The People History Home

1900 to 1909 Important News, Significant Events, Key Technolog

1900, 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908 and 1909 History

Major News Events From 1900 to 1909

  1. 1900 25% of all cars that were sold in 1900 were electric cars
  2. 1901 Marconi Sends First Wireless Transmission
  3. 1902 Triple AAA Started
  4. 1903 Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first successful man-powered airplane flight
  5. 1904 Long Acre Square in Manhattan, New York, was renamed Times Square
  6. 1905 The world's first nickelodeon opened showing a silent film called The Great Train Robbery
  7. 1906 International Morse code distress signal or SOS Adopted
  8. 1907 Immigrant Workers in Canada
  9. 1908 Henry Ford's Ford Motor Company introduces the Ford Model T costing $850.00
  10. 1909 The Queensboro Bridge Opens

Find More Detailed Information Below


Work On New York Subway Begins , Work on the New York subway begins on the first section from City Hall to the Bronx in the year 1900. It was financed by the issue of rapid transit bonds by the City of New York and because no company was willing to take the risk of such a large project. The city decided to build the subways itself by subcontracting with the IRT who ran the elevated railways in the city to equip and operate the subways, sharing the profits with the City and guaranteeing a fixed five-cent fare.

The Boxer Rebellion , The Boxer Rebellion was a supposed peasant uprising that was supported by the Empress Dowager's Court. The European residents of Peking had started to call the rebels Boxers from their boxing rituals and calisthenics beliefs. Their society can be translated into English as 'the righteous and harmonious hands,' and was encouraged in their anti-Western actions by the more conservative elements of the Ch'ing Dynasty's Court. The Boxer's influence around Peking had made the Western powers send a relief force to their legations' aid from the coastline of Tientsin. The Empress Dowager had ordered the Imperial Forces to stop the approaching foreign troops, but the Europeans and Japanese had captured the coastline's strategic forts in order to keep the road to Peking open. The Dowager Empress had ordered all foreigners killed, and the ones in Peking were besieged in their legations or in the city's Roman Catholic church. The regional governors did not support the Boxers, and on August 14 the foreign troops entered Peking. Peace was signed, but the Empress Dowager had fled the city.

Galveston Island Hurricane , A Category 4 Hurricane with estimated winds of 135 miles per hour makes landfall on the city of Galveston, Texas. The hurricane caused the loss of between 6,000 and 12,000 lives about 20% of the island’s population, the reason for so much loss of life was that Galveston was a low, flat island, little more than a large sandbar along the Gulf Coast and the hurricane had brought with it a storm surge of over 15 feet, which washed over the entire island.

Electric Cars , 25% of all cars that were sold in 1900 were electric cars. It will be interesting to see how many years it takes for 25% of all cars sold to be fully electric or Hybrid.

Irish Party Formed , In Dublin, Ireland, Irish delegates convened to create what they called the “Irish Party” and denounced British atrocities in the Boer War. An applauded John Dillon proposed a resolution passed that “the South African war was entered upon in pursuance of a conspiracy to deprive two free nations of their liberty in the interests of capitalists and mine owners.”

Small Pox Epidemic , In Kentucky a small pox epidemic was raging with hundreds of people stricken. The mortality rate was 20% and health authorities demanded that every person in the state be vaccinated.

2nd Modern Olympic Games , The Summer Olympic Games of the II Olympiad are held in Paris, France. This is the first Olympics where women are allowed to compete


Marconi Sends First Wireless Transmission , Marconi sends first wireless transmission over 2000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean from Poldhu in Cornwall, England to Newfoundland, Canada. The transmission consisted of the Morse-code signal for the letter "s" which consists of three dots ( ... ).

First Speed Limits , Connecticut passes new laws limiting the speeds of Automobiles to 10 MPH in cities 15 MPH in villages and 20 MPH in rural areas.

President William McKinley Shot , William McKinley, the 25th President of the United States is assassinated by Leon Czolgosz when he is shot at point blank range. He died on September 14th , 1901, eight days after he was shot, from gangrene surrounding his wounds. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt becomes the 26th President of the United States on September 14th, 1901.

Queen Victoria Dies , Queen Victoria dies at the age of eighty one. She had nine children, and left Edward as her heir. Her reign has been used to designate the era, and was the longest serving of any English monarch. She presided over the change of government from monarchy to almost pure democracy. Her Prime Ministers had included Robert Peel, William Gladstone, Benjamin Disraeli, Henry Temple and John Russell. Queen Victoria passed away in the Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. She had become queen when she was 18 and had ruled for nearly 64 years of her life.

First Nobel Prizes , The first Nobel Prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace. The Nobel Prizes are funded by a fund created after the death of Alfred Nobel the Swedish inventor of dynamite and other high explosives. In his will, Nobel directed that the bulk of his vast fortune be placed in a fund in which the interest would be "annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind."

Afghanistan Claims By England and Russia , Both England and Russia have laid claim to parts of Afghanistan and have been in constant conflict over it. However, a new ruler in Afghanistan may bring stability to the region. Unlike his unpopular father who created hardships for his people, his son, the new leader, planned to pay the military more and to reduce taxes.

Commonwealth Of Australia Created , On January 1st 1901 The Commonwealth of Australia was proclaimed

Safety Razor , King C. Gillette and William Emerson Nickerson found the American Safety Razor Company to begin mass producing Safety Razors.

Vacuum Cleaner , Hubert Cecil Booth makes the worlds first Vacuum Cleaner that was designed to suck up dirt. It was to large for a normal home but in 1902 after it was used at Westminster Abbey for King Edward VII coronation it gained in popularity and over the years became smaller and more efficient to what we have today.

Socialist Revolutionary Party , The Socialist Revolutionary Party is founded in Russia.


Triple AAA Started , A very useful company called AAA (American Automobile Association) was founded on this day. Before this time, other companies dealing with automobile concerns had existed. However, none of them seemed to last and to this date AAA is one of the largest automobile organizations in the world.

Shackleton and Scott Get Further South , Ernest Shackleton is part of Robert Scott's British National Antarctic Expedition and joins Scott and Edward Wilson on their sledge journey across the Ross Ice Shelf. They were to reach the most southerly point that anyone had got to by getting to Latitude 82º 16' 33" South on December 30th 1902. This was the record until Scott had got to Latitude 77º 59' South the following year.


Work On The Queensboro Bridge Begins , The Queensboro Bridge also known as the 59th Street Bridge, linking the New York boroughs of Manhattan and Queens, opened in 1909. The bridge which is a cantilever bridge over the East River in New York City was started in 1903.

The First Use of Guantánamo Bay , A large naval base is established in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The U.S. Marines had landed there in 1898 , and it had been recognized for its proximity to the Winward Passage and to Panama.

First Baseball World Series , The first modern World Series to be played in Major League Baseball matched the Boston American League club (Boston Red Sox) against the Pittsburgh Pirates in a best-of-nine series, with Boston prevailing five games to three, winning the last four.

First Country To Issue Driving Licenses , Prussia become the first country to issue driving licenses on September 29th , 1903. It was the Dampfkesselüberwachungsverein that was required to pass the tests, which were largely conducted on the drivers' mechanical skills.

First UK Number Plate , The first car number plate (A1) is issued to Earl Russell who camped outside the London County Council issuing office overnight to be sure he got it. He was the brother of the philosopher Bertrand Russell.

Orville and Wilbur Wright , Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first successful man-powered airplane flight near on December 17th at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The plane weighed 750 pounds and was powered by a 12 horsepower gasoline engine. The craft is referred to as an airship and Orville and Wright were looking for buyers for their machine which was capable of speeds up to 10 mph.

Ford Motor Company , Henry Ford (A Machinist and Engineer) forms the Ford Motor Company to manufacture Automobiles.

Iroquois Theater Fire in Chicago , The Iroquois Theater Fire in Chicago, Illinois claims 602 lives. The theater had only been open for just over a month. This is still the worst single-building fire in U.S. history for the number of lives lost.

First Crayola Crayons , Edward Binney and C. Harold Smith introduce the world to Crayola Crayons for school kids. The first boxes consisted of 8 different colors and the boxes were the same trademark color of yellow and green they are today.


The General Slocum , An excursion steamer The General Slocum, carrying more than 1,300 people from St. Mark's German Lutheran Church for their 17th annual Sunday school picnic burst into flames on New York's East River with the loss of over 1000 lives. on June 15th

The Entente Cordiale , The Anglo-French agreement whereby they agreed to an ongoing friendly diplomacy, the settling of earlier differences, and to cooperate against Germany's increasingly prominent role in European affairs. It was not an alliance, but an agreement for international cooperation. Edward VII's favoring of France was said to have given it some support. It ceded freedom of policy to England in Egypt and Burma and to France in Morocco and and Indochina. It had heralded the arrival of a new kind of international polity.

Olympic Games , The Summer Olympic Games of the III Olympiad are held in St. Louis, Missouri in the United States.

Times Square , Long Acre Square in Manhattan, New York, was renamed Times Square.

1920's Fashion

Ladies Hats From The Decade

Examples of Ladies Hats From The 20's

Ladies Dresses From The Decade
Examples of Ladies Dresses From The 1920's

Part of our Collection of Childrens Clothes From the Decade
Children's Clothing Examples From The 1920s

Childrens Toys From The 1920's

Part of our Collection of Toys from The 1920's

Kids Toy Examples From The 1920s

1920s Music

From our 20's Music Page

Twenties Music


The Nickelodeon , The world's first nickelodeon opened showing a silent film called The Great Train Robbery the name was used as it cost 5 cents or a nickel to watch the movie or live vaudeville acts.

The Trans-Siberian Railway , The Trans-Siberian Railroad went from Moscow to Vladivostok (some six thousand miles). It was to be important in the development of Russian industry, military control of its provinces, and external Imperial influence. It had been built from 1891, from both its eastern and western termini, and required a Chinese agreement as to its use of its Manchurian territories. The Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 had meant that a more northerly route would have to be used.

Illiteracy in the US , In 1905, illiteracy in the U.S. was 106.6 per 1,000 persons. Statistics showed that 6,180,063 persons were illiterate in America. The Arizona Republican observed, “Illiteracy is more common in the country than in the city. This is due to the superior schools in the towns and the more general attendance of children."


Underground Fire France , An underground fire sparks a massive explosion that spreads through a series of mines killing over 1000 men in Courrieres, France.

Morse Code SOS Adopted , International Morse code distress signal or SOS (· · · — — — · · ·) (three dots, three dashes, three dots) became the worldwide standard when it was included in the second International Radiotelegraphic Convention, in Berlin.

Mount Vesuvius Erupted , Vesuvius erupted on April 4th , 1906, and its southern slope vented to about 1,200 meters. Its lava flow had stopped by the 5th, when a new effusion started on the Casa Fiorenza. This one went up to about 800 meters when a third one had occurred on the shoreline. The volcano's eruptions had become stronger throughout April 7th and the crater rim cracked and lava flowed. The 8th of April had started a number of explosive ruptures and the cone started to effuse a large amount of fume. The eruptions lasted until April 21st.

Earthquake San Francisco , An earthquake, measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, shook the town of San Francisco, California and thirty thousand homes were either partially or wholly destroyed and an estimated 3,000 were reported dead. The earthquake caused large parts of the city to burn and it had taken 2 days of constant fire fighting to stop the spread and bring the fires under control.


Immigrant Workers in Canada , Toronto faced a throng of immigrant workers who faced poverty and starvation unless employment could be found for them. The worst off were 300 people from Bulgaria who were in danger of perishing in a matter of days. Advertisements had brought a large group of immigrants over from Europe to work on railways and in construction, but they were laid off until spring.

Romanian Peasants Revolt , The Romanian Peasants Revolt of 1907 takes place in Moldavia. The peasants were unhappy with their lot. They had complained about how badly exploited they were by the merchants and the bourgeoisie, as well as their inability to own their own land. More than ten thousand were killed by the Romanian Army (of which the later Marshal Antonescu was a member). The Greek and Jewish merchants had acted as middle men for the aristocracy and as landlords for the peasants.

The Zulu Tribe , The British were very concerned about the Ethiopian movement in South Africa. This movement had as its slogan “South Africa for the blacks” and its aim was to abolish British rule. The most radical group of rebels was the Zulu tribe.


Messina Earthquake , The Messina Earthquake, a category 7.5 according to today's Richter scale, strikes the Straits of Messina in southern Italy, destroying the cities of Messina in Sicily and Reggio di Calabria on the Italian mainland. The earthquake and tsunami it caused killed between 50,000 and 150,000.

Ford Model T , Henry Ford's Ford Motor Company introduces the Ford Model T costing $850.00, this was nearly 1/3 of the price of any other car on the market but still not cheap enough for the masses. Over the next few years he perfected assembly line production bringing the cost down to $368.00 in 1916 making it much more affordable consequently selling hundreds of thousands more cars than any other company.

Baden Powell Starts the Boy Scouts , Robert Baden-Powell had been an Army officer in the defense of Mafeking, but had gone on to create the Boy Scout movement. He had started a camp for boys in Dorset in 1907, and gone on to produce his Scouting for Boys Booklet in 1908. The movement's promotion of both self-reliance and teamsmanship were instantly popular.

Olympic Games , The Summer Olympic Games of the IV Olympiad are held in London, England.

New Year , Ball is dropped in New York City's Times Square to signify the start of the New Year at midnight on January 1st New Year Begins.


A Naval Base at Pearl Harbor , To prevent a Japanese expansion in the Pacific Congress had passed a act in 1908 to build a naval yard in Pearl Harbor, and President Taft had announced this in 1909. It was said at the time to be the world's largest naval base, and its construction was budgeted for around $3 million.

First Fingerprint Evidence Used in Murder Case , For the first time fingerprint evidence is used to solve a murder case in 1909. The worlds first official Fingerprint Bureau was founded in Scotland Yard in 1901. It should also be noted that the World's first Fingerprint Bureau opened in Calcutta, India in 1897.

NAACP , The NAACP was formed partly in response to the continuing practice of lynching and the 1908 race riot in Springfield, the capital of Illinois. Appalled at the violence that was committed against blacks, a group of white liberals that included Mary White Ovington and Oswald Garrison Villard, issued a call for a meeting to discuss racial justice. Some 60 people, seven of whom were African American (including W. E. B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Mary Church Terrell) attended the meeting.

Taiwan Earthquake , A powerful earthquake and aftershocks rock Taiwan, killing over 1,200 people.

Automobile Hearse , For the first time ever an automobile hearse was used in a funeral procession. Before this time, horse-drawn carriages had always been used to carry the honored body of a person who has passed away.

The Queensboro Bridge Opens , The Queensboro Bridge also known as the 59th Street Bridge, linking the New York boroughs of Manhattan and Queens, opened in 1909. The bridge which is a cantilever bridge over the East River in New York City was started in 1903.

First Men to Reach The North Pole , Explorers Robert E. Peary and Matthew A. Henson claim to became the first men to reach the North Pole. On April 6, they established "Camp Jesup" allegedly within five miles of the pole. There is a large amount of controversy over this claim for a number of reasons including no independent verification and discrepancies in his journal, and even looking at those Societies who accepted or did not accept his claim makes it difficult to know for certain. The National Geographic Society certified his claim. The Royal Geographical Society of London accepted Claim. The American Geographical Society did not accept his claim. Societies of semi-Arctic Scandinavia did not accept his claim.