Thursday, February 28, 2008

1900 Society

1900. The Boer War continues in South Africa.

1900. Johannesburg falls to the British, May 31.

1900. A "Boxer Rebellion" rocks China, beginning June 20, as foreign legations at Beijing are besieged.

1900. V.I. Lenin returns from exile, January 29, after 3 years in Siberia with his wife and mother-in-law. Goes to Switzerland where he is editor of a newspaper published in Munich for distribution in Russia.

1900. Only 3.5% of the U.S. work force is organized.

1900. Only 144 miles of U.S. roads are hard-surfaced, but by year's end there are 13,824 motor cars on the road.

1900. Firestone Tire and rubber is founded at Akron, Ohio, by Harvey Firestone who has patented a method for attaching tires to rims.

1900. The Trans-Siberian Railway opens between Moscow and Irkutsk.

1900. Illinois Central engineer Jonathan Luther "Casey" Jones pulls his six-coach Cannonball Express into Memphis on the night of April 29, learns that the engineer for the return run is ill, and volunteers to replace him. Highballing at 75 miles per hour through Mississippi to make up for lost time, Jones rounds a curve at four i the morning and sees a freight train stalled on the track ahead. Hand upon the throttle, Jones yells at his fireman to jump, plows into the freight, is killed. While the collision is only one of 27 rear-end collisions on U.S. railroads in the month of April, a ballad will make it famous.

1900. Trolley cars provide transportation in every major U.S. city.

1900. The U.S. Navy purchases the first modern submarine.

1900. Retired German general Ferdinand von Zeppelin launches the first rigid airship.

1900. A new quantum theory enunciated by German physicist Max Planck: Bodies that radiate energy do not emit the energy constantly but rather in discrete parcels which he calls quantums.

1900. Genetic laws revealed by Gregor Mendel in 1865 become generally known for the first time.

1900. A U.S. Public Health Commission headed by Major Walter Reed of the Army Medical Corps shows that the yellow fever virus is transmitted by the aedes aegypti mosquito.

1900. Infant mortality in the U.S. is 122 per 1000 live births; in England and Wales, 154, and in India, 232.

1900. Average age at death in the U.S. is 47.

1900. Bubonic plague strikes Honolulu in epidemic form. The first U.S. bubonic plague epidemic begins at San Francisco.

1900. The U.S. Census shows 12 million Roman Catholics, 6 million Methodists, 5 million Baptists, 1.5 million Lutherans, 1.5 million Presbyterians, 1 million Jews, 700,000 Episcopalians, 350,000 Mormons, 80,000 Christian Scientists and 75,000 Unitarians.

1900. A U.S College Entrance Examination Board is founded to screen applicants to colleges. The College Board Scholastic Aptitude Tests will be graded on a scale of 200-800 and colleges will use SAT scores as a supplement to secondary school records and other relevant information. The scores will never be more than approximate and will have a standard error of measurement in the area of 32 points.

1900. "The Great Houdini" gains wide publicity by executing an escape from London's Scotland Yard and by feats such as having himself shackled in irons, locked in a roped and weighted box, dropped overboard from a boat, and emerging with a smile before baffled audiences.

1900. One U.S. home in seven has a bathtub; showers are even rarer.

1900. A hurricane strikes Galveston, Tex., September 8, killing between 6,000 and 8,000 people.

1900. Typical U.S. food prices: sugar 4 cents a pound; eggs, 14 cents a dozen; butter 24 cents a pound. Boarding houses offer turkey dinners at 20 cents and supper or breakfast at 15 cents, but a male stenographer earns $10 a week and an unskilled girl $2.50.

1900. The hamburger is pioneered at New Haven, Conn.

1900. Kansas prohibitionist Carry Moore Nation declares that since the saloon is illegal in Kansas, any citizen has the right to destroy liquor, furniture, and fixtures in any public place selling intoxicants. She begins a campaign of hatchet-wielding through Kansas cities and towns, and although she will be arrested, fined, imprisoned, clubbed, and shot at, she will persevere.

1900. The U.S. population reaches 76 million with 10.3 million of the total foreign born, roughly 9 million black or of mixed blood, 237,000 native American Indians, 90,000 Chinese, 24,000 Japanese.

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