Monday, July 04, 2011

Today -100: July 4, 1911: Of 4th of July torpedoes, Channel crossings, disagreeable surprises, and negro taints


4th of July Story of the, Um, Day -100: Simon Fisher, 46, of Chicago, mistook a 4th of July torpedo (some sort of firecracker, I presume) for a piece of candy. “The ensuing explosion blew away his jaw, inflicting a probably fatal wound.” There’s probably a lesson in there, somewhere.

Taft says in a speech to old soldiers, that all the foreign wars waged by the US, except the Revolution and maybe the Civil War, could have been avoided through arbitration.

The NYT notes that the English Channel was crossed by airplane for the first time only a few months ago, but yesterday eleven planes made the flight from France to England in the space of an hour, which is a great achievement but also a little “disquieting,” given the military implications. “Fortunately, improved instruments for making war do not increase the frequency of wars, but have an opposite tendency. Real wholesale slaughter as a part of the everyday business of life ended when men stopped fighting each other with short swords.” So that’s okay, then.

France expresses “disagreeable surprise” over the German gunboat Panther’s appearance at Agadir.

Headline of the Day -100: “Not Afraid of Negro Taint.” While John B. Collins of St Louis is suing his wife Cora for annulment on the charge that she has some negro blood, her sister Blanche is engaged to automobile dealer Charles Wass, who laughs in the face of negro taints.

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