Edward Sheldon's play The Nigger opened on Broadway. Later made into a novel (1910) and a film (1915), the play was described by critic George Jean Nathan as one the "ten dramatic shocks of the century". One historian notes that the play "is, despite its politically incorrect title, a prominent defense of miscegenation"
KingGustaf V of Sweden disguised himself and spent a day working as a stevedore, so that he could see working conditions first hand. Mr. Bernadotte spent the day unloading sacks of coal at a Stockholm harbor.
In a duel fought between two members of the Senate of Bolivia, Senator Adolfo Trigo Acha whot and killed Senator Emilio Fernandez Molina. Trigo continued to serve as the Senator from Tarija Department.
United States patent No. 942,700 was granted for Bakelite ("Condensation product of phenol and formaldehyde and method of making the same"), the first synthetic plastic, and patent No. 942,809 for the process, both to Leo Baekeland.
Colonel Sergey Karpov, director of Russia's secret police, the Okhrana, was assassinated in the Russian capital of St. Petersburg. Aleksandr Petrov, a Bolshevik who had infiltrated the Okhrana, planted the bomb that killed the security chief.
The British General Post Office announced the first cable money transfer agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States, to take effect on January 1, 1910. Under the new service, money could be wired between British post offices and Western Union telegraph stations in the United States, with orders transmitted via transatlantic cable.
On his deathbed, King Leopold II of Belgium married Caroline Lacroix, his mistress and the mother of his two sons, Lucien and Philippe. The King died four days later and was succeeded by his brother. The marriage, performed as a religious ceremony but not a civil ceremony, was not recognized under Belgian law, and Lucien was ineligible to succeed to the throne. Lucien Durieux lived until November 15, 1984.
The first Radisson Hotel was opened. Located on 41 South Seventh Street in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the 16 story building was constructed by heiress Edna Dickerson and had 425 rooms. By 2009, there were 420 Radisson hotels worldwide.
José Santos Zelaya resigned as President of Nicaragua as American warships approached that nation's coasts. In a message to the Congress, Zelaya wrote that he resigned in hopes of "the re-establishment of peace, particularly the suspension of the hostility of the United States". Zelaya was succeeded by José Madriz, who later resigned under American pressure.
The last brick was placed at track of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as Indiana Governor (and future U.S. Vice-President) Thomas R. Marshall placed a 52-pound gold-plated block into the track. The Speedway then staged its first—and last—midwinter race in bitter, near-zero weather.
U.S. Secretary of State Philander C. Knox sent a diplomatic note to his counterpart in Japan, challenging the expansion of both Empires into China. As part of President Taft's policy of "Dollar Diplomacy" Knox proposed to Japan's Foreign Minister, Komura Jutarō, that foreign-built railways in Manchuria be made neutral to promote economic development. After a January 6 press statement by Knox described the U.S., Britain, Germany and France as "the four great capitalist nations" setting an example for China, Japan and Russia rejected the proposal and agreed to divide their spheres of influence. Historian A. Whitney Griswold later wrote that in trying to advance the Open Door Policy, Knox had "nailed that door closed with himself on the outside".
An expeditionary force of 709 U.S. Marines and 32 officers, led by Colonel James E. Mahoney, arrived at Corinto, Nicaragua on the U.S.S. Buffalo, with orders to invade, if necessary, to protect American interests.
A special consistory at the University of Copenhagen reached its findings concerning Dr. Frederick A. Cook. "The documents handed the University for examination," a statement held, "do not contain observations and information which can be regarded as proof that Dr. Cook reached the North Pole on his recent expedition." Robert Peary, who had telegraphed his discovery on September 6, only to find that Cook claimed five days earlier to have been first to the Pole, sent a telegram saying "Congratulations to The New York Times for its steady, insistent, victorious stand for the truth."
General Electric began marketing of the Mazda name, setting minimum standards for manufacturers of light bulbs with a longer-lasting tungstenfilament, and electric lamps, making the light bulb more popular. The trademark, now associated with the automobile, was discontinued by GE in 1945.
Thousands of people in Worcester, Massachusetts and neighboring towns witnessed a mysterious airship that hovered over the city and shone a searchlight. The sighting followed claims by inventor Wallace Tillinghast that he had invented an airplane that could fly 120 miles per hour.
The federal court in Boston ruled in the case In re Halladjian (174 F. 834) that Armenians were of the White race, and thus eligible to become naturalized citizens. Earlier, Jacob Halladjian and three other people were denied citizenship on grounds that they were "Asiatics".
Toyohiko Kagawa established the Kyureidan, a Christian mission and social welfare organization, in Kobe, Japan. In 1914, the organization was renamed the Jesus Band, which celebrated its centennial in 2009.
Engineer Cândido Rondon and his remaining 14 men completed a six month, 900 mile expedition into the Amazon jungles of the interior of Brazil, arriving at the town of Primor, where they were finally able to get resupplied, four months after running out of food. Rondon, who returned to a hero's welcome in Rio de Janeiro, succeeded in extending telegraph wires to form a communications network across Brazil.
After an absence of more than a year, the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso returned to Lhasa. The ruler of Tibet had journeyed to Beijing in 1908 to meet with the Manchu Emperor, but refused to kowtow to him, and fled at the beginning of 1909, arriving home ahead of the Chinese army. The first soldiers arrived on February 12, 1910, and the Dalai Lama fled again.
Died: American painter, sculptor and author Frederic Remington died at the age of 48, six days after becoming ill with appendicitis at a New York exhibition of his paintings. By the time he underwent surgery on December 23, his appendix had burst and peritonitis had set in.
Five days after the sudden death of Mississippi's U.S. Senator Anselm J. McLaurin, Governor Noel appointed James Gordon, a 76-year old former colonel in the Confederate Army, had admitted to having met with John Wilkes Booth in Montreal shortly before the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. At one time, a $10,000 reward had been offered by the United States government for his capture, dead or alive, though it was later concluded that he had not been a conspirator.
Ah Hoon, well known in New York as a Chinese American comedian, became a casualty of the tong wars. The Hip Sing gang had delivered a message to him, announcing "the exact hour and the minute he would die", because of insults to them in Hoon's comic routine. Although many sources list December 30 as the evening of Ah Hoon's last performance and murder, his body was discovered in the early morning hours of the 30th.
The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs decreed that baptism ceremonies could not be performed outdoors (such as in a lake or river) without a permit, because they qualified as a "religious procession".
At 2:00 pm, the 6,855-foot-long (2,089 m) Manhattan Bridge was opened to traffic, after eight years and 26 million dollars had been spent on its construction. New York City Mayor George Brinton McClellan, Jr., who was on the last day of his term of office, rode in the first automobile of a motorcade from Manhattan to Brooklyn.
^Rashid Khalidi, The Origins of Arab Nationalism (Columbia University Press, 1991), p143
^"New Tong Murder; Chinaman Killed", New York Times, December 30, 1909, p1; Herbert Asbury, The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld (1928, reprinted by Vintage Books, 2008), pp217–218
^Heather J. Coleman, Russian Baptists and Spiritual Revolution, 1905–1929 (Indiana University Press, 2005), p71