Time once again for a roundup of news headlines from one century ago. A huge amount of war news dominates this month’s Century News. Some may be surprised that there’s nothing about the Russian Revolution, especially in light of the movie “October” and references to the “Red October.” The explanation for this is simple: the Russians were on a different calendar, so their “October” actually extended into our November, which is when the revolution actually occurred. Since the rest of my Century News has been based on the standard Gregorian calendar, I’m waiting for next month for that news.
World War One:
Battle of Broodseinde near Ypres, October 4: British Imperial forces overpower the German 4th Army‘s defences.
First Battle of Passchendaele, October 12: Allies fail to take a German defensive position with the biggest loss of life in a single day for New Zealand, over 800 of whose men and 45 officers are killed, roughly 1 in 1000 of the nation’s population at this time.
Operation Albion, October 12-19: German forces land on and capture the West Estonian archipelago.
At Vincennes outside Paris, Dutch dancer Mata Hari is executed on October 15 by firing squad for spying for Germany.
A Brazilian ship is destroyed by a German U-Boat on October 23, encouraging Brazil to enter World War I.
Brazil declares war against the Central Powers on October 26.
Ottoman force attacks Desert Mounted Corps units garrisoning el Buqqar ridge on October 27 during the Battle of Buqqar Ridge fought in the last days of the Stalemate in Southern Palestine.
Battle of Beersheba, October 31: The British XX Corps and Desert Mounted Corps (Egyptian Expeditionary Force) attack and capture Beersheba ending the Stalemate in Southern Palestine.
The Miracle of the Sun is reported on October 13 at Fátima, Portugal. Thousands of people gathered to see a prophecy fulfilled of miracles performed by the Blessed Virgin Mary. They reported to have witnessed extraordinary solar activity, such as the sun appearing to “dance” or zig-zag in the sky, careen towards the earth, or emit multicolored light and radiant colors. According to these reports, the event lasted approximately ten minutes.
Carl Swartz leaves office as Prime Minister of Sweden on October 19 after dismal election results for the right-wing in the Riksdag elections in September. He is replaced by liberal leader and history professor Nils Edén.
Dallas Love Field airport is opened October 19.
“Cleopatra,” starring Theda Bara released October 14. This (mostly) lost film is among the most iconic of 1917, and images of Bara from the film still circulate on the Internet.
“Satan Triumphant” (Satana likuyushchiy) released October 21. One of the last movies of the pre-Soviet Russian Empire.
“The Adventurer,” a Charlie Chaplin short is released on October 22. This was the last of the films Chaplin produced under his contract with Mutual Studios, and for the first time since he started making movies, it left him with no contractual obligations to fulfill. He would soon sign for a million dollars to First National.
“Coney Island,” a ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle / Buster Keaton short is released October 29.
Helmut Dantine, actor (in “Mrs. Miniver” and “Casablanca”), born October 7.
June Allyson, actress (in the 1948 version of “The Three Musketeers” and “The Glenn Miller Story”), born October 7.
Alice Pearce, actress (in “On the Town” and TV’s “Bewitched”), born October 16
Marsha Hunt, U.S. actress (in 1940’s “Pride and Prejudice” and “Johnny Got His Gun”), born October 17. Apparently she’s still alive! Happy birthday Marsha!
Joan Fontaine, actress (in “Suspicion” and “Rebecca”), born October 22.
Movie star Florence La Badie dies on October 13, from septicemia as a result of injuries sustained from a car crash in August. Several of her movies have been reviewed on this blog.