Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Today -100: March 9, 1910: Of trolleys, trusts, secret marriages, moving pictures, blackmail, and lenten ideas

In Philadelphia, a party of strikebreakers respond to attacks by strikers on trolley cars by stealing a trolley car and going on a joyride, shooting into crowds, hitting 6. The general strike grew or shrank today, depending on who you believe.

Standard Oil files a brief in the Supreme Court arguing against its being broken up for violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Law. Rather than getting stinking rich by restraint of trade, the brief says, Rockefeller et al did so by “untiring energy, with infinite skill, with abundant capital, and the steady reinvestment of early profits”.

Secretary of State Philander Knox’s college-aged son Philander Jr. (!) secretly married without parental permission. He brought his new wife to Washington but failed to receive forgiveness.

Headline of the Day -100: “Roosevelt is Now Hunted.” Teddy Roosevelt, still on safari in Africa, is being stalked by American journalists “lying in wait for him all along the river [Nile].” They want to ask him if he will run for president again.

A Circuit Court gives Thomas Edison an injunction against three movie production companies, saying he has the sole patent on the process of making motion pictures. There are 13,000 movie theaters in the country; ticket prices average 7¢ each.

Enrico Caruso is now being given the sort of police protection normally accorded presidents, thanks to a stack of threatening letters (blackmail letters, in the older use of the word) from the Black Hand, including a threat to throw acid on him from an upper box in the Academy of Music.

A letter to the NYT calls for heathen countries to be divided up by the Christian ones so that they may be forced to become Christians. It is signed “A Lenten Idea.”

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