Davina Morgan-Witts, BookBrowse editor
Each year, as the holiday season comes around and news becomes thin on the ground, we look back into history for a snapshot of the news in centuries past .....
Literary highlights (from a modern perspective) published in 1908, one hundred years ago, include The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame; War of the Classes and The Iron Heel by Jack London; Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery; The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck by Beatrix Potter; A Modern Utopia and The War in the Air by H G Wells; My Double Life by Sarah Bernhardt; The Man Who Was Thursday and All Things Considered by G K Chesterton; A Room With a View by E M Forster; Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum; and the births of Ian Fleming and Louis L'Amour. The Nobel Prize for Literature was won by German philosopher Rudolf Christoph Eucken.
Meanwhile, on the wider stage:
In the USA, a ball signifying New Year's Day dropped in Times Square for the first time; Harvard University established the Harvard Business School; Robert Perry set off for the North Pole; Henry Ford produced his first Model T automobile; the Office of the Chief Examiner (forerunner to the FBI) was established; and Mother's Day was observed for the first time in a Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. Not to be confused with Mothering Sunday in the UK, Mother's Day was intended as day of memorial and a call to unite women against war. The first service in 1908, and the 1914 Presidential proclamation, were the result of social activist Julia Ward Howe's 1870 Mother's Day Proclamation.
In Europe: A long-distance radio message was sent from the Eiffel Tower for the first time; Frenchman Henri Farman piloted the first passenger flight; Elizabeth Garrett Anderson became the first woman in England to be elected mayor; British suffragettes began a campaign for female suffrage; Englishman Robert Baden-Powell began the Boy Scout movement; the Young Turk Revolution began in the Ottoman Empire; and the Bosnian Crisis began after the Austro-Hungarian Empire annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Elsewhere, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were reported killed in Bolivia; Andrew Fisher became 5th Prime Minister of Australia; Emperor Pu Yi ascended the Chinese throne at age 2; and Leopold II of Belgium was forced to make reforms in the Congo, his personal colony.