100 Years Ago Today

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

Recorded March 5, 1915

MAID IN AMERICA is a Broadway musical comedy which opened at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York City February 1915 and has been running successfully ever since.

On March 5, 1915 veteran Victor recording artists came together as the Victor Light Opera Company at the Victor Recording Studios in Camden, New Jersey to record Gems from MAID IN AMERICA featuring : Doctor Baltimore, MD Only For You, I’m Looking For Someone’s Heart ; Susie Ann ; Oh, Those Days.




The Battle Of Vauquois Hill

The Butte de Vauquois is the highest hill in the area west of the Argonne, France and offers an unobstructed view in all directions. In September 1914 the Germans occupied this hill and made it a fortress. The French have attacked the position repeatedly with little success.

On March 4, 1915 the French Army attacked the Butte de Vauquois with thousands of men several times. Since they lacked the strategic advantage of topographic height, they suffered enormous casualties, only capturing the southern side of the hill by the end of the day. The top, with its ruined village, is a no-man’s land.

The French plan is to build mine tunnels through the dry and stable bedrock towards the German lines. Soldiers from coal-mining areas will be employed to dig caverns underneath the German trenches. Once this Mining War starts, no doubt the Germans will respond with tunnels of her own.


Butte de Vauqouis

Butte de Vauqouis

Postmarked March 4, 1915

The Dominion Line steamship company operated liners on the Liverpool-Canada route in the late 19th century and early 20th century. In 1907 two new liners were ordered from Harland and Wolff, the SS Albany and SS Alberta. However, while they were being built they were transferred to the White Star Line and with them the White Star Line itself entered the Canadian passenger trade. The RMS Megantic, a conventional twin propellered ship with quadruple expansion engines. The SS Megantic was launched in December 1908 and made her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Montréal in June 1909. Since the beginning of the war, she has transported Canadian troops to England.


On March 4, 1915 Canadian soldier Alexander MacNaughton from Halifax, Nova Scotia writes this postcard home upon arriving in Great Britain.


“March 4, Queenstown, Ireland

Arrived in port this morning at Queenstown all fine and happy and had a good trip. Leave for Liverford (sic) today all well – Alex.”

Cowboys Continue On Their Quest In Arizona

In 1912 George Beck, part-time Washington logger came up with the idea to ride horses through all 48 states and include a show at the World’s Fair, the Panama Pacific International Exposition in 1915. Calling themselves The Overland Westerners, Beck along with his brother , brother-in-law and a friend took off from Olympia, Washington in May 1912 and plan to follow a zig-zag course across the country that will allow them to visit every state. They have been received well at all their stops and have met with many governors and senators.


On March 3, 1915 The Overland Westerners were in the newest state in the US, Arizona, recently admitted to the Union in 1912. They pose with Arizona’s first governor George Wylie Paul Hunt. Now it’s on to California.



Photographed March 3, 1915

23 year-old Amedeo Pulignano, using the name of Frank Buldo, has been infiltrated in the Gaetano Bresci gang since 1914. Although married with a family, he now lives in a furnished room with other anarchists. He has heard conspiracy to destroy St. Patrick’s Cathedral, all the while he fed information to the Bomb Squad at Police Headquarters. Just yesterday, March 2, Pulignano and the anarchists were stopped in St Patrick’s cathedral carrying a bomb. The anarchists were arrested. Amedeo Pulignano could now return to his life.

On March 3, 1915 Pulignano along with his wife, mother-in-law and sister-in-law, Elizabeth Madden sat with reporters from the New York Tribune :

“Pulignano was pounding on the piano, and two of the cousins and two of the young men were dancing.” The reporter asked if there was any fear that the anarchists would retaliate against Amedo.

Mrs.Madden scoffed at the idea. “A jolly, well-set up woman, who looks the world in the face with a courageous smile, she laughed at the notion that her son-in-law might be I danger from vengeful anarchists.”

She told the reporter, “Does that look as if we feared Black Handers or anybody like that?” nodding towards the dancers. “As for me, I’m a suffragette, and suffragettes are not afraid of anything. I wasn’t afraid to march in the suffrage parade, and I’m not afraid to say we’re going to get the vote next November. Would I be afraid of a few ‘reds,’ as they call them?”

Amedeo Pulignano  with his wife (left) his mother-in-law, and sister-in-law Elizabeth Madden on March 3, 1915

Amedeo Pulignano with his wife (left) his mother-in-law, and sister-in-law Elizabeth Madden on March 3, 1915

German Saboteur Of US/Canada Bridge Indicted

International relations, strained by the advent of global conflict, has caused the intelligence agencies of major powers to go to extremes and draw strange conclusions. Although the United States professed Neutrality, Germany feared that Japan may send troops across the Pacific Ocean and through Canada. After Japan entered the war in 1914 on behalf of its British ally, Germany worries only grew and their intelligenceagency felt they needed at act.

Military attache in Washington DC Fritz von Papen

Military attache in Washington DC Fritz von Papen

Vernon Horn, 59, a German national in Guatemala working as a coffee plantation manager when he was called back to Germany. In December 1914, he was enlisted by Fritz von Papen, military attaché of the German Embassy in Washington D.C to engage in acts of espionage in the United States and Canada. Von Papen was seeking saboteurs to disrupt Canadian railways and thought that Horn, who was eager to serve the fatherland, was an ideal candidate.

The St Croix-Foxboro Bridge

The St Croix-Foxboro Bridge

Van Papen’s plan was to destroy the St Croix-Vanceboro railway bridge crossing the St Croix River from St Croix, New Brunswick, Canada to Vanceboro, Maine. By late January, Horn was in Boston with a suitcase full of dynamite. He rode the train with his dangerous parcel under his seat from Boston to the hamlet of Vanceboro, Maine’s Central’s eastern terminus at the border with Canada. Horn checked into the Exchange Hotel. Later, Horn made his way to the bridge where he planted a bomb. At 1:10 a.m. on Tuesday, February 2, 1915 a bomb exploded, blowing out windows across both towns of Vanceboro and St. Croix. Some iron beams on the bridge were twisted or bent but the damage was relatively minor. Horn was frostbitten and needed assistance. Horn’s condition led to questioning and arrest at the Exchange Hotel. The US Sheriff crossed the border and in order to detain him, charged him with criminal damage for breaking windows in Vanceboro. Horn was moved to jail in Machias where he was interrogated by the Bureau of Investigation and signed a confession.


On March 2, 1915, since the explosion took place on the Canada-side of the the St Croix-Vanceboro railway bridge, the federal grand jury in Boston, Massachusetts at the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts indicted Horn the most serious crime they could in the United States – transporting explosives on a common carrier that also transported passengers for hire. He has still to be charged by Canada.

Boy Murderer In Chicago Bound For Trial

Last week in Chicago, Illinois August Jantzen, 53, was shot and killed during an attempted robbery by a 16 year-old Elmer Fanter. Although he put up little resistance, Fanter shot Jantzen, explaining the cause of the murder “… he [Jantzen] swatted me on the cooo. Well, I ain’t takin’ that sort of stuff off’n no one, so I ups with my rod and lets him have it right through the heart.”

On March 2, 1915 the coroner returned a decision of homicide against Elmer Fanter, being called in the press  “The Boy Murderer.” He will be held over for an indictment by the Grand Jury. This photo was taken March 2, 1915 of Fanter in custody.


Postmarked March 2, 1915


“Lovey Mary”
North side of East Harrison Street between North Main Street and North Jefferson Street, Martinsville, Indiana
Postmarked Martinsville, Indiana
March 2, 1915 – 5:00 PM

The Tsar Writes The Tsarina

In 1913, the Romanovs celebrated 300 years on the Russian throne. Tsar Nicholas II, who had ruled since 1894, and the imperial family made a pilgrimage across the empire in 1913 to great acclaim, retracing the route down the Volga River that was made by the teenage Michael Romanov from the Ipatiev Monastery in Kostroma to Moscow when he finally agreed to become Tsar in 1613.

But now Russia now fully engaged fighting the German and Ottoman Empires on front-lines that together, span thousands of miles. It was a war that Nicholas provoked when in July 1914, the council of ministers was held and Nicholas made the fateful decision to intervene in the Austro-Serbian conflict, threatening Germany and Austria and a step toward general war.

Now Nicholas is fighting a war with a Germany that has 10X the miles of railroad track than his entire vast country Making military logistics a nightmare. He must contend with a Duma that feels slighted and engages in blocking legislation such as hampering the organization of voluntary patriotic groups that want to help out in the war. The gulf between the ruling aristocratic elite and public opinion grows steadily wider making a fertile ground for radical groups to form.

Nicholas travels frequently but misses his family and writes his wife practically everyday.

Telegram. Stavka. 2 March, 1915

Warmest thanks for dear letter and news. It is warm, but dull. I am very busy and have to speak a great deal. Find time for the usual long walks after lunch. I shall write. Embrace everyone closely.


Nicholas II in 1915 with his wife Alexandera and children, Alexei, Olga, Tatyana, Maria and Anastasia

Nicholas II in 1915 with his wife Alexandera and children, Alexei, Olga, Tatyana, Maria and Anastasia

Mack Sennett Releases New Comedy

Mack Sennett Releases New Comedy

Mack Sennett first made films for the Biograph Company of New York before forming his own Keystone Studios in California.


Mack Swain was born in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1876. He worked in vaudeville before joining Mack Sennett at Keystone Studios.

On March 1, 1915 Keystone Studios released “Willful Ambrose” with Mack Swain teamed up with Chester Conklin.


Mack Swain in "Willful Ambrose" - 1915

Mack Swain in “Willful Ambrose” – 1915

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