CHARLOTTE, North Carolina, Dec. 31, 2015 – One popular story at the end of each year is to recap the events that took place during that period. But what if we go back a century to see what happened in the world 100 years ago?
Here’s a brief look at some of the most interesting events from 1915.
The world altitude record of 11,690 feet in a fixed-wing aircraft was set by Joseph E. Carberry with Capt. Benjamin Foulois as his passenger.
The United States Coast Guard was officially designated as a branch of the military.
The House of Representatives, which had a Democratic majority, rejected a proposal to give women the right to vote.
The Kiwanis Club was founded in Detroit.
Alexander Graham Bell ceremoniously called his former assistant Thomas Watson from New York to San Francisco in the first coast-to-coast long distance telephone call.
Rocky Mountain National Park was established by Congress.
A female cook at New York’s Sloane Hospital for Women infected 25 people and was placed in quarantine for the rest of her life. Her assumed name was “Typhoid Mary.”
Birth of a Nation was released by D.W. Griffith in Los Angeles. It was the highest-grossing film on record for nearly a quarter of a century.
Actor Zero Mostel was born.
The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) was founded. The NACA was the predecessor of NASA.
Pluto was photographed for the first time, but was not designated as a planet.
The “Great White Hope boxer, Jess Willard, knocked out Jack Johnson in the 26th round of a heavyweight fight in Havana, Cuba.
Charlie Chaplin’s film classic, “The Tramp,” was released.
Singer Billie Holliday and actor Anthony Quinn were born.
John McCrae, a Canadian soldier, wrote the poem “In Flanders Fields.”
Babe Ruth hit his first career home run for the Boston Red Sox off pitcher Jack Warhop.
The British ocean liner RMS Lusitania was sunk by the Imperial German Navy U-boat U-20 off the southwest coast of Ireland while en route to Liverpool from New York City. Civilian casualties numbered 1,198.
One of the Cascade Volcanoes in California, Lassen Peak, was the last volcano to erupt in the contiguous United States until Mount St. Helens in 1980.
Italy joined the Allies after they declared war on Austria-Hungary.
Actor Orson Welles and author Herman Wouk were born.
Denmark and Iceland introduced women’s suffrage.
United States Secretary of State William Jennings Brian resigned following a disagreement about America’s handling of the sinking of the Lusitania.
Iceland got its own flag on the same day that women over the age of 40 were granted the right to vote.
Muscician Les Paul and author Saul Bellow were born.
German fighter pilot Kurt Wintgens was the first person to shoot down another plane using a synchronized machine gun.
The steamer SS Eastland capsized while tied to a Chicago River dock, with the loss of 844 lives.
Leo Frank, a Jewish American, was lynched in Atlanta for the alleged murder of a 13-year-old girl.
Ring Lardner Jr. and Ingrid Bergman were born.
The British Army was the first to test the prototype for a military tank.
Former cartoonist John B. Gruelle received a patent for his Raggedy Ann doll.
Electrified commuter rail service between Philadelphia and Paoli was started by the Pennsylvania Railroad.
For the first time, the British Army used poison gas during World War I to capture the French town of Loos.
France, Russia and Italy declared war on Bulgaria.
The first American Indian woman to appear before the United States Supreme Court as a lawyer, Lyda Conley, was admitted to practice there.
Franz Kafka published his novella “The Metamorphosis” (Die Verwandlung) in Germany.
Author Arthur Miller and actress Dody Goodman were born.
Audrey Munson was the first mainstream leading actress to appear nude on film; she was in the silent movie “Inspiration.”
At Stone Mountain, Georgia, William J. Simmons revived the Civil War era Ku Klux Klan.
Einstein’s theory of general relativity was formulated.
Ford Motor Co. rolled off its one millionth car at the River Rouge assembly line in Detroit.
President Woodrow Wilson married Edith B. Galt in Washington, D.C.
Eli Wallach, Frank Sinatra and Barbara Billingsley were born.
The first stop sign appeared in Detroit.
The list is not complete, of course, but these are just a few of the most interesting events that took place 100 years ago.
Other than that, not much happened in good old 1915.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award-winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of the Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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