All I have to do now… is sit… and wait…

That by the way, is a quote from David Attenborough, the naturalist who produces those wonderful documentaries about Nature… Too many to list and I keep on discovering more…

I am awaiting my package of patterns from the VPLL project organizers… but I am not just sitting doing nothing in the meantime. God forbid!!! I design and sew for a living so there is nearly always work to do. I sew for private individuals as well as for the Museum of Civilization across the river in Gatineau (formerly known as Hull) on a regular basis: repairing costumes or making new ones, or making new “things” they need: dolls, cushions, spice bags etc.

And of course there are the things I want to explore on my own. I got some fantastic bits and pieces for Christmas like gears, magazines and materials that will allow me to explore fabric sculpting and more jewellery making and those will be springboards for more projects that will fill my studio storage space…

It occurred to me that I could go have a look at what information I could find about 1912. I like history and reading about it and lately I have jumped back into my reading with avidity!!  So I thought to give you a little more historical details about that year. I have compounded a list of the important events of 1912, in Politics, Art, Medicine, Social and Natural History. The list is not exhaustive, of course there is a lot more but these were some of the facts that seemed worth looking into. It is in random order and I have added the link to where that quoted information can be found if you care to read more about each of them.

*1–Roosevelt declined to run for re-election in 1908. After leaving office, he embarked on a safari to Africa and a tour of Europe. On his return to the U.S., a bitter rift developed between Roosevelt and his anointed successor as president, William Howard Taft. In 1912, Roosevelt attempted to wrest the Republican nomination from Taft, and when he failed, he launched the Bull Moose Party. In the ensuing election, Roosevelt became the only third-party candidate to come in second place, beating Taft but losing to Woodrow Wilson.

*2– In the early 20th century the “Young Turk Movement”, as a liberal movement in opposition to the Sultan, became an important factor within the Ottoman Empire.  A constitution was established and electoral laws promulgated.  Unfortunately for the hopeful Albanians in Kosovo the electoral law of 1908 stipulated that voters must have a knowledge of the Turkish language in order to vote leaving the great majority of Kosovars, whether Albanian or Serbian, disenfranchised.  The Young Turks were strongly opposed to nationalist tendencies within the Empire and worked toward centralization of power and authority and Turkification of all subjects in the Ottoman domain. As is the case in present day Serbia, the Ottomans strongly opposed the autonomy desired by Kosovars in general and Albanians in particular.  This was one of many Albanian Kosovar disappointments though the years.

In the first Balkan War of 1912 Albania was attacked by Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece.  The Albanians were allied with the Ottomans.  Serbs joined the army in large numbers to avenge the Serbian defeat by the Turks at the Battle of Kosovo Polje.  At this time Kosovo was  mostly Albanian.  Serbs entered Pristina as Albanians retreated to the mountains.  The Serbian army destroyed Turkish and Albanian houses and there was much plundering and killing.  Serb peasants followed the army into Kosovo re-occupying the land.  The Albanians fought fiercely but lost the war and Kosovo came under Serbian authority.  At the Conference of Ambassadors in London in 1912 presided over by Sir Edward Grey, the British Foreign Secretary, Serbia was given sovereignty over Kosovo which it has retained to the present day.  Albania, for the first time was internationally recognized and by the Treaty of London in1913 became a fully independent and sovereign state. Within Kosovo not surprisingly there was much anti-Serbian sentiment since the population was still mostly Albanian.  In 1913, in the second Balkan War, Bulgaria attacked the Serbian and Greek armies in Macedonia.  They miscalculated and were quickly and decisively defeated.  Among the outcomes Serbia nearly doubled in size obtaining most of Slavic Macedonia.

*3–By 1912 the possibilities of analytical cubism seemed to be exhausted. Picasso and Braque began new experiments. Within a year they were composing still lifes of cut-and-pasted scraps of material, with only a few lines added to complete the design, such as Still-Life with Chair Caning. These collages led to synthetic cubism — paintings with large, schematic patterning, such as The Guitar.

*4–Emperor Meiji died in 1912 and was buried in the Graveyard (Fushimi Momoyama Ryo) in Kyoto. After his death the Meiji era ending leaving the people of Japan nervous and unsure of what the future might bring.

Though he did not play a big part politically, verbally, or physically his presence is still regarded as a very important and crucial part of the Meiji revolution. He symbolized the unity of the people under one government rising up to strike down the Tokugawa shogunate in order to establish a safer and more peaceful future. His era, though it shamefully resulted in Japan joining the Axis powers, is still regarded with pride, for it was this era that revealed Japan to be a great nation.

*5–In October, 1912, George Lansbury decided to draw attention to the plight of WSPU prisoners by resigning his seat in the House of Commons and fighting a by-election in favour of votes for women. Lansbury discovered that a large number of males were still opposed to equal rights for women and he was defeated by 731 votes. The following year he was imprisoned for making speeches in favour of suffragettes who were involved in illegal activities. While in Pentonville he went on hunger strike and was eventually released under the Cat and Mouse Act.

In 1912 the WSPU began a campaign to destroy the contents of pillar-boxes. By December, the government claimed that over 5,000 letters had been damaged by the WSPU. The main figure in this campaign was May Billinghurst. A fellow suffragette, Lilian Lenton, argued: “She (May Billinghurst) would set out in her chair with many little packages from which, when they were turned upside down, there flowed a dark brown sticky fluid, concealed under the rug which covered her legs. She went undeviatingly from one pillar box to another, sometimes alone, sometimes with another suffragette to do the actual job, dropping a package into each one.”

*6–Mussolini had become a member of the Socialist Party in 1900 and had begun to attract wide admiration. In speeches and articles he was extreme and violent, urging revolution at any cost, but he was also well spoken. Mussolini held several posts as editor and labor leader until he emerged in the 1912 Socialist Party Congress. He became editor of the party’s daily paper, Avanti, at the age of twenty-nine. His powerful writing injected excitement into the Socialist ranks. In a party that had accomplished little in recent years, his youth and his intense nature was an advantage. He called for revolution at a time when revolutionary feelings were sweeping the country.

Read more: Benito Mussolini Biography – life, family, story, death, school, mother, old, information, born, time, year

*7–We think that a powerful and vigorous movement is impossible without differences — “true conformity” is possible only in the cemetery. Stalin‘s article “Our purposes” Pravda #1, (22 January 1912)

*8–On 10 October 1911, a military rebellion at Wunchang ended over thousand years of monarchy in China. Sun Yat returned to china and was elected as the provisional President of the Republic of China in a meeting of representatives from provinces on 29 December 1911. January 1, 1912 became the first day of the first Year of the Republic; thus making a calendar system that is still used in many parts of China. Sun’s revolution had seen a series of defeats before the establishment of the Republic of China and with the new found success of the revolution, Sun became known as the National Father of Modern China. His Method and Strategies of Establishing the Country came in 1919, suggesting his idea to promote peace, freedom and equality in China.

*9–Belgian chocolate itself has been popular since the 18th century, but a new process created by Jean Neuhaus in 1912 increased its popularity ten-fold. Neuhaus used a special version of chocolate called “couverteur” as a cold shell for what he called ‘pralines’. These pralines are not the same as the sugary treats offered in American candy shops.

*10–The Sinking of the Titanic, 1912

*11–The 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden.   The 1912 Olympics at Stockholm were known as the “Swedish Masterpiece” because they were so well organized. Avery Brundage, IOC president from 1952 to 1972, described these Games: “The efficiency and almost mathematical precision with which the events were handled and the formal correctness of the arrangements made a great impression on me.”*   The Games also benefited from the use of electric timing devices and a public address system which were first used at these Olympic Games.

*12–Gene Kelly, 1912-1996: His Movies Made Dance Popular in America.

*13–Novarupta.  The Most Powerful Volcanic Eruption of the 20th Century. June 6th, 1912

*14–Joseph Lister was born at Upton, Essex, England, in 1827, and received his general education at the University of London. After graduation he studied medicine in London and Edinburgh, and became lecturer in surgery at the University in the latter city. Later he was professor of surgery at Glasgow, at Edinburgh, and at King’s College Hospital, London, and surgeon to Queen Victoria. He was made a baronet in 1883; retired from teaching in 1893; and was raised to the peerage in 1897, with the title of Baron Lister. He died in 1912.

Even before the work of Pasteur on fermentation and putrefaction, Lister had been convinced of the importance of scrupulous cleanliness and the usefulness of deodorants in the operating room; and when, through Pasteur’s researches, he realized that the formation of pus was due to bacteria, he proceeded to develop his antiseptic surgical methods. The immediate success of the new treatment led to its general adoption, with results of such beneficence as to make it rank as one of the great discoveries of the age.

On a more personal note, I think that both sets of my grandparents on either side of the Atlantic had met.

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