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9 Important Events That Happened in 1900

Updated on June 30, 2016
esja profile image

I am fascinated by history; how it shaped our world and what people were up to during their time on earth.

Three Images of the Boxer rebellion


1. The Boxer rebellion or uprising in China in 1900

  • During the year 1900, an event took place in China that changed the course of the country's history. A Chinese secret organization started to offer resistance to the expanding Japanese and Western presence in their country.
  • Called “The Society of the Righteous and Harmonious Fists,” they became known as the Boxers because they believed that their physical exercises would protect them from harm; i.e. that they would have protection against bullets. During the time of the uprising, many Christians and missionaries were killed and churches were destroyed.
  • Their siege of Beijing (known as Peking at that time) during June to August of that year came to a halt when a foreign force intervened. In the end, the Qing dynasty had no option but to accept that foreign powers will take hold in their country. The reparations that China had to pay under the Boxer Protocol were however eventually returned with the condition that a university be opened there.

Images of the The Boers and Brits during the Second Boer War


2. Second Boer War

  • The second Boer War or the Anglo-Boer war started at the end of 1899 when the Boers did not meet ultimatums set by the British. They felt they had no option but to declare a state of war. To a large degree the war was about the gold discovered in the Johannesburg area. These were not under the control of the British Empire but formed part of the ZAR, a Boer republic.
  • Many major battles took place during the course of the year. One the first ones was the Battle at Spioenkop on the days 23/24 January 1900. The British were determined to capture this strategic spot. Was there a winner here? Yes and no, first the British thought they won and then the Boers still had the hill in their possession. Many good men died on both sides. The Battle of Paardeberg took place during the month of February and during May the Orange Free State was annexed as the Orange Colony.

3. The assignation of King Umberto I of Italy

  • King Umberto I had two attempts on his life; the first was in 1878 when an anarchist attacked him with a dagger during a parade in Naples. He managed to evade the blade but seriously injured the attacker when he defended himself with his sabre. Such as attempt on the head of state, would ordinarily be followed by the death sentence. Lucky for him, the King did not die and as such his death sentence was converted to a life sentence instead.
  • King Umberto (also known as The Good /iL Buono) was not so lucky the second time. Once again an anarchist made an attempt on his life but this time he was successful. On the 29th of July 1900 the King was shot and killed by Gaetano Bresci, an Italian who lived in America.

A coin with the image of King Umberto I of Italy


The fiery end of a Zeppelin


4. First Zeppelin Flight

  • The first Zeppelin flight was undertaken on the 2nd July 1900 at a lake in Germany. A total of 84 Zeppelins were built, of these 60 were destroyed, either by events during the war or due to accidents. This rigid airship was the brainchild of the German Count Fredinand von Zeppelin and the ships were therefore also named after him.
  • Patents were registered in Germany and in America and these ships were used to both ferry passengers in peace times and also during the events of the First World War.

5. Brownie Camera introduced by Kodak

  • The famous Brownie camera was first manufactured and introduced to the public in February 1900. Although it did not last long and this specific model was discontinued during October 1901, it made it possible for the man in the street to buy a camera for the low price of $1. The amazing fact is that for about $2 you could buy the camera, a roll of film and had it developed.
  • Eastman Kodak's camera had a square box-like appearance and was the favorite of the general public for many years to come. These are the cameras that took the family photos, outing with friends, children growing up, wedding and the like. No young person wanted to be without his or trusted brownie and almost every family had one. The total number made during that year and a half came to 245,000.

The first Kodak Cameras


The Queen Mother, Elizabeth


6. Birth of the late Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth

  • Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was born on the 4th of August 1900 and became a queen through her marriage to Albert, Duke of York. The second son of King George V and Queen Mary, Albert became King when the first born son, Edward VIII abdicated to marry a divorcee Wallis Simpson.
  • They had two daughters, Elizabeth II, Queen of England and Princess Margaret. The latter has since passed away while Elizabeth is still the Queen although abdication is on the cards

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Max Planck


7. Max Planck formulates the Quantum Theory

  • This was an important step forward in the world of physics. The fact that few laymen can grasp the concept did not lessen its importance. In essence it attempts to calculate the energy levels of a system.
  • Even as this still holds many questions even for scientists, I will not attempt a more detailed explanation. Suffice to say that the first steps towards the understanding of quantum physics were taken by Mr. Planck on an afternoon in 1900.

Cover of the book "The Interpretation of Dreams" by Sigmund Freud


8. “The Interpretation of Dreams” by Sigmund Freud is published

  • Sigmund Freud began the writing of his book “The Interpretation of Dreams” in 1897; it took him 2 years to finish it but it was only released in 1900. He was paid $209 for his efforts and the 600 copies printed during that year took another 8 years before they were sold.
  • Freud realized the importance of dreams in the treatment of psychotic, neurotic and hysterical patients and encouraged them to focus on their dreams and its analysis. According to him the dream has two meanings, the manifest content of the actual dream and the latent or hidden meaning; the dream being a wish-fulfillment. Sexuality also started to feature in his analysis.

9. The premier of Tosca, an opera by Puccini, in Rome

On the 14th of January 1900, Tosca opened at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome, Italy. Giacomo Puccini was an Italian composer of operas and some his best-known operas include La Boheme and Madame Butterfly.

Poster advertising the opera Tosca


Births and Deaths

  • The 8th of November 1900 sees the birth of Margaret Mitchell, the author of the well-known Gone with the Wind, which became a classic film in later years. For this work of fiction she received the National Book Award as well as the Pulitzer for Fiction in 1937.
  • On 6 January Gottlieb Daimler, German inventor, dies and on the 17th of April George Curry a robber of the Wild West was shot and killed by Sheriff Jessie Tyler. Curry was a bank robber and horse thief and was at one time in his life a member of the Wild Bunch.



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    • esja profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from South Africa

      Neither did I! He was however one clever dude.

    • poetryman6969 profile image


      3 years ago

      I did not realize that Max Planck had such a radical Doo!

    • claptona profile image

      John D Wilson 

      3 years ago from Earth

      Interesting what happens in one year on this earth.

      Thanks for sharing!


    • esja profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from South Africa

      I love history and this is a way to start exploring it again.

    • Fox Music profile image

      Fox Music 

      3 years ago

      Great Information - Thanks for Sharing This Hub-Page


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