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The Daily Colonist, July 29–August 2, 1915

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#dailycolonist1915 - The news out of Victoria, British Columbia, 100 years ago.

Honours for the Canadian Prime Minister, genocide in Syria, new and horrible war technologies, a famous electric chair execution, legal haggling over Kits Point, progress on the world's largest telescope, news of a good whaling season, Victoria man's body killed in the sinking of the Lusitania recovered in Ireland, and amazing entertainment at the Pantages.  

  • Thursday, July 29, 1915
    • Freedom on the City of London is granted to Sir Robert Borden, Prime Minister of Canada. [And if you recognise the portrait on the front page, it is because Robert Borden has been the face on $100 bills since 1972.]
    • Ottoman Turks are killing or deporting Armenians and Christians in Syria, "...such crimes lately had increased, both in the number and the degree of atrocity." [Remember this news is from a century ago and consider current events in Syria.]
    • Editorial on the presentation of freedom of the City of London to Robert Borden with a brief backgrounder on the history and significance of the honour. 
  • Friday, July 31, 1915
    • In-depth article on Robert Borden being conferred Freedom of the City, including the text of the speech made by Sir Borden, including his conjecture on how "the historian of the future" will look back on the war.
    • An editorial on the "364th day of the war" that concludes with "Altogether the war news of yesterday was singularly barren of interest."
    • Speculation in a back-page article that despite the lack of news from the front and no confirmation from Ottawa, the number of Canadians on the casualty lists indicates that Canadian troops are involved in something, and "that behind the present secrecy there is a big movement of some kind on foot, and that important developments may be expected shortly."
  • Saturday, July 31, 1915
    • Germans penetrate the front lines and take 500 yards of trench with the use of "flame projectiles." The article continues with a summary of other activity on the front. 
    • An article on the latest developments in aerial warfare, including a massive 4-prop, 8-engined German biplane.
    • A small back-page article on the execution by electric chair of Charles Becker in Sing Sing prison, New York. "Three shocks were given before the prison physicians pronounced Becker dead..." [Becker's death took a total on nine minutes in which he was in intense pain, and was very like innocent of the murder he was executed for. The entire case was quite famous and several books have been written about it. See for more information.]
  • Sunday, August 1, 1915
    • An image of the Canadian-built model CJ.3 biplane, "which is being purchased by the British War Office in large numbers."
    • Lengthy article on the transfer of the Kitsilano Indian Reserve "in the heart of Vancouver, which for years has not only been a great civic eyesore, but a bar to the city's progress" from federal control under the Indian Act, to the province, who in turn will give the Vancouver Harbour Board control. [This area is now Vanier Park and is still being contested.]
    • Excavations and construction of the foundations for the 50-ton telescope of the Dominion Observatory on Little Saanich Mountain are progressing nicely.
    • The Victoria Whaling Company reports "good catches" and expects a profitable season despite a late start, "some seventy-five whales had been harpooned within the first four weeks of the present season."
    • Another body from the May 7 sinking of the Lusitania has been recovered in Ireland and identified as Mr. G. R. Blackburn of Victoria. Identification after three months in the water was only possible by matching the invoice numbers on two postal notes made otherwise illegible by the "long contact with salt water."
    • The Pantages Theatre will be presenting a mechanical reproduction "(not a moving picture)" of the sinking of the Lusitania. Also on the bill is "Parisian Beauty" and singer Julietta Dika, pictured in wasp-waisted mermaid dress [I've found and included a better reproduction of the photograph used in the ad.]
  • Monday, August 2, 1915
    • [no paper on Mondays]

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