June 15. Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Whitten
Brown crash-landed their Vickers Vimy biplane in an Irish bog,
16 hours after taking off from Newfoundland. The pair became the
first non-stop transatlantic fliers; a seaplane had done the crossing
the previous month, but only in a series of short hops.
Alcock and Brown's epic flight almost ended in disaster. At
one stage, ice forming on the wings threatened to bring the aircraft
down into the Atlantic. The 1,900-mile flight showed that the
impossible could be done. In July, it was the turn of the British
airship, R-34, powered by Sunbeam engines built in Wolverhampton,
to make the first two-way trip over the Atlantic. The first leg,
to New York, took a leisurely four days - slightly longer than
a fast liner.
January 3. At Manchester University Professor Ernest
Rutherford split the atom for the first time. He used alpha particles
emitted by radioactive elements to bombard nitrogen atoms. Rutherford
proved conclusively that atoms were not the indivisible building
blocks of nature that some scientists believed.
June 21. In a final act of defiance, the German Fleet
scuttled itself in Scapa Flow rather than hand its ships over
to the Royal Navy. The battleships and other vessels had been
impounded at Scapa since the end of the war in 1918, to await
the outcome of the Versailles peace conference. Outraged at the
stern conditions imposed on Germany in the treaty, Admiral Von
Reuter gave the order for his ships' crews to open the underwater
July 4. Jack Dempsey beat Jess Willard to take the world
heavyweight boxing championship. He forced Willard to retire in
three rounds. Dempsey, who died in Manhattan at the age of 87,
was said to be one of the three most famous heavyweights of all
November 11. At 11am Britain fell silent for the first
Armistice Day act of remembrance since the end of the First World
War one year earlier. In France the war graves were still a muddy
jumble of pathetic white crosses. In Whitehall, a temporary timber
Cenotaph had still to be replaced by the permanent structure.
28. Viscountess Nancy Astor became Britain's first woman MP,
holding her husband's safe seat in Plymouth for the Tories in
a by-election. The outspoken Lady Astor promised to become a role
model for all women. "I want to make it possible," she declared,
"for the humblest woman who may be elected to follow the precedent
Tipton Council, with a population of 24,000, decided to
apply for a certificate of incorporation to become a borough.
"It cannot conceivably cost more than 500," said the Chairman,
Councillor W W Doughty.
Willenhall unveiled its plans for a war memorial and garden
of remembrance at a cost of 7,000.
A 16-day coal-winders' strike in the Black Country was settled
"amicably" with the re-instatement of Evan Parker, a winder
sacked unfairly at Baggeridge. Five thousands miners had
been laid off.
Frederick McCulloch, a conman who claimed he had 500,000
in an Irish bank, was jailed for 18 months after Dudley
Quarter Sessions heard he had taken an old lady's savings
and "debauched her daughter".
Wolverhampton Profiteering Committee ordered a 1s 11d refund
on a hat after hearing that the hatter had made 100 per
cent profit on it.