Genealogy Primer: What was going on in the world in 1899?
If you follow our website here, you know we love to add an historic focus to our genealogy work. We are now preparing our newest, exclusive English translation of another Czech genealogy treasure from the Czech-American annual journal Amerikán Národní Kalendář. This new article will be coming from the 1899 edition and will again feature several first person accounts of the lives and times of early Czech immigrants who settled across the United States. As such we present, again as we always do, a primer for you on what the world was like for our ancestors in the year of our article.
So here we go…back to 1899. Let’s see what was happening in the World and the United States.
There were only 45 stars on the American flag in 1899 and William McKinley was President (25th).
The word ‘automobile’ appeared in print for the very first time, in a New York Times editorial.
With the ending of the Spanish-American War, the United States kicked Spain out of Cuba and began a four year occupation of that island nation and as a result of the peace treaty, took over the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico.
Duke Ellington, Ernest Hemingway, Al Capone, Hoagy Carmichael, Fred Astaire, and Humphrey Bogart were all born.
The United States entered the Philippine-American War.
The leaders of six Australian colonies met to decide about establishing a confederation and in the same year chose Canberra as the nation’s capital.
The Republic of Hawaii became a U.S. Territory.
In February ‘The Great Blizzard of 1899’, a phenomenal storm and cold front, settled over a significant portion of the United States and produced the following sampling of low temperature records: -39°F in Milligan, Ohio; -61°F in Montana; -15°F in Washington D.C.; -16°F in Minden, Louisiana; -2°F in Tallahassee, Florida; -47°F in Camp Clarke, Nebraska; and -1°F in New Orleans. Over 400 deaths are attributed to this storm alone.
The first automobile accident fatality was recorded (in New York City) when Henry H. Bliss was hit and crushed by an electric taxicab while he was exiting a streetcar.
The first lawn mower was patented.
Aspirin was patented by the German pharmaceutical company, Bayer AG.
Cyclone Mahina slammed into Queensland, Australia near the town of Cooktown. With a 12m wave moving up to 5km inland, it killed over 300.
The Boer War began in South Africa.
Carnation first canned Evaporated Milk.
A deadly tornado struck and destroyed the town of New Richmond, Wisconsin killing 117 and injuring 200 more.
Newsboys staged a several week-long strike in New York City.
John Marshall School of Law was established in Chicago, Illinois (and a tip of the author’s cap to his daughter who is a JMSL grad).
Mile a Minute Murphy became the first person to ride a bicycle for a mile in under a minute.
The first Juvenile Court in America was established in Chicago.
The Bronx Zoo opened for its first day.
Gold was discovered in Nome, Alaska.
Marshall ‘Major’ Taylor became the world champion in the one mile professional cycle racing, making him the first African-American world champion in any sport.
So there you have a brief time capsule of 1899 and what the world was experiencing. Now get ready for a new set of biographies from this same year from Czechs across the U.S.
Onward To Our Past®