Thursday, June 21, 2018

Springtime Silent Movie Challenge: In the Beginning..., -- June 21, 2018

Over on my movie blog, I have been taking part in the Springtime Silent Movie Challenge: In the Beginning..., hosted by Fritzi at Movies Silently. "Here’s the challenge. Before June 21, 2018, you will:
"Watch 5 movies made between 1906 and 1914
"Watch 5 movies made in 1905 or before
"Share your experience on your blog, on social media or here in the comments (I will set up a special post for the purpose to publish on June 21)"

I decided to concentrate on movies which were pioneering efforts.

Five Movies Made in 1905 or Before:

Roundhay Garden Scene (1888)

Dickson Greeting (1891)

The Waterer Watered (1895)

The Fairy of the Cabbages (1896)

Between Calais and Dover (1897)

Five Movies Made Between 1906 and 1914:

Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (1906)

The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906)

Fantasmagorie (1908)

The Adventures of Dollie (1908)

The Water Nymph (1912)

I am very happy that Fritzi encouraged us to watch early movies for this web challenge. Of then ten movies I watched, I had seen nine before, but I enjoyed each one and learned new things about each one. I enjoyed remembering where and when I had seen some of them for the first time and was happy to have a chance to write about that. Thank you, Fritzi, for organizing this challenge.

Leland Stanford 125 Years -- June 21, 2018

San Francisco Call, 21-June-1893
Leland Stanford, monopolist railroad promoter, politician, robber baron, patron of Eadweard Muybridge's experiments in photographing motion and university founder, died 125 years ago today, on 21-June-1893.  This article from the 21-June-1893 San Francisco Call is surprising positive about Stanford, considering that the Spreckels family, who owned the newspaper, devoted great energy to fighting his monopolies.  .  

He Passes Away Peacefully at His Palo Alto
The Family Had No Intimation of the Approaching
Brief Sketch of the Career of the Great Railroad Builder and
His Rise From Poverty to a Position of Wealth and Eminence— His Presidency of the Central Pacific, the Election to the Gubernatorial
Chair and Finally His Choice as United States Senator.
Special to The Morning Call.

Menlo Park, June 21.— Governor Stanford died at 12 o'clock to-night. He passed away peacefully in his sleep at his residence at Palo Alto.

Stanford went out yesterday for a drive to San Carlos and around his farm, and returned late in the afternoon, apparently in the best of health.

He retired shortly after 10 o'clock, and about midnight his valet, going into the Governor's bedroom, discovered that he was dead.

The Governor looks perfectly natural as he lies in bed, looking from all appearances to be in a deep sleep.  His body will be embalmed.

His Was a Prominent Place in California History.

Leland Stanford was born about eight miles from the city of Albany. N. Y., March 9, 1824. He is the fourth of seven brothers, all of whom are still living save one. His ancestors came over from England more than fifty years before the Revolution of 1776, and settled in the Mohawk Valley. They were farmers of  good repute, thrifty and industrious. Five generations of them have lived to till the soil of the Empire State. Josiah Stanford, the father of Leland, was a man of marked public spirit and energy. Besides cultivating his farm, he took contracts for building roads and bridges in all parts of his native county. He was among the first advocates of the Erie canal, and watched its progress and completion with the keenest interest. He saw with prophetic eye that it was but the beginning of that vast system of internal improvements that was to make his State so famous. In 1828 the locomotive burst upon the world like a miracle. More than all the agencies of previous times combined, it came charged with a power to revolutionize commerce and to immeasurably improve man's social and physical condition. The great news of the success of George Stephenson's locomotive engine, "The Rocket" on the Manchester and Liverpool road, had crossed the Atlantic but a few months before a charter was obtained in 1829 from the Legislature of the State of New York for a railroad between Albany and Schenectady. Josiah Stanford was among the foremost in the new enterprise. He took big contracts for grading and pushed forward the work with the greatest vigor, and from that day to this the Stanfords have more or less been engaged in the honorable business of railroad building.  One of them commenced work on the first iron road built in the United States, and one, the subject of this sketch, and a son of that pioneer, forty years later, drove, with his strong hand, the last spike of the great Pacific Railroad. The Albany and Schenectady Railroad, fifteen miles in length, forms one of the links in the overland road, which measures 3300 miles between the Atlantic and the Pacific.  What the father commenced his son gloriously completed two score of years afterward. Grand coincidence! precious heirloom, of which even a royal family might be proud, is this. Till he was 20 years of age young Leland's time was divided between the healthful occupations of a farm life and his studies.

In 1846 be entered the law office of Wheaton, Doolittle and Hadly, eminent attorneys in the city of Albany. After three years of patient and hard study be was admitted to practice law in the Supreme Court of the State of New York. Soon after this he took Horace Greeley's advice, "Young man, go West," and set out to find a new home on the frontier. He . settled in Port Washington, in the northern part of Wisconsin, and for four years he was engaged in the practice of law at that place. He was only moderately successful as a lawyer.

His library was destroyed by fire at Port Washington and in the spring of 1852 and the young lawyer, momentarily disheartened, determined to carve out a name for himself in California. He arrived in the State on the 12th of July, and at once went into the mercantile business with his brothers, three of whom had preceded him. They had a house at Sacramento and several branches scattered over the State. Stanford, himself, settled at Michigan Bluff in Placer County, then a great place of trade with the mines.

He took an active interest in public affairs also, and early became an ardent anti-slavery man, a belief at that time calculated to make any man unpopular in California. Stanford went on nevertheless, and was early brought forward as a candidate for Governor.  Twice he was nominated, against his wishes, for office, once in 1857 and again in 1859, but the Republican ticket in neither of those years was little heard of or mentioned, the contest being almost entirely between the two wings of the Democratic party. In 1860 he was chosen a delegate to the Chicago convention.  He there made the acquaintance of Abraham Lincoln, an acquaintance that ripened into an intimate friendship, which remained warm and unbroken till the President's martyred death. Being in Washington at the time of
Mr. Lincoln's first inauguration, he remained there several weeks by special request of the President. During those perilous times, when the very air was filled with revolution, trouble was anticipated in California, for it was known that preparations were being made to take her out of the Union. Mr. Lincoln was a wise and shrewd judge of men, and he readily saw that Mr. Stanford, above all other men he had met, was the true representative man of the Pacific Coast. The President, Secretary Seward, and other members of the Cabinet took him into their confidence, and followed his advice relative to nearly all the Federal appointments for and as to what measures would preserve peace and loyalty in California. A most conscientious and capable adviser he proved to be. The policy he suggested, when adopted by the Government, produced the most satisfactory results, and the appointees made at his request proved themselves, without exception, excellent officers and abundantly qualified for their several positions. The laws of the United States were in no place better enforced than in California during the war. Learning, while in Washington, that a movement was on foot to nominate him for Governor of his adopted State, be immediately wrote a letter, declining the use of his name for that or any other political position. But his friends at home did not publish the letter as he requested them to do, and he was disappointed to find, on his return from the capital, that his nomination to the first office in California was a foregone conclusion. Seeing that he was fairly in for it and that there was no escape he entered upon the contest with all the zeal and strength there was in him, and in the fall of 1861 he was elected Governor by a plurality of 13,000 votes.

Even when he was Governor, he took a great interest in the building of the proposed Pacific railroad, and with Charles F. Crocker, Collis P. Huntington, Mark Hopkins and Miller a company was organized at Sacramento on July 11, 186l to build the Central Pacific Railroad.

One year from that date Congress passed an act granting to the corporation a loan of bonds averaging $35,000 per mile, principal and interest to be repaid at the expiration or thirty years. In addition to this alternate sections of unoccupied land on either side of the road were donated to the company absolutely. None of this subsidy could be obtained till fifty miles were completed and furnished with rolling-stock.  As all of the iron and most of the other material had to be transported from the Atlantic States along two oceans and across a foreign country on its way to California, but little work was done till the fall of 1863, and it was not till July 1, 1864, that the first thirty-one miles were completed. From this date commences the mighty struggles and trials of the company, The next hundred miles lay across a chain of mountains, the most difficult to pierce, grade and subdue of any in the world. Imagine a series of lofty cones one above another, till in a distance of seventy miles an elevation is reached of 7042 feet above the starting point, and that the proposition was to build a railroad up and across those mountain peaks and down the other side into the valley, 3000 feet below, and some idea can be formed of the magnitude of almost the first work commenced by the Pacific Railroad Company.

Many engineers examined the proposed road and declared it impossible to construct, and Governor Stanford himself once having climbed to the top of one of the snow-capped Sierras exclaimed with a sigh : "Is it possible a railroad can be built here ?"

Nevertheless, the work went on. The State of California donated the company $1,500,000, and bonds were placed in Europe to complete the work.

The financial troubles of the Central Pacific at last having been cleared away, its progress across and beyond the mountains was extremely rapid. Five hundred and thirty miles were built in 293 days: ten miles of it in a single day— a feat unprecedented showing the thorough discipline of the men who did it, and the perfect organization of the company which controlled them.  On the 10th of May, 1869, on Promontory Mountain, at a spot overlooking Salt Lake, the last rail was laid and the last spike driven that finished the Pacific Railroad.  A telegraph wire was attached to the handle of the silver hammer used by Governor Stanford on that occasion, and as he struck the concluding blow which completed the great work, the event was instantly flashed to all parts of the United States.  It was a day of national praise and jubilee. Celebrations, ringing of bells, the roar of cannon, and vast processions all over the country, showed how joyfully the people welcomed the news.

At the age of 26 Leland Stanford was married to Miss Jane Lathrup, daughter of Dyer Lathrop Esq., for many years a prominent merchant of Albany, N. Y. Mrs. Stanford is an estimable lady, queenly in person and endowed with an exalted sense of the duties of her high social position. Possessed of many domestic virtues, there is a daily beauty in her life and character which belongs only to those true women who are the nobility of their sex. Mr. and Mrs. Stanford had but one child, a boy, whose death was the greatest blow ever dealt to the parents, and to commemorate whom was founded the Leland Stanford Jr. University

From the time of quitting the gubernatorial office Stanford devoted himself exclusively to the interest of the Central and Southern Pacific railroads, of which he bad been elected President. In 1883, however, there was a fight on for a senatorship, the Legislature to meet in the following winter having to elect a successor to J. F. Farley, but prior to the election there was no whisper of Stanford, even should the Republicans carry the State as it was virtually conceded they would do. The coming man seemed to be Hon. A. A. Sargent, who it was understood had back of him the railroad influence, at that time all-powerful. It Is certain that Sargent had the friendship of Collis P. Huntington

The Republicans carried the Legislature, and then, suddenly, the candidacy of Leland Stanford was sprung and Sargent retired beaten and broken-hearted. The campaign manager of the railroad magnate was Henry Vrooman, Senator then from Alameda County, and it was managed with the ability for which Vrooman had always been noted. Upon Vrooman for It, too, revenge was taken by the friends of Sargent, and he too was beaten and broken.

The career of Stanford In the Senate has not been notable, but the details are of too recent occurrence to require recapitulation. He was re-elected to the Senate in 1890 and his term would have expired on March 3, 1897.

In 1888, the University was founded which bears his name and that of his son at Palo Alto. He endowed it with a magnificent endowment, estimated to be valued at $20,000,000, and immediately the work of erecting the necessary buildings was begun under the founder's own eye.

Two years ago the University, though still in an uncompleted condition, was opened Tor the reception of students. In the short time that has elapsed it has developed into a thoroughly equipped Institution of learning with a corps of professors and teachers second to none of any university in the land.

Without doubt the Leland Stanford Jr. University will be the most enduring monument of Governor Stanford's merits as a man and a philanthropist. Even at this early day no person visits California without looking in at the University at Palo Alto, and in the years to come, when the magnificent endowment has come to a full fruition, and the green swards of Palo Alto are covered with the contemplated structures for the home of learning, there is no saying that the University will not be the chief attraction among California's many points of interest.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Francesco Baracca -- June 19, 2018

Richmond Palladium and Sun-Telegram, 28-June-1918
Francesco Baracca was a Lughesi who was one of Italy's leading fighter pilots. The coat of arms of the Baracca family had a prancing stallion. He had the emblem painted on the side of his airplanes.  Enzo Ferrari later adopted the horse as an emblem for his autos.  

Baracca died 100 years ago today on 19-June-1918.  I had trouble finding mentions of the death of Baracca.  He was making a low-level ground attack near Montello, Veneto.  He failed to return.  His body was found on 24-June-1918.  He may have shot himself to prevent capture.  

The image above was published almost ten days after his death and four days after his body was discovered.  The item below is from an Italian government dispatch reprinted in the Denison, Iowa Review on 26-June-1918.  

from "Italian Victory Over Austrians"

In the region of Montello, the Italians have found the body of the aviator, Major Baracca, who had failed to return during the first days of the operations in that region. A bullet was found in the right temple. This leads to the belief that when Major Baracca saw that his disabled machine forced him to descend into the enemy's lines he killed himself rather than be captured. The loss of Major Baracca is deeply felt in Italy as he was the leading aviator of the Italian army, having to his credit the destruction of about fifty enemy machines.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Oakland vs San Francisco -- June 17, 2018

San Francisco Call, 16-July-1908
The Pacific Coast League San Francisco Seals pled the Oakland Oaks at Valencia Street Park, also known as Recreation Park, on Thursday, 16-July-1908.

The Seals had won the day before by scoring four runs in the fourteenth inning.  At a meeting the same day, the four-team league expanded to Sacramento and Venice in Southern California.

On Thursday, the Seals won in the 11th.

San Francisco Call, 17-July-1908

Friday, June 15, 2018

Fly TWA Jets -- June 15, 2018

The Statue of Liberty anchors a bunch of New York City destinations in this TWA (Trans World Airlines) poster.

Some people seem to feel that images of Lady Liberty are insulting to our so-called president.

Thursday, June 14, 2018