Sunday, July 17, 2011

Today -100: July 17, 1911: Of socialists, exciting bombs, and hair-raising films


Socialists are now in charge of the city government of Berkeley. I know! In large part through the efforts of young radicals at the university. I know! However, the elected socialists have been fighting amongst themselves – I know! – over the distribution of patronage positions. (Update: the LA Times of 7/10/11 says that new Socialist Mayor Stitt Wilson is refusing to give his party leaders an undated resignation to be used at their convenience, so they are already threatening to recall him.)

Headline of the Day -100: “Bombs Excite Pasadena.” I should think. Someone left a couple of bombs in a basket in front of the home of a retired dental-instrument manufacturer.

A movie actor, Albert Brighton (not listed in IMDB), drowned last week while filming a movie. There are already ads for the film: “Film actor’s sensational fight for life. Hair-raising act shown in detail before and during the fatal plunge, in which Al Brighton lost his life to make drowning scene realistic. A marvelous picture film, containing 41 scenes, 1,000 feet of film, and in which 100 actors are employed. The noted picture player plunges to his death while hundreds applaud his death struggles, appreciating, as they thought, his usual great efforts to make a scene real. Order now.” Hair-raising may not be the best choice of words: one of the men trying to save Brighton grabbed him by the hair, which, being a toupee, came off. He did not surface again.

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