Thursday, March 14, 2013

Today -100: March 14, 1913: Of shots, prisons, Easter bonnets, and rocket men

Everyone in the Navy is ordered to be inoculated against smallpox, starting with new Assistant Secretary Roosevelt (a couple of cases developed in the War Department, whose clerks share office space with Navy clerks).

NY Gov. Sulzer fires the superintendent of prisons, who had refused the governor’s order to replace the warden of Auburn Prison with a Democratic judge named Rattigan, which is the perfect name for a prison warden. Warden Rattigan. The state senate wants hearings. I believe this will become a bigger deal soon.

Headline of the Day -100: “Easter Hats Nipped in Bud.” Boston telephone operators will foreswear the customary chapeaus in solidarity with striking garment workers.

Rodman Law, a daredevil who has parachuted from skyscrapers and from the Brooklyn Bridge and starred in several movies that are not on YouTube, attempted to ride a 44-foot-long rocket from Jersey City to Elizabeth, NJ (12 miles), at which point he’d jump off and parachute safely to earth. Oddly enough, this has never been attempted before. Anyway, what actually happened was that the rocket was lit, and promptly exploded. Law was blown to safety, with nary an injury. In a couple of months he’ll be attempting to climb the Capitol Building. He will die of consumption in 1919, which probably wasn’t as much fun as blowing up on a giant rocket would have been.

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