Events of the Decade:
World War I
Bolshevist Revolution in Russia; Soviet Republic formed
Bubonic plague epidemic in China
Late decade influenza pandemic and epidemic of sleeping sickness
Union of South Africa becomes a dominion
Roald Amundsen conquers South Pole
Civil War in China (Wuchang revolution)
Independence of Albania, Latvia, Hungary, Yugoslavia
First and Second Balkan Wars
Britain takes Gilbert & Ellis Islands; Japan annexes Korea; Natal merges into South Africa; Morocco is French protectorate; U.S.
buys Dutch West Indies
Populations in millions 1911:
President William Howard Taft
President Woodrow Wilson
King George V of England (House of Windsor)
British PM: David Lloyd George
George M. Cohan
Golfers Walter Hagen and Robert T. Jones
Baseball pitcher Walter Johnson
Indian athlete Jim Thorpe
Marshal Ferdinand Foch
Aviatrix Harriet Quimby
Coach Knute Rockne
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
Tennis star Suzanne Lenglen
The Windsors (what we now call the Royal British family)
Sgt. Alvin York
Prince Alexander II of Serbia
Swimmer Gertrude Ederle
Thomas Masaryk in Czechoslovakia
King George V
Sun Yat Sen
President Woodrow Wilson
Chi"ng dynasty (or Qing) ends in China
1.5 million Americans, 20 million overseas, in 1918 killer flu; most murderous epidemic since the Black Death of Middle Ages
Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria assassinated
6,181,000 British, French, U.S., Italian, German and Russian troops in WW1
29,500 in earthquake in central Italy
16,000 in volcano eruption in Java
French ship "Province" sinks with 3,100
S.S. Titanic with 1,513 drowned
812 in sinking of steamship "Eastland"
Last passenger pigeon and Carolina parakeet
King Edward VII
Florence Nightingale, 90
Ferdinand, Count Zeppelin, 79
Theodore Roosevelt, 61
Andrew Carnegie, 84
Henry Irving, 49
Pierre Auguste Renoir, 78
Claude Debussy, 56
Edmond Rostand, 50
Frank Wedekind, 54
Herbert Beerbohm Tree, 65
Ruggiero Leoncavallo, 59
Edgar Degas, 83
François August Rodin, 77
William Cody (Buffalo Bill), 71
Mark Twain, 74
Florence Nightingale, 90
Leo Tolstoy, 82
Mary Baker Eddy, 89
Gustav Mahler, 50
Henry James, 72
Joseph, Lord Lister, 85
Horatio, Lord Kitchener, 66
Grigory Rasputin, 46
W.S. Gilbert, 75
August Strindberg, 63
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, 37
King George I of Greece killed
J. Pierpont Morgan, 76
Rudolf Diesel, 56
John Tenniel, 93
George Westinghouse, 67
John L. Sullivan
Scott Joplin, 49
Bram Stoker, 65
Baron von Richthofen (The Red Baron)
L. Frank Baum
Czar Nicholas II & family killed inc. Anastasia
Emperor Meiji of Japan
F.W. Woolworth, 67
Saint/Pope Pius X
King Chulalongkorn of Siam
Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii
Booker T. Washington
Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria
Henry Clay Frick
Czar Nicholas I
Tanks, planes flame- throwers, and bombs hurled out of airplanes first used in a war
Dancing the tango
Kewpie dolls, Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls
Henry Ford's assembly line for cars and his farm tractor
Imperial Hotel, Tokyo designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
Forest Lawn cemetery
Swimming the back crawl (now the backstroke)
Self-starter for automobiles; crank no more
Father's Day celebrations
The Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations
New "in" dance - The Foxtrot
The Panama Canal
Royal Air Force in England
Women's Voting Rights in England
The escalator in England
Daylight Savings Time (which, of course, really doesn't save any daylight)
Mount Wilson telescope
Three-color traffic lights
Kiwanis Clubs and the American Legion
U.S. Coast Guard
Mr. Carrier's air conditioner
Grand Central Station and Pennsylvania station both open in New York City
United Parcel Service (UPS)
State gasoline taxes
Grand Canyon National Park
First parachute jump from an airplane
Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Camp Fire Girls, and Brownies
International figure skating championship
Japanese cherry trees in Washington, D.C.
Top decade for immigration to America
Nabisco new cookie, the Oreo.
League of Nations
England's Royal Air Force
Air mail service
Gas cooking and heating
First Indianapolis 500
Black and Decker Tool Company
Auction bridge championships
Discovery of Machu Picchu, Lost City of the Incas.
Electric traffic lights
Edison's Kinetophone, a machine to record talking movies.
Camel brand cigarettes
Women march for suffrage in New York City.
Panama-Pacific Int"l Expo in San Francisco featuring movies and air shows
Forward pass first used in a football game
Gas stations open everywhere
Brillo pads and S.O.S. pads
Fingerprints are admissible as evidence in courts of law
Other new inventions: The steel golf club shaft, electric washing machine, liquid-fuel rocket, neon signs, pop-up toasters, the Geiger counter, Pyrex cookware
"Why Marry?" by Jesse Lynch Williams, 1st Pulitzer prize-winning play
Sergei Diaghilev's ballet company visits London
Panama Pacific Exposition in San Francisco
G.B. Shaw's "Heartbreak House"
Georges Feydeau's "Occupe-toi d"Amélie"
Victor Herbert's "Naughty Marietta," "Sweethearts"
George M. Cohan's "The Little Millionaire," "Hello Broadway,"
Pirandello's "Six Characters in Search of an Author"
Irving Berlin's "Watch Your Step," "Yip, Yip, Yaphank"
Shakespeare first produced at the Old Vic Theatre, London
George White's Scandals
"Irene" by Harry Tierney
Rudolf Friml's "The Firefly," "High-Jinks
Franz Lehár's "Gypsy Love" and "Eva" in Vienna
Jerome Kern's "The Girl from Utah," "Nobody Home," "Very Good Eddie," "Leave it to Jane," "Oh, Lady, Lady"
Sigmund Romberg's "Robinson Crusoe, Jr.," "Maytime," "Sinbad,"
Synge's "Playboy of the Western World" in disastrous American opening
D.W. Griffith's "Squaw Man," "Birth of a Nation," "Intolerance"
Charlie Chaplin in "Making a Living" and "Tillie's Punctured Romance" with Marie Dressler
Cecil B. De Mille's "Judith of Bethulia," "Joan the Woman," "Carmen"
Douglas Fairbanks in "The Lamb"
Theda Bara in "Romeo and Juliet," "Camille," Cleopatra," and "Salome"
"Quo Vadis," "Queen Elizabeth" and "La Dame aux Camelias," starring Sarah Bernhardt,
Also "Anna Karenina," "Spartacus," "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,"
and Mark Pickford in "The Little Princess,"
Charles Pathé's first newsreel film
Keystone cops comedy and cliffhanging serial, "The Perils of Pauline"
First movie censor
Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, D.W. Griffith & W.S. Hart form United Artists
Universal and Paramount Pictures formed
Winsor McCoy's first 3 minute animated film with 3,000 drawings - "Gertie the Dinosaur"
Five million Americans go to movies every day
Jazz sweeps the U.S. New Orleans style the rage; Chicago is jazz center towards end of decade
Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra born
World's first electronic musical instrument, the theramin, invented by Leon Theramin
Caruso's singing of "I Pagliacci" is first operatic song to be transmitted by radio waves
Amelita Galli-Curci makes US debut in "Lucia" in Chicago; Violinist Jascha Heifetz at Carnegie Hall, NY
Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No 1 in Db and his "Classical" Symphony
Delius "On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring"
Arnold Schöenberg's song-cycle "Pierrot Lunaire"
Richard Strauss's opera "Der Rosenkavalier" premieres in Dresden; also "Ariadne auf Naxos"
Puccini's "The Girl of the Golden West" premieres in New York
Gustav Holst's symphonic suite "The Planets"
Elgar's violin concerto, Symphony No. 2 in E flat and cello concerto and symphonic poem "Falstaff"
Rimsky-Korsakov's opera "The Golden Cockerel"
ASCAP (American Society Composers, Authors and Publishers)
Ralph Vaughan Williams "A Sea Symphony" (Symphony No. 1), A London Symphony, No. 2, and "Lark Ascending"
Stravinsky's ballets "The Firebird," "Petruska," "the Rite of Spring," and music for "The Soldier's Tale" mime and his opera "Le Rossignol" at the Paris Opera
Mahler's "The Song of the Earth"
Maurice Ravel's "Daphnis and Chloë" ballet
Bela Bartók's opera "Bluebeard's Castle"
George M. Cohan's "Over There," and "Alexander's Ragtime Band," plus "Let Me Call You Sweetheart," "Keep the Home Fires Burning," "I Want a Girl, Just Like the Girl that Married Dear Old Dad," "Peg "o my Heart," "Ballin" the Jack," "You Made me Love You," "Over There," "Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning," "A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody," "I"m Forever Blowing Bubbles."
Alfred A. Knopf and Harcourt, Brace and Howe founded
James Joyce "Dubliners," "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man"
"In Flanders Fields by John McCrae"
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalpyse," by Ibáñez
Marcel Proust "Remembrance of Things Past"
"The Last of the Plainsmen," "Riders of the Purple Sage," "The Man of the Forest," "The Call of the Canyon" by Zane Grey
Will Rogers "The Cowboy Philosopher on Prohibition"
"Age of Innocence" by Edith Wharton
T.S. Eliot's "Prufrock and Other Observations"
Theodore Dreiser "Jennie Gerhardt"
"Penrod," "Seventeen," and "The Magnificent Ambersons" by Booth Tarkington
Thomas Mann "Death in Venice"
Max Beerbohm "Zuleika Dobson"
"New Poetry" movement in U.S.
Sherwood Anderson "Winesburg, Ohio"
Lytton Strachey's "Eminent Victorians"
D.H. Lawrence "The White Peacock," "Sons and Lovers," "The Rainbow,"
Somerset Maugham's "Of Human Bondage," "The Moon and Sixpence"
Ezra Pound's poems "Cathay"
H.G. Wells "The New Machiavelli"
Edith Wharton, "Ethan Frome,"
Henry James "The Middle Years"
Postimpressionism and cubism are "in"; First Post Impressionist art to U.S. at Armory Show, NY
First use of the word "Surrealist" to describe Picasso's sets and costumes for Diaghilev's ballet "Parade"
The Bauhaus (School of Design, Building and Crafts) founded in Wiemar
"Mona Lisa" stolen from Louvre
Paul Klee's "Gartenplan," "Self-portrait," "Little Cosmos," "Jumping Jack"
Monet's "Water Lilies" murals at the Musée de l"orangerie, Paris and "Nymphéas"
Picasso's sculpture "Guitar," and paintings "The Violin," "Harlequin," "Accordion," "Pierrot" and sets for ballet "The Three- Cornered Hat"
Renoir's "The Washer- woman," "Gabrielle with a Rose," "The Laundresses,"
Cubism in Paris
Léger's "Nues dans la forêt," "Women in Blue,"
Matisse's "Blue Nude," "The Red Studio 1 and 2," "Bouquet," "The Three Sisters" "Woman With a Red Umbrella Seated in Profile," and "Odalisques"
Dada in Zurich, later Berlin, NY, Paris
Marcel Duchamp's "The Bride Stripped Bare," 1st Dada-style work and "Nude Descending a Staircase"
Pierre Bonnard's "Cornpoppies," "Nude at the Fireplace"
Kandinsky's "Black Lines," "Picture with Three Spots," "Improvisation No. 30," "Rain," "White Line," "Dreamy Improvisation," "Arabian Cemetery"
Modigliani's sculptures "Cellist," "Stone Head," "Crouching Female Nude," "The Marchesa Casati"
Sargent's portrait of John D. Rockefeller
Braque's "Soda," " Musical Forms" and "The Guitarist," "Violin and Glass"
Augustus John's "George Bernard Shaw"
Henri Rousseau "Yadwiga's Dream"
Marc Chagall "The Cattle Dealer," "I and My Village," "Half-past Three," "The Musician," "The Praying Jew," "The Birthday"
Maurice Utrillo's "Abbey of St. Denis," "Bistros in a Suburb," "Suburban Landscape," "White Château," "Street in Paris," "Renoir's Garden"
Jacques Lipchitz sculpture "Marin à la guitare"
Fashion & Beauty:
Zippers are "in"
Hemlines inch up.
Shoulder-length hair shortens to bobbed hair by end of decade
Pajamas taking over for nightshirts
X-shaped overlapping frontal fly in underpants
More informal styles
Tuxes with high rolled collar and small bow ties
Silk, wool or cotton socks
Bobbed hair sweeps Britain and U.S.
The soft bra invented
Jantzen bathing costumes
Brocade evening coats
Velvet suits with matching hats
Large velvet hats with feathers
"V" backed evening gowns
Pravda (founded by Lenin) and Izvestia in Russia
Woodrow Wilson admits reporters to White House for first Presidential press conference
The New Statesman
Daily Express England bought by Lord Beaverbrook
French Socialist paper "Le Populaire"
World's first crossword puzzle published in New York World
N.Y. Times publishes 1st 12 page advertising supplement
RCA (Radio Corporation of America) incorporated
Paul Bunyon stories first published in the Detroit News Tribune
First daily radio broadcasts
Model T Ford $850 reducing through the decade to $600 and $440, Stutz Bearcat $1,250, Chevrolet Roadster $490, DeSoto expensive $2,185
Postwar runaway inflation in Germany
U.S. Postal Savings Bank opens
U.S. buys Virgin Islands from Denmark for $25 Million
French hoard gold so government prints 5, 10 and 20 franc notes
£1 and 10 shilling notes issued in England
Run on savings banks in Eastern Europe
Federal Reserve Bank in U.S. founded
First U.S. Federal Income Tax becomes law with the passing of the 16th amendment
John D. Rockefeller donates $100 million to establish Rockefeller Foundation; largest gift in history; Andrew Carnegie tops it with $125 million
Charlie Chaplin's salary 1917: $1 million
Pope Pius X
Pope Benedict XV
Britain's Balfour Declaration paves the way for a home for Jews in Israel
Vision of Fatima in Portugal. Three children site miracle Lady for first time
Marie Curie publishes "Treatise on Radiography"
Einstein's law of photochemical equivalence and his theory of relativity
Geiger's device for counting alpha rays
Treatment of war casualties leads to development of plastic surgery
Experiments in short-wave radio
The words "vitamin" and "isotope" first used
Tetanus controlled by serum injections
Piltdown man hoax
Cosmic radiation discovered
Research on radiation
Discovery of test for immunity from diphtheria, composition of chlorophyll, isolation of vitamin A
X-rays used to diagnose lung disease and test for breast cancer
Protons and electrons detected by Wilson's cloud-chamber photos
First heart surgery performed - on a dog
Atom first split 1919 by Ernest Rutherford in Cambridge
New Slang Words:
The word "jazz"
The acid test
To have two left feet
To have one's back against the wall
Come hell or high water
Get something off one's chest
To be a bundle of nerves
Something is business as usual
Down to the last detail
To take extra precautions
A fate worse than death
The female of the species
To sink one's teeth into something
To have a shot at
To make the supreme sacrifice
To see red
To get something straight from the horse's mouth
The facts of life
Ain't it the truth
Another day, another dollar
Another nail in the coffin
Don't do anything I wouldn't do
To do something for the hell of it
Be my guest. Help yourself
Don't mind if I do
I"ve got your number
It"ll all come out in the wash
Let's get this show on the road
To shed some light on the subject
Never say die
No fooling; no kidding
Something is not what it's cracked up to be
Nothing to write home about
Someone is a stuffed shirt
Tall, dark and handsome
This is the life
Wait and see
What's it to you?
What's the good word
All dressed up and nowhere to go
To bank on something
Go like a bat out of hell
To miss the boat
To bone up on something (study)
Something is a cliffhanger
To gum up the works
A grease monkey (mechanic)
New words added to Collins Dictionary:
About These Tools
An introduction to History by Decades by Larry Belling. More...