And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

22 April

1715
Thomas Hearne,
antiquary

‘This morning was a total ecclipse of the sun. It began after eight o’clock. But the sky being not clear, the observations that were designed were in a very great measure hindered. There were many papers printed, before it happened, about it. This inserted [described in a footnote], is done by D. Halley. It was very dark when it happened. The birds flocked to the trees as they do at night. Many people used candles in their houses as in the night.’

Remarks and collections

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1907
Richard Harding Davis,
writer

‘A blackmailer named H_ called, with photos of atrocities and letters and films. He wanted 30 Pounds for the lot. I gave him 3 Pounds for three photos. One letter he showed me signed Bullinger, an Englishman, said he had put the fear of God in their hearts by sticking up the chiefs head on a pole, and saying, “Now, make rubber, or you will look like that.” Went to lunch with Pearson but it was the wrong day, and so missed getting a free feed. Thinking he would turn up, I ordered a most expensive lunch. I paid for it. Evening went Patience, which liked immensely and then Duchess of Sutherland’s party to Premiers. Saw Churchill and each explained his share of the Real Soldiers row.’

Gouty old gentlemen

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1912
Frederick Hamilton,
engineer

‘We steamed close past the iceberg today, and endeavoured to photograph it, but rain is falling and we do not think the results will be satisfactory. We are now standing eastwards amongst great quantities of wreckage. Cutter lowered to examine a lifeboat, but it is too smashed to tell anything, even the name is not visible. All round is splintered woodwork, cabin fittings, mahogany fronts of drawers, carvings, all wrenched away from their fastenings, deck chairs, and then more bodies. Some of these are fifteen miles distant from those picked up yesterday. 8.p.m. Another burial service. April 23rd Icebergs and growlers still in sight. Both cutters busy all day recovering bodies, rain and fog all the afternoon, fog at times very dense. 7.p.m. The “Allen Line” boat “Sardinia” stopped near us and took despatches from our cutter. The fog had lifted slightly, but shut down denser than ever, soon after she had signalled ‘good-night’ on her flash light.’

Recovering Titanic bodies

**************************************************************************************

1915
George Allardice Riddell,
businessman

‘Long talk with Kitchener, who said that LG’s alleged statement as to the number of troops in France was inaccurate and that what LG had really said was that the number of troops ‘overseas’ amounted to thirty-six divisions. I referred to the speech, in which the words were ‘over there’. K said, ‘Well, if he said that he was wrong, and the speech must be put right in Hansard.’ He asked Brade to see that this done.

K commented upon what he called ‘Newspaper embroidery’ and complained of the criticisms as to the inconsistencies between his statements and those of the PM as to the efficiency of our output of munitions of war. He asked my opinion. I replied that they seemed inconsistent and that this was the general opinion. K said, ‘The Times has been the most virulent critic, I am told, but I never read it.’ He asked me to look up the speeches, which I did subsequently, and wrote to him setting out the two passages. He said that Northcliffe was acting very badly and that it was difficult to know how to deal with him.’

Riddell and Lloyd George

**************************************************************************************

1956
Bill Haley,
musician

‘3rd day [of 45 day tour]. Weather good so far. All the acts are behaving. Mosque Theatre, Richmond, Virginia. $1,430. Both shows sold out and turned thousands away. 9,600 people for two shows. This tour is like sitting on a keg of dynamite. The show is all coloured but our act. With the racial situation in the south broiling plus the newspapers and magazines like ‘Variety’ stirring up everyone about rock and roll, anything can happen. I hope my nerves hold up.’

The rock and roll life

**************************************************************************************

1977
Leonid Brezhnev,
politician

’86.400 Five o’clock meeting devoted to his [Lenin’s] birthday Talked with Grishin Gromyko Chernenko Doroshina

To every historian’s despair

**************************************************************************************

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Notes and Cautions
In general, these diary extracts are quoted as given in the published (book or online) source referred to in the reference articles. Each extract may be all, a large part of, or a small part of the complete entry for that day. I have tried to indicate where text has been removed from within a quote by the use of trailing dots in square bracket.

For any other use of these diary extracts other than browsing please refer to the original sources.

Any author, publisher or other copyright holder who takes the view that I am unacceptably breaching their copyright please let me know. I have tried to remain sensitive to copyright rules (using far fewer quotes, for example, when a book, by an author still alive, remains in print and popular), but it is not practical for me to seek authorisation for every quote and article, since I maintain these websites without any funding or advertis-ing. I take the view that publicity for the source books is a quid pro quo for my use of the extracts, but I am more than happy to remove the extracts if asked.

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The Diary Junction is one of those wonderful privately maintained public resources for which the Internet is justly celebrated: a database of information about celebrated and obscure diaries[over 500] from all historical periods, with referrals to the dates the diaries cover, where the originals are held and bibliographic information on published versions.’ Laura Miller, Salon

The Diary Review, hosted by Blogger, publishes magazine-style articles on diaries and diarists, usually several every week. The blog has been publishing for over five years, and is the secondary source for the diary extracts in this online anthology.