World History 1895

About the history of the world in 1895, Oscar Wilde goes on trial, the first motion picture projector is patented, the wireless telegraph is invented.

TWO CENTURIES OF WORLD HISTORY: 1778-1978

1895

* Irish author and poet Oscar Wilde, 41, filed a libel action against the Marquis of Queensberry after that nobleman had publicly accused him of engaging in a homosexual affair with Lord Alfred Douglas, Queensberry's son. As the truth of the marquis's charges was substantiated during the course of the trial, Wilde withdrew the suit. Shortly thereafter Wilde was brought to trial on morals charges. Although acquitted on several counts, he was retried on others and convicted. He served two years in prison at hard labor. (See "The Wit of Oscar Wilde," Chap. 14.)

* The Lumiere brothers-Louis, 31, and Auguste, 33-patented the motion picture projector in Lyons, France. The first film to be shown on a screen before a public audience was a short feature depicting workers leaving the Lumiere factory. This debut in Paris marked the end of the peep show and the rise of the modern cinema.

* Guglielmo Marconi, 21, invented wireless telegraphy in a makeshift laboratory on the top floor of his father's house in Bologna, Italy. Failing to interest the Italian government in his invention, Marconi took his crude radio to England, where he secured the necessary patents.

* Sultan Abdul-Hamid II of Turkey attempted to exterminate Christian Armenians living in that country. The oldest Catholic state, Armenia lost countless of its people to Kurdish troops called in to police the region. Anti-Armenian atrocities continued sporadically until 1922.

* Japanese forces defeated Chinese troops in a war to decide which power would control Korea.

June 11-14 The first auto race among gasoline-powered cars was held along a 732-mi. round-trip course between Paris and Bordeaux. A Peugeot driven by a Mr. Koechlin was declared the winner after officials disqualified a faster Panhard-Levassor auto because it was a two-seater.

Nov. 8 German physicist Wilhelm Konrad Roentgen, 50, discovered a shortwave light ray with remarkable penetrating ability which he called the X ray. For this he was awarded the first Nobel Prize in physics in 1901.

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