expelled
from Tel Aviv and Jaffa by Turkish authorities.
1917 Mar 29, Man O'War,
racehorse (winner of 20 out of 21 races and $249,465), was born.
1917 Mar 31, The United States
took possession of the Virgin Islands. The purchase from Denmark for
$25 million had been set up in 1916.
1917 Apr 1, In Baltimore some
4,000 pro-war demonstrators stormed a meeting of the American League
Against Militarism and threatened to hang the participants that
included Stanford Univ. Chancellor David Starr Jordan.
(Ind, 4/12/03, 5A)
1917 Apr 1, Scott Joplin
(b.1868), ragtime composer (Sting), died of syphilis in a NY mental
hospital. His work included the opera "Treemonisha."
(MC, 4/1/02)(SFC, 6/21/03, p.D3)c
1917 Apr 2, At 8:30 p.m.
President Woodrow Wilson, delivered his message before a joint
session of Congress and recommended that a state of war be declared
between the United States and the imperial German government.
Realizing that the war looming ahead would be a costly one, Wilson
said, "the day has come when America is privileged to spend her
blood and her might for the principles that gave her birth and
happiness and the peace which she has treasured…" and "The world
must be made safe for democracy."
1917 Apr 2, Jeannette Pickering
Rankin was sworn in as the first woman to serve in the U.S. House of
1917 Apr 3, Lenin left
Switzerland for Petrograd.
1917 Apr 4, U.S. Senate voted
90-6 to enter World War I on Allied side.
1917 Apr 5, Robert Bloch,
sci-fi author (Hugo, Psycho), was born.
(HN, 4/5/01)(MC, 4/5/02)
1917 Apr 6, The US Congress
approved a declaration of war against Germany and entered World War
I on the Allied side.
(HN, 4/6/98)(AP, 4/6/04)
1917 Apr 7, De Falla's ballet
"El Sombrero de tres Picos," premiered in Madrid.
1917 Apr 9, Battle of Arras
began as Canadian troops launched a massive assault on Vimy Ridge in
France. The assault brought four Canadian divisions fought together
for the first time and cost 10,600 lives.
1917 Apr 9, Edward Thomas
(b.1878), British writer and poet, was killed in action during the
Battle of Arras. His travel books included “The Icknield Way." In
2012 Matthew Hollis authored “Now All Roads Lead to France: The Last
Years of Edward Thomas."
1917 Apr 10, Robert B.
Woodward, synthetic chemist, was born.
1917 Apr 10, A munitions
factory explosion at Eddystone, PA., killed 133 workers.
1917 Apr 11, Babe Ruth beat NY
Yanks, pitching to a 3-hit, 10-3 win for Red Sox.
1917 Apr 12, Domenico
Scarlatti's and Jean Cocteau's ballet premiered in Rome.
1917 Apr 13, Howard Keel,
actor, singer (7 Brides for 7 Brothers, Kiss Me Kate), was born.
1917 Apr 13, Diamond Jim Brady
(b.1856), American financier, philanthropist and gourmand, died.
When his body was examined, doctors discovered that his stomach was
eight times larger than that of an average person.
1917 Apr 15, The British
defeated the Germans at the battle of Arras.
1917 Apr 16, Vladimir Ilyich
Lenin returned to Russia after years of exile to start the Bolshevik
(AP, 4/16/97)(HN, 4/16/98)
1917 Apr 20, In the Pravda
newspaper Lenin named Russia "Free land of world."
1917 Apr 25, Ella Fitzgerald
(d.1996), jazz singer, was born. [see Apr 25, 1918]
1917 Apr 26, Ieoh Ming Pei (IM
Pei), architect (1961 Brunner Prize), was born in Canton, China. He
designed the East Wing of the US National Gallery of Art.
1917 Apr 28, Robert Anderson,
writer (Tea & Sympathy, Never Sang for My Father), was born in
1917 Apr, The US Navy had 54
airplanes, one nonoperational airship, two balloons and 267 officers
(SFEC, 2/16/97, BR p.9)
1917 May 1, Caucasian unity was
proclaimed at the first Mountain People's Congress in Vladikavkaz.
The idea of a Caucasus Confederation had its origins in the spring
of 1917 and was developed further in 1918. At the Congress the
"Alliance of United Mountain People of the North Caucasus and
Dagestan", headed by T. Chermoev, a Chechen, R. Kaplanov, a Kumyk,
P. Kotsev, a Kabardian, V. Dzhabagiev, an Ingush, and others, was
officially established. The Abkhazian people also became full
members of this alliance. A Mountain Peoples' Government was formed
in November 1917.
1917 May 3, Betty Comden
(d.2006), librettist, was born in Brooklyn, NY, as Basya Cohen. She
became one-half of the musical-comedy duo Comden and Green, who
provided lyrics, libretti, and screenplays to some of the most
beloved and successful Hollywood musicals and Broadway shows of the
1917 May 3, Kiro Gligorov
(d.2012) was born in the central Macedonian town of Shtip. He later
served as the first president of Macedonia (1991-1999).
1917 May 5, Eugene Jacques
Bullard became the first African-American aviator when he earned a
flying certificate with the French Air Service.
1917 May 10, Atlantic ships got
destroyer escorts to fend off German attacks.
1917 May 12, M. Wolf discovered
asteroid #870, Manto.
(SC, Internet, 5/12/97)
1917 May 13, Ernest Bloch
(1880-1959), Swiss composer, premiered his work "Schelomo."
(WUD, 1994 p.159)(MC, 5/13/02)
1917 May 13, Three peasant
children near Fatima, Portugal, reported seeing a vision of the
Virgin Mary. Francisco and Jacinta Marto and Lucia de Santos
(d.2005) later reported appearances on 5 more occasions. Francisco
and Jacinta Marto died at the ages of 10 and 9 years old, within
three years of the apparitions Dos Santos was said by believers to
be the main recipient of prophecies from the Virgin about key 20th
century events. The Vatican said the 1st secret foretold the end of
World War I and that the 2nd predicted the spread and collapse of
Communism and the conversion of Russia. In 2000 the Vatican
disclosed that the so-called 3rd Secret of Fatima was a vision of an
attempt to kill a pope. It was reportedly associated to the May 13,
1981, assassination attempt. In 2000 the Vatican unveiled the
62-line handwritten account of Lucia de Jesus dos Santos.
(AP, 5/13/97)(SFEC, 5/14/00, p.A2)(SFC, 6/27/00,
1917 May 15, British Lt. John
Harold Pritchard was killed in a nighttime battle at Bullecourt,
France. This was during the two week 2nd battle of Bullecourt on the
Hindenburg Line. Thousands of dead were scattered on both sides. In
2013 Pritchard’s body was found on a farm that covered the
(SFC, 4/24/13, p.A5)
1917 May 18, The U.S. Congress
passed the Selective Service act, calling up soldiers to fight World
1917 May 18, California
approved an Industrial Loan Act. State chartered industrial loan
banks approved loans to industrial workers shunned by traditional
1917 May 18,
Satie-Massine-Picasso's ballet "Parade" premiered in Paris, France.
1917 May 20, Turkish government
authorized Jews to return to Tel Aviv and Jaffa.
1917 May 21, Raymond Burr,
actor, was born in BC, Canada. He played Perry Mason on television.
(HN, 5/21/99)(MC, 5/21/02)
1917 May 25, Steve Cochran,
actor (Mozambique, Gay Senotiys, Dallas), was born in Eureka, CA.
1917 May 25, Jimmy Hamilton,
saxophonist, was born.
1917 May 25, Theodore Hesburgh,
ex-president of Notre Dame, was born.
1917 May 25, Leon Felix
Augustin Joseph Vasseur (72), composer, died.
1917 May 26, Up to eight
separate tornadoes cut a path of destruction for nearly 300 miles
across Illinois and Indiana.
(SFC, 5/26/09, p.D8)
1917 May 26, The Spanish boat
Carlos de Eizaguirre hit a German mine that had been part of a naval
blockade near Cape Town. 25 survivors reached the harbor.
1917 May 28, "Papa" John
Creach, violinist, was born.
1917 May 28, Barry Commoner,
biologist (Science & Survival), was born in Brooklyn, NY.
1917 May 29, John Fitzgerald
Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States (1961-1963), was
born at 83 Beals St. in Brookline, Mass. He was assassinated in his
(AP, 5/29/97)(HN, 5/29/99)(SSFC, 9/8/02, p.C12)
1917 May, The film "The Spirit
of ’76," produced by Robert Goldstein, opened in Los Angeles. The
film celebrated the American Revolution but showed the British in an
unfavorable light and with the United States involved in World War I
on the side of the British, federal officials accused Goldstein of
producing "pro-German" propaganda. In 1918. Goldstein was arrested
for violating the Espionage Act and sentenced to 10 years. He served
(WSJ, 6/9/00, p.W17)(HNQ, 3/1/01)
1917 May, French soldiers
refused to return to the trenches after the disastrous April-May
Chemin des Dames offensive of Gen. Nivelle, in which more than
30,000 French soldiers died and 80,000 were wounded to no good
purpose. The "La Chanson de Craonne," sung to the tune of Charles
Sablon's "Bonsoir M'amour" by the mutineers, celebrated the
resistance of the soldiers to return to the front and was banned for
many years from French airwaves.
1917 Jun 2, Max Showalter,
actor, composer (Stockard Channing Show), was born in Caldwell, Ks.
1917 Jun 4, Charles
Collingwood, news commentator (CBS, Chronicles), was born in Mich.
1917 Jun 4, American men begin
registering for the draft. [see Jun 5]
1917 Jun 4, The Most Excellent
Order of the British Empire, a British order of chivalry, was
established by King George V. The Order included five classes in
civil and military divisions in decreasing order of seniority. These
included: Knight Grand Cross (GBE) or Dame Grand Cross (GBE), Knight
Commander (KBE) or Dame Commander (DBE), Commander (CBE),
Officer (OBE), and Member (MBE).
1917 Jun 5, About 10 million
American men began registering for the draft in World War I.
1917 Jun 7, Gwendolyn Brooks,
one of the foremost African American poets of the 20th Century, was
born. She won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry for her verse narrative
1917 Jun 7, Dean Martin,
singer, comedian (partner for Jerry Lewis), was born in
Steubenville, Ohio. He died in Beverly Hills, Ca. on Dec. 25, 1995.
[see Jun 17]
(WSJ, 12/26/95, p. A-1)(SC, 6/7/02)
1917 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.
1917 Jun 8, Byron R. White
(d.2002), later US Supreme Court Justice (1962-1993), was born in
Fort Collins, Colo.
(SFC, 4/16/02, p.A1)
1917 Jun 10, 60,000 people of
Petrograd welcomed Prince Kropotkin, who was banned 41 years
1917 Jun 13, The 219-foot,
steam-powered, US coast Guard revenue cutter McCulloch sank, after a
collision with the passenger liner Governor off Point conception
near Santa Barbara, Ca. In 2017 remains of the ship were discovered.
(SFC, 6/14/17, p.D5)
1917 Jun 13, Germany bombed
1917 Jun 15, The US Espionage
Act was passed. It was used to ban Marxist magazines from the mails
and was soon followed by the Sedition Act. Eugene Debs was sent to
prison for opposing the war under the Espionage Act.
1917 Jun 15, Great Britain
pledged the release of all Irish captured during the Easter
Rebellion of 1916.
1917 Jun 16, Katharine Graham
(d.2001), publisher of the Washington Post, was born. She was later
considered one of the most influential women in the United States.
(HN, 6/16/99)(SFC, 7/18/01, p.A6)
1917 Jun 16, Irving Penn,
fashion photographer, brother of film director Arthur Penn, was
1917 Jun 16, The 1st Congress
of Soviets convened in Russia.
1917 Jun 17, Dean Martin,
singer and comedian, was born as Dino Crocetti in Steubenville,
Ohio. He worked with Jerry Lewis. His films included "My Friend
Irma," "Hollywood or Bust," "Airport," "Bells are Ringing" and "Rio
Bravo." [see Jun 7]
1917 Jun 17, British king
George V took the name Windsor. [see Jun 19, Jul 17]
1917 Jun 17, The Russian
Duma met in secret session in Petrograd and voted for an immediate
Russian offensive against the German Army.
1917 Jun 19, King George V
ordered the British royal family to dispense with German titles and
surnames. The family took the name "Windsor." [see Jun 17, Jul
(DT, 6/19/97)(MC, 6/19/02)
1917 Jun 23, Babe Ruth,
starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, was ejected from a baseball
game after he walked the 1st batter and argued with the umpire.
Relief pitcher Ernie Shore threw out the 1st batter at 2nd base and
proceeded to pitch a no-hitter.
(SFC, 9/2/00, p.B3)
1917 Jun 24, Russian Black Sea
fleet mutinied at Sebastopol.
1917 Jun 26, General John
"Black Jack" Pershing arrived in France with the first of the 14,000
American Expeditionary Force.
(AP, 6/26/97)(HN, 6/26/98)(MC, 6/26/02)
1917 Jun 27, Hank Gowdy became
the 1st baseball player to enter WW I military service.
1917 Jun 28, The Raggedy Ann
1917 Jun 29, The Ukraine
proclaimed independence from Russia.
1917 Jun 30, Lena Horne,
American singer, was born in Brooklyn, NYC. She later appeared in
the films "Stormy Weather" and "Death of a Gunfighter."
(HN, 6/30/99)(MC, 6/30/02)
1917 Jul 1, The 1893 upper jaw
cancer operation for President Grover Cleveland remained a secret
until July 1, 1917, when the doctor who performed the operation
revealed the story.
1917 Jul 2, Race riots erupted
in East St. Louis, Illinois. The official death toll was put at 48,
but as many as 200 were believed killed. In 1964 Elliott M. Rudwick
authored Race Riot at East St. Louis, July 2, 1917." In 2008 Harper
Barnes authored “Never Been a Time: The 1917 Race Riot That Sparked
the Civil Rights Movement."
1917 Jul 2, An Arab army led by
Feisal Hussein and Bedouin chief Auda Abu Taiya fought Turkish
forces at Aqaba killing 300 and capturing 160 Turkish soldiers.
(ON, 10/05, p.8)
1917 Jul 4, During a ceremony
in Paris honoring the French hero of the American Revolution, U.S.
Lt. Col. Charles E. Stanton declared, "Lafayette, we are here!"
1917 Jul 6, During World War I,
Arab forces led by T.E. Lawrence and Auda Abu Tayi captured the port
of Aqaba from the Turks.
1917 Jul 7, A federal Grand
Jury indicted 147 people including multimillionaire Leopold Michels
and many San Franciscans in the case of "Germany’s gigantic
conspiracy against American neutrality." The "neutrality plot"
involved an alleged attempt to foment revolution in India against
British rule and a conspiracy to ship supplies from SF to German
ships in the Pacific.
(SFEC, 12/26/99, p.W5)
1917 Jul 9, US Naval officers
and Federal agents cooperated in seeking out the responsibility for
an explosion of a black powder magazine at the Mare Island Navy
Yard, in San Francisco Bay, today, which killed 6 persons and
injured thirty-one others. Agents of US Military Intelligence tied
the blast to roving German saboteur Lothar Witzke, who was caught
and imprisoned in 1918.
1917 Jul 9, British warship
"Vanguard" exploded at Scapa Flow killing 804.
1917 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.
(AM, 7/04, p.9)(WSJ, 5/24/06, p.A1)
1917 Jul 12, Andrew Wyeth,
painter who focused on the northeastern United States, was born in
Chadds Ford, Pa. In 1998 Beth Venn and Adam Weinberg published
"Unknown Terrain," a companion piece to a Whitney Museum exhibition
of his art.
(HN, 7/12/98)(MC, 7/12/02)(www.wyethcenter.com)
1917 Jul 14, In San Francisco
the Twin Peaks Tunnel was dedicated by Mayor James Rolph and
Engineer M.M. O’Shaughnessy. The public was admitted through the
2-mile bore for the first time.
(SFCM, 7/10/05, p.4)(SSFC, 11/2/14, p.A2)(SSFC,
7/9/17, DB p.50)
1917 Jul 15, Robert Conquest,
English author (Back to Life), was born.
1917 Jul 16, Ludwig Philipp
Scharwenka (70), German composer (Album Polonaise), died.
1917 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. [see Jun 17,19]
(AP, 7/17/97)(SFEC, 1/19/97, Par p.2)(DTnet,
1917 Jul 20, The US draft
lottery in World War I went into operation.
1917 Jul 20, Alexander Kerensky
became the premier of Russia.
1917 Jul 20, The Pact of Corfu
was signed between the Serbs, Croats & Slovenes to form
Yugoslavia. [see Dec 1, 1918]
1917 Jul 22, British bombed
German lines at Ypres with 4,250,000 grenades.
1917 Jul 23, Pres. Woodrow
Wilson issued an executive order for saloons within a half mile of
military reservations to close.
(SSFC, 7/23/17, DB p.50)
1917 Jul 24, The sailing vessel
R.P. Rithet caught fire and burned at sea. Captain Knut Lindberg
(1865-1935) and crew took to a lifeboat and sailed nearly 1000 miles
to Port Allen, Kauai, Hawaii. All 14 men and officers survived. The
1080 ton steel bark was built at Port Glasgow in 1892 for C. Brewer
& Co. Matson bought it in 1908 and installed auxiliary diesel
engines c. 1916.
(SSFC, 10/17/10, DB
1917 Jul 26, J. Edgar Hoover
got job with the Justice Department.
1917 Jul 31, The third Battle
of Ypres commenced as the British attacked the German lines.
1917 Jul, Mustard agent was
first used effectively in World War I by the German army against
British and Canadian soldiers near Ypres, Belgium, and later also
against the French Second Army. Mustard agent was possibly developed
as early as 1822 by César-Mansuète Despretz (1798–1863). Prussian
chemist Fritz Haber pioneered the battlefield use of mustard gas.
1917 Aug 1, Frank Little, IWW
organizer, was lynched in Butte, MT.
1917 Aug 2, Royal Naval Air
Service officer E.H. Dunning became the first pilot to land on the
deck of a moving ship. He performed the tricky maneuver by flying
his Sopwith Pup alongside the HMS Furious as it steamed at high
speed into the wind, then side-slipping inward to the deck. Furious
joined the British Royal Navy as an aircraft carrier after being
fitted with a primitive flight deck. Five days after his successful
deck landing, Dunning drowned during another attempt when his
aircraft developed mechanical problems and plunged overboard.
1917 Aug 4, Pravda called for
the killing of all capitalists, priests and officers.
1917 Aug 6, The battle of
Marasesti began and continued to Sep 8. This was the last major
battle between the German Empire and the Kingdom of Romania on the
Romanian front during World War I. The Battle of Mărășești kept the
northeastern region of the country free from occupation. Romania
lost over 27,000 men, including 610 officers, while Germany and
Austria-Hungary lost over 47,000.
1917 Aug 10, The US Congress
passed the Lever Food and Fuel Control Act. It gave Pres. Wilson the
power to regulate the transportation, production and storage of
1917 Aug 11, In San Francisco
some 1,300 United Railroads employees went on strike and crippled
the city’s transit system.
(SFEC, 12/26/99, p.W5)
1917 Aug 14, The US War
Department said Filipinos may be enlisted in all branches of the
military as white troops, provided it is established that applicants
have no Negro blood.
(SSFC, 8/13/17, DB p.50)
1917 Aug 14, The Chinese
Parliament declared war on the Central Powers, Germany and Austria,
during World War I. Some 100,000 Chinese laborers ended up serving
near the front lines in Flanders as the “Chinese Labor Corps," which
endured military discipline under British officers. Hundreds died in
the influenza that swept post-war Europe and the last were shipped
home in 1920.
(AP, 8/14/97)(Econ, 4/24/10, p.41)
1917 Aug 14, Eugène Bonaventure
Jean-Baptiste Vigo (aka Miguel Almereyda), French journalist and
activist against militarism, was found dead in Fresnes Prison. Some
speculated that Almereyda was hushed up by order of extreme
Socialist politicians, Louis-Jean Malvy and Joseph Caillaux, men
later punished for war-time treason. An autopsy found that his
abdomen was full of pus and that he was struggling with a burst
appendix. He was the father of French film director Jean Vigo
1917 Aug 16, In San Francisco
six United Railroads substitute platform men were arrested after
they drove in an out of a parade of striking carmen. The men were
recruited from Los Angeles. Two other machines carrying seven men
each escaped. Loaded revolvers were found in the side pockets and
under the chauffeur’s coat along with black jacks and clubs.
(SSFC, 8/13/17, DB p.50)
1917 Aug 22, John Lee Hooker,
blues singer and guitarist, was born.
1917 Aug 22, San Francisco
Mayor James Rolph told Jesse W. Lilienthal, president of the street
car company, that that service must be resumed as street fighting
between strikers and United Railroads substitutes left 18
(SSFC, 3/20/17, DB p.54)
1917 Aug 28, Jack Kirby,
cartoonist (X-Men, Spiderman, Hulk, Capt America), was born.
1917 Aug 28, 10 suffragists
were arrested as they picketed the White House.
1917 Aug 29, Canada’s PM Robert
Borden introduced the Military Service Act. The Act was passed:
allowing the government to conscript men across the country if the
PM felt that it was necessary.
1917 Aug 31, San Francisco
police went on duty with nightsticks after more than a score of
United Railroad cars had been stoned and five people injured on
Mission and Valencia Streets by some 1,200 strike sympathizing iron
workers returning home from work.
(SSFC, 3/27/17, DB p.65)
1917 Sep 2, Cleveland Amory,
conservationist and TV reviewer (TV Guide), was born in Nahant,
1917 Sep 2, Admiral Tirpitz
formed the Deutsche Vaterlands Party.
1917 Sep 3, French
microbiologist Felix d'Herelle announced that he had discovered "an
invisible, antagonistic microbe of the dysentery bacillus."
The agent came to be known as a microphage, a virus that
infects and replicates within bacteria and archaea.
(Econ., 8/22/20, p.22)
1917 Sep 3, The 1st night
bombing of London by German fighter planes.
1917 Sep 3, German troops
overran Riga Latvia.
1917 Sep 3, Fanya Kaplan, the
Russian who shot at Lenin on Aug 30th, was executed.
1917 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.
1917 Sep 6, French pilot
Georges Guynemer shot down 54th German aircraft.
1917 Sep 8, Eugene Bullard,
aviator, was born in Columbus, Georgia. He emigrated to France and
became the first African-American combat aviator when he flew a
reconnaissance mission over the city of Metz, France. He was
credited with one confirmed "kill," a German Pfalz he shot down over
1917 Sep 11, Jessica Mitford
(d.1996), writer who championed civil rights, best known for her
book “The American Way of Death," was born.
1917 Sep 11, Ferdinand Marcos,
Philippines Pres. (1965-86), was born.
1917 Sep 15, Russia was
proclaimed a republic by Alexander Kerensky, the head of a
1917 Sep 17, Some 20,000 iron
workers went on strike in SF, Oakland and Alameda in the biggest
strike ever on the Pacific Coast. Marines were sent to guard the
Union Iron Works and 32 men were arrested as workers demonstrated
against the United Railroads by stoning cars and beating substitute
(SFEC, 12/26/99, p.W5)(SSFC, 9/17/17 DB p.54)
1917 Sep 17, The German Army
recaptured the Russian [Latvian] Port of Riga from Russian forces.
1917 Sep 20, Arnold "Red"
Auerbach, second winningest basketball coach in history with 1,037
victories for the Boston Celtics, was born.
1917 Sep 20, The British
assaulted the Polygon Forest in France.
1917 Sep 26, Australian Private
Thomas Hurdis (26) was wounded in Belgium, and died on Oct. 3 in a
US field hospital in France. His skull with a bullet lodged in bone
between his eyes was later put on display at the Mutter Museum of
The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. On July 20, 2018, the
skull was buried in Hurdis' grave at the French Mont Huon Military
Cemetery in Le Treport in a ceremony attended by Hurdis' family and
1917 Sep 27, Louis Auchincloss,
novelist, was born in Lawrence, NY. His work included "Portrait in
Brownstone, The Embezzler," and "Watchfires.
(HN, 9/27/00)(MC, 9/27/01)
1917 Sep 27, Hilaire Germain
Edgar Degas (b1834), French impressionist painter died in Paris. His
fascination with horses was covered in the 1998 book "Degas at the
Races" by Jean Sutherland.
(WSJ, 10/2/96, p.B5)(SFEC, 6/21/98, BR
1917 Sep, Elvin Jones, jazz
drummer, was born.
(SFEC, 3/2/97, DB p.15)
1917 Oct 6, Robert Mitchum,
actor (2 for the Seesaw, Ryan's Daughter), was born.
1917 Oct 6, US Congress passed
the Trading With the Enemy Act, which allowed the US to seize the
property of enemy nationals.
1917 Oct 8, Rodney Porter,
British biochemist and Nobel Prize winner, was born.
1917 Oct 8, Leon Trotsky was
named chairman of Petrograd Soviet.
1917 Oct 10, Thelonious Monk
(d.1982), jazz pianist and composer, was born. He eventually moved
to New York City where he played at various nightclubs throughout
the 40s. He began recording more in the 1950s, usually with small
groups, gaining more notoriety, but his musical influence on his
fellow musicians was already considerable, including such jazz
artists as George Russell and Randy Weston. Jazz pianist and
prolific composer Thelonious Monk, one of the early bebop musicians
of the 1940s, stopped touring and recording in the early 70s,
leaving such jazz standards as "Straight, No Chaser" and " ‘Round
Midnight." [see Oct 11]
1917 Oct 11, Thelonious Monk,
jazz great, was born. [see Oct 10]
1917 Oct 15, Arthur
Schlesinger, Jr., historian and author, was born in Ohio. He won the
1946 Pulitzer Prize for his book "Age of Jackson."
(HN, 10/15/00)(MC, 10/15/01)
1917 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. The daughter
of a prosperous Dutch merchant, Margaretha Geertruida Zelle married
a colonial army officer named MacLeod in 1895. The couple lived for
five years in Java and Sumatra before the marriage failed. By 1905,
Mrs. MacLeod was calling herself Mata Hari--said to be Malay for
"eye of the day"--and creating a sensation as an exotic East Indian
dancer in Europe. Among her many lovers were military officers and,
although the facts surrounding her espionage activities are still
unclear, Mata Hari was arrested by the French as a German spy in
February 1917. After a two-day trial before a military court, Mata
Hari was sentenced to death for espionage. In 2002 Richard Skinner
authored "The Red Dancer," a novel based on her life.
(WSJ, 1/16/97, p.A16)(AP, 10/15/97)(HNPD,
10/15/98)(SSFC, 3/24/02, p.M4)
1917 Oct 17, The 1st British
bombing of Germany took place.
1917 Oct 19, The first doughnut
was fried by Salvation Army volunteer women for American troops in
France during World War I.
1917 Oct 21, Dizzy Gillespie,
jazz trumpeter, famous for Night in Tunisia and Blue ‘n’ Boogie, was
1917 Oct 21, Members of the
First Division of the U.S. Army training in Luneville, France,
became the first Americans to see action on the front lines of World
War I. The first U.S. troops entered the front lines at
Sommervillier under French command.
(AP, 10/21/98)(HN, 10/21/98)
1917 Oct 21, Petrograd's
garrison accepted a Revolutionary Military Committee.
1917 Oct 22, Leopold Stokowski
led Philadelphia Orchestra in its first recording.
1917 Oct 23, The 1st Infantry
division, "Big Red One," fired the 1st US shot in WW I.
1917 Oct 23, Lenin spoke
against Kamenev, Kollontai, Stalin and Trotsky.
1917 Oct 24, The Austro-German
army routed the Italian army at Caporetto, Italy. In what came to be
known as the 1st blitzkrieg German and Austro-Hungarian forces took
at least 250,000 Italian soldiers as prisoners on the Isonzo Front.
(HN, 10/24/98)(SFEC, 7/9/00, p.T14)
1917 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. [see Nov 7]
1917 Oct 26, Felix the Cat,
cartoon character, was born.
1917 Oct 27, 20,000 women
marched in a suffrage parade in New York.
1917 Oct 31, William H. McNeil,
historian, was born. His work include "The Rise of the West."
1917 Oct 31, Eugene O'Neill's
"In the Zone," premiered in NYC.
1917 Oct 31, Australia and New
Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) defeated Ottoman troops to gain control
of a strategic crossroads at Beersheba that helped clear the way to
Jerusalem during World War I.
1917 Oct, The British Admiralty
ordered that all naval and merchant ships be painted in dazzle
camouflage, to help reduce their visibility to German submarines.
The painting style was the idea of Norman Wilkinson (1878-1971) and
came from his familiarity with the avant garde art styles of cubism
1917 Nov 1, First US soldiers
were killed in combat in WWI.
1917 Nov 2, In the
Lansing-Ishii Agreement the US recognized Japan's privileges in
1917 Nov 2, British Foreign
Secretary Arthur Balfour, in what became known as the Balfour
Declaration, expressed support for a "national home" for the Jews of
Palestine. It encouraged Jewish immigration to Israel in the decade
after WW I.
(SFC, 10/18/96, C8)(AP, 11/2/97)
1917 Nov 5, The US Supreme
Court decision (Buchanan vs. Warley) struck down a Louisville, Ky.,
ordnance requiring blacks and whites to live in separate areas
1917 Nov 5, General Pershing
led U.S. troops into the first American action against German
1917 Nov 6, NY allowed women to
1917 Nov 6, Bolshevik "October
Revolution" (October 25 on the old Russian calendar), led by
Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky, seized power in Petrograd. [see Nov
1917 Nov 7, British General Sir
Edmond Allenby broke the Turkish defensive line in the Third Battle
1917 Nov 7, (October 25 old
style 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.
[see Nov 6] This day became a national holiday and continued until
it was abolished in late 2004.
(CFA, '96, p.58)(V.D.-H.K.p.260-261)(AP,
11/7/97)(HNPD, 11/7/98)(AP, 11/4/05)
1917 Nov 8, Adolph Wagner
(b.1835), German economist, died. He formulated the Law of
Increasing State Spending, also known as "Wagner's Law," which
predicts that the development of an industrial economy will be
accompanied by an increased share of public expenditure in gross
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolph_Wagner)(Econ, 3/18/17, p.24)
1917 Nov 8, The People's
Commissars "gave" authority to Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin.
1917 Nov 10, Forty-one US
suffragettes were arrested for picketing in front of the White
1917 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. The battle was later described
by Edwin Campion Vaughan in “Some Desperate Glory" (1981).
(HN, 6/7/98)(HNQ, 11/2/98)(WSJ, 10/7/06, p.P12)
1917 Nov 10, New Soviet
government suspended freedom of the press.
1917 Nov 11, Lydia Kamekeha
Lili’uokalani, the last queen of the Hawaiian Islands, died. She
wrote the song "Aloha ‘Oe" and the book "Hawaii’s Story By Hawaii’s
(WUD, 1994, p.830)(ON, 11/02, p.7)
1917 Nov 12, Joseph Coors, CEO
of Adolph Coors Co Brewery, was born.
1917 Nov 15, Emile Durkheim
(b.1858), French sociologist, died in Paris. He formally established
the academic discipline of sociology and with Max Weber is commonly
cited as the principal architect of modern social science.
1917 Nov 15, Kerensky fled and
the Bolsheviks took command in Moscow.
1917 Nov 16, British occupied
Tel Aviv and Jaffa.
1917 Nov 16, Georges Clemenceau
(76) again became prime minister of France. He appointed himself as
minister of war as well as chief of state. For his contribution to
the victory of the Allies in World War I, premier Clemenceau was
referred to as the "Father of Victory." A physician, journalist,
author and statesman, Clemenceau was an ardent upholder of the
French Third Republic. He strove to create an indomitable "will to
victory" and proclaimed "To be entirely in unity with the soldier,
to live, to suffer, to fight with him." Clemenceau, declared he
would wage war "to the last quarter hour, for the last quarter hour
will be ours." Born on September 28, 1841, Clemenceau died on
November 24, 1929.
(HNQ, 3/23/99)(AP, 11/16/07)
1917 Nov 17, The French
Sculptor Rodin (77) froze to death in an unheated attic in Meudon,
France. He had applied to the government for quarters as warm as
those wherein his statues were stored, but the government turned him
down. His studio was called La Villa des Brillants. He worked with
sculptor A.-E. Carrier-Belleuse and for years spent a considerable
amount of time on decorative work for public monuments. His work
included several versions of a "Monument to Victor Hugo," "The
Kiss," "The Burghers of Calais" and "The Thinker." His famous
"Balzac" wasn’t cast in bronze until 1939. The film "Camille
Claudel" told the story of Rodin’s mistress, a brilliant sculptress
who went mad after their love affair.
(SFC, 12/4/94, p. S-8)(SFEC, 8/25/96, p.T10)(AP,
1917 Nov 17, Lenin defended the
"temporary" removal of freedom of the press.
1917 Nov 19, Indira Gandhi was
born in Allahabad. She served as prime minister of India from 1967
to 1977 and 1978 to 1984, when she was assassinated by her own
(HN, 11/19/00)(AP, 11/19/07)
1917 Nov 20, In the 1st tank
battle Britain broke through German lines.
1917 Nov 21, German ace Rudolf
von Eschwege was killed over Macedonia when he attacked a
booby-trapped observation balloon packed with explosives.
1917 Nov 21, Maxim Gorki called
Lenin a blind fanatic and unthinking adventurer.
1917 Nov 24, In Wisconsin a
large black powder bomb exploded at a Milwaukee police station
killing 9 officers and a female civilian. It had been discovered by
a social worker, next to an evangelical church. It was suspected at
the time that the bomb had been placed outside the church by
anarchists, particularly by adherents of Luigi Galleani.
1917 Nov 26, Bolsheviks offered
armistice between Russian and the Central Powers.
1917 Nov 28, Fred and Adele
Astaire debut on Broadway in the Sigmund Romberg revue "Over the
(DT net, 11/28/97)(MC, 11/28/01)
1917 Nov, Georges Clemenceau
became premier of France at the age of 76 and appointed himself as
minister of war as well as chief of state. For his contribution to
the victory of the Allies in World War I, premier Clemenceau was
referred to as the "Father of Victory." A physician, journalist,
author and statesman, Clemenceau was an ardent upholder of the
French Third Republic. He strove to create an indomitable "will to
victory" and proclaimed "To be entirely in unity with the soldier,
to live, to suffer, to fight with him." Clemenceau, declared he
would wage war "to the last quarter hour, for the last quarter hour
will be ours." Born on September 28,1841, Clemenceau died on
November 24, 1929.
1917 Nov, The East African
Campaign, a series of battles and guerrilla actions, which started
in German East Africa (later Tanzania) and spread to portions of
Mozambique, Northern Rhodesia, British East Africa, Uganda and the
Belgian Congo, all but ended when the Germans entered Portuguese
East Africa (later Mozambique) and continued the campaign living off
(http://tinyurl.com/lcfyagk)(Econ, 2/4/17, p.40)
1917 Dec 1, Boys Town founded
by Father Edward Flanagan west of Omaha Neb. [see Dec 12]
1917 Dec 6, Finland declared
independence from the Russian Empire (National Day).
(SFEM, 8/8/99, p.44)(AP, 12/6/17)
1917 Dec 6, Former Czar
Nicholas II and family were made prisoners by the Bolsheviks in
1917 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. A local court found Captain Le Medec of the Mont
Blanc and other defendants guilty of the collision. Canada’s Supreme
Court ruled that the captains of both ships were equally to blame. A
Privy Council in London ruled that Le Medec had done nothing
(EWH, 4th ed, p.1054)(ON, 7/05, p.7)(AP, 12/6/07)
1917 Dec 7, The US declared war
on Austria-Hungary with only one dissenting vote in Congress and
became the 13th country to do so.
1917 Dec 9, British forces
under General Allenby captured Jerusalem. He liberated the city from
(WSJ, 4/4/96, A-12)(SFC, 10/18/96, C8)(MC,
1917 Dec 9, New Finnish
Republic demanded the withdrawal of Russian troops.
1917 Dec 10, The Nobel Peace
Prize was awarded to the International Red Cross.
1917 Dec 11, Aviator Katherine
Stinson landed at the SF Presidio and established a new endurance
record by flying from San Diego.
(SFEC, 12/26/99, p.W5)
1917 Dec 12, Father Edward J.
Flanagan (31) founded Boys Town outside Omaha, Neb. A half-dozen
boys entered to seek a better life. [see Dec 1]
(AP, 12/12/97)(MC, 12/12/01)
1917 Dec 12, In Modane,
France a troop train derailed near the entrance of Mt. Cenis tunnel
and 543 people were killed.
(SFC, 6/4/98, p.A15)(AP, 2/18/04)
1917 Dec 14, In the SF Bay Area
Mrs. Anna Conners drowned after a shark she had hooked pulled her
from a bluff at Moss Beach.
(SSFC, 12/17/17, p.50)
1917 Dec 16, Arthur C. Clark,
English science fiction writer, was born. "Any sufficiently advanced
technology is indistinguishable from magic." He is best remembered
for his book "The Sentinel," the source of Kubrick’s film "2001: A
1917 Dec 17, The US federal
government took over the railroads until Mar, 1920, because of WW
(SFC, 7/8/96, p.D2)
1917 Dec 17, Pilots who flew
solo before this date, the 13th anniversary of the Wright Brothers
first flight, were eligible to join the exclusive Early Birds,
founded in 1928. [see Dec 11, 1903]
(SFC,12/5/97, p.A22)(SFC, 5/26/98, p.B2)
1917 Dec 18, Ossie Davis,
actor, playwright (Hot Stuff, Man Called Adam), was born in Cogdell,
1917 Dec 18, The Soviet
regiment under Stalin and Lenin declared Finland Independent.
1917 Dec 20, Russian secret
police in Czechoslovakia was formed under Felix Dzerzhinsky. He
helped lead the Bolshevik revolution and set up the communist secret
police, the Cheka, which later became the KGB.
(MC, 12/20/01)(WSJ, 10/15/02, p.D6)
1917 Dec 21, Andre Eglevsky,
choreographer (Limelight), was born.
1917 Dec 24, The Kaiser warned
Russia that he would use "iron fist" and "shining sword" if peace
1917 Dec 26, Rosemary Woods,
Pres. Nixon's secretary, was born.
1917 Dec 26, As a wartime
measure, President Wilson placed railroads under government control,
with Secretary of War William McAdoo as director general.
(AP, 12/26/97)(HN, 12/26/98)
1917 Dec 28, The New York
Evening Mail published "A Neglected Anniversary," a facetious essay
by H. L. Mencken supposedly recounting the history of bathtubs in
America. For example, Mencken "claimed" the first American bathtub
made its debut in the Cincinnati home of grain dealer Adam Thompson
on Dec. 20, 1842, and that the first White House bathtub was
installed in 1851 at the order of President Millard Fillmore.
1917 Dec 29, Tom Bradley,
future mayor of Los Angeles, was born on a cotton plantation in
(SFC, 9/30/98, p.A13)
1917 John Grillo, abstract
artist, was born. Much of his work was done in Provincetown with 2
years in SF, 1946-47.
(SFC, 3/2/02, p.D1)
1917 William Mandel was born.
He lived with his family in Russia between 1931-1932. In 2000 he
authored "Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century
Activist and Thinker."
(SFEC, 9/24/00, BR p.4)
1917 Byron White, US supreme
Court Justice from 1962-1993, was born in Colorado. In 1998 Dennis
J. Hutchinson published the biography: "The Man Who Once Was Whizzer
(WSJ, 7/16/98, p.A16)
1917 Theresa Bernstein, artist,
helped found the Philadelphia Ten, a female art group. It was
created in response to the Eight, a male-dominated group later
called the Ashcan School.
(SFC, 3/1/01, p.E2)
1917 In France Marcel Duchamp
christened his supine “readymade" urinal as a work of art,
"Fountain," and signed it with the fictitious name R. Mutt. The
original was lost but he authorized an edition of 8 replicas in
(SFC, 6/5/98, p.A17)(WSJ, 2/18/05, p.A10)
1917 Piet Mondrian and three
other painters founded the movement known as De Stijl, which became
synonymous with Mondrian.
1917 James Montgomery Flagg,
American painter, created the famous poster of Uncle Sam as the
stern, compelling figure saying "I Want You For U.S. Army."
(Hem., 7/95, p.89)
1917 Gustav Klimt, Austrian
modernist, created his oil painting "Garden of Flowers."
(WSJ, 7/17/02, p.D12)
1917 Andre Lhote painted his
cubist "Rugby Game" in brilliant planes of orange gold and green.
(WSJ, 2/8/96, p.A-12)
1917 Piet Mondrian painted his
first total abstraction "Composition In Line."
(WSJ, 6/6/95, p.A-14)
1917 Emil Nolde, German
expressionist, created his painting "Blumengarten (Utenwarf)." In
2009 it was sold to a European art collector for an undisclosed
amount to the heirs of Otto Nathan Deutsch, a Jewish businessman who
lost it when he fled Germany to escape Nazi persecution in 1939. The
was estimated to be worth between $4-6 million. A Swedish museum had
bought the artwork from a Swiss gallery in 1967, unaware of its
1917 Georgia O’Keeffe painted
"Nude Series VII."
(SFEC, 8/10/97, p.T5)
1917 Picasso got involved in
the design of the ballet "Par" produced by Diaghilev, with a book by
Jean Cocteau and music by Eric Satie.
(WSJ, 11/13/96, p.A20)
1917 Diego Rivera painted his
Cubist "Still Life with Bread and Fruit" while studying in Paris.
(WSJ, 3/17/00, p.W12)
1917 Egon Schiele, Viennese
artist, made his "Kneeling Girl Propped on Her Elbows."
(WSJ, 11/19/97, p.A20)
1917 Julian Dimock,
photographer, upon the death of his father quit photography and
donated some 6,000 images to the American Museum of Natural History.
(NH, 8/96, p.78)
1917 The French architect Tony
Garnier embellished British theory on city planning in his book:
"Etude pour la construction des villes," and in twenty years his
book "Cite Industrielle."
(Hem., Nov.’95, p.91)
1917 Edgar Rice Burroughs
published his sci-fi book "Princess of Mars."
(NH, 10/96, p.75)
1917 Sarat Chandra Chattopadhya
(1876-1938), Bengali novelist, authored the novel Devdas. In 2002 it
was turned into a Bollywood romantic drama film directed by Sanjay
1917 Somerset Maugham wrote his
play "Our Betters."
(SFC, 7/12/97, p.E3)
1917 Ethel Richardson Robertson
wrote "The Fortunes of Richard Mahoney." "It was a critique of
snobbery and a celebration of a woman’s devotion to family."
(SFEC, 11/17/96, DB p.40)
1917 D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson
(1860-1948), Scottish classicist, mathematician and biologist,
produced his work "On Growth and Form," the first formal
attempt to analyze patterns and shapes in nature. His work also
included "A Glossary of Greek Birds" and "A Glossary of Greek
(NH, 12/98, p.10)(Econ, 3/7/09, p.92)
1917 Edith Wharton authored the
novel "Summer." It was the story of a woman's sexual awakening. In
1999 it premiered as an opera by the Berkshire Opera Company.
(WSJ, 9/13/99, p.A42)
1917 A recording by Sophie
Tucker of W.C. Handy's "The Saint Louis Blues" sold a million
(ON, 1/03, p.9)
1917 Jascha Heifetz, 17
year-old violinist from Russia, made his debut at Carnegie Hall.
(WSJ, 12/21/94, A-16)
1917 In Germany Hans Pfitzner
premiered his opera "Palestrina," about the life of the 16th cent.
composer and how Palestrina supposedly saved polyphony in church
music during the Council of Trent.
(WSJ, 7/1/97, p.A12)(WSJ, 7/29/97, p.A12)
1917 Giocomo Puccini composed
his opera "La Rondine."
(WSJ, 3/25/98, p.A20)
1917 Igor Stravinsky composed
the ballet "Les Noces" (The Wedding).
(SFEC, 10/31/99, DB p.35)
1917 The Military Ordinariate
was established. It was a Roman Catholic position under the
authority of the Archdiocese of New York to administer to the US
(SFC, 8/28/96, C2)
1917 L.L. Nunn, self-made
American millionaire in mining and hydro-power, founded Deep Springs
College in eastern California. It is a very small liberal arts
institution with only a couple dozen students (all male). There is
no tuition, but the students are required to work at least 20 hours
per week. It is on 3,500 acres and the academic year consists of six
(Smith., 4/1995, p.115-117)(Econ, 1/19/13, p.31)
1917 At the settlement of
Nenana, Alaska, a group of men placed bets on when the ice would
break apart on the Tenana River. Thus began the Nenana Ice Classic
where a tripod is inserted into the ice and bets are placed as to
the exact time that it breaks on the river’s melting ice.
(WSJ, 5/7/96, p.A-16)
1917 The Cafe des Artistes
opened in New York City on W. 67th St.
(Hem, 4/96, p.54)
1917 Charlie Chaplin signed the
movie industry's first million-dollar contract to direct and star in
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R34)
1917 Bertie Charles Forbes
(1880-1954), financial journalist and author, founded Forbes
1917 Joseph Pulitzer
established the Pulitzer Prize for achievements in journalism and
(SFC, 12/27/99, p.E3)(HNQ, 1/29/02)
1917 Karl Gjellerup (b.1857),
Danish poet, novelist won the Nobel Prize.
1917 The Chicago White Sox won
the Baseball World Series.
(SFC, 10/28/04, p.A7)
1917 The wrist watch became
popular as US servicemen found that their uniforms had no handy
places for watches.
(SSFC, 5/7/17, DB p.54)
1917 US law began to regulate
immigration from Mexico. The US passed special rules to allow
Mexicans to enter the US due to the expanding economy.
(Econ, 8/27/16, p.17)(SFEC, 9/20/98, Z1 p.5)
1917 The US federal government
ordered all saloons and brothels within 5 miles of any military base
in the US to close down.
(SFC, 11/1/14, p.C2)
1917 The US Federal Reserve
started allowing banks to transfer funds by telegram free of any
(Econ., 7/25/20, p.59)
1917 Storyville, the New
Orleans brothel district, was closed under federal insistence to
protect the sailors soon to influx due to American entry into WW I.
(WSJ, 2/3/95, p.A-11)
1917 A US congressional select
committee revoked the medal of Honor from Dr. Mary Walker on the
grounds that her actions during the civil war had not constituted
real heroism. She refused to give it up and wore it for 2 more years
until she died. The Army restored the medal in 1977.
(SFC, 7/17/96, p.E10)
1917 The Iroquois Confederacy
declared war on Germany.
1917 The Manufacturers Aircraft
Association was formed under the efforts of Ford lawyer W. Benton
Crisp. Royalties of 1% were paid to the Curtiss and Wright companies
up to 2 million dollars each. The organization, later named the
Manufacturers' Aircraft Association (MAA), continued to unify the
air industry and engage in public education endeavors. The MAA was
later dissolved, and in 1919, the newly formed Aeronautical Chamber
of Commerce (ACCA) stepped in to promote civil aviation.
1917 In Alaska the territorial
Legislature created the Univ. of Alaska in Fairbanks and specified
that it include a museum. In 1978 the state Legislature paid for a
building designed to hold exhibits. In 1980 a
39,000-square-foot space opened as the Univ. of Alaska Museum of the
(SSFC, 5/6/07, p.G7)
1917 Denali National Park in
Alaska was established. It covered 9,300 square miles. Denali was
the native name for Mt. McKinley.
(SFEC, 2/9/97, p.T6)(SSFC, 3/28/04, p.D9)
1917 In Ashland, Mass., a plant
run by various textile companies began operations. Nyanza Inc.
operated it as a dye manufacturing plant from 1965 until the company
went bankrupt in 1978. during this period Nyanza released
manufacturing waste containing such substances as mercury, chromium,
lead and cadmium into unlined lagoons and nearby streams. The site
was added to the federal Superfund list in 1983. In 2006 a 7-year
study confirmed that children who swam or waded in the water near
the now-closed dye plant ran an increased risk of cancer.
1917 The US Supreme Court
struck down ordnances in St. Louis, Mo., that prevented anyone
buying a home in a neighborhood with a population of more than 75%
of another race.
(Econ, 4/15/17, p.24)
1917 Frank Hague (1876-1956)
was elected mayor of Jersey City and served until he retired 1947.
He built an $8 million fortune out of an annual salary of $7,500.
During his tenure city workers gave a kickback, known as “rice
pudding," to City Hall of 3% of their salaries.
(www.jerseycityonline.com)(Econ, 1/20/07, p.24)
1917 Converse introduced the
All Star, the first sneaker for basketball players. A decade later
it was renamed Chuck Taylor, a popular basketball player who joined
the company in the early 1920. The company was later acquired by
(SFC, 10/15/14, p.C3)
1917 Henry Leland formed the
Lincoln Motor Co.
(WSJ, 6/19/96, Adv. Supl)
1917 The Fleetwood Body Corp.
began building exteriors for the carmakers.
(SFC, 12/14/96, p.D1)
1917 The Electric Welding Co.
renamed to the Steel Products Company introduced the first one-piece
forged engine valve.
(F, 10/7/96, p.67)
1917 The Ideal Novelty Company
produced the doughboy doll designed by one of its founders, Morris
(SFC, 3/25/98, Z1 p.7)
1917 An update of the zipper
from 1893, very much like the modern one, was patented. [see Apr 29,
(Wired, Dec., ‘95, p.138)
1917 Schick developed the
(SFC, 7/14/99, p.7)
1917 The Filoli mansion
(acronym from fight, love, life), west of Redwood City, was first
occupied by William Bowers Bourn II, president of the Spring Valley
Water Co. Architect Willis Polk (d.1924) had designed the Filoli
estate on the Peninsula and the glass-fronted Hallidie Building on
Sutter St. The Filoli House, an elegant Georgian house west of
Redwood City, was built by mining millionaire William Bourn.
(SFC, 12/19/96, p.A21)(Ind, 12/26/98, p.5A)(Ind,
1917 The Univ. of Calif.
entered the medical business with a small $750,000 facility that was
little more than a community hospital [in San Francisco?].
(SFC, 5/12/96, p.A-10)
1917 The San Francisco Board of
Supervisors changed the Richmond District name to Park-Presidio
District, over concerns of confusion with the city of Richmond in
the East Bay. Australian George Turner Marsh, one of the district’s
earliest residents, called his home the Richmond House in honor of
his old Melbourne suburb. In 2009 legislation was introduced to
change the name back to Richmond.
(SFC, 1/28/09, p.B1)
1917 The Fourth Street
drawbridge, a bascule bridge with a 700-ton concrete counterweight,
was built. It was named for Peter R. Maloney, a police inspector who
founded the South of Market Boys charity group. In 2003 it closed
for a $17 million overhaul.
(SFC, 3/27/03, p.A3)
1917 In San Francisco the Santa
Fe Building at 605 Market St. was built. It was designed by
architects Wood and Simpson.
(SSFC, 5/13/12, p.C2)
1917 Willis Polk (1867-1924)
designed San Francisco’s 7-storey Hallidie Building. It was
completed at 130 Sutter St. in 1918 and was the first building in
America to feature glass curtain walls.
(SFEM, 8/8/99, p.42)(SFC, 11/30/10, p.C1)(SFC,
1917 The 800-seat Strand
Theatre opened on Market Street. It closed in 2006. In 2012 the
American Conservatory Theater (ACT) bought the vacant building.
(SFC, 2/29/12, p.A1)
1917 The SF Chronicle first
mentioned the word jazz as a music form when the Techau Tavern at
Eddy and Powell started advertising a jazz program.
(SSFC, 10/18/15, p.F2)
1917 A Neoclassic church was
built at 651 Dolores in SF. In 2008 the Second Church of Christ,
Scientist, planned to replace the building due to lack of funds for
(SFC, 10/16/08, p.B5)
1917 The SF Conservatory of
Music was founded by Ada Clement and Lillian Hodghead. It was
initially called the Ada Clement Piano School and located on
Sacramento St. In 1956 it moved into a former infant shelter at 19th
Ave. at Ortega. In 2006 it moved into a new $80 facility in the
(SFEC, 3/8/98, p.W14)(SFC, 4/27/06, p.E1)
c1917 St. Paul’s elementary
school in Noe Valley was constructed.
1917 The San Francisco Board of
Supervisors changed the Richmond District name to Park-Presidio
District, over concerns of confusion with the city of Richmond in
the East Bay. Australian George Turner Marsh, one of the district’s
earliest residents, called his home the Richmond House in honor of
his old Melbourne suburb. In 2009 legislation was introduced to
change the name back to Richmond.
(SFC, 1/28/09, p.B1)
1917 John McLaren at 70 managed
to convince the Board of Supervisors to write legislation to allow
him to remain as Superintendent of Parks for as long as he lived.
(SFC, 7/29/97, p.A8)
1917 The SF Muni began offering
motor bus transit service.
(SFC, 10/6/99, p.A4)
1917 Columbus Salame was
founded in San Francisco. In 1967 its Salami making operation was
moved to South San Francisco.
(SFC, 7/24/09, p.D2)
1917 In San Francisco the
flower market on Bush St. closed and moved to 5th and Howard. It
later moved again to 6th and Brannan.
(GTP, 1973, p.59)
1917 Maj. Gen. Frederick
Funston (b.1865), a hero of the SF 1906 earthquake, died.
(SFC, 3/8/01, p.A22)
1917 Abigail Eastman Meagher
Parrot, the widow of SF millionaire banker and merchant John Parrot,
(Ind, 11/24/01, 5A)
1917 Ignatz Steinhart, SF civic
benefactor, died. He willed $250,000 for a public aquarium that
opened as the Steinhart Aquarium in 1926.
(SFC, 6/22/00, p.A18)
1917 In California Fort Ord was
established as a military base just north of Monterey. It spread
over some 28,000 acres east of Monterey Bay. The base was closed in
1994 and in 2012 some 14,000 acres were turned into the Fort Ord
(SFC, 5/12/96, p.C-11)(SFC, 4/21/12, p.C4)
1917 Commercial sturgeon
fishing was outlawed in California because of overfishing.
(SFC, 6/5/96, zz1p.8)
1917 The Masonic Temple in
Vallejo, Ca., was built.
(SSFC, 10/15/17, p.N2)
1917 Frank and Harry Baldwin,
sons of missionaries from Maui, Ha., acquired Lanai Island from the
(SFC, 6/27/12, p.D6)
1917 There was a poor wheat
harvest in the US.
(WSJ, 10/1/96, p.A20)
1917 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.
(WSJ, 11/30/95, p.B10)(WSJ, 12/10/99, p.W12)
1917 In Brazil Ernesto de
Santos Donga wrote the song "Pela telefone." It was considered to be
the first recorded samba.
(Wired, 2/98, p.128)
1917 Chechens formed their 1st
independent state, the Confederation of North Caucasian Peoples,
following the Bolshevik Revolution. [see May 1]
(SSFC, 11/10/02, p.A11)
1917 Darfur was an independent
sultanate until 1917, when it was the last region to be incorporated
into the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. The Fur, largely peasant farmers,
occupy the central belt of the region Also in this central zone are
the non-Arab Masalit, Berti, Bargu, Bergid, Tama and Tunjur peoples,
who are all sedentary farmers.
1917 In England two young girls
in the Yorkshire countryside took photographs that seemed to capture
a group of fairies, the Cottingley fairies. The photos were
challenged, mocked by the press and defended by Sir Arthur Conan
Doyle and derided by Harry Houdini. In 1997 the film "Fairytale: A
True Story" was released based on the events.
(SFC,10/24/97, p.D6)(WSJ, 10/24/97, p.A20)
1917 W.B. Yeats (52) married
Bertha Georgie Hyde-Lees (d.1968), his young spirit-medium (25). She
became the oracular voice of his philosophy and poetry. In 2002 Ann
Saddlemeyer authored "Becoming George: The Life of Mrs. W.B. Yeats."
(SFEC, 10/31/99, BR p.7)(SSFC, 11/10/02, p.M2)
1917 A Paris to Peking road
race was held.
(WSJ, 7/19/02, p.W9)
1917 Auguste Moreau (b.1834),
French sculptor, died. He and 4 other members of his family designed
light fixtures based on sculptured figures.
1917 Eamon de Valera was
released from prison after serving 14 months for his role in the
1916 Irish Easter Uprising. He soon won a seat in the British
Parliament representing County Clare, and was elected leader of Sinn
Fein and president of the Irish Volunteers.
(ON, 9/04, p.5)
1917 Benito Mussolini, editor
of the Il Popolo d'Italia newspaper, was paid 100 pounds a week by
Britain, equal to about 6,000 pounds ($9,600) in 2009. The paper
campaigned to keep Italy on the allied side in the war. This was
made public in 2009 by Cambridge historian Peter Martland, based on
papers from Sir Samuel Hoare (1880-1959), in charge of British
agents in Rome at this time.
1917 In Japan the Nikon
Corporation was established.
(PR, Neopath Corp., 7/2/96)
1917 The 2 main soy sauce
families of Noda, the Mogi and Takanashi, banded together to form
Noda Shoyu Co. Ltd. and became the premier soy sauce maker in Japan.
In 1980 the company was renamed Kikkoman.
(SFC, 1/3/00, p.B7)
1917 In Japan the Toyo Toki
(Oriental Ceramic) company was founded and introduced Western-style
sit-down lavatories to Japan. The company, later know as Toto, grew
to become one of the world’s biggest bathroom and kitchen ceramics
companies in the world.
(Econ, 7/25/09, p.66)
1917 Karlis Ulmanis founded the
Farmer’s Party. He later became president and is considered by many
as the "father of independent Latvia."
(BN, 10/97, p.1)
1917 In Mongolia just after the
Russian Revolution, defeated anti-Communist forces under "Mad Baron"
Ungern-Sternberg took Ulan Bator, then called Urga. The mad Baron
undertook city-wide arson and mass executions.
(SFEM, 10/12/97, p.28)
1917 When the tsarist regime
fell, Mongolia reverted to Chinese control.
1917 The Sami people held their
first congress in the Norwegian city of Trondheim. In 1992 they
declared Feb 6 as their national day.
1917 The US granted residents
of Puerto Rico citizenship just in time for 20,000 men to be drafted
(Econ, 1/9/16, p.21)
1917 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.
(SFC, 2/11/98, p.B3)
1917 In Russia the Don Cossacks
declared their own independent republic during the unrest that led
to the Bolshevik Revolution.
1917 In Sweden Knut Wallenburg
set up a foundation as a tax saving way to keep the family together.
(Econ, 10/14/06, p.73)
1917 Ivar Kreuger (1880-1932)
exited his construction and engineering business and founded the
Swedish Match Company, which he used to monopolize the match
industry and swindle numerous investors up to his suicide in 1932.
(Econ, 12/22/07, p.116)
1917 The Catholic Church’s Code
of Canon Law of this year stated that “An ecumenical council enjoys
supreme power over the universal church.
(WSJ, 12/26/08, p.A11)
1917-1918 "The Life of Herbert Hoover: Master of
Emergencies" was the 3rd volume on Hoover’s life by George H, Nash
published in 1996.
(WSJ, 10/1/96, p.A20)
1917-1918 A severe winter in the US prevented
farmers from getting their corn to market, so much of it went to the
(WSJ, 10/1/96, p.A20)
1917-1918 Paul Robeson at Rutgers Univ. became an
All-American football star.
(SFC, 3/26/98, p.A19)
1917-1920 Sir Robert Borden, changed to the
Unionist Party and continued to serve as the 8th Prime Minister of
1917-1922 Fur trappers in Australia killed 8
million koalas and almost wiped out the species.
(SFC, 10/12/96, p.E3)
1917-1986 Sydney J. Harris, American journalist:
"Men make counterfeit money; in many more cases, money makes
1917-1991 This period in Russia was later covered
by Martin Malia in "The Soviet Tragedy: A History of Socialism in
(WSJ, 3/26/98, p.A20)