Many thanks to gorgonzola, mauler, and (puppet) The Chronographer for making 1500-1830 nearly solid. However, Wikipedia already handles reams of birthday/dead lists. Let's see what folks were doing this year, instead. I'll admit, though, that I'm committing a different sin: leaving a lumpy node.

1918 ⇐ ¡ ⇒ 1920


In New Zealand, around half of all eligible men left to fight for Britain on the other side of the globe. Casualties were disproportionately high: of the 100,000 NZers who enlisted, 16,000 were killed and 45,000 were wounded. (Of all Allied forces, only the Australians suffered similar losses.) The Kiwi & Aussies back home came to the opinion (especially after the Gallipoli campaign) that the blood shed earned them British deference to their aims for independence.

West Samoa has German Governors Wilhelm Solf (1900-10) & Erich Schultz (1912-14). Both strove toward a comporomise between indigenous rights & enterprise, particularly DHPG (Deutch Handels und Planagen Gesellschaft). To no avail, as they offended both factions by not allowing - for companies - imported labor or land sales, and arraying Samoan factions in opposition against one another by emphasizing historic hostilities.

1909, Solf's administration ends when those factions rose up against him, deporting them to Mariana Islands (in Micronesia). Schultz continues in the same vein, earning the Kaiser's praise by balancing profit and humanitarianism, but the profit was razor thin.

Schultz surrenders August 1914 to New Zealand which nationalizes DHPG's plantations for the state-owned Samoa Land Corporation (which still operates today) ensuring government independence from foreign investment. NZ also repatriated over 2000 chinese laborers. Yet NZ was 'inept' in allowing the November 1918 spread of Spanish Flu when the SS Talune docks despite US quarantine policies in Fiji & Samoa, so 80,000 die: 20% of the total population. The same happens in New Zealand as well. NZ military occupies the islands until administrators replace them in 1920 with (bigoted) disinterest and short terms of office. Though they allow the tradiional Samoan "Fon of Fapule", they ignore its decisions, culminating in 1926 civil disobediance, regarding the deportaiton of two of its leaders and worstening in the 30s.

French Polynesia's administrators were disaffected and only provide basic administration and tax colleciton. They deferred instead to local village governance. By 1900, it only has a "modest trade in pearls, vanilla, and copra," as the earlier cotton market had ceased. Tuamotus Makatea (a member island) discovers phosphate resources, persuading miners to eject 160-200 natives from the area. They aggregated in 1908, allowing "impressive profits." Thereafter it was mostly sedate, excepting September 1914 bombardment of Papeete by German cruisers Scharnhorst and Gnesenau. The experience encourages 1000 islanders to volunteer for France, though one third will die.

From 1850s meeting with the Great White Fleet, Japan starts colonization, aquiring Rykun, Okinawa, and Bonin Island. 1870s Micronesia's Mariana and Caroline Islands. In the 1890s, they send settlers to New Guinea. 1914, Japan conquers Germany's Palau, Marianas, Carolines, & Marshall Islands. 1919, the League of Nations awards the Carolines to Japan and the rest next year. Japan heavily subsidized thes in health, education, and infrastructure for plantations.

Japanese pursue the same bigoted policies as the European colonists. Their social heirarchy on the Pacific descends from Japanese, Okinawans/Koreans, then Micronesians. CEO Matsune Haruji of Nanyokohatsu (South Seas Development Co) imports thousands of Okinawans (as well as Chamorros & Carolineans) for sugar cane plantations, so that by the 1950s Micronesians account for only 10% of the population.
Fischer, Steven Roger. A History of the Pacific Islands. 2002 Palgrave.

South America

Fulgencio Batista - 18
Since his mother's death three years prior and until two years hence, Batista has been living 'check to check' in whatever jobs he has been able to find. This is probably a consequence of his mixed ethnicity (socially low in the heirarchy) and poor family with little respect for education. (On his own initiative, he graduated the fourth grade equivalent at age 12.) Prior to now, that has meant harvesting sugar cane and oranges or miscellaneous jobs for offices and running errands.

In 1918, Batista returned home to visit his father and found a job as a brakeman on United Fruit's Railway workin gon the line between Banes & Antilla. Early 1919, he heard Ferro Carriles del Norte in Camaguey was hiring. (This is 150 miles west.) Arriving at night, he crashes on a prostitute's couch. In the morning, he begs a rail official outside his home for an interview. Batista is hired as a brakeman on a line from Santa Clara to Santiago. This marks a milestone in his financial independance, so he rents an apartment in Camaguey, which he fills with books for self study.

Some months after, he fell in between the cars while running to flip a switch to a side rail to avoid an oncoming engine. While the trains don't collide, Batista is dragged a ways, and the Holguin clinic staff consider amputating his leg. He credited the black, male nurse for saving him; though the operation leaves a permanant scar/discoloration down his whole leg. This required a multi-week recovery, but the line hired Batista back as soon as he was able.
--Argote-Freyere, Frank. Fulgencio Batista: From Revolutionary to Strongman. 2006, Rutgers University Press.

North America

Conrad Hilton - 32
We find Hilton recently discharged from the army. He enlisted two years prior and completed service as lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps. While he returned to San Antonio, NM for a short time, he moved to Texas. Specifically, the oil town Cisco. Only six years older than Hilton himself, Cisco's oil fame began when Hilton headed to Europe. The bustle tempted Hilton to buy another bank. (Founded New Mexico State Bank with $2,900 in capital, but sold his stake when he left to the military.) Though he found one for sale, the saber rattling deal turned Hilton away. He walked to the Mobley Hotel across the street and bought it for half the price of the bank. The hotel offered 40 rooms with terms suited to the 24/7 operation of the wells. Hilton had already experienced this kind of management (many, really) when his father, Augustus, converted part of his general store into a hotel twelve years ago. Conrad soon drew enough profit to parlay his way into buying (and renovating) the Melba Hotel in Fort Worth. As he was focused on aggregating his way to a first empire, Hilton will remain single until 1925. That same year, his company will break ground on its first high rise.

Robert Edwin Peary, 62, will spend his last year alive in Washington DC and be buried in Arlington Cemetery. Despite making appearances for awards bestowed by scientific societies for his accomplishment, Peary has spent nine quiet years in retirement from rank of Rear Admiral in his home on Eagle Island of Maine.

Middle Upper Class Life

In 1918, American Journal of Home Economics published an account of the household routine of Marion Woodbury, the wife of a university professor and mother of three small children. Describing herself as a woman who “did her own work,” she did not feel that the assistance of a weekly laundress and a student part-timer contradicted this.

Mrs. Woodbury estimated that she put in ten hours work a day, five days a week, plus five hours on Wednesdays and Sundays. Monday was her cay for stripping dirty linen from beds and gathering dirty towels from the bathroom and then assembling the week’s washing, which she put in to soak overnight. On Tuesday the laundress came in to do the actual washing and give the kitchen and bathroom their weekly once-over. Mrs. Woodbury meanwhile focused on the darning, letting out clothes and other sewing tasks. On Wednesday the laundress came in again for half a day to iron. Thursday meant replenishing the linen cupboard and wardrobes.

Having a telephone, Mrs. Woodbury was able to order most of her groceries, which were brought to her home by an errand boy – in effect, another part-time helper. Actually going to the market on ly took up a Friday afternoon, every other week.

Mrs. Woodbury did all the cooking and ate meals with her children, but the clearing away and washing up ere done by a student helper, who also baby-sat when needed. The student also did most of the dusting, sweeping, and floor polishing, leaving Mrs. Woodbury to do only superficial straightening-up.

Mrs. Woodbury’s housework therefore consisted more of supervising that carrying out manual tasks. It allowed her to pursue more creative aspects of housework, such as cooking and needlework and gave her time for social and charitable activities. 18

Richard Thames. The Eventful 20th Century (series): The Way We Lived. Readers Digest, 1999.


Marcel Duchamp, 32, moves to Paris, after a year in Brazil. Conceives L.H.O.O.Q., a Mona Lisa postcard he painted facial hair on, with the acronym/pun at the footer. Lent this to the National Museum of Modern Art in Paris.

Pablo Picasso, 38, With his wife (since last year), Olga Khoklova are in London. He is designing the costumes & scenery for 'Le Tricorne,' his second confederation with Sergi Diaghilev's Ballet company, of which Olga is a member. The production will do well there, in Granada, and in Paris. Each locale means many invitation to high society parties. He will thence meet Stravinsky and collaborate with him on another ballet, Pulcinella, next year. His style transitions in these years from Synthetic Cubism (centered on newspaper collages) to adapting neoclassical motifs.

Bertolt Brecht - 21
finishes writing his second major play this year, Drums in the Night. Though Brecht's commitment to Marxism is merely flirtatious now, he dedicates the play to the Freikorps assassinated Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg of the Spartacist League. Its cynical take on the struggles of returning soldiers, though sincerely motivated, very nearly came second hand. Brecht had escaped military service during the war by taking courses to 'attend medical school' while actually studying drama. In the final months before armistice, exhaustion of other young men meant Brecht was drafted to serve in a military VD clinic. Afterward, he and his long time cohabiting mistress, Paula Banholzer, moved to Kimratshofen in Bavaria, not far from the Swiss border. She will birth an illegitimate child, Frank; he will soon separate over the guilt but repeat this pattern during his first marriage.

Adolf Hitler - 30
Hilter served in the Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment during WWI, largely as a dispatch runner. He eventually earned both the Iron Cross and Black Wound badge. Toward the war's end, he succumed to mustard gas & learned of the Armistice in the Red Cross Hospital. Released, Hitler sensed poor prospects in postwar Germany and found a position in the civil defense force as an intelligence agent. He was assigned to monitor & subvert the German Worker's Party.

Instead, Hitler found the party leaders expressing shared sentiments about Germany and strong government. He joined the party unabashedly in September. His superiors will eventually sense the farce and discharged Hitler in May of next year. In the meantime, Hitler drifted into the inner circle around Deitrich Eckhart, of the Thule Society. His speeches cement him as the face of the Party. Eckhart found in him the embodiment of his months passed vision that the Thule Society's hoped for messiah was immanent. Eckhart, a party founder, will put his full weight behind integrating Hitler into the governing committee. Hitler's popularity will lead him down a hard path culminating in the title "Fuhrer of Germany."

Paris Conference

When American thinking on foreign policy and European diplomatic traditions encountered each other at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, the differences in experience became dramatically evident. The European leaders sought to refurbish the existing system according to familiar methods; the American peace makers believed The Great War had resulted not from intractable geopolitical conflicts, but from flawed European practices. In his famous Fourteen Points, Woodrow Wilson told the Europeans, henceforth, the international system should be based not on the balance of power but on ethnic self-determination, that their security depend not on military alliances but on collective security, and that their diplomacy should no longer be conducted secretly by experts but on the basis of “open agreements, openly arrived at.” Clearly, Wilson had come not so much to discuss the terms for ending a war or for restoring the existing international order, as he head to recast a whole system of international relations as it had been practiced for nearly three centuries. 19-20

Henry Kissinger. Diplomacy. Simon & Schuster, 1994.

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