Friday, December 13, 2013

Today -100: December 13, 1913: Of Monas Lisa, primaries, and gunboats

The Mona Lisa, stolen from the Louvre in 1911, is recovered in Florence. The thief, an Italian named Vincenzo Peruggia (also spelled Perugia), said he stole it out of spite for France. He wanted it returned to Italy in compensation for all the works of art removed from Italy by Napoleon. He offered it for sale to an art dealer, who turned him in and will collect a rather large reward. Perhaps because of his supposed patriotic motives, an Italian jury will (next June) give Peruggia a sentence of only one year and 15 days. He heard this sentence “with a facial expression somewhat akin to ‘Mona Lisa’s’ enigmatic smile.”

The New York Legislature has been quite productive since impeaching Gov. Sulzer, passing a bill for Sulzer’s beloved direct primaries, as well as a major workmen’s comp bill. There will also be a referendum in April on whether there should be a constitutional convention in 1915.

The commander of the US naval forces off of Mexico, the alliterative Rear Admiral Frank Friday Fletcher, orders both sides to stop fighting in Tampico or his gunboat will open fire with its cannon. They stop fighting (but not for long).

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