On this day: the Khodynka Tragedy

Chodynka The Khodynka Tragedy (Russian Ходынская трагедия) was a human stampede that occurred on 30 May [O.S. 18 May] 1896, in Moscow Russia during festivities after the

The Khodynka Tragedy was a deadly stampede that happened during coronation celebrations for Russia’s last emperor, Nicholas II, in 1896.

Falling on the 18th of May on the old calendar (which equates to the 30th of May on the new calendar), 1389 people were trampled or suffocated to death when panic broke out in a crowd of many thousands.

Kratky,_Frantisek_-_Tragedie_na_Chodynskem_poli_(1896) Victim of the Khodynka Tragedy in Moscow Russia 1896

People crowd around one of the victims.

Evidence of the tragedy was cleared away before many at the event in Moscow became aware of it, and Nicholas and his wife Alexandra continued with their schedule, including attending a ball with French diplomats that evening. It was decided it was more important to have good relations with the French than to appease the people of the Russian Empire.

The minor imperial response to the disaster did no favours for the family’s public image.

On this day: the Lagerlunda rail accident

On the 15th of November, 1875, nine people were killed in a head-on collision between two trains travelling between Linköping and Vikingstad in Sweden. The accident occurred just after one in the morning. Signalling confusion meant two trains were accidentally travelling towards each other on a single track.

The wreck is seen in a photograph taken a few days after the accident.

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On this day: the world’s first motor racing contest

#65 Albert Lemaître in Peugeot 3hp at 1894 Paris-Rouen race (2nd place) but judged the official winner. Adolphe Clément is the front seat passenger.

The world’s first motorsport contest took place on the 22nd of July, 1894 from Paris to Rouen, France.

First, a selection event was held in which sixty-nine cars participated. The main 127 kilometre race had twenty-five contestants.

Marquis Jules Félix Philippe Albert de Dion de Wandonne (9 March 1856 – 19 August 1946) was a pioneer of the automobile industry in France.

Count Jules-Albert de Dion circa 1903

Count Jules-Albert de Dion was the first to complete the race, but as cars were also judged on other elements – such as safety – he was not declared the winner. He completed the race in 6 hours and 48 minutes, which averaged 19 kilometres an hour.