Here we are: 2016. A brand new year. So many possibilities. So many opportunities. What will the future bring?
Sometimes, to look to the future, we need to study the past, so I thought I’d take us on a brief walk through 1916 to see how much has changed (or not) in 100 years. Turns out, Wikipedia has a whole list of 1916 happenings, but here are some of what I consider the most interesting highlights:
- Like 2016, 1916 was a leap year.
- On Jan. 1, 1916, the British Royal Army Medical Corps carries out the first successful blood transfusion using blood that had been stored and cooled.
- On Jan. 24, in Browning, Montana, the temperature drops from +6.7 °C to -48.8 °C (44 °F to -56 °F) in one day, the greatest change ever on record for a 24-hour period.
- World War I is in full swing in Europe, and on Jan. 29, Paris is bombed by German zeppelins for the first time.
- On Feb. 11, Emma Goldman is arrested for lecturing on birth control in the United States.
- In Munich, German automobile company BMW (Die Bayerischen Motoren Werke) is founded March 7.
- Pancho Villa leads about 500 Mexican raiders in an attack against Columbus, New Mexico, on March 8-9 during the Mexican Revolution, killing 12 U.S. soldiers. A garrison of the U.S. 13th Cavalry Regiment fights back and drives them away.
- The toggle light switch is invented by William J. Newton and Morris Goldberg in April.
- The Easter Rising occurs in Ireland from April 24-30. Members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood proclaim an Irish Republic and the Irish Volunteers and Irish Citizen Army occupy the General Post Office and other buildings in Dublin before surrendering to the British Army.
- Britain initiates daylight saving time on May 21.
- S. President Woodrow Wilson signs a bill incorporating the Boy Scouts of America on June 15.
- From July 1–12, at least one shark attacks 5 swimmers along 80 miles (130 km) of New Jersey coastline during the Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916, resulting in 4 deaths and the survival of one youth who requires limb amputation. This event is the inspiration for author Peter Benchley, more than half a century later, to write Jaws.
- On July 22, in San Francisco, a bomb explodes on Market Street during a Preparedness Day parade, killing 10 and injuring 40.
- The first 40-hour work week officially begins Nov. 1 in the Endicott-Johnson factories of Western New York.
- On Nov. 7, Republican Jeannette Rankin of Montana becomes the first woman elected to the United States House of Representatives.
- Writer Jack London dies Nov. 22 of kidney failure at his California home at age 40.
- Finally, during some point in 1916, Oxycodone, a narcotic painkiller closely related to codeine is first synthesized in Germany.
So, there’s our first time travel adventure for 2016. If you want more, check out Dean Wesley Smith’s Thunder Mountain series or Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s Snipers, for starters. Both travel back to those faraway days in the early part of the 20th century, where things were different, and yet very similar.
In the meantime, Happy New Year!
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.