Friday, August 06, 2010

Today -100: August 6, 1910: Of railroad accidents and bribery

1,100 people were killed and 21,232 injured on steam railways in the US in the first quarter of 1910, a large increase over 1909. Plus 19 dead and 669 on electric railroads. And I think that’s only counting passengers and employees, not people who got run over.

The NYT has an hour-long “chat” with Vice President Sherman, who categorically denies having anything to do with the people who tried to bribe Sen. Gore. Sherman thinks Gore treated him unfairly. Jake Hamon, the alleged bribe-offerer, also denies the charge. The House nvestigating committee will not be calling Sherman.

Annoyingly, there is no Wikipedia entry for Hamon, who, it seems, was not seriously inconvenienced by these charges, remaining a prominent oil man and Republican fixer, one of the people behind the presidential campaign of Warren Harding. In 1920, Hamon was looking forward to taking a cabinet position under Harding when he was mysteriously shot. Before he died (6 days later) he said that he was cleaning a gun and it went off, but he was not believed and his lover was later tried for murder and acquitted.

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