Sunday, April 29, 2012

Today -100: April 29, 1912: There is no death

The surviving Titanic crew return to Britain. The Board of Trade had been planning to hold them incommunicado until they’d testified before an inquiry, but when their ship arrived at Plymouth, the president and secretary of the British Seafarers’ Union took a sailboat alongside it and shouted over to them that they shouldn’t speak until they’d consulted with their union. Eventually, the authorities gave up on holding them captive.

Back in the US, there was a revolt against the Senate Titanic committee’s chairman, Sen. William Alden Smith (R-Mich.), who has tended to ask silly questions and is letting the whole thing meander and drag on. Several senators threatened to resign the committee.

Titanic victim and journalist W.T. Stead has evidently sent a message from the spirit world to Mrs. Cora Richmond, pastor of the spiritualist Church of the Soul. It seems that “There is no death.” So that’s okay then. (Actually, the prose of his message from the afterlife is quite purple, so I guess some things really don’t change with death: “I awoke as one awakening from a horrible dream. My son, my son, yes, the first to meet me. He was one of the rescuers from that realm where lifeboats are never lacking.”)

I guess I haven’t been keeping up with the saga of the Paris motor-car bandits. Last week their chief, Jules Bonnot, killed the deputy chief of the Paris Detective Service, so now he’s been killed in turn in a big ol’ shoot-out. And dynamite, the cops used dynamite.

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