Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Holland America Line -- May 23, 2018
A poster for the Holland America Line of steamships shows the Statue of Liberty with a really big flame on her torch.

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

Monday, May 21, 2018

Notary Sojac -- May 21, 2018
The San Francisco Chronicle never carried Smokey Stover, so I didn't learn about the foo fighter and his strip until I started reading books about comics.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Lufbery is Shot Down by Germans -- May 19, 2018

Manitowoc Pilot, 23-May-1918
100 years ago today, on 19-May-1918, Raoul Lufbery, the most experienced American fighter pilot, was killed in action.  Lufbery was born in France, but his father was American. He had 16 confirmed victories while flying for the French Lafayette Escadrille and one more for the Americans.

Huns Kill the U. S. Air “Ace” Over the American Lines.
Airman’s Only Wound Was a Hole Through the Thumb—Yanks Take Revenge by Destroying Hun Planes.

Paris, May 22.— Maj. Raoul Lufbery, the first American ace to be killed as the result of an aerial fight, was burled on Monday with full military honors by French and American detachments.

With the American Army in France, May 22. — Maj. Raoul Lufbery, who has been regarded us the best aviator in the American service, was shot down in flames and killed Sunday morning by a big German triplane which he was attacking. Lufbery jumped from his flaming machine when 800 yards above the ground. He had 17 victories to his credit. Lufbery's home was in Wallingford, Conn.

The German machine which brought Lufbery down was armed with two machine guns, with an operator for each piece.

Lufbery's only wound, aside from those he received when he crashed to earth, was a bullet hole through the thumb. Apparently the same bullet punctured one of the gasoline tanks of his machine.

The German machine was under heavy antiaircraft fire several times both before and after the air fight, and one explosion of a shell upset the enemy plane, but it managed to straighten out again.

It was about ten o’clock in the morning when a German triplane suddenly descended from the clouds, apparently because of engine trouble, until it was only some 1,500 meters over the city of Toul. The American flyers were on the alert and some of them headed for the fighting line to await the enemy on his return.

Lufbery and the pilot of another machine made after the Germans, who quickly ran away from the direction of the line, the two American machines following him. Eight miles away from the enemy’s line Lufbery was seen to attack from under the tall, but then he drew off, as if his machine gun had jammed. Two minutes later he attacked again from the same position, and almost immediately his machine burst into flames.

With the American Army In France, May 22. — A French aviator shot down a German plane back of the Lunevllle sector. Two men from the plane were captured by the Americans. The Germans came from somewhere in the rear. It is reported, although not confirmed, that this is the machine which brought down Major Lufbery. There has been extraordinary aerial activity all day in this sector.

Two hostile airplanes have been brought down by American aviators, says an official announcement issued at American headquarters. One of the airplanes shot down carried two officers. Both bad been riddled with bullets.

Friday, May 18, 2018

New Orleans Tricentennial -- May 18, 2018

Everyone agrees that La Nouvelle-Orleans was founded by Jean Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville in 1718, but no one knows the exact date. New Orleans has been celebrating the tricentennial all year. Spain took over in 1763 and built what are now the oldest buildings in the city. Spain returned it to France in 1800. Napoleon sold it to the United States in 1803. New Orleans has always had its own unique character.  I want to go back.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Pulp -- Fight Stories -- May 17, 2018
The cover of this issue of Fight Stories advertised "Bulldog of the Ring," the story of Mickey Walker, the Toy Bulldog. Walker held the Welterweight title from 1922 to 1926. He was the Middleweight champ from 1926 to 1931. Walker is regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters of all time.

Cine-Munidal, January, 1923

Motion Picture Daily, 24-July-1931
In 1931, Mickey Walker gave up the middleweight championship to fight as a heavyweight. On 22-July-1931 in Brooklyn, he fought Jack Sharkey, the Boston Gob, who would later be heavyweight champion. Walker, who had also been welterweight champ, was regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters of all time. Sharkey was a good fighter at times, but was never consistent. The Toy Bulldog fought the Boston Gob to a 15 round draw.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Tom Wolfe, RIP -- May 16, 2018
I was sorry to learn of the passing of author Tom Wolfe.  I loved The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test and The Right Stuff.  And the man knew how to wear a hat.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

U.S. Mail by Air Route Proves Great Success -- May 15, 2018

100 years ago today, on 15-May-1918, the first scheduled airmail service flown by the United States Postal Service began.  This article from the 15-May-1918 The Daily Gate City and Constitution-Democrat, from Keokuk Iowa, describes the auction of the first airmail stamp and the start of the service. Gazelle, California is way up north in Siskiyou County. Kennedy, California is in San Joaquin Country.  Major RH Fleet was Reuben Fleet, who organized the mail flight and later found the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation.  

New York - Philadelphia - Washington Service Begins Today With Quick Delivery of Sacks.
Army Biplanes Carry Letters Through Air Between Big Cities of the East.

[United Press Leased Wire Service.]
WASHINGTON, May l5.—Cheered by a great throng including President and Mrs. Wilson, Postmaster General Burleson and K. Kambara, postmaster general of Japan, America's first official aeropost service was inaugurated at 11:47 o'clock today.

Plane Leaves New York.

NEW YORK, May 16.—-An army biplane carrying mail for Philadelphia and Washington got away from Belmont park shortly after 11:30 a. m. today on the first flight o£ the New York-Philadelphia-Washington airplane service.

The plane, carrying 182 places of mail for Philadelphia and 460 pieces tor Washington, weighing in all 144 pounds, was driven by Flight Lieutenant Lorry H. Webb, aged 25, of Gazelle, Calif.

Webb, son of Louis Webb, manager of the LaGrange Hydraulic company of Kennedy, Calif., is a graduate of Columbia university and joined the aviation corps at the declaration of war.

The big biplane was out of sight ten minutes after leaving the ground. The flight started at the place where the first international aviation meet opened eight years ago.

A crowd of invited guests gathered at Belmont park to witness the historical event. Among those who spoke were Postmaster Patten, of New York, Byron Newton, collector of the port, and Allan Hawley, president of the Aero club of America.

The entire proceedings were in charge of the signal corps of the army. When the airplane left the ground, climbed for altitude and then turned southward, there was enthusiastic cheering and handshaking among the spectators.

Most of the crowd remained on the scene to welcome the mail which started for here from Washington by airplane.

On Time at Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA. Pa., May 15 -- Lieutenant Webb landed at Bustleton, near here with the first aerial mail delivery from New York at exactly one o'clock this afternoon. This was one hour and a half alter leaving Belmont park L. I., with the mail for this city and Washington.

Lieutenant Webb was received by a committee representing the city, state and the nation and was presented with a wrist watch.

Second Lieutenant J. C. Edgerton relieved Lieutenant Webb at the wheel to pilot the machine on the 140 miles to Washington.

Favorable Weather Conditions.

WASHINGTON, May 15—Arrival of Major R. H. Fleet in an airplane from Philadelphia this morning together with favorable weather conditions made it almost certain that the first Washington-New York mail flight would start on schedule.

President Wilson left his work long enough to witness the history-making event.

Used To Take Over a Day.

Eighty-six years has cut the mail delivery between New York and Washington from thirty-two to three hours.

In 1832 by a special combination of stage coach, railroad and steamboat, the 250 mile route was traversed in the then remarkable time of thirty two hours. This feat was the subject of congratulatory speeches in the senate.

Through establishment of relays of fresh horses every five miles, the pony express attained great speed, delivering New York mail in Washington in fifteen hours. The horses would be run top speed for their five mile stretch, than be replaced by fresh animals.

$1,000 for Stamp.

NEW YORK, May 15.-- Clear weather today made opening of the New York-Philadelphia-Washington aerial mail line practically assured. Army biplanes were tuned up at Belmont park, the New York terminus of the air mail route ready for the start. The first "mail plane," carrying 300 pounds of postal matter, was scheduled to get away from Belmont park at 11:30 a.m. The first plane from Washington is due here at 2:30 p.m.

In the Washington-New York pouch was one letter addressed to Noah Taussig, 1ll Wall street. The stamp, the first purchased in the Washington office for the aerial mail, was bought by Postmaster General Burleson.

President Wilson's autograph, written across the stamp, is the cancellation mark. The envelope and stamp will be presented to the Red Cross to be auctioned to the highest bidder. Already an offer of $1,000 has been made.

In the New York-Washington pouch were letters from Postmaster T. G. Patton to President Wilson and Postmaster General Burleson.

Another frown Governor Whitman to the president was the first cancelled in the local postoffice. This letter will also be given to the Red Cross.

Souvenir seekers, desirous of sending mail on the first trip, swamped the New York postoffice with letters. Only the first 300 pounds received was carried, however. The rest was sent to Washington by a special courier, on a train.