Sunday, July 03, 2011

Today -100: July 3, 1911: Of serial killers, Sunday speeches, gunboats, pinochle students, and fat men

The Atlanta serial killer has done it again, for the 8th Sunday in a row. Here’s how the NYT alluded to rape in 1911: “It appears that the murder is not committed after the accomplishment of the crime for which negroes are so frequently lynched.”

Taft was traveling yesterday, and crowds showed up each place his train stopped, but he wouldn’t make any speeches because he does not believe in making speeches on Sunday. And it’s too hot.

The German gunboat Panther may or may not have landed troops in Agadir. The semi-official line from Germany now is that the Panther will stay until the French and Spanish troops leave Morocco, which if France and Spain have their way will be never, so the alternative is that Germany also wants a piece of the country if it winds up being partitioned by the European powers. The days when there were still huge swaths of Africa unclaimed as colonies are 30 years in the past, so the competition for the remaining bits is especially fierce. Countries without boots on the ground are also involved: Britain doesn’t want Morocco, but neither does it want Germans sitting on a major port near Gibraltar.

The Federation of American Zionists held its 14th annual convention and discussed plans to purchase 100,000 acres of land in Palestine annually to establish Jewish colonies.

A Bronx gang, the Bergen gang, fight cops in a park where they went “to break up the outing of the Pinochle Students, a Bronx organization”. Sadly, I don’t think the Pinochle Students is the name of a rival gang, as retro-cool as that would be.

Headline of the Day -100: “Fat Men Play Baseball.” The Fat Men’s Club played the East River Pretzel Club. The temperature’s about 100°, is this wise? Unfortunately, Alderman Frank Detzler, the pitcher and 381-pound president of the Fat Men’s Club, dropped the ball, which fell in a swampy spot. Alderman Detzler went to retrieve it, started sinking, and had to be pulled out by the other Fat Men. Maybe all those silent Keystone comedies were really documentaries.

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