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.

Boy Scout Emblem 46 Star United States Flag Model TGideon Bible A Zipper

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 Tomb Stone of Mel Blanc

  • 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. Edward Murrow on the cover of TV Guide
  • 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.


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