as John Griffith Chaney in San Francisco, son of Astrologer William
H. Chaney and Flora Wellman. William Chaney denies fathership and disappears.
WhileFlora recuperates from difficulties of childbirth, the infant is suckled
by Virginia Prentiss. The wet nurse, who is a former slave, remains close
to Jack all of his life. Through Mrs. Prentiss, Flora meets John
U.S. war against the Indians of the Great Plains (Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapaho
Nations) still being waged, General Custer and 200 soldiers die in the
Battle of Little Big Horn
that work are developed but only type capital letters until 1878
Carroll writes poem "the Hunting of the Snark"
Tolstoy is writing "Ana Karenina"
Twain writes "Tom Sawyer"
Wellman Chaney marries Civil war Veteran John London. The infant John Griffith
Chaney is renamed John Griffith London, henceforth known as Johnny then
of Federal troops ends post Civil War "Reconstruction" period in Southern
London's daughters, Eliza (age 10) and Ida (age 7) are removed from the
orphanage and brought into the household.
Klux Klan unleashes wave of terror against blacks to reassert white power
in Southern U.S.
Edison invents phonograph
attends school in Alameda. John works a truck farm, Flora teaches music
President James Garfield assassinated
James publishes "Portrait of a Lady"
Louis Stevenson publishes "Treasure Island"
powers continue to carve out colonies in Africa at the "Berlin Conference"
London purchases a farm in the Livermore Valley. Jack discovers the
world of reading and in later years recalls the impact of Washington
Irving's THE ALHAMBRA and Ouida's SIGNA on his young mind.
policy has left only about 2000 bison alive, the main staple of the economy
of the Plains Indians, effectively forcing the surviving Indians
Artist Henri Tolouse-Lautrec begins work in Paris
London, Jack's step-sister, marries Captain James Shepard, a widower many
years her senior.
of gold in Transvaal, South Africa
abolished in Cuba
of Liberty, a gift from the French unveiled in New York
London purchases a home on east 17th Street near 23rd Avenue in Oakland.
A succession of moves for the family. Jack discovers the wealth of
reading available to him through the Oakland Public Library and the guidance
of Librarian Ina Coolbrith (later Poet Laureate).
Louis Stevenson publishes "Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"
attends Cole Grammar School in West Oakland, befriends Frank Atherton,
works as news paperboy
Arthur Conan Doyle' first Sherlock Holmes story published
& Swan produce a household electric lamp
"union " of Indochina, colonizing Vietnam & Cambodia. Britain
a small skiff and teaches himself to sail.
abolished in Brazil
Eastman produces roll film camera
Bellamy popularizes the ideal socialist utopia in his futuristic
novel (set in 2000), "Looking Backwards"
Van Gogh paints "Sunflowers"
Louis Stevensons sets sail for the South Seas
in cannery, pressure of family's poverty leads Jack to frequently work
overtime, 18-20 hours at a stretch.
of Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee by U.S. Cavalry.
from Cole Grammar School (8th grade). Disgusted with factory drudgery and
low wages, turns Oyster pirate; buys sloop "The Razzle Dazzle" with
money borrowed from Virginia Prentiss. Becomes a master sailor on
San Francisco Bay. Is known as the "Prince of the Oyster Pirates".
Eventually becomes disillusioned with pirate life.
claims East & Central Africa; Factory Act prohibits employment of children
under age 11 in Britain
artist Paul Gauguin paints in Tahiti
in Russia follows crop failure. Construction on Trans- Siberian Railroad
London works as a watchman, the family is living at 971 West Street. Jack
hired by Fish Patrol to stop the oyster pirates. Makes a suicide
attempt when falls in deep water while drunk but changes his mind.
Gives up Fish Patrol, joins a rough gang, is given the moniker " Sailor
Kid" learns how to hobo as a "Road Kid".
occupy Benin, West Africa
Island in New York Harbor is opened by the U.S. government to process immigrants
moves to 1321 22nd. Ave. Jack signs on as sailor on the three-masted
schooner 'Sophia Sutherland', for a seven month sealing voyage along
the coast of Japan and the Behring Sea. After returning to Oakland,
works in jute mill for 10 cents per hour.
the urging of his mother, Flora, Jack enters a contest for
a descriptive article. His essay:" Story
of a Typhoon Off the Coast of Japan", wins first prize ($25.00)
in the competition and is published in the San Francisco Call.
His competitors include students from Stanford and the University of California.
In addition to being his first time published, this is the
first time Jack earns money by writing.
forces depose Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii
annexes Laos, Ivory Coast becomes a French colony
Zealand becomes first country granting women the right to vote
composer Antonin Dvorak's "New World Symphony" performed in New York.
Artist Edvard Munch paints "The Scream"
shoveling coal for street railway power plant. Discovers how exploited
he has been by doing the work of two men.
Kelley's army, the western contingent of "Coxey's Industrial
Army of the Unemployed", a group of the unemployed who marched on the capital
in Washington D.C. Thousands of other have-nots from all over the
United States participated in this trek. Coxey's contingent marched out
of Massilon, Ohio (family home of Jack's mother, Flora) with 100 men. Jack
and strikes out on his own. Visits Chicago to see the World's Columbian
Exposition, collects mail and money sent by Flora. Spends time
in St. Joseph, Michigan with Flora's sister, Mary Everhard who encourages
his ideas about writing (later names protagonist of THE IRON HEEL after
a cousin: Ernest Everhard ).
as a tramp.
for vagrancy in Buffalo, New York, spends 30 days in Erie County
jail in violation of his legal rights. In Boston, encounters intellectual,
educated hobos who introduce him to the modern world of ideas (Darwin/
Nietzsche/ Marx). Meets Frank Strawn-Hamilton. Learns to think of education
as a means to social ascent and socialism as the promise of the future
re JL :JL&HT)
military convicts Dreyfus, a Jewish French military officer, of treason;
world wide protest and the efforts of many advocates leads to a new
trial-eventually his name is cleared
Kipling publishes "The Jungle Book"
to Oakland determined to finish High School and go to University.
In addition to attending Oakland High School, works as a janitor at the
school. Publishes articles and essays in the Aegis, Oakland High
School's literary magazine. Out of place among his fellow students
"middle class boys and girls". Joins Henry Clay Debating Team.
Embarks on intense regimen of self education; becomes friends with
Oakland Public Library's Frederick Irons Bamford, Reference Librarian
and Fred Jacobs. Bamford and Jack share an interest in
socialism, Bamford exposes Jack to the writings of Ruskin, Carlyle, Arnold
and Morris. Fred Jacobs while not a socialist, shares the similar
experience of working his way through high school. Fred introduces
Jack toTed and Mabel Applegarth. Also to his fiancé, Bess Maddern
who is going to night school in hopes of entering University. Bess Maddern
would later become Jack's first wife. In addition to these new friends,
spends time with British socialist Jim Whitaker who teaches him boxing
Marti leads revolution against Spanish rule in Cuba
Wells publishes "The Time Machine"
Lumiere brothers first showing of motion pictures
joins the Oakland branch of the Socialist Labor Party.
and appalled at the idea of two more years of High School, borrows money
from step-sister Eliza Shepard to enter "cramming" Academy (a college preparatory
academy), but after completing the full two years worth in one semester,
the extraordinary student is dismissed and his money refunded in
full (he makes the other students look bad, which is bad for business).
"cramming" on his own, studies 19 hours a day in preparation for
entrance exams at The University of California, Berkeley in August.
Is tutored by Bess Maddern in mathematics and Fred Jacobs in physics.
and passes University entrance exams, enters University of California,
Berkeley and completes first (Fall) semester. Writes first sociological
essays, brief stories about his trip to Siberia.
for JL: JL&HT)
response to ongoing Pogroms in Russia and the Dreyfus Affair,
Zionism founded by Hungarian Theodore Herzl who calls for creation
of a Jewish state
independence recognized by Italy
step relatives, learns to his shock that John London is not his father.
Locates and corresponds with William Chaney who refuses to acknowledge
his paternity, an even greater shock.
with academia, the lack of political sincerity on the part of both the
students and the professors, and feeling the pinch of poverty, quits
a test case to challenge the constitutionality of a law which infringed
upon free speech, Jack volunteers and is arrested for speaking
in public without permission of the mayor.
feverishly but unsuccessfully on a borrowed typewriter with only
capital letters. Exhausting work in a steam laundry leaves
no energy for reading or writing.
of the first who follows the gold rush to Alaska "Grubstaked" (funded)
and accompanied by his elderly brother-in- law, Captain James Shepard.
Departs aboard the "SS Umatilla" for PortTownsend Washington, then aboard
the "City of Topeka " for Juneau Alaska. Warned of the arduous journey
ahead (such as the Chilkoot Pass), Shepard returns to Oakland.
John London dies.
to survive, spends winter in cabin in the Klondike, finds no gold, suffers
from scurvy. Gains wealth of material for future writing.
for JL :JL&HT)
groups continue to battle the U.S. government in resistance to forcible
removal to reservations.
Stoker publishes Dracula.
as source of malaria identified by D. Ronald Ross.
by rough boat down the Yukon River, makes notes for future writing.
his way home as a coal stoker. Returns ill and broke to California.Unable
to find work, briefly tries prospecting in the California Mountains. Begins
writing about the "White Frontier" in the high north. Flora supplements
family income of her small pension by teaching music, also takes
Johnny Miller, son of John London's daughter, Ida, into her home where
he is raised.
friend and Bess Maddern's fiancé, Fred Jacobs enlists and dies enroute
to Manilla (Spanish American War)
S. gains the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico
wins independence from Spain, but is occupied by U.S. military
& France claim Egypt
& Marie Curie discover radium
the Man on Trail published by the "Overland Monthly" for
fee of $5.00
offered job at the Post Office but turns it down
correspondence with Cloudsley Johns, a writer, critic, and an early fan
"Atlantic Monthly", a leading U.S. magazine accepts "An Odyssey of the
North" for publication in January 1900 , fee of $40.00.
Anna Strunsky, a brilliant and charming Stanford University student of
Russian Jewish descent. Their challenging relationship,
stimulated by differing opinions, led to co-authorship.
Labor Party goes through faction al diputes in these years
trial of French officer
sparks international protest
Boer War begins
Jean Sibelius writes symphony "Finlandia"
Odyssey of the North published in "Atlantic Monthly".
Moves household (Flora London
and Johnny Miller) to East 15th Street
Son of the Wolf published by Houghton Mifflin. This is London´s
first book, a collection of his best short-stories, which is often called
the "beginning of the modern American short-story".
a move which surprises many, but fits with his own plans, marries
his friend and former tutor, Bessie Maddern on the same day his first book
is published, April 7.
of the century
Rebellion in China
France: opening of the World Exhibition and the Paris Metro
Brownie Box Camera available for $1.00K
Freud publishes "The Interpretation of Dreams"
of daughter Joan.
member of the new "Socialist Party". Runs for mayor of Oakland on the Socialst
God of his Fathers & Other Stories published by McLure, Phillips,
second collection of short-stories.
of U.S. Socialist Party
of Australia formed
Queen Victoria dies
Kingdom in Africa annexed by the U.K.
President McKinley assisinated, Theodore Roosevelt becomes president
sents first Morse code radio signals across Atlantic
family to semi-rural Piedmont Hills
of the Frost, another collection of short-stories published by Macmillan
Cruize of the Dazzler (Century)and the novel
A Daughter of the Snows (Lippincott)
Bess (later known as Becky) born.
to London, one of the wealthest capitals on earth, initially hired
as a war-correspondent to write about the Boer War in
South-Africa, but the war ends prior to his arrival in London. So
he decides to stay and investigates "under cover" the situation of "The
People of the Abyss...."
Boer War ends
Republic of Cuba declared
of Mount Pelee buries St. Pierre, Martinique, leaving as the only
survivor, a prisoner in the city jail.
French laws improve working conditions
Italian tenor Enrique Caruso's 1st
record sells one million copies
Beatrix Potter publishes "The tale
of Peter Rabbit"
Henry Chaney dies in Chicago, Illinois
by Anna Strunsky, published (Macmillan)
Call of the Wild published(Macmillan), London's all-time bestseller,
an allegoryi n which a dog abandons civilization and returns to the origins
of nature. Sells all rights to publisher for $2000.00
Falls in love with Charmian Kittredge
and decides to separate from Bess.
Jack moves into Frank Atherton's
home in Oakland
People of the Abyss published (Macmillan)
this inflammatory book Jack London discovers the investigative social report
as a new genre: Sociology narrated as a gripping account.
Pogroms in Russia
Turkish massacre Bulgarians ending
Dutch government forces end
to strike of railroad and dockworkers by calling in troops
Attempting to limit immigration,
U.S. imposes $2.00 per person tax on all immigrants
Wright brothers invent a successful
powered aircraft, first flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C.
First Ford Model A automobile sold
by Hearst to cover the Russo-Japanese war. Under adventurous circumstances,
Jack London, the only Western reporter to do so,reaches the front of the
of Men & Other Stories published(Macmillan)
Bessie M. London sues for divorce,
on grounds of desertion, Anna Strunksky named in the case.
Sea Wolf published (Macmillan) and becomes book of the season
in the US in the following year, 1905.
expansion into Manchuria leads to Russo-Japanese war
Helen Keller graduates with honors
from Radcliffe College
Theodore Roosevelt elected to
4 year U.S. Presidential term
Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov
experiments with creating "conditioned reflex" in dogs
J.M. Barrie's play "Peter Pan" performed
as Candidate for Mayor of Oakland on Socialist ticket receives 981
of the Classes published (Macmillan) revolutionary essays.
Game published (Macmillan), a novel about boxing.
summer at Wake Robin Lodge, Glen Ellen, Sonoma County
of the Fish Patrol published (Macmillan)
129 acre Hill Ranch, Glen Ellen
thinking about long sea voyage
a four-month socialist lecture tour, where Jack London puts foward his
Revolution again and again. In this essay he calls openly for a coup
from Bessie M. London final.
Charmian Kittredge in Chicago,Illinois.
in Jamaica and Cuba
gains independence from Sweden
Earthquake in India's Lahore
province claims 10,000 lives
Revolution begins in Russia but is
Sinn Fein Party founded in
Albert Einstein formstheory of relativity
Group of Expressionist artists,
"Die Bruke" form in Germany
"Les Fauves" artists Matisse,
Braque, Derain, Vlamink and Dufy shock the Paris art world with their wild
to build the yacht "Snark" (named after a being in Lewis Carroll's Alice
on the San Fancisco earthquake for Collier's Weekly "The Story of
An Eye-Witness" published in May 5 edition.
of the inflated cost of supplies and labor caused by the rebuilding of
San Francisco after the earthquake, and the unscupulousness of certain
individuals, the cost of the project skyrockets, it becomes a media-event
of high interest.
The Londons take a brief vacation,
horseback trip through Northern California
& other Stories published (Macmillan)
Fang published (Macmillan)
of Women published (Macmillan)
the background London writes his "great socialist novel" The
Spain and France agree to
share control of Morocco
In France, Dreyfus declared innocent
Devastating earthquake in San Francisco
levels much of the City
Film companies worldwide set up studios
in New York City
First (voice) radio broadcast
Charmian's aunt, Ninetta Eames, in charge of the ranch and business affairs
the Londons depart for a proposed seven year voyage around
Snark sets sail
that Charmian's Uncle, Sailing Master Roscoe Eames, is incompetent,
London teaches himself navigation and arrives safely in Hawaii
Stay in Hawwian Islands,
Visits and writes of the leper colony
Road published (Macmillan) his wonderful account of adventures
as a hobo, a colorful painting of his time.
patriot Gandhi leads civil disobedience campaign supporting rights
of Indians in South Africa
U.S. supports revolution in Nicaragua
New Zealand becomes a dominion of
the British empire
Spanish artist Pablo Picasso
creaties the first Cubist painting "Les Damoiselles d' Avignon"
in the south-sea, Hawaii, adventures with headhunters, visit of a leper's
to California, enforced by desease.
Eden, autobiographical novel.
his ranch to a model of modern agriculture.
Seal Tales a.m.
Bellew , written only for the market but very successful and enyoable
return of the Alaska-Theme.
on a four-mast vessel round Cape Horn (Basics for "The Mutiny of the Elsinore").
of the Titanic
the surface the most successful year. Jack London´s - best money
making author of the world -, in his private life a year of catastrophes:
alienation form his daughters, troubles with bess, loss of unborn children
by Charmian, failures in agricultures, Wolf House burns down. weiter...
Barleycorn , the bible of the Prohibition movement- written by a notorious
Valley of the Moon, a sentimental eulogy of the landlife as escape
from proletarian drudgery.
correspondent in Mexico.
Star Rover, Novel about re-incarnation and a harsh pillory of punishment
in state prisons.
dies on kidneys failure after 14 hours of agony on his Beauty-Ranch at
Glen Ellen, Sonoma-County.