December Fifth Photo a Day ~ 100 Years Ago a Child Was Born

100 Years Ago a Child Was Born

The back of the photo reads: Junior ~ 10 months old.

‘Junior’? I’d only known he was called ‘Reds’ when young for the same reddish-goldish hair I inherited from him.

This is a photograph of my father; he was born in 1917 ~ 100 years ago.

100 years.

As an infant he was listed in the Who’s Who of Medicine as the baby longest on a heart-lung machine, although he looks pretty healthy by the time of this photograph. His parents both smoked heavily, including in their home.

Also born in 1917 were singer Ella Fitzgerald, novelist Carson McCullers, jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, and president John F. Kennedy.

“Buffalo Bill” Cody died in 1917.

President Woodrow Wilson took oath of office for the second time.

World War I was in its third year; in 1917 the U. S. entered, declaring war on Germany.

Czar Nicholas II of Russia abdicated, the Russian Revolution broke out.

In India, Gandhi sided with indigo farmers against British rulers over rights; after much unrest the British Government formally abolished the system of indentured labor across their colonies.

In Africa, only two countries, Liberia and Abyssinia (now Ethiopia), were independent in 1917, less than 5% of Africa’s landmass. The rest of the continent was under varying European colonial rule.

In Japan, an industrial boom aided in forming Mitsubishi and a thousand other companies still in existence today.

Charlie Chaplin’s film “The Immigrant” was released in 1917.

Ten suffragists were arrested picketing the White House for women’s right to vote (women’s right to vote was ratified in1920).

One of the bloodiest race riots in U.S. history occurred in East St. Louis, Illinois in 1917. Later that summer another major race riot occurred in Houston, Texas.

Also that summer, thousands of African-Americans marched down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan protesting lynchings, race riots, and denial of rights.

Thirty-six lynchings of Black Americans were known to occur in 1917, less than the fifty known lynchings in 1916, but in 1918, sixty known lynchings of Black Americans occurred. (Although over 200 anti-lynching bills were introduced over decades between late 1800s and early 1950s, no anti-lynching laws were ever passed or even brought to Senate vote).

In 1917 the Chicago White Sox won the World Series.

Dutch dancer Mata Hari was executed by firing squad for spying for Germany.

The first Pulitzer for a biography was awarded to Laura Richards in 1917, for her book on abolitionist, suffragist, poet, and author Julia Ward Howe.

In 1917, most Americans walked everywhere (or took a streetcar, if they lived in cities); they lived in three-generation homes that they rarely owned, ate almost as much lard as chicken, and many spent Friday nights dancing to player pianos. Half of all families lived on farms.

Just before my father’s first birthday, Houdini successfully performed the vanishing elephant illusion at the Hippodrome Theater in New York City…

And one month after my father’s first birthday, the Spanish Flu pandemic struck, raged around the globe for two years, and eventually killed over 50 million people (there were 10 million deaths in World War I).

100 years ago this year.

Views: 150

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on December 6, 2017 at 12:10pm


Comment by Anna Herrington on December 6, 2017 at 12:23pm

HE was a cutie - I had to check and make sure this wasn't actually Aunt Jane  : )

Dad was 45 by the time I came along.....

I'll just say as I must seem about 80 with a would-be 100 year old father.

Amazing and sad what has changed, and what has not, so much...

Comment by Boanerges on December 6, 2017 at 2:58pm

Great pic. What a happy baby (and with your hair colour, too! RG2, am I right?).

Anyway, Red and I have made a pact: No more than a half-hour of television "news" per evening. It's just too damned depressing, not to mention irritating and horrifying.

Comment by koshersalaami on December 6, 2017 at 4:20pm


My father would be 85 now. 

World changed a bit. There were probably still Civil War veterans reunions. 

Comment by Steel Breeze on December 7, 2017 at 6:31am


Comment by marilyn sands on December 7, 2017 at 2:48pm

So cute!  Love his little outfit but must've been so hard to change diapers.  Oh, how times have changed.

Comment by J.P. Hart on December 7, 2017 at 3:00pm

O what'a baby boy!

. . . that the years ending in seven had held only the child's joy . . . !

Geez, Anna, what a beautiful series of images and comments - - - nothing deep and dark these wind-strewn days of winter.

Making reader happy there's 31 days this 12th month of the seventeen '17!

Like Ted Hughes, your dad might be thinking, ". . . I still have my chair . . ."

Comment by Anna Herrington on December 11, 2017 at 1:08pm

Thanks for your comments, guys, much appreciated - and thanks for the ongoing support for these daily photographs!

It's been fun and a little interesting to try to keep the variety.... as I now realize I've taken 1000s of photos of flowers in all stages of existence.

Ha! How exciting. (not)

A couple are cool...


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