Saturday, March 14, 2015

Today -100: March 14, 1915: I will come if you don’t mind me being a leper

Harry Thaw is acquitted of conspiracy to escape from Matteawan asylum. The jury evidently agreed with his self-assessment that he was entirely sane.

French Foreign Minister Theophile DelcassĂ© says the war will probably be over by harvest time. That’ll be nice.

Orestes Zamar, who was president of Haiti two coups ago (in other words, one year ago), is captured.

Weird-Sounding Headline of the Day -100:

The Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco has opened, without the presence of Woodrow Wilson, who decided he needed to stay at home just in case anyone called and asked him to negotiate world peace or something. And evidently, it includes a freak show. Or at least it will if the Himalayan pinheads who just arrived aren’t deported from Ellis Island as being liable to become public charges. The guy who planned to exhibit them says they’re of great scientific interest.

The New York Times really needs to hire more European correspondents, so it won’t have to keep resorting to interviewing every American returning from the Continent. May Maugan, fashion buyer for Gimbels, tells it that the English and French POWs returned in a prisoner exchange “were all crippled. Some had lost arms, others legs, and one or two both legs.” She also reports that “The great change in the fashions, of course, is the full, short skirt and the lovely boots that go with it.” Though probably not for the limbless soldiers.

Actually, Ms Maugan does report something interesting: the basis of the prisoner exchange was the number of limbs as well as people, with Germans missing an arm or leg being exchanged for an equivalently afflicted Allied soldier.

Obit of the Day -100: Sir George Turner (b.1848), medical officer and sanitary reformer in Portsmouth and then in South Africa where, among other things, he developed a typhus serum and worked with lepers. Guess what he died from? “The first public announcement was when he refused an invitation to dine with the words, ‘I will come if you don’t mind me being a leper.’”

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1 comment:

RJMeyers said...

Those Himalayans probably lived in a severely iodine deficient area, or had a genetic disposition for hypothyroidism. Mountainous areas have very little iodine.