Important dates


2 August

At its meeting the Senate decides by seven votes to six to publish the provisional government’s manifesto. The Social Democratic Senators vote against publishing. The vote is a tie, and the Governor-General’s vote decides.

However, the manifesto is not presented to the parliament. Instead, the members of the parliament are informed that the date of the next session will be announced in good time.

3 August

The Russian General Headquarters sends to Finland a cavalry division and an infantry brigade. There are more Russian troops in Finland than ever, more than 100,000 men. By deploying the troops, the provisional government is underlining its message concerning the dissolution of the parliament. In addition, Russians are aware of the Finnish activists’ rebellion plans.

9 August

A crowd demanding a cut in the price of butter breaks into a butter storage in Turku, carrying away 25,000 kilos of butter and 400 kilos of cheese. The loot eventually ends up being handed over to the City Food Board to be distributed against butter rationing cards.

11 August

The “butter meeting” at the Senate Square demands that Senator Väinö Wuolijoki gives an explanation of the food situation. In Helsinki, crowds break into Valio’s butter warehouse and start transferring butter to shops. The butter shortage was caused by reduced milk production due to a dry summer. In addition, some of the butter was used for the Russian troops deployed in Finland. Valio was also still exporting butter to Russia.

13 August

Senator Väinö Wuolijoki, who has been in charge of food affairs, resigns. The Social Democrats hold a mass meeting in Helsinki in the evening, calling for an inspection of all butter stockpiles in the country. To boost the demands, the meeting declares a municipal strike in Helsinki.

14 August

According to the press, the municipal strike in Helsinki started “without major disturbances.” Picketers stopped the printing of non-socialist newspapers and watched their reporters closely. Vigilante crews forcibly closed shops.

15 August

A mass meeting in Helsinki demands that the parliament must assemble as soon as possible and that the limit prices must be lowered. People also call for improvements in the distribution of food. Named representatives of workers’ associations were given the task of supervising the municipal catering committee. The meeting decided to end the municipal strike.

17 August

Oskari Tokoi, Vice Chairman of the Senate Finance Department (prime minister), resigns. He is replaced by Professor E. N. Setälä of the Old Finnish Party.

17–18 August

The Stock Exchange House riot in Helsinki. A mob prevents Helsinki City Councillors from leaving the Stock Exchange House where they had been having their meeting. The councillors are finally freed when the militia breaks up the siege. A crowd gathered at the Senate Square demands weapons for the people.

As a result of the riots, a civil guard is established in Helsinki. Steps had also been taken in Turku and Pori, as well as in the countryside, to set up civil guards.

20 August

Työmies writes for the first time about the establishment of civil guards. The newspaper says that bourgeois guards were established around the country.

25 August

Prime Minister Alexander Kerensky, who is also Minister of War, warns Finns at a state conference against violently seeking goals that threaten the entire realm. The meeting is held in Moscow and its participants include parties that support the provisional government.

29 August

Kullervo Manner, Speaker of the Parliament, convenes the dissolved parliament to address the food and unemployment crises and to reflect on the formation of a new government. The meeting cannot be held because Russian troops close the roads that lead to Heimola.