Dec 30, 2013
12:44 PM

2014 Marks a Century From a Year That Changed the World, 1914

2014 Marks a Century From a Year That Changed the World, 1914

The New York Times front page dominated by World War I; image from the collection at

The arrival of 2014 at midnight Tuesday also heralds a century mark—100 years since the world-altering year 1914, which marked the beginning of World War I.

Sources across the Internet, including Wikipedia and, offer comprehensive snapshots of the state of the world and the great changes taking place 100 years ago.

While the war dominated the news, in other world affairs, the Panama Canal was officially opened after a decade of work.

U.S. Marines occupied Veracruz, Mexico, in order to protect U.S. interests amid a civil war.

And, as infoplease notes, the world's first red and green traffic lights were installed in Cleveland.

In sports, the big story was “the miracle” Boston Braves of 1914—well, that and Babe Ruth making his Major League debut with the Red Sox.

Charlie Chaplin appeared in Kid Auto Races at Venice, as his most famous character, the Little Tramp, in 1914, and the legendary-but-fictional Tarzan was introduced to the world when Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs was published.

Here are some other 1914 highlights offered by by Tedd Levy (Oldsaybrookhistory@gmailcom) at the Shoreline Times online:

The sports world was drawn to New Haven, where the first international figure skating tournament in the U.S. was held. On Patriot’s Day in Boston, the 18th marathon was held and won by Jaes Duffy, a Canadian with a time of 2 hours, 25 minutes.

Jack Johnson, an African-American, to the consternation of racists, successfully defended his heavyweight boxing championship against Jim Jeffries.

In Connecticut the Yale Bowl opened with a seating capacity of 70,000 for the Yale-Harvard football game.

Some 250,000 new Model T Fords were produced when Henry Ford introduced the assembly line and increased worker’s pay from $2.40 for a nine-hour day to $5 for an eight-hour day. (Above, an old New Year’s card from Tedd Levy’s vast collection.)

The Greyhound Bus Company began in Minnesota and the first transcontinental telephone line connected New York and San Francisco.

Congress passed an anti-trust act, which provided for union rights, established the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Trade Commission.

For the first time, the U.S. Post Office used an automobile to deliver the mail, which was priced at 2 cents for first class. The U.S. Deparment of State began requiring photographs for passports. And, although it did nothing to discourage suffragettes from marching on Washington, President Woodrow Wilson officially proclaimed Mother’s Day.

With regard to Connecticut, as an article archived on the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network website recalls, it was in February 1914 that fire struck Union Station in Hartford, which burned as would-be passengers stood on the platform. (Above, Union Station during the Fire of February 21, 1914. Photograph, 1914. Would-be passengers stand on the platform while firefighters combat the blaze on the roof. Photo:The Connecticut Historical Society, Horace B. Clark Collection.)


2014 Marks a Century From a Year That Changed the World, 1914

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