Monday, March 31, 2008

1912 Society

1912. New Mexico and Arizona are admitted to the Union as the 47th and 48th states.

1912. Former U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt bolts the Republican party to run for reelection as a Progressive (his party is called the "Bull Moose" party because Roosevelt has said he felt "fit as a bull moose"). Woodrow Wilson wins with 42% of the popular vote to Roosevelt's 28% and President Taft's 8% to give the Democrats control of the White House for the first time since 1897.

1912. Congress extends the 8-hour day to all federal employees; in private industry most workers labor 10 to 12 hours per day, 6 days per week.

1912. A minimum wage law for women and children legislated in Massachusetts is the first state law of its kind.

1912. L.L. Bean, Inc. of Freeport, ME, is founded by local merchant Leon Leonwood Bean who has invented the Maine Hunting Shoe.

1912. Electric light bulbs last longer thanks to General Electric research chemist Irving Langmuir who discovers that filling incandescent bulbs with inert gases will greatly increase the illuminating life of tungsten filaments developed by his colleague W.D. Coolidge.

1912. The S.S. Titanic of the White Star Line scrapes an iceberg in the North Atlantic on her maiden voyage, sustains a 300-foot slash and sinks in 2 1/2 hours on the night of April 15. She had been called "unsinkable," but only 711 of the 2,224 aboard survive and the lost 1,513 lost include such prominent millionaires as John Jacob Astor IV, R.H. Macy's Isidor Straus, copper heir Benjamin Guggenheim, and traction heir Harry Elkins Widener.

1912. Dutch aircraft designer Anthony Fokker introduces the Fokker aeroplane.

1912. English aeronaut Thomas Sopwith founds Sopwith Aviation at Kingston-on-Thames.

1912. The Piltdown man hoax deceives world paleontologists. An English amateur claims to have discovered the "missing link" between man and ape. The ruse will not be exposed until 1953.

1912. The first diagnosis of a heart attack in a living patient appears in the December 7 Journal of the American Medical Association.

1912. The Pituitary Body and Its Disorders by Boston surgeon Harvey Cushing advances knowledge of the pituitary gland and its relation to diabetes.

1912. The Montessori Method by Italian educator Maria Montessori describes her success at teaching slum children between the ages of 3 and 6 how to read.

1912. The Kallikak Family by U.S. psychologist Henry Goddard relates feeble mindedness to crime and causes a sensation. Goddard invented the word "moron" in 1910.

1912. An SOS in Morse code--three dots, three dashes, three dots--is adopted as a universal distress signal by an International Radio-Telegraph Conference.

1912. Pravda, the Russian word for "truth," begins publication to voice the ideas of Russia's underground Communist party with Vyacheslav Molotov as editor.

1912. Universal Pictures Corp. is created and is the first to promote the personalities of film performers as "movie stars," hiring Mary Pickford from a rival studio.

1912. Popular songs: "Waiting for the Robert E. Lee"; "When the Midnight Choo Choo Leaves for Alabam"; "Moonlight Bay"; "That Old Gal of Mine"; "The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi."

1912. Oklahoma Indian James "Jim" Thorpe wins both the pentathlon and decathlon at the fifth Olympiad. He returns to score 25 touchdowns and 198 points for the Carlisle Indian School at Carlisle, PA, and is named halfback for the second year on Walter Camp's All-America team. Of Sac and Fox ancestry, Thorpe will lose his Olympic gold medals when he admits to having played semi-professional baseball during his summer vacation the past ear, thus losing his amateur status.

1912. The fourth down is added to U.S. football and a touchdown is given a value of six points, up from the five-point value established in 1898l

1912. The Girl Scouts of America has its beginnings at Savannah, GA, where Juliette Gordon Low starts the first troop of Girl Guides in America.

1912. Hellmann's Blue Ribbon Mayonnaise is introduced by German-American New York delicatessen owner Richard Hellmann.

1912. Oreo Biscuits are introduced by National Biscuit Company with two chocolate-flavored wafers and a cream filling.


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