Sunday, January 30, 2011

Today -100: January 30, 1911: Of lynchings, trances, oysters, and Atlantis

Mexicali falls to the rebels. They’re trying to capture border towns to facilitate easier smuggling of weapons from the United States.

A black man is lynched in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, after supposedly attacking a white child in the house where he worked. His body is left hanging from a pine tree, riddled with bullets.

Ecuador’s president gives in to the large crowds that have been protesting outside the presidential palace for days, and will not lease the Galapagos to the United States.

Margaret Shipley, 25, blind since birth, has been conducting a public fast and self-hypnotic trance in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. She had announced that on Monday night she will awake and will be able to see again. Evidently a child evangelist promised her that an 8-day fast would restore her sight. And Heaven told her that she also had to dress in spotless white, recline on a white couch, and part her hair in the middle. And no one is to touch her during these days, or “he will fall dead and everything will be spoiled.” 25,000 people have come to witness the event, filing past her room. A NYT editorial declares Ms. Shipley “densely ignorant, grossly superstitious, and dreadfully weak of mind” but is especially alarmed by the number who made the pilgrimage to see her, which it blames on “the imperfection of our civilization, the inadequacy of our educational system, and the persistence among us, here and there, or great groups of people who are still living in the Dark Ages.” Will Shipley see again? Tune in tomorrow.

Headline of the Day -100: “England Rushes To Defend Her Oyster.” Evidently the NYT ran an editorial I missed attacking the English oyster (“a brown thing that tastes like copper”), and the British papers have responded, the Daily Express saying... oh, who cares, it’s a feud over oysters.

Leo Frobenius, the German African explorer, sends word that he has discovered evidence of the existence of Atlantis. In Togo. An ancient bronze bust with Greek markings. Which proves that the Athenians invaded Atlantis. In Togo.

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