Thursday, May 13, 2010

Today -100: May 13, 1910: Of naughty plays, naughty lawyers, and naughty comets


NY Mayor William Gaynor intends to enforce his version of decency on the theaters without recourse to the courts, by revoking the licenses of theaters performing plays he doesn’t like, as he has already done once against “The Girl with the Whooping Cough.”

The National Negro Committee held a conference in NY to organize a permanent body, the NAACP. But the NYT article on the conference focused, naturally, on a non-negro. The headline: “Socialist Advises Negroes to Strike.” That “socialist” was Clarence Darrow, known then as a labor attorney, and he was a bit off-message at a conference devoted to self-improvement and industrial schools and racial understanding. Darrow noted that that wouldn’t get them more wages from the whites. When he started suggesting that the clergy support the rich and that negroes should stop taking tips from white men, his speech was stopped.

French newspapers are speculating on whether the tail of Halley’s Comet, which the Earth will pass through, will extinguish all animal life on the planet (Spoiler alert: it didn’t).

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