On this day: April Fool was released

The film April Fool was released in the United States on the 21st of November, 1920. The image below of Northern Irish actress Thelma Percy (younger sister of Eileen Percy), one of the stars, appeared in the Exhibitors Herald the day before.

Only a fragment of the film – a gag featuring a wallet – is known to have survived.


April_Fool_(1920)_-_1Still from the American comedy short film April Fool (1920) with Thelma Percy held up by two unidentified actresses, on page 36 of the November 20, 1920 Exhibitors H

On this day: Awarding the Victoria Cross

The Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VIII) presents military awards during his visit to Adelaide, South Australia on the 12th of July, 1920. Corporal Arthur Sullivan.

The Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VIII) presents military awards during his visit to Adelaide, South Australia on the 12th of July, 1920.

The man receiving the Victoria Cross, the highest military honour in both Britain and Australia, has been identified as Corporal Arthur Sullivan. Brigadier General John Macquarie Antill, Commandant of SA stands behind the Prince.

Prince Edward became King in 1936, and abdicated the same year.

On this day: the birth of Strongheart

Strongheart, a German Shepherd, was born on the 1st of October, 1917. Originally trained as a police dog for Germany in World War One, he went on to become a movie star.

In 1921 X

Strongheart, a German Shepherd, was born on the 1st of October, 1917. Originally trained as a police dog for Germany in World War One, he went on to become a movie star in America.

Originally named Etzel von Oeringen, his owner fell into poverty at the end of the war and sent him to the United States in 1920, where he was renamed at the suggestion of a studio.

Promotional still for the 1922 film Brawn of the North, featuring Strongheart and Irene Rich

Brawn of the North

Strongheart’s film credits include 1921’s The Silent Call and 1922’s Brawn of the North.

His last film was 1927’s The Return of Boston Blackie.

Strongheart-Book-1926-FCFront cover the the 1926 book Strongheart; The Story of a Wonder Dog.

As the star of a book in 1926.

The dog was accidentally burnt by studio lights, which caused him to develop a tumour. He died in June 1929.

On this day: the 1920 Olympics

Antwerp_1920_bannerThe 1916 Olympic Games were scheduled to be held in Berlin but were cancelled due to World War I. The 1920 Games were awarded to Antwerp to honour the suffering that had been inflicted during the war.


The 1920 Summer Olympics opened in Antwerp, Belgium on the 14th of August.

1920_olympics_posterPoster of the 1920 Olympic Games. Printed in 90 000 copies in 17 languages plus French-Flamish bilingual versions.

The Games, which were to have been held in Germany in 1916 but were cancelled due to World War One, were awarded to the city in honour of the suffering inflicted on the Belgian people during the war.

On this day: Qantas was Founded


Qantas’ second office, photographed in mid-1921. Source

Australia’s national airline, Qantas, was founded on the 16th of November, 1920 in Winton, Queensland. It was called Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited.

The airline is the third oldest in the world, after the Dutch airline, KLM and Colombian airline, Avianca.

Arrival at Longreach of the Armstrong Whitworth FK8, with the first bag of air mail, on the inaugural flight of the first Qantas air service from Charleville to Cloncurry.22nd November 1922.

Arrival at Longreach in 1922

Qantas began flying internationally in 1935, with flights from Darwin to Singapore, with connections to Imperial Airways for passengers to continue on to London.

On this day: the Boston Latin School was established in 1635

1920 English High School Boston October

The school as it was in October, 1920.

The oldest public school and oldest surviving school in the United States, the Boston Latin School was established on the 23rd of April, 1635.

 First Boston Latin School House. Circa 1635.

First schoolhouse, circa 1635.

Modelled on the Boston Grammar School in Lincolnshire, England, the school would go on to produce famous alumni, including five signers of the Declaration of Independence, and also many a famous dropout, including Benjamin Franklin.

Helen Magill White

Helen Magill White

The school refused entry to women until the second half of the nineteenth century. Helen Magill White, the first woman in the United States to earn a doctorate, was the school’s first female graduate. The school’s first female principal took on the job in 1998.

On this day: Gene Tierney dies


American film and stage actress Gene Tierney died on the 6th of November, 1991. Born in 1920, she was days from her seventy-first birthday when she died of emphysema.

Known both for her beauty and her acting ability, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Leave Her to Heaven (1945).

Like too any people of her era, her death was caused by a lifetime of smoking. Unlike many others, the reason she took up smoking was in an attempt to deepen her voice. “I sound like an angry Minnie Mouse,” she claimed as the reason.

Bombing of Wall Street, 1920.

The Wall Street bombing occurred at 12:01 pm on Thursday the 16th of September, 1920 in the Financial District of New York City.

At noon, a horse-drawn wagon passed by lunchtime crowds on Wall Street in New York City and stopped across the street from the headquarters of the J.P. Morgan bank at 23 Wall Street, on the Financial District’s busiest corner. Inside, 100 pounds (45 kg) of dynamite with 500 pounds (230 kg) of heavy, cast-iron sash weights exploded in a timer-set detonation sending the slugs tearing through the air.

Thirty-eight people were killed and one hundred and forty-three injured.

Though nobody was ever convicted of the crime, public sentiment at the time quickly led to people placing the blame on the Soviets or other Communists.

However, investigators and modern historians believe the attack was most likely carried out by Galleanists (Italian anarchists).

Damage from the bombing is still visible on 23 Wall Street.

The aftermath of the bombing.

The Wall Street bombing occurred at 1201 pm on Thursday, September 16, 1920, in the Financial District of New York City. The blast killed 38 and seriously injured 143.

The writing on the side of the picture reads: Dead in front of Morgan’s 1/16/20