Friday, July 03, 2015

Today -100: July 3, 1915: Of infernal machines, autocratic but helpful dictators, prisoners, and horns

A bomb or infernal machine explodes in the Senate wing of the Capitol Building around midnight. Details and lots more mayhem tomorrow.

Former Mexican dictator Porfirio Díaz dies in exile in Paris at 84. In addition to that hagiographic obit, the NYT runs an editorial that refers to his “autocratic but helpful rule”.

NY Superintendent of Prisons John Riley is systematically undermining the reformist warden of Sing Sing Thomas Osborne, most notably by randomly transferring prisoners from Sing Sing to Auburn, undermining Osborne’s system of rewards for good behavior. One prisoner attempted suicide when told he was being transferred. (Riley defends himself tomorrow, saying that he acted after Osborne failed to answer his letters, and because Sing Sing was becoming increasingly overcrowded and there’s a freshly built prison that can take the overflow.)

Yesterday, the NYT ran a letter from a Mr. Gridley Adams about the need for automobilists (is the term autoist going out of fashion?) to provide their vehicles with a really loud horn – and not those rubber things that people ignore because vaudeville has just made them funny – and honk it at every intersection or when approaching people riding bikes or motorcycles.  Today the Times disputes the notion that everyone needs to get out of the way of a car simply because it announces its presence with an imperious honk.

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