1908 Facts: Find Out What Happened In Just One Year | Kidadl


1908 Facts: Find Out What Happened In Just One Year

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Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

1908 had 366 days!

That made it a leap year. A lot happened across the globe in those 366 days: ancient empires fell, inventions were made, diseases were discovered, and so on.

Every year in history has contributed to the present. 1908 was one such year. From Japan to London, throughout the year, something or another transpired across the globe. There were things to celebrate and things that led to the makings of World War I.

1908 was definitely a crucial period in history. Physicians discovered important diseases, the most affordable car was launched by Henry Ford, New York City saw the drop of the famous Times Square Ball for the first time, Bosnia was annexed, the Ottoman Empire started disintegrating, and it was an election year in America.

The aviation industry also grew by leaps and bounds, with the Wright Brothers developing a flying machine that they took to flight. London hosted the 1908 Summer Olympics and coincidentally became the highest meal winners in the competition. Anti-black race riots erupted in America. Therefore, 1908 was another colorful period that had a mix of good and bad events.

It is time to learn facts about this fascinating year! Explore Kidadl for more historical facts like these 1910 facts and 1917 fun facts.

Fun Facts About 1908

A number of events took place in 1908. From the Olympics to the discovery of poliovirus, continue reading to discover the exciting facts about this period in history.

The tradition of dropping the ball atop Times Square in New York City started on New Year's eve of 1908. A fully lit 700 lb (317.5 kg) iron ball was dropped from the flagpole above Times Square's main building. Revelers gathered around the iconic Times Square in New York City to witness the Times ball drop, signaling the start of the New Year.

Two physicians from Vienna, Karl Landsteiner, and Erwin Popper, discovered the cause of polio to be a virus in 1908. The viral nature of the disease was uncovered after the physicians injected the trapped bacteria from an infected person into a monkey. The monkey eventually developed polio, which led them to include the infectious nature of the disease.

The 1908 Summer Olympics were held in London, England. Originally, the competition was to be held in Rome, Italy. However, in 1906, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius caused extensive damage to the city of Naples and other surrounding areas. The funds meant for the games were then diverted by the Italian government for the reconstruction of Naples.

The 1908 Baseball World Series was won by the Chicago Cubs. Out of the 154 games played, the team won a total of 99 games. The next time the Cubs won a World Series was only in 2016.

Wilbur Wright, on December 31, set a world record for flying for two hours and 18 minutes by traveling an official distance of 76.4 mi (123 km) in France. He won the Coupe Michelin d'Aviation, which had handsome prize money of 20,000 francs.

Harvard Business School established the world's first-ever Masters in Business Administration (MBA) program in 1908. The class of 80 was taught by 15 qualified professors.

Here are some pop culture facts from 1908. The word 'empathy' entered the English language only this year. The first blues song is believed to be 'I Got The Blues'. This song was written by Antonio Maggio, a musician from New Orleans. Philadelphia City Hall was considered the tallest building in the world until 1908. A famous play by Israel Zangwill, called 'The Melting Pot', was first staged in 1908. The iconic Rolex watch was trademarked by its founder, Hans Wilsdorf, in 1908.

Historical Facts About 1908

In history, 1908 had a lot going on. The Wright brothers made great strides in the aviation industry. The Nobel Prize was awarded to the best professionals. America had its own election where the Republican team beat the Democrat team. The black community of Illinois faced challenging times and more.

Portugal's King Carlos I and his heir, Prince Luis Filipe, were assassinated by anarchists while traveling in Lisbon. This historical event is known as 'The Lisbon Regicide'.

The dictatorial rule of King Leopold over the Congo Free State ended with him passing the reigns to the Belgian government. King Leopold is known to have ruled over the African state in a savage and cruel manner.

In 1908, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Gabriel Lippmann. 'The Physicist' received the award for developing a unique method for reproducing colors photographically based on the phenomenon of interference'. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Ernest Rutherford. The New Zealander won for his investigations into the disintegration of the elements, and the chemistry of radioactive substances. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to two people in 1908. Both Ilya Mechnikov and Paul Ehrlich received the honor for their work towards boosting immunity. Rudolf Eucken, a German, received the Nobel Prize in Literature. Like medicine, the Nobel Prize for Peace this year was shared by two exemplary individuals: Klas Pontus Arnoldson and Fredrik Bajer.

In 1908, the United States held its 31st quadrennial presidential election in Washington. When the ever-popular President Roosevelt decided he would not be retaining his candidature, new candidates were proposed. President Roosevelt chose William Howard Taft. With the backing of the President, William Howard Taft easily beat William Jennings Bryan to win the election on November 3.

A dark period in American history was the Springfield Race Riot of 1908. Angry over reports of a black man assaulting a white woman, a riot broke out against blacks in Springfield, Illinois. What followed was the purposeful destruction of black neighborhoods. Things took a dirty turn when rioters hung and killed an elderly black person. The riots led to fear among the black community. They were captured, beaten, and looted. Homes were burnt, and black people were discriminated against. It was assumed that the reason for the anger against the black community was their success. During the riots, the black community had escaped to other parts of the country in fear, but they came back and started rebuilding their lives post-riot.

Wilbur Wright and Orville Wright, popularly known as the Wright brothers, are considered pioneers in the field of aviation. They became popular after they built their own plane and successfully took flight in it many times. In January, they submitted a bid to the US military to supply a heavy flying machine that could carry two passengers, which was accepted in February. In May, they took a passenger, Charles W. Furnas, along in their flying machine for the first time. By August, the Wright brothers had developed a prototype that would be tested at Fort Meyer in September. However, in September 1908, the first airship fatality occurred. Lt. Thomas Selfridge, who was the passenger flying with Orville Wright, died in the air crash at Fort Meyer. Orville was seriously injured as well.

According to the Gregorian calendar, 1908 was a leap year.

Facts About Innovations In 1908

From the introduction of the low-cost Ford Model T to the invention of cellophane, 1908 was a year full of exciting innovations.

Popularly referred to by many as the Father of Modern Navigation Technology, Elmer A. Sperry invented the gyrocompass in 1908. A prolific inventor, Sperry's gyrocompass was used for reliable navigation in military and civilian aircraft, ships, and even spaceships.

One of the most common products today, cellophane, was also invented in 1908. This innovative product was invented by a chemist from Switzerland, Jacques E. Brandenberger. This biodegradable product is heavily used in multiple industries for safely wrapping perishable and non-perishable items.

The Geiger counter is an instrument used to measure ionizing radiation. It was invented in 1908 by J. W. Geiger and W. Müller. It helps detect the presence of alpha and beta particles as well as gamma rays. To date, it is the most common tool used by physicists, radiation experts, and others to detect the presence of radiation in an area.

Henry Ford, owner of the famous automobile company Ford, produced the Ford Model T in 1908. This revolutionary Ford model was crafted for the masses. It was designed to be affordable, easy to operate, agile, and durable. The cheap price allowed many people to afford a car and, thus, resulted in the Ford company becoming a household name in the United States.

Ammonia is produced via a process called the Haber Process. This process is also used in fixing artificial nitrogen. The process was developed by Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch in 1908. Today, the Haber Process is mainly used in the creation of fertilizer, but back then, it was used to create ammonia for explosives.

Facts About Big Events In 1908

The political crisis was accompanied by sporting events in 1908. So, various countries were competing with each other on the sports track as well as at a global level.

The Summer Olympics were held in 1908 in London, England. 19 countries participated in the competition. Great Britain had the highest medal tally, having secured 56 gold medals. In second place was the Olympics team from the United States, with 46 medals, of which 23 were gold.

Europe almost faced a political crisis in 1908. Austria and Hungary annexed the Balkan provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This happened in the midst of the end of the Ottoman Empire, one of the largest empires in history. The Ottoman Empire was forced to recreate the parliamentary form of government by a group of reformists known as the Young Turks. The Young Turks staged this revolution in Istanbul (then Constantinople). When Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia, they stomped out Serbia's plans to do the same. In response, Serbia started building its military with support from Russia. However, Germany, which was an ally of Austria, threatened Serbia, and only then did the country back down. The imminent threat of war made European countries start building their military capacities.

A number of important events took place in Australia, such as the initiation of the Invalid Pension. This pension was a prominent move to acknowledge and support people with disabilities in Australia. Formally referred to as the Invalid and Old-Age Pensions Act of 1908, this legislation was groundbreaking when it came to the social rights of senior citizens and people with disabilities. Another big event that took place in Australia in 1908 was the visit of the Great White Fleet. When the United States Navy arrived on Australia's doorstep in August at Sydney, almost half a million locals turned up to greet them.

The Tunguska Event occurred in Siberia, Russia, in 1908. An asteroid hit a sparsely populated part of Siberia near the Tunguska River. The impact of the asteroid was recorded as the largest to date. In honor of the event, Asteroid Day is celebrated across the world every year on June 30. The impact of this asteroid explosion was so huge that it leveled around 80 million trees that grew in an area of 830 sq. mi (2149.7 sq km). The accompanying shockwave broke windows of houses and pushed people even hundreds of miles away.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 1908 facts: find out what happened in just one year then why not take a look at 1919 fun facts or '20s facts

Written By
Srija Chanda

<p>An aspiring media professional, Srija is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Mass Communication at St. Xavier's University, Kolkata, after completing her degree in journalism. With experience in PR and social media, she has also honed her leadership skills through her participation in a youth parliament. Srija's interests include devouring books, watching movies, and exploring new places through travel.</p>

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