Looking Forward in History to 1895

As Dr Sage and Professor Savant are about to begin a new year (1895) we thought we’d look at some of the events they will be experiencing. Much was changing in the world, from the conflicts between global powers to the development of gas and diesel powered engines. These are just some of the highlights our characters have to look forward to in the coming year.

Dreyfus afAlfred Dreyfusfair
The Dreyfus Affair was a political scandal that divided the Third French Republic from 1894 until its resolution in 1906. The affair is often seen as a modern and universal symbol of injustice, and it remains one of the most notable examples of a complex miscarriage of justice. The major role played by the press and public opinion proved influential in the lasting social conflict.

The Importance of Being Earnest
Oscar Wilde’s last play opens at the St James’s Theatre in London on February 14.

President Cleveland twist the tail of the British LionVenezuelan crisis of 1895
The Venezuelan crisis of 1895 occurred over Venezuela’s longstanding dispute with the United Kingdom about the territory of Essequibo and Guayana Esequiba, which Britain claimed as part of British Guiana and Venezuela saw as Venezuelan territory. As the dispute became a crisis, the key issue became Britain’s refusal to include in the proposed international arbitration the territory east of the “Schomburgk Line”, which a surveyor had drawn half a century earlier as a boundary between Venezuela and the former Dutch territory of British Guiana. The crisis ultimately saw Britain accept the United States’ intervention in the dispute to force arbitration of the entire disputed territory, and tacitly accept the United States’ right to intervene under the Monroe Doctrine.

Armando MenocalCuban War of Independence
The Cuban War of Independence started on February 25 and was the last of three liberation wars that Cuba fought against Spain. The final three months of the conflict escalated to become the Spanish–American War, with United States forces being deployed in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippine Islands against Spain. Historians disagree as to the extent that United States officials were motivated to intervene for humanitarian reasons but agree that yellow journalism exaggerated atrocities attributed to Spanish forces against Cuban civilians.

Bridget Cleary is killed
Bridget Cleary was an Irish woman killed by her husband on March 15, 1895. Her death is notable for several peculiarities: the stated motive for the crime was her husband’s belief that she had been abducted by fairies with a changeling left in her place; he claimed to have slain only the changeling. The gruesome nature of the case — she was either immolated while still alive or set on fire immediately following her death — prompted extensive press coverage. The trial was closely followed by newspapers in both Ireland and Britain. As one reviewer commented, nobody, with the possible exception of the presiding judge, thought it was an ordinary murder case.

Rudolf DieselDiesel engine
Rudolf Diesel patents the Diesel engine in Germany on March 30.

Oscar Wilde is arrested
Oscar Wilde is arrested in London for “gross indecency” after losing a criminal libel case against the Marquess of Queensberry on April 6.

The ScreamThe Scream Sold
The Scream exists in four versions: two pastels (1893 and 1895) and two paintings (1893 and 1910). There are also several lithographs of The Scream (1895 and later). The 1895 pastel sold at auction on 2 May 2012 for US$119,922,500, including commission.

Pullman StrikePullman Strike
The Supreme Court of the United States decides that the federal government has the right to regulate interstate commerce, legalizing the military suppression of the Pullman Strike on May 27.

Kiel Canal Opens
The Kiel Canal, connecting the North Sea to the Baltic across the base of the Jutland peninsula in Germany, officially opened June 20.

James Reavis, Baron of Arizona
The United States Court of Private Land Claims rules that James Reavis’s claim to Barony of Arizona is “wholly fictitious and fraudulent” on June 28.

Royal Albert HallThe Proms Begin
The first ever indoor promenade concert, origin of The Proms, is held at the Queen’s Hall in London, opening a series conducted by Henry Wood.

Robert Allen Coombes, Mother murderer
During the early hours, at about 4.00 AM, on July 8, 1895, 13 year old Robert Allen Coombes entered his mother’s bedroom and stabbed Emily Harriet Coombes to death. It happened at their house at 35 Cave Road, Plaistow in East London. The weapon he had used had been a knife that he had bought specifically to kill her.

Alaska Steamship Company
On August 3, 1894, Charles Peabody, Capt. George Roberts, Capt. Melville Nichols, George Lent, Frank E. Burns and Walter Oakes formed the Alaska Steamship Company which would eventually enjoy a near monopoly of freight and passenger service to Alaska.. This group of six men began gathering $30,000 by selling 300 shares of stock, at $100 each. Charles Peabody was named president of the company.

The Northern Rugby Football Union Challenge Cup 1896Rugby Football League
The Northern Rugby Football Union (the modern-day Rugby Football League) is formed at a meeting of 21 rugby clubs at the George Hotel, Huddersfield in the north of England, leading to the creation of the sport of rugby league football on August 29. The first game of what will become known as rugby is played in England on September 7.

First American Football GameAmerican Football
The first professional American football game is played on September 3, in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, between the Latrobe YMCA and the Jeannette Athletic Club.

Atlanta Compromise
Booker T. Washington delivers the Atlanta compromise speech on September 18. The agreement was that Southern blacks would work and submit to white political rule, while Southern whites guaranteed that blacks would receive basic education and due process in law. Blacks would not agitate for equality, integration, or justice, and Northern whites would fund black educational charities.

World’s First Auto Rally
the Automobile Club de France sponsors the longest race to date, a 1,710 km (1,060 mi) event, from Bordeaux to Agen and back.[8] Because it is held in ten stages, beginning on September 24.

Montparnasse derailmentMontparnasse Derailment
On October 22, a train runs through the exterior wall of Gare Montparnasse terminus in Paris. the Granville–Paris Express overran the buffer stop at its Gare Montparnasse terminus. With the train several minutes late and the driver trying to make up for lost time, it entered the station too fast and the train air brake failed to stop it. After running through the buffer stop, the train crossed the station concourse and crashed through the station wall; the locomotive fell onto the Place de Rennes below, where it stood on its nose. A woman in the street below was killed by falling masonry. The engineer was fined 50 francs and one of the guards 25 francs.

George SeldenFirst U.S. Automaker
Inventor George Selden receives the first U.S. patent for an automobile on November 5, 1895.  Who the true inventor of the automobile actually was remains clouded in the murk of history and a tangle of bureaucracy. Gottlieb Daimler of Germany often gets the credit, but a number of people, including Selden, had been working on gasoline-powered vehicles at the same time.

Wilhelm Röntgen discovers X-rays
Wilhelm Röntgen discovers a type of radiation later known as X-rays on November 8.

Two Armenian women pose with their rifles before going to war against the Ottomans, 1895Armenian War with Ottoman Empire
The first notable battle in the Armenian resistance movement took place in Sassoun, where nationalist ideals were proliferated by Hunchak activists, such as Mihran Damadian and Hampartsoum Boyadjian. The Armenian Revolutionary Federation also played a significant role in arming the people of the region. The Armenians of Sassoun confronted the Ottoman army and Kurdish irregulars at Sassoun, succumbing to superior numbers.

Alfred NobelNobel Prize
At the Swedish-Norwegian Club in Paris on November 27, Alfred Nobel signs his last will and testament, setting aside his estate to establish the Nobel Prize after his death.

First Moving Picture Film
Auguste and Louis Lumière display their first moving picture film in Paris on December 28.

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