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Ta-r Rasputin; Marion McMullen looks at what was happening 100 years ago as 2016 gets under way, including the assassination of the 'Mad Monk'.

Byline: Marion McMullen

tHE year was 1916 and Lawrence Of Arabia was in the desert, the Queen Mother, then Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, was sweet sixteen.

Coca-Cola also revealed to the world their distinctive new contoured glass bottle emblazoned with the company logo.

The design, said to have been inspired by the shape of the cola nut, was part of a drive to combat rival copycat companies that had sprung up and advertisements urged people to "Accept no substitute".

The drink was first sold by Atlanta pharmacist John Pemberton as a health tonic and he sold just nine glasses a day in the first year.

There were two bottlers of Coca-Cola in 1900 and around 1,000 by 1920 with people drinking it in Canada, France, Panama, Cuba, Puerto Rico and across America.

On the entertainment front, British performer Eveleen Florence was appearing on London's West End stage at the Pavillion Music Hall in musical revue Pick-a-Dilly while film star Douglas Fairbanks was starring in cowboy film The Americano about a mining engineer who falls for the daughter of the president of Paragonia.

Part of the movie was shot in Mexico where Douglas Fairbanks and the film crew found themselves being held to ransom by soldiers who wanted cash to fund fighting in the Mexican revolution. The movie company paid a "fine" and everyone quickly headed back to America to film the rest of the scenes in San Diego.

Silent movie star Mary Pickford became the first film actress to get a million dollar contract and To Kill A Mocking Oscar-winner Gregory Peck was born Eldred Gregory Peck in California.

He marched with American civil rights leader Martin Luther King and attended political rallies with Jane Fonda. He once said: I'm not a do-gooder. It embarrassed me to be classified as a humanitarian. I simply take part in activities that I believe in."

British boxer Dick Smith was training at Oxford to prepare for his fight with Harry Reeve. Reeve won the title on a points decision after 20 rounds, but Smith was the victor two years later when he fought Joe Beckett. The Army Company Sergeant Major's last fight in 1924 was attended by the Prince Of Wales.

The year 1916 was also a time of upheaval. A young Winston Churchill was serving on the Western Front while David Lloyd George replaced H H Asquith as British Prime Minister.

The Gallipoli campaign ended on January 8 with the last Allied soldiers evacuated from the Turkish peninsula after the death of 250,000 of the 480,000 troops. There were also around a million casualties in World War One's Battle of Verdun while the first day of the Battle of the Somme saw the death of 19,240 British soldiers.

The General Post Office in Dublin was at the centre of the Easter Rising in Ireland with Irish nationalists declaring the country an independent republic.

Irish writer James Joyce also published his first novel A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man. The work had previously been printed in the literary magazine The Egoist and the novel was published New York after London prinrefused to handle the work because they said its commeabout religion were blaspheJoyce once declared: "I've in so many enigmas and puzthat it will keep the professobusy for centuries arguing ovwhat I meant, and that's the only way of insuring one's immortality."

Infamous Siberian monk Rasputin was assassinated by Russian nobles led by Prince Felix Yusupov.

They poisoned him with cakes and wine laced with cyanide, stabbed him, shot him and then wrapped his body in a carpet and threw him into the river before they were convinced they had finally killed the 47-year-old mystic advisor to the royal family.

He predicted to the Tsar: "When the bell tolls three times, it will announce that I have been killed. If I am killed by common men, you and your children will rule Russia for centuries to come; if I am killed by one of your stock, you and your family will be killed by the Russian people! Pray Tsar of Russia. Pray."

" Meanwhile, TE Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, was advising Arab Forces in theEast, but found his ard to deal with. He o have news value is a tin can tied to one's first National Savings cates were issued military conscription n... and x-ray and IQ elligence quotient) ered the British nguage.

Elsewhere, American ohn D Rockefeller ecame the world's rst billionaire and he first supermarket, he Piggly Wiggly, opened in Tennessee.


Boxer Dick Smith in training before his fight with Harry Reeve

Million Dollar Lady: Mary Pickford became the top-earning female star

The ill-fated Gallipoli campaign ended after 250,000 troops died

Winston Churchill in WWI

Gregory Peck was born

Author James Joyce

Lawrence of Arabia

David Lloyd George

The Queen Mother at 16

Coca-Cola's iconic bottle was first seen in 1916
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jan 7, 2016
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