Sunday, April 21, 2024

Today -100: April 21, 1924: Of bobbed-hair bandits, extracting revolutionary teeth, and junior Sherlocks

After a manhunt by many, many NYPD detectives, the notorious alliterative Bobbed-Hair Bandit of Brooklyn, 20-year-old Celia Cooney, is arrested along with her husband in Jacksonville, Florida, where she gave birth earlier this month to a baby that died after two days. Mr & Mrs Bobbed-Hair are charged with 17 hold-ups. They’ll serve 7 years in prison, where Ed will have his arm crushed in a machinery accident. Celia will die in 1992. There’s a book, more than 500 pages, about her.

Leon Trotsky, who has been ill for months, leading to rumors that he’d been arrested or killed or whatever, reappears, making speeches pointing out the hostility of France and the US towards the USSR. He notes that the US, while it is “trying to digest... all the huge gains it realized from the war” during its current isolationist phase, is stockpiling weapons for future war with Japan or in Europe, in the form of airplanes and poison gas. Dentists use gas, and the US is “preparing to use gas to extract a revolutionary tooth from Europe”.

Buster Keaton’s Sherlock Jr. premieres. Partly directed (uncredited) by Fatty Arbuckle.

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