Monday, September 02, 2013

Today -100: September 2, 1913: Of rebellions, holidays, crippled tsareviches and big cossacks, and loop-the-loops

Oh yeah, there’s been a rebellion in China for a while now, hasn’t there. Well, Nanking (Nanjing) falls to government forces, as the NYT explains in the two sentences it devotes to the subject. Its coverage of China often resembles a Zen koan in its brevity and allusiveness.

John D. Rockefeller explains why he doesn’t give the workers on his estate Labor Day off: “Instead of spending money on amusements my employees will have an opportunity to add to their savings. Had they been given a holiday, money would have been spent foolishly.” He gave this explanation whilst playing golf on Labor Day, because of course he did.

Headline of the Day -100: “CZAR'S SON STILL CRIPPLED.; Looks Robust, But Has to be Carried About by a Big Cossack.” Oh, we’ve all been there.

Other Headline of the Day -100: “FLIES UPSIDE DOWN QUARTER OF A MILE.” French aviator Adolphe Célestin Pégoud flies the first ever loop-the-loop (except Wikipedia says it was the second; a Russian flew one 12 days before). This is the same guy who parachuted from a plane last month. Pégoud will achieve a more dubious first: he was the first “ace” to shoot down another plane (during World War I, not for, you know, sport). He will himself be shot down in 1915, by one of his old German aviation students.

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