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History 100 Years Ago - What Happened in 1911

Updated on February 18, 2013
Glenn Curtiss (1910)
Glenn Curtiss (1910)

January 1911

Glenn Hammond Curtiss (1878-1930), flew the first successful hydroplane in San Diego, California. Curtiss was motivated to build hydroplanes in order to sell them to the U.S. Navy. Born in New York, Curtiss exhibited an interest in mechanics and inventions at an early age. A museum in Hammondsport, New York celebrates his life. He is labeled as the "Father of Naval Aviation."


February 1911

The first old-age home for pioneers opened in Prescott, Arizona. The Arizona Pioneer's Home was initially built to house 40 men, but thanks to a donation in 1916, a wing was added for women. Today, state funded and charitable donations, the home can care for 150 residents.

Springfield National Cemetery, Springfield, MO
Springfield National Cemetery, Springfield, MO

March 1911

The first United States federal cemetery for both Union and Rebel graves opened in Missouri. The Secretary of War was authorized by an act of Congress in 1911 to accept a Confederate cemetery as a part of the Springfield National Cemetery in Springfield, Missouri.

Ty Cobb
Ty Cobb

April 1911

Hugh Chalmers (Chalmers Automobile) suggested the idea of a MVP in baseball. Chalmers had announced his car company would present a Chalmers Model 30 automobile to a player who had the highest batting average at the end of the season in Major League Baseball. The first American League Chalmers Award was presented to Ty Cobb in 1911.

First Indy 500 Race
First Indy 500 Race | Source

May 1911

The first Indianapolis 500 auto race is run on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway built in 1909. The popular race is also called the Indy 500 because the racing distance is 500 miles. The race took place on Memorial Day in front of 80,000 spectators with a $25,000 purse.

Madam C.J. Walker, born in 1867 to slaves, was considered the country's first self-made female millionaire.
Madam C.J. Walker, born in 1867 to slaves, was considered the country's first self-made female millionaire.

June 1911

The NAACP was incorporated in New York. It was founded in 1909 where meetings took place in an apartment in New York. The goals were "to end racial segregation and other forms of discrimination in all public aspects of American life." (Source: A major objective was to have equal protection under the law, have the right to vote, to be protected against mob violence, and to put an end to segregation in all establishments.

Macchu Picchu
Macchu Picchu

July 1911

American historian, Hiram Bingham III, discovered Machu Picchu, which was one of the greatest archaeological discoveries in the World and Peru's popular tourist attraction to date. After hearing rumors about the Lost City of the Incas, he set out on a quest to find it, but instead discovered Machu Picchu.

August 1911

Procter and Gamble manufacturers and unveils Crisco shortening, still popular today. This was certainly a much healthier alternative to pure lard. William Procter from England was a candlemaker and James Gamble from Ireland was a soapmaker. They lived in Cincinnati with their wives who just happened to be sisters. They eventually became business partners making their first million by 1859. The rest is more history and more products.

Fenway Park completed in 1912.
Fenway Park completed in 1912.

September 1911

While Italy was declaring war on Turkey, in the United States, the ground breaking began in Boston to build Fenway Park. Its surface was natural grass and the first American League game was played in April 1912 between Boston and New York with Boston winning 7-6. The cost then to build the stadium was $650,000. Note: the New York Yankees used to be called the New York Highlanders.

October 1911

Robert Falcon Scott, British Naval Officer, left Cape Evans leading the British Antarctic Expedition. Scott and five others reached the South Pole in January 1912. On their return journey, they all died from the elements of cold and starvation. Scott was only 43. Eight months after their passing, a search party recovered some journals and photos as well as some of the bodies.

November 1911

For the first recorded time in the United States, an audience throws vegetables at actors on stage bascially letting the performers know they were not having a great time. This behavior was also an influence as to how the site, Rotten Tomatoes, arrived at its name. Those attending the theater would often carry old produce or eggs in some cases to partake in showing displeasure to an actor's performance. Allegedly, someone might also fling a chair.

Marie Curie (1867-1934)
Marie Curie (1867-1934)

December 1911

French physicist-chemist, Marie Curie received her second Nobel Prize in Chemistry relating to the discovery of radium and polonium and her study of the nature of radium. She and her husband, Pierre, were always in their laboratory until his early death. She continued their work. In 1903, both she and her husband received a Nobel Prize in Physics. Interestingly, their daughter, Irene and husband, Frederic, received the Nobel Prize of Chemistry in 1935 for discovering artificial radioactivity.


Submit a Comment
  • ytsenoh profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

    RBJ, thanks much for your comment and stopping by. It's very appreciated.

  • RBJ33 profile image


    7 years ago

    Good hub - enjoyed it. This past April 14th we celebrated the 100th anniversary of my mother's birth. She passed away in 2000 but we still had a party. She was born in 1912 and April 14th was the day the Titanic hit the iceberg. We researched 1912 and read off many of the things that happened in 1912, as well as the famous people born that year. Two years ago we did the same for my dad's 100th - he was born in 1910, and died in 1985. I did a hub about those parties.

  • ytsenoh profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

    wba, thank you. Hundred years from 2012 will follow in due course. Have a good week.

  • profile image 

    7 years ago from upstate, NY

    It's amazing how things have changed in a hundred years! They say the people a hudred years ago have more in common with people a thousand years ago than they have with people today. This is in terms of the technology used in everyday life!

  • ytsenoh profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

    Freeway, thanks very much for stopping by and giving a read. Your thoughtful comment is appreciated. Have a good rest of the weekend!

  • Freeway Flyer profile image

    Paul Swendson 

    7 years ago

    You certainly have a wide variety of topics here. You can definitely see the modern world coming of age, particularly with the advancements in airplanes, chemistry, and most importantly, Crisco.

    Little did people know in 1911 that the World War I catastrophe was right around the corner. And little did the NAACP know that someday their efforts would pay off, although I wonder if they knew how long it would take.

  • ytsenoh profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

    Nurfninja, thanks very much for your comment and time. Have a great upcoming weekend!

  • Nurfninja profile image


    8 years ago from Earth

    What a fun and wonderfully laid out article!! Two thumbs way up!

  • ytsenoh profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

    Michael Ray, thank you. I love history on nearly every subject!

  • Michael Ray King profile image

    Michael Ray King 

    8 years ago from Palm Coast, Florida

    Very interesting. I took the link to Scott's ill-fated trip to the south pole. Thank you for the history lesson. I enjoyed it!

  • makusr profile image

    Manoj Kumar Srivastava 

    8 years ago from India


    Greetings from MAKUSR. Very good information you have provided. I liked the one of P&G. Useful.

    With warm wishes,


  • raciniwa profile image


    8 years ago from Naga City, Cebu could have been a great historian...well done...


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