Century Film Project

Celebrating the movies our ancestors loved

Tag: Boy Scouts

December 1916

After more than two years of bitter fighting and mass slaughter, there will be no Christmas Truce on the front lines of World War I this year. The war is grinding on with no end in sight, although in general the Allies seem to be coming out ahead of the Central Powers in one battle after another. No one knows for sure, but the war still has almost two more years to go before Armistice. This month’s roundup of headlines mostly reflects the ongoing massacre in Europe. On the lighter side of entertainment, Christmas, 1916, seems to have been a great day to spend in a movie theater!

Soldiers in a trench at Verdun

Soldiers in a trench at Verdun

World War I:

On December 13, an avalanche on Mount Marmolada crushes an Austrian barracks, killing approximate 100 soldiers. An estimated 9000 men will be lost to avalanches in the Dolomites this December.

The Battle of Verdun ends in France with German troops defeated on December 18.

El Arish occupied by the British Empire Desert Column during advance across the Sinai Peninsula on December 21.

The Desert Column captures the Ottoman garrison during the Battle of Magdhaba on December 23.

A Sopwith Camel.

A Sopwith Camel.

Technology:

The British Sopwith Camel aircraft makes its maiden flight on December 22.

Youth:

Robert Baden-Powell gives the first public display of the new Wolf Cub section of Scouting December 16 at Caxton Hall, Westminster.

Insurrection:

The criminal Humberto Gómez and thirty seven mercenaries seize Arauca in Colombia December 30 and declare the Republic of Arauca. The action is largely an act of revenge on the police commissioner, who is killed in the raid.

Grigory Rasputin

Grigory Rasputin

Assassinations:

The mystic Grigori Rasputin is murdered in Saint Petersburg on December 31 (December 17 by the Russian Old Style calendar).

Disasters:

The Hampton Terrace Hotel in North Augusta, South Carolina, one of the largest and most luxurious hotels in the United States at the time, burns to the ground on December 31.

20000 Leagues Under the Sea1Film:

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” is released December 24. It is estimated to be the second-highest grossing movie of the year, after “Intolerance.”

The Americano,” starring Douglas Fairbanks, is released December 24.

Joan the Woman,” directed by Cecil B. DeMille, is released December 25.

Snow White,” starring Marguerite Clark, is released December 25. Walt Disney will later cite this film as an inspiration for the animated version.

Kirk Douglas

Kirk Douglas

Births:

Kirk Douglas (actor, known for “Spartacus” and the later “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”) born December 9.

Betty Grable (actress, who was in “Down Argentine Way” and “How to Marry a Millionaire,” and numerous World War II pinups) born December 18.

Roy Ward Baker (director, who made “Five Million Years to Earth” and “The Vampire Lovers”) born December 19.

August 1916

Once again it’s time to round up the major headlines of this month from 100 years ago. While the real Battle of the Somme continued to rage, audiences in Britain went to theaters to experience it on the screen. In the US, several steps were taken to conserve natural resources and even towards future decolonization, and the Cub Scouts got their start this month as well.

The 8th Australian Light Horse Regiment, at a site near Romani.

The 8th Australian Light Horse Regiment, at a site near Romani.

World War I

The Battle of Romani begins August 3 and ends August 5. British Imperial troops secure victory over a joint Ottoman-German force.

 

Diplomacy

Portugal joins the Allies, August 7.

Peru declares neutrality, August 21

The Kingdom of Romania declares war on the Central Powers August 27, entering the war on the side of the Allies.

Germany declares war on Romania, August 28.

Italy declares war on Germany, August 28.

 

Conservation

Lassen Volcanic National Park is established in California on August 9.

Migratory Bird Treaty between Canada and the United States signed, August 16.

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson signs legislation creating the National Park Service on August 25.

 

Colonialism

As a step towards future autonomy, the United States passes the Philippine Autonomy Act on August 29.

 

Education

Robert Baden-Powell publishes The Wolf Cub’s Handbook in the U.K. during August of this year, establishing the basis of the junior section of the Scouting movement, the Wolf Cubs (modern-day Cub Scouts).

Battle of the Somme-film-adBattle of the Somme-filmFilm

One AM” starring Charlie Chaplin is release on August 7.

The premiere of the movie “Battle of the Somme” in London is on August 10. In the first six weeks of general release (from 20 August) 20 million people view it.

The first episode of the series “Homunculus” is released in Germany on August 18.

The movie “The Danger Girl,” starring Gloria Swanson, is released on August 25

 

Births

Van Johnson, actor (in “Thirty Seconds over Tokyo” and “Battleground”), August 25; Martha Raye, actress (in “The Big Broadcast of 1937” and “Monsieur Verdoux”), August 27.

June 1916

This is a somewhat thin month for news, apart from the Russian Front and the Arab Revolt (as if that’s not enough!), but I’ve found a few facts to give us a sense of the context of the period. We’re around the halfway point of World War One now, the US is still not involved but it will be a hot issue in the coming election. Film production continues to shift West, but there’s still plenty of work in the New York/Forth Lee area going on.

General Alexei Brusilov

General Alexei Brusilov

World War One:

The Brusilov Offensive, the height of Russian operations in the war, begins on June 4 with their breaking through Austro-Hungarian lines. There will be half a million casualties on the Russian side and at least twice that many suffered by the Central Powers, leaving the Austro-Hungarian Army effectively crippled. It may be seen as a Pyrrhic victory, however, because the Russian Empire could never mount another major attack after its losses, either.

The HMS Hampshire sinks on June 5 having hit a mine off the Orkney Islands, Scotland, with Lord Kitchener aboard.

Diplomacy: Speaking at an allied economic summit, Etienne Clementel argues that the Blockade should be the beginning of economic cooperation among Entente partners, aimed at excluding Germany from their markets after the war.

T.E. Lawrence

T.E. Lawrence

Uprisings: The Arab Revolt begins against the Ottoman Empire to create a single unified Arab state spanning from Aleppo to Aden, and is formally declared by Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca on June 10. He will be assisted by British officer Captain T.E. Lawrence, AKA “Lawrence of Arabia.”

Youth Organizations: U.S. President Woodrow Wilson signs a bill on June 15 incorporating the Boy Scouts of America.

Culture: Opening of the Cleveland Museum of Art, June 16.

Births:

Irwen Allen, producer (made “The Poseidon Adventure” and TV’s “Lost in Space”) June 12; Dorothy McGuire, actress (in “Gentleman’s Agreement” and “Friendly Persuasion”), June 14; Irene Worth, actress (known for “Orders to Kill” and “Deathtrap”) June 23.

Deaths

Actor Page Peters (who appeared with Blanche Sweet in “The Warrens of Virginia“) dies in a swimming accident June 22, in Hermosa Beach, California.