Saturday, January 18, 2014

Today -100: January 18, 1914: Of overrated navies, internationales, and gangsters’ balls


Headline of the Day -100: “Navy Is Overrated, Says F.D. Roosevelt.” Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt says the navy doesn’t have nearly enough dreadnoughts to protect the East Coast from invasion in event of some sort of war. He doesn’t say who he thinks would land soldiers on the East Coast. (The thing about the Navy being “overrated” is that people overestimate the number of ships it has; FDR says only 16 of them are good enough to be sent against an enemy fleet).

Two brothers, Pierre and Adolphe de Triter, went to court in France in a dispute over which of them composed the music of the song The Internationale in 1888. The court rules in Adolphe’s favor, but Wikipedia says that he was put up to falsely claiming ownership by Lille’s mayor and the French Socialist Party (Pierre had moved ideologically to their left). Adolphe admitted the fraud in his suicide note in 1916 and the copyright was re-awarded to Pierre in 1922. It is still in effect.

The House Rules Committee decides against setting up a special committee of the House on women’s suffrage.

New Headline of the Day -100: “Police Didn't Know of Gangsters' Ball.” An NYPD police captain is being investigated for neglect of duty for not stopping or at least keeping a watch on a gangsters’ ball which ended, as gangsters’ balls do, with a gun battle that killed a passer-by, who happened to be a City Court clerk. Cops from Capt. Sweeney’s precinct testifying in his defense say that no one knew about the ball, despite the placards which advertised who would be attending.


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