1901: History at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

It is interesting to go back in time and see what happened in different years throughout history. This time we are taking a tour of the first year of the twentieth century-1901.


January 1 – It’s the first day of the twentieth century! Also the British Colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia become the Commonwealth of Australia. Edmund Barton is their first Prime Minister. Also the first annual Mummers parade was held in Philadelphia.

January 22 – Queen Victoria dies at the age of 91. She reigned for about 64 years as the British monarch. Her son Prince Albert Edward reigned as King Edward VII until 1910.

January 27 – Giuseppe Verdi died in Milan, Italy at the age of 87.

January 30 – In Kansas, female Prohibitionists smashed 12 saloons.

February 5- The Hay-Pauncefote Treaty is signed by Britain and the United States. It allowed for the United States to solely control the Panama Canal. Also on this day, JP Morgan starts buying mines and steel mills across the United States, marking the first billion dollar business deal. Later the UK will reject it.

February 6- The first public telephones wereput to use at railway stations in Paris.

February 11 – Across the country of Spain, Anti-Jesuit riots breakout.

February 15- The Alianza Lima Foundation is created in Peru. It is a football(soccer) division who play at the Estadio Alejandro Villanueva.

February 20 – The Hawaii Territory Legislature meets for the very first time.

February 26 – Chi-hsui and Hsu-Cheng-yuo, who are both Boxer Rebellion leaders, were executed in Peking. Also on this day, the Middleburg Peace Conference in South Africa fails as the Boers continue wanting autonomy.

March 2 – The U.S. Congress passes the Platt Amendment. The Platt Amendment was a rider to the Army Appropriations Act and stated the conditions for withdrawal of U.S. troops who were still in Cuba following the Spanish-American War. Also on this day, Hawaii’s first telegraph company opened.

March 3 – The U.S. Congress created the National Bureau of Standards in the Department of Commerce.

March 4- William McKinley begins his second term as President of the United States. Theodore Roosevelt is sworn in as Vice President.

March 5 – Irish Nationlist protestors were ejected from the House of Commons by police.

March 6 – An assassination attempt was made on Kaiser Wilhelm II’s life in Bremen, Germany.

March 13- Former U.S. President Benjamin Harrison dies at Indianapolis at the age of 67.

March 17 – Seventy-one Vincent Van Gogh paintings are shown in Paris 11 years after his death. Also on this day, there are student riots in St. Petersburg and Moscow.

April 25- New York becomes the first state to require vehicles have license plates.

April 20- Anti-Jewish riots ocurr in Budapest.

May 3- In Jacksonville, Florida a fire breaks out. It was similar to the 1871 Great Fire of Chicago.

May 9 – Australia opens its first parliament in Melbourne.

May 24- Seventy-eight miners die in Caerphilly in South Wales.

May 28 – Persia (now Iran) allows William Knox D’Arcy to prospect for oil. Also on this day, laws were passed against phosphor matches.

June 12 – Cuba becomes a U.S. protectorate.

July 4 – William Taft becomes the American territorial governor of the Phillippines.

July 14 – Over 74,000 steel workers in Pittsburgh walk off the job.

July 24 – Author O. Henry is released from prison in Ohio. He served three years for embezzlement from the First National Bank of Austin, Texas.

August 6 – Robert F. Scott set sail on the RRS Discovery to explore the Ross Sea in Antarctica.

August 28 – In the Phillippines, the first American private school, Silliman University, is founded.

August 30 – Hubert Cecil Booth patents the electric vacuum cleaner.

September 6- An American anarchist named Leon Czolgosz shoots U.S. President William McKinley at the Pan-American Expo in New York. McKinley dies eight days later.

September 14- Theodore Roosevelt becomes President of the United States.

October 16- Booker T. Washington attends a White House dinner. The South is outraged and riots breakout.

October 23 – Yale University celebrates its bicentennial.

October 29- In New Hampshire, a a nurse named Jane Toppan is arrested for murdering the Davis family of Boston by administering them all with an overdose of morphine. Also on this day, Leon Czolgosz is executed by electrocution.

November 28 – Alabama’s new state constitution requires voters to pass literacy tests.

December 20- The first Nobel Prize ceremony is held in Stockholm, Sweden five years after Alfred Nobel’s death.

December 12- Guglielmo Marconi receives the first trans-Atlantic radio signal. It was sent from Poldhu, England to Newfoundland, Canada. The message was simply the letter “S”in Morse Code.

Unknown Dates

Scotland Yard creates a fingerprint archive.

William Harley draws up plans for a prototype motorcycle.

The Intercollegiate Prohibition Association is established in Chicago.

The last king of the Ryuku Kingdom in modern day Okinawa, Japan, Sho Tai, dies.

Inventor Ernest Godward of New Zealand invents the spiral hairpin.

Alzheimer’s disease is described for the very first time by a German psychiatrist named Alois Alzheimer.

Maude May Park and Inez Gillmore of Boston found the first chapter of the College Equal Suffrage League. The league is set up to get more young women involved in the struggle for voting rights.

The first Nobel Prize for Physics goes to W.C. Roentgen. Roentgen discovered the X-ray.

Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington is published.

Anticipations of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon Human Life and Thought by H.G. Wells is published.

The World and the Individual by Josiah Royce is published.

Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann is published.

None But The Brave by Arthur Schnitzler is published.

The Octopus by Frank Norris is published.

The Crisis by Winston Churchill is published.

Alexander von Humboldt (German naturalist and explorer) publishes Kosmos/Cosmos .

Kim by Rudyard Kipling is published.

Satori Kato creates the first soluble instant coffee.

Ransom Eli Olds produces the first three-horsepower Oldsmobile buggy. It is the first car with a curved dashboard.

George Bernard Shaw publishes Caesar and Cleopatra which is performed in 1906 in Berlin, Germany.

Austrian Karl Landsteiner discovers the ABO blood group system.

Sergey Rachmaninov completes his Piano Concerto No. 2.

The Stanley Cup was won by the Winnipeg Victorias

Sometime in May, Walter Reed led the Yellow Fever Commission. It was a four man team that was sent to Cuba where 200 American soldiers had died of the disease in the previous 18 months. They were searching for the cause of the disease. They believed that Yellow Fever was caused by mosquitos.

In August of 1901, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published the 1st installment of “Hound of the Baskervilles” in The Strand Magazine.


January 1 – Julia Bathory,Hungarian glass designer.

January 2 – Ngo Dinh Diem ,the first president of South Vietnam.

January 14- Alfred Tarski , Polish logician and mathematician.

January 16 – Frank Zamboni, the inventor of the Zamboni machine.

February 1 – Frank Buckles was the last surviving American veteran of World War I. Mr. Buckles died this year (2011). Also born on February 1 was the great actor Clark Gable.

February 2 – Jascha Haifetz , Lithuanian violinist.

February 28 – American chemist, Linus Pauling,

March 17 – Alfred Newman , American film composer.

March 27 – Australian poet Kenneth Slessor.

April 29 ‘” Hirohito, Japanese emperor.

May 7 ‘” Gary Cooper, actor.

July 28 – Rudy Vallee , singer.

September 28 – Ed Sullivan, variety show host.

September 26 ‘” George Raft, actor

October 10 – Alberto Giacometti, Swiss sculptor.

November 3 ‘” Leopold III of Belgium.

December 16– American cultural anthropolgist, Margaret Mead.

December 27 ‘” Actress Marlene Dietrich.