Elsewhere in 1909


January 6 – The Great White Fleet, consisting of 16 U.S. Navy battleships sailing the globe in a display of American naval power, successfully completed its passage through the Suez Canal, passing from the Indian Ocean into the Mediterranean Sea

January 9 – The British Nimrod Expedition to the South Pole, led by Ernest Shackleton, arrives at the farthest south reached by any prior expedition, at 88°23′ S, prior to turning back due to lack of provisions.

February 5 – Leo Baekeland announces the creation of bakelite hard thermosetting plastic

February 12 – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is founded in New York, New York

March 4 – William Howard Taft is sworn in, as the 27th President of the United States.

March 30 – The Queensboro Bridge was opened to the public, linking Queens to Manhattan

April 13 – A countercoup begins in the Ottoman Empire.

April 14 – Ottoman Turks kill 15,000–30,000 Armenian Christians, in the Adana Vilayet

April 27 – Sultan of the Ottoman Empire Abdul Hamid II is overthrown and succeeded by his brother, Mehmed V. He is sent to the Ottoman port city of Thessaloniki (Selanik) the next day

May 19 – Russian ballet is brought to the Western world, when the Ballets Russes opens a tour produced by Sergei Diaghilev at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, with 55 dancers, including Vaslav Nijinsky.

June 2 – French forces capture Abéché, capital of the Wadai Empire in central Africa.

July 16 – The Persian Constitutional Revolution succeeded in forcing Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar from the throne of Iran. The National Assembly proclaimed the 12-year-old Crown Prince, Ahmed Mirza, as Shah, and Azud ul Mulk as regent.

July 19 – Hudson Terminal and 22-storey twin towers open at future site of World Trade Center in New York

July 25 – Louis Blériot is the first man to fly across the English Channel (thus a large open body of water) in a heavier-than-air craft

July 25–August 2 – The city of Barcelona experiences a workers’ uprising.

July 27 – SS Waratah and 211 people on board vanish without a trace

August 2 – The United States Army Signal Corp Division purchases the world’s first military airplane, a Wright Military Flyer, from the Wright brothers.

August 29 – Glenn Curtiss winsthe  world’s first airplane race, after being sued by the Wright Brothers and almost being in the first midair collision

September 1 – Frederick Cook announces he was the first to reach the North Pole. As of 2018 his claim remains unproven.

September 7 – Eugène Lefebvre becomes the first pilot, and second person overall, to die in an airplane crash

October 22 – The Baroness de Laroche becomes first woman to fly an airplane solo

October 26 – Itō Hirobumi, four time Prime Minister of Japan (the 1st, 5th, 7th and 10th) and Resident-General of Korea, is assassinated by An Jung-geun at the Harbin Railway Station in Manchuria.

November 13 – The Cherry Mine Disaster, the third deadliest coal mine accident in United States history, kills 247 coal miners, and 12 rescuers.

November 14 – Joshua Slocum had, in 1898, made the first solo circumnavigation of the globe, sailing in his yacht, the Spray. After refitting the Spray for another voyage, Slocum departed from Martha’s Vineyard and was never seen again

December 17 – Belgium’s genocidal monster King Leopold II dies

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