1911: Events and Inventions

All year: The French and the Germans squabble over influence in Morocco. In November, the Germans finally agree to recognize French influence in Morocco in return for territory in the French Equatorial African colony of Middle Congo. The crisis leads to Britain and France making a naval agreement where the Royal Navy promises to protect the northern coast of France from German attack.

'COLOSSUS -- Brit. (LOC)' photo (c) 1910, The Library of Congress - license: http://www.flickr.com/commons/usage/March, 1911. The British announce plans to build five more Dreadnought battleships for the Royal Navy in response to German naval expansion.

May 25, 1911. Mexican dictator Porfirio Diaz is forced by the rebels to resign from office. Francisco Madero takes over as provisional president. Diaz leaves Mexico a few days later for exile in France. At the beginning of the year, President Taft sent forces to the Mexican border to guard the border territory from the unrest in Mexico, and in April U.S. troops entered Mexico to quell the rebellion.

July 24, 1911. Hiram Bingham rediscovers the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu in the Andes Mountains in Peru.

August 22, 1911. The theft of the Mona Lisa is discovered in the Louvre. (It was two years before the real thief was discovered. Louvre employee Vincenzo Peruggia had stolen it by entering the building during regular hours, hiding in a broom closet and walking out with it hidden under his coat after the museum had closed.)

September, 1911. Italy declares war on Turkey (Ottoman Empire). In November, Italy annexes Tripoli and Cyrenaica and wins a decisive victory over Turkish forces in North Africa.

November 1, 1911. The world’s first combat aerial bombing mission takes place in Libya during the Italo-Turkish War. An Italian flier drops several small explosives.

'Portrett av Roald Amundsen, juni 1899' photo (c) 1899, Nasjonalbiblioteket - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/December 14, 1911. Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and his party become the first men to reach the South Pole five weeks ahead of British Captain Robert F. Scott and his team who reach the South Pole in March, 1912. Tragically, Scott and his men do not survive the journey back to their base camp on the coast of Antarctica.

December, 1911. Scientist Marie Curie wins an unprecedented second Nobel Prize “in recognition of her services to the advancement of chemistry by the discovery of the elements radium and polonium, by the isolation of radium and the study of the nature and compounds of this remarkable element”.

December 29, 1911. Dr. Sun Yat-sen is elected president of the newly declared Republic of China. In October, Pu Yi, the five year old emperor of China, surrendered his power and agreed to grant a constitution.

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