1913 Treaty Ending Balkan War

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, June 2, 1913:  About the same as any other day. Didn’t do anything of note.

Milton.Evening.Standard.6.1.13

Source: Milton Evening Standard (June 1, 1913)

SIGN BALKAN WAR TREATY

Delegates of Turkey and the Allies in Accord

London, May 31.—The preliminary treaty of peace was signed at St. James palace by the delegates of all the Balkan allies and of Turkey.

Sir Edward Grey, the British foreign secretary, presided at the conference as he did at the previous debates, in the capacity of honorary president, and opened the proceedings with an explanation of Europe’s attitude and of the necessity of insisting that there be no further delay.

The powers will not, however, be able to indulge in unalloyed self congratulations as the outlook in the Balkans is marred by the reports of continued warlike measures and even of conflicts between the allies. A dangerous temper is prevailing both in Servia and in Bulgaria.

All the efforts of Russia to bring about peace between Bulgaria and Servia apparently have failed, and the worst is still feared. Meanwhile the quarrelsome allies are throwing enormous bodies of troops into Macedonia for the purpose of occupying disputed territory.

Bulgarian artillery at Prava opened fire on the Greek positions in the directions of Eleuthera, according to the Exchange Telegraph company’s representative in Athens.

The Bulgarian commander refused to enter into negotiations with the Greek commander to stop firing. Owing to this clash a part of the Greek fleet has been sent to Eleuthera.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma’s world often seems so small.  The diary provides little evidence that she was aware of happenings across the US and around the world.

But the newspaper that Grandma would have read, the Milton Evening Standard, regularly reported national and world events.

For example, the previous day  the paper contained the above article about a peace treaty–it’s called a war treaty in the headline, but the text says it’s a peace treaty– that was signed by the Balkan countries and Turkey.

The article indicates that the treaty may not have been totally successful—and obviously over the longer run it failed since World War I began a little over a year later due to continued unrest in the Balkan countries.  The war was triggered when Archduke Ferdinand of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was assassinated in Sarajevo, Serbia on June 28, 1914.

An aside—it’s interesting how the spelling of several cities and countries have changed across the years. In the old article:

–Serbia was spelled Servia.

–Prague was spelled Prava.

–And, I’m not quite sure what Eleuthera referred to in the article (“. . . the Greek fleet has been sent to Eleuthera”), but I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t the island in the Bahamas.  :)

17 Responses

  1. The world has definitely changed since that era!

  2. When I’ve kept a journal or diary, I rarely mentioned the news of the day. Except when the Vietnam War ended. Usually it was all about me and my feelings and my family happenings and wonderings. I wrote more than your Grandma, but I was sadly inconsistent. No 4 years worth of diary for my descendents to read.

    • I think we just think everyone knows what the current events are at the time and we’re not thinking about our decendents reading our journals. This blog has certainly made me think about that, although I don’t presently keep a journal.

      • I don’t keep a journal either, but I sometimes think that I should. Then I wonder what I’d write about (though I know from Grandma’s diary that that is a really silly concern.) :)

    • That makes sense, I guess that I shouldn’t be surprised that Grandma wrote about her personal life and family happenings.

      I also tried to keep a diary when I was young–but I don’t stick at it for very long.

  3. I really love this blog and I have been playing with the idea of starting a weekly a post called a hundred years from now that might mention current events of that day or something detailed like a food product or a magazine ad or something that recognizes a target audience of someone in 2113…

  4. Why have the same countries been so un-settled for centuries? You’d think they’d look at history and go “oh ya, this isn’t working for us”. So sad.

    • Maybe a part of it is geography. I think that some of these countries may be on major trade routes or strategically important.

  5. I finally kept an adult journal just a few years ago, and it is full of my feelings about the current events of the day that I felt would impact my grandchildren. But at your grandma’s tender age, I’m sure my thoughts would have turned toward the more pressing issues of life like slaughtering a pig or selecting a dress for graduation.

  6. Another thoughtful post! What news stories do we gloss over today, that we will see as monumental in hindsight?

    • I’ve wondered the same thing. Maybe it takes the passing of time to tell which things that seemed relatively minor at the time were really huge–and which things that seemed huge at the time were really not that important from a longer-term perspective.

  7. I noticed the “Servia” and wondered if maybe it was a typo? But, yes, over the past hundred years Europe has changed a lot.

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