Century Film Project

Celebrating the movies our ancestors loved

Tag: Gallipoli

January 1916

As an aside note, I’d like to point out that the United States Presidential campaign of 1916 didn’t start until June. If there is one thing that indicates a more civilized era, I’d vote for that.

Mutual ads World War One: The British evacuate the last troops from Gallipoli on January 9, acknowledging the defeat of their major operation to seize Istanbul after the loss of over a quarter million soldiers.

The Battle of Wadi in present-day Iraq on January 13 results in failure for allied forces in another offensive against the Ottoman Empire.

Air war: The first bombing of Paris by Zeppelins takes place January 29. Few seek shelter as crowds line the streets to watch the novelty, as if it were a fireworks show.

Medicine: The first successful blood transfusion is carried out using blood that had been stored and cooled on January 1 by the British Royal Army Medical Corps. This advance allows for the large-scale use of blood banks to save lives during the First World War.

Climate: The largest recorded change in temperature takes place January 24 in Browning, Montana, when the temperature drops from 44 degrees (6.7 Celsius) Fahrenheit to -56 (-48.8 Celsius) in less than 24 hours.

Law: The Supreme Court of the United States upholds the Federal Income Tax in its decision on Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad, issued January 24.

Race: The Journal of Negro History is founded in January, 1916.

Pacifism: The Anti-Militarism Committee changes its name to the Anti-Preparedness Committee in January, apparently in response to the pro-war “Preparedness Movement” which has been agitating for American involvement since the sinking of the Lusitania the previous year.

MutualBirths: Maxine Andrews, born January 3 (future member of the “Andrews Sisters,” appeared in “Buck Privates” with Abbott & Costello), Betty Furness, born January 3 (actress, appeared in “Swing Time” with Astaire & Rogers, board member for “Consumer Reports”), Lionel Newman, born January 4 (composer, wrote the music for “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and “The Girl Can’t Help It”).

Deaths: Arthur V. Johnson, January 17 at age 39 from tuberculosis (actor, appeared in “The Sealed Room” and “The Unchanging Sea”)

August 1915

House wrecked in the 1915 Galveston Hurricane

House wrecked in the 1915 Galveston Hurricane

The First World War continues to rage…if you think I sound like a broken record saying that every month in my news roundups, imagine what it was like reading the papers in 1915 (of course, no one called it the ”first” anything at the time). Worse, imagine being in the trenches or battlefields of the war itself. Casualties in the first year were high because both sides were learning about defensive measures in the new forms of warfare created by industrial technology, and soldiers who had served for this entire year had probably seen the majority of the comrades they entered with killed or wounded by now. Outside of the battle zones, however, life went on…

World War: The Battle of Sari Bair rages from August 6th to the 21st. This is an effort by the Allies to link up their forces in Gallipolli, which ultimately fails, leaving the front lines static. The Allies lose approximately 20,000 soldiers, the Turks 12,000 in the fighting.

Diplomacy: On August 16, the Allies promise territorial gains to the Kingdom of Serbia in case of victory. These promises will ultimately conflict with Wilson’s Fourteen Points and the concepts of national sovereignty under which the League of Nations is founded.

Hate Crimes: Leo Frank is lynched in Georgia on August 17th for the alleged murder of a 13-year-old girl. Frank is Jewish and the case draws attention both to anti-Semitism and the prevalence of mob justice in the United States. Possibly inspired by D.W. Griffth’s “The Birth of a Nation,” prominent businessman Tom Watson writes to local papers that “a new Ku Klux Klan may have to be organized” to seek justice. Three months later, William J Simmons does revive the Klan in Atlanta.

Disasters: On August 5, Galveston Texas, still in recovery from having been wiped off the map by a powerful hurricane in 1900, is once again devastated by a storm. The new seawall does prevent local deaths and damage, but across the seaboard damages are assessed at $50 million and 275 dead.

Sports: Jimmy Lavender pitches a no-hitter, August 31, for the Chicago Cubs against the New York Giants.

Born: Gary Merrill, August 2 (acted in “A Blueprint for Murder” and “All About Eve”), Signe Hasso, August 15 (appeared in “Heaven Can Wait” and “The House on 92nd Street”), Ingrid Bergman, August 29 (star of “Gaslight” and “Casablanca”).

April 1915

In April 1915, Jack Johnson lost his heavyweight title after holding it for more than six years.

In April 1915, Jack Johnson lost his heavyweight title after holding it for more than six years.

As the spring rains fall on the Northern Hemisphere, the First World War continues to rage in Europe, while Revolution drags on in Mexico and the baseball season starts in the United States. For more specifics, look below for a roundup of news items in the headlines for April 1915.

World War I: On April 22nd the Second Battle of Ypres begins. It will continue for more than a month as both sides try to establish control over the Belgian town of Ypres, and will claim more than 100,000 casualties on both sides. It marks the first large-scale use of poison gas by the Germans. On April 25, the Gallipoli campaign is initiated with landings at Anzac and Cape Helles by British, Australian, New Zealand, and French troops. This campaign against the Ottoman Empire continues through January, 1916, and claims almost half a million casualties.

Sports: On April 5th boxer Jack Johnson is defeated by “Great White Hope” Jess Willard at Havana, Cuba. Jackson has held the title of heavyweight champion since 1908, the first African American to do so.

Labor: In Vienna, from April 12 to 13th, representatives of socialist parties of Germany, Austria, and Hungary meet for the Vienna Socialist Conference, as an extension of the Second International. Among the representatives is Friedrich Ebert, future Social Democratic President of Germany. Although its resolutions are critical of the war, the Conference calls for a peace that “would not humiliate any of the peoples” and the parties represented continued to support their governments, contributing to the eventual dissolution of the International over the issue of support for war bonds.

Human Rights Violations: On April 24, the deportation of Armenian notables from Istanbul begins, marking the beginning of what will become the Armenian Genocide in Turkey. Turkey continues today to deny the use of the word “genocide” as an accurate description for actions which caused the deaths of 1 and a half million Armenians.

Diplomacy: Italy signs the Treaty of London, secretly agreeing to join the First World War on the Allied side, although they remain formally a part of the Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary. This was technically a defensive alliance, and the Italian government reasoned that the Central Powers had begun the war by attacking, thus freeing Italy from obligations to fight on their side.

Movies:The Tramp,” starring Charlie Chaplin, released April 11. This will be the most profitable Chaplin film to date, to be outdone later in the year by “Burlesque on Carmen.”

Born: Harry Morgan (later known for roles in the television shows “Dragnet” and “MASH“), April 10; and Anthony Quinn (who was in “La Strada” by Fellini and “Zorba the Greek”), on April 21.