14 December-Irish Women’s Right to Vote

Women in Ireland began campaigning for the right to vote on the same basis as men from the mid-19th century onwards. Following the introduction of the Local Government (Ireland) Act of 1898 women, with certain restriction were allowed to vote in and sit on district councils and town commissions. The campaign to be allowed to vote in all elections continued.

In the 1918 General Election women in Ireland were allowed to vote for the first time. In that election men could vote at age 21. Women were allowed to vote provided they were age 30 or over and were property owners. Following independence in 1922 men and women in Ireland were given equal voting rights.

Women in Ireland, provided they were age 30 or over and were property owners, were given the right to vote for the first time in a General Election in the year 1918 On This Day.




17 July-Tsar Nicholas II of Russia

Nicholas II was the last Emperor of Russia. He inherited the throne in 1894 when his father Tsar Alexander III died. Known as Tsar Nicholas II he reigned as Emperor of Russia for 23 years. He was forced to abdicate in 1917 following the Russian Revolution. The Romanov dynasty which had ruled Russia for three centuries had come to an end.

Tsar Nicholas II of Russia was born in Saint Petersburg in 1868. He was crowned Tsar of Russia on May 26th 1896. Frequent unrest occurred during his reign and there was violent suppression of the 1905 revolution. He was seen as a weak and incompetent leader. Russia was defeated by the Empire of Japan in 1905 and over 3 million Russian people died in World War I.

Following his abdication in 1917 Nicholas and his family were arrested. They were imprisoned in the town of Tobolsk east of the Ural Mountains. The family was moved 600km to the town of Yekaterinburg in April 1918 where they were later executed by the Bolsheviks.

Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks in the year 1918 On This Day.

Tsar Nicholas II and Family




28 July-Gavrilo Princip

Gavrilo Princip was a Bosnian Serb. He was a Yugoslav nationalist who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Duchess Sophia in Sarajevo on July 28th 1914. Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the heir to throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The assassination led to World War 1 in which twenty million people died.

Gavrilo Princip was born near the town of Bosansko Grahovo in Bosnia and Herzegovina on July 25th 1894. A Serbian secret society known as the Black Hand trained him in terrorism. In July 1914 Princip and four other revolutionaries were detailed to attack the procession of the Archduke Ferdinand on its journey through Sarajevo. In the attack Princip shot both the Archduke and his wife Sophia. Princip was tried, found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He died of tuberculosis in prison in April 1918.

Gavrilo Princip whose assassination of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Duchess Sophie led to World War 1 died in prison in the year 1918 On This Day.

 Gavrilo Princip – Assassin of Archduke Ferdinand which led to World War 1



27 April-Fanny Blankers-Koen

Fanny Blankers-Koen was a native of the Netherlands. She was an athlete who won four Gold Medals at the 1948 Olympics in London. At the time she was a mother of two young children. Her success as an athlete led her being given the nickname ‘the Flying Housewife’.

Fanny Blankers-Koen was born Francina Elsje Koen in the village of Lage Vuursche in the municipality of Baarn in the Netherlands in 1918. Described as a natural athlete she competed in several sports form a young age. At the age of seventeen she set a Dutch national record in the 800m. Coached by her husband Jan Blankers she was selected for the Dutch team for the 1936 Olympics. She did not win any medals at the event but met her hero Jesse Owens.

At the European Championships in 1938 Blankers-Coen won her first international medals. She also set her first world record in the 800m. The Olympic Games of 1940 and 1944 were cancelled due to World War II. In 1948 the Olympic Games were held in London. At the games Blankers-Coen won four gold medals. She became a national hero in the Netherlands and went on to win three Gold Medals in the European Championships in 1950. In 1999 she was named Female Athlete of the Century by the International Association of Athletics Federation.

Fanny Blankers-Koen, a Dutch athlete who won four Gold Medals at the 1948 Olympics and was known as ‘the Flying Housewife’, was born in the year 1918 On This Day.

Fanny Blankers-Koen




28 December-Countess Markievicz First Female MP

In the General Election of 1918 Countess Constance Markievicz was declared the first woman in history to be elected to the British House of Commons. She was elected for the constituency of Dublin St Patrick’s. She stood for election whilst in Holloway prison in London. In line with the abstentionist policy adopted by the 73 elected Irish nationalist MPs she did not take her seat.

Countess Markievicz was born Constance Georgine Gore-Booth on February 4th 1868. She was the daughter of Sir Henry Gore-Booth of Lissadell House in Co Sligo. She married Count Markievicz, a Polish prince whilst studying art at Académie Julian in Paris. She was involved in the suffragette movement and, became involved in nationalist politics in 1908. She played an active role in the 1916 Easter Rising.

The 1918 General Election was the first to be held following the ratification of the Representation of the People Bill. Under its terms women over the age of 30 were, with some restrictions, given the right to vote for the first time. In the same year the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act gave women the right to stand for election to Parliament with no stated age restrictions. The General Election was held in Great Britain and Ireland on December 14th 1918. Because votes had to be transported from soldiers serving overseas the count did not take place for another two weeks.

Countess Markievicz became the first woman elected to the British House of Commons in the year 1918 On This Day.

Countess Markievicz