On This Day

Events in History in 1903

Royal Coronation

Jan 1 In Delhi, a great durbar, or formal reception, marks the coronation of King Edward VII as Emperor of India; the British release some 16,000 prisoners in honor of the occasion

Historic Event

Jan 1 President Theodore Roosevelt and Edith Roosevelt unveil new renovations to The White House, including a new West Wing

  • Jan 2 US President Theodore Roosevelt shuts down post office in Indianola Miss, for refusing to accept its appointed postmistress because she was black
  • Jan 5 SF-Hawaii telegraph cable opens for public use
  • Jan 6 Dutch Press museum opens in Amsterdam
  • Jan 9 Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota, established

Historic Event

Jan 12 Harry Houdini performs at Rembrandt theater, Amsterdam

  • Jan 18 The first transatlantic radio transmission to originate in the United States is sent by a transmitter in Massachusetts
  • Jan 19 1st regular transatlantic radio broadcast between US & England
  • Jan 21 Harry Houdini escapes from Halvemaansteeg police station in Amsterdam
  • Jan 21 International Theater (Majestic, Park) opens at 5 Columbus Circle NYC
  • Jan 22 The Hay-Herran Treaty concerning the USA's right to the Panama Canal is signed by the Colombian Charge d'affaires in Washington, D.C. (never ratified)
  • Jan 29 Dutch railroad workers strike
  • Feb 3 Frederick Lugard occupies Kano West Africa
  • Feb 11 US Congress adopts the Expedition Act, which authorizes the Attorney General to 'expedite' anti-trust cases through the courts, reflecting growing popular support for President Theodore Roosevelt's "trust busting" campaign
  • Feb 14 US Department of Commerce & Labor forms
  • Feb 15 1st Teddy Bear introduced in America, made by Morris & Rose Michtom
  • Feb 16 -59°F (-51°C), Pokegama Dam, Minnesota (state record)
  • Feb 18 Dutch government of Abraham Kuyper launches anti-strike laws
  • Feb 20 Nick Young remains as NL president as AG Spalding ends challenge
  • Feb 21 Cornerstone laid for US army war college, Washington, D.C.
  • Feb 22 Due to drought the US side of Niagara Falls runs short of water
  • Feb 23 The US and Cuba sign an agreement by which Cuba releases Guantanamo and Bahia Hondo to the US for naval stations
  • Feb 23 The Sultan agrees to an Austro-Russian plan to reform the government of Macedonia in yet another effort to stifle the rising disorder among the rival Bulgarian

Historic Event

Mar 2 Martha Washington Hotel, catering to women only, opens in NYC

  • Mar 3 North Carolina becomes 1st state requiring registration of nurses
  • Mar 5 Definitive treaty for construction of Baghdad railway drawn up
  • Mar 10 Harry Gammeter of Cleveland patents multigraph duplicating machine
  • Mar 13 Fall of the Sokoto Caliphate in Northern Nigeria, the British claim supremacy on over 500,000 square miles
  • Mar 14 1st national bird reservation established in Sebastian, Florida
  • Mar 14 WB Yeats & Lady Gregory's "Hour-glass" premieres in Dublin
  • Mar 18 Following through on its attacks on Roman Catholic institutions, the French Government dissolves the Catholic religious orders
  • Mar 22 Niagara Falls runs out of water due to a drought
  • Mar 22 US Anthracite Coal Commission, set up by President Theodore Roosevelt, submits its recommendations for shorter hours, a 10-per cent wage increase, and an 'open shop'
  • Mar 23 The Wright brothers 1st file a patent for a flying machine, which is granted 3 years later
  • Mar 25 Racing Club de Avellaneda, one of the big five of Argentina, is founded.
  • Mar 26 American Hotel opens in Amsterdam
  • Mar 31 Richard Pearse flies a monoplane several hundred yards in New Zealand
  • Apr 6 General railroad strike against "worgwetten" (anti-strike laws)
  • Apr 6 The Kishinev pogrom in Bessarabia begins, forcing tens of thousands of Jews to later seek refuge in Israel and the Western world.
  • Apr 6 In Holland, railroad and dock workers go out on strike, but the government passes anti-strike bills, calls out troops, and promptly ends the strike on the 13th April
  • Apr 22 American Power Boat Association forms
  • Apr 27 Long Island's Jamaica Race Track opens
  • Apr 29 Limestone slide at Turtle Mountain drops 30 million cubic metres (82 million tons) on to town of Frank, Alberta, Canada, kills 70-90 residents
  • May 1 King Edward VII of Great Britain visits Paris, where he is feted in a first step toward improving Anglo-French relations, culminating in the signing of the Entente Cordiale on 8 April, 1904
  • May 14 President Theodore Roosevelt visits San Francisco
  • May 16 1st transcontinental motorcycle trip began in San Francisco by George A. Wyman (arrives in New York July 6)
  • May 20 Britain's House of Commons begins a debate on the charges of poor administration and ill treatment of natives in Belgium's colony in the Congo Free State
  • May 22 Launch of the White Star Liner SS Ionic.
  • May 23 1st automobile trip across US leaves San Francisco for New York, (arrives July 26)
  • May 23 1st direct primary election law in US adopted, by Wisconsin

Historic Event

May 27 Queen Wilhelmina opens Berlages Merchants bureau in Amsterdam

  • May 29 May coup d'etat: Alexander Obrenovich, King of Serbia, and Queen Draga, are assassinated in Belgrade by the Black Hand (Crna Ruka) organization
  • Jun 6 President Emile Loubet of France and Minister of Foreign Affairs Theophile Declasse visit London, furthering the cause of Entente Cordiale between Britain and France
  • Jun 12 Niagara Falls, Ontario incorporated as a city
  • Jun 15 The Serbian Assembly meets and elects Prince Peter Karageorgevich king

Historic Event

Jun 16 Ford Motors under Henry Ford incorporates

  • Jun 16 Pepsi Cola company forms

Historic Event

Jun 16 Roald Amundsen commences the first east-west navigation of the Northwest Passage by leaving Oslo, Norway

  • Jun 16 Reichstag elections with gains for the Social Democratic Party of Germany
  • Jun 24 Russia prohibits meetings dealing with Zionism
  • Jun 29 British government protests against abuses in Belgian Congo
  • Jul 4 Pacific Cable (San Francisco, Hawaii, Guam, Philippines) opens, President Theodore Roosevelt sends a message
  • Jul 6 George Wyman arrives in NYC by motorcycle 51 days out of San Francisco
  • Jul 17 The Russian Social Democratic Workers Party meets, first in Brussels and then London because their leaders have been forced into exile by the Russian Government
  • Jul 25 Castle on top of Telegraph Hil, San Francisco closes
  • Jul 26 Horatio Nelson Jackson, Sewall K. Crocker, and a bulldog named Bud complete 1st automobile trip across the United States; San Francisco to New York in a 2-cylinder Winton (63 days, 12 hours, and 30 minutes)
  • Aug 2 Unsuccessful uprising of Macedonians against Turkey
  • Aug 4 Giuseppe Sarto elected Pope Pius X, known as the 'pope of the poor and humble'
  • Aug 4 Cardinal Giuseppe Sarto of Venice elected Pope Pius X
  • Aug 12 The Japanese Minister to Russia presents a note to the Russian Government protesting against its failure to evacuate Manchuria
  • Aug 17 Joe Pulitzer donates $1 million to Columbia University & begins the Pulitzer Prizes in America
  • Aug 23 6th Zionist Congres, Theodor Herzl declares Jewish state
  • Aug 29 The Finance Minister, Count Witte, is dismissed in what is seen as a victory for those in Russia who want their country to expand into Manchuria and Korea in defiance of the Japanese
  • Sep 9 6 km long Engadin-railroad tunnel in Switzerland inaugurated
  • Sep 11 The first race at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin is held. It is the oldest major speedway in the world.
  • Sep 15 Queen Wilhelmina calls railroad strikers "criminals"
  • Sep 17 Boston Pilgrims clinch AL pennant, beating Cleveland, 14-3
  • Sep 19 King Leopold II denies Belgian cruelty in Congo
  • Sep 21 First cowboy film "Kit Carson" premieres in US
  • Sep 24 Alfred Deakin succeeds Edmund Barton as Australian Prime Minister
  • Sep 27 Wreck of the Old 97, a train crash made famous by the song of the same name.
  • Sep 30 New Gresham's School officially opened by Field Marshal Sir Evelyn Wood in Norfolk, England (expansion of original school founded 1555)
  • Oct 5 Samuel Griffith is appointed the first Chief Justice of Australia and Sir Edmund Barton and Richard O'Connor are appointed as foundation justices
  • Oct 6 The High Court of Australia sits for the first time.
  • Oct 8 J M Synge's play "In the Shadow of the Glen" premieres in Dublin
  • Oct 9 11" (28.4 cm) rainfall in 24 hrs (NYC)

Historic Event

Oct 10 The Women's Social and Political Union was formed by Emmeline Pankhurst to fight for women's rights in Britain.

  • Oct 12 Lyric Theater opens at 213 W 42nd St NYC
  • Oct 16 Homel, 1st Jewish self defense organization founded in Russia
  • Oct 20 US wins disputed boundary between District of Alaska & Canada
  • Oct 24 First trotter to run a mile under 2 minutes (Lou Dillon 1:58.1)
  • Oct 24 George Sutton becomes billards champion
  • Oct 26 Yerba Buena is first Key System ferry to cross San Francisco Bay
  • Oct 30 In violation of their promise to evacuate Manchuria, the Russian reoccupy Mukden and reinforce their troops in Manchuria
  • Nov 2 Lyceum Theater (New Lyceum) opens at 149 W 45th St NYC
  • Nov 2 New Amsterdam Theater opens at 214 W 42nd St NYC
  • Nov 2 British newspaper "Daily Mirror" begins publishing
  • Nov 3 Colombia grants independence to Panama
  • Nov 3 Giovanni Giolitti becomes Prime Minister of Italy; a progressive liberal, he will hold his post through most of the next decade and introduce social, agrarian and labor reforms
  • Nov 4 Panama and Colombia wake up to news that the insurrectionists have declared an independent Republic of Panama
  • Nov 6 USA recognizes independence of Panama
  • Nov 17 Dahomey (Benin) becomes a French protectorate
  • Nov 17 In the Treaty of Petropolis, Bolivia cedes the territory of Arce to Brazil; Bolivia gains rail and water outlets in the east
  • Nov 18 Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty gives US exclusive canal rights in Panama
  • Nov 19 Temperance activist Carrie Nation attempts to address the US Senate
  • Nov 23 Colorado Governor James Peabody sends the state militia into the town of Cripple Creek to break up a miners' strike.
  • Nov 24 Clyde Coleman of NYC patents automobile electric starter
  • Nov 24 George Ade's "County Chairman" premieres in NYC
  • Dec 3 Panglima Polim surrenders to Capt Colijn at Atjeh
  • Dec 6 Sumatra Atjehs guerilla leader Panglima Polim surrenders
  • Dec 9 Norwegian parliament votes unanimiously for female suffrage

Nobel Prize

Dec 10 Nobel Prize for physics awarded to Pierre and Marie Curie for their study of spontaneous radiation

  • Dec 11 British forces under MacDonald & Younghusband march into Tibet
  • Dec 12 Roger Casement completes report about abuses in Belgian Congo
  • Dec 14 Reg Foster completes 287 England v Australia on his Test Cricket debut
  • Dec 14 The Wright brothers attempt to fly the Wright Flyer for the first time at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
  • Dec 15 NY Wall Street vendor Italo Marchiony [Marcioni] granted patent for a mound for making ice cream cones
  • Dec 16 Majestic Theater, NYC, becomes 1st in US to employ women ushers
  • Dec 16 The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower hotel opens its doors to guests for the first time

1st Airplane Flight

Dec 17 The Wright brothers make the 1st sustained motorized aircraft flight at 10:35 AM, piloted by Orville Wright at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

  • Dec 19 Williamsburg suspension bridge opens between Brooklyn and Manhattan

Theater Premiere

Dec 28 Clyde Fitch's play "Glad of It" premieres in NYC

  • Dec 29 French Equatorial Africa separates into Gabon, Chad and Ubangi-Shari
  • Dec 30 Electric arc lamp sets fire to Iroquois theater in Chicago leaving 602 dead in one of the deadliest blazes in American history
  • Dec 30 American Political Science Association founded at New Orleans