A Year In History: 1905

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This Year in History:


Discover what happened in this year with HISTORY’s summaries of major events, anniversaries, famous births and notable deaths.

February 13

Teddy Roosevelt discusses America’s race problem

On February 13, 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt delivers a speech to the New York City Republican Club. Roosevelt had just won reelection, and in this speech, he discussed the country’s current state of race relations and his plan for improving them. In 1905, many white Americans’ attitude of superiority to other races still lingered. Much […]

May 5

British murder trial begins, the first to be solved by fingerprint evidence

Trial starts in the murder case of Thomas and Ann Farrow, shopkeepers in South London. The case would be the first resolved on the basis of fingerprint evidence. The neighbors had found the Farrows in their home, badly bludgeoned, on March 27 of that year. Thomas was already dead, but Ann was still breathing. She […]

June 19

Pioneering Nickelodeon theater opens  

On June 19, 1905, some 450 people attend the opening day of the world’s first notable nickelodeon, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and developed by the brilliant Vaudeville impresario and showman Harry Davis. While it wasn’t technically the nation’s first theater for moving pictures, its runaway success made it, in many historians’ view, the birthplace of […]

June 30

Einstein publishes his groundbreaking theory of relativity

On June 30, 1905, Albert Einstein publishes “Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Körper (On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies),” a paper that sets out his theory of special relativity, in the German physics journal Annalen der Physik. Einstein’s groundbreaking work shatters the foundations of physics. After attending the Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich, Switzerland, Einstein worked at the […]

July 11

Members of the Niagara Movement meet for the first time

Niagara Movement members begin meeting on the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls. This all-African American group of scholars, lawyers and businessmen came together for three days to create what would soon become a powerful post-slavery Black rights organization. Although it only lasted five years, the Niagara Movement was an influential precursor to the mid-20th […]

October 30

George Bernard Shaw’s “Mrs. Warren’s Profession” premieres in New York, causing a scandal

On October 30, George Bernard Shaw’s play Mrs. Warren’s Profession, which dealt frankly with prostitution, is performed at the Garrick Theater in New York. The play, Shaw’s second, had been banned in Britain. After only one performance, puritanical authorities in New York had the play closed. On October 31, the producer and players were arrested […]