Chronicles of the 20th Century: Part 1

Part 1: 1900 – 1925

This, the first part of an extremely condensed history of the 20th century, was published (along with Part 2) in the 1999 Elfin Diary. I think that Caroline Heaney wrote it herself, if I’m wrong, please let me know so that I can credit the author. The third & fourth parts (1951 -1999) were held back for lack of space and appeared in the 2000 Elfin Diary.


Freud writes Die Traumdeutung (The Interpretation of Dreams) suggesting that symbolism in dreams reveal the unconscious mind. Three different types of blood A, B and O, are isolated by an Austrian doctor. The monk Gregor Mendel’s work on genetics is finally accepted 40 years after he performed his experiments with peas which led him to postulate that there is a mechanism by which many traits are passed from generation to generation – the laws of heredity – by this time however Mendel had been promoted to abbot and was far too busy to concern himself with his early studies of gardening and science, leaving scientists in the Netherlands, Germany and Austria to rediscover and continue his work, all of them however, crediting Mendel with the discovery. The first steps towards quantum theory are proposed by Max Planck. The first offshore oil wells are drilled. The first Browning revolver is manufactured and Count Ferdinand Von Zeppelin builds the first dirigible which flies successfully on June 2nd. The Commonwealth of Australia was created. Oscar Wilde died, Nietzsche died. Arthur Evans discovered the Palace at Knossos on Crete, the central site of the Minoan culture and W.C.Grace ends his cricketing career with a grand total of 54,000 runs in his lifetime. Cezanne, Gauguin, Picasso, Lautrec, Renoir and Sargent were all painting.


An astronomer, Peter Van de Kamp, attempted to prove that some nearby stars have planetary systems – he was laughed at. The hormone adrenaline was discovered and synthesised (by 2 people- the Japanese got the credit). Also discovered: the diptheria antitoxin and X rays. Rudyard Kipling wrote Kim. Rudulf Steiner founded anthroposophy. Toulouse-Lautrec died (b.1864). Rachmaninoff wrote his piano Concerto No.2. The first vacuum cleaner is invented, also the electric typewriter and the safety razor. Motor-driven bicycles are introduced, a crystal detector is used for the detection of radio waves, Orville and Wilber fly their first glider, Marconi transmits telegraphic radio messages from Cornwall to Newfoundland, the first Mercedes car is built and boxing is recognised as a legal sport in Britain.


The Boer War ends – casualties British 5,774, Boers 4,000. At Susa, an ancient settlement in Iran, a French expedition uncover tablets bearing the Code of Hammurabi, the first known set of laws. Mount Pelee on Martinique erupts killing almost all of the 38,000 people in the town of St. Pierre. An electrified layer in the atmosphere that reflects radio waves is discovered, later to be known as the ionosphere. Freud and friends form the first psychoanalytic society. Trotsky escapes from a Siberian prison and comes to London, John Steinbeck was born, the Aswan Dam was opened, Beatrix Potter wrote Peter Rabbit, Conan Doyle wrote The Hound of the Baskervilles and J.M.Bacon became the first man to cross the Irish Channel in a balloon.


Teddy Bears arrive on the planet Earth, designed by Richard Steiff and named after President Theodore Roosevelt. W. Siemens develops an electric train, Wilber and Orville manage to keep a powered plane in the air for 59 seconds at Kitty Hawk on December 17th. Britain’s’ first speed limit is set at 20 m.p.h., Henry Ford starts his motor company in the US. (with capital of $100,000), and there’s the first coast to coast crossing of America in a car, which takes 65 days. Manchester and Liverpool universities are founded, the Electrocardiograph is invented, a German, George Perthes, proposes X ray treatment for cancer as he discovered that X rays inhibit the growth of tumours, the Curies’ study radioactivity and Henri Poincare recognised that minor inaccuracies in initial conditions can lead to vast differences in a short order (this is the basic idea of chaos – (which was ignored until the 70’s – when someone woke up 67 years later).


James Barrie wrote Peter Pan, Graham Green, Marlene Dietrich and Salvador Dali were born, Picasso and Rousseau were painting, Puccini wrote Madame Butterfly, Freud wrote The Psychopathology of Everyday Life and a New York policeman arrested a woman for smoking a cigarette in public. Offset printing was invented, the first radio transmission of music, the first telegraphic transmission of photographs, the first ultraviolet lamps, silicon was discovered, the first flat disc record was invented and took over from Edison’s wax cylinder, the Rolls-Royce company was founded and the 6th moon of Jupiter was discovered.


Henry Campbell-Bannerman, a Liberal, is elected prime minister of Britain in December. In Russia there was a general strike and police stop a demonstration in St. Petersburg – ‘Bloody Sunday’. Greeks in Crete revolt against the Turks. The Sinn Fein party is founded in Dublin. Matisse, Rousseau, Cezanne, and Picasso are painting, Strauss writes the opera Salome and the first proper cinema is established in Pittsburgh (USA). The first German U-boat is launched, the first aeroplane factory is opened outside Paris and in London the first motor buses appear. The A.A. is founded, the Bakerloo and Piccadilly underground stations are opened and neon light signs appear. Freud keeps writing, the first blood transfusion is performed, the first artificial hip joint is used, novocaine is introduced as a local anaesthetic, the word ‘hormone’ is invented, the structure of chlorophyll discovered and a Frenchman working in New York develops a technique for rejoining severed blood vessels, thus paving the way for organ transplants. A 7th moon is discovered round Jupiter, a ninth planet with an orbit beyond Neptune is predicted by P.Lowell and the crater in the Arizona desert is now thought to have been caused by a meteor rather than a volcano and becomes known as the Great Barringer Meteor Crater. Also in America, an undertaker invents the dial telephone.


Tunguska, Siberia – what was it that devastated a huge region, flattening millions of trees and causing the sky to stay light at night for days in Britain? No traces of meteorite have ever been found and to date know one has come up with an answer – not even Mulder and Scully. On April 18th the Great San Francisco earthquake killed 700 people and destroyed buildings 400 miles from its epicentre. Cezanne died – he was 67, Garbo was born, Pierre Curie died and his wife Marie took over his job at the Sorbonne making her the first women professor there. Edison comes up with Tungsten as the filament for light bulbs, a Canadian physicist invents AM radio and transmits voice and music via radio waves, an Englishman wins the Nobel Prize for Physics for discovering the electron and the word allergy is introduced to medicine. Britain and China agree to reduce the production of opium, HMS Dreadnought is launched with a speed of 21 knots and Roald Amundsen, a Norwegian explorer, traverses the Northwest Passage and determines the position of the North Pole.


‘Stress’ is discovered – an Austrian does work that proves that stress can affect the physical functioning of the body. Einstein comes up with e=mc², Lumiere develops colour photography, the paint spray gun is invented and a French bicycle dealer builds the first helicopter that can take off vertically with a person at the controls; however it breaks up on landing after a 20-second flight. Rudyard Kipling gets the Nobel prize for Literature. Lenin leaves Russia and founds the newspaper The Proletarian, Rasputin is exerting his influence in the court of Czar Nicholas II and there is the first Cubist exhibition in Paris. Picasso, Rousseau, Chagall and Munch were painting, Mahler wrote his Symphony No. 8 and Grieg died. Baden Powell founded the Boy Scouts. The steamship ‘Lusitania’ breaks the transatlantic record – from Ireland to New York in 5 days 45 minutes and the first ever comic strip appears in the San Francisco Chronicle..


The Union of South Africa is established, the Congo is given to Belgium by Leopold II (who considered it his own private possession), the Dutch establish rule in Bali, the King and the Crown Prince of Portugal are assassinated and Asquith becomes England’s Prime Minister. Ian Fleming is born, Kenneth Grahame writes Wind in the Willows, Isadora Duncan makes herself heard and watched as she dances, and the Tiller Girls appear on the London stage. Cellophane is invented as well as Bakelite and the Geiger counter. Ammonia is synthesized, Helium is liquefied, fountain pens become popular and Cairo opens a University. Wilber Wright flies 30 miles in 40 minutes whilst brother Orville makes the first flight that lasts an hour, the first Model T Ford was produced (15 million eventually sold) and the first tractor to use moving treads was developed. An earthquake in Sicily kills 150,000 people.


The word ‘gene’ is made up by a Dane, Wilhelm Johannsen, to describe the carrier of heredity and a Frenchman discovers that typhus is transmitted by the body louse. In London, H.G.Selfridge opens his first department store in Oxford Street and the first permanent waves are given by hairdressers. Picasso paints his ‘Harlequin’, Freud lectures in America on psychoanalysis, Frank Lloyd Wright designs Robie House in Chicago, Mahler writes his Symphony No. 9, the first newsreels appear and Mary Pickford becomes the first film star. Robert Peary and Matthew Hensen are the first people to reach the North Pole on April 6th, Frenchman Louis Bleriot makes the first trip across the English Channel by air, from Calais to Dover in 37 minutes, the English Aviator Henri Farnham makes the first 100 mile flight, Marconi gets the Nobel Prize for physics, and a Russian-born German, Hermann Minkowski, provides an addition to the Theory of Relativity by showing that it makes more sense if the universe has a forth dimension – Time. The first commercial manufacture of Bakelite hails the beginning of the ‘Plastic Age’. The Girl Guides were formed in Britain and in America General Electric market the world’s first electric toaster.


Halley’s comet is seen in the skies. Deaths: Florence Nightingale, W. Holman Hunt, Henri Rousseau, Leo Tolstoi, Mark Twain, and three astronomers, J.G. Galle (German), Sir William Huggins (English), Giovanni Schiaparelli (Italian). China abolishes slavery, the Mexican revolution starts and the Union of South Africa becomes a dominion within the British Empire with Botha as premier. A cure is found for syphilis. The beginning of chemotherapy. Marie Curie’s Treatise on Radioactivity is published, the first deep sea research expedition is undertaken, a neurologist develops the ‘Turtle’, the first step towards the robot, and Charles P. Steinmetz predicts in his ‘Future of Electricity’ air pollution from burning coal and water pollution from uncontrolled sewage disposal into rivers! Women’s rayon stockings are made in Germany, electric washing machines are born, an aeroplane takes off from the deck of a ship, the Tango arrives from South America, and Tincture of Iodine is used for the first time by a Major in the US Army as a disinfectant for wounds. In the UK there are 122,000 telephones in use, the first labour exchanges open, Crippen, the wife poisoner, is executed and E.M. Forster writes Howard’s End.


Oreos are invented and go on to become the world’s most popular biscuit (try them – Asda – wonderful things!) There’s a revolution in China and the Chinese Republic proclaimed, pigtails are abolished, the calendar is reformed, and Chaing Kai-Shek is the military advisor to the new president. Renoir and Matisse are painting and the Mona Lisa (L da Vinci) is stolen from the Louvre in Paris and only found two years later, in Italy. The British Official Secret Act becomes law, Roald Amundsen reaches the South Pole, Marie Curie gets the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the discovery of Radium, Mahler dies, Irving Berlin writes Alexander’s Ragtime Band, the first bits of the ‘Piltdown Man’ hoax skull are discovered in Britain, supposedly 50.000 years old, and a meteorite the size of a football kills a dog in Egypt, 75 years later it is decided that the meteorite came from Mars. London – August – the temperature reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit, escalators are installed in the Earl’s Court underground station and a man with a wooden leg is employed to ride up and down constantly to demonstrate their safety. A doctor, William Hill, develops the first gastroscope, a tube to be swallowed so that the doc can see inside the stomach.


Britain goes on strike – coal miners strike, London dock workers strike and the transport workers strike. The Titanic sinks on her maiden voyage (as we all know), 1,513 drowned, and Captain Scott reaches the South Pole. Victor Franz Hess discovers cosmic rays during a balloon ascent (the ionization of air increases with height). A Polish chemist, Kasimer Funk invents the word ‘vitamine’ to describe a class of substances found to be important to health which had previously been referred to as ‘accessory food factors’. Germany claims to have 30,000 millionaires, Alfred Lothar Wegener announces his ideas of the continental drift, pointing out that the coastlines of Africa and South America seem to fit together as if they had been one big supercontinent at some time, but no one listened until the 1950s. London has 400 cinemas, as well as the 1st International Eugenics Congress. In France, Picasso and Chagall are painting, the Peter Pan statue is erected in Kensington Gardens, Delius writes On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring and the tradition of Chinese court astrologers observing the sky and recording events is abolished . The G.P.O. takes over the telephone system in Britain, the Royal Flying Corps is founded (later becoming the R.A.F.), the first successful parachute jump takes place, Woolworths is founded and an American doctor invents a heating pad, later to become the electric blanket.


In India, Ghandi, leader of the Indian Passive Resistance Movement, is arrested, in Britain Mrs. Pankhurst is sentenced for inciting persons to put explosives in Lloyd George’s house. Neils Bohr fomulates his theory of atomic structure, stating that electrons orbit the nucleus in fixed orbits and give off or absorb fixed amounts of energy (quanta) by jumping from one orbit to another, a Frenchman discovers that there is an ozone layer in the upper atmosphere, an American develops the first artificial kidney, coal dust is converted to oil, the vitamins A (fat soluble) and B (water soluble), are named as such, Schweitzer opens his hospital in the French Congo, the composition of chlorophyll is discovered, the basic ideas of jet propulsion are stated by Rene Lorin, and the word ‘ísotope’ is invented to describe atoms of the same element that have different atomic masses. The first women magistrate is sworn in Britain. The Foxtrot comes in as the new dance, Charlie Chaplin appears in his first movie, the first refrigerator goes on sale in Chicago, and G.B.Shaw’s Pygmalion is performed for the first time in Vienna. The first assembly line is introduced in the Ford factory reducing the time for assembling of a car from 12 and a half hours to one and a half. The theory of stellar evolution is formulated (for the second time, first in 1905 by Hertz) when Henry Russell shows his diagram of how stars change with time. Grand Central Station opens in New York, and the first multi-engined plane is built and flown by Igor Sikorsky.


World War 1 -The assassination of the Austrian Grand Duke Ferdinand and his wife in Yugoslavia set it off – Germany v. Russia and France, Britain v. Germany, Austria v. Russia, Serbia and Montenegro v. Germany, France v. Austria, Britain v. Austria, Austria v. Belgium who’ve been invaded by Germany, Russia v. Turkey … and so they all killed one another. The Panama Canal was used, although not officially opened till July 12th 1915, Gandhi returned to India and supports the government there. The Americans have trouble in Tampico in Mexico, the Marines are sent in and they occupy Vera Cruz thus ending the incident. An American engineer, Robert H. Goddard, starts experimenting with rockets, the Wright Brothers win their court case on the patent of the aeroplane, the bra is patented, Edgar Rice Burroughs writes Tarzan of the Apes, Tennessee Williams is born, red and green traffic lights appear for the first time in America, Ernest Shackleton leads an Antarctic expedition and Dr. Alexis Carrel performs the first successful heart surgery – on a dog.


World War 1 continues, there’s the first Zeppelin attack on London, a tetanus epidemic in the trenches and Ivor Novello writes Keep the Home Fires Burning. Ford in the US produces its millionth car whilst Henry Ford develops the tractor, Hugo Junkers builds the first fighter aeroplane, sonar is invented to help ships avoid icebergs, Einstein finalises his General Theory of Relativity, an American physicist, M. Benedicks, discovers that a germanium crystal can convert current from AC to DC, thereby leading to the development of the microchip. British nurse Edith Cavell is executed by the Germans for aiding POW escapes. Margaret Sanger was put in prison for writing the first book on birth control called Family Limitation; More books get written: Archibald Thorburn – British Birds, D.H.Lawrence – The Rainbow, Somerset Maughan – Of Human Bondage, John Buchan – The 39 Steps; Ezra Pound wrote poems. A wireless service was set up between the US and Japan, the first transcontinental telephone call took place between Alexander Graham Bell in New York and Thomas Watson in San Fransisco, the automobile speed record was set at 102.6 m.p.h. at Sheepshead Bay, New York in a Stutz, Lord Beaverbrook buys the Daily Express newspaper, and the Corning Glass Works develop Pyrex.


World War 1 goes on with the first Zeppelin raid on Paris, the British use the first tanks on the Western Front, H.M.S. Hampshire is sunk with Lord Kitchener on board (he doesn’t survive), Lloyd George becomes the British Prime Minister, Roger Casement is arrested on landing in Ireland, and executed, Irish Republicans launch the Easter Rising in Dublin. T.E. Lawrence aka Lawrence of Arabia is appointed political and liaison officer to King Faisal’s army, Hussein is proclaimed King of the Arabs, and in Mexico Pancho Villa is pursued by 6,000 US troops for raiding North Mexico and killing 17 Americans; the troops are eventually withdrawn because they can’t catch him, and the matter settled by arbitration in 1917. The astronomer Edward Emerson Barnard discovers a small star which appears to move much faster than other across the sky, later to be called Barnard’s Star, having the largest proper motion of any star ever found. Percival Lowell, the American astronomer dies, also dead – Rasputin. Born – Yehudi Menuhin, Harold Wilson, Edward Heath. Artists start the Dadaist movement in Zurich, Matisse paints, Frank Loyd Wright designs the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. And in America New Orleans Jazz sweeps the country, 24 states vote against alcohol and for Prohibition, John Fisher invents the first modern washing machine and windscreen wipers are introduced. The first birth control clinic opens, blood is refrigerated for transfusions, Summer Time comes into being in Britain and in Germany food is rationed.


WW I – Aircraft attack London, bread is rationed in Britain, it’s ‘Starvation Year’ in Germany. America declares war on Germany, the first US division arrives in France, the first tank battle takes place at Cambrai. Revolution in Russia! – the Czar abdicates, communists take control, the Trans-Siberian railroad is completed and the Gregorian Calendar is introduced. Mata Hari is executed for spying and four women are sentenced to 6 months in jail for picketing the White House on behalf of the women’s suffrage movement. Bonnard and Modigliani paint nudes, Picasso designs costumes and sets for Satie’s ballet, Degas and Rodin die, Charlie Chaplin’s yearly salary reaches one million dollars and women all over the US and the UK have their hair ‘bobbed’ (cut short). In America at the Mount Wilson observatory, George Ellery Hale installs a 100-in refracting telescope, which is used until 1987 when it is taken out of use due to light pollution around the observatory. From Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, Karl Schwarzchild develops the equation that predicts the existence of Black Holes. Jung writes Psychology of the Unconscious, Freud writes Introduction to Psychoanalysis. Clarence Birdseye develops freezing as a way of preserving food, Buffalo Bill dies, the actress Sarah Bernhardt starts her last tour of America at 72, Woodrow Wilson is inaugurated to a second term as US President and John F. Kennedy is born (assassinated 1963).


The Germans bomb Paris daily, however the Paris Opera House remains open performing Faust. Woodrow Wilson (US president) comes up with Fourteen Points for World Peace, in London butter and meat are rationed, national food kitchens are set up, the ex-Czar and his family are executed in Russia, there’s revolution in Berlin, an assassination attempt on Lenin in Moscow, Britain abandons Home Rule for Ireland. World War I ends – the Germans surrender on November 11th. A world wide flu epidemic strikes, killing 22 million by 1920. Women over 30 are given the vote in Britain. Aldus Huxley writes The Defeat of Youth, H.G. Wells and D.H.Lawrence also write, the US burns instalments of James Joyce’s Ulysses that are published in The Little Review, and the US army begins publication of its own newspaper, the Stars and Stripes. An American astronomer discovers the true dimensions of the Milky Way Galaxy and places our solar system at the outer edge. Max Planck, a German physicist, wins the Nobel Prize for introducing the Quantum Theory of Light. Jean Miro exhibits his work for the first time, Matisse, Modigliani, Paul Klee and Edvard Munch all paint, there’s much controversy over the ideas of Freud and Jung, Billy Graham the American evangelist is born, and the electric beater for mixing foods is invented. The first radio link between Britain and Australia is opened.


Peace celebrations in Britain whilst there is unrest in the US – race riots in Chicago, New York dock workers strike and a strike in the American steel industry which goes on until 1920. The International Astronomical Union is founded and Robert H. Goddard writes A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes and suggests sending a small vehicle to the Moon using rockets – he is laughed at. Somerset Maugham writes The Moon and Sixpence, the Bauhaus school is founded in Germany and revolutionises teaching of the Arts, Edwin Lutyens designs the Cenotaph in Whitehall. Monet, Klee, Modigliani, Munch and Picasso all paint, Renoir the Impressionist and Rossetti the Pre-Raphaelite both die. Shortwave radio is developed, the first nonstop flight across the Atlantic is made in 16 hours 27 minutes by Alcock and Brown whilst Keith and Ross Smith fly from London to Australia in 135 hours. F.W. Woolworth dies, Jack Dempsey becomes heavyweight boxing Champion of the World, Austria abolishes the death penalty and Karl von Frisch discovers that bees communicate through body movements. And Adolph Hitler becomes the 7th member of the tiny German Workers Party.


In Britain conscription is abolished, 3,747 divorces are granted, Agatha Christie writes mystery novels, H.G.Wells writes Outline of History, Marconi opens the first public radio station and The Planets Suite by Gustav Holst is performed in full for the first time in London. In Paris the League of Nations comes into being and moves its headquarters to Geneva. The Hague is selected as the seat of the International Court of Justice. In the US women get the vote, prohibition comes in throughout the country, a bomb in Wall St. kills 35 and wounds 130, the first American broadcasting station is opened in Pittsburg, the first airmail flight goes from New York to San Francisco, retired army officer John T. Thompson patents his sub-machine gun (the ‘Tommy gun’) and F. Scott Fitzgerald writes This Side of Paradise. At a Dadaist exhibition in Cologne people are allowed to destroy the paintings, the Italian artist Modigliani dies, a Swiss psychiatrist invents the ink blot ‘Rorschach’ test, water skiing is invented in France and an earthquake in China kills 200,000. The Government of Ireland Act is passed by the British Parliament giving Northern and Southern Ireland their own Parliaments, Hitler announces his 25-point program in Munich, the Civil War ends in Russia and Ghandi leads India in its struggle for independence.


The word ‘robot’ is invented by Karl Capek to describe mechanical people in his play ‘RUR’. A medical student invents the lie detector test (polygraph), the TB vaccine is developed, and Einstein gets the Nobel Prize for Physics for his discovery of the photoelectric effect. Revolution in Lisbon. In Germany, Hitler grabs leadership of the German Workers Party and renames it the National Socialist German Workers Party; his storm troopers begin to terrorise his political opponents. In the US the Klu Klux Klan begin violent activities in the South, Britain and Ireland sign a peace treaty, India has its first Indian Parliament and capital punishment is abolished in Sweden. Books: D.H.Lawrence – Women in Love, Aldous Huxley – Chrome Yellow, Walter De La Mer – Memoirs of a Midget’. Picasso, Paul Klee, Max Ernst, Braque and Edvard Munch all paint. The Paris Opera performs Die Walkure, the first Wagnerian opera to be staged since before the war. Meanwhile, in Britain the Gaiety Theatre in Manchester closes due to lack of support, it was founded in 1907


Glasgow’s unemployed go on a hunger march to London. The Conservatives win the general election. In Italy, Mussolini marches on Rome and takes power, in India Gandhi is sentenced to 6 years in prison for civil disobedience. Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter discover the tomb of Tutankhamen, Scott-Fitzgerald writes Tales of the Jazz Age’and The Beautiful and the Dammed, the US Post Office burn 500 copies of James Joyce’s Úlysses when it arrives from Paris, and Reader’s Digest is founded by Mr. And Mrs. Dewitt Wallace. Dr. Marie Stopes holds meetings in London advocating birth control and King George V opens a new tennis stadium at Wimbledon. Vitamins E and D are discovered as well as white corpuscles and insulin. The Stock Market boom begins in the US after the Depression, the Federal Narcotics Control Board is established, the Klu Klux Klan gain political power and the American ‘Cocktail’ comes to Europe. Films – Nosferatu, The Last of the Mohicans, and after 21 years of exile on the Isle of Wight, the Benedictines of Solesmes, revivers of the authentic Gregorian chants, return to their abbey.


The U.S.S.R. establishes its first Polar station and Aeroflot is the largest airline in the world. Willy Messerschmitt, German aircraft designer, opens his factory. Time news magazine is founded in the US. L.A. Bauer analyses the earth’s magnetic field, Freud publishes The Ego and The Id, Agatha Christie writesThe Murder on the Links, Douglas Fairbanks was Robin Hood, the first British F.A. Cup Final was played at Wembley (Bolton Wanderers won), and everyone was singing ‘Tea For Two’. The first birth control clinic was opened in New York, 200,000 members of the Klu Klux Klan meet in Indiana, martial law is established in Oklahoma to protect people from them, the New York Prohibition Enforcement Act is repealed, an earthquake destroys the centres of Tokyo and Yokohama leaving 120,000 dead, George and Gladys Dick develop an antitoxin for scarlet fever, and the first photoelectric cell (the electric eye) is produced. Mother’s Day, first started in the U.S in 1907 comes to Europe.


Remains of Mesozoic dinosaurs are found in the Gobi Desert. The Central Office for the Examination of Rocket Problems is founded in Moscow, the first scientific book on space travel research is published – The Rocket into Interplanetary Space, and Harvard University publish a catalogue listing 225,000 stars. Danish explorer Knud Rasmussen makes the longest dog-sledge journey ever across the North American Arctic whilst the Ford Motor Company in the US produces its ten millionth car. The first type of television (the iconoscope) is developed. Hugo Eckener, German Airship pioneer, flies his Z-R-3 Airship across the Atlantic to New York, the first version of Kleenex came out in the US, called Celluwipes. Britain produced 8 million tons of coal, insecticides were used for the first time and J. Edgar Hoover became the director of the Bureau of Investigation in the US (renamed FBI in 1935). Hitler is sentenced to five years in prison but gets out after 8 months, Gandhi fasts for 21 days in protest against the continuous feuds between Hindus and Moslems in India, Cecil B. De Mille makes The 10 Commandments, E.M.Forster writes A Passage to India, there’s a world Mah-Jong craze, and P.G.Woodhouse’s Jeeves is a bestseller.


The first analog computer is designed to solve differential equations, Malcolm Campbell increases the word land speed record to 150.86 mph, (it now stands at 763 mph in 1998!!). John Logie Baird transmits the first recognisable human features by television, cosmic rays are discovered in the Earth’s upper atmosphere and New York has its first solar eclipse in 300 years. In Tennessee, sex education is forbidden in schools and high school teacher John T. Scopes goes on trial for teaching evolution, he is convicted but gets off on a technicality. Books: John Erskine has a bestseller with The Private Life of Helen of Troy, Aldous Huxley writes Those Barren Leaves, Gertrude Stein – The Making of Americans, Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby, and in Germany Hitler publishes volume 1 of Mein Kampf whilst reorganizing the Nazi Party. The Charlston is the fashionable dance, straight dresses without waistlines were in fashion, as were skirts above the knee and cloche hats, there were 1,654,000 radio sets in use in Britain and ‘Show Me The Way To Go Home’ got a lot of airplay.