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The World in 1899

The ICN was created at the turn of the last century, a period of tremendous creativity and social ferment. The end of the last century and the beginning of the 20th gave birth to unprecedented advances in social and political development, human rights, health science and practice. It was in this surge of progress towards a new future that the ICN took its initial bold steps as the first international organisation for health professionals, and for women. In marking the 100th anniversary of the organisation it is useful to also recall some of the other significant events that marked the year 1899

  • Berta Von Suttner of Austria organised the first International Peace Conference in The Haig, an effort which later saw as one of the first recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize (1905)
  • Mohandas Ghandi was a young lawyer practising law in South Africa
  • Sarah Bernhardt played Hamlet on the stage of the Sarah Bernhardt Theatre in Paris
  • Medical researchers first distinguished blood types among human beings
  • New Zealand had become the first country in the world where women attained the vote nationally.
  • A little-known artist, Pablo Picasso, was about to begin his now-famous blue period.
  • The scientist Martinus Bijerinck had just discovered the existence of viruses.
  • Marie and Pierre Curie made the discovery of radium and polonium
  • Guillermo Marconi was still devising the techniques for wireless communication which he would first demonstrate two years later.
  • Puccini first staged Tosca in the Milan opera house.
  • The Boer war was declared and would run its course for another three years.
  • Czar Nicholas II of Russia called for the first International Conference on Limitations of Armaments
  • Eugene Debs founded the Socialist Party of America
  • Richard Strauss, and his daring waltz innovation, was the pre-eminent musical influence in Europe
  • J.J. Thompson discovered the electron, leading to further advances in unravelling the mysteries of the structure of atoms.
  • The International Inter-parliamentary Union, a precursor of the UN, was founded in Paris.
  • France had just enacted an 11-hour work day.
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 May 2010 10:27