Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Today -100: December 21, 1911: Of roads, Smiths, and excessive bathing


Speaking to the Automobile Club, President Taft insists that it’s not the job of the federal government to build roads, even interstate roads.

The NYT -100 just did not know how to write a proper amusing human interest story. This story about a woman in Middletown, NY who just got married for the third time to a man named Smith – that is, all three of her husbands have been named Smith – fails to tell us what her original last name was.

A Mr. Tilden Pierce of Plymouth, Massachusetts is about to celebrate his 100th birthday. He says people these days are shortening their lives by eating too much pie and taking too many baths. Baths, he says, are “a dangerous practice and bound to sap a fellow’s strength. And if a man allows himself to become so unclean that he has to have a bath twice a week – well, he’d better look out or he’ll soon be dead.” Mr. Pierce has been chewing tobacco since he was 14.

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