I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life....Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in that grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt, Speech at the Hamilton Club, Chicago, April 10, 1899.
I come from a country that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I’m from Missouri. You’ve got to show me.
Missouri Congressman Willard D. Vandiver, addressing Five O'Clock Club in Philadelphia, and earning Missouri the nickname "Show Me State."
Take up the White Man's burden--
Send forth the best ye breed--
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need.
Rudyard Kipling, exhorting the United States to be good imperialists and annex the Philippines in his poem "The White Man's Burden."
In the year 1899...
- The Second Boer War erupts between Great Britain and the South African Boers when the Boers preemptively invade Cape Colony on the expectation that Britain was about to declare war anyway. Initially, all goes well for the Boers, as they impose stifling sieges on the towns of Ladysmith, Mafeking, and Kimberley, and hand British forces a stunning series of setbacks during "Black Week" in the battles of Magersfontein, Stormberg, and Colenso.
- The Philippine-American War breaks out between the United States and Filipino freedom fighters after Philippine leader Emilio Aguinaldo renounces the US annexation of the Philippines. The bloody guerilla-style war would last for four long years and cost tens of thousands of lives.
- The 1899 Hague Peace Conference establishes the Hague Convention, the first international agreement on the rules of war, and the first formal definition of the concept of war crimes.
- A crowd of over 2000 white people gathers in Newnan, Georgia to watch the lynching of African-American Sam Hose, who had been accused of murdering a white man and raping his wife. The lynching was advertised ahead of time in major newspapers, tickets were sold, and many people came from as far away as Atlanta to watch as Hose's ears, fingers, and genitals were cut off and his face was skinned before he was burned in kerosene soaked wood. Hose had killed his white employer Albert Cranford with an axe during a wage dispute, after his Cranford had pulled a gun on him. Cranford's wife accused Hose of raping her as her husband lay dying, but subsequently admitted to fabricating the claim.
- The state of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan is formed in what is now Sudan as a condominium between Egypt and Great Britain.
- The United States formally annexes Wake Island.
- The Nippon Electric Company, Limited, better known today as NEC is founded by Japanese and American investors, becoming Japan's first joint-venture using foreign capital.
- The Opel corporation is established by German entrepreneur Adam Opel and begins manufacturing household goods and automobiles.
- The newspaper boys of New York City go on strike for two weeks, in an incident that would inspire the musical and motion picture Newsies.
- English archaeologist Arthur Evans discovers the remains of the previously unknown Minoan civilization on Crete.
- French chemist André-Louis Debierne discovers the element Actinium by separating it from pitchblende.
- San Pellegrino mineral water is bottled for the first time at an Italian spring known to have once quenched the thirst of Leonardo Da Vinci.
- The Gideons International, famous for placing bibles in hotel rooms, is founded in Janesville, Wisconsin.
- Anton Chekhov's play Uncle Vanya is performed for the first time.
- Rudyard Kipling writes his poem, "The White Man's Burden."
- 13-year-old schoolboy A.E.J. Collins gains cricket immortality by achieving the highest cricket score ever recorded - 628 not out - over four June afternoons in an inter-school match at Bristol, England. The resulting media circus helped to further popularize the game of cricket.
- The New York Times declares the friction match the most amazing invention of all time.
- The words ballpark, biosphere, chauffeur, croissant, fastball, haiku, proctology, and razzmatazz appear in the English language for the first time.
These people were born in 1899:
These people died in 1899:
These books were first published in 1899:
1898 - 1899 - 1900