Thursday, December 12, 2013

Today -100: December 12, 1913: Of matrons, vice film plays, kidnappings, and skinny tafts

In the Old Bailey, a jury of matrons is convened to determine whether a woman convicted of killing her 4-year-old son is really pregnant, as she claims, in which case they can’t execute her (not that a woman was terribly likely to be executed in 1913 England, especially not for child-murder).

John D. Rockefeller, who chaired an inquiry into “white slavery,” denounces the spate of recent films on the subject that claim to be dramatizations of his report, Law & Order-style. “Manufacturers of moving picture films throughout the country are said to be working night and day to get out vice film plays now that the craze for that sort of pictures is at its height.” At its height? Oh, I don’t think so.

Mexican rebels break into the British consulate in Chihuahua and seize Luis Terrazas Jr., son of the richest man in Mexico (he owns 2/3 of the land of the state of Chihuahua), for ransom.

The British Army is short of recruits and will, for the first time I believe, advertise.

Taft has lost 70 pounds since leaving the presidency 6 months ago. He’s down to a svelte 270 pounds. He no longer eats potatoes, bread, pork or salmon and limits himself to two glasses of water with dinner.

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