Sunday, January 26, 2020

Today -100: January 26, 1920: It is always well for men to walk humbly


Massachusetts Gov. Calvin Coolidge says he’s not a candidate for president, without quite saying that he would object to someone nominating him at the Republican Convention. He says he doesn’t want anyone to be able to say that he used the office of governor to influence the selection of Massachusetts’s delegates. He says “The curse of the present is the almost universal grasping for power in high places and in low to the exclusion of the discharge of obligations. It is always well for men to walk humbly.”

The Soviets announce that they have captured not only Irkutsk, but Adm. Kolchak and his government as well. The latter is true, the former is not.

The French winners of Nobel prizes in economics and medicine decline to accept the award because the chemistry prize went to Fritz Haber for his work on nitrogen, um, something or other, which is important in producing fertilizer but which he also put to use during the war in developing chemical weapons. (Update: or possibly this story is complete horseshit - see comments).


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7 comments:

Mary Grace said...

And also because the Nobel Prize in economics wouldn’t be established until 1968.

WIIIAI said...

Also, the prize in medicine was actually awarded, and not to a Frenchman. Clearly this is yet another issue of the New York Times that has somehow arrived here from an alternative universe which is different from ours in subtle but uninteresting ways.

David Chappell said...

I guess the NYT didn't expect anyone to be fact-checking them 100 years later. And IIRC, the economics prize is not actually a kosher Nobel Prize.

WIIIAI said...

If by kosher you mean there isn't dynamite money behind it, you're right. It wasn't funded by Alfred Nobel but is awarded by the Nobel Foundation.

David Chappell said...

No bang for the bucks as it were.

Anonymous said...

in re: "chemical weapons"

My understanding is, Haber process and product was duly noted but not appreciated by Churchill in WWI trenches; and were rebranded Zyklon for gas chamber service in WWII.

WIIIAI said...

This is true, though Zyklon A was a pesticide. Haber was a Jew, by the way.