World History 1908-1909 AD

1908 Austria Annexes Bosnia and Herzegovina -(10/6/08) Austria unilaterally announced the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The decision was met with anger in Serbia, which had always regarded the area as Serbian. The Russians were aligned with the Serbs and also opposed the action. The Germans were Austrian allies and warned the Russians that any action taken would result in war. The British and French offered muted protests and the crises passed.
1908 Young Turks Revolt (7/24/08) The Turkish Sultan Abdul-Hamid II was forced to accede to the demands of the Young Turks, a group of army officers who demanded that constitutional rule be restored in Turkey.
1908 King Carlos & Crown Prince Assassinated-(2/1/08) Assassins killed King Carlos of Portugal, as well as his son and heir, Prince Luis Filipe. The assassins also tried to kill the Queen. The assassins were led by a sergeant in the Portuguese Army. Their hope was to provoke a revolution. Although panic ensued, a revolution did not materialize and Prince Manuel, the younger son of the King, succeeded his father.
1908 Bulgaria Declares Independence -(10/5/08)The Bulgarian Principality declared its complete independence from the Ottomans. Prince Ferdinand established a monarchy and became the first King of Bulgaria.
1908 Congo Free State Becomes Belgian Congo -(10/18/08) The Congo Free State, which had been the private property of Belgian King Leopold II, became an official Belgian colony. The action was taken by the Belgian Parliament, after revelations about Leopold's rule had become so scandalous that Parliament felt it had no other option.
1908 Robert Perry Arrives at The North Pole -(4/6/09) After a month on the Arctic ice, Robert Peary became the first man to reach the North Pole. The only other American to reach the pole with Peary was an Afro-American named Matthew Henson. Four of the seven Eskimos who started the trip arrived with Perry, as well.
1908 Dollar Diplomacy -"Dollar Diplomacy" received its terminology from the policy of additional support by the government for American enterprises abroad. This was particularly apparent in American relations with China. There, the American government intervened directly with the Chinese government on behalf of American bankers.
1908 Conservation Commision - The National Conservation Commission was an outgrowth of a very successful White House Conference on conservation. The Commission received the full backing of President Roosevelt. The President was fully committed to the concept of preserving the environment.
1908 First True Skyscraper Built -In 1908, the Singer Building, in lower Manhattan, was completed. It was the first true skyscraper, reaching 47 stories. Later the same year, the 50-story Metropolitan Life Building was finished.
1908 Oil Discovered in Persia -(5/26/08)A large deposit of oil was discovered in Southwestern Iran. The discovery was a precursor to the discovery of oil in the rest of Arabia.
1908 First Airplane Passenger Killed - (9/17/08) On September 17th, Lt. Thomas Selfridge of the US Army was killed when a Wright Flyer, piloted by Orville Wright, crashed. The aircraft was involved in two weeks of trials for the Army. The aircraft had flown three laps, at 150 feet, when it suddenly shook and dove to the earth. Selfridge lost consciousness almost immediately, and died a few hours later. Orville was hurt, but not too seriously.

1909

1909 Sultan Abdul Deposed -(4/13/09)The Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II was ousted by a unanimous vote of both houses of the Turkish Parliament. He was replaced by his brother Mohammed Rechad Effendi, who became known as Sultan Mehmed V Hamid. The action of Parliament was prompted by the massacre of Armenians in Adana. The deposed Sultan was officially charged with squandering the wealth of the Empire, burning holy books and committing massacres.
1909 Martial Law in Spain - The decision to send Spanish troops to Morocco precipitated widespread chaos in Spain. The protests were based on the inequalities of military service. The disruptions led to general strikes and rioting. Martial law was imposed and opponents of the government were arrested. Francusici Ferrer, a well-known anti-cleric, was executed, resulting in sweeping criticism throughout Europe. Spanish Prime Minister Maura was forced to resign, and the King invited the Liberal Party to form a government.
1909 Revolution in Persia-Revolution broke out in Persia when the Shah, Muhammad Ali, sought to destroy the constitutional monarchy that he himself had created. Nationalist troops occupied Teheran and forced the Shah to flee. He was replaced by his son, Ahmed Shah.
1909 Prince Ito Assassinated in Japan-(10/26/09) A Korean nationalist assassinated Hirobumi Ito on October 26th. Ito was considered the most important Japanese public figure in the late 19th century. He was considered the man most responsible for the modernization of Japan. The assassin was protesting the Japanese attempt to control Korea and the assassination gave the Japanese a convenient pretext for the outright annexation of the Korean peninsula.
1909 US Intervenes in Nicaragua-The President of Nicaragua was Jose Santos Zelaya. He had been in power since 1893, and had been trying to create a union of Central American countries by intervening actively in their affairs. These actions were opposed by the United States, which supported the opposition to Zelaya. When Zelaya started to execute these "rebels" -- including two Americans -- the US intervened militarily and ousted him.
1909 Civil War Honduras-A civil war broke out in Honduras between President General Miguel Davila and former President Bonilla. The civil war lasted two years and ended in 1911, when both sides agreed to abide by the results of an election. The election resulted in a Bonilla victory.
1909 First Newsreel Shown in Theater -The first newsreel was shown in a Paris theater by Charles Pathe. The next year, newsreels were introduced into US theaters, where they became very popular
1909 English Channel Is Crossed - (7/25/09) On July 25th, Louis Bleriot became the first person to fly across the English Channel. Bleriot thus claimed the prize of 1,000 pounds sterling offered by the Daily Mail. He flew a Type XI Monoplane. The flight took 37 minutes. Bleriot took off from Les Barraques at 4:35AM. Winds pushed him off course; but, flying at a height of over 150 feet, Bleroit managed to follow ships back toward Dover, where he landed.