World War I

1914-04-09 00:00:00

Tampico Affair

The Tampico affair began during the Mexican Revolution when American sailors stopped in Tampico for supplies and were arrested - neither side could speak the other's language. The situation devolved into the United States' occupation of Veracruz and the antagonism between the countries was later exploited by Germany.

1914-04-21 00:00:00

Ypiranga Incident

The SS Ypiranga, a German ship, tried to enter the port of Verzcruz to deliver weapons for the Mexican Revolutionary forces, before being detained illegally by American troops.

1914-05-01 00:00:00

First Girl to Participate in College Debate in Oklahoma from Texas

First girl to compete in Oklahoma in an intercollegiate debate, Fern Lowry, 17, is an A&M student from Texas.

1914-05-01 00:00:00

Megaphone Votes for New Student Yell

A Megaphone writer proposes new yells, as "Rackety-yack" is getting overworked at football games.

1914-05-20 00:00:00

Niagara Falls Peace Conference

The ABC powers (Argentina, Brazil, Chile) meet in Niagara Falls, Canada, aiming to avoid a war between the United States and Mexico.

1914-05-29 00:00:00

Granbery Promotes Study of Spanish, Latin America

Assistant Professor Granbery has article published in Megaphone emphasizing the importance of the study of Latin America, including teaching Spanish with a Latin American pronunciation, Spanish-American history, devoting a portion of the library to Latin-America, etc.

1914-06-05 00:00:00

Megaphone Publishes Letter from Carranza

A letter (in Spanish) from Venustiano Carranza, Primer Jefe of the Constitutional Army, to Dr. Granbery regarding the future of education after peace in Mexico is published.

1914-06-28 00:00:00

Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Duchess Sophie

In what is generally believed to be the start of the first world war, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, are assassinated in Sarajevo, in what was then Austria-Hungary.

1914-08-04 12:57:25

US declares neutrality

The United States declares neutrality.

1914-08-23 00:00:00

Japan Declares War on Germany

Japan declares war on Germany.

1914-09-14 00:00:00

The Star Spangled Banner - 100 Years Old

Although it won't become the National Anthem until 1931, President Wilson begins to have it used for military events in 1916 and the Southwestern student newspaper publishes its lyrics in 1917.

1914-10-04 00:00:00

Dr. Bishop Gives Lecture on European War

Dr. Bishop gives lecture at the Methodist church after reading a proclamation by President Wilson.

1914-12-25 12:57:25

Christmas Truce

On the Western Front on and around Christmas an informal ceasefire occurred between German and British soldier; later seen as unacceptable and possibly treasonous behavior by governments whose soldiers were involved.

1915-01-08 00:00:00

Cuneiform Tablet Given to C. C. Cody

"Dean C. C. Cody of Southwestern University is showing his friends a unique and highly valued Christmas gift which he received a few days ago. It is a 'Cuneiform Tablet' from Uz of the Chaldees. The curious stone, which is about one inch long and three-fourths of an inch wide, is covered with hieroglyphics that, ranslated[sic] show that the bit of ancient writing is a receipt for a temple offering of animals. It is dated in the 44th year of Dungi, King of Uz, which was about 2,300 or 2,400 B.C." Megaphone, January 8, 1915, page 2

1915-01-19 12:57:25

First Zeppelin Raid on Great Britain

Two German zeppelins drop bombs on the east coast of England.

1915-02-04 00:00:00

Germany Begins Unrestricted Submarine Warfare

Germany begins unrestricted submarine warfare under Admiral Hugo von Pohl, who disregards the advice against antagonizing neutral countries. A few months later, after the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, Germany is forced to "reinstate" restrictions.

1915-02-08 00:00:00

The Birth of a Nation Premieres

The premiere of a highly controversial silent film running over 2 hours - now considered to be one of the greatest American movies due to filming techniques. ("Find out more" link leads to DVD available for checkout from SU library.)

1915-03-06 00:00:00

Helen Keller Lectures

Helen Keller lectures on "Happiness" at the University Auditorium.

1915-03-19 00:00:00

Cancellation of 1916 Olympic Games in Berlin

Games will not take place; Berlin to remain as official host city for the year.

1915-03-19 00:00:00

Pluto Photographed for First Time

Pluto photographed for first time, though it will take years before it is identified.

1915-05-01 14:30:00

First May Fete

Southwestern holds first May Fete organized by Laura Kuykendall, "Instructor in Expression and Director of Girls' Gymnasium." (

1915-05-03 00:00:00

"In Flanders Fields" Written

The war poem, "In Flanders Fields," is begun by Canadian John McCrae. After publication in December, it became quickly popular and remains well-known in Canada. The poem inspired the adoption of the red poppy as remembrance poppies worn in Canada and Great Britain.

1915-05-06 00:00:00

Babe Ruth Hits First Career Home RUn

Babe Ruth, playing for the Boston Red Sox against the New York Yankees at the Polo Grounds, hits his first home run into the stands.

1915-05-07 00:00:00

Sinking of RMS Lusitania

The RMS Lusitania is sunk by a German U-boat 11 miles off the coast of Ireland, killing 1,198 and leading to increased support of Americans for entering the war.

1915-05-22 00:00:00

Lassen Peak Volcanic Eruption

Lassen Peak erupts, spreading volcanic ash "as far as 200 mi (300 km) to the east". Lassen Peak will be the only volcano to erupt in the contiguous US until Mount St. Helen's.

1915-06-01 12:57:25

Pegues becomes Dean

In June of 1915, Albert Shipp Pegues, Professor of English, takes over as Dean.

1915-07-28 00:00:00

Beginning of US Occupation of Haiti

Beginning of United States Occupation of Haiti (1915-1934).

1915-09-01 00:00:00

Hyer Offers Jobs at SMU to SU Professors

Hyer offers faculty positions to former SU teachers - he avoids soliciting current Southwestern faculty but over the next few years more faculty members will make the move to Dallas. (p. 177-8)

1915-09-08 00:00:00

British Army Tests Military Tank Prototype

First tank completed in factory, though tank design would take years to reach efficiency in design and training, they were being used in battle by the next year.

1915-09-18 00:00:00

Germany Suspends Unrestricted Submarine Warfare

Germany suspends unrestricted submarine warfare and returns to "cruiser" rules under Holtzendorff.

1915-10-08 00:00:00

Professor Captures Possum

Professor Lehmberg trees and catches a possum and Professor Moore takes "possession of the animal" and cooks it for a meal.

1915-11-16 00:00:00

Walking Stick Presented to C. C. Cody

Stick now in special collections; black with gold handle engraved with, "Dr. C. C. Cody November 16, 1915 From Former Students of S.W.U." The Houston Alumni Association met on November 16th with Cody present; Cody resigned as Dean in June of 1915.

1915-12-13 00:00:00

First Christmas Carol Candlelight Service

Ladies' Annex hosts Christmas dinner for faculty and university patrons, starting an annual tradition.

1916-01-08 00:00:00

Intercollegiate Prohibition Association Re-organizes

After an I.P.A. speaker's address, Southwestern students re-organize with at least 60 members.

1916-03-01 18:18:04

Germany Continues Unrestricted Submarine Warfare

Throughout the month of March Germany continued to debate the policies to use for submarine action, agreeing on the 13th that both armed and unarmed merchant ships in what was a designated war zone were to be destroyed without warning".

1916-03-04 00:00:00

Girls' Basketball Team Makes it to State Playoffs

The Southwestern Girls' Basketball team is undefeated until they lose 22 to 24 in the fourth quarter to the University of Texas.

1916-04-24 00:00:00

Easter Rising

An armed insurrection in Ireland by Irish republicans wanting to end British rule in Ireland.

1916-05-04 00:00:00

Germany Suspends Unrestricted Submarine Warfare

Germany agrees to return to submarine warfare following international laws.

1916-06-05 00:00:00

Arab Revolt Begins

Emirs Ali and Faisal (sons of Sherif Hussein bin Ali) attack the Ottoman garrison in Medina, beginning the revolt.

1916-07-01 00:00:00

Battle of the Somme Begins

First day of the Battle of the Somme with fighting between the British and French forces and the German forces. Over 72,000 casualties.

1916-08-27 00:00:00

Italy Declares War on Germany

Italy declares war on Germany after having entered the war in 1915.

1916-10-01 00:00:00

Jessie Daniel Ames Returns to Georgetown

Jessie Daniel Ames returns to Georgetown in October of 1916 and formed the Georgetown Equal Suffrage League. (To Survive and Excel, p. 153)

1916-10-10 00:00:00

Clio and Alethean Societies Merge

First meeting of new Literary Society (later to called the Cody Literary Society) held. Earlier in the month the Clio and Alethean had officially combined. (To Survive and Excel, p. 120)

1916-11-18 00:00:00

Battle of the Somme Ends

Battle of the Somme ends with over 1,000,000 casualties.

1916-12-29 00:00:00

Rasputin Assassinated

Felix Yusupov and Vladimir Purishkevich assassinate Rasputin, advisor to Alexandra, wife of the Russian Tsar. Reports of Rasputin's death become exaggerated, saying that he had supernatural powers that prevented the first assassination attempts from working.

1917-02-03 12:57:25

Wilson Addresses Congress

Wilson addresses Congress two days after Germany again declares unrestricted submarine warfare, wanting to sever diplomatic relations between governments.

1917-02-19 00:00:00

Zimmermann Telegram Shown to Secretary of U.S. Embassy in Britain

The Zimmermann telegram was from the Foreign Secretary of the German Empire and directed to the Mexican government. It suggests forming an alliance between Mexico and Germany, with Mexico reclaiming Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. It was decoded by the British (Room 40) and eventually passed on to the US.

1917-03-08 00:00:00

Russian Tsar Abdicates in February Revolution

After days of protests and riots at the capital, Tsar Nicholas II abdicates the throne and a provisional government is put in place.

1917-03-30 00:00:00

Football Coach Removed from Post

Mr. Rix removed from post, joins SMU.

1917-04-06 00:00:00

America Enters the War

President Wilson asks and the United States Congress declares war on German Empire.

World War I

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