"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
Evelyn Beatrice Hall, In The Friends of Voltaire.
All professions are conspiracies against the laity.
George Bernard Shaw, in his play "The Doctor's Dilemma."
In the year 1906...
- The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and ensuing fires destroy the city of San Francisco and leave at least 3,000 dead.
- The messy "Dreyfus Affair," which had divided France for 12 years, finally comes to a close when a civilian court of appeals clears Jewish artillery officer Alfred Dreyfus of treason, reversing all previous convictions, and the French parliament passes a bill reinstating Dreyfus to the army.
- Germany is humiliated at the Algeciras Conference of the Great Powers when, expecting the other powers to take its side against French meddling in Morocco, the United States and Britain unexpectedly support France. Although the issue is relatively minor, it reveals divisions between the powers that prefigure World War I alliances.
- In response to the Russian Revolution of 1905, and in accordance his own "October Manifesto" issued the previous year, Russian Tsar Nicholas II calls the first meeting of the Russian Duma since it had been disbanded by Peter the Great in 1711.
- National reforms in China bring an end to the traditional examination system based on the Confucian classics, which had been used to select civil servants for nearly 2,000 years. Meanwhile, opium's grip on the nation finally loosens, as Britain agrees for the first time in a treaty to restrict the Sino-Indian opium trade, and an edict from the Guangxu Emperor declares that opium trade shall be banned entirely within 10 years.
- Leading members of the Indian Muslim community united to form the Muslim League which would eventually be the driving force behind the creation of Pakistan.
- Upton Sinclair publishes his novel The Jungle about Chicago's meatpacking industry, prompting a series of federal sanitation regulations including the Meat Inspection Act an Pure Food and Drug Act, and leading to the creation of the Food and Drug Administration. "I aimed at the public's heart and by accident I hit it in the stomach," Sinclair would later remark regarding the uproar his book created.
- The San Francisco school board orders Asian children be educated in segregated schools, leading to a diplomatic row between Japan and the US that would lead to the signing of the "Gentlemen's Agreement" in 1908.
- German archaeologist Hugo Winckler discovers the royal archives of the Hittites in what is now the village of Boğazköy in central Turkey, proving the existence of a civilization that had been attested to in the Bible but previously unsubstantiated by archaeology.
- German bacteriologist August von Wassermann invents a test for syphilis, only one year after the organism was identified.
- Reginald Fessenden makes the first-ever voice broadcast over radio waves from his transmitting station in Brant Rock, Massachusetts, surprising wireless telegraph operators as far away as Virginia with a poetry reading, a violin solo, and a short speech.
- British-American filmmaker J. Stuart Blackton uses stop-motion photography to create what is considered the first animation, "Humorous Phases of Funny Faces," in which hand-drawn faces on a chalkboard appear to come alive.
- Okakura Kakuzo publishes The Book of Tea, which popularizes the Japanese Tea Ceremony in the Western world.
- An extra Olympic Games are held in Athens to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the modern Olympics, but the IOC will later rule the 1906 games to have been unofficial.
- American football comes into its own as rule changes legalize the forward pass
These people were born in 1906:
These people died in 1906:
1905 - 1906 - 1907