Saturday, March 13, 2010

Today -100: March 13, 1910: Of automobilists, trolleys, persuasive language, and Los Angeles forever


At least in NYT usage, people who drive cars are now “automobilists” and not “autoists” as they were in 1909.

Taft refuses to intervene in the Philadelphia strike. A trolley which sped up “to avoid a fusillade of missiles” ran over a 3-year-old girl. The crowd tried to seize the scab motorman and lynch him, but the police clubbed them back.

A US Court of Appeals lets stand an injunction against the United Mine Workers by the Hitchman Coal & Coke Company of West Virginia, restraining the UMW from unionizing employees or picketing “for the purpose of using violence or threatening or persuasive language” to induce employees to strike.

On Feb. 20, the NYT ran an editorial insisting that the proper way to pronounce Los Angeles was “Loce Ahng-hayl-ais” (with a long o in Los) as opposed to Loss Anjelees, with a short o. It claimed that everyone on the Pacific Slope called it simply “Los” (I have never ever heard anyone do this), which it doesn’t like at all, and says rather bitchily that “There is nothing about [LA’s] present state of profitable confusion to suggest angels, and very little to suggest Spanish origin or the poetical conceits of Iberia. ... Los Angeles has outgrown its traditions and its angels.” The LA Times has responded to the “illiterate, unlettered, and altogether uninformed provincial person of this New York newspaper,” “Does he not know that Los Angeles was named in an hour when Destiny stood breathless on the hill tops and the Star of Empire held the constellations tied at the post? ‘Los Angeles’ is a name wrought from the singing soul of Castile to the music of golden harps. Los Angeles forever.”

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