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Guantanamo Bay Naval Base
February 23, 1903
Cuba leases Guantánamo Bay to the United States "in perpetuity".
Guantanamo Bay Naval Base (also called Gitmo or GTMO) is located on 45 square miles (120 km2) of land and water at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba which the United States leased for use as a coaling (fueling) station following the Cuban-American Treaty of 1903. The base is located on the shore of Guantánamo Bay at the southeastern end of Cuba. It is the oldest overseas U.S. Navy Base, and the only one in a country with which the United States does not have diplomatic relations. The Cuban government opposes the presence of the naval base, claiming that the lease is invalid under international law. The U.S. government claims that the lease is valid.
April 29, 1903A 30 million cubic-metre landslide kills 70 in Frank, Alberta, Canada.
The Frank Slide is a natural landslide feature in the southern Rocky Mountains of Canada, and a significant historical event in western Canada. Frank, Alberta is a coal mining town in the Crowsnest Pass, Alberta. On April 29, 1903, at 4:10 a.m., 90 million tonnes (30 million cubic metres) of limestone crashed from the east face of Turtle Mountain and covered approximately three square kilometres of the valley floor. The slab of rock that broke free was approximately 650 m high, 900 m wide and 150 m thick. The slide dammed the Crowsnest River and formed a small lake, covered 2 km of the Canadian Pacific Railway, destroyed most of the coal mine's surface infrastructure, and buried seven houses on the outskirts of the sleeping town of Frank, as well as several rural buildings. Frank was home to approximately 600 people in 1903; it is estimated that 90 of the roughly 100 individuals in the path of the slide were killed. The town was evacuated, but people were soon allowed to return and both the mine and the railway were back in operation within a month. The town of Frank continued to grow, until a report on the mountain’s stability resulted in the provincial government ordering the closure of the south part of the town in 1911. Studies and monitoring continue today.
December 17, 1903
The Wright Brothers make their first powered and heavier-than-air flight in the «Wright Flyer» at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
The Wright Flyer (often retrospectively referred to as Flyer I or 1903 Flyer) was the first powered aircraft, designed and built by the Wright brothers. They flew it four times on December 17, 1903 near the Kill Devil Hills, about four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, U.S. The U.S. Smithsonian Institution describes the aircraft as "...the first powered, heavier-than-air machine to achieve controlled, sustained flight with a pilot aboard." The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale described the 1903 flight during the 100th anniversary in 2003 as "the first sustained and controlled heavier-than-air powered flight."
, Wright Flyer
, North Carolina
December 30, 1903A fire at the Iroquois Theater in Chicago.
The Iroquois Theatre fire occurred on December 30, 1903, in Chicago, Illinois. It is the deadliest theater fire and the deadliest single-building fire in United States history. At least 605 people died as a result of the fire but not all the deaths were reported, as some of the bodies were removed from the scene.
, Iroquois Theater
January 12, 1903
Igor Vasilyevich Kurchatov was a Soviet nuclear physicist who is widely known as the director of the Soviet atomic bomb project.
February 13, 1903
Georges Joseph Christian Simenon was a Belgian writer. A prolific author who published nearly 200 novels and numerous short works, Simenon is best known for the creation of the fictional detective Maigret.
June 25, 1903
Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist. His work is marked by keen intelligence and wit, a profound awareness of social injustice, an intense opposition to totalitarianism, a passion for clarity in language and a belief in democratic socialism.
October 1, 1903
Vladimir Samoylovich Horowitz was a Russian-American classical virtuoso pianist and minor composer. His technique and use of tone color and the excitement of his playing were legendary. He was widely considered to be one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century.
October 28, 1903
Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh, known as Evelyn Waugh, was an English writer of novels, travel books and biographies. He was also a prolific journalist and reviewer. His best-known works include his early satires Decline and Fall
(1928) and A Handful of Dust
(1934), his novel Brideshead Revisited
(1945) and his trilogy of Second World War novels collectively known as Sword of Honour
(1952–61). Waugh is widely recognised as one of the great prose stylists of the 20th century.
May 8, 1903
Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin was a leading French Post-Impressionist artist who was not well appreciated until after his death. Gauguin was later recognized for his experimental use of colors and synthetist style that was distinguishably different from Impressionism. His work was influential to the French avant-garde and many modern artists, such as Pablo Picasso, and Henri Matisse. Gauguin’s art became popular after his death and many of his paintings were in the possession of Russian collector, Sergei Shchukin.
November 13, 1903
Camille Pissarro was a French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter born on the island of St Thomas (now in the US Virgin Islands, but then in the Danish West Indies).