Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Today -100: February 18, 1915: Sweet charity

Henry Ford is making job offers to every inmate at Sing Sing before they are released (or other companies participating in his scheme are). Part of the deal is that they go wherever they are sent, which will be nowhere near New York, because Ford’s reform theory involves removing offenders far from their old environment. He even plans to give them new names.

The Rockefeller Foundation is trying out a new scheme for the relief of Belgian refugees in, um, concentration camps in the Netherlands, where instead of being given relief because they’ve been, you know, driven out of their homes and their country penniless by marauding German soldiers, they’ll have to work in exchange for food and clothing, because slavery is so much better than charity.

The mayor of Vancouver, L.D. Taylor, is unseated by the Supreme Court for lacking the property qualification required for the office.

The Nevada Legislature again makes Reno a divorce destination, reducing the residency period for divorces back to 6 months.

Paris will issue no new alcohol sales licenses.

D.W. Griffith holds a special secret screening of “The Birth of a Nation” at the White House (secret because Wilson is still in mourning for his wife, and secret only until Griffith breaks his promise not to leak the story to the press, in other words not secret for very long), arranged by Wilson’s old college buddy Thomas Dixon, author of the books on which Birth is based and a huuuuge racist. Wilson is supposed to have said that the film is “like writing history with lightning,” but he probably didn’t.

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