Thursday, January 1, 2009


Time Capsule Year: 1899

Scott Joplin publishes the Maple Leaf Rag. It would become his most popular piece, one of the most popular ragtime songs of all time, and the first instrumental to sell a million copies. It sparked a cultural appreciation of ragtime music that lasted through the next decade.

On February 6, The United States Senate ratified the peace treaty officially ending the Spanish Amercan War.

Falsely accused French officer Alfred Dreyfus is retried and pardoned as a result of the controversy caused by Emile Zola's J'Accuse.

Newsboys in Brooklyn go on strike in response newspaper prices going up 10 cents a bundle.

The Second Boer War breaks out between the British empire and the Boer republics of South Africa.

Gold is found in Nome Alaska; it is the first of two major gold rushes in Alaska.

Among the future luminaries of film that are born in 1899: Alfred Hitchcock, Fred Astaire, Humphrey Bogart, and James Cagney.

Film Highlights of 1899:

A Turn of the Century Illusionist

Georges Méliès always seems to be a few years ahead of his time. Here we see his typically playful style as he pushes the limits of the technology he's using.

King John

Notable for being earliest adaptation of Shakespeare on film. This is the last of four scenes, and the only one that survives.

Admiral Dewey Landing at Gibraltar

One of over a dozen films the Edison Co. made of the Spanish-American War admiral over the course of the year.

No comments: