1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918 and 1919 Time Period in History
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Jack Johnson beats Tommy Burns , Jack Johnson became the first black boxer to win the Heavyweight Boxing Championship was when he knocked out the reigning champion Tommy Burns on December 26th, 1910. His victory had stirred up a lot of controversy as well as the desire for a white man to reclaim the title.
Immigration Into US , The immigration into the US hits an all time peak with 8.8 million immigrants over 10 years from 1901-1910.
Boy Scouts of America , Following a visit to England in 1909 and a meeting with British General Robert Baden-Powell who founded the Scouting movement in England, Chicago publisher W. D. Boyce incorporates the Boy Scouts of America.
King Edward VII Dies , King Edward VII dies after being Britain's King for 9 years. He was often referred to as "Bertie" which was the name the royal family used for him.
Idaho Big Burn , August 20-21, 1910 – The Great Fire, also known as the Big Burn or the Big Blowup, began as a forest fire. By the time it was contained and put out, the fire had burned nearly three million acres of land throughout three different states – Idaho, Montana and Washington. More than 80 people were killed and it is often called the worst fire in the nation’s history.
Houndsditch murders , On December 16th 2 Police officers are murdered while investigating a robbery are shot and killed by the gang, in January the following year following a tip off Police cordon of an area of Stepney in East London and a major gun battle between police and the gang lasts nearly all day leaving some of the gang members dead.
First Auto Electric Start , The First Electric Self Start was installed in a Cadillac By GM. Up until this time, all cars needed to be started by cranking a starting handle which was hard work and caused multiple minor injuries when the car backfired during the starting process.
The Discovery of Machu Picchu , Hiram Bingham finds Machu Picchu in the Andes. He had followed Simón Bolívar's route into Colombia and continued it with a walk from Argentina into Peru. He was a professor of history at Yale, and was performing the expedition as a member of that faculty. He was able to confirm its location on July 24th . He returned to excavate the site in 1912. It is near the western end of the Huatanay valley.
Madame Butterfly , Puccini's opera 'Madame Butterfly' which tells the story of an American sailor, B.F. Pinkerton, who marries and abandons a young Japanese geisha, Cio-Cio-San, or Madame Butterfly had its world premiere at La Scala in Milan, Italy.
Manhattan Sweatshop Fire , A Fire breaks out at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in Manhattan on March 25th. The building was overcrowded with women immigrant workers and poor safety standards including the doors to the stairwells and exits were locked allowing no exit from the fire on the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors which meant the women either burned in the fire or took a chance of surviving by jumping from windows one hundred feet above the street. The fire caused the death of 146 garment workers, almost all of them women, who either died from the fire or jumped from the fatal height.
First Indianapolis 500 , The first ever running of the Indianapolis 500 is won by Ray Harrounat at an average speed of 74.59 miles an hour.
First International Women’s Day (IWD) was observed during March of 1911. It was first celebrated in Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, and Germany by over one million people who attended International Women’s Day rallies. The creation of the holiday was a result of socialist and labor movements that were campaigning for women’s rights. They were originally looking to bring attention to the fight for the right to vote and run for public office, the right to work and education, and to end discrimination. In 1975, the United Nations began celebrating IWD and two years later adopted a resolution for member-states to designate a holiday dedicated to celebrating women’s rights and international peace.
Sinking of the Titanic , The Titanic sets sail on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York. The Titanic had been described as the worlds most luxurious floating hotel which is unsinkable, and was only 5 days out when she hit an iceberg and sank in the Atlantic with the loss of many lives. The Titanic was built in Belfast (between 1909 and 1911) and registered in Liverpool in 1912. Liverpool was the home port, although she never entered it. The White Star Liner left Belfast on April 2nd, 1912 and arrived in Southampton on April 4th. The crew had boarded before dawn on April 10th, and the passengers between 9.30 and 11.30 a.m. She left port at around 2 p.m. and arrived in Queenstown, Ireland before crossing the Atlantic. She struck an iceberg on Sunday, April 14th, and the ship's distress signal gave her position as Latitude 41º 46' N and Longitude 50º 14 W.
Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise , Richard Hellmann owned a delicatessen in New York City where he sold his wife's delectable recipe for mayonnaise becoming so popular that Hellmann began selling it in "wooden boats" that were used for weighing butter. Due to such high demand in 1912, Hellmann designed what is today the iconic "Blue Ribbon" label, to be placed on larger glass jars.
Last Emperor of China , Hsian-T'ung, the last emperor of China, is forced to abdicate following Sun Yat-sen's republican revolution, ending 267 years of Manchu rule in China and 2,000 years of imperial rule.
Girl Scouts of America Founded , Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Guides in the United States. She had lived in England with her first husband for many years and had been a Girl Guide leader while living in England. On March 12th, 1912 she gathered 18 girls together to register the first troop of American Girl Guides in Savannah, Georgia. The name was changed to Girl Scouts of America the following year.
Olympic Games , The Summer Olympic Games of the V Olympiad were held in Stockholm, Sweden. These Olympics marked the introduction of Electronic Timing and Photo-Finish Equipment.
Taiwan , On January 1st 1912 The Republic of China ( Taiwan ) created following the Xinhai Revolution ( 1911 Chinese Revolution )
First Cross Word Puzzle , The first crossword puzzle was published and created by Arthur Wynne, a Liverpool journalist. It was first published as a "word-cross" puzzle in the New York World.
The 16th Amendment , The 16th Amendment was (apparently) ratified on February 3rd 1913, and said that Congress had been given the power to collect taxes on income without regard for a census or enumeration. Interestingly, the Supreme Court had declared the apportionment unconstitutional in 1894 . 'No taxation without representation'
The 17th Amendment , The 17th Amendment goes into effect changing US Senators being chosen by the Legislature to elections involving ordinary voters.
Webb Alien Land-Holding Bill , The Webb Alien Land-Holding Bill is signed into law by California Governor Hiram W. Johnson which bars Japanese Nationals from owning land in California.
Ford Introduces Assembly Line , The Ford Motor Company introduced the continuous moving assembly line which could produce a complete car every two-and-a-half minutes. This change is one of the most significant changes in Car production and allowed Ford to sell cars cheaper than any other manufacturer which forced the others to also move to automated production lines.
Mona Lisa Recovered , The Mona Lisa was recovered two years after its theft from the Louvre Museum in Paris. It was found in Florence in Italian waiter Vincenzo Peruggia's hotel room.
First Stainless Steel , Harry Brearley was researching ways to stop excessive wear in rifle barrels for the British Army when he discovered that by adding Chromium to an Iron Carbon Mix, he ended up with a bright surface finish which became Stainless Steel. Stainless Steel contains about 10% Chromium and 8% nickel.
Rite of Spring Debuts The avant-garde ballet “The Rite of Spring,” created by Igor Stravinsky, premiered in Paris, France on May 29. At the time of its premiere the work was considered scandalous due to the context of the story as it portrayed a Pagan sacrifice, its unusual choreography, and the extravagant costumes featured in the ballet. The music also sparked controversy as it was heavily influenced by European folk themes and relied on dissonant sounds. The audience, watching Sergei Diaghilev's ballet company dance to Vaslav Nijinsky's choreography, was so upset by the modern performance that they nearly rioted.
Federal Trade Commission , The Federal Trade Commission was organized following the Federal Trade Commission Act in 1914. Its principal mission is the promotion of "consumer protection" and the elimination and prevention of what regulators perceive to be "anti-competitive" business practices. One of its roles is to enforce antitrust laws.
Irish Home Rule , The British Parliament passes Irish Home Rule, but the start of World War One prevents it from having any effect. It had been made to submit a degree of autonomy to that particular country within the bounds of the British Empire. The desire for home rule had started in 1870 with the Home Government Association or Home Rule League, which were led by the very un-Irish sounding Isaac Butt and Charles Parnell. Their calls for land reform and a denominal education system were obstructed, and the law wasn't passed until September 18th, 1914.
Start Of World War I , It was the alliances of 1914 that created the reasons for the Great War, with Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy's Triple Alliance and Franco-Russian and Entente Cordiale being fairly contradictory to the other countries' expanding empires. The Dardanelles situation was ongoing, and the Balkan's Crisis had made the Austria-Hungary redefine its territories' boundaries. It was during Archduke Franz Ferdinand's visit to Sarajevo that the spark was ignited, when both he and his wife were killed by a member of 'Young Bosnia.' Whilst unfounded, the Austrian-Hungarians accused Serbia of complicity in the murders, and demanded the dismemberment of the state. Although there were a number of diplomatic moves and arbitration, Austria-Hungary had declared war on Serbia on July 28th . This had led to the Allied forces mobilization.
USS Oklahoma naval battleship was launched during March. It was built by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation after being ordered by the United States Navy in 1911 . By 1916 , it was commissioned into the US Navy and used to protect Allied convoys crossing the Atlantic during World War I. It was the first US dreadnought that was an oil-burning battleship instead of a coal-burning ship. After the end of World War I the ship was modernized and sent to join the Pacific fleet. In 1941, the USS Oklahoma was sunk by the Japanese during their attack on Pearl Harbor. It was salvaged in 1943 but too damaged to be used again and sold for scrap in 1946.
The Empress of Ireland Sinks , The Empress of Ireland and A Norwegian coal freighter, the Storstad, crash in St. Lawrence River in thick fog causing the deaths of 1,073 passengers and crew, this was one of the worst maritime accidents in history.
First US Income Tax , Congress passes the Revenue Act mandating the first tax on incomes over $3,000.
Egypt under protection of the Crown , Great Britain placed Egypt under its protection of the Crown. The official Press Bureau read, “The suzerainty of Turkey over Egypt is thus terminated, and His Majesty’s government will adopt all measures necessary for the defense of Egypt and the protection of its inhabitants and interests.”
Ford announced his $5-per-day program , Henry Ford raises minimum daily pay from $2.34 to $5 for qualifying workers. Car workers from other plants queued up for jobs and the changes he made to pay and working hours gave Ford the lowest labor turnover in his plants. Henry Ford did not believe in Trade Unions and The Ford company was the last Detroit auto maker to recognize the United Auto Workers union (UAW).
The Panama Canal Opens , The Panama Canal which took 34 years to build from 1880 - 1914 (and cost over 27,000 workers their lives) provided a connection for shipping from The Atlantic to The Pacific and opened in 1914.
World War I Christmas Truce , The soldiers of Germany, Russia, France, and Britain call a Christmas truce with soldiers crossing the area of no mans land calling out "Merry Christmas" in their enemies' native tongues.
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World War I Zeppelin raids , Zeppelin raids had started in England, the zeppelins and were able to fly at a higher altitude than the defenders' planes. They had been developed by the Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, and were used by the German military since 1909. The German army's balloons had suffered from ground fire, but they were put to use over England: targeting the coastal towns of Yarmouth and King's Lynn in January before moving on to attack on London in May. It took a while before the British pilots had the skills and means to successfully defeat the incoming raids.
World War I Use Of Poison Gas , Trench warfare was seeing the use of poison gas. A non-lethal type of gas had been used by the Germans in late 1914, but a more damaging kind was put onto the Eastern Front in January 1915 (at Bolimov), where it froze. The Germans had developed the chlorine gas that was used at Ypres in April. It had been dispersed by air and by artillery fire. The British Expeditionary Force (B.E.F.) was able to counter the use of gas with their own variants.
U.S. Coast Guard , Congress established the U.S. Coast Guard Service by combining the Revenue Cutter Service (1790) and the United States Life-Saving Service ( 1848 ).
Suffrage Movement , As part of the women's suffrage movement 25,000 women march up Fifth Avenue in New York City demanding the right to vote.
First Transcontinental Telephone Call , First U.S. coast-to-coast long-distance telephone call, facilitated by a newly-invented vacuum tube amplifier, was ceremoniously inaugurated by A.G. Bell in New York City and his former assistant Thomas Augustus Watson in San Francisco, California.
Lusitania Sunk By Torpedo on May 7th , A German torpedo sinks the British Ocean liner Lusitania off the Irish coast, killing nearly 1,200 people.
World War I , The British warship Formidable is hit on January 1st by the U-42 a German submarine the ship sinks into the waters of the English Channel, and 547 lives were lost.
Denmark Women Voting Rights During June voting rights were granted to women in Denmark. The rights were also extended to women living in Iceland as well, as the island nation was still a part of the Danish kingdom at the time. In 1886, the Women’s Progress Association was created and began establishing a women’s voice on important Danish social issues and by 1889 the Women’s Suffrage Association was created with the sole purpose of establishing voting rights for women in Denmark. In the early 1900s steps were made towards the enfranchisement of women in Denmark as various groups were allowed to vote in local elections. By 1915, a new Danish constitution was passed which included full voting rights for women as well as other reforms to the Danish government system.
Allied Attack in Dardanelles During March the British and French Allied forces launch a naval attack against Turkish forces in the Dardanelles. The Allied forces aimed at taking control of a key strait that connected Europe to Asia. The campaign was not successful and was a huge loss for the Allied forces. Hundreds of thousands of men perished on both sides and the Allies lost several important battleships to mines in the water. The Allies had hoped a victory would garner more support for their side from some of the states that had remained neutral like Bulgaria, Greece, and Romania. The fight continued as the Allies landed in Gallipoli in April and the battles did not end until the beginning of the following year when the Allies abandoned the campaigns.
Pancho Villa Attacks Columbus New Mexico , Several hundred Mexican guerrillas under the command of Francisco "Pancho" Villa cross the U.S.-Mexican border and attack the small border town of Columbus, New Mexico. Additionally, the center of the town was burned. Villa was also influential in various attacks made during the Mexican Revolution. Following his massacre of 16 U.S. citizens at Santa Isabel in Northern Mexico and 17 American Citizens in Columbus, New Mexico President Wilson had sent US forces into Mexico with orders to capture Villa dead or alive. US forces are sent to capture Villa dead or alive but give up searching for the Mexican revolutionary after nearly one year.
Rasputin Murdered , Rasputin, the monk who had wielded powerful influence over the Russian royal family, was murdered by a group of noblemen led by Prince Felix Yusupov and the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich.
Thompson submachine gun , General John T. Thompson invents the Thompson submachine gun (Tommy Gun) and started the Auto-Ordnance Company in 1916. Prior to World War II, it gained notoriety in the hands of Gangsters/Mobsters during the Prohibition era, but in World War II the Thompson submachine gun was adopted by the U.S. military, British and Canadian Commando units, as well as U.S. paratrooper and Ranger battalions.
The Battle of Jutland , A German naval fleet consisting of 24 battleships, five battle cruisers, 11 light cruisers and 63 destroyers that were just off the Jutland Peninsula, were attacked by a British fleet of 28 battleships, nine battle cruisers, 34 light cruisers and 80 destroyers on on May 31st in one of the greatest sea battles in History known as The Battle of Jutland or the Battle of the Skagerrak, a total of 100,000 men aboard 250 ships were involved in the battle.
World War I Battle Of The Somme (1916 - 1918) , One of the most costly battles in modern wartime is fought near the Somme Region over 2 years when this small area of countryside saw the deaths of over 1 million men from both sides of the war. The first day of the Somme resulted in the loss of 19,240 dead and 57,470 men wounded on the British side, and an estimated 4,000 dead on the German's. The main reasons for the losses being so high are put down to machine-gun fire and shelling. The eight day bombardment of the German trenches had not broken them and there are regarded as having been too few artillery pieces and too light. The battle went on for nearly one hundred and forty days, and did not act as a support for the French troops at Verdun. The successive and futile attacks went on to be known as a single battle and the B.E.F's reserves were severely diminished.
Easter uprising Ireland , The Easter uprising began when some 1,600 militant Irish republicans who were members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood seize several key sites in Dublin hoping to win independence from British rule. British forces suppressed the uprising after six days, and its leaders were court-Marshalled and executed.
Battle of Verdun , The Battle of Verdun comes to an end during World War I in December. It was one of the largest and longest battles of the war and was fought between France and Germany on the Western Font. The battle began in February and it featured heavy use of artillery. By the end, there were over 500,000 casualties, over 300,000 lives lost, and 9 French towns were left in complete ruin. France claimed victory, but despite this, neither side was able to gain much from the battle and the war would continue until 1918.
Russian Revolution , The beginning of the Russian Revolution (Often Called The February Revolution) against Czarist Rule. It began in February 1917 following the lack of food in Petrograd and lead to the abdication by Nicholas II in March 1917 and the beginning of the Communist Party rule in Russia. After 300 years of rule by the Romanov Dynasty, Czar Nicholas II is forced to abdicate following declining popularity due to the "Bloody Sunday" massacre when palace guards shot and killed defenseless demonstrators marching on the Winter Palace.
British Royal Family Name Change , During the first World War as sentiment against Germany by the British People worsened, King George V ordered the British royal family to end using the German-sounding surname, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and to take on the name Royal House of Windsor.
Boys Town Founded , Father Edward Flanagan founds Boys Town dedicated to the care of at-risk children, with national headquarters in the village of Boys Town, Nebraska.
Puerto Rico Citizens given US Citizenship , The Jones-Shafroth Act granted U.S. citizenship to Puerto Ricans - a status they still hold today.
America enters World War I , Following the interception of a note (the Zimmermann Note) from the German Foreign Minister to a Mexican Diplomat promising the return of territories lost to the United States if Mexico joined Germany in attack against the US, US President Wilson appeared before Congress and called for a declaration of war against Germany. The sinking of the British Liner RMS Lusitania which carried 128 US passengers by a German U-boat in 1915 , and the sinking of several US merchant ships also contributed to the declaration. On April 6th the United States formally declared war on Germany and entered the First World War.
World War I Jerusalem Captured , Major Vivian Gilbert of the British army revealed the inside story of how Jerusalem fell during the First World War. He said that an army cook was out looking for eggs and was presented with the keys to the city by the mayor. The British won the Holy Land back from the Turks.
Iraq British Take Control From Turkish Troops , British troops take control of Baghdad forcing the Turkish troops to evacuate.
Mexican Constitution , Mexican President Venustiano Carranza proclaims the establishment of the modern-day Mexican constitution. This constitution consisted of promises made that are similar to the ones outlined by the American constitution. For instance, the constitution of Mexico makes provisions for returning land to native people, and separation of church and state. This constitution also included plans for economic and educational reform.
New Immigration Act , Congress passes a new Immigration Act which required a literacy test for immigrants and barred Asiatic laborers, except for those from countries with special treaties or agreements with the United States, such as the Philippines.
Pulitzer Prizes Started , Pulitzer Prizes is started for outstanding work in Journalism, writing fiction and non-fiction.
Earthquake Long Beach California , A deadly earthquake magnitude of 6.3 hi6 Long Beach, California, and killed an estimated 140 people.
Mata Hari , The exotic dancer Mata Hari is sentenced to execution by firing squad by a French court for spying on Germany's behalf during World War I.
US Declares War On Germany and Sends Troops , Congress makes a declaration of war on Germany and sends U.S. troops into battle against Germany in World War I.
King Constantine I , King Constantine I of Greece abdicates his throne in the face of pressure from Britain and France and internal opponents.
Lenin Speech , Lenin makes his first appearance before the Congress of Soviets, in which the Bolsheviks hold a 60% majority. announcing "We shall now proceed to the construction of the socialist order."
Battle of Langemarck , The Battle of Langemarck takes place during August. Located in the Flanders region of Belgium, the Battle of Langemarck was one of the battles that was a part of the larger Battle of Passchendaele which took place from July to November of 1917. British and French Allied troops fought against the Germans for several days, ending in a narrow Allied victory. There were heavy casualties on both sides and in the end the gains were small compared to the cost of the battle.
Third Battle of Ypres , The Third Battle of Ypres, also known as the Battle of Passchendaele, began during July. The allied forces of the British Empire, Belgium, and France fought against the German Empire along the edge of the city of Ypres in Belgium. The battle consisted of several smaller battles over the course of three months. Muddy regions exacerbated the difficulty of the battle with troops, vehicles, and artillery getting stuck often. This battle is often cited as an example of the futility of trench warfare in World War I. Both sides marked the battle as somewhat of a failure with heavy losses estimated at 300,000 casualties for the British side and 250,000 casualties for the German side. The British claimed victory after capturing the village of Passchendaele.
Espionage Act , The Espionage Act of 1917 becomes law after it was passed by the United States Congress in June. The law made it a crime to share information about national defense that would harm the country and help its enemies. Punishments for violating the law included a 20 year prison sentence and fines up to $10,000.00. The law was supported by the Sedition Act that was passed during the following year. The Espionage Act was declared constitutional in the 1919 Supreme Court case Schenck v. United States, with the ruling stating that it did not violate the First Amendment, but it has been continuously challenged in court since its inception.
Second Battle of Ramadi , The Second Battle of Ramadi takes place in September during World War I. British troops fought against the Ottoman Empire. The town of Ramadi, in central Iraq, was a strategically important location for the British who had previously tried to capture it during July of 1917. The First Battle of Ramadi was a failure that resulted in many casualties. During the second battle in September, the British were successful in capturing the town. The battle ended with relatively low casualties and most of the Turkish troops were captured as prisoners of war.
The Second Russian Revolution , also known as the October Revolution (called October Revolution due to Russia following the Julian calendar until 1918), took place during November 7th and November 8th of 1917. A group of Bolshevik revolutionaries, led by Vladimir Lenin, launched a coup against the provisional government that had been established in March after the February Revolution. At the end of the October Revolution, Lenin became the dictator of the world’s first communist nation and the Russian Civil War began. The civil war ended in 1923 with Soviet victory.
Brest-Litovsk and the Armistice , The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk ended Russia's part in the First World War, and the previous year's October Revolution had started what would become the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The Bolsheviks had promised that they would not intervene on foreign soil, and the Russian Civil War was looming. Trotsky had been made foreign minister. The fighting of the War to End All Wars had ended in the Armistice on the eleventh hour of of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918. With the Romanian army joining the Allies in 1916 the Armistice had meant that Hungary was required to give Transylvania to Romania.
Czar Nicholas II , Czar Nicholas II and his family are executed by the Bolsheviks, bringing an end to the three-century-old Romanov dynasty.
Royal Air Force is Founded , The Royal Air force is founded in England, this is truly an amazing piece of History as the first flight was only made 8 years before by Wilbur and Wright and for countries around the World to set up a separate arms of the Forces shows how important politicians believed the aircraft would become as a part of the military. The aircraft in use in 1918 when the RAF started included the Sopwith Pup, Bristol F2B Fighters, Sopwith Camels and Royal Aircraft Factory SE5's.
Influenza Epidemic , The first cases of one of the worst influenza epidemic in history were reported at Fort Riley, Kansas. It would eventually kill more than 1/2 million Americans and more than 20 million people worldwide. In the world's worst flu epidemic (Spanish Flu called because the first major outbreak causing multiple deaths was in Spain) in history an estimated 30 million people died worldwide.
First Use Of Aircraft By US In war , The first use of air combat by the US when Eight Curtiss "Jenny" planes of the First Aero Squadron are used in support for the 7,000 U.S. troops who invaded Mexico to capture Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa.
"The Red Baron" German Fighter Ace Killed , Baron Manfred von Richthofen, the German ace known as the "Red Baron," credited with 80 confirmed air combat victories was killed in action during World War I.
Lawrence of Arabia , Arab and British forces commanded by Lawrence of Arabia capture Damascus from Turkish forces
Germany signs armistice , Germany facing invasion from the allies and with poor supplies of food and weapons signs armistice agreement with the allies bringing to an end World War I.
The Second Battle of the Marne takes place during July in World War I. The battle marked the final offensive push of the Germans prior to the end of the war that November. The battle lasted several days before ending in a large Allied victory. The Germans were defeated by a combination of French, British, Italian, and American forces. Their defeat gave an advantage to the Allies in the Western Front who used the opportunity to advance by launching a massive counter-offensive, hastening the end of the war. Both sides suffered tens of thousands of casualties.
World War I - Armistice of Mudros The Ottoman Empire and the Allies sign the Armistice of Mudros on October 30th. It was signed by Rauf Bey who was the Ottoman Minister of Marine Affairs and British Admiral Somerset Arthur Gough-Calthorpe who represented the Allies. The signing took place on board the HMS Agamemnon in the Port of Mudros on the Greek island of Lemnos. Terms of the agreement included letting the Allies take control of the Straits of the Dardenelles and the Bosporus and having the Ottoman Empire surrender control of all garrisons outside of the Anatolia region of modern day Turkey. This agreement effectively put an end to the fighting in the Middle East during World War I.
UK Women Voting Rights The United Kingdom begins granting voting rights to some women with the passage of the Representation of the People Act in February. The law granted limited voting rights for women, allowing women over the age of 30 who were property owners or married to property owners the right to vote. It was also known as the Fourth Reform Act and it also expanded voting rights for men, removing property restrictions. The law tripled the size of the British electorate from about 7 million people to about 21 million people. Full voting rights for women were not achieved in England until 1928 when Parliament passed the Equal Franchise Bill.
The United States Congress passes the Standard Time Act , also known as the Calder Act, during March of 1918. The law defined Standard Time and Daylight Saving Time within the United States and gave the Interstate Commerce Commission the authority to set each time zone. Congress soon repealed the unpopular Daylight Saving Time portion of the law in 1919, overriding President Wilson’s veto. Daylight Saving Time was re-instated again in the United States during World War II.
Hindenburg Line Broken Allied forces break through Germany’s last line of defense on the Western Front during September, near the end of World War I. The “Hindenburg Line,” or “Siegfried Line” as it was also known, was a 6,000-yard-deep, heavily fortified and well-defended series of zones built by German forces to strategically guard their side of the Western Front. As the war neared its end, Allied forces coordinated a series of offensive moves, including a 56-hour-long marathon bombardment, to break the line and were successful in breaching the line, hastening the end of the war. Both sides suffered heavy casualties in the battles.
Iceland - Independence from Denmark 1. Iceland becomes independent on December 1st after Iceland and Denmark sign the Danish-Icelandic Act of Union.
US Airmail Service The United States Post Office Department officially begins its first regularly scheduled air mail service on May 15th. The first route was a 218 mile route flown between Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City. The first pilots for the inaugural flights of the service were US Army Lieutenants Howard Culver, Stephen Bonsal, George Boyle, Torrey Webb, Walter Miller, and James Edgerton. The original rate for airmail delivery was priced at 24 cents per ounce of mail but it was later reduced throughout the first year of service to just 16 cents and then again to 6 cents.
The American Legion , The American Legion has it's first meeting in Paris with about 1,000 officers and enlisted men attended to decide the organizations name. The next meeting takes place in St. Louis, Missouri two months later. The Legion served as a supportive group, a social club and a type of extended family for former service men and women and was also instrumental in creating the U.S. Veterans' Bureau, now known as the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Battle of Belleau Wood , The Battle of Belleau Wood took place in June during World War I. The battle was near the Marne River in France and was fought between American, British Empire, and French troops against the German Empire. It was one of the first major battles fought with American troops after they joined the war and U.S. Marines played an enormous role in securing the Allied victory after nearly a month of fighting. The Allied forces were under the command of U.S. General John J. Pershing. There were heavy casualties reported on the Allied side, but it was unclear how many casualties were sustained on the German side.
World War I - Allies Sign Armistice Ending War The Allies sign an armistice with Germany on November 11, 1918, putting an end to the fighting of World War I. It was written by the Allied Supreme Commander Marshal Ferdinand Foch and signed inside of a railroad car near Compiégne, France. The terms of the armistice mandated the withdrawal of German forces behind the Rhine, the release of Allied prisoners of war, the future negotiation of reparations, and the continued Allied occupation of the Rhineland, and more. The official end to the war did not come until the next year with the Treaty of Versailles in June of 1919.
Creation Of The Italian National Fascist Party , Benito Mussolini establishes the Fascist Party in 1919.
Treaty of Versailles , The First World War only ended in the series of conferences that took place in the Palace of Versailles from January 1919 to January 1920. Fifty-five countries were represented there and the League of Nations was formed. Britain and France took control of several of the Turkish Empire's territories, which included Palestine, Lebanon and Syria. The U.S. Congress did not ratify the Treaty, and it was rather Eurocentric.
League of Nations , The League of Nations is created and it is the predecessor to the United Nations.
Lady Astor , Lady Astor an American by birth is sworn in as the first female member of the British Parliament. A little known fact is that the first woman elected to the British Parliament was Constance Markiewicz, but she did not take up her seat because of her Irish nationalist views.
Rotary Dial Telephones Invented , Rotary Dial Telephones were invented. Before this every call made had to go through an operator but this invention allowed people to dial the number themselves.
Grand Canyon National Park , Congress established Grand Canyon National Park which includes the Grand Canyon, a gorge of the Colorado River, considered to be one of the major natural wonders of the world in Arizona. This is considered by many to be one of the earliest successes the environmental conservation movement.
Franklin D. Roosevelt marries , Franklin D. Roosevelt marries his distant cousin, Eleanor Roosevelt, in New York City. The wedding was attended by President Theodore Roosevelt, FDR's fifth cousin, who gave his niece away.
Daylight Saving Time , The US Congress approves daylight-saving time. Germany started the use of DST in 1916 and other countries followed suit. Daylight saving time or British summer time is the practice of adjusting clocks forward one hour near the start of spring so that afternoons have more daylight and mornings have less, and adjusting them backwards in the Autumn by 1 hour. It is not used universally world wide but is common in Europe and North America.
Lease Acquired For Guantanamo Bay , The United States signed a leasing agreement between the US and Cuba, acquiring Guantanamo Bay as a naval station at the southeastern end in Cuba.
The Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919 is signed by the United Kingdom and Afghanistan. It was also known as the Treaty of Rawalpindi, during August. The treaty established Afghanistan’s independence. It was signed as a result of the Third Anglo-Afghan War which had begun in May of the same year and it effectively ended the conflict. The treaty also modified the Durand Line, which served as a border demarcation between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The two countries had been in various states of conflict for nearly 80 years, with two other Anglo-Afghan wars fought from 1839 to 1842 and 1878 to 1880.
First Pop Up Toaster , Charles Strite invents the Pop-Up Toaster which used heated electrical coils to toast bread, the problem back then all bread was cut by hand so was different thicknesses, but after over ten years when bread slicing machines are gaining in popularity so would the Electric Pop Up Toaster.
Jailed for Advocating Birth Control , Emma Goldman who worked as a nurse and midwife among the poor in New York was also a crusader for women’s rights and social justice. She was arrested in New York City for lecturing and distributing materials about birth control. She was accused of violating the Comstock Act of 1873 , which made it a federal offense to disseminate contraceptive devices and information through the mail or across state lines.
US President Woodrow Wilson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in December. He was given the prestigious honor for his work on ending the First World War and the creation of the League of Nations. Wilson began his work towards preventing future international conflicts in early 1918 with his “Fourteen Points” peace plan, laying the groundwork for the Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations. He was unable to attend the ceremony which was held in 1920 as he was still recovering from a stroke he suffered in October of 1919. He was represented at the ceremony by the U.S. Ambassador to Norway, Albert Schmedeman.
18th Amendment / Prohibition , Prohibition had been ratified on January 29th, 1919, and came into force with the 18th Amendment, which states that:
19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution , The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote, is passed by Congress on June 4th and sent to the states for ratification.
Save the Children Established The children’s rights and relief organization “Save the Children” was established in April. It was created by Eglantyne Jebb and Dorothy Buxton in Great Britain near the end of World War I. Its original mission was to provide starvation relief to children in Austria-Hungary and Germany where the devastation of World War I and an Allied blockage of Germany had created a famine. The non-governmental fund soon expanded to about 30 total national locations. The group is notable for its involvement in the establishment of children’s rights during the Twenties and its participation in famine relief efforts and other charity work around the globe since its creation.
Paris Peace Conference The Paris Peace Conference opens on January 18th. The gathering, also known as the Versailles Peace Conference, followed the conclusion of the First World War and was controlled by the victorious Allied Powers (France, Britain, Japan, Italy, and the United States). The Allies used the conference to set the terms of defeat for the Central Powers. The primary outcome of the meeting was the Treaty of Versailles which ended the war with Germany and required the nation to accept responsibility for the war. Another four treaties were negotiated, ending the war with Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire. The Paris Peace conference was also notable for the establishment of the League of Nations.
Volstead Act Passed Creating Prohibition The United States Congress overrides President Woodrow Wilson’s veto of the Volstead Act, officially beginning the era of prohibition. The 18th Amendment had been ratified on January 29th, banning the creation, sale, or transportation of alcohol, but the means to enforce the amendment had not yet been decided until the Volstead Act was made into law on October 28th. The act outlined how the United States government would enact prohibition in by banning the production and distribution of alcohol meant for consumption. The act did not come into force until January of 1920 along with the 18th amendment. Prohibition remained the law of the land until 1933 when the 21st amendment to the US Constitution repealed prohibition in the country.
Comintern Founded , The Comintern, also known as the Communist International or Third International, organization was founded during March. The association was created by Vladimir Lenin as a means for the Soviets to control the directives Communist parties on a more global scale. Lenin hoped the organization would guide a Soviet world order towards complete communism through the establishment and support of Communist political parties around the world. The group held seven congresses between 1919 and 1935. It was formally dissolved in 1943 by Joseph Stalin during World War II but he later created a similar group in 1947 known as the Cominform.