June 1915

by popegrutch

William Jennings Bryan and his wife, shortly after his resignation as Secretary of State.

William Jennings Bryan and his wife, shortly after his resignation as Secretary of State.

This is a slightly slow news month, so far as I’ve found, but the First World War rages on in Europe and a few major political developments kept Americans buying newspapers and attending the newsreels through the month of June.

World War: The third Allied attack on Gallipolli fails, June 4, resulting in 6500 casualties plus 3000 for the Ottomans. The newly belligerent Italy attacks Austro-Hungarian forces on June 23, beginning the First Battle of the Isonzo. After suffering 14,000 casualties (to about 9,000 Austro-Hungarians), the battle ends in failure for the Italians.

Revolution: Pancho Villa’s and General Álvaro Obregón’s forces clash in the decisive engagement of the Battle of Celaya at León, June 3. Obregón loses an arm to a grenade in this battle, but he is victorious.

Suffrage: On June 5, women in Denmark and Iceland gain the right to vote in parliamentary elections.

Politics: William Jennings Bryan resigns on June 9 as Secretary of State over the handling of the Lusitania disaster. Bryan was a powerful figure in the populist wing of the Democratic Party, and had run for president unsuccessfully twice. He argued that the United States should avoid entanglements in the First World War, predicting that “if either side does win…a victory it will probably mean preparation for another war.” This view became unpopular after the German submarine attack, and he was seen as a liability to President Wilson’s cabinet.

Philanthropy: The British Women’s Institute is founded in Wales in June 16. Its purpose is to revitalize rural communities in order to increase food production during the War.

Film Industry: The Motion Picture Directors Association is founded on June 18, in Los Angeles. This confirms both the growing influence of directors in the industry and the now-established centrality of the Los Angeles area to film production. Founders include Maurice Tourneur, director of “The Wishing Ring” and “Alias Jimmy Valentine.”

Born: Priscilla Lane, actress (“Arsenic and Old Lace” and “Saboteur”) June 12.

Died: Elmer Booth, star of “Musketeers of Pig Alley” and also in “An Unseen Enemy,” on June 16.