Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Today -100: April 14, 1910: Of pardons and plots and dirigibles


Tennessee Governor Malcolm Patterson pardoned Col. Duncan Cooper for the murder not a year and a half before of Edward Carmack, former congresscritter (1897-1901), US senator (1901-7) and racist pig (1858-1908). Carmack had run for governor against Patterson in the 1908 Democratic primary, and Cooper was a good friend of the governor, who was a witness for him at the trial. After the primary, Carmack libeled Cooper repeatedly in the Nashville Tennessean, of which he was the editor. Cooper wrote to Carmack, “If my name appears in The Tennessean again, one of us must die.” The next day it did, and one of them did. Cooper’s son, also involved in the shooting, will receive a new trial (and be acquitted).

In his pardon statement, Patterson calls Cooper “D.B. Cooper.” Huh.

The US ambassador to Mexico, Henry Lane Wilson, claims there is a plot to embarrass him, although he does not see who the plotters might be. They did so by leaking the text of a speech he gave to a newspaper in Spain. He said that Charles V, 16th century king of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor, enslaved the bodies and souls of people in two hemispheres in the name of God, and that the rise and development of Mexican civilization was the result of Aztec and Toltec blood.

The largest dirigible ever built in France, the Clement-Bayard II, has been completed, with a lifting power of 7,700 pounds beyond the car and motors. It is designed to carry 20 passengers and four crew.

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