Saturday, December 07, 2013

Today -100: December 7, 1913: Of floggings, deluxe apartments in the sky, the suggestion, gratification, and education of sexual emotion, and shooting Ulstermen

Delaware whips three more prisoners, all of them black. This is in addition to prison sentences, not instead of, if I haven’t mentioned that before. I hadn’t realized the public were allowed to witness these punishments (except women, who are barred by prison officials, although there is no law against them spectating).

New York City, not surprisingly, has the most expensive apartment in the world, renting for $25,000 a year, in the new 15-apartment, 12-story building at 998 Fifth Ave, which is still around and still kinda pricey. 998, as it is known, was built by Jackie Kennedy’s grandfather. For $25,000 in 1913 you get an entire floor and 25 rooms. And the fireplaces all work, the NYT hastens to point out. Residents include Sen. Elihu Root (rumor is he was given a reduced rate as part of an attempt to lure millionaires from mansion-living to super-luxury-apartment-living, a new concept), as well as a Winthrop and a Guggenheim, former Vice President and former NY governor Levi Morton, and the aptonymed Watson Bradley Dickerman, a former president of the NY Stock Exchange.

Bernard Shaw and the Bishop of Kensington are having a flame war in the letter columns of the London Times over the issue of theatre censorship. Says Shaw, “a Bishop who goes into a theatre and declares that the performances there must not suggest sexual emotion is in the position of a playwright going into a church and declaring that the services there must not suggest religious emotion. The suggestion, gratification, and education of sexual emotion is one of the main uses and glories of the theatre. It shares that function with all the fine arts.”

A scientist discovers that it’s possible to use x-rays to read sealed letters. And the NSA is born!

Ulster Unionist leader Sir Edward Carson denies trying to persuade the army to refuse orders. “Nobody would blame the army for shooting upon Ulstermen.”

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