At Urga (now Ulan Bator), a new Mongolian Empire was declared independent from the Chinese Empire. Chinese officials of the Qing dynasty were expelled from what had been "Outer Mongolia", and an setting up its own government on the 11th day of the First Winter Month of the year of the Pig. Unlike other provinces of China that would become part of the Republic of China, Mongolia remained a separate nation.
Los Angeles Times bombing: James B. McNamara and John J. McNamara stunned Americans who had been following their trial for murder, when James pleaded guilty to the dynamiting of the Los Angeles Times building on October 1, 1910, and John, the secretary-treasurer of the International Association of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers, pled to having caused an explosion at the Llewellyn Iron Works. Chief counsel Clarence Darrow explained the plea, saying, "From the first, there was never the slightest chance to win," adding, "There was overwhelming evidence of all kinds which no one could have surmounted if he would." James was sentenced to life imprisonment and his brother John to 15 years.
The first International Opium Conference opened at the Hague. The United States, United Kingdom, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Persia (Iran), Portugal, Russia, and Siam (Thailand), sent representatives, presided over by Bishop Charles H. Brent, Episcopal bishop for the Philippines.
The "General Plan for the Organization of the Provisional Government" was promulgated by China's Republican revolutionaries, proposing an American-style presidential system. On March 11, 1912, the Provisional Constitution would change to a cabinet system headed by a Prime Minister.
A mosque was bombed in Istib, at the time a European possession of the Ottoman Empire, and now Štip in the Republic of Macedonia, killing 12 Muslim worshipers and wounding 20, and leading to the outbreak of rioting. The Turkish Army retaliated by attacking Bulgarian nationalists whom they blamed for the bombing, wounding 171, of whom 14 died.
An antitrust suit was brought against the National Cash Register company, alleging conspiracy to restrain trade. NCR had 95% of cash register sales in the U.S.
Voters in Los Angeles rejected the prospect of electing a Socialist government, four days after the surprise conviction of the McNamara brothers. Mayor George Alexander, whose re-election had been uncertain, defeated Job Harriman by a more than 2-1 margin, and voters rejected the entire slate of city councilmen and Board of Education members.
Prince Chun, the regent for (and father of) the Emperor of China, resigned from office. He was succeeded by Prince Shi-Hsu, former National Assembly president, and Hsu Shi-Chang, VP of the Privy Council.
Western Union introduced discount rates for its trans-Atlantic cable service between New York and London.
More than 150 construction workers were killed in the collapse of a bridge over Russia's Volga River at Kazan. Pressured by a buildup of ice, the supports for the structure gave way without warning, throwing the men into the icy waters.
Thirteen years after the destruction of the USS Maine in the Havana Harbor, a committee of naval experts concluded that the blast was, as originally suspected, caused by an external explosion which had ignited munitions stored on board.
Russia's ambassador in Tehran delivered an ultimatum to the government of Persia, demanding that it dismiss W. Morgan Shuster within 48 hours, and pledge not to hire foreign subjects without the consent of Russia and Britain. The Persians initially ignored the demand.
Dante's Inferno, a 69 minute (five reel) silent film based on the 14th Century vision of Hell written by Dante Alighieri, premiered at the Gane's Manhattan Theater in New York. Bringing the Devil to the silver screen for the first time, the Italian made film was a success.
Coronation Durbar: King George V was formally proclaimed the Kaisar-i-Hind, King-Emperor of India, at Delhi, before an audience of 80,000 and master of the 315,000,000 subjects in British India, which included modern-day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. (At the time, the population of the British Isles was 45,370,530). The Emperor announced, without consultation of the British Parliament, that the capital of British India would be moved from Calcutta to a new city built near Delhi.New Delhi was built on the site southwest of Shahjahanabaad, the capital of the Mughal Emperors from 1658 to 1739, and finally and inaugurated on February 13, 1931.
A bill proposed by U.S. Representative Isaac Sherwood, to provide a pension of $15 to $30 a month to every American military veteran, passed the House, 229-92.
Voters in the Arizona Territory elected to eliminate the provision in the proposed constitution for judicial recall, by a margin of 14,963 to 1,980 and cleared the last impediment for President Taft to sign the statehood bill. Arizona would become the 48th state in February.
Born:Margo Jones, American stage director credited with launching "regional theater" in the United States; in Livingston, Texas (died by accidental poisoning, 1955)
The House passed the Sulzer Resolution, asking for abrogation of the 1832 treaty with Russia due to its discrimination against American Jews, by a margin of 300-1. The lone dissent came from Congressman George R. Malby of New York.
Five German nationals, convicted of espionage for Britain, were sentenced by a German court in Leipzig to prison terms ranging from 2 to 12 years. The maximum sentence was for a Herr Hipsich, an engineer at the Bremen shipyards, who sold plans for the new German dreadnoughts to the British.
The South Pole was reached by human beings for the first time, as the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition arrived at 3:00 in the afternoon. The weather was sunny, winds were slight, and the temperature only -10 °F.Roald Amundsen, the leader of the expedition, was accompanied by Olav Bjaaland, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel and Oscar Wisting, and all five planted the Norwegian flag. They pitched a tent and remained for three days at their settlement, which they called Polheim, on the plateau that they named for King Haakon VII of Norway.
British suffragettes began a new tactic, destroying mailboxes in order to attract attention to their cause. Emily Wilding Davison saturated a piece of linen with paraffin, set it on fire, and placed it into a public mail drop. By July, the group began setting fire to unoccupied buildings.
British Chancellor of the ExchequerDavid Lloyd George was struck in the face by a man who threw a "brass bound box" at the future Prime Minister as Lloyd George was departing a meeting of supporters of women's suffrage. The assailant, 18-year-old Allan McDougall, was sentenced to two months hard labor.
Pope Pius X broke a centuries-old tradition of Pontiffs always partaking of their meals alone. Following the ceremony for the consecration of two new cardinals, the Pope invited everyone to breakfast.
With the encouragement of Russia, leaders of the Tuvan minority declared the independence of their homeland, Tannu Tuva, from China. The mostly rural state on the Chinese-Russian border became a Russian protectorate in 1914 and was later annexed into the Soviet Union, and is now a part of the Russian Federation.
U.S. President William H. Taft asked Congress to rescind the commercial treaty that the U.S. had made with Russia more than 70 years prior. The termination was ratified unanimously (72-0) by the U.S. Senate, and the next day by the House with only one dissenting vote, from Robert B. Macon of Arkansas.
Two thousand physicians met at Queen's Hall in London to protest against the limitations for payment under the Insurance Act.
The Illinois Supreme Court became the first in the United States to uphold the admissibility of fingerprint evidence, affirming the murder conviction of Thomas Jennings. Jennings was hanged on February 16, 1912. By 1925, all state courts had followed the reasoning in People v. Jennings.
The first armed robbery using a "getaway car" took place in Paris as four members of the Bonnot Gang used a stolen limousine to escape after robbing a courier who was bringing cash to the Société Générale Bank. Octave Garnier and Raymond Callemin stepped from the vehicle and confronted the courier and his bodyguard with pistols, shot him when he resisted, stole a case with money and hopped back in the car. Driver and gangleader Jules Bonnot then raced away.
Russian troops arrived at the Persian city of Tabriz, and exacted vengeance on the civilian population after having battled Persian troops earlier. In taking control of government buildings, the Russians reportedly attacked schoolchildren and women. The next day, bombardment of the Northern Iranian city began, and on Saturday, the burning of mosques and other buildings began.
Explorer Hiram Bingham returned to the United States and gave reporters their first interview concerning his expedition to Peru.
The British steamer Menzaleh was seized in the Red Sea by the Italian Navy warship Puglia, along with its cargo of $150,000 worth of gold coins. The Menzaleh had passed through the Suez Canal been on its way to the Turkish port of Hodeidah at Yemen.
Persia's regent, Nasir al-Mulk, and the cabinet members dissolved Parliament, placing Prime Minister Samsam al-Saltanah in control of the nation until new elections could be held. The voting did not take place until 1914, by which time Iran's government was dependent on approval of Britain and Russia.
French pilot M. Gobe set a record by flying 462 miles without landing.
Shortly after midnight, the first of 75 men, staying in Berlin's municipal homeless shelter, began dying from poisoning. The evening before, smoked herring had been offered at Christmas dinner, in addition to soup and bread. By the end of the day, 18 were dead. By Sunday, the deaths were traced to a wholesale liquor dealer who had been selling whiskey containing 2/3rds methyl alcohol, commonly used for antifreeze and as a solvent. The case was later referred to as the "Scharmach Catastrophe."
Cotton textile workers across Mexico walked off the job, shutting down the entire industry. The companies' owners would agree to labor's demands on January 20, with a 10% increase in pay and reduction of work to ten hours a day. The pact "marked a permanent change in labour relations", one historian notes, with workers successfully organizing unions and striking without retaliation, something that "had never happened in Mexican history, a lesson that nobody forgot".
The melody that would become India's National Anthem, Jana Gana Mana, was first performed, on the occasion of a meeting in Calcutta of the Indian National Congress. Composed by Rabindranath Tagore, the song originally had lyrics in the Bengali language. A Hindi-language version was adopted in 1950 as the Republic's anthem.
The first M1911 pistol, sidearm for the U.S. Army, was manufactured, part of a set of 40 made that day at the Colt firearms factory in Hartford. Serial numbers 1 through 50 were shipped on January 4.
General Pedro Montero, commander of troops in Guayaquil, was proclaimed as the new President of Ecuador by the Army, a week after the death of President Estrada. A brief civil war ensued, with General Montero being defeated by General Leonidas Plaza, and, on January 25, Montero was executed.
Born:Klaus Fuchs, German-born nuclear physicist who secretly passed American nuclear secrets to the Soviets; in Rüsselsheim (d. 1988); and Antonio Arcaño, Cuban musician credited with popularizing mambo music; in Havana (d. 1994)
China's National Assembly voted to begin using the "Western calendar" to replace the traditional Chinese lunar calendar used by the Emperor, with full use to begin effective January 1, 1912, which was declared as the "first day of the first month of the first year of the Republic of China" (and was the 13th day of 11th month of the 4609th year of the traditional calendar).
Russian troops, occupying the Persian city of Tabriz, carried out the execution of Shiite Muslim cleric Seqat-ol-Eslam Tabrizi, along with 12 other Iranian nationalists, in retaliation for their opposition to the Russian invasion.
^Arnold P. Kaminsky and Roger D. Long, India Today: An Encyclopedia of Life in the Republic (ABC-CLIO, 2011) p503
^"Dollar a Day Bill for Pensions Passes", New York Times, December 13, 1911
^David R. Berman, Arizona Politics and Government: The Quest for Autonomy, Democracy, and Development (University of Nebraska Press, 1998) p35
^Cyrus Adler and Aaron Morris Margalith, With Firmness in the Right: American Diplomatic Action Affecting Jews, 1840-1945 (Ayer Publishing, 1977) p286; "Votes 300 to 1 Against Treaty", New York Times, December 14, 1911
^"Anglophobism Increases", New York Times, December 17, 1911
^Roald Amundsen, The South Pole: An Account of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition in the "Fram," 1910-1912 (Lee Keddick Publishing, 1913) p xvii
^Christopher Heaney, Cradle of Gold: The Story of Hiram Bingham, a Real-Life Indiana Jones, and the Search for Machu Picchu (Macmillan, 2011) p126
^"Persia Gives In: Shuster to Quit", New York Times, December 23, 1911
^"Gold for Turkey Seized", New York Times, December 23, 1911
^Said Amir Arjomand, The Turban for the Crown: the Islamic Revolution in Iran (Oxford University Press, 1989) p46
^ abMarie-Claire Bergère and Janet Lloyd, Sun Yat-sen (Stanford University Press, 1998) pp211-213
^Dawn B. Sova, Banned Plays: Censorship Histories of 125 Stage Dramas (Infobase Publishing, 2004) p141
^"Smoked Herring Kills 36", New York Times, December 28, 1911; "50 Now dead from Eating Herrings", December 29, 1911; "Nine More Die of Poison", December 30, 1911
^"Poison Victims Now 75", New York Times, December 31, 1911; "More Berliners Poisoned-- No Further Deaths-- Liquor Dealer Held for Selling Suspected Whisky", January 1, 1912; Ettore Molinari, Treatise on General and Industrial Organic Chemistry, Volume 1 (P. Blakiston's Son & Co., 1921) P128
^"Mexican textile workers: from conquest to globalization", by Jeffrey Bortz, in The Ashgate Companion to the History of Textile Workers, 1650-2000 (Ashgate Publishing, 2010) p346-347
^Anjana Motihar Chandra, India Condensed: 5000 Years of History and Culture (Marshall Cavendish, 2007)
^Rick Sapp, Standard Catalog of Colt Firearms (F+W Media, Inc, 2007) p138
^"Montero Ecuador's Ruler", New York Times, December 30, 1911
^"Montero Beheaded by Mob", New York Times, January 27, 1912
^"Turkish Cabinet Out", New York Times, December 31, 1911
^Guoqi Xu, China and the Great War: China's Pursuit of a New National Identity and Internationalization (Cambridge University Press, 2005) p34
^Joseph J. St. Marie and Shahdad Naghshpour, Revolutionary Iran and the United States: Low Intensity Conflict in the Persian Gulf" (Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2011) p45