Saturday, March 08, 2014

Today -100: March 8, 1914: Of two-by-four know-it-alls, vodka, unemployed armies, monks, and hearing voices

In Congress, Rep. Asbury Lever (D-SC) quoted unfavorably a remark he’d overheard in his hotel dining room by “one of those two-by-four know-it-alls” that only farmers and criminals can get money from the government. As it happened, the very same two-by-four know-it-all was in the gallery at that moment and sent him a note saying he’d be at the Shoreham Hotel if Lever wanted to challenge him to a duel or have lunch with him. Lever has called the hotel three times without finding the two-by-four know-it-all in, but it is unknown which offer he desired to take up.

Czar Nicholas goes to war against vodka (spoiler alert: vodka will win; vodka always wins), ordering the end of the ceremony at the end of every army parade in which commanders toast the imperial family in front of the troops. The czar would like to reduce the state’s financial dependence on its vodka monopoly (one-third of state revenue), but is facing opposition from his cabinet.

Despite the case against him having fallen apart since his trial, Leo Frank is re-sentenced to be hanged on April 17th. His 30th birthday.

The unemployed army demand that California Gov. Hiram Johnson provide them food and transportation to the state border. He refuses, but offers them work. They say they’ll finish their march to Washington first.

There’s a Supreme Court case about a guy, Augustine Wirth, who quit the Benedictine monks in 1897, got fairly wealthy writing books, and died in 1907. The Benedictines are claiming that his estate should go to them rather than to his heirs because he took a vow of poverty.

Headline of the Day -100: “Helen Keller Hears Voice.” The high notes of an opera singer singing Die Walküre.

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