1918 History, Fun Facts and Trivia

1918 Fun Facts, Trivia and History

Top Ten Baby Names of 1918

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

US Life Expectancy

(1918) Males: 36.6 years, Females: 42.2 years
*The life expectancy at birth in 1918 in the US dropped by almost 12 years because of the Spanish Flu.

Firsts, Inventions, and Wonders

The Timberland Shoe Company was founded.

Irving Berlin wrote God Bless America.

Stars & Stripes, the weekly US armed forces newspaper, restarted publication. It was also published during the Civil War.

Opha Mae Johnson became the first woman allowed to join the US Marine Corps.

The Most Popular Singers and Artists of 1918 include:

Norah Bayes, Henry Burr, Enrico Caruso, Arthur Collins, Albert Campbell, The Farber Sisters, Arthur Fields, Byron G. Harlan, Marion Harris, Charles Harrison, Charles Hart, Lewis James, Al Jolson, Irving Kaufman, Olive Kline, John McCormack, Lambert Murphy, Billy Murray, The Original Dixieland Band, The Peerless Quartet, Oscar Seagle, The Shannon Four, Joseph C. Smith’s Orchestra, John Philip Sousa’s Band, Elizabeth Spencer, The Sterling Trio, Van & Schenck, The Victor Light Opera Company

Pop Culture Facts & History

Executed labor leader and songwriter Joe Hill had his ashes seized by the US federal government on Oct 8, 1917. The ashes were held for 71 years as they were seen as subversive. Before he died, Hill asked to be cremated and specified that his ashes be scattered in every state except Utah.

The 1918 World Series marked the first time The Star-Spangled Banner was performed at a major league game. During the seventh-inning stretch of Game 1, the band began playing the song because the country was involved in World War I.

A 1918 calendar is also suitable for 2013, 2019, 2002, 1991, 1985, 1974, 1963, 1957, 1946, 1935 and 1929

The Sinking of the Lusitania was a cartoon short (longest at the time) by Windsor McCay…

Enrico Caruso, the legendary opera singer, was paid $100,000, the equivalent of $1.75 Million today, to star in My Cousin, a silent movie.

The United States Congress officially established time zones and approved the March 19, 1918 Standard Time Act.

The Geographic Center of the United States was determined by balancing a cardboard cutout shape of the US on a point, near Lebanon, Kansas. It was accurate to within 20 miles.

In 1918, pink was for boys because it was a stronger color, and the more delicate blue was reserved for girls.

Ossip Bernstein, a famous chess grandmaster, was sentenced to death by the Bolsheviks in 1918. While he was facing the firing squad, a Russian officer who heard his name offered him the chance to prove his identity in a game of chess. He beat the officer and was released.

Six hundred fifty-four sheep were killed by forked lightning when it struck a mountain in Wasatch National Park, Utah, on July 18, 1918.

Over 100 waiters were arrested for poisoning bad tippers in Chicago. The Mickey Finn is most likely named after Michael “Mickey” Finn, the Lone Star Saloon and Palm Garden Restaurant manager, which operated from 1896 to 1903 in the Chicago Loop neighborhood on South State Street of Chicago. “Slipping someone a ‘Mickey’ was named after this assault.

In Russia, the day after January 31st was February 14th, not February 1st – that’s the day Russia transitioned from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar.

The Re-Gift:
In 1915, Cecil Chubb bought Stonehenge as a gift for his wife. She didn’t like it, so he donated it to the nation in 1918.

H1N1 – Spanish Flu

The Spanish Flu: This was during World War I (also called The Great War), and many countries had limits on what the press could write about, except Spain, which was neutral. Thus, more reports came out about the flu from Spain, causing people to think it was primarily happening there.

The 1918 Spanish Flu killed so many people in the US that it caused the average life expectancy in males to drop from 48.4 to 36.6 and 54.0 to 42.2 in females between 1917 and 1918.

Some Scientists Have Never Seen A Movie Dept

An unextinction is scientifically possible. Several viruses have been brought back, including the 1918 flu pandemic.

WWI News

When Manfred von Richthofen (the Red Baron) was shot down and killed in 1918, the British Army gave him a full military funeral, complete with clergy, a gun salute, and a wreath inscribed with, “To Our Gallant and Worthy Foe.”

A carrier pigeon named Cher Ami saved 194 American soldiers by delivering a message to nearby support despite being blinded in one eye, shot through the breast, covered in blood, and with a leg hanging on by a tendon.

The phrase “The First World War” was used as early as 1918, by Niall Ferguson, who felt it would not be the last.

There is only a single known audio recording from WWI. It involves British troops firing gas shells at German positions during their advance on Lille, France, on October 9, 1918.

A monument honors the almost one million Allied horses who died during the First World War in Ascot, near Windsor Castle, UK. Of one million drafted horses, only 62,000 returned in 1918.

The USS Cyclops disappeared along with 306 crew and passengers in The Bermuda Triangle. No trace has ever been found, and it remains the single largest non-combat loss of life in US Naval history.

Private John Parr was the first British soldier to die in World War 1. Almost a million more Brits died, and the last was Private George Edwin Ellison, just before the Armistice ending the war was signed in 1918. In an unplanned coincidence, the graves face each other just 15 feet apart at the same cemetery.

Veterans Day originated as Armistice Day, marking the end of WW1 hostilities in 1918 in the 11th month, on the 11th day, at the 11th hour.

After the Treaty of Versailles (end of WW I), the French Commander-in-chief said, “This is not a Peace. It is an Armistice for 20 years”. Twenty years and 65 days later, WW II began.

The Disasters

On February 26, 1918, one of the worst sports-related disasters occurred when the “Happy Valley Racecourse” grandstands in Happy Valley, Hong Kong, caught fire. Over 600 spectators were burned alive and 300 more were injured.

The steamer Princess Sophia sank on Vanderbilt Reef near Juneau, Alaska, and 353 people died.

The Great Train Wreck of 1918: in Nashville, Tennessee, an inbound local train collided with an outbound express, killing 101 people.

The Mystery

The USS Cyclops, which went missing in 1918 during WWI, remains the single most significant loss of life in U.S. Naval history not directly involving combat, and the ship’s fate is still unknown.

Broadway Show

Lightnin’ (Play) Opened on August 26, 1918, and closed on August 27, 1921

Nobel Prize Winners

Physics – Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck
Chemistry – Fritz Haber
Medicine – not awarded
Literature – not awarded
Peace – not awarded

Popular and Best-selling Books From 1918

Fiction Bestsellers

1. The U.P. Trail by Zane Grey
2. The Tree of Heaven by May Sinclair
3. The Amazing Interlude by Mary Roberts Rinehart
4. Dere Mable by Edward Streeter
5. Oh, Money! Money! by Eleanor H. Porter
6. Greatheart by Ethel M. Dell
7. The Major by Ralph Connor
8. The Pawns Count by E. Phillips Oppenheim
9. A Daughter of the Land by Gene Stratton Porter
10. Sonia by Stephen McKenna

General Nonfiction Bestsellers

1. Rhymes of a Red Cross Man by Robert W. Service
2. Treasury of War Poetry by G.H. Clark
3. With the Colors by Everard J. Appleton
4. Recollections by Viscount Morley
5. Laugh and Live by Douglas Fairbanks
6. Mark Twain’s Letters edited by Albert Bigelow Paine
7. Adventures and Letters of Richard Harding Davis by Richard Harding Davis
8. Over Here by Edgar Guest
9. Diplomatic Days by Edith O’Shaughnessy
10. Poems of Alan Seeger by Alan Seeger

War Nonfiction Bestsellers

1. My Four Years in Germany by James W. Gerard
2. The Glory of the Trenches by Coningsby Dawson
3. Over the Top by Arthur Guy Empey
4. A Minstrel In France by Harry Lauder
5. Private Peat by Harold R. Peat
6. Outwitting the Hun by Lieut. Pat O’Brien
7. Face to Face with Kaiserism by James W. Gerard
8. Carry On by Coningsby Dawson
9. Out to Win by Coningsby Dawson
10. Under Fire by Henri Barbusse

Other Books of Note

The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington
The Decline of the West, vol. 1 by Oswald Spengler
The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White
Eminent Victorians by Lytton Strachey
My Antonia by Willa Cather
The Polish Peasant in Europe and America by W.I. Thomas and Florian Znaniecki


World Series Champions: Boston Red Sox
Stanley Cup Champs: Toronto Arenas
U.S. Open Golf: not held (WWI)
U.S. Tennis (Men/Ladies): Robert Lindley Murray/Molla Bjurstedt
Wimbledon (Men/Women): not held (WWI)
NCAA Football Champions: Pitt & Michigan
Kentucky Derby Winner: Exterminator
Boston Marathon Winner: Camp Devens relay team Time: 2:29:53

More 1918 History Resources

Most Popular Baby Names (BabyCenter.com)
Popular and Notable Books (popculture.us) 
Broadway Shows that Opened in 1918
1918 Calendar, courtesy of Time and Date.com 
Fact Monster
1918 in Movies (according to IMDB) 
Wikipedia 1918