20 - first 10 yr.
Century 20 (1901-1910)
A new century begins, continuing tough working conditions for laborers
and Europe's conflict between nationalism and empire. Europe's elite
and the Church are giving moral support to empire. Austria-Hungary's
emperor, Franz Joseph, sees himself as most ethical.
Oil is discovered at Spindletop in Beaumont, Texas.
Queen Victoria dies at age eight-one. Edward VII is crowned.
In Kansas, Carrie Nation, age 54, 6 feet tall and 175 pounds,
accompanied by hymn singing women, is smashing up saloons.
In this month's issue of North American Review, Mark Twain has an essay
titled "To the Person Sitting in Darkness." The article is critical of
the Boer War, activities regarding the Boxer Rebellion and the US war
in the Philippines. Some others are calling for support for "our
troops." An American general in the Philippines complains about the
loyalty of some at home.
Recognizing their diminishing influence in Central and South America
and wanting to cultivate the United States as a counterweight to
Germany's influence in that region, the British sign the Hay-Pauncefote
Treaty with the United States. With this treaty they approve US
construction of a canal so long as the US recognizes neutrality of
Britain and Germany agree to a border between German East Africa and
the British colony of Nyasaland.
In China, the Boxer rebellion is winding down and foreign powers are
asserting control. In Beijng two leaders of the Boxer Rebellion, Chi
Hsui and Hsu-Cheng-yuo, are beheaded.
Britain, Germany, Japan and the US are unhappy about China's government
letting Russia build railways in Manchuria.
The United States Congress passes the Platt Amendment, limiting the
autonomy of Cuba as a condition for the withdrawal of American troops.
The amendment declares the right of the US to intervene militarily in
President McKinley begins his second term.
Britain's Lord Kitchener is haggling with the Boer general, Louis
Botha, over conditions for ending the Second Boer War. No agreement has
been reached as the Boers continue to want autonomy if they are to be
within the British Empire.
Fire destroys 1,700 buildings in Jacksonville, Florida. It started as a
boiler explosion in a candle factory. Next it spread to a mattress
factory and beyond, out of control. Fires are often big because of poor
equipment and use of horsedrawn wagons.
Australia opens its first parliament in Melbourne.
The US military captures the Filipino independence leader, Emilio
Aguinaldo, at his headquarters in the northeast of Luzon Island.
Cuba, occuppied since the Spanish American War in 1898, becomes a
United States protectorate, meaning the US assumes responsibily for
protecting Cuba from other counties while Cuba supposedly remains a
Aviation pioneer Gustave Whitehead flies a motor-powered aircraft in
Connecticut. In 2013 Jane's All The World's Aircraft will recognize
Whitehead as making the first manned, powered, controlled flight.
A US army nurse, Clara Maass, age 25, dies after having volunteered for
medical experiments that prove mosquitoes carry yellow fever.
At the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, an anarchist mill
worker, Leon Czolgosz, shoots President William McKinley. On the ground
and bleeding, McKinley calls Czolgosz a "poor, misguided fellow" and
asks that he not be hurt. McKinley will die eight days later.
The Boxer Rebellion in China officially ends with the signing of the
Boxer Protocol. In China, the Dowager Empress, Cixi, signs an agreement
with foreign powers formally ending the Boxer Rebellion. Boxer leaders
other than she will soon be executed. Chinese nationalism will,
however, live on.
Theodore Roosevelt succeeds William McKinley as President of the United
A surprise attack by anti-US forces on Samar Island in the Philippines
kills 48 US soldiers.
US President Theodore Roosevelt invites African American leader Booker
T. Washington to the White House. Many southern whites react angrily to
the visit. In the South racial violence increases.
In New York, Leon Czolgosz is executed in the electric chair. His
having claimed that Emma Goldman influenced him philosophically has
made her a target of hostile public opinion.
President Roosevelt delivers a 20,000-word speech to the House of
Representatives asking Congress to curb the power of trusts "within
It is the fifth anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death. In Stockholm the
first Nobel Prize ceremony is held.
The first Morse code radio signal is sent across the Atlantic Ocean,
from England to Newfoundland.
The Mombasa-Victoria-Uganda Railway is completed with a final spike at
the Lake Victoria port city of Kisumu, Kenya.
With the Boxer Rebellion defeated, China's Empress Cixi, with her
nephew the emperor in tow, returns to her palace in Beijing.
In New York City a train collision in the Park Avenue tunnel kills 17
and injures 38. This will be followed by the state banning steam
In New Zealand the Nurses Registration Act of 1901 comes into effect,
making New Zealand the first country that requires state registration
An ad in the Washington DC Evening Times reads: "Don't look old! Keep
your hair! COKE DANDRUFF CURE." Coke is a reference to cocaine, not
quite yet illegal.
The Carnegie Institution for scientific research is founded with a $10
million gift from Andrew Carnegie.
Britain has been considering an alliance with Germany but Germany is
demanding that Britain join its alliance with Austria-Hungary. So
Britain has been looking elsewhere. It settles its differences with the
United States and today signs an alliance with Japan.
Fire levels 26 city blocks of Jersey City.
In Brussels, police clash with people demonstrating for universal
President Roosevelt prosecutes the Northern Securities Company, a
railroad trust, for violation of the Sherman Act of 1890. The company
controls the Northern Pacific Railway, Great Northern Railway, Chicago,
Burlington and Quincy Railroad and other associated lines.
In the United States, Irving W Colburn patents a mass production sheet
The Russian Marxist, Lenin, is about to turn 32. His book What Is to be
Done is to be published this month. In it he describes his elder in the
socialists movement, the German Eduard Bernstein, 52, as having
abandoned Marx's scientific socialism. Bernstein wants to update
Marxism, taking into account Marx's failed predictions. Lenin is
fervent and sees no failed predictions.
In the land of his birth, Georgia, on the Black Sea coast at Batumi,
Stalin (real name, Jughashvili), 23, is an impoverished but bright
young man devoted to anti-establishment politics. He has been
organizing oil workers into action, made easier by horrible working
conditions while foreign oil company executives are living in mansions
and sailing their yachts. There are clashes between workers and police.
Blood flows. Stalin on this day is arrested and to be put in prison.
His Majesty, the Tsar of all the Russias, wishing to give fresh proof
of his peaceable and friendly disposition towards His Majesty the
Emperor of China, agrees to evacuate Manchuria in three stages. China
agrees to protect Russia's railway, all Russian subjects and their
undertakings. Russia considers its railway to its warm water port,
leased from China and renamed Port Arthur, as vital.
A new car speed record of 74 mph (119 kph) is set in Nice, France, by
The US recognizes Cuba as a republic independent of Spain. This is to
be Cuban Independence Day.
Britain has crushed Boer resistance. With the four Boer states Britain
signs the Treaty of Vereeniging, officially ending Boer War.
By now the Empress Cixi has issued an edict exhorting the gentry "to
influence their families to refrain from 'the evil practice' of foot
binding women." Also, her government this year attempts to improve
relations with her subjects by lifting a ban on marriages between
Manchu males and Chinese females.
In Australia most women are granted the right o vote and to stand in
elections. As in the United States, Wyoming for example, it is more of
the greater progressive nature of frontier regions than areas dominated
by conservative establishments and traditions, as in England.
On Broadway in New York, the song "In the Good Ol' Summertime" is
introduced. This year it will sell a million copies in sheet music,
Theodore Roosevelt becomes the first American President to ride in an
automobile when he rides in a Columbia Electric Victoria through
Paleontologist Barnum Brown is in Montana working at the site near the
town of Jordan, where he recently discovered remnants of a dinosaur to
be known as Tyrannosaurus Rex.
This month, France's Governor-General Paul Beau arrives in Vietnam.
Every province is assigned how much alcohol they must buy, and the
Vietnamese are prohibited from distilling their own drinks.
For five months coal miners have been on their biggest strike ever.
They want higher wages, an eight-hour day and recognition of their
union. Mine owners have refused to negotiate. One of the owners, George
Baer, cites Darwinistic struggle as his reason for refusing, and in a
letter leaked to the press he claims that the "rights and interests of
the laboring man will be protected and cared for not by the labor
agitators but by the Christian men to whom God in His infinite wisdom
has given the control of the property interests of the country."
President Roosevelt has ordered a commission to solve the conflict.
Speaking before the commission, Baer closes his argument saying, "These
men don't suffer. Why, hell, half of them don't even speak English." On
this day, October 23, the strike ends. Owners don't have to recognize
the United Mine Workers' union but they accept an arbitration board and
the miners have won a nine-hour day and a 10 percent wage increase.
British, German and Italian governments want Venezuelans to pay debts
owed Europeans. Their warships arrive in Venezuelan waters to impose a
Edward VII, Britain's monarch, is proclaimed Emperor of India. His
mother, Queen Victoria, was Empress of India.
A German ship, Panther, involved in blockading Venezuela, gets
aggressive and enters the lagoon of Maracaibo, near a center of German
commercial activity. The ship exchanges fire with a fort but because of
shallow waters can't get close enough to the fort to be effective. It
In California growers have combined into the Western Agricultural
Contracting Company (WACC). Japanese and Mexican beet-field laborers
combine into the Japanese-Mexican Labor Association (JMLA) and accuse
WACC of artificially suppressing wages. JMLA complains that WACC forces
workers to pay double commissions and to buy at inflated prices at the
With arbitration by Britain, Germany and Italy reach a settlement with
Venezuela. Venezuela agrees to pay a reduced amount of its debt. The
naval blockade will end in six days.
The Cuban-American Treaty is signed. It provides for Guantánamo Bay to
be leased to the United States "in perpetuity."
In Oxnard, California, a strike by the Japanese-Mexican Labor
Association ends after growers shoot into a crowd of strikers. One
worker is killed and four injured. The growers will concede to most
Samuel Gompers, founder of the American Federation of Labor, states
that his union "will under no circumstance accept membership of any
Chinese or Japanese." Denied membership in the American Federation of
Labor, the Japanese-Mexican Labor Association will not survive. By 1910
it will have disappeared.
Serbia's King Alexander Obrenovic and his wife, Queen Draga, are
assassinated by army officers led by Dragutin Dimitrijevic. An issue in
the assassinations appears to be who would be the king's successor.
Dimitrijevic will be described as in the pay of Russians (Fall of the
Eagles, by C. L. Sulzberger, p.202). Dimitrijevic will be a player in
future Serb crises. Obrenovic is succeeded by his younger brother,
Peter I, Serbia's first strictly constitutional monarch.
Britain expands its rule in Africa by taking over the Fulani Empire, a
Muslim theocracy in the Western Sudan.
A couple of young men arrive in New York city after a sixty-three day
drive from San Francisco. They drove a two-cylinder, 20 horsepower
Winton. They popped many tires on what can hardly be called roads.
Wheel bearings gave out and a couple of times they had to wait for
parts to repair engine breakdowns. The trip is to be the subject of an
October 2013 film by Ken Burns.
Pope Pius X becomes the 257th pope, succeeding Leo XIII.
England's conservatives, opposed to autonomy for the Irish, pass a land
reform law for Ireland, hoping this will delay or prevent the Irish
acquiring anything like independence.
The Kingdom of Prussia (two-thirds of the Empire of Germany), becomes
the first state to require drivers licenses for operators of motor
Russia has failed to withdraw its forces from Manchuria as they had
promised. For a couple of months Russia and Japan have been haggling
over who is to have dominant influence where in the Manchuria-Korean
area between their two countries. The haggling is to continue.
Russia's Social Democrats are having their Second Congress. (The First
Party Congress was in 1898, consisting of nine delegates, all of whom
were arrested.) The Second Congress meets in Brussels, but police
harrassment sends them to liberal Britain's city of London. There are
fifty-six delegates. They split into two factions: the Bolsheviks
(majority) and Mensheviks (minority). The Bolsheviks believe that power
must be taken from the ruling class in one sweep. The Mensheviks hope
for progress toward socialism without a sudden and sweeping change as
to which class holds power. The Bolsheviks are a majority when a
crucial vote is taken after some Mensheviks walk out.
The Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty is signed by the United States and Panama,
giving the US exclusive rights over the Panama Canal Zone.
Bill Haywood's Western Federation of Miners has called for a sympathy
strike among the underground miners to support an eight-hour day. The
governor, James Hamilton Peabody, has described an insurrection as
taking place and has sent out a militia to protect replacement workers.
Soldiers have been rounding up union members and their sympathizers,
including the entire staff of a pro-union newspaper, and jailing them
Imprisoned since April 1902, in August this year Stalin was transferred
to Siberia. On this day he arrives at his assigned area in
south-central Siberia: Novaya Uda. The Russian Empire will provide him
with a little cash to survive - cheaper perhaps than having to house
him in an actual prison.
At Kitty Hawk in North Carolina the Wright brothers make their first
engine powered air flight.
Japan and Russia are still squabbling over control of Korea and
Manchuria. Imperialism is accepted policy among the great nations and
neither considers leaving the Koreans and the Manchurians (or Chinese)
control over their own territory. Russia sends a rifle regiment from
Vladivostok to Korea to support its interests there. The Japanese are
Russia's Tsar Nicholas is not eager for war. Russia offers Japan
recognition of its preponderance of power in Korea and proposes the
neutralization of Korea's coastal waters, but Russia refuses Japan an
equal footing with Europeans in Manchuria. Stockmarkets are responding
to the news of the conflict. Russia has been recalling its gold
reserves from abroad.
Stalin walks away from his exile in Siberia and is on his way to Tiflis
(Tblisi) in his native Georgia. He returns to political organizing.
Before the year is over he will be siding with the Bolsheviks and will
be noticed by Lenin, who is living in exile in Switzerland.
Japan's military leader informs Emperor Meiji (age 51) of a coming
preemptive strike against the Russians.
Japan breaks diplomatic relations with Russia. Russian troops are
occupying strategic locations on the Manchurian side of the Yalu River.
Japan launches torpedoes against Russian ships at Port Arthur (now
Lushan, China). The warring continues into the next day as Japan lands
troops at Inchon in Korea. From Inchon they will start marching north
toward Manchuria. Russian troops in Korea will be in retreat.
The Great Baltimore Fire in Baltimore, Maryland, destroys over 1,500
buildings in 30 hours. They are still using horse-drawn water pumpers.
Out of town help suffers as their hose couplings don't fit Baltimore's
Tibet warrior (in an exhibition parade in
Roger Casement's account of Belgian atrocities in the Congo,
commissioned by the British government, is published. A Belgian company
was extracting rubber and ivory. Gang bosses were using whips to
motivate workers. Villages were required to produce a quota of rubber.
Men assigned to control local villages established themselves as
despots, using women as they pleased, taking what food supplies they
wished, and killing or maiming those who resisted.
In Hyde Park, London, 80,000 demonstrators protest the government
importing Chinese laborers to South Africa.
Britain and France end almost a thousand years of intermittent conflict
with the signing of a treaty, The Entente Cordiale. France recognizes
British control over Egypt; Britain recognizes France's position
regarding Morocco. France gives up its exclusive fishery rights on the
shores of Newfoundland and in return receives an indemnity and
territory in Gambia (Senegal) and Nigeria.
The first major land battle between the Japanese and Russians, the
Battle of Yalu River, takes place. Some Russians surrender and others
escape northward. The Russians thought they could easily defeat an East
Russia was known to have interests in the direction of Tibet, and with
Russia distracted by the Japanese, a British expeditionary force has
moved in. It attacks and defeats a Tibetan force at Changlo.
A passenger liner of Copenhagen, the SS Norge, collides with Hasselwood
Rock close to Rockall (between Iceland and Ireland), killing 635,
including 225 Norwegian emigrants.
The third modern Olympic Games opens in St. Louis, Missouri, the first
Olympic Games held outside Europe. The war between Russia and Japan
prevents some of the world's athletes from attending.
The Russians complete the Trans-Siberian Railway, from Moscow to the
Far East, the longest rail line in the world. It will not be opened
until January. It's a single track, which will cause delays in
transporting troops and supplies eastward against the Japanese.
The British Expedition Force takes Tibet's major city: Lhasa.
Germans in their colony of South-West Africa are combating another
rebellion. They are machine-gunning the Herero people, poisoning wells
and driving them into the Omaheke desert to die.
The Dalai Lama signs the Anglo-Tibetan Treaty. Tibet is obliged to open
its border with British India, to allow British and Indian traders to
travel freely, not to impose customs duties and not to enter into
relations with any foreign power without British approval.
Russian warships on their way to the Far East to do war against the
Japanese fire on British fishing boats they mistake for Japanese
torpedo boats, and they fire on each other - to be known as the Dogger
Bank incident. Emotions rise in Britain, with some anger toward Germany
because of Germany's support for Russia. Britain's new Admiral of the
Fleet, John Fisher, blames Germany for inciting Russia against Britain.
The New York City subway opens.
Republican incumbent Theodore Roosevelt is elected president, defeating
the Democratic Party's Alton B. Parker.
The first successful caterpillar track is produced.
Theodore Roosevelt announces his "corollary" to the Monroe Doctrine. It
states that rather than have European powers act on legitimate claims
against Latin American countries directly, the United States will
intervene for them.
during the last few days, the Japanese have destroyed Russia's warships
stationed in the Far East. Russia's warships sailing from the Baltic
Sea are still on their way to the Pacific and rounding Africa's Cape of
Good Hope, burning coal supplied by Germany.
German naval and military attachés in London are convinced Britain is
going to attack Germany's navy. The German Kaiser, Wilhelm II, believes
the attachés because of his British family's violations of etiquette.
He believes that King Edward VII (who dislikes the Kaiser) wants war.
Germany's navy, always mobilized, is waiting for orders to sail. The
public is unaware of the war scare.
The Kaiser learns that the British admiralty has not been planning to
attack the German fleet. The secret war scare is over
After a five-month siege, the Russians surrender at Port Arthur. The
Japanese take control also of the adjoining Liaodong Peninsula.
For Russia war is the creator of misery and the mother of
revolution. Russian sailors have rebelled and their rebellion
has spread to major cities. At the tsar's Winter Palace in Saint
Petersburg a huge demonstration is fired upon. Between 200 and 1,000
are killed, the event to be known as Bloody Sunday.
In Manchuria, Russian troops fleeing the Port Arthur area are
confronted by Japanese troops at Mukden (Shenyang). The Russians number
330,000 with 800 artillery pieces.
Russian troops begin to retreat from Mukden.
The Japanese capture Mukden. The Russians are on their way out of
Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II visits the Moroccan port of Tangiers,
hoping to gain equality with France in Morocco, where Germany has
mining interests. French hostility toward Germany increases.
The Baltic Fleet - 28 ships - has finally arrived near Japan. It meets
89 Japanese ships and is destroyed in a two-day battle in waters
between Japan and Korea: the Battle of Tsushima. The Japanese loose
only three torpedo boats. The Japanese are exultant in victory over the
Russians. They see themselves as superior to others in Asia, deserving
empire and having an invincible navy.
The San Francisco School Board announces a policy of removing Japanese
students to the city's one school for Asians so that "our children
should not be placed in any position where their youthful impressions
may be affected by association with pupils of the Mongolian race."
In Russia, strikes, peasant uprisings in many provinces, revolutionary
movements among national minorities and rebellions in the armed forces
are developing. A rebellion has occurred aboard the battleship
Potemkin, which has pulled into port at Odessa. The ship's captain, the
doctor and several other officers have been killed and other officers
shut away in one of the cabins. A red flag has been hoisted and a
People's Committee put in charge of the ship. Troops arrive and fire on
the crowd supporting the sailors. Casualties will be described as 2,000
dead and 3,000 seriously wounded. The next day the Potemkin sets out to
sea, the mutineers hoping to provoke mutinies elsewhere.
The Potemkin mutineers surrender their ship to Romanian authorities.
They will return the Potemkin to the Russian navy.
Norway's parliament proclaims the end of the country's union with
With the Taft-Katsura Agreement, the US and Japan settle their
positions regarding Korea and the Philippines.
The province of Alberta is created out of Canada's Northwest
In response to a secret request by the Japanese, President Theodore
Roosevelt resides over the treaty formally ending the war between
Russia and Japan. Russia cedes the island of Sakhalin and port and
railway rights in Manchuria to Japan while Manchuria is to remain
nominally a part of China. The differences between Russia and Japan had
been resolved by violence, but for his efforts a sentimental Nobel
committee in 1906 will award Roosevelt the Nobel Peace Prize.
Albert Einstein, a clerk in a patent office in Bern, Switzerland,
submits his paper to a physics journal, asking,"Does the Inertia of a
Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?" In this paper he develops an
argument for what will be his famous equation E = mc2.
The Wright Brothers' third airplane (Wright Flyer III) stays in the air
for 39 minutes with Wilbur piloting.
On this day, 100 years after the Battle of Trafalgar, a few wealthy
Brits are wondering where their great empire will be in 2005. With the
empire spread across the globe some worry that there will be more
fighting, as there was recently with the Boer War. There will be talk
of a "weary titan worn down by the cosequences of success."
Russia's Tsar Nicholas II relents and agrees to a political
constitution that gives some power to a legislature (the Duma) and
promises a free press.
Sweden's Social Democrats have favored freedom for their Norwegian
"brothers" from forced unity with Sweden. Sweden's conservative
enthusiasts for national grandeur have wanted to discourage
independence by sending a force against the Norwegians. The Social
Democrats prevail. There will be no war. Sweden formally recognizes the
dissolution of its union with Norway.
In Canada, the Province of Alberta holds its first election for seats
in its new legislative body. The contest is bitter. The Liberal Party
wins 22 seats, the Conservative Party 3 seats.
Japanese troops have surrounded the palace of the Korean Emperor
Gojong, but he refuses to sign a treaty that would turn sovereignty
over to the Japanese. Under coercion by the Japanese, Gojong's cabinet
signs what is to be known as the Japan-Korea Protectorate Treaty. Japan
takes power over Korea's foreign affairs and military matters. Japan
also takes power over Korea's police, postal, telegraph and telephone
Prince Carl of Denmark becomes King Haakon VII of Norway.
In Dublin, Arthur Griffith founds Sinn Féin as a political party whose
goal is independence for all of Ireland.
Moscow's Bolsheviks, Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries combine
in a general strike and an attempt to take power.
An attempt by Moscow's governor to arrest the ringleaders is followed
by a city-wide uprising. Barricades go up. A few have guns. Bolsheviks
take the lead.
In Kiev an uprising in support of the Moscow uprising establishes a
workers' republic, the Shuliavka Republic, which lasts four days,
crushed by the Russian Army and local authorities.
Dec 18 The
Imperial Russian Army, viewed as a failure due to its defeats by the
Japanese, proves itself a success against Bolshevik forces. Army
soldiers are told "To act without mercy; there will be no arrests." The
Bolsheviks call an end to the strike and a return to work. The rising
ends with 35 soldiers killed and 1,059 rebels killed including 137
women and 86 children.
Frank Steunenberg, governor of Idaho from 1897 to 1901 is assassinated
by a bomb. The assassin is Albert Horsley, a miner with a criminal past
and a gambling problem working as a paid informer for the Cripple Creek
Mine Owners Association. He is to be arrested and imprisoned in January.
A political revolution is underway in Iran. A coalition of merchants,
religious leaders and intellectuals are pushing for Iran to enter the
modern era and establish a constitution and national assembly.
In the US, Doubleday publishes a novel The Jungle by a socialist
journalist, Upton Sinclair. The book focuses on a diligent immigrant
worker hoping to achieve the "American Dream" for himself and his
family. The book exposes con artist business practices and corruptions
in the meat packing industry. Lobbyists for the meat packing industry
will attempt to water down meaningful legislation, but President
Theodore Roosevelt will advocate and Congress will pass legislation
involving meaningful government inspections and regulations. Sinclair
will be frustrated over his socialist message being mitigated.
A former miner, Albert Horsely, alias Harry Orchard, has been arrested
in connection with the murder of Idaho's former goveror. In jail for a
month, he is interogated by an anti-union Pinkerton detective, James
McParland. (Pinkerton is a private agency.) Horsely is threatened with
hanging. Apparantly to save his life he confesses to the murder and
implicates leaders of the United Mine Workers, including prominent
socialist labor leader William Haywood. McParland perjures himself to a
judge and gains extradition papers, and in one week he has Hayward and
two other union leaders, Charles Moyer and George Pettibone snatched
from their homes in Denver and transported by train as prisoners to
Idaho. They are to stand trial in 1907.
The British launch a new class of battleship, the dreadnought, which
makes other battleships obsolete in the reach of their big
A coal mine explosion at Courrières in France kills 1,060.
The Algeciras Conference in Spain concludes with an agreement that
affirms the independence of Morocco and guarantees the freedom of
nations such as Germany to trade there. The purpose of the conference
was to placate Germany's objections to France establishing a
protectorate over Morocco.
The Pentecostal movement begins in Los Angeles. It's called the Azusa
Street Revival and is led by William J. Seymour, an African American
preacher. It is characterized by ecstatic spiritual experiences, a
belief in miracles, speaking in tongues, and inter-racial mingling.
Some theologians in the US will describe it as outrageous.
An earthquake strikes San Francisco at 5:12 in the morning (estimated
magnitude 7.8). Fire breaks out. Eighty percent of the city is
destroyed and around 3,000 people killed.
Russia's Tsar Nicholas II has pledged to provide broad participation in
a legislative body, the Duma, and to give this Duma oversight powers.
It's a surrender to the world trend toward constitutionalism. But
having pacified the revolution of 1905 with promises, he has not given
up on retaining the autocratic power that he believed was his as a gift
from God. Today the tsar gives a
constitution to the Russian people. He retains his absolute power. The
Constitution gives Nicolas the power to appoint and dismiss ministers,
to issue decrees, to veto legislation, to dismiss the Duma at any time
and the Constitution can't be changed without his approval.
30 In the US the Pure Food and Drug Act becomes
effective. It is designed to protect the public and is the creation of
In Iran the monarch Muzaffar al-Din Shah's struggle to maintain the old
order comes to an end. He agrees to a constitutional monarchy.
The first phonograph (record player) is manufactured.
Cuba's president since 1902, Tomás Estrada Palma, requests United
States intervention to contain a rebellion against his rule.
In South Africa a lawyer, Mohandas Gandhi, begins nonviolent resistance
to the mistreatment of his fellow Indians.
Cuba's President Palma has resigned believing the US does not intend to
save his regime. President Theodore Roosevelt names William Howard Taft
has the provisional governor of Cuba. US Marines arrive to prevent
fighting between Cubans and to protect US economic interests. Cuba's
Liberals are pleased by Palma's resignation and lay down their arms. A
provisional occupation government by the US begins.
The Grand Duchy of Finland becomes the first nation to grant women
universal suffrage and to include the right of women to stand as
Russia's Prime Minister Pyotr Stolypin seeks to dampen class unrest and
to gain support for the tsar from Russia's majority: its peasants. He
begins a farming system that emphasizes more individual freedom and
private ownership, and he initiates a program to assist peasants in
settling lands in Siberia.
Under public pressure, the San Francisco Board of Education issues an
order that bans Asian children, including Japanese, from white primary
schools. All Japanese and Korean students are ordered to join the
Chinese at the segregated Oriental School established in 1884.
President Roosevelt sends a representative to San Francisco in an
effort to persuade the school board to change its decision. He thinks
the school segregation order a "wicked absurdity."
Korea's king, or emperor, Gojong (also Gwangmu), has made statements
hostile to the Japanese to international newsmen, such as, "The United
States does not realize what Japan's policy in the Far East is and what
it portends for the American people. The Japanese adopted a policy that
in the end will give her complete control over commerce and industry in
the Far East." The Japanese force his abdication and will keep him
confined to his palace until his death in 1919.
In an agreement with the US, Japan promises to restrict the emigration
of Japanese laborers to the United States but allows the emigration of
wives, children and parents of Japanese already in the United States.
Some in the US are describing the few Japanese among them as agents of
In Russia, the new Duma in opened in St. Petersburg, and Russian troops
disperse 40,000 demonstrators
In Finland, elections to a new parliament are the first in the world
with universal suffrage and women candidates. Nineteen women are
Taxis with meters begin operating in London.
In Romania, class unrest in the countryside has turned violent and has
spread. A few city dwellers own much of the country's agricultural
land. issues have been the leasing of lands to peasants, desire for
land and fear of unemployment and hunger. Authorities blame the revolt
on Jews. Foreign revolutionaries are also blamed. The uprising is to be
called the Great Romanian Peasant Revolt of 1907. Romania's army is
mobilized, and in the coming days it will sabre and shoot peasants.
Historians will put the number of deaths between 3,000 and 18,000, with
the most common figure at 11,000.
Haywood and Moyer
Defendants left to right, Pettibone, Moyer, Haywood
In Russia, Prime Minister Stolypin has accused Social Democrats of
preparing an armed uprising. He demands the exclusion of 55 of their
representatives from the tsar's legislative body, the Duma. The Duma
refuses. Stolypin and the tsar dissolve the Duma.
This year the American chemist Bertram Boltwood discovers the rate at
which the radioactive element s uranium and thorium break down. He
finds lead to be the final product of radioactive decay, and he uses
the proportion of lead in uranium ores in rocks as a measure of time.
This allows geologists to date the earth's age at 2.2 billion years.
Eventually the age will be extended to 4.4 billion.
Since May 9 the labor leader Bill Haywood has been on trial for the
murder of Steunenberg. The witness for the prosecution is a confessed
participant in murder, Albert Horsley, who has describes Hayward as
having ordered the murder. Haywood is represented by the famous lawyer
Clarence Darrow . His cross examination of Horsely leaves the jury with
the impression that Horsley's testimony is worthless. Haywood appears
to have been framed and is found not guilty. Of the other two union
leaders charged with Steunenberg's murder, George Pettibone will be
acquitted in January and charges against Charles Moyer will be dropped.
Japan's order that the Korean army disband creates a rebellion within
the Korean army, and disorder spreads through the country, countered
with violence by the Japanese.
With Russia's defeat by Japan, the British see Russia as less of a
threat to their interests. Britain signs a treaty with Russia. Russia
agrees that Britain should have controlling influence in Afghanistan
and Tibet, and the two powers end their rivalry in Iran by dividing
that land into two zones of influence.
Catholic "modernists" have been trying to institute what they consider
intellectual reforms. Thirty-eight of their 65 proposals are biblical
criticisms, Pope Pius X labels these proposals as heretical. In an
encyclical the pope describes "modernism" as an alliance between faith
and false philosophy.
New Zealand rises above colony status and joins Britain's Commonwealth,
as does Newfoundland.
In the US, financial manipulations create what will be called a
Bankers' Panic. The New York Stock Exchange falls to almost 50 percent
of its peak in 1906. There will be numerous runs on banks and trust
Marconi initiates commercial transatlantic radio communications between
Clifden Ireland and Glace Bay, Nova Scotia.
In Russia, Tsar Nicholas has given greater electoral value to the votes
of nobility and landowners. These conservatives will dominate a new
"Third Duma." Meanwhile, the tsar's police are cracking down on
leftists. Jews are being attacked in Odessa.
In the US, Oklahoma becomes the 46th state.
A coal mine explosion kills 362 workers in Monongah, West Virginia.
A coal mine explosion kills 239 in Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania.
In Chile, soldiers shoot at striking mine workers, killing more than
Klara Hitler dies of cancer after expressing concern about the well
being of her 18-year-old son Adolf. Adolf is grief stricken.
By now, eight percent of US households are wired for electricity.
The New York Board of Education bans whipping in public school.
Britain's House of Commons turns down a women's suffrage bill.
In Idaho, Albert Horsley is convicted of murder and sentenced to death
for the murder of former governor Steunenberg in 1905. Horsley will
become a Seventh-Day Adventist and his death sentence will be commuted
to life in prison.
The Ottoman Empire has not been keeping up with Western Europe in
education, technology and military might. Young Turks influenced by
study abroad have formed an umbrella group called the Committee of
Union and Progress (CUP). With a significant portion of the army they
overthrow the power of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, but they leave the sultan
on his throne.
In the US, the Hoover Company acquires manufacturing rights to the
upright portable vacuum cleaner just invented by James M. Spangler.
A Turkish depiction of the Habsburg
annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
titled "Advance of civilization in Bosnia
Henry Ford produces his first Model T automobile.
In a bloodless coup, soldiers in Bulgaria declare Bulgaria's
independence from the Ottoman Empire. They turn power over to Prince
Ferdinand, who becomes Tsar Ferdinand.
Responding to what appears to be a weakened Ottoman Empire, Russia's
Prime Minister Stolypin has made a secret agreement with Emperor Franz
Joseph of Austria-Hungary concerning Bosnia and Herzegovina - until now
ruled by Austria-Hungary but nominally a part of the Ottoman Empire.
Franz Joseph announces his intention of giving these territories
autonomy and constitutional rule, and he announces their annexation.
Serbs have been looking forward to independence from foreign rule for
all Serbs and a united Serbia. Serbia threatens Austria-Hungary with
war. A secret organization in Serbia and students in Bosnia begin
organizing resistance to Austrian rule, by violence if necessary.
Crete revolts against Ottoman rule and aligns with Greece.
Ordinary Russians side with their fellow Orthodox Christian Serbian
brothers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, against their Austro-Hungarian
Roman Catholic rulers. Russian pan-Slavists are especially annoyed.
Russian cooperation with Austria-Hungary is ending. A Russian diplomat
Izvolsky tells a Serbian minister, Vesnitch, "Hitherto we have always
supported Serbia and we shall support her in the future, always and
with all possible means."
Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II is supporting his ally Austria-Hungary but
not in military action. He thinks of the Serbs as Asiatics and as part
of the Asiatic threat to Western civilization. He is another ruler who
owes his power to accident of birth. In an interview published in the
London Daily Telegraph he says, "You English are mad, mad, mad as March
hares." He states that "it is one of my dearest wishes to live on the
best of terms with England." Britain's Foreign Secretary Edward Gray,
meanwhile, is unhappy about the annexation, believing it has created
too much volatility.
In the US another presidential election campaign ends. Technology is
beginning to diminish the belief of many that presidential candidates
are not supposed to appear as salesmen greedy for power. William Taft
is elected president, defeating the Democrat, William Jennings Bryan.
Butch Cassidy (42) and the Sundance Kid (41?) die in a shoot out in
Bolivia. It will be speculated that one of the two shot his fatally
wounded partner to put him out of his misery and then killed himself.
Pu-yi, age 2, ascends the Manchu throne in China. Real power remains
with the Empress Dowager Cixi. Pu-yi is to be China's last emperor.
Jack Johnson becomes the first black heavyweight boxing champion,
defeating Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia.
President Rafael Reyes of Colombia has signed a treaty that recognizes
loss of the former province of Panama and that recognizes Panama's
independence. He presents the treaty to his country's Congress but
there the matter is dropped because it lacks support.
The US Food and Drug Administration approves the use of sodium benzoate
as a preservative in foods despite a recommendation that its use be
In his Inaugural Address President Taft promises to maintain Theodore
Roosevelt's reforms. "They were," he says, "directed to the suppression
of the lawlessness and abuses of power of the great combinations of
capital invested in railroads and in industrial enterprises carrying on
France's Chamber of Deputies votes 386 to 129 to enact an income tax.
Britain and the Kingdom of Siam (Thailand) sign a treaty that cedes the
states of Kelantan, Trengganu, Perlis and Kedah, on the Malay
Peninsula, to the British Empire.
President Taft and his Attorney General approval the language of a
proposed bill to create a federal income tax.
Austria-Hungary has amassed troops for an invasion of Serbia. Russia
has a defense treaty with Serbia. Germany wants Russia to convince
Serbia to withdraw its objections to Austria-Hungary's annexation of
Bosnia and Herzegovina. Russia's Tsar Nicholas doesn't want war and
Serbia sends a message to Vienna (capital of Austria-Hungary) agreeing
to the acceptance by Europe's imperial powers to the annexation and to
live with the Austro-Hungarian Empire on "good neighborly terms." There
will be no invasion. Franz Joseph's Imperialism has triumphed.
In the United States a law banning the importation of opium goes into
In New York, William Hobby is arrested for exceeding a speed limit of
12 miles per hour and trying to elude a patrolman, who was on a bicycle.
In Adana province in southern Turkey, organized violence begins that
into May will kill between 15,000 and 30,000 Armenians. The Armenians
are Christians and more business and Western oriented and generally
more wealthy than the local Muslim population. Their tractors and other
mechanized equipment are destroyed along with their homes and lives.
British Petroleum, also to be known as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company
(APOC), is founded following the discovery of a large oil field in
Masjed Soleiman, Iran.
Former president Roosevelt arrives in British East Africa (Kenya) for a
jolly good time shooting animals.
In Turkey, a fatwa describes Sultan of the Ottoman Empire Abdul Hamid
II as having "squandered the wealth of the country," having burned
books of the Sharia and having "spilled blood and committed massacres."
The Sultan is deposed by a unanimous vote in Parliament. He is
succeeded by his brother, Mehmed V.
Acting on what it sees as its interests, to stop a constitutionalist
rebellion against Iran's monarch, Russia sends troops to occupy the
city of Tabriz in the far north of Iran.
In Colombia, financial problems and public outrage over his recognition
of Panama's independence are followed by President Reyes' resignation
and going into exile.
Germany's parliament, the Reichstag, votes 195 to187 against an
inheritance tax. The tax was proposed in response to deficits caused by
the expansion of Germany's navy.
In England, after being jailed for disturbing Parliament, suffragette
Marion Wallace Dunlop has been on hunger strike that has lasted 91
hours and has attracted enough publicity that the government agrees to
meet with suffrage movement leaders, after being requested to do so by
King Edward VII. She is to be released from prison on July 8.
Iran's constitutionalists force their monarch, Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar,
from his throne. He flees to Russia and is succeeded by his son, age
In Iran, Sheikh Fazlollah Noori is hanged for treason after resisting
the country's Constitutional Revolution. He is to be proclaimed a
national hero decades later by the Ayatollah Khomeini.
Workers in Barcelona and other cities in Catalonia have rebelled
against Spain's call up of reservists to serve in Morocco, where
Spain's colonial ambitions are being challenged by an indigenous revolt
- the Second Rif War. A week of protests in Catalonia has included
halting troop trains, overturning trams, street fighting and attacks on
the Catholic Church. The rebellion is crushed. Police and army
casualties are 8 dead and 124 wounded. Others killed are to be reported
between 104 and 150. Five of the more than 1,700 individuals indicted
in military courts for "armed rebellion" are to be sentenced to death
and executed and 59 are to receive sentences of life imprisonment.
At Indianapolis Motor Speedway a tire on a race car explodes and the
car plows into spectators, killing three. The winning speeds at the
speedway are averaging a little under 60 miles per hour.
Japan and China sign a treaty that gives Japan the right to build
railways in Manchuria. China in exchange gains recognition from Japan
as the ruler of an area at the far north of Korea, territory called
Gando by the Koreans.
Adolf Hitler, age 20, has been in Vienna for little more than a year.
His savings are exhausted and he has no income. For several months he
will be homeless, an experience that will make him more intense than
people who have always known comfort and security.
A British weekly, Truth, exposes the Anglo-Peruvian Amazon Rubber
Company's mistreatment of indigenous people. The company will be
accused of wide spread debt bondage, slavery, torture, mutilation and
other crimes. Parliament will move to tighten anti-slavery laws. The
company will be forced into closure by a judge in 1913.
In Harbin, China, a Korean, An Jung-geun, assassinates a former prime
minister of Japan, Ito Hirobumi, to protest Japan's annexation of Korea.
On Stevens Street in Spokane, Washington, members of the Industrial
Workers of the World (IWW) have begun a challenge to a city ordinance
that prohibits speaking on the city's streets. On the first day 103 IWW
members are arrested. By the end of November more than 500 people will
have been locked up and the ordinance repealed. The Spokane free-speech
protest will inspire similar fights for freedom of speech in other
In Los Angeles, Federal Judge Frank Hutton rules that Arabs and other
Middle Easterners are of the White race. This overturns a ruling by
immigration authorities that Arabs were Asiatics to be barred under a
law against the naturalization of Mongolians.
In Illinois, the Cherry coal mine disaster kills 247 miners and 12
The "Robin Hood of Taiwan," Liao Tianding, is killed by Japanese
soldiers occupying Taiwan. Liao is considered a martyr for Taiwanese
The US is in conflict with the Zelaya administration in Nicaragua. It
considers President Zelaya to be a military dictator and has begun to
support Zelaya's Liberal (but conservative) Party opponents. Executions
by the Zelaya regime are followed by a diplomatic break and the landing
US Marines to create a neutral zone to protect foreign lives and
property. The zone will also be a base of operations for Nicaraguans
hostile to the Zelaya regime.
President Zelaya turns power over to José Madriz and flees to Spain.
In Turkey, 26 are found guilty of the massacre of Armenians in Adana on
April 14, and they are publicly executed.
In the French colony of Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) people of the Abé
ethnicity rebel. They attack railway stations and cut the railway line
at twenty-five points. Troops will suppress the rebellion.
President Taft fires a Roosevelt appointee, Gifford Pinchot, head of
the forest service. He had criticized Taft's Secretary of the Interior,
Richard Ballinger, concerning hostility to conservation. A split within
the Republican Party will be credited as causing the party's defeat in
Rioting erupts between Sunnis and Shi'ite students in Bukhara, in the
Russian tsar's empire (today Uzbekistan). Russian troops move in to
Eleven men, all but one of them Hungarian, are killed at the Jefferson
Clearfield Coal Company mine at Ernest, Pennsylvania. Another 110 were
able to escape.
Female garment workers have been roughed up on a picket line outside
the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in New York. The strike ends without
workers able to win their demand to stop management's practice of
locking the workers inside during business hours.
The last legal bare-knuckle boxing bout in the United States occurs at
Passaic, New Jersey. Leo Baker and Dave Smith fight 32 rounds with the
match ending in a draw.
Mar 3 The
Sultan of Morocco, Abdelhafid, permits the French to occupy Casablanca
and Oujda in return for training his military and refinancing loans.
In China slavery has been legal for something like 3000 years, but, in
keeping with a changing world, slavery is now declared illegal.
After eight months of fighting, Spain has crushed a rebellion in the
area of northern Morocco that it considers its possession. An estimated
8,000 Berbers and 2,000 Spanish soldiers have been killed.
New taxes levied by Ottoman authorities on Albanians have led to
another uprising against Ottoman rule. Albanian leaders demand
self-government for Albania, rejected by Turkey's government. In June,
Turkey's army will crush the rebellion. Populations in various regions
will be disarmed and Albanian schools and publications will be shut
The Transandine Railway is under construction. It will link Chile and
Argentina. The first train has passed through the 31⁄2 km tunnel
straddling the border.
In England, King Edward VII dies at age 69 six days after catching a
cold. The raging cold germs produced bronchitis and then pneumonia.
In England, an explosion at the Wellington Coal Mine near Manchester
The British create Union of South Africa, the unification of four
previously separate British colonies: Cape Colony, Natal Colony,
Transvaal Colony and Orange River Colony. The Union of South Africa is
created as a dominion of the British Empire.
In New York, anarchists create the Francisco Ferrer cultural center and
school, a community that plans to act on issues only after discussions
that result in consensus. Anyone will be free to leave or join, with no
questions asked. In keeping with their anarchist philosophy, there is
no declaration of principles. The association is to last into the early
Russia and Japan agree on "spheres of influence" in Manchuria, where
both nations are building railroads.
African-American boxer Jack Johnson defeats American boxer James J.
Jeffries in a heavyweight boxing match, sparking race riots across the
Jul 11 In
the US, enforcement of the Pure Food and Drug Act continues. US
marshals seize 4.5 million ice cream cones from a warehouse because of
contamination with boric acid.
In Nicaragua, President José Madriz resigns under pressure from the
United States, which is still supporting its ally, the rebel
conservative Liberal Party. Madriz is going into exile. The US will
call for a constituent assembly in Nicaragua to write a constitution,
and the vacant presidency will be filled by a series of politicians
friendly to the US occupation.
With no objection from Russia, the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty is
signed. Korea's prime minister signs on behalf of Korea's monarch. The
annexation will take effect in seven days, the 29th. Korea will become
a Japanese colony with the name of Chosen. Japanese will run the entire
government in Korea. Japan's government will declare the absorption of
members of Korea's royal Yi family into Japan's royal peerage.
Kaiser Wilhelm II, a devout Lutheran, in a speech in Königsberg affirms
his belief in the divine right of kings. He says that his grandfather
received the Prussian crown "by God's grace alone and not by
parliaments, assemblages of the people, or resolutions of the people."
The Vatican introduces a compulsory oath against modernism, to be taken
by all priests upon ordination. The requirement will be mandatory until
The strike of 70,000 of New York's garment workers ends after nine
weeks. Garment manufacturers will now be required to have a union shop
and to guarantee a 50-hour work week - 9 hours per day for five days
and a 5-hour day on the 6th day.
At The Hague in the Netherlands, the International Court of Justice
resolves a 25-year fisheries conflict that had the United States
against Britain, Canada and Newfoundland.
The Los Angeles Times is anti-union. Its building is bombed at one in
the morning. Twenty-one employees are killed.
In Portugal a group of republicans led by Machado Santos begins a
revolt that will be supported by several army units of the Lisbon
garrison. The rebellion will be joined by a large segment of the
population and by the sailors of the cruisers São Raphael and
Adamastor. King Manuel II flees to England.
Portugal is declared a republic.
In New York, the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research opens its
first hospital, with 75 beds.
Islanders on Ponape revolt after a German overseer strikes a road
worker with a whip. They kill the German governor, Gustav Boeder, and
other colonial officials.
This year In Palestine, ten young Jewish men and two young Jewish women
established the first kibbutz, at the southern end of the Sea of
Galilee near the Arab village of Umm Juni.
Tsar Nicholas II agrees to extending the area in which Jews may reside.
Tsar Nicholas arrives in at the royal palace in Potsdam, just outside
Berlin, as the guest of his cousin "Willy"- Kaiser Wilhelm II. They
agree where to divide their spheres of influence in Iran.
In London, the paintings of Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Paul Gaugin
and Vincent van Gogh, on display at the Grafton Gallery, elicit a
comparison of Post-Impressionism with anarchism.
In Ohio, the first air flight for the purpose of delivering commercial
freight takes place, between Dayton and Columbus.
Francisco Madero proclaims Mexico's presidential elections null and
void and calls for an armed revolution against President Porfirio Díaz.
A fire at a building in Newark, New Jersey, housing several factories,
kills 24 women and girls employed by the Wolf Muslin Undergarment
Dec 12 In
silent films, actors have teen using language to be described as vile
and profane. In Cleveland, Ohio, a deaf education teacher files a
complaint with the film censorship bureau.
Levi R. Lupton, an internationally renowned Pentecostal leader who was
celebrated by his followers as the "20th Century Apostle of the Gift of
Tongues," admits to adultery in a letter to his "sisters" and
"brothers" within the movement. He had let his emotions run and
described himself as having "been sorely tempted and fallen." His wife,
he claims, has forgiven him.
In England, near Bolton, an explosion kills 360 coal miners: the
Pretoria Pit Disaster.
A form of pneumonic plague has been spreading in Manchuria since
November. It will continue into March and will have killed more than
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