Sunday, March 13, 2016

Today -100: March 13, 1916: An American soldier must be well fed if he is to give good service


Pennsylvania Gov. Martin Brumbaugh (R) announces that he’s running for president.

Mexican Pres. Carranza says he won’t grant the US the right to send troops into Mexico unless Mexico can send troops into the US. It’s just basic fairness, people.

Did the orders to the alliterative Gen. Frederick Funston really say to capture Villa “dead or alive”?

The army is beginning to realize that finding Villa in territory he knows well and which is populated by “cactus, Yaqui Indians and rattlesnakes” might take a while. When they went after Geronimo inside Mexico in the 1880s it took more than two years. Funston notes that there is little forage available in the parts of Mexico they expect to be wandering around in, so that needs to be arranged; “A Villa follower can live on little or nothing. An American soldier must be well fed if he is to give good service.”

Two new movies out this week: Gold and the Woman, “which again displayed Theda Bara’s opulent beauty,” and which is now lost (the film, not Theda Bara’s opulent beauty); and Douglas Fairbanks’ The Habit of Happiness, in which a rich young man teaches the homeless to laugh. Fairbanks used real bums, bused in from the Bowery, as extras in those scenes, and could only get them to laugh by telling dirty jokes, which caused complaints when lip-readers saw the movie and they called the movie back in to redo the closeups in that scene. Don’t bother googling to find out what dirty jokes, I’ve already done it without success – (Whoops - Tracey Goessel’s biography of Fairbanks says that story is probably a fable. Another great story ruined by too much research).


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