1914: Events and Inventions

January 5, 1914. The Ford Motor Company announces an eight-hour workday and a minimum wage of $5.00 for a day’s labor.

March 27, 1914. Belgian surgeon Albert Hustin makes the first successful non-direct blood transfusion, using anticoagulants.

April 21, 1914. The U.S. sends troops to Vera Cruz, Mexico to interfere in Mexico’s revolution and prevent the delivery of arms from Germany to Mexican General Victoriano Huerta.

June 28, 1914. In Sarajevo, Bosnia, a Serbian nationalist assassinates Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary. Austria-Hungary blames Serbia for allowing anti-Austrian activity in their country.

July 23, 1914. Austria presented Serbia with a strongly worded ultimatum with such severe terms that Serbia would be compelled to refuse. The ultimatum demanded that the government of Serbia:
Officially condemn anti-Austrian publications and propaganda.
Suppress anti-Austrian societies.
Bar anti-Austrian teachers and books from their schools.
Dismiss any government officials that Austria might name.
Accept help from Austria in checking obnoxious propaganda.
Allow Austrian officials to assist in the investigation of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

July 25, 1914. Serbia sends a soft answer to Austria while preparing for war.

July 28, 1914. Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia, saying that Serbia’s reply to their ultimatum was “unsatisfactory.” Since Serbia is an ally of Russia, Russia mobilizes troops to fight against Austria-Hungary and her allies. The Triple Alliance —Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Italy—is drawn into war against the Triple Entente—Russia, France, and Britain.

August 15, 1914. The Panama Canal officially opens, two years ahead of schedule. A grand celebration was planned, but the eyes of the world are on Europe and the growing war there. So the celebration is muted.You can listen to an audio story presentation about the building of the canal based on the Landmark history book about the Panama Canal at The Reading Well.

A time lapse video of a cruise chip traveling through the Panama Canal from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific in May, 2003:

August-October, 1914. Germany attacks Russia in the east and France in the west. To get to France, German troops invade neutral Belgium. When Britain hears about German atrocities and the invasion of Belgium, Britain is impelled to go to war against Germany and Austria-Hungary.

September, 1914. After the Battle of the Marne, both sides reach a stalemate in northern France, and the armies face each other from trenches along a front that eventually stretches from the North Sea to the Swiss border with France.

October 29, 1914. The Ottoman Empire (Turkey) closes the Dardanelles to Allied (British, French, and Russian) shipping. This act cuts off Russian ports on the Black Sea, and the British and Russians declare war on Turkey in November.

December 24, 1914. British and German soldiers interrupt their fighting in World War I to celebrate Christmas, beginning the Christmas truce. This song by Celtic Thunder is called Christmas, 1915, but it’s about the Christmas Truce that took place in 1914.

2 thoughts on “1914: Events and Inventions

  1. It’s chilling to read the events of 1914 in chronological order, knowing what followed. The War to End All Wars, so they said.

  2. Yes, it is rather. An eight hour workday, progress in medicine, a little intervention in Mexico, and then, suddenly almost the entire world is at war with millions being killed or wounded.

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