100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Britain, France and Russia Divide Up The Ottoman Empire

More than two weeks ago, representatives of Britain, France and Russia started secret meetings to draft an agreement as to the division of the Ottoman Empire should it be conquered.

On March 18, 1915 The Constantinople Agreement was reached between the secret government officials representing Britain, France and Russia. Russia would be given the area around Constantinople together with a portion of the hinterland on either coast in Thrace and Asia Minor. Constantinople, however, was to be a free port. In return, Russia consented to British and French plans for territories or for spheres of influence in new Muslim states in the Middle Eastern parts of the Ottoman Empire.

Text of The Constantinople Agreement 1915
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantinople_Agreement

Constatinople - 1915

Constatinople – 1915

Massive Naval Assault On Ottoman Empire Begins

For over a month Allied forces have been focused on mounting an attack that would result in capturing the Dardanelles, the narrow, strategically vital strait in northwestern Turkey separating Europe from Asia.

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Although the French wanted to delay until ground troops could be spared from the Western Front, First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill pushed to begin immediately. Ottoman forces are prepared for an Allied naval attack on the strait as German engineers have improved their defenses in the region. Allied bombardment has destroyed Ottoman forts near the entrance to the Dardanelles in the days leading up to the attack,

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On March 18, 1915 six English and four French battleships headed towards the straits. But the water was heavily mined and three of the 10 Allied battleships—the British Irresistible and Ocean and the French Bouvet—were sunk, and two more were badly damaged. With half the fleet out of commission, pressing on the attack seems futile.

The French warship, Bouvet on fire and sinking on March 18, 1915

The French warship, Bouvet on fire and sinking on March 18, 1915 two minutes after striking a submerged mine.

HMS Irresistible abandoned and sinking - March 18, 1915

HMS Irresistible abandoned and sinking – March 18, 1915

Railroad Station Demolished By Trains

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On March 18,1915 a photographer from the San Diego Union snapped this picture of the old Santa Fe station as two railroad engines pulled the tower to earth. The new Santa Fe station appears in the background.

Issued March 18, 1915

LIFE magazine St Patrick’s Day Number

Cover Art by F G Cooper – Leprechaun Reading LOIFE Magazine

F G Cooper was born in Oregon and studied art at the Mark Hopkins Art Institute in San Francisco before arriving in New York City in 1904. There he pursued his career as a cartoonist and designer. He is known for using lower case letters and is called “the lower case artist.”

LIFE Magazine - March 18, 1915 cover art by F G Cooper

LIFE Magazine – March 18, 1915
cover art by F G Cooper

Famed Aviator Dies In Crash At World’s Fair

Hillery Beachey was born in 1885 in San Francisco, California. His brother Lincoln was born 2 years later in 1887. Hillary started his aviation career flying balloons and flew a dirigible at the Lewis & Clark Exposition in Portland, Oregon in 1905. His brother Lincoln followed him into flying and soon graduated to airplanes. At the 1911 Los Angeles airshow when his motor failed and he went into a nose-diving spin that no pilot had ever survived, Beachey did what no pilot had ever done: he turned into the spin, regained control, and landed safe and sound. Lincoln soon surpassed his brother and after a flying exhibition at Niagara Falls in June 1911 where he flew under Honeymoon Bridge, his popularity soared.

Lincoln Beachey flying under Honeymoon Bridge at Niagara Falls, NY in June 1911

Lincoln Beachey flying under Honeymoon Bridge at Niagara Falls, NY in June 1911

The world’s governments were not anxious to commit to any one airplane design in fear it might become obsolete. They would rather see them demonstrated in flight. This, coupled with the public’s desire to see airplanes for the first time, made airshows very popular and Lincoln Beachey was the star who invented figure 8, the vertical drop and the loop-the-loop. He would touch the top of moving trains and dive-bombed the White House and Congress to show how unprepared the US was for air warfare. Just recently at the San Francisco International Exposition, Beachey had a large wooden model made of the Battleship Oregon, and had it anchored a mile offshore of San Francisco manned with 100 sailors which he bombed with smokebombs in front of a crowd of 80,000. Orville Wright said of Lincoln Beachy: “An aeroplane in the hands of Lincoln Beachey is poetry. His mastery is a thing of beauty to watch. He is the most wonderful flyer of all.”

On March 14, 1915 Lincoln Beachey was at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition hoping to perform the first exhibition of inverted flight in a monoplane. In front of a crowd of 70,000, he successfully turned the plane onto its back. When he pulled on the controls to pull the plane out of its inverted position, the strain caused the rear spars in wings to break, and the crumpled plane plunged into the bay between two ships. Lincoln Beachey survived the crash but drowned in San Francisco Bay.

Lincoln Beachey climbing into his monoplane on March 14, 1915 at the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition just before taking off for the last time.

Lincoln Beachey climbing into his monoplane on March 14, 1915 at the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition just before taking off for the last time.

Lincoln Beachey at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition taking off on his final fatal flight - March 14, 1915

Lincoln Beachey at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition taking off on his final fatal flight – March 14, 1915

Photographed March 14, 1915

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Large group of hikers posed in front of a single leafless tree for a hike that took place in Southeast Washington DC through the neighborhoods of Twining and Bennings.

The Battle of Nueve Chappelle

Neuve-Chapelle is a village situated less than a mile from the front line trenches and consisted of a smattering of houses at the epicenter of the British 1st Army’s line. The British hope to break into enemy positions, take Neuve-Chapelle, suppress enemy trenches by bombardments, and follow up by reaching Lille. to break into enemy positions, take Neuve-Chapelle, suppress enemy trenches by bombardments, and follow up by reaching Lille. It is the first time that the Canadian Expeditionary Force have been fully involved in action with the enemy.

The British attack on March 10 and make some advances but are reversed by the Germans who had time to muster reinforcements.

On March 12, the Germans bombarded Allied positions and counterattacked with 20 battalions. British units were prepared to push back but there was a further delay in the offensive complicated by thick fog. When the British attack was finally launched, it resulted in heavy losses. The Battle of Neuve-Chapelle was over. The British sustained 12,892 losses.

Photograph of the British battlefield in Neuve Chappelle  March 12, 1915

Photograph of the British battlefield in Neuve Chappelle
March 12, 1915

Published March 12, 1915

During the current conflict in Europe, dogs are being used on the front line by carrying aid to the wounded, sending and receiving messages between the lines, sniffing out enemy soldiers on foot patrols and pulling machine guns and equipment. The dogs were donated by families or recruited from dogs’ homes across the country after they were rescued from living rough as strays.

On March 12, 1915 The English newspaper The Manchester Courier ran this picture of a dog attached to an Australian Contingent in Egypt who after fighting at Gallipoli was given a silver collar for his courage in battle.

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Published March 5, 1915

Photograph published in the newspaper “Excelsior” Paris, France on March 5, 1915.

Inspectors of motorists recently equipped with raincoats.

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Two Diaries From A Connecticut Farm

The Frank Seger family of Kent, Connecticut

The Frank Seger family of Kent, Connecticut

The Seger/Jennings dairy farm is in Kent, Connecticut. Cans of milk were driven by horse and wagon to the railroad platform at the bottom of the mountain every day. Family, farmhands and children performed endless daily chores. Frank Seger, father of five works the entire day on the farm. His eldest daughter Lucy has daily chores to attend to.

On March 5, 1915 Frank and Lucy Segar made different entried in their diaries:

Frank Seger
Sunday, March 5, 1915

12 Above. Cloudy acks like rain. I took the milk. Came back went down on road chopped ice & put on Salt. Heman helped Reubin Wolf saw down trees. Lewis drew to load of wood then cleaned out the Barn before noon. Took munare up to Comestocks after noon. Children went to ________.

Lucy Seger
March 5, 1915

Clear and mild all day. I made a cake in the morning. In the afternoon I swept and dusted upstairs. Mother up to Mrs. Smith’s in afternoon. In evening I went down to Darlings to a surprise party. Heman went down to train to meet Laura and one of her school chums. There wasn’t very many there; myself, brothers and Clarence J. was all. I talked with Sarah on the telephone.

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