Monday, December 31, 2012

Famous People Born In 1913 Part I: The Events of 1913

As 2013 opens, it's instructive to look back 100 years to 1913.  Particularly I want to look at some of the people whose lives impacted the world enough to gain widespread attention.  From the lists I've found, I've narrowed the list to 44 people who I was aware of or who seem to have made important contributions even if their names weren't well known.

The list has few giant events - but it was a year building up to World War I.  The Balkan War was ending. (pdf)

First though, let's review some of the things that happened that year:

Feb 17 - March 15 - Armory Show in New York - Duchamps Nude Descending a Staircase
Feb 25th - 16th Amendment ratified, authorizing income tax
Mar 4th - 1st US law regulating the shooting of migratory birds passed
Mar 4th - Woodrow Wilson inaugurated as 28th president
Mar 12th - Foundation stone of the Australian capital in Canberra laid
Mar 14th - John D Rockefeller gives $100 million to Rockefeller Foundation
Mar 21st - -26] Flood in Ohio, kills 400
Apr 8th - 17th amendment, requiring direct election of senators, ratified
Apr 9th - Brooklyn Dodger's Ebbets Field opens, Phillies win 1-0
Apr 21st - Gideon Sundback of Sweden patents the zipper
May 7th - British House of Commons rejects woman's right to vote
May 12th - Harry Green runs world record marathon (2:38:16.2)
May 13th - 1st four engine aircraft built and flown (Igor Sikorsky-Russia)
May 19th - Webb Alien Land-Holding Bill passes, forbidding Japanese from owning land
May 26th - Actors' Equity Association forms (NYC)
May 29th - Igor Stravinsky's ballet score The Rite of Spring is premiered in Paris, provoking a riot.
May 30th - New country of Albania, forms
Jun 2nd - 1st strike settlement mediated by US Dept of Labor-RR clerks
Jun 4th - Suffragette Emily Davison steps in front of King George V's horse Anmer at the Epsom Derby
Jun 5th - Dutch Disability laws go into effect
Jun 16th - South-African parliament forbids blacks owning land
Jun 21st - Tiny Broadwick is 1st woman to parachute from an airplane
Jul 3rd - Common tern banded in Maine; found dead in 1919 in Africa (1st bird known to have crossed the Atlantic)
Jul 3rd - Confederate veterans at the Great Reunion of 1913 reenact Pickett's Charge; upon reaching the high-water mark of the Confederacy they are met by the outstretched hands of friendship from Union survivors.
Jul 10th - Death Valley, California hits 134 °F (~56.7 °C), which is the highest temperature recorded in the United States.
Jul 19th - Billboard publishes earliest known "Last Week's 10 Best Sellers among Popular Songs" Malinda's Wedding Day is #1
Jul 23rd - Arabs attack Jewish community of Rechovot Palestine
Jul 30th - Conclusion of 2nd Balkan War
Aug 13th - Invention of stainless steel by Harry Brearley.
Aug 16th - Tōhoku Imperial University of Japan (modern day Tōhoku University) admits its first female students.
Aug 19th - Frenchman Pégoud makes 1st parachute jump in Europe
Aug 28th - Queen Wilhelmina opens Peace Palace (The Hague)
Sep 10th - Lincoln Highway opens as 1st paved coast-to-coast highway
Sep 29th - Sam S Shubert Theater opens at 225 W 44th St NYC
Oct 7th - Henry Ford institutes moving assembly line
Oct 14th - Explosion in coal mine at Cardiff kills 439
Oct 22nd - Coal mine explosion kills 263 at Dawson New Mexico
Nov 6th - Mohandas K Gandhi arrested for leading Indian miners march in S Africa
Nov 13th - 1st modern elastic brassiere patented by Mary Phelps Jacob
Nov 17th - 1st US dental hygienists course forms, Bridgeport, Ct
Dec 1st - 1st drive-up gasoline station opens (Pitts)
Dec 1st - Continuous moving assembly line introduced by Ford (car every 2:38)
Dec 8th - Construction starts on Palace of Fine Arts in SF
Dec 12th - "Mona Lisa," stolen from Louvre Museum in 1911, recovered
Dec 12th - Hebrew language officially used to teach in Palestinian schools
Dec 13th - Mona Lisa stolen in Aug 1911 returned to Louvre
Dec 16th - Charlie Chaplin began his film career at Keystone for $150 a week
Dec 21st - 1st crossword puzzle (with 32 clues) printed in NY World
Dec 23rd - President Woodrow Wilson signs Federal Reserve Act into law
Other Events in 1913:
Ernest Rutherford and Niels Bohr describe atomic structure.
Nobel Prize for Literature: Rabindranath Tagore (India)
US Population: 97,225,000

List sources: historyorb and  Infoplease.  I did find some errors, but haven't double checked every date, so there may still be a few.

Culturally, this was, apparently a major year of change.  Stravinsky's Rite of Spring was introduced and the Armory Show in New York introduced many European artists to the US.  

The Green Space offers a 70 minute video discussion of this tumultuous cultural environment of 1913.  Well worth listening to to get a sense of the cultural upheavels of 1913.  At about 50 minutes in, the discuss 1913's similarities to and differences from today. 

Post II has video of the two folks that appear to still be alive (both opera singers), Risë Stevens and Licia Albanese.   It also has the list of all 44 that I chose in birth order.  So the 'oldest' born January 4, 1913, Rosa Parks, starts the list.

Post III includes short bios and images in the order of their deaths, beginning with Albert Camus (1960) and ending with William Casey (1987).  Since these posts are so long, I'll divide them up into shorter posts.

Post IV has a video of Ruth Ungar Marx who's planning to celebrate her 100th birthday on May 26, 2013.


  1. Typo in headline; should be "Famous."

    Thanks for this. My dad was born in 1913.

  2. Thanks B. I guess they all lived on farms some time in their lives. But I fixed it anyway. Watch for upcoming posts with the lists of people born in 1913. Two appear to still be alive.


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