Friday, October 5, 2007

Happy Birthday, Grandma!

My grandma turned 93 years old today. Pretty impressive, huh? I thought it'd be kind of interesting to research what happened in the year she was born, 1914. Here's what I found out...
  • On June 28, Archduke of Austria Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Duchess Sophie, were assassinated by Serb nationalist, Gavrilo Princip.
  • On July 28, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia after it failed to meet the conditions of an ultimatum Austria-Hungary set following Archduke Ferdinand's assassination -- beginning World War I.
  • Babe Ruth made his major league debut with the Red Sox.
  • Pope Benedict XV becomes the 258th Pope, succeeding Pope Pius X.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of the U.S. opens.
  • Billy Graham was born on November 7, 1914.
  • Joe Dimaggio was born on November 25, 1914.
  • Suffragists were fighting for the women's right to vote in the U.S.
  • Anchorage, AL, is founded to serve as headquarters of the 538-mile Alaska Railroad that was being built from Seward north to Fairbanks, which won't be completed until 1923.
  • Threats of labor troubles lead Henry Ford to offer workers a minimum wage of $5 per day—more than twice the average U.S. wage. Thousands rush to accept his offer, but learn that Ford will pay only $2.60 per day, plus a $2.40 per day bonus to be paid if a worker remains for 1 year. Applicants must not smoke or drink, must learn English (Ford set up schools for the purpose), become U.S. citizens and open bank accounts.
  • The Panama Canal opens to traffic on August 3.
  • The U.S. has roughly 1 million automobiles, but fewer than 100,000 trucks -- most of them delivery vans.
  • Greyhound Lines was founded in Hibbing, MN.
  • The world's first red-green electric traffic light started directing traffic in Cleveland, OH.
  • Physicist Henry G. F. Moseley publishes a paper in which he concludes correctly that there are only 92 elements up to and including uranium and 14 rare-earth elements. He errs slightly by saying there are only three unknown elements between aluminum and gold (there are actually four).
  • New York City's overcrowded schools turn away 60,000 to 75,000 children each year for lack of space.
  • President Wilson proclaims the first national Mother's Day
  • Doublemint chewing gum is introduced by William Wrigley Jr.
  • The term "birth control" is coined by International Workers of the World (IWW) organizer Margaret Sanger.

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