Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Today -100: November 26, 1913: Of wireless, espionage bureaux, obedient wives, and full and disgraceful retreats

For the first time, train passengers (on the Lackawanna Railroad) are able to read the current news, delivered by wireless radio (or Wi-Choo, as it was called)(well, as it should have been called). “To think we didn’t have it for the World Series,” said one passenger.

Switzerland uncovers “an extensive and cleverly organized international military espionage bureau” in Geneva run by a French ex-army captain, Larguier. Larguier has been ordered to leave the country and now must decide, depending on which of Switzerland’s four borders he exits by, which country will have the privilege of arresting him.

Jessie Woodrow Wilson, the president’s daughter (aka “the hot one”), marries Francis Bowes Sayre, a lawyer, in the White House. She actually insisted on including the word “obedient” in her vows.

The Mexican rebels are besieging Tuxpan, a town important to the oil industry. Rebels are demanding that (foreign) oil companies pay taxes to them and not to the Huerta regime. In Juarez, Pancho Villa says “The Federals are in full and disgraceful retreat.” And they are. Villa’s men are executing captured Federales.

14,000 General Electric employees go on strike in Schenectady after two union organizers are fired. Presumably they wanted to get the strike in while they still had a sympathetic Socialist mayor, George Lunn (his term expires at the end of the year).

NYC has police phone boxes (which are not bigger on the inside) for cops on the beat to call their precinct houses, but precincts have no way of contacting patrolling officers. But now, the 23rd Precinct will experiment with signal boxes on fixed posts, which during the day will ring until a cop answers and at night will flash a green light.

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