Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Today -100: October 29, 1913: Of defunct skyscrapers, coal wars, new navies, segregation, and mad kings

Standard Oil plans to tear down the Tower Building on Broadway, which when it was built in 1889 was the tallest building in lower New York (11 stories) and the first true skyscraper, built on a steel-skeleton frame. It’s not falling down or anything, it’s just too expensive to operate and its tax bill is too high. I’m not sure what replaced it, but there’s a rather ugly 37-story building which was finished in 1927 there now.

The governor of Colorado declares a state of insurrection and imposes martial law on the Ludlow-Berwind area, ordering the whole state militia into the area to disarm both sides in the coal war. They proceed to not disarm mine guards, who I might add have a machine gun. The strike is over a month old and the NYT says there have been 28 killed, and lots of property damage, dynamite being so readily at hand in the area. Today a mine guard is shot dead after he shot a striker in the leg. Some of the strikers are Greeks who fought in the Balkan Wars.

New Zealand decides to have a navy, just like Australia, and to stop subsidizing the British Navy, after Britain broke the deal to station two cruisers of a certain size in NZ waters, sending two smaller ones, amusingly named the Psyche and the Pyramus.

The LA Times has an article on segregation in federal government offices under Wilson, which it says is increasing but uneven. Black employees in the dead letter office of the Post Office Dept now sit “in one corner of a room screened off from the general public by lockers. It is explained that the lockers were so placed to improve the ventilation, but no explanation is made of the fact that only colored employees are working behind the screen.” Black employees in the Bureau of Engraving and Printing now have a “lunchroom, lavatory and toilet room all in one” but the Post Office Dept provides no lunchroom for black employees, “the argument being that as there are no separate negro restaurants in Washington, the government is not bound to provide one.”

Bavaria is finally going to dethrone Mad King Otto.

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