1914: The Year in Review

Like most people who write about history online, this year I’ve spent a lot of time and virtual ink on the beginning of the First World War this year. * It’s easy to forget that the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand and Europe’s tumble into war wasn’t the only thing that happened in 1914.

Charlie Chaplin

Here are some of the highlights:

 James Joyce published Dubliners and Edgar Rice Burroughs published Tarzan of the Apes.  You could argue that Tarzan was the more important in terms of the extent of its cultural influence.

Charlie Chaplin made his first film: an improvised short titled Kid Auto Races at Venice.

Sir Ernest Shackleton set out on his third and most famous expedition to Antarctica.  His ship, the badly named Endurance, was crushed by ice and Shackleton and his crew floated on sheets of ice for months.

The first ship sailed through the Panama Canal, ending its journey on August 3.  No one paid much attention because German troops marched into neutral Belgium the next morning.

The first electric traffic light was installed–not in New York, Paris, or London but in Cleveland, Ohio, at the corner of Euclid and 105th

* Ten posts since June.  Unless the Marginites rise up and scream “no more WWI! Please!”, there will be more to come over the next few years.


  1. Bart Ingraldi on December 24, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Wonderful post. For me, these historic postscripts are ornaments on a Christmas tree. They make history fuller and brighter.
    All the best,

    • pamela on December 24, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      I like that image. Here’s to a new year full of historical baubles.

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