Charles Fort: A Fortean Chronology, 1908.

It was told in the New York World, July 29, 1908 - many petty robberies, in the neighbourhood of Lincoln Avenue, Pittsburgh - detectives detailed to catch the thief. Early in the morning of July 26th, a big, black dog sauntered past them. "Good morning!" said the dog. He disappeared in a thin, greenish vapor. - Charles Fort, Wild Talents.


  • January 1: Englishman Harry Bensley leaves for his would-be trip around the world pushing a pram and wearing an iron mask, beginning from Trafalgar Square.
  • January 11: Grand Canyon National Monument is designated (becomes a National Park in February 1919).
  • January 12: A long-distance radio message is sent from the Eiffel Tower for the first time.
  • January 13: A fire at the Rhoads Opera House in Boyertown, Pennsylvania, kills 170 people. The tragedy is a catalyst for stricter fire safety laws nationwide.
  • January 21: New York City passes the Sullivan Ordinance, making it illegal for women to smoke in public, only for it to be vetoed by the mayor.
  • January 24: Robert Baden-Powell begins the Boy Scout movement.
  • January 28: "A dark, globular object, with a structure of some kind upon the side of it, traveling at a great pace," was seen in the sky by employees of the Norwich Transportation Company, at Mousehead. (Books627) 



  • February 1: King Carlos I of Portugal and Infante Luis Filipe are shot dead in Lisbon.
  • February 5: Mr E.S. Cannel of Lower Hellesdon discovered a 'luminous owl' upon a grassy bank. He took it home where it died, "still luminous". (Books626) 
  • February 11: Australia regains The Ashes with a 308 run cricket victory over England.
  • February 12: The first around-the-world car race, the 1908 New York to Paris Race, begins.
  • February 18: Japanese immigration to the U.S.A. is forbidden.



  • March 4: The Collinwood School Fire, near Cleveland, Ohio, kills 174 people.
  • March 21: Frenchman Henri Farman pilots the first passenger flight.
  • March 22: At Whitley Bay, near Blyth, Margaret Dewar ran to her neighbours reporting that her sister had burned to death, her charred remains lay on a bed unmarked by fire. (Books929)
  • March 27: A white substance, like ashes, fell upon Annoy, France. (Books72) 
  • March 27: The first overseas Scout Troop is formed in Gibraltar.



  • April 8: Harvard University votes to establish the Harvard Business School.
  • April 19: The Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago, designed by Jens Jensen, opens to the public for the first time.
  • April 20: Sunshine train disaster - Two trains collide in Melbourne,Australia, killing 44 people and injuring more than 400 (over 100 seriously).
  • April 21: Frederick Cook claims to have reached the North Pole on this date.
  • April 24: The seventh deadliest tornado in U.S. history strikes the towns of Amite, Louisiana, Pine, Louisiana and Purvis, Mississippi, killing 143 people and injuring 770.
  • April 27: The opening ceremony of the London Olympics is held.
The Tunguska Event, (photo taken 19 years later).
The Tunguska Event, (photo taken 19 years later).


  • June 28: A great luminous object, or meteor, that was seen at the time of the eclipse - "as if to make the date of the eclipse more memorable." (Books506)
  • June 30: The Tunguska event, also known as the Russian explosion, occurs near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Siberia, Russian Empire.



  • July 2: From a clear sky, fell flat pieces of ice upon Braemer. (Books187)
  • July 3: Young Turk Revolution in the Ottoman Empire: Major Ahmed Niyazi, with 200 followers (Ottoman troops and civilians), begins an open revolution by defecting from the 3rd Army Corps in Macedonia, decamping into the hill country.
  • July 6: Robert Peary sets sail for the North Pole.
  • July 11-12: The steamship Amalthea, housing 80 British strikebreakers while in Malmö harbour, Sweden, is bombed by Anton Nilson; 1 is killed, 20 injured.
  • July 23: Young Turk Revolution: The Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) issues a formal ultimatum to Sultan Abdul Hamid II to restore the constitution of 1876, within the Ottoman Empire.
  • July 24: Young Turk Revolution: Abdul Hamid II announces the restoration of the Ottoman Empire's constitution.
  • July 26: United States Attorney General Charles Joseph Bonaparte issues an order to immediately staff the Office of the Chief Examiner (later renamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation).



  • August 24: After an intense power struggle, Sultan Abd al-Aziz IV of Morocco is deposed, and is succeeded by his brother Abd al-Hafiz.



  • September 8: The Danish minister of Justice, Peter Adler Alberti, is revealed to be an embezzler.
  • September 14: At Gosport, Hampshire, was seen a light that came as if from an unseen moon. (Books490) 
  • September 16: William C. Durant founds the company which eventually becomes General Motors.
  • September 17: At Ft. Myer, Virginia, Thomas Selfridge becomes the first person to die in an airplane crash. The pilot, Orville Wright, is severely injured in the crash but recovers.
  • September 27: Henry Ford produces his first Model T automobile.



  • October 5: Bulgaria declares its independence from the Ottoman Empire; Ferdinand I of Bulgaria becomes Tsar.
  • October 6: The Bosnian Crisis begins after the Austro-Hungarian Empire annexes Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • October 13: The Church of the Nazarene is organised officially at Pilot Point, Texas as the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene. This is the official "birthday" of the denomination.
  • October 31: Near Bridgewater, New England, two men observe something like a searchlight play upon the earth. (Books507) 



  • November 3: U.S. presidential election, 1908 - Republican William Howard Taft defeats Democrat William Jennings Bryan.
  • November 6: Western bandits Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid are supposedly killed in Bolivia, after being surrounded by a large group of soldiers. There are many rumors to the contrary however, and their grave sites are unmarked.
  • November 14: Elizabeth Garrett Anderson is the first woman in England to be elected mayor (of Aldeburgh).



  • December 2: Child Emperor Pu Yi ascends the Chinese throne at age 2.
  • December 28: An earthquake and tsunami destroys Messina, Sicily and Calabria, killing over 70,000 people.