The Year Was 1905

The year was 1905 and it marked the end of the Russo-Japanese War, which was fought over a dispute stemming from Russia’s occupation of territory in Manchuria. Losing a series of costly battles made the war unpopular in Russia. In January 1905 when protesters assembled at the Tsar’s Winter Palace in St. Petersburg to present a petition asking for better working conditions and an end to the Russo-Japanese War, the Imperial Guard opened fire on the crowd turning the peaceful protest into a massacre. “Bloody Sunday” led to riots and strikes throughout Russia as resentment for the Tsar spread. The disorganized Revolution of 1905 forced the Tsar into concessions, many of which were quickly withdrawn, leaving little change other than the temporary break-up of the revolutionary factions that were fighting for change. 

Norway, which had been united with Sweden since 1814, made a peaceful break and became in independent nation with the signing of the Karlstad Agreement.

Canada added two new provinces in 1905 as Alberta and Saskatchewan, formerly part of the Northwest Territories, joined the Canadian Confederation.

The railroad town of Las Vegas, Nevada was founded in 1905 as one hundred and ten acres of land were auctioned off. The city would be incorporated in 1911 with a population of around eight hundred. Legislation passed that year would make the city a popular destination for “quickie” divorces for people who would meet the short residency requirement of six weeks staying in dude ranches along the area that would later become the famous Las Vegas Strip.

The Wright brothers were still working on perfecting their airplane and by 1905 they were able to better control the aircraft allowing for turns and figure eights, and remain in flight for more than thirty minutes until the plane ran out of gas. This first practical airplane launched the aviation industry–an industry that literally “took off” in the ensuing years. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)

Prior to 1905, cocaine was popularly used as a local anesthetic, but its addictive properties made it too dangerous. In 1905, Alfred Einhorn created Novocaine, which could then be used in surgeries, dulling the pain and constricting blood vessels to reduce bleeding. It is primarily used in dental offices these days, causing dental patients to drool and talk like they have a mouth full of marbles following a filling. 

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