1915 History, Fun Facts and Trivia

1915 Fun Facts, Trivia and History

Top Ten Baby Names of 1915

Mary, Helen, Dorothy, Margaret, Ruth, John, William, James, Robert, Joseph

US Life Expectancy

(1915) Males: 52.5 years, Females: 56.8 years

Firsts, Inventions, and Wonders

Growers got together to try and make their “Alligator Pears” sound more appealing. Collectively, they decided to change the name of the fruit to “Avocados.”

The first performance of a ‘haunted house’ was the Orton and Spooner Ghost House, which opened in 1915 in Liphook, England.

A raisin company executive spotted a teenage girl (Lorraine Collett) drying her curly brown hair and wearing her mother’s red bonnet. She hired her for a stunt promotion that had her dropping raisins from an airplane. Soon she became the company’s first symbol called, “Sun-Maid.”

Tom Lyle Williams created the mascara “Maybelline” in 1915 when his sister Maybel used a mixture of Vaseline and coal dust to darken her eyelashes.

Junior Chamber International (Jay-Cees) was founded in St. Louis, Missouri.

Johnny Gruelle received a US Patent (#47789) for his Raggedy Ann Doll on September 7, 1915.

Audrey Munson was the first person allowed to appear nude in a non-pornographic film, Inspiration. She was the model for fewer than 15 statues in New York City and is considered the first supermodel.

Actress Theda Bara was the first modern Sex Symbol.

Kiwanis International was founded in Detroit by Joseph C. Prance and Allen S. Browne.

The first stop sign appeared in Detroit, Michigan. It was white with black letters.

Wrigley’s Gum shipped sticks of gum to every address listed in US phone books as an early viral marketing campaign.

Chicago’s Wrigley Field became the first baseball stadium to allow fans to keep home runs and foul balls hit into the stands.

The term “Crime Against Humanity” was first used about the Armenian Genocide by the Allied powers in 1915.

The Most Popular Singers and Artists of 1915 include

Henry Burr, Albert Campbell, Arthur Collins, The Conway’s Band, Alma Gluck, Byron Harlan, Charles Harrison, Morton Harvey, Al Jolson, Irving Kaufman, Olive Kline, The Lyric Quartet, Harry Macdonough, George MacFarlane, John McCormack, Lambert Murphy, Billy Murray, The Peerless Quartet, Prince’s Orchestra, Homer Rodeheaver, Cal Stewart, Reinald Werrenrath, Bert Williams

Pop Culture News

Inventor Buckminster Fuller tried to document his life as thoroughly as possible. Every 15 minutes from 1915 to his death in 1983, he recorded his life in his diary named ‘Dymaxion Chronofile.’ It contains 14,000 pages.

The British Board of Film Classification forbade images of drug misuse as early as 1915, not because there was a significant societal problem but because it was thought that these scenes might arouse curiosity.

Birth of a Nation was the first movie screened at the White House and even used excerpts from then-President Woodrow Wilson’s book in the subtitles. Wilson was a member of the KKK.

There were numerous reports of a theoretical planet named ‘Vulcan’ – closer to the Sun than Mercury – until the planet was finally disproved in 1915 by Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.

The US Supreme Court handed down a decision in 1915 that established that free speech did not extend to motion pictures because they were not a form of art but a business. It was overturned in 1952

“The Class the Stars Fell On”… 36% (59 cadets) of the 1915 West Point Class attained the rank of General. Members included Dwight D. Eisenhower and Omar N. Bradley.

Someone in the Red Ash Coal mine (Laurel Run, Pennsylvania) forgot his carbide lamp hanging from a timber beam that subsequently caught fire. The mine fire continues to burn today.

The earliest known instance of “Jazz” was used to refer to music in the Chicago Daily Tribune on July 11, 1915.

The real Chef Boyardee, Ettore “Hector” Boiardi, directed the catering at President Woodrow Wilson’s wedding reception 1915.

The phrase “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” was coined by Elbery Hubbard, an anarchist, when he was writing the obituary for his friend, Marshall P. Wilder, a famous dwarf actor.

Cecil Chubb bought Stonehenge as a gift for his wife. She didn’t like it, so he gave it to England in 1918.

When the Ford Model T first came out in 1909, it cost $850. By 1913, it had fallen to $550; finally, by 1915, the price had dropped to $350. But by the 1920s, the price had fallen to $250 per car. On October 12, 1915, the 1,000,000th car was built by Ford.

One of the Hawaiian islands, Ni’ihau, has been privately owned since 1864 and closed to outside visitors since 1915.

California became the first state to ban cannabis.

The Horrible

The SS Eastland, a passenger ship, capsized in its dock in downtown Chicago, killing 844 people on July 24, 1915.

The Typo:

The Washington Post wrote that President Woodrow Wilson spent an evening “entering” his fiancée, instead of “entertaining” her.

Nobel Prize Winners

Chemistry – Richard Willstätter
Literature – Romain Rolland
Medicine – not awarded
Peace – not awarded
Physics – William Henry Bragg and William Lawrence Bragg

Popular and Best-selling Books From 1915

Fiction Bestsellers

1. The Turmoil by Booth Tarkington
2. A Far Country by Winston Churchill
3. Michael O’Halloran by Gene Stratton Porter
4. Pollyanna Grows Up by Eleanor H. Porter
5. K by Mary Roberts Rinehart
6. Jaffery by William J. Locke
7. Felix O’Day by F. Hopkinson Smith
8. The Harbor by Ernest Poole
9. The Lone Star Ranger by Zane Grey
10. Angela’s Business by Henry Sydnor Harrison

Other Books of Note

The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford
The Rainbow by D.H. Lawrence
Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
The Golden Bough by James George Frazer
America’s Coming of Age by Van Wyck Brooks
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
The House on Henry Street by Lillian Wald
Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters


World Series Champions: Boston Red Sox
Stanley Cup Champs: Vancouver Millionaires
U.S. Open Golf: Jerome Travers
U.S. Tennis (Men/Ladies): Bill Johnston/Molla Bjurstedt
Wimbledon (Men/Women): not held (WWI)
NCAA Football Champions: Cornell
Kentucky Derby Winner: Regret
Boston Marathon Winner: Édouard Fabre Time: 2:31:41

More 1915 Facts & History Resources:

Most Popular Baby Names (BabyCenter.com)
Popular and Notable Books (popculture.us) 
Broadway Shows that Opened in 1915
1915 Calendar, courtesy of Time and Date.com 

Fact Monster
1915 in Movies (according to IMDB) 
Wikipedia 1915