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macrohistory & world timeline

1909

Jan 5  President Rafael Reyes of Colombia has signed a treaty that recognizes loss of the former province of Panama and that recognizes Panama's independence. He presents the treaty to his country's Congress but there the matter is dropped because it lacks support.

Mar 3  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves the use of sodium benzoate as a preservative in foods despite a recommendation that its use be banned.

Mar 4  In his Inaugural Address President Taft promises to maintain Theodore Roosevelt's reforms. "They were," he says, "directed to the suppression of the lawlessness and abuses of power of the great combinations of capital invested in railroads and in industrial enterprises carrying on interstate commerce."

Mar 9  France's Chamber of Deputies votes 386 to 129 to enact an income tax.

Mar 10  Britain and the Kingdom of Siam (Thailand) sign a treaty that cedes the states of Kelantan, Trengganu, Perlis and Kedah, on the Malay Peninsula, to the British Empire.

Mar 24  President Taft and his Attorney General approval the language of a proposed bill to create a federal income tax.

Mar 25  Austria-Hungary has amassed troops for an invasion of Serbia. Russia has a defense treaty with Serbia. Germany wants Russia to convince Serbia to withdraw its objections to Austria-Hungary's annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Russia's Tsar Nicholas doesn't want war and complies.

Mar 31  Serbia sends a message to Vienna (capital of Austria-Hungary) agreeing to the acceptance by Europe's imperial powers to the annexation and to live with the Austro-Hungarian Empire on "good neighborly terms." There will be no invasion. Franz Joseph's Imperialism has triumphed.

Apr 1  In the United States a law banning the importation of opium goes into effect.

Apr 4  In New York, William Hobby is arrested for exceeding a speed limit of 12 miles per hour and trying to elude a patrolman, who was on a bicycle.

Apr 14  In Adana province in southern Turkey, organized violence begins that into May will kill between 15,000 and 30,000 Armenians. The Armenians are Christians and more business and Western oriented and generally more wealthy than the local Muslim population. Their tractors and other mechanized equipment are destroyed along with their homes and lives.

Apr 14  British Petroleum, also to be known as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC), is founded following the discovery of a large oil field in Masjed Soleiman, Iran.

Apr 21  Former president Roosevelt arrives in British East Africa (Kenya) for a jolly good time shooting animals.

Apr 27  In Turkey, a fatwa describes Sultan of the Ottoman Empire Abdul Hamid II as having "squandered the wealth of the country," having burned books of the Sharia and having "spilled blood and committed massacres." The Sultan is deposed by a unanimous vote in Parliament. He is succeeded by his brother, Mehmed V.

Apr 29  Acting on what it sees as its interests, to stop a constitutionalist rebellion against Iran's monarch, Russia sends troops to occupy the city of Tabriz in the far north of Iran.

Jun 13  In Colombia, financial problems and public outrage over his recognition of Panama's independence are followed by President Reyes' resignation and going into exile.

Jun 24  Germany's parliament, the Reichstag, votes 195 to187 against an inheritance tax. The tax was proposed in response to deficits caused by the expansion of Germany's navy.

Jul 5  In England, after being jailed for disturbing Parliament, suffragette Marion Wallace Dunlop has been on hunger strike that has lasted 91 hours and has attracted enough publicity that the government agrees to meet with suffrage movement leaders, after being requested to do so by King Edward VII. She is to be released from prison on July 8.

Jul 16  Iran's constitutionalists force their monarch, Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar, from his throne. He flees to Russia and is succeeded by his son, age eleven.

Jul 31  In Iran, Sheikh Fazlollah Noori is hanged for treason after resisting the country's Constitutional Revolution. He is to be proclaimed a national hero decades later by the Ayatollah Khomeini.

Aug 2  Workers in Barcelona and other cities in Catalonia have rebelled against Spain's call up of reservists to serve in Morocco, where Spain's colonial ambitions are being challenged by an indigenous revolt – the Second Rif War. A week of protests in Catalonia has included halting troop trains, overturning trams, street fighting and attacks on the Catholic Church. The rebellion is crushed. Police and army casualties are 8 dead and 124 wounded. Others killed are to be reported between 104 and 150. Five of the more than 1,700 individuals indicted in military courts for "armed rebellion" are to be sentenced to death and executed and 59 are to receive sentences of life imprisonment.

Aug 21  At Indianapolis Motor Speedway a tire on a race car explodes and the car plows into spectators, killing three. The winning speeds at the speedway are averaging a little under 60 miles per hour.

Sep 4  Japan and China sign a treaty that gives Japan the right to build railways in Manchuria. China in exchange gains recognition from Japan as the ruler of an area at the far north of Korea, territory called Gando by the Koreans.

Sep 16  Adolf Hitler, age 20, has been in Vienna for little more than a year. His savings are exhausted and he has no income. For several months he will be homeless, an experience that will make him more intense than people who have always known comfort and security.

Sep 23  A British weekly, Truth, exposes the Anglo-Peruvian Amazon Rubber Company's mistreatment of indigenous people. The company will be accused of wide spread debt bondage, slavery, torture, mutilation and other crimes. Parliament will move to tighten anti-slavery laws. The company will be forced into closure by a judge in 1913.

Oct 26  In Harbin, China, a Korean, An Jung-geun, assassinates a former prime minister of Japan, Ito Hirobumi, to protest Japan's annexation of Korea.

Nov 2  On Stevens Street in Spokane, Washington, members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) have begun a challenge to a city ordinance that prohibits speaking on the city's streets. On the first day 103 IWW members are arrested. By the end of November more than 500 people will have been locked up and the ordinance repealed. The Spokane free-speech protest will inspire similar fights for freedom of speech in other cities.

Nov 5  In Los Angeles, Federal Judge Frank Hutton rules that Arabs and other Middle Easterners are of the White race. This overturns a ruling by immigration authorities that Arabs were Asiatics to be barred under a law against the naturalization of Mongolians.

Nov 13  In Illinois, the Cherry coal mine disaster kills 247 miners and 12 rescuers.

Nov 18  The "Robin Hood of Taiwan," Liao Tianding, is killed by Japanese soldiers occupying Taiwan. Liao is considered a martyr for Taiwanese independence.

Dec 1  The US is in conflict with the Zelaya administration in Nicaragua. It considers President Zelaya to be a military dictator and has begun to support Zelaya's Liberal (but conservative) Party opponents. Executions by the Zelaya regime are followed by a diplomatic break and the landing US Marines to create a neutral zone to protect foreign lives and property. The zone will also be a base of operations for Nicaraguans hostile to the Zelaya regime.

Dec 17  President Zelaya turns power over to José Madriz and flees to Spain.

Dec 11  In Turkey, 26 are found guilty of the massacre of Armenians in Adana on April 14, and they are publicly executed.

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