Photography: 98for98 -The century in photographs - Today 1912
Wednesday 21 January 1998
With the knowledge of what was to overshadow Europe in the coming years, it's hard not to subscribe to the myth of pre-war innocence that images like the one above suggest. Swimming lessons for the children of the well- to-do on the Thames at Wallingford were but a small part of Britain's burgeoning leisure industry which was flourishing, thanks to relatively inexpensive, mass produced buses, cars and bikes.
The year began with a dent for British pride. In January, the heroic Captain Scott's efforts to conquer one of the natural world's remaining frontiers met with failure. One month after Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen had reached the South Pole, the five-man British team found enough evidence of their rival to realize that they had been defeated.
March saw the militant campaign for women's suffrage stepped up. At a given signal on the first of the month, activists throughout the West End of London embarked on a 20-minute window-smashing rampage with stones and hammers secreted in mufflers.
1912's most notorious event took place on the icy seas of the North Atlantic. Not only did the owners of the world's largest passenger liner claim she was unsinkable, but White Star also wanted the SS Titanic to be unbeatable. It was the prestigious Blue Riband for the fastest Atlantic crossing that the Titanic was pursuing as she sped towards her undoing. White Star had claimed that 16 watertight tanks would prevent exactly the disaster which befell the Titanic when she hit an iceberg. Within hours she was resting on the bed of the North Atlantic at the cost of over 1,500 of her 2,340 passengers.
Life & Style blogs
Who is Teresa Fidalgo? Debunking the fake ghost story that's got Instagram spooked
Paris Fashion Week: Skirting the issue for the stylish boys' brigade
'Stiff upper lip stoicism' keeps people with cancer symptoms away from GP
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'Cigarettes, whisky, and wild, wild women'
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
- 1 Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
£40000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Junior Web Developer - ne...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a Chargehand to join ...
£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...