May 28: After l904's humiliating defeat by the Japanese
fleet at Port Arthur, the Imperial Russian Navy set sail to Japan
to teach the Orientals a lesson.
The Russians were jittery. They accidentally opened fire on British
herring ships in the North Sea, believing them to be Japanese
patrol boats. But the fleet made a magnificent sight as it traversed
half the globe. The world watched, enthralled, awaiting the inevitable
annihilation of the Japanese by the massive battle cruisers and
ageing ironclads of the Tsar.
It was not to be. By the time the Russian fleet reached the narrow
straits between Korea and Japan, their crews were sick and exhausted,
their warships worn out by the long voyage. At Tsushima, Admiral
Togo attacked in his modern battle fleet of warships, including
some built in Britain.
Japanese scientists had perfected a powerful explosive which
made their shells and torpedoes particularly deadly. It was all
over quickly. The Alexander II went down with all hands, followed
by ship after ship until the battered Russians surrendered.
Tsushima was a warning to history. In previous centuries, wars
had been decided by raw courage and sheer numbers of men. In the
20th century, technology would be master.
June 26: The Automobile Association was formed in Britain
by early motorists. The first badges bearing the distinctive AA
logo are issued to members to put on their cars. They feature
the signature of secretary Stenson Cooke. Until 1896 the law in
England had required a 'horseless carriage' to be preceded by
a man with a red flag, but since then motoring had developed swiftly.
King Edward VII was an early convert to motoring, conferring an
aristocratic image on the ownership of a motor vehicle.
26: In Berne, Switzerland, a young physicist called Albert
Einstein published a new theory overturning all the accepted rules
of physics. Einstein asserted that mass and time are not constant
and, at speeds approaching the speed of light, both can change.
To the man in the street such things seemed not only improbable
but worthless. Yet Einstein's new view of physics soon transformed
our views of the universe, and even led to the development of
the atom bomb.
At Rushall Magistrates' Court, Abraham Hill, 30, of Old
Hill was remanded in custody, charged with attempted suicide.
He had been found with his head on the railway line and
said he was tired of life.
A meeting of Wolverhampton Free Church Council heard that
most people in the town seemed to be "given over to the
pursuit of pleaseure and regarded amusement as the one aim
Aston Villa beat Newcastle United 2-0 to win FA Cup at Crystal
Chairman of Wolverhampton Chamber of Commerce Mr Hall Jones
asked the annual meeting: "Is there a deterioration taking
place in the population? Are men so keen as those of the
Messrs Gibbs and Dumbell of Wolverhampton market a new photographic
device for trapping speeding motorists.
Two men fined 1 each at Walsall for attacking Harry Kingdom,
landlord of the Fountain Inn, Foster Street. The landlord
admitted he was bigger than the others but declared: "It's
not always the fattest who's the strongest."