Saturday, August 03, 2013

Today -100: August 3, 1913: Of protectorates, eugenics, feather men, sugar senators, tea, and hypnotists

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee informs Secretary of State Bryan that the “protectorate” bits of the proposed treaty with Nicaragua are not acceptable. They are willing to keep the provision giving Nicaragua $3 million in exchange for rights to build a canal that no one would ever want to build. (I wrote that before China announced plans to build just such a canal.)

It’s the first day of the eugenic marriage laws in Pennsylvania: “The questions relating to the health and moral character of the applicants as propounded by Thomas C. Smith, the application clerk, were received and answered with varied emotions. Young women blushed and became indignant, and then stammered out their answers under protest.”

Headline of the Day -100: “Say Feather Men Dominate Senate.” A letter signed by various Audubon Society types says that the feather trade has thwarted attempts to protect birds by banning the importation of plumes, feathers, quills etc for anything but scientific purposes.

Another Headline of the Day -100: “Defends Sugar Senators.” Another indigenous tribe brought to light by the Tariff Bill: alongside the Feather Men, the Sugar Senators are defending tariffs on imported sugar.

The Bishop of Kerry says that the recent spread of lunacy in that Irish county has been caused by drinking. Tea-drinking.

The LA Times has two stories about hypnotists today, for some reason. A hypnotist in Dulwich, England has reportedly cured a 9-year-old girl of blindness. The case “is arousing considerable interest in gullible British medical circles,” the Times says (I may have added a word). And a M. Lerambourg of Paris “used to invite women to tea, hypnotize them, and cut strands of their hair.”

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