Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Today -100: December 25, 1913: His Santa Claus is dead

Headline of the Day -100: “CALLOUS AT GUILLOTINE.; Man Executed at Dunkirk Smokes a Cigar Before He Dies.” The priest tried to stop him making a pre-execution speech (France had public executions until the 1930s), but he insisted that he’d speak if he wanted to. Which he did. And what he wanted to say was: “You Dunkirk people are a lot of cowards!”

Frank Brown, the former governor of Maryland, says the automobile is responsible for the decline of agriculture, with all the joy riding and whatnot.

Festive Headline of the Day -100: “Xmas-Tree Panic Costs 80 Lives.” Including 56 children, trampled when some drunk shouted Fire in a crowded Italian Hall in Calumet, Michigan, in which children of striking copper miners were being given Christmas treats.

No, wait, new Festive Headline of the Day -100, on the front page of the NYT: “SANTA DIES ON XMAS TRIP.” And here’s the first sentence: “Little crippled Wilbur Harris, 8 years old, is to have a merry Christmas, but his Santa Claus is dead.” A philanthropist with tuberculosis went to deliver gifts to a poor family after hearing that the mother told Little Crippled Wilbur that there is no Santa Claus for poor children, but his car couldn’t make it past the snow drifts two blocks away from the poor section of town and he dropped dead walking through the snow with, you know, TB.

Secretary of State Bryan’s latest arbitration treaty has been negotiated with Denmark, and it doesn’t even exclude “questions of national honor” from arbitration.

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