America In 1916: What was Happening 100 Years Ago?

History is so fascinating. It is so much more than memorizing dates, and learning about dead guys. History is literally the story behind every trend, news headline, and major event that is happening right now. As we begin and look forward to this new year, let's take a few minutes to travel back in time and remember some of the most significant events that happened in America in the year 1916. These events can help us begin to tell a story of why America is the way that it is today, 100 years later.

1. The second-ever Rose Bowl was on January 1, 1916. Washington State beat Brown University 14-0.

2. The Professional Golfer Association (PGA) met for the first time in New York City on January 17, 1916. The first PGA Championship was also played this same day.


3. At the beginning of 1916, WWI was in full swing. Germany had used Zeppelins to bomb Britain before, but on January 29th, The Germans used these Zeppelins against France for the first time.


4. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra presented its first concert on February 11, 1916.

5. One of the biggest battles of WWI, The Battle of Verdun, began on February 21, 1916. This battle was fought in France between the German and French armies.


6. The House-Grey Memorandum was an invitation from the U.S. to Germany to participation in a U.S.-sponsored peace convention to end World War I. It was drafted by US President Woodrow Wilson and British foreign secretary, Sir Edward Grey. It states: "Should the Allies accept [the American idea of a conference to end the war] and should Germany refuse it, the United States would 'probably' enter the war against Germany." This was released on February 22nd.

7. Film icon Charlie Chaplin signed a film contract with Mutual on February 26th.

8.The United States invaded Cuba for the 3rd time on March 8, 1916.

9. On March 9th, Mexican General Francisco "Pancho" Villa invaded the US in Columbus, New Mexico. Known as the 'Battle of Columbus' or 'Columbus Raid'. (18 killed).

10. The first US National Women's Swimming Championships were held on April 1, 1916.

11. After they first formed in January, The Professional Golfer's Association of America (PGA) was officially created in New York on April 10th.


12. Due to Germany's extreme tactics of maritime warfare, on April 18, 1916, the US Secretary of State warned Germany that the US may break diplomatic relations unless torpedo attacks on unarmed ships stop.

13. On April 19th, the 20th Boston Marathon was won by Arthur Roth of Massachusetts with a time of 2:27:16.4.


14. Weeghman Park, (now known as Wrigley Field) opened in Chicago on April 20, 1916.



15. On April 24th, the Easter Rising of Irish republicans against British occupation began in Dublin (Ended 5 days later).

16. On May 4th, at the request of the US, Germany curtailed its Submarine warfare.

17. The United Stated Marines invade the Dominican Republic on May 5, 1916 (They stayed until 1924).


18. President Wilson addressed the League to Enforce Peace (founded in 1915) and gave public support to the idea of a league of nations on May 27th.

19. On June 7th, Theodore Roosevelt declined nomination of the Progressive Party and gave his support to Republican Charles Evans Hughes.


20. The Democratic Convention convened in St Louis on June 14, 1916. Woodrow Wilson campaigned on the slogan that ''He kept out of the War''.

21. A Boeing Aircraft flew for the first time on June 29th.


22.On July 1, 1916, Coca-Cola brought its current formula to the market.


23. First cargo submarine crossed Atlantic arrives in the U.S. from Germany on July 29th.

24. On August 25h, 1916, the US Department of Interiors formed the National Park Service.



25. The first "super" market, PigglyWiggly, opened on September 6th, in Memphis, TN.

26. On September 7th, the Workmen's Compensation Act was passed by Congress

27. During the Battle of Somme, on September 15th at the Battle of Flers- Courcelette, the British debuted the use of tanks in war.


28. John D. Rockefeller became the world's first billionaire on September 29th.

29. On October 9th, Georgia Tech, coached by John Heisman, defeated Cumberland 222-0, the most lopsided score in the history of college football.


30. Woodrow Wilson was re-elected as president on November 7th. On this same day, Jeannette Rankin was elected to Congress as its first woman Representative.


31. The French defeated the Germans in the Battle of Verdun on December 15, 1916.

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