Thursday, March 15, 2012

Today -100: March 15, 1912: Of assassination attempts, fricks, asphalt heads, kings running with scissors, unmarried & comely cops


Anarchist (“amateur anarchist,” the LAT calls him) Antonio Dalba shoots at the king and queen of Italy, misses, hitting a bodyguard and his horse instead. Their majesties were attending the annual memorial service for the previous king, Umberto I, who was assassinated by an anarchist in 1900 (which inspired Leon Czolgosz to shoot McKinley). Dalba is a legal minor (20), so cannot be executed. He will be sentenced to 30 years, but, perhaps because of his increasing mental instability, will be pardoned in 1921, only to be committed two months later to a mental hospital, where he will die in 1953.

Headline of the Day -100: “Think Frick the Donor.” Yeah, frick him! Frick him! Oh, it seems an anonymous $2.5 million donor to MIT is believed to be Henry Clay Frick.

Another Headline of the Day -100: “Resigns as Asphalt Head.” Asphalt Head – president of the General Asphalt Company, or Taft-era superhero? Sadly, the former, because I was picturing one of those comic book covers where the superhero (whose head is made entirely out of asphalt) walks away from a garbage can with his costume sticking out of it.

Yet another Headline of the Day -100 (LA Times): “King Uses a Scissors.” King George V, and they were metaphorical scissors, probably the only kind he was permitted to handle. He snipped the red tape of court precedence: henceforth, wives of ambassadors will now have the same rank as their husbands (when the American ambassador was sick, his wife refused to attend court to present American women rather than suffer the ignominy of being ranked after junior ministers).

L.A. gets its first two female deputy constables. The LA Times helpfully points out that they are both “unmarried and comely.” Even more helpfully, it gives their address (they live together).

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