Not far removed from the turn of the 20th Century, the year 1908 saw the global frontier and indeed, the world, continue to shrink. 1908 was a momentous year for exploring the ends of the Earth.
In January, the famous Nimrod Expedition set sail from New Zealand. Led by Ernest Shackleton, this British expedition was meant to discover the South Pole. While the group did not achieve their goal, they did reach a point farther south than anyone had been before. What is especially remarkable is that this was funded entirely by private donations. On the opposite end of the world, it was in April of this year that American explorer, Frederick Cook, claims to have reached the North Pole, but this claim has been disputed for many years. In July, Cook’s rival, Robert Peary, set sail for the North Pole. Both men claim to have been the first to reach the Pole, but both claims have been contested since they made their claims.
There were also events that brought the world closer together – things that made the world seem a bit smaller. In a major development for the aviation field, French aviator Leon Delagrange piloted the first passenger flight in March. Also in March of this year, the first Scout troop was formed in the United Kingdom. This can be considered the beginning of organized Scouting as an activity for boys, after Robert Baden-Powell published his Scouting for Boys book. This movement would become an international cultural phenomenon, spreading across the world, passing on values and skills that would last for generations.
In another momentous development, American businessman Henry Ford produced the first Model T automobile at his production plant in Detroit, Michigan. Ford’s Model T would radically change the way that people travelled and how communities organized themselves.
All Nobel Prize winners of 1908
- Klas Pontus Arnoldson
- Fredrik Bajer
- Rudolf Christoph Eucken
- Gabriel Lippmann
- Ernest Rutherford
Physiology or Medicine
- Élie Metchnikoff
- Paul Ehrlich
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Which were the important events of 1908?
- 01 Jan 1908 1st time, ball signifying new year dropped at Times Square
- 02 Jan 1908 Canadian branch of the Royal Mint opens in Ottawa
- 07 Jan 1908 England beat Australia by one wicket at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
- 09 Jan 1908 Frans Schollaert succeeds De Trooz as premier of Belgium.
- 11 Jan 1908 Grand Canyon National Monument is created.
- 12 Jan 1908 A long-distance radio message is sent from the Eiffel Tower for the first time.
- 13 Jan 1908 Stanley Cup: Montreal Wanderers sweep Ottawa Victorias in 2 games
- 14 Jan 1908 Roger Hartigan scores century on Test debut versus England Adelaide (116).
- 15 Jan 1908 C Hill and R J Hartigan make 8th wicket partnership 243 for Australia.
- 16 Jan 1908 Pinnacles National Monument, California established.
- 21 Jan 1908 New York City passes the Sullivan Ordinance, making it illegal for women to smoke in public, only to have the measure vetoed by the mayor.
- 23 Jan 1908 US and Great Britain demand end of abuses in Congo.
- 28 Jan 1908 Members of the Portuguese Republican Party fail in their attempted coup d'etat against the administrative dictatorship of Prime Minister Joao Franco.
- 29 Jan 1908 Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, at Cornell University, incorporates.
- 01 Feb 1908 King Carlos I of Portugal and his son, Prince Luis Filipe are killed in Terreiro do Paco, Lisbon.
- 07 Feb 1908 Connie Mack sells hurler Rube Waddell to Saint Louis Browns for $5,000.
- 10 Feb 1908 Tommy Burns knocks out Jack Palmer in four for heavyweight boxing title.
- 12 Feb 1908 New York to Paris auto race (via Alaska and Siberia) begins in New York NY; George Schuster wins after 88 days behind the wheel.
- 27 Feb 1908 Sacrifice fly adopted (repealed in 1931, reinstated 1954).
- 28 Feb 1908 Failed assassination attempt on Shah Mohammed Ali in Teheran.
- 29 Feb 1908 Dutch scientists produce solid helium.
- 04 Mar 1908 The Collinwood School Fire, Collinwood near Cleveland, Ohio, kills 174 people.
- 07 Mar 1908 Cincinnati Mayor Mark Breith stood before city council and announced that, "women are not physically fit to operate automobiles".
- 08 Mar 1908 Collingwood Elementary (Cleveland) burns, kills 173 kids and two teachers.
- 12 Mar 1908 Stanley Cup: MontrTal Wanderers sweep Winnipeg Maple Leafs in two games.
- 14 Mar 1908 Stanley Cup: MontrTal Wanderers beat Toronto Trolley Leaguers, 6-4.
- 17 Mar 1908 Quickest world heavyweight title fight (Tommy Burns knocks out Jem Roche in 88 seconds).
- 23 Mar 1908 American diplomat Durham Stevens is attacked by Korean assassins Jeon Myeong-un and Jang In-hwan, leading to his death in a hospital two days later.
- 01 Apr 1908 The Territorial Force (renamed Territorial Army in 1920) is formed as a volunteer reserve component of the British Army.
- 02 Apr 1908 Mills Committee declares baseball was invented by Abner Doubleday.
- 03 Apr 1908 Frank Gotch wins world heavyweight wrestling championship in two hours.
- 05 Apr 1908 British premier Henry Campbell-Bannerman resigns.
- 07 Apr 1908 H. H. Asquith of the Liberal Party takes office as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, succeeding Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman
- 08 Apr 1908 Harvard University votes to establish the Harvard Business School.
- 11 Apr 1908 SMS Blucher, the last armored cruiser to be built by the German Imperial Navy, launches.
- 12 Apr 1908 Fire makes 17,000 homeless in Chelsea Massachusetts.
- 16 Apr 1908 Natural Bridges National Monument established (Lake Powell Utah).
- 18 Apr 1908 Tommy Burns knocks out Jewy Smith in five for heavyweight boxing title.
- 20 Apr 1908 12th Boston Marathon won by Tom Morrissey of New York in 2:25:43.2.
- 23 Apr 1908 Denmark, Germany, England, France, Netherlands and Sweden signs North Sea accord.
- 24 Apr 1908 Mr and Mrs Jacob Murdock become the first to travel across the US by car, they leave Los Angeles in a Packard and arrive in New York City in 32 days-5 hours-25 minutes.
- 05 May 1908 34th Kentucky Derby: Arthur Pickens on Stone Street wins in 2:15.2.
- 09 May 1908 Dirk Fock becomes Governor of Suriname.
- 10 May 1908 First official Mother's Day service is held, at the Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia, organized by Anna Jarvis.
- 12 May 1908 Wireless Radio Broadcasting is patented by Nathan B Stubblefield.
- 18 May 1908 US Congress mandates that "In God We Trust" appear on all US coins.
- 20 May 1908 The Aldrich-Vreeland Act alters security deposit requirements for national banks.
- 23 May 1908 Dirigible explodes over San Francisco Bay, 16 passengers fall, none die.
- 24 May 1908 Belgium Catholic socialist / liberal parliamentary election
- 26 May 1908 At Masjed Soleyman (???? ??????) in southwest Persia, the first major commercial oil strike in the Middle East is made. The rights to the resource are quickly acquired by the United Kingdom.
- 30 May 1908 Paris advocate E Archdeacon is first passenger in a airplane.
- 31 May 1908 Miss Pottelsberghe de la Pottery is first airplane passenger (Belgium).
- 01 Jun 1908 John Krohn begins walk around perimeter of US, which took 357 days
- 02 Jun 1908 33rd Preakness: Eddie Dugan aboard Royal Tourist wins in 1:46.4
- 12 Jun 1908 Lusitania crosses Atlantic in record 4 days 15 hours (NYC)
- 13 Jun 1908 Tommy Burns KOs Bill Squires in 8 for heavyweight boxing title
- 18 Jun 1908 Japanese immigration to Brazil begins when 781 people arrive in Santos aboard the ship Kasato-Maru.
- 24 Jun 1908 Yanks replace Clark Griffith with Kid Elberfeld as manager who is destined to have worse won-lost pct of any Yankee mgr 27-71 (.276)
- 30 Jun 1908 The Tunguska event occurs in remote Siberia.
- 01 Jul 1908 SOS is adopted as the international distress signal.
- 04 Jul 1908 New York Giants George "Hooks" Witse no-hits Philadelphia Phillies, 1-0 in 10 inn.
- 07 Jul 1908 Great White Fleet leaves San Francisco Bay.
- 09 Jul 1908 CHU (Christian Historic Union) Dutch political party forms
- 19 Jul 1908 Feyenoord soccer team forms in Rotterdam
- 24 Jul 1908 John Hayes wins 4th olympics marathon (2:55:18.4 world record)
- 25 Jul 1908 Ajinomoto is founded. Kikunae Ikeda of the Tokyo Imperial University discovers that a key ingredient in Konbu soup stock is monosodium glutamate (MSG), and patents a process for manufacturing it.
- 26 Jul 1908 Predecessor of the FBI is created by the Department of Justice
- 30 Jul 1908 Around the World Autombile Race ends in Paris.
- 08 Aug 1908 Wilbur Wright makes his first flight at a racecourse at Le Mans, France. It is the Wright Brothers' first public flight.
- 13 Aug 1908 Cy Young Day in Boston, he pitches briefly against an All-Star team
- 14 Aug 1908 Race riot in Springfield Illinois.
- 17 Aug 1908 Bank of Italy opens new headquarters at Clay and Montgomery.
- 20 Aug 1908 Congo Free State becomes the Belgian Congo.
- 24 Aug 1908 Tommy Burns KOs Bill Squires in 13 for heavyweight boxing title
- 25 Aug 1908 National Association of Colored Nurses, forms
- 27 Aug 1908 Calgary City Rugby Foot-ball Club re-organizes as the Tigers
- 28 Aug 1908 14th US Golf Open: Fred McLeod shoots a 322 at Myopia Hunt Club, Massachusetts
- 29 Aug 1908 New York gives a ticker tape parade to returning US Olympians from London.
- 02 Sep 1908 Tommy Burns KOs Bill Lang in 6 for heavyweight boxing title
- 03 Sep 1908 James Barries What Every Woman Knows, premieres in London
- 04 Sep 1908 Caledonia and Hillhurst Football Clubs play for Central Alberta Rugby Football League championship
- 09 Sep 1908 Russia takes part of Poland
- 12 Sep 1908 Winston Churchill marries Clementine Hozier
- 16 Sep 1908 Carriage-maker, William Durant, founded General Motors Corp
- 17 Sep 1908 The Wright Flyer flown by Orville Wright, with Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge as passenger, crashes killing Selfridge. He becomes the first airplane fatality.
- 18 Sep 1908 Cleveland Indian Bob "Dusty" Rhoades no-hits Boston, 2-1.
- 20 Sep 1908 Chicago White Sox Frank Smith second no-hitter, beats Philadelphia Phillies 1-0.
- 22 Sep 1908 Bulgaria declares independence from Ottoman Empire (Turkey)
- 23 Sep 1908 University of Alberta in Alberta, Canada, is founded.
- 24 Sep 1908 Robert B Rhoads becomes 1st Cleveland pitcher (Cleveland Naps) to toss a no-hit game, Cleveland 2, Boston 1
- 26 Sep 1908 Ed Ruelbach shuts-out Brooklyn Dodgers in a doubleheader.
- 27 Sep 1908 The first production of the Ford Model T automobile was built at the Piquette Plant in Detroit, Michigan.
- 29 Sep 1908 Calgary Rugby Football Union forms
- 01 Oct 1908 1st Dutch electric railway in use (Rotterdam-The Hague)
- 02 Oct 1908 Addie Joss perfect game stops Ed Walsh 1-0 who won 40 in a row.
- 03 Oct 1908 The Pravda newspaper is founded by Leon Trotsky, Adolph Joffe, Matvey Skobelev and other Russian exiles in Vienna.
- 05 Oct 1908 Bulgaria declares independence from Turkey, Ferdinand I becomes Tsar
- 06 Oct 1908 Tigers beat White Sox, 7-0 to win AL pennant
- 07 Oct 1908 Serbia and Montenegro sign anti-Austria-Hungarian pact.
- 08 Oct 1908 New York Giants set season attendance record at 910,000 (broken in 1920)
- 14 Oct 1908 Baseball Writers Association of America, forms
- 16 Oct 1908 Edmonton Rugby Foot-ball Club re-organizes as Esquimoux
- 20 Oct 1908 King Leopold II sells Congo to Belgium
- 24 Oct 1908 Billy Murray hits the charts with Take Me Outto the Ball Game
- 31 Oct 1908 4th Olympic games ends in London
- 03 Nov 1908 William Howard Taft (Republican) elected 27th President over William Jennings Bryan.
- 04 Nov 1908 Brooklyn Academy of Music, opens in New York City
- 06 Nov 1908 Leonid Andreyevs Dui Nashey Zhizni, premieres in St. Petersburg
- 07 Nov 1908 Dutch capture Venezuelan navy
- 10 Nov 1908 1st Gideon Bible put in a hotel room
- 14 Nov 1908 Albert Einstein presents his quantum theory of light.
- 22 Nov 1908 1st US-Japanese baseball game Reach All-Americans defeat Waseda University, 5-0
- 25 Nov 1908 Dorando Pietri (It) beats Johnny Hayes (US) in Madison Square Gardens marathon by 60 yards.
- 28 Nov 1908 154 men die in coal mine explosion at Marianna Pennsylvania.
- 30 Nov 1908 A mine explosion in the mining town of Marianna, Pennsylvania kills 154.
- 02 Dec 1908 Child Emperor Pu Yi ascends the Chinese throne at the age of two
- 25 Dec 1908 Jack Johnson KO Tommy Burns and becomes first black heavyweight champion.
- 26 Dec 1908 Jack Johnson becomes the first African American heavyweight boxing champion by defeating Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia.
- 28 Dec 1908 Messina, Italy struck by an earthquake (nearly 80,000 died).
- 29 Dec 1908 Patent granted for a 4-wheel automobile brake, Clintonville Wisconsin.
- 30 Dec 1908 Stanley Cup: MontrTal Wanderers outscore Edmonton, 13-10 in two game series.