Tuesday, April 29, 2008

1915. Society (1)

1915. The Great War in Europe intensifies.Casualty lists mount for both sides.

1915. Turkey says Armenians side with Russia and begins to deport them, putting to death all who resist. Some 1.75 million Armenians will be deported, 600,000 will starve to death in the Mesopotamian Desert, one-third will survive.

1915. The Germans use chlorine gas at the Second Battle of Ypres, the first use of poison gas by any warring power. Greenish-yellow clouds of gas choke French colonial troops who flee in panic.

1915. Torpedoes from the German submarine U-20 hit the Cunard Line passenger ship S.S. Lusitania at 2:10 P.M., May 7, off the coast of Ireland and the huge vessel sinks in 18 minutes killing 1,198 who include 128 U.S. citizens, among them railroad magnate Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt and New York theatrical magnate Charles Frohman. It will turn out that the Lusitania carried 173 tons of rifle ammunition, shrapnel casings, fuses and contraband food from the U.S. but had no escort and remained on course despite recent U-boat sightings in the area.

1915. The Thompson submachine gun (Tommy gun) is introduced by U.S. Brig. Gen. John Taliaferro Thompson.

To be continued.

Monday, April 28, 2008

1914. Literature.

"The Sisters." James Joyce. Irish. 1914. Story. Boy confronted with death the first time; learns the truth about the dead priest and the Catholic religion.

"Clay." James Joyce. Irish. 1914. Story. Ineffectual spinster tricked into putting fingers into wet clay, symbol of her own and the Irish character.

"The Congo: A Study of the Negro Race." Vachel Lindsay. American. 1914. Poetry. Black ragtime rhythms. Basic savagery. High spirits. Hope of religion.

"The Dead." James Joyce. Irish. 1914. Story. Thinks of aunts who will soon be dead, his own spiritual death, and his wife's dead lover.

"The Death of the Hired Man." Robert Frost. American. 1914. Poetry. Argument between farmer and wife over whether to keep defeated old hired hand. He dies.

Dubliners. James Joyce. Irish. 1914. Stories. Picture of the paralyzing world from which Joyce fled.

He Who Gets Slapped. Leonid Andreyev. Russian. 1914. Play. Disenchanted intellectual seeks refuge as clown in circus. Symbol of the intellect buffeted by the mob.

Lafcadio's Adventures. Andre Gide. French. 1914. Satire/Farce. Caricatures various types in society. Unmotivated murder. [Now, THAT's funny!]

"Mending Wall." Robert Frost. American. 1914. Poem. Neighbor repeats uncriticially the saying of his father about good fences making good neighbors.

"The Prussian Officer." DH Lawrence. British. 1914. Story. Sadistic Prussian army officer finally is killed by his victim.

"The Santa Fe Trail: A Humoresque." Vachel Lindsay. American. 1914. Poetry. Contrasts industrial civilization with natural bird song: radical sound effects.

Sword Blades and Poppy Seed. Amy Lowell. American. 1914. Poetry. Use of free verse and polyphonic prose--all devices of verse except strict meter.

The Titan. Theodore Dreiser. American. 1914. Novel. Second in trilogy. Almost succeeds in Chicago in establishing monopoly of all public utilities. Series of affairs. Frustrated in economic plans. Goes to Europe. Driven by need for power, women and social prestige. Discovers that giants re pygmies and that balance is needed.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

1914. Society (4)

1914. Upstate New York golfer Walter Hagen wins the U.S. Open at age 21 to begin a remarkable career.

1914. The Yale Bowl is completed at New Haven, Conn. The $650,000, 61,00-seat football stadium will be enlarged to seat 74,786 as college football becomes a major sporting attraction.

1914. The first national Mother's Day is proclaimed by President Wilson on the second Sunday in May.

1914. Doublemint chewing gum is introduced by William Wrigley, Jr.

1914. Germany's 107th Regiment of Leipzig leaves its trenches December 14 and follows a band playing Christmas carols. Singing lustily and distributing gifts to the enemy, the Germans play soccer with the enemy in the afternoon. Hostilities resume December 15.

1914. Fish freezing is pioneered by New Yorker Clarence Birdseye.

1914. A national 4-H Club is founded.

1914. George Washington Carver reveals the results of experiments that show the value of peanuts and sweet potatoes in replenishing soil fertility.

1914. The Woman Rebel by U.S. feminist Margaret Higgins Sanger introduces the term "birth control."

Friday, April 25, 2008

1914 Society (3)

1914. The U.S. Navy establishes a new oil reserve at Teapot Dome, Wyoming.

1914. The Panama Canal opens to traffic August 3. Built essentially on French plans at a total cost of 30,000 lives and some $367 million, the canal uses a system of locks to carry ships 50.7 miles between deep water in the Atlantic and deep water in the Pacific.

1914. Greyhound Bus has its beginnings.

1914. Cleveland rigs up the world's first red-green traffic lights August 5.

1914. Gulf Oil distributes the first U.S. automobile maps.

1914. New York City has only 38 more public schools than in 1899 despite an increase of more than 300,000 in enrollment. The overcrowded schools turn away 60,000 to 75,000 children each year for lack of space.

1914. Films: Mack Sennett's Tillie's Punctured Romance with Charles Chaplin, the first U.S. feature-length comedy.

1914. Popular songs: "Keep the Home Fires Burning"; "There's a Long, Long Trail"; "Colonel Bogey March"; "St. Louis Blues"; "12th Street Rag"; "The Missouri Waltz"; "When You Wore a Tulip and I wore a Big Red Rose"; "A Little Bit of Heaven (And They Called It Ireland)"; "By the Beautiful Sea."

1914. The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) is founded in New York to protect the interests of music writers, lyricists and publishers.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

1914 Society (2)

1914. Swedish-American IWW leader Joe Hill is arrested January 13 on charges of having been one of two masked men who gunned down Salt Lake City grocer John Morrison and his son the night of January 10. While no motive can be shown for Hill to have committed the crime, when he is brought to trial, he is nevertheless convicted. He has written essays, letters, and songs for the Wobbly newspapers Industrial Worker and Solidarity, his songs have included "The Preacher and the Slave" which contained the phrase" pie in the sky," and he has had a major influence in furthering the IWW cause.

1914. Suffragettes march on the Capitol at Washington June 28 to demand voting rights for U.S. women.

1914. Mohandas Gandhi returns to India at age 45 after 21 years of practicing law in South Africa where he organized a campaign of "passive resistance" to protest his mistreatment by whites for his defense of Asian immigrants. Gandhi has read Henry David Thoreau's 1849 essay "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience" and attracts wide attention in India by conducting a fast--the first of 14 that he will stage as political demonstrations and that will inaugurate the idea of the political fast.

1914. The Clayton Anti-Trust Act voted by Congress October 15 toughens the federal government's power against combinations in restraint of trade as outlawed by the Sherman Act of 1890. Exempts labor unions.

Monday, April 21, 2008

1914 Society (1)

1914. A world war begins in Europe July 28 one month after the assassination of the heir to the Austrian throne in Bosnia.

1914. Germany declares war on Russia and on France August 3. German troops invade neutral Belgium August 4 and Britain declares war on Germany.

1914. "The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime," says British secretary of state for foreign affairs Sir Edward Grey.

1914. Japan declares war on Germany August 23. The Japanese produce munitions forRussia and other Allied powers.

1914. The first German air raid strikes Paris August 30 as the German aircraft drop small explosives on the city.

1914. The German submarine U-9 sinks three British cruisers in September to retaliate for the sinking of three German cruisers at Helgoland Bight August 28.

1914. The Battle of Ypres October 30 to November 24 pits German troops against French poilus and British Tommies in trench warfare that will consume huge numbers of soldiers on both sides in the next 4 years as the conflict becomes a war of position in which the front line will not shift more than 10 miles.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

1913 Literature (2)

Sinister Street. Compton Mackenzie. British. 1913. Novel. Novel of growing up. Childhood and youth of illegitimate children of wealthy parents.

Sons and Lovers. D.H. Lawrence. British. 1913. Novel. Autobiographical. Because of bond with mother, can't give love to other women.

Virginia. Ellen Glasgow. American. 1913. Novel. Southern woman between 1884 and 1912. Unhappy marriage; can't adapt to new environment. Loses respect of her husband and daughters, but retains the love of her son. Analysis of social change facing women in the early 20th century.

Childhood. Maksim Gorky. Russian. 1913/14. Autobiography. Memorable portrait of Gorky's grandmother.

Remembrance of Things Past. Marcel Proust. French. 1913/1927. Novel. Seven parts. In search of "lost time." "Involuntary memories" = true meaning of past experience. Stimulated by object or circumstances; could not appreciate at the time of the experiences. Conscious recollection colored by the person he had become. Unconscious association = simultaneous existence in present and past. Bourgeois and royalty, apparently different, are actually connected. Anticipated pleasure always exceeds actual pleasure.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

1913 Literature (1)

The Custom of the Country. Edith Wharton. American. 1913. Novel. Ruthless social climber.

"General William Booth Enters into Heaven." Vachel Lindsay. American. 1913. Poem. Rhythmic drumbeats of Salvation Army band.

Le Grand Meaulnes. Alain-Fournier. French. 1913. Novel. Actuality and dream world intermingle; old house in middle of the woods. Girl and her brother.

Heartbreak House. George Bernard Shaw. British. 1913. Play. Indicts apathy, confusion and lack of purpose as causes of the world's problems. Characters are symbolic.

O Pioneers. Willa Cather. American. 1913. Novel. Strong woman with weak family builds prosperous farm. Deep devotion to the land.

Pollyanna. Eleanor H. Porter. American. 1913. Novel. Always looks on the bright side in her numerous trials.

Pygmalion. George Bernard Shaw. British. 1913. Play. Phonetics teacher transforms guttersnipe into an elegant woman.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

1913 Society (4)

1913. The first U.S. crossword puzzle appears December 21 in the weekend supplement of the New York World.

1913. Films: Cecil B. DeMille's The Squaw Man with Dustin Farnum in the first full-length feature to be filmed at Hollywood. The Perils of Pauline whose cliff-hanger films are designed to bring audiences back each week.

1913. Charlie Chaplin signs a $150 per week contract with movie maker Mack Sennett.

1913. Popular songs: "Peg O' My Heart"; "You Made Me Love You"; "Ballin' the Jack"; "Now is the Hour," Maori Farewell Song; "That Old Rugged Cross."

1913. Knute Rockne revolutionizes football by making brilliant use of the forward pass to defeat an Army eleven and change the course of the game. Captain of the Notre Dame varsity, he receives 17 of 21 passes thrown by Charles "Gus" Dorais, gains 243 yards, and Notre Dame beats Army 35 to 13.

1913. "Trees" by New York Times Book Review editor and poet Alfred Joyce Kilmer, 27. appears in the August issue of Poetry magazine and wins worldwide acclaim. "I think that I shall never see, a poem lovely as a tree."

1913. The Los Angeles Owens River aqueduct opens November 5, bringing in at least 260 million gallons of water per day from the Sierras via 234 miles of gravity-powered pipeline and ditch. Permits irrigation of the San Fernando Valley and makes L.S. a boom town.

1913. Rabbits fed large amounts of cholesterol and animal fats are shown to develop hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis) by Russian pathologist Nikolai Anichkov.

1913. Peppermint Life Savers are introduced by Cleveland, Ohio, chocolate manufacturer Clarence Crane as a summer item to sell when chocolate sales decline.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

1913 Society (3)

1913. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics computes its first monthly Consumer Price Index to help determine the fairness of wage levels.

1913. The first diesel-electric locomotives go into service in Sweden. Diesel-electrics will generally replace steam locomotives.

1913. New York Evening Sun reporter John Henry Mears circles the world in a record 35 days, 21 hours, 31 seconds.

1913. Russian aeronautical engineer Igor Sikorsky builds and flies the world's first multimotored aircraft. He built a prototype helicopter 4 years ago.

1913. Lord Northcliffe of the London Daily Mail offers a 10,000 pound prize for the first nonstop transatlantic crossing by aeroplane.

1913. The assembly line introduced at Ford Motor Company, October 7, reduces the time required to assemble a motorcar from 12.5 hours to 1.5 hours. Factories producing a wide variety of products will convert to assembly line production. The line will revolutionize much of industry, but increase worker boredom and permit industry to hire unskilled and semiskilled workers at wages lower than those of skilled workers.

1913. French Protestant missionary-physician Albert Schweitzer founds Lambarene Hospital in French Equatorial Africa.

1913. New York public relations pioneer Ivy Ledbetter Lee persuades John D. Rockefeller, Jr. to travel to Colorado and speak personally to the miners, an act that improves relations between the Rockefeller family and the outraged strikers.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

1913 Society (2)

Society (2)
1913. Suffragist Emily Davison, who has been imprisoned several times and force-fed, is killed June 4 when she runs in front of the king's horse at the Derby.

1913. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to fight anti-Semitism in America is founded by the B'Nai B'rith.

1913. Mohandas Gandhi in South Africa leads 2,500 Indians into the Transvaal in defiance of a law. They are violently arrested, Gandhi refuses to pay a fine, he is jailed, his supporters demonstrate and Natal police fire into the crowd, killing two.

1913. Economic Interpretation of the Constitution by Columbia University history professor Charles a. Beard points out that America's founding fathers were all men of property when they drafted the Constitution in 1787. Beard suggests certain consequent inequities.

1913. The Federal Reserve System created by a measure signed into law by President Wilson will reform U.S. banking and currency. The Glass-Owen Currency Act, drafted to prevent panics such as the one in 1907, establishes 12 Federal Reserve banks in America's 12 major cities and requires member banks to maintain cash reserves proportionate to their deposits with the Fed---which loans money to the banks at low rates of interest relative to the rates the banks charge customers. The Fed's Board of Governors determines the amount of money in circulation at any given time; it provides elasticity to the supply of currency and can act to control inflation.

Monday, April 7, 2008

1913 Society (1)

1913. The Seventeenth Amendment, ratified April 8, provides for direct election of U.S. senators.

1913. A U.S. Department of Labor is created by the new Wilson administration in response to demands by the AF of L which now has 2 million members.

1913. The IWW takes Paterson, NJ, silk workers out on 5-month strike to protest installation of improved machinery.

1913. U.S. suffragettes march 5,000 strong down Washington's Pennsylvania Avenue, March 3, following Alice Paulo, who founds the National Woman's Party to spearhead the movement for woman's suffrage. Crowds of angry, jeering men slap the demonstrators, spit at them, and poke them with lighted cigars, a brawl stops the march before it can reach the White House.

1913. English suffragist Emmeline Pankhurst draws a 3-year jail sentence, April 3, for arson (she has incited her supporters to place explosives in the house of the Chancellor of the Exchequer David Lloyd George) but will serve only one year and devote part of it to a hunger strike.

To be continued.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

1912 Literature

Campos de Castilla. Antonio Machado. Spanish. 1912. Poetry. Poet's soul in response to the geography of the Castillan landscape around him.

The Financier. Theodore Dreiser. American. 1912. Novel. First of a trilogy. Ups and downs of a typical industrial and financial magnate of the late 19th century.

Professor Bernhardi. Arthur Schnitzler. German. 1912. Play. To prevent young girl from learning of her impending death, Jewish doctor prevents a priest from administering Extreme Unction.

"The Secret Sharer." Joseph Conrad. British. 1912. Story. Captain takes on board and hides a murderer who is his physical and psychological double.

The Tidings Brought to Mary. Paul Claudel. French. 1912. Verse Drama. Spiritual devotion vs. human life and love. Sympathetic kiss leads to leprosy and life of recluse. Recluse's fiance marries her sister. Their baby dies. Asks recluse to hold and kiss the baby who is brought to life, but with the eyes of the recluse. Her sister returns and kills the recluse.

Trent's Last Case. E.C. Bentley. British. 1912. Novel. Classic detective novel. Trent is an English painter, poetry lover, and amateur detective. Uncovers three different plausible solutions to a murder.