The big news in Harrisonburg in 1908 was the establishment of the State Normal and Industrial School for Women – the future James Madison University. But there were plenty of other things going on in the rest of the country and the world.
Key Dates of 1908
January 1 – A ball signifying New Year's Day drops in New York City 's Times Square for the first time.
January 24 – Robert Baden-Powell begins the Boy Scout movement.
April 24 – Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Murdock become the first to travel across the United States by car. They leave Los Angeles in a Packard and arrive in New York City in 32 days, five hours and 25 minutes.
May 10 – Mother's Day is observed for the first time (either at Andrew's Methodist Church in Grafton, W.Va. or in Philadelphia, depending on which version you believe).
May 21 – The first horror movie (“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”) premieres in Chicago.
June 30 – A giant fireball impacts in Siberia with a force between 10 and 15 megaton. Known as the Tunguska event, the explosion is widely attributed to the airburst of a meteor above the Earth's surface.
July 4 – The 46-star flag becomes the official United State flag. The 46th star is added for Oklahoma.
July 13 – Women compete in the modern Olympics for the first time.
July 26 – The Bureau of Investigation, the predecessor of the FBI, is created by the Department of Justice.
September 9 – At Fort Meyer, Va., Orville Wright makes the first one-hour airplane flight.
September 27 – Henry Ford produces his first Model T automobile. The Model T costs $825 and more than 15,500,000 of them will be sold.
October 14 – The Chicago Cubs win the World Series by defeating the Detroit Tigers 2-0 to win the series, four games to one over the Detroit Tigers. The Cubbies haven't won the series since.
October 24 – Billy Murray hit the popular music charts with “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” (No, Harry Caray did not sing in the 1908 World Series.)
November 3 – Republican William Howard Taft is elected President, defeating Democrat William Jennings Bryan.
November 10 – The first Gideon Bible is put in a hotel room.
December 5 – The first football uniform numbers are used (the University of Pittsburgh ).
Born in 1908
- Red Barber, baseball announcer and sports journalist.
- Milton Berle, American comedian.
- Mel Blanc, American voice actor.
- Alistair Cooke, English-born journalist.
- Betty Davis, American actress.
- Buddy Edsen, American actor and dancer.
- Percy Faith, Canadian-born composer.
- Ian Fleming, English author.
- John Kenneth Galbraith, Canadian economist.
- Lionel Hampton, American musician and bandleader.
- Lyndon Johnson, 36th President of the United States.
- Louis L'Amour, American author.
- Edward R. Murrow, American journalist.
- Jimmy Stewart, American actor.
- Edward Teller, Hungarian-born physicist.
Innovations of 1908
- The Hoover vacuum is patented.
- General Electric patents the electric iron and toaster.
- The first recorded campaign speeches are issued by the opposing candidates in the Presidential election.
- Wireless radio broadcasting is patented.
- Gideon Sundback invents the zipper.
- Airplane advertising is used for the first time. It promotes a Broadway play.