Friday, December 27, 2013

Today -100: December 27, 1913: Of firing squads, radium, duels, presidents & fires, and interrupted speeches

Pancho Villa issues an edict that all Federal soldiers are to be executed by firing squad as soon as captured – especially Gen. Orozco.

Rep. Robert Bremner (D-NJ) undergoes an experimental treatment. $100,000 worth of radium is (temporarily) embedded in his shoulder, where he has a cancerous growth. Which sounds painful, so they’re giving him cocaine for the pain, as was the custom. Spoiler alert: well, you can guess how this one turned out, can’t you?

I’ve reported on duels in France and Germany, but not many fatalities, because the rules of dueling, even where firearms rather than swords were involved, were designed to produce non-lethal results. Then there are Solomon Jackson and Tate Souders, two idiots in Kentucky, who shot at each other with guns in their right hands while clasping each other by the left hand. Both died.

Headline of the Day -100: “President Saves Cottage From Fire.” On vacation in Mississippi, he spots a judge’s house ablaze, has his cars stop and his chauffeurs and secret service agents put it out. Very Cory Booker of him (except for the part where his employees did all the work).

In 1894 “Coxey’s Army” of unemployed people marched on Washington from all over the country, but Jacob Coxey was arrested before he could finish his speech. Now his son-in-law, who was his lieutenant in the unemployed movement, finishes his speech on the “right to work” on the steps of the Capitol. He couldn’t get a permit, so he just said it quickly.

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