Friday, August 31, 2018

1927 Coppa Della Perugina -- August 31, 2018

A beautiful poster for the 1927 Coppa Della Perugina.  I like the impression of speed.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Huey Long 150, Ted Williams 100, R Crumb 75 -- August 30, 2018

Ted Williams, perhaps the greatest hitter in major league history, was born 100 years ago today, on 30-August-1918.  As a Marine, he flew fighters in both World War II and the Korean War.

I was surprised to learn that Ted Williams shared a birthday with the Kingfish, Huey Long and cartoonist/musician R Crumb.

Harris & Ewing, Library of Congress, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
I read All the King's Men before I read a biography of Louisiana politician Huey Long.  He did a lot for common folks, but seemed dangerous.  His assassination smelled fishy.
I first learned about underground comix when I took a summer acting class at Lone Mountain College.  I found a counterculture  newspaper, perhaps the Berkeley Barb or a short-lived San Francisco paper, and saw Gilbert Shelton's "I Set My Chickens Free."  I went on to find out about other artists like Spain Rodrigues and R Crumb.  Crumb's comix seemed to have a lot of misogyny, but they could be very funny.  Later I learned about his music.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Howe's Great London Circus -- August 29, 2018

Richmond Palladium and Sun Telegram, 30-July-1921
I can't find much about Howe's Great London Circus, but I like their ad.  "Wonders Never Before Assembled."

Monday, August 27, 2018

Skirmish at Nogales Brings Heavy Casualties to Each Side -- August 27, 2018

Bisbee Daily Review, 28-August-1918
100 years ago today, on 27-August-1918, the Battle of Ambos Nogales took place on the border between Nogales, Sonora and Nogales, Arizona. Ambos Nogales is a collective name for the two towns. Sonora Mayor Felix B Peñaloza died trying to stop the fighting. General Cabell was DeRosey Caroll Cabell, who commanded the southern border. Nogales, There were rumors, most likely not true, that German agents instigated the battle.  Reviewing the situation, General Cabell recommended a border wall along International Street.  


Gaston Reddock, Civilian, Died Early in Fighting; Battle Is Brought on by Attempt of Mexican Immigration Guards to Put Mexican Civilian on Arizona Side of Border Without Proper Authorization, Which was Resisted by Sentry; Lt. Col. F. J. Herman Slightly Wounded While Leading Men

NOGALES, Ariz., Aug. 27. -- Two Americans were killed, twenty-nine wounded, and more than 500 American troops were engaged for one and one-half hours on the border here late today, during a skirmish between American troops and Mexicans.

CAPT. J. D. HUNGERFORD, was killed in action.
CORP. BARNEY LOTZ, was also killed.
LT. COL. FREDERICK J. HERMAN, was wounded in the right leg.
LT. LUKE LOFTUS was seriously wounded in the body.
CAPT. H. C. CARON, was wounded in the arm.
LT. S. LOCKWOOD, was also wounded.
GASTON REDDOCK, reported killed tonight, was seriously, if not fatally wounded.
CHARLES LEVIN and E. MARCOR, employees of the Southern Pacific of Mexico, at Nogales, Sonora, also are listed among the Americans wounded.
He was a customs guard. (??? - JT)
Another civilian named Cooley was reported to have been wounded.

These facts were officially announced here late tonight, after a survey of the town and camp had been made.


While the casualties on the Mexican side of the border were not known tonight, it was estimated that 100 had been killed by fire from the American side while at least twice this number, including a number of civilians, were wounded. It was reported tonight that the mayor of Nogales, Sonora, was killed but this was not confirmed.

The fighting followed alleged efforts of a Mexican custom officer to smuggle a fellow countryman across the boundary into the United States. An American sentry attempted to stop him. The two Mexicans fired at the sentry across the street, striking him in the right arm. The fire was returned by the American patrols and after Mexicans had rushed from nearby buildings and started shooting across the line from behind buildings and walls, the firing became general.

Reinforcements from an infantry regiment and colored cavalry were rushed to the border and took up combat positions. It was estimated several hundred American soldiers and at least fifty civilians participated in the shooting. It was reported tonight that a detachment of the tenth cavalry crossed the border in pursuit of the Mexicans, but this was not confirmed. The fighting which started at 4:05 p. m. continued without abatement until 5:20 -when it died down except for an occasional sniping shot along the long International street.

At 5:30 a white flag was displayed by the Mexicans, a parley followed but the sniping continued until after 7 o'clock. Bullets fell in Nogales and civilians were ordered to remain indoors and without the zone of fighting. Adobe houses, because their walls cannot be pierced by high power bullets, were especially popular and many families spent the night in these buildings with friends.


NOGALES. Ariz., Aug. 27. -- The mayor of Nogales, Sonora, reported to have been killed, was Felix Penaloza. His death has not been confirmed, although he was known to have been in the thick of the fighting. Mexican Consul Garza Zertuche, stationed here, stated tonight he did not believe the losses on the Mexican side of the line would be as heavy as was estimated by American officers.


DOUGLAS. Ariz., Aug. 27. -- Gen. De R. C. Cabell, commander of the Arizona district left by automobile at S o'clock tonight for Nogales to take charge there until quiet is restored.


NOGALES. Ariz.. Aug. 27. -- Casualties on the Mexican side, according to a late report, were over one hundred killed and wounded.


SAN ANTONIO, Tex., Aug. 27. -- Lieutenant Colonel Herman was wounded in the knee one corporal was killed and two privates wounded in the skirmish with Mexicans at Nogales, Ariz., today, according to meager reports of the affair received at Southern department headquarters here tonight. A full report Is expected shortly by Major General Holbrook, commander of the Southern department.

Rumors of Revolution

NOGALES. Ariz. Aug. 27. (8:10 p. m.) -- Lieutenant Colonel Herman, commanding troops stationed at Nogales, was among the American soldiers wounded in a two hour fight with Mexicans which started when United States sentries were fired upon.

Several hundred troops engaged the Mexicans and drove them well back into their town.

Civilians aided the soldiers from house tops and other points of vantage.

Casualties are not known at this time.

The Mexicans hoisted a flag of truce but continued firing and sniping was going on at 7 p. m.

Bullets were dropping thick and fast in Nogales, Arizona. One civilian, Gaston Reddock, was wounded.

A conference has been called between American and Mexican officials.

The trouble was supposed to have started as a result of an attempt on the part of a Mexican immigration official to pass a fellow countryman across the border illegally. American sentries drew guns and Mexicans fired. Other Mexicans apparently fully armed, came from all directions and aided the Mexicans on the line until they were driven back.

One infantry detachment in command of Lieutenant Colonel Herman was rushed to the border and was followed by negro cavalry troops who took up positions along the street which forms the boundary line. The firing continued until 5:30 p. m., when it died down slightly but occasional shots could be heard.

Reports that machine guns were brought into action by the American troops were denied, although a machine gun was set up in an office facing Mexico.

The first shot, like a flash in a pan, started the shooting along the boundary line. No one seemed to know exactly what happened after the first shot was fired. An American sentry was seen to enter an office on International Avenue with his arm dangling at his side with a bullet wound through his shoulder. Soon after the firing became general and the crowd which rushed to the custom house when the first shots were fired sought shelter behind buildings and every one was ordered off the streets by the military authorities.

Rumors that Juan G. Cabral, leader of a rebel band which has been operating south of the border, had approached within 14 miles of Nogales, was camped at the Maytorena ranch and that the shooting in Nogales was preliminary to an attack on the town by his band could not be confirmed.

The fighting began about 4 o'clock and was general for an hour and a half.

In pursuing the Mexicans the American troops did not stop at the boundary line, it was said, but continued for at least two blocks into the Mexican town.

Word was received late today from Fort Huachuca that reinforcements were being hurried toward Nogales and would be here by tomorrow morning.

As soon as the firing became general calls were sent to Douglas, Ariz., Fort Huachuca and outpost points. These are cavalry posts and the reinforcements were expected to start tonight, making the trip overland.

Many persons from surrounding towns and cities rushed to Nogales to assist the citizens and soldiers, expecting a general engagement.

Tonight Lieutenant Colonel Herman, who was slightly wounded, was able to retain command of the troops, although he had to be assisted from place to place.


NOGALES, Ariz., Aug. 27. -- Like the main street of a moving picture frontier town. International avenue, where the fighting started, zig rags its way along the international boundary line between Mexico and the United States and forms the main business street of towns in two republics. Concrete monuments marking the border stands at intervals like giants fingers and a barbed wire fence which was erected by the Mexican officials to prevent evasions of the customs and immigration laws adds a militant touch to the picture.

American sentries patrol the boundary night and day while Mexican sentries in their slate colored uniforms, patrol the opposite side of the wide business street. Customs guards and patrol squads have their stations at the American and Mexican custom houses which face each other across the street.

Nogales, Arizona, is a progressive Arizona border town with modern houses, two and three story business buildings on International avenue and residence streets lined with palm and umbrella trees. Nogales, Sonora, the Mexican town, is a typical Mexican border village with square adobe houses resembling cubes of native brown sugar. There are several large buildings on the Mexican side of the boundary and a church surrounded by a little plaza after the fashion of all Mexican towns. The Mexican settlement is said to be one of the prettiest towns on the Mexican border.

Nogales, Sonora, has been the scene of a number of border battles. The Diaz federal troops were defeated and forced to cross the border and surrender to American troops. They were commanded by Col. Emilio Kosterlitzzky, a Polish officer In the Mexican federal army.

A clash between American troops and Mexican rebels also occurred there during the Villa-Carranza fight. The Carranza troops were fired upon by mistake when it was thought they were Villa followers attempting to raid the American side of the border.

The beautiful residence of Ignacio Bonillas, ambassador to Washington, is located within sight of the international line, Nogales being his home.

(By Review Leased Wire) 
(Approved by Commanding General)

EL PASO, Tex., Aug. 27. -- Rumors of firing across the international line at Nogales, Ariz., were received at the Arizona district headquarters, Brigadier General De Rosey Cabell announced tonight. He said he had received no confirmation of these rumors but was leaving at once for Nogales to investigate.

By long distance telephone tonight, Brigadier General Cabell, commanding officer of the Arizona border district with headquarters at Douglas, Ariz., authorized the statement that rumors of firing across the international line at Nogales, Ariz., had been received there late today. General Cabell added he was leaving by automobile at once to Investigate.

(By Review Leased Wire)

TUCSON, Ariz., Aug. 27, 9:07 p. m. -- When two Mexican sentries patrolling the international line in Nogales, Sonora, this afternoon at 4 o'clock, attempted to pass a Mexican across the line into Nogales, Ariz., at Morley and International avenues, an American sentry stopped him and drew his gun. The two Mexican guards opened fire on the American sentryman, whereupon, as though the firing had been a signal. Mexican troops rushed put of the Nogales, Sonora, depot and other buildings, toward the scene of the shooting. An alarm was sent in to the American military authorities, and several companies of infantry and a troop of colored cavalry were rushed to the line, led by Lt. Col. Frederick J. Herman. The Mexicans fought from cover and for an hour and a half the firing was general. At about 5:30 o'clock a white flag was run up from a building on the Mexican side of the line, but at six o'clock desultory fighting was continuing. The American troops did not stop at the International line, going as far as two blocks south into the Mexican town. The American casualties are said to be three soldiers killed and twelve wounded, among the wounded being Lieutenant Colonel Herman, who sustained a bullet wound in the leg.

The Mexican casualties are believed to number seven or eight. The character of the outbreak is not certain at this hour and it is not definitely ascertained whether it was an irresponsible attack or a revolutionary movement.

Major Rush, in command at Fort Huachuca has sent word that reinforcements for the Americans will leave the military post tonight and will arrive in Nogales by morning.

American Consul G. M. Lawton and Mexican Consul Garza Zertuche will confer this evening.

American civilians participated in the fighting, firing from buildings on the American side.

A telephone message from Nogales at 10:15 o'clock tonight said that the twin cities were quiet, a truce having been agreed upon until 7 o'clock in the morning. At a conference tonight between A. J. Abasola. commanding the Nogales, Sonora, garrison, and Lieutenant Colonel Herman, together with Collector of the Port Charles Hardy and prominent American and Mexican civilians, Commandante Abasola expressed regret at the outbreak and declared it was due to ill feeling between Mexican and American customs guards. He said there was no hostility among the Mexican federal soldiers toward the American forces.


SAN ANTONIO, Tex., Aug. 27. -- Belief that the clash at Nogales, Arizona, this afternoon was merely the outgrowth of an attempt to pass a Mexican into the United States in violation of Immigration laws and that the situation would be satisfactorily handled by Brigadier General De Rosey Cabell, who is on his way to Nogales, was expressed late tonight at Southern department headquarters which had received only a brief report of the incident from General Cabell.

The report gave no details of the fight. Department headquarters does not expect another report until tomorrow.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

John McCain, RIP -- August 26, 2018

I did not vote for Senator John McCain when he ran for president, but I know he served his country well, especially during his time as a POW and later when he helped to normalize our relations with Vietnam.  I am sorry he accepted Sarah Palin as his running mate.  He was virtually the only Republican who stood up to our so-called president. His vote saved Obamacare from repeal.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Leonard Bernstein 100 -- August 25, 2018
I remember seeing, hearing and hearing about Leonard Bernstein all my life. I remember his calls for social justice.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Louis Bennett, Wheeling Air Fighter, Missing in Action -- August 24, 2018

Wheeling Intelligencer, 29-August-1918
100 years ago today, on 24-August-1918, American Louis Bennett, flying for the RAF, destroyed two balloons before his S.E.5a was shot down by anti-aircraft artillery.  Bennett's career lasted only 9 days at the front, but he destroyed nine balloons.  

Louis Bennett, Wheeling Air Fighter, Missing In Action

Louis Bennett, II, West Virginia's foremost war flyer, has fallen in action on the British-German fighting front in Picardy. He has been officially reported as "missing in action" since August 24, by the British air ministry, and the news reached relatives in Wheeling yesterday morning in the following cablegram from the British authorities:

"Lieutenant Louis Bennett, of the Fortieth Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, has been missing since going into action August 24th."

Whether young Bennett was killed while bravely fighting over the German lines, or disabled and compelled to land, resulting in his being taken prisoner, is not yet known.

The cablegram telling of the distressing occurrence came to Mr. Johnson C. McKinley. a brother-in-law of Lieutenant Bennett, whose wife was formerly Miss Bennett, and with whom the aviator made his home while residing here. Mr. McKinley left at once for Washington to make every possible effort to ascertain the fate of the missing aviator.

Lieutenant Bennett enlisted in the British aerial service only after his inability to have his services accepted by his own country.

The message yesterday came as a bolt from the clear sky, and the entire community was shocked to learn that the young West Virginian is reported missing and probably killed.

Lieutenant Louis Bennett, it will be remembered, came to this city several years ago from Weston and was the founder of the West Virginia aviation school, which was so successfully carried out last summer on the big aviation field at Beech Bottom. He was 24 years old and the son of the late Louis Bennett, Sr. of Weston. He was widely known all over the state and had a host of friends.

In the month of May. 1917. Mr. Bennett, with the aid of Mr. McKinley and a number of other West Virginians, established the Beech Bottom training school, the result of which was that twenty-two men were made aviators for the United States government.

Following the training given the boys at Beech Bottom. Mr. Bennett went to Princeton university, where he was given further training as an aviator in the Princeton flying school. He graduated with high honors and was a registered aviator, ready to do his bit for his country.

Following a number of attempts to enter the military service of this country and failing, owing to several minor reasons, he applied to the British flying corps in Canada, and was admitted as an aviator and after a brief training in Canada was sent overseas.

In a number of letters written home Lieutenant Bennett told of flying over the battle lines and how he had many narrow escapes from accident. In his letters written home he told of first going into action over the battle lines on July 23. and each day after that making trips over "No Man's Land" and into the land of the enemy. He also told in his letters of having many fights with the Germans, and how he had narrowly escaped death several times.

Louis Bennett became known all over the country as a result of the successful aviation school at Beech Bottom and made many personal friends of noted aviators, many of whom have made the supreme sacrifice in the great fight for freedom. He was a personal friend of William Thaw, of Pittsburgh, who was killed recently and several others who have given their lives.

His name was mentioned by everyone in the state as the pioneer West Virginian to enter into the training of men for aviation for this country, and everyone knew him.

Lieut. Bennett was among the many aviators flying over the great armies in the big battles. It is thought that while engaged with a Gorman plane, he was probably wounded and compelled to land, which means that he is either a prisoner or has given his life.

Louis Bennett, Sr. was also one of the most widely known citizens of the state, in 1908 he was the democratic candidate for the governorship, hut was defeated. He was always active politically, and was prominently identified in the work of the Democratic party. He died a few weeks ago.

Mrs. J. C. McKinley is a sister of Lieut. Bennett. Mr. McKinley has gone to Washington to make an investigation through the United States war department and through the British ambassador to learn the whereabouts of the missing soldier if he is alive, a cablegram was immediately forwarded to the British authorities in an effort to learn more details.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Lillie Hitchcock Coit 175 -- August 23, 2018

Wichita Eagle, 11-October-1889
Lillie Hitchcock Coit was born 175 years ago today, on 23-August-1843. Lillie Hitchcock's parents brought her to San Francisco in 1851. She soon became interested in the volunteer firefighters of San Francisco, especially Knickerbocker Engine Co. No. 5. They adopted her as a mascot and she became known as Firebelle Lil. She married a useless rich guy, but remained interested in fire fighting all her life. When she died, she left a chunk of her fortune to the City of San Francisco for civic beautification. Her bequest paid for a memorial statue of volunteer firefighters at Washington Square and the famous Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill.

Her Ways May Be Astonishing to the World but Not to San Franciscans.

Mrs. Lillie Hitchcock Coit, who recently witnessed a slugging match in her drawing room in the Palace hotel at San Francisco, may have astonished the world by her act, but she has not astonished the 'Friscans. She has been too long accustomed to do as she liked, and has too long liked to do singular things for a woman, to astonish any one in the city of her residence.

Lillie Hitchcock went out to California with her father, who was an army surgeon, and her mother, when they were obliged to go by sea or overland in a wagon. They chose the sea route and their little girl captivated the passengers by her bright, helter-skelter ways and her proficiency in fancy dances. When they got to San Francisco Lillie suddenly developed a fireman's instinct. Whenever she would hear the alarm she would dash away to the fire, and soon got so well known with a certain company that she was often taken up in the seat beside the driver of a hose cart.

One day as Dr. and Mrs. Hitchcock were returning from a walk, who should go by perched on a high seat, her hair flying in the wind, shouting and gesticulating, but their own little Lillie. Naturally they made an effort after this to subdue the spirit that burned in her breast, but it was of no avail. She stuck to the company and was elected a member. She has ever since worn a figure 5 the number of the company and her plaster bust adorns their hall. They never have a dinner but a bouquet from their only woman member decorates the table; and none ever dies but her flowers are laid on the bier.

When Lillie Hitchcock made her debut in San Francisco society in 1867 it was with a silver figure 5 pinned on her shoulder. She took society by storm. Young women possessing a natural dash and independence, against whom there is no suspicion of impurity, are intensely fascinating to the majority of men. Lillie Hitchcock played a part which was natural to her, and which she couldn't help. Other girls may try to imitate her example, but trying will spoil it all, and they will most certainly fail. Of course the young debutante had scores of lovers at her feet, but for a long time she was a rover, with no disposition to go out of the game.

Alas for Lillie, when finally she succumbed, she chose in accordance with her reckless nature and chose consciously. Many splendid men, some one of whom might have worshiped her and made her a good husband, were obliged to give way to a man who could not appreciate the prize he had won. Howard Coit was one of those well born, good for nothing, large, lazy youths with no especial principle, who are apt to get more favor from young girls than they deserve. Dr. and Mrs. Hitchcock, surmising the condition of affairs, whipped their daughter off to Europe. But Lillie was a young woman to circumvent any one. On the evening before her departure 6he stole out and married her lover. A few weeks later he received a characteristic telegram:

"Howard, it's out."

Then she joined her husband, but was not blessed by her parents for several years.

It is said that Mrs. Coit, in company with her husband, once visited a cock fight; that she donned male attire in order to be admitted, but reckoned without her host. The scenes about the pit were altogether too much for her, and she beat a hasty retreat. So strong was her hold upon the hearts of her friends and acquaintances that even this breach of conventionality did her no harm in their esteem.

Coit soon began to show his true character. He was a libertine and first shocked his wife by a liaison with a well known actress. Then he further showed his want of appreciation of the brilliant prize he had taken from better men by special attention to the wife of Billy Emerson the minstrel. This last affair was too much for his wife and she left him. She did not ask a divorce, but went abroad with her father. Coit finally made some atonement for his past acts by dying and leaving his wife a widow. She withdrew from the world for a time, and has recently came out of her 5eclusion and resumed her old habits. Judging from the recent exhibition in her parlors, she was much of a natural sportswoman as ever.

She is a charming hostess, and holds her guests not only by her ability to make them comfortable, but by her own brilliancy in conversation, and by that recklessness, that contempt for conventionality necessarily observed by other women. In her peculiar sphere she is a ort of genius. Nine women out of ten who live such a life never succeed in divesting those about them of the belief that they are not pure. Miss Coit snaps her fingers at the world and the world adores her.

San Francisco Call, 19-October-1896

Annual Reunion of Knickerbocker Engine Company.

The forty-sixth anniversary of the organization of Knickerbocker Engine Company No. 5 of the late Volunteer Fire Department of this City was duly celebrated on Saturday evening by a banquet at the California Hotel.

The spacious dining-hall was tastily and lavishly decorated with flags, flowers, etc... as also the festive board, the center-piece being n magnificent floral "horn of plenty," the gift of Mrs. Lillie Hitchcock Coit, an honorary member of the company. The fair donor was vociferously applauded for her elegant testimonial.

E. B. Vreeland occupied the presidential chair, and after ample justice had been done the bounteous supply of choice viands and fluids, called the assemblage to order and made the welcoming speech of the occasion. He reviewed the stirring scenes of early days, and the heroic and disinterested services of the veteran fire laddies in fighting the awful conflagrations which so often devastated the tinder box town of wood and canvas. Other felicitous remarks by the gray-haired pioneers revived reminiscences both pleasant and sad, the exercises being meanwhile enlivened by vocal music.

The presence of handsomely-gowned lady relatives of the "Old Knicks" added greatly to the enjoyment of the entertainment, which was prolonged until the midnight Hour.

The following named participated in the festivities of the evening: Mr. and Mrs. E. B. Vreeland, Mr. and Mrs. S. Bunner, J. Satchell and two ladies, E. T. Anthony and three ladies, Mr. and Mrs. C. Kimball, G. W. J. Kentzel, J. Grady, J. J. Mahoney, H. Wheeler, Mr. Giannini, T. J. McCarthy, L Hall, Henry B. Livingston.

San Francisco Call, 08-December-1912

excerpt from "Our Firemen of the Long Ago"

A natural confusion has grown up In distinguishing the different veteran firemen's associations in San Francisco. There ate three such associations at present. The "Veteran Volunteer Firemen" draw their members from all over the world; the "Veteran Firemen's Association of San Francisco" is made up of the veterans of the present fire department, which was organized in 1866, and the "Exempt Fire Company of the City and County of San Francisco" is composed of all that are left of the men who volunteered their lives that the young city might live in those often troublous years from 1849 to 1866. And who will question me when I say that they, perhaps better than any others, represent the nobility, the generosity, and the bravery of the pioneers?  Some of these last are men of one or both of the other companies but there are others who claim membership with the Exempts only...

This brings to mind the stories old timers have told me of Lilly Hitchcock Coit, Lilly Hitchcock at the time she became an honorary member of Exempt Company Knickerbocker No. 5. A society belle, she was often at some social affair when the big bell boomed warning of fire, but wherever she was, and however dressed, she would run out and join her engine. The other day at the Park Museum. Prof. Barron told me of her last run with Engine No. 5. In 1866, Virginia City bought this engine. A number of the members of the company escorted it by stage to its destination; with them went Lilly Hitchcock Colt, the only woman in the party. At Virginia City a dinner was given in honor of the guests, and Mrs. Coit was called upon to speak. "Gentlemen, I'm not a speechmaker," she said, "but I can say that I have one regret in life, that I cannot ride to another fire on Knickerbocker No. 5." As she sat down, one of the Virginia City men slipped quietly out of the room. In a few minutes, there was an alarm of fire. All jumped to the rescue. Mrs. Coit was seated on the engine and according to her wont rode to the fire. The blaze was soon extinguished and, needless to say, the man who had quietly disappeared from the room was not prosecuted for arson.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Corruption -- August 22, 2018

New York Daily News, 22-August-2018
When will the House do its duty and start the impeachment proceedings?  If our so-called president had a sense of honor, he would resign now.

Dorothy Parker 125 -- August 22, 2018

Author and deadly wit Dorothy Parker was born 125 years ago today, on 22-August-1893.  She was an original member of the New Yorker staff.  She scripted many movies, including Alfred Hitchcock's Saboteur.  Parker was blacklisted during the McCarthy era.  When she died, she left everything to Martin Luther King, Jr.  When he died, it went to the NAACP.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Fine Magical Apparatus -- August 21, 2018

Magic, Ellis Stanyon, Ed.
Martinka and Company of New York City offered a catalogue of "Illusions, Tricks, Etc." for 12 stamps.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Base Ball Caps -- August 19, 2018

Spalding's Base Ball Guide and Official League Book for 1879
An 1879 ad for baseball caps.  $15.00 was a lot of money then.  If the inflation calculator I looked at is correct, it would be the equivalent of $400.69 today. That sounds high.

When I was a kid, the Pittsburgh Pirates wore the "Chicago Club No. 5" style.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Liberty Leads the Soldiers -- August 17, 2018

Moving Picture World, 10-August-1918
Lady Liberty leads the soldiers forward.  The "Official War Review" was a series of short films produced by the government's Committee on Public Information, also called the Creel Committee.

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

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Aretha Franklin, RIP -- August 16, 2018
Aretha Franklin's family has been asking us to pray for her for a few days.  Now the Queen of Soul is dead.  I've been listening to her music all my life.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

VS Naipaul, RIP -- August 15, 2018
I was sorry to hear of the death of Trinidadian author VS Naipaul.  I haven't read any of his novels, but I enjoyed his short stories.  Many people complain that he was a bigot.  I would not have known it from his stories.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Bags Three Airplanes in Less Than a Minute -- August 14, 2018

Hickory, NC Daily Record, 21-August-1918
French ace René Fonck was the highest-scoring Allied ace, with 75 confirmed victories. 100 years ago today, on 14-August-1918, he shot down three German airplanes in seconds.


Paris, Aug. 21. -- Lieut. Rene Fonck, the French aviator, who shot down three German airplanes on August 14, as announced officially Sunday, accounted for all three of them in the record-breaking time of 20 seconds.

Fonck went out escorted by two patrolling machines. After cruising for 10 minutes he spied four enemy two-seater battle planes flying in Indian file with only a few hundred yards between each. The French flyer fell upon the first enemy machine with his machine gun. It fell in flames in 10 seconds. Later he got his sights on the second machine with the same result. The third dodged sideways before Fonck could take aim and escaped, but by a swift turn of the rudder he dashed at the fourth airplane and sent it down to join the first two.

Lieut. Rene Fonck, recognized as the greatest French air fighter since Captain Guynemer, is credited with bringing down 60 enemy airplanes. Of these he downed six in one day in the course of two patrols.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Let's Stay Awhile -- August 13, 2018

New York Tribune, 25-July-1915
Southern Pacific advertised that people could take their luxurious Sunset Limited from New Orleans to San Francisco or San Diego by way of Los Angeles, or take a Southern Pacific steamship.  San Francisco was hosting the Panama-Pacific International Exposition and San Diego offered the Panama-California Exposition.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Comic Book -- Did Spy Smasher Kill Hitler? -- August 11, 2018
I like Spy Smasher. He didn't have fancy powers. He just smashed spies. He had a cool uniform, too. Here we also see one of my favorite cover subjects, Axis leaders getting their comeuppance.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Dr Hugo Eckener 150 -- August 10, 2018

Washington Star, 21-October-1928
Dr Hugo Eckener, pioneer lighter-than-air pilot and promoter, was born 150 years ago today, on 10-August-1868.  He became a publicist for Ferdinand von Zeppelin's company and earned his pilot's license in 1911.  During World War One, he trained most of Germany's Zeppelin pilots.  After the war, Dr Eckener managed the Zeppelin company.  He toured Germany to raise money to build LZ 127, the Graf Zeppelin.

Eckener commanded the Graf Zeppelin on the first transatlantic passenger flight in 1928 and the first round-the-world airship flight

When the Nazis came to power, they nationalized the Zeppelin company and pushed out Dr Eckener.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Ken Norton 75 -- August 9, 2018
Heavyweight champ Ken Norton was born 75 years ago today, on 09-August-2018.  I remember the wide-spread shock when he beat Muhammad Ali and broke his jaw.  When Norton was given the title in 1978 because of a complicated series of events with Ali and Leon Spinks, I thought he would hold it for a long time.  I was surprised when Norton lost the title in his first defense, against Larry Holmes.

I should have written something here when Ken Norton died in 2013.

"When I talk to youngsters today, especially those involved in athletics, I tell them to get their education first." -- Ken Norton

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Pulp -- Operator #5 -- August 7, 2018

Operator #5 was Jimmy Christopher, a secret agent of the United States.  The magazine is famous for series of 13 stories known as "The Purple Invasion,"  about a Nazi Germany-like country, the Purple Empire, that invades and conquers the US.

Monday, August 6, 2018

German Air Raid Fiasco; Zeppelin Downed in Flames -- August 6, 2018

Wheeling Intelligencer, 06-August-1918

100 years ago today, on the night of 05-06-August-1918, Peter Strasser, the most important proponent and strategist of Zeppelins in Germany's Imperial Navy, was killed when L 70 was shot down by a D.H.4 near the English coast.  Strasser and the rest of his crew were killed.  This was the last Zeppelin raid on Britain during the war.  


LONDON, August 6. -- The attempted raid by German Zeppelins in the east Anglian coast last night proved to be a complete fiasco, according to reports thus far received.
British fliers who are ever on alert along the coast were ready, for the visitors, and met them well out at sea, bringing down one in flames, damaging a second and driving a third away. What happened to the other two airships in the squadron is not disclosed in the official statement. The fact, however, that the report said "Zeppelins crossed the coast" is ground for the presumption that these did reach land.

There is no evidence as yet that they dropped any bombs and it is probable that their crews were kept busy protecting their ships against pursuing British airmen.

LONDON. August 6.-- In last night's raid on England by German airships one of the enemy craft, a Zeppelin, was brought down, it was Officially announced today.

"Another of the German airships was damaged, but probably succeeded in reaching its base."

The official statement relative to the air raids reads:
"Five enemy airships attempted to cross the coast last night, but while still at sea were attacked by royal air force contingents, co-operating with naval units.

"Three were engaged in action and one was shot down in flames 40 miles from the coast. Another was damaged, but probably succeeded In reaching base."

Sunday, August 5, 2018

The Drydocking of the Oregon -- August 5, 2018

San Francisco Call, 27-April-1896
From the 27-April-1896 San Francisco Call. William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper. Click on the image for a larger view. Oregon was a pre-Dreadnought battleship, built at San Francisco's Union Iron Works. When the Spanish-American War was on the brink of erupting, Oregon sailed around the Horn to the east coast in three weeks. This provided ammunition for proponents of a Panama Canal. Oregon served in the fleet that destroyed the Spanish fleet at Santiago de Cuba on 03-July-1898. In 1915 she visited the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. Starting in 1925, she was preserved at Portland, Oregon as a museum ship. When World War II broke out, she was converted to a barge. 

How the Great Battle-Ship Was Handled at Hunters Point.
Went In on the Instant of Slack Water at Extreme High Tide.
The Tugs Monarch and Hercules Pushed the Mammoth Hull Safely Through the Gates.

With two-redstack tugs, the Monarch and Hercules, to work her along, the big battle-ship Oregon last night slipped into Hunters Point stone drydock and the falling tide grounded her gently in the chocks.

It was a ticklish bit of work, for if the ebb had caught her on the dock sill her steel back would have broken like a pipe-stem. The tide in that locality, when it reaches its highest point/does not stand the usual sixty or seventy minutes, but immediately begins its overflow, and should that great mass of 10,000 tons dead weight have come down on an insecure bed, beams and plates which fit to each other with the nicety of a watch's make-up would have been ruined beyond repair. With only a few inches to spare on each side of the bilges and under the keel the greatest care must be exercised regarding depth of water and the momentum of the great mass as it is* moved toward the dock gates.

The stone basin is 500 feet long, 115 feet wide at the top and 60 feet at the bottom, while the Oregon is 69 feet 3 inches in beam and as she stands draws about 23 feet of water. It was calculated that there would be almost 27 feet of water at high tide in the dock.

At 10 o'clock the Oregon, silent, white and ghostly in the bright moonlight, arrived off Hunters Point. Under her quarter were the two tugs holding her tightly against the still flooding, tide. Ahead of the majestic craft were the tugs Redmond and Rockaway standing motionless in the smooth water.

The big caisson had been removed, leaving a clear roadway into the dock, and everything was ready for the rush in when the water was at rest. On the pier-head the dock superintendent was watching intently the passing current and from time to time testing its flow by throwing chips out into the stream.

A large number of people came down to see the battle-ship come in to the dock that was a few sizes too small for her.

Captain George Harvey of the Merchants' Tug Company stood on the forward turret over the two monster 13-inch rifles and directed the two tugs. From time to time could be heard his shrill whistle as he jockeyed his 'great team for the start.

Superintendent Dickie of the Union Iron Works was stationed in the extreme forward part of the bow waiting for the vessels to cease their drift. The other tugs took their places between the dock and ship.

Presently the floating bits of wood thrown in the water stood stationary and Captain Harvey whistled "go ahead."

The stern of the battle-ship had swung toward the south, and Captain Shaw of the Redmond was directed to push the craft back into position.

The Redmond pressed her nose against the Hercules, which was on that side of the ship, and though she made the beams of her sister tug groan, her strong engine slowly jammed the Oregon; around until the shield on her stem faced the dock. Then the procession drew slowly in toward the gate.

Different currents threw her first one way. then the other, but the tugs backing, stopping and going ahead kept her pointing ever toward the center of the basin and soon her forefoot was in the threshold.

Would she go in? was the question each one asked himself. The men onshore watched the tide-gauge and those on the battle-ship watched her course.

As she drew in, so accurately had she been navigated that her smooth white flanks never touched the temporary wooden fenders, though there was only about five or six inches to spare on each side.

As the space became too, narrow for their entrance with the Oregon, the Hercules and Monarch let go, and the splendid battle-ship glided majestically into the basin, and the gate was closed behind her. To-day the great pumps will draw the water from under her and she will settle down on the blocks which will be adjusted to a nicety to catch her ponderous weight.

Then she will be cleaned and prepared for her trial trip and will prove her metal in speed. The test of the great thirteen inch guns and their sisters will come only when war sends them barking over the deep.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Eddie Jefferson 100 -- August 3, 2018

Eddie Jefferson, the father of vocalese, was born 100 years ago today, on 03-August-1918.  I loved listening to his music on KJAZ.  I remember when someone shot and killed him in 1979.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

James O'Neill Monte Cristo -- August 1, 2018

Alta California, 15-June-1884
Actor James O'Neill, father of playwright Eugene O'Neill, spent a significant portion of his career playing Edmond Dantes, The Count of Monte Cristo.  O'Neill played the part over 6000 times between 1875 and the early Twentieth Century.  He grew sick of the role and felt that it stunted his growth as an actor, but the public demanded that he play the Count.

The ad above is for an 1884 week at San Francisco's California Theater.

Moving Picture World, 25-October-1913

In 1912, James O'Neill played the part in the first production of the Famous Players Film Company.  It was directed by Edwin S Porter.