What were they doing 100 years ago, 1912?

In April of 1912, the RMS Titanic went down in the Atlantic Ocean. It had been built in Belfast, in the northern part of Ireland, set sail from Southampton, England, stopped off in Queenstown, in the southern part of Ireland, and hit an iceberg on its way to New York City.

Dorothy Rothschild [later Parker], 18, lost her uncle, but he managed to save his wife. Her future Algonquin Round Table member Alexander Woollcott, 25, was sent to Halifax, Nova Scotia, at the end of the month by his employer, the New York Times, to interview the survivors. Soon after he came back, he was made Times drama critic.

The art world was about to explode at the Armory Show one year later in 1913—and all hell would break loose in Europe the year after that.

But what else was happening a century ago? What about W B Yeats and his friends in the Irish Literary Renaissance, whose Abbey Theatre was just a bit over seven years old?

What about the Bloomsberries, in London, who had spent the past five years talking, writing, painting and smoking in the salons of Gordon Square and Fitzroy Square?

What about Gertrude Stein and her partner, Alice B. Toklas, hosting painters in their Paris atelier at 27 rue de Fleurus? Most of the future American writers who would visit after the war were just growing up in the US.

And what about Dotty and Alex and the rest of the Round Table, embarking on their careers in Manhattan?

I’ve gone back to dig out what all the creative people in the four salons were doing 100 years ago, in Ireland, England, France and America. Click on the links in the column to the right to find out what was happening 100 years ago in Ireland, England, France and America, 1912.

And for a look ahead to spring 1913, click on the link to The Armory Show.

If you come across any other related 100 year anniversaries, please pass them along to me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com. Thanks!


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