The controversy over medical marijuana is nothing new in attempts to circumvent the law for outlawed drugs. Shortly after Prohibition became the law of the land in 1919, the “New York Times” reported in its Oct. 26, 1921 issue: “Beer As Medicine In Nine States Only” “New Treasury Regulations Inoperative in States Having Local Prohibition” “Thinks People of Nation Will Object When They See Drug Stores Handling Booze”. The article begins: “The brewers have several hurdles yet to make before medical beer is a reality…” with much more.
Today I journeyed to London by the way of The London Chronicle dated October 4, 1766. I found a short article stating that they write from Senegal “… there have been lately upwards of two hundred French trading ships on the coast of Africa; — which was a principal cause of the price of slaves being so high, the Goree Merchants having contracted to supply the Spanish West India settlements with negroes.”
In Cambridge, the last Monday was the day that the new Mayor for the succeeding year was to be sworn into office. However, he was currently in North America on his Majesty’s service. Consequently with not appearing, no mayor was sworn in for the next year and the late mayor will continue to until another is chosen and sworn in. The name of the late mayor? Mr. Alderman Weales, but it certainly looks close enough to “weasles” now doesn’t it??
Today my journey took me to London, England, by the means of The Post Boy dated September 20, 1716. There I found the Ottoman-Venetian War was going strong with little relief for the Turks. Even their truce request of a couple hours in order to bury dead had been denied. Then only to be faced with coming into battle with nails and iron and iron spikes being hidden in the sand and planks at the Communication Bridge which lamed their horses and then to be fired upon by cannon and small shot, killing more men.
I found an interesting article on the back page. “…Last Wednesday night, a Man being at the Gallows, about to be hang’d, was pardon’d; and the Friday following, another being just ready to be turn’d off, the Duchess of Berry pass’d by that Place to the Opera, and ask’d what was the Matter. Being told, she order’d the Lieutenant-Criminal to deferr Execution, while she went back, and interceded for him to the Duke-Regent. Having obtain’d his Pardon, she sent one of her Pages with it; whereupon, the Cord was cut from about his Neck, and he with much ado brought down the ladder…”
The history of the origin of the name of the “Baby Ruth” candy bar by the Curtis Candy Company is interesting, brought to light recently with our finding the “Frank Leslie’s Illustrated” issue of Jan. 5, 1893. The full front page is an illustration captioned: “Baby Ruth and Her Mother” being the child of President Grover Cleveland. This is the person for whom the “Baby Ruth” candy bar was named, not Babe Ruth the famous baseball star as was popularly though. And the story behind the name is interesting.
In Chicago in 1921 Otto Schnering had a turnaround plan for his Curtis Candy Company. He reformulated his “Kandy Kake” brand confection—a conglomeration of milk chocolate, peanuts and a pudding center “richer than marshmallow, fluffier than nougat, better than either of them”—into a chocolate-covered candy bar with peanuts, caramel and nougat. Along with the new recipe came a new name—Baby Ruth. At first glance, it seemed clear that Schnering had taken advantage of the home run king’s well-known name and tweaked it by one letter in order to avoid paying the “Sultan of Swat” any royalties.
Perhaps because of its perceived connection to the Yankee slugger, Baby Ruth was a big success. By 1926, sales of the candy bar totaled $1 million a month, and the company’s candy-making facilities were the largest of their kind in the world.
In 1926, Ruth decided to enter the candy business himself and licensed his name to the George H. Ruth Candy Company, which sought to register “Ruth’s Home Run Candy” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Wrappers showed a head shot of a smiling Ruth in his uniform along with the note “Babe Ruth’s Own Candy.” The Curtiss Candy Company sued for copyright infringement and claimed that the candy bar had not been named after the baseball star, but Ruth Cleveland, eldest daughter of President Grover Cleveland. The explanation seemed odd given that the girl nicknamed “Baby Ruth” by the press had been born in 1891, three decades before the introduction of the candy bar. By 1921, not only was she not a baby, she wasn’t even alive, having died of diphtheria in 1904. Newspapers and the American public paid close attention to “Baby Ruth” after her father returned to the White House in 1893 for his second presidential term, but the Clevelands fiercely protected their daughter’s privacy and refused repeated requests by American newspapers to take her photograph. Few Americans ever knew what “Baby Ruth” looked like. By 1921, Babe Ruth was a household name while “Baby Ruth,” who died 17 years beforehand, was an historical footnote. (credit www.history.com)
Given the above, it is curious that this image of Baby Ruth Cleveland appeared on the front page of this very popular illustrated newspaper. Perhaps it is the only image of her in a newspaper.
If any of our collectors are looking for an interesting puzzle to solve, here is one. We’ve come across a single sheet newspaper from Dublin, Ireland, “THE FLYING NEWS-LETTER“, with “Monday October 11” in the dateline. This would seems to be an exceedingly rare title as an internet search resulted in nothing with this title from Dublin.
There is no issue number noted in the masthead as would be typical. There is also no year printed in the dateline, but a search notes that the only Mondays which fell on October 11 from the mid-18th century (my estimate based on paper, format, layout) in which the printer, Edward Exshaw, was working as a printer were 1736 and 1742 as he died in 1748. The years 1725, 1731 also had a Monday, October 11, but a website notes he was “active in Dublin from 1733-1748”. And 1756 and 1762 also had a Monday, October 11, but being after his death his name would not had been in the imprint at the bottom of the back page.
I would be curious to know which of these two years it was printed (no year is noted in any of the articles), and a bit more about how long the newspaper published. Is this issue unique?
Thanks for any help!
Today I traveled to New York City by the way of The New York Times dated August 2, 1966. There I found tragedy had stuck the campus of University of Texas. “An architectural honor student who had been undergoing psychiatric care carried an arsenal of rifles and pistols to the top of the 27-story University of Texas tower today and shot 12 persons to death before the police killed him. The student’s wife and mother were later found dead in their homes… The police identified the man as Charles J. Whitman…”. In all, he had shot an additional 34 people.
Have you ever tried to be ind to someone or to treat them like an ing? Does your house have an itchen and do people need to nock before they enter? Have you ever seen a football player run back an ickoff for a touchdown or a boxer ock-out his opponent with a single punch? Thanks to the impassioned early 19th century arguments in defense of keeping the letter “K” in our alphabet, the answer to all the above is an emphatic “no”. Of course we are left with the tension created by “know” vs. “no” and “knew” vs. “new”, but such stressors are a small price to pay for being able to get down on one knee to propose or to greet a loved one with a kiss. I for one are sure glad we ept it! The complete article may be read at: The Port Folio, May 23, 1801.
Today I traveled to New York City through The New York Times dated July 18, 1966. The headline was announcing “Suspect in 8 Killings to Get Hearing Today”. “Richard Franklin Speck, the suspect in the slaying of eight women in a nurses’ dormitory last Thursday, was under heavy guard today. Speck was taken into custody early this morning after he had been raced from a skid row hotel to Cook County Hospital for treatment of self-inflicted arm wounds in an attempted suicide… The police were guarding against a possible assassination attempt…”
The surgeon caring for Speck’s wounds is the person that positively identified him and had the police called. Shortly before he saw Speck, he had read the newspaper article and saw his photo. “…I picked up his head and looked at the nurse to see if she had noticed. I said to her, ‘Get the paper.’ I remembered the tattoo… Born to Raise Hell… Then he moistened his finger tips and began rubbing the patient’s left arm and disclosed the tell-tale marking…”. Later Speck asked the doctor what he was going to do with the $10,000 reward.
Today I traveled to Worcester, Massachusetts, by the way of the Worcester Evening Gazette dated June 20, 1866. There I found a very interesting article titled “Utah and the Mormons.” The article is over a full column in length and provides great details of the life-styles of the Mormon life, including the pros and cons of polygamy; how some of the wives get along and where others do not; a polygamist that needs to do all of his own cooking, cleaning, washing and even sleeps on the floor because his wives don’t get alone.
Also mentioned is a description of Brigham Young, “…He is six feet high, portly, weighing about two hundred, in his sixty-fifth year, and wonderfully preserved… His face is fresh and unwrinkled, his step agile and elastic, his curling auburn hair and whiskers untinged with gray. He has grayish-blue, secretive eyes, eagle nose, and a mouth that shuts like a vice, indicating tremendous firmness. His manner is cold and egotistical. He uses neither tea nor coffee, spirits nor tobacco, speaks ungrammatically, is very rich and universally popular among the saints…” and also states “… Brigham is the favorite speaker, though he does not preach more than once a month. His sermons which I heard were very incoherent and illiterate…”.
An interesting life? You make that call!
A well-known “letter” has been making its rounds for many decades which was supposedly written by a young female college student to her parents, updating them on the recent events that had befallen her. While the letter is fictitious, it certainly encourages us to keep perspective when hearing bad news concerning loved ones. A (modified) form of the letter is as follows:
Dear Mother and Dad:
It has been three months since I left for college. I have been remiss in writing and I am very sorry for my thoughtlessness in not having written before. I will bring you up to date now, but before you read on, please sit down. You are not to read any further unless you are sitting down, okay.
Well then, I am getting along pretty well now. The skull fracture and the concussion I got when I jumped out of the window of my dormitory when it caught fire shortly after my arrival are pretty well healed by now. I only spent two weeks in the hospital and now I can see almost normally and only get those headaches once a day.
Fortunately, the fire in the dormitory and my jump was witnessed by an attendant at the gas station near the dorm, and he was the one who called the Fire Dept. and the ambulance. He also visited me at the hospital and since I had nowhere to live because of the burnt out dormitory, he was kind enough to invite me to share his apartment with him. It’s really a basement room, but it’s kind of cute. He is a very fine boy and we have fallen deeply in love and are planning to get married. We haven’t set the exact date yet, but it will be before my pregnancy begins to show.
Yes, mother and dad, I am pregnant. I know how very much you are looking forward to being grandparents and I know you will welcome the baby and give it the same love and devotion and tender care you gave me when I was a child. The reason for the delay in our marriage is that my boyfriend has some minor infection which prevents us from passing our premarital blood tests and I carelessly caught it from him. This will soon clear up with the penicillin injections I am now taking daily.
I know you will welcome him into the family with open arms. He is kind and although not well educated, he is ambitious. Although he is of a different race and religion than ours, I know that your oft-expressed tolerance will not permit you to be bothered by the fact that his heritage and religion are different than ours. I am sure you will love him as I do. His family background is good too, for although I’ll need to learn my place when I visit, I am told his father is one of the most respected men in his village and is often called upon to help keep order when those from his community step out of line.
Now that I have brought you up to date, I want to tell you there was no dormitory fire; I did not have a concussion or a skull fracture; I was not in the hospital; I am not pregnant; I am not engaged. I do not have a communicable disease, and I am not dating someone from a culture which is oppressive to women. However, I am getting a D in sociology and an F in science; and I wanted you to see these marks in proper perspective.
Your loving daughter,
It is with the heart of this letter in mind I present a copy of a recent rather-lengthy text my wife and I sent to our young daughters:
As you know, the summer season is nearly upon us and your annual quest to find swimsuits your mama and I are willing (if even reluctantly) to allow you to wear in public is upon us. We know this is about as challenging and frustrating as finding a “mama acceptable” evergreen tree at the start of each Christmas season. Need I say more? However, this year, as your loving parents, we’ve decided to alleviate your stress by purchasing matching suits for all of you. While they have yet to arrive, we were able to download a picture of the ad for the style we selected from the online catalog at AuntieAmysAuspiciousApparel.com:
Okay, we didn’t purchase swimsuits for each of you, but we’re considering doing so next year. Please keep the above in mind as you begin your quest. I’m sure we’ll be pleased with your choices.
Mom and Dad
PS A special thank-you goes out to the Public Ledger, Philadelphia, June 15, 1893, for this most wonderful advertisement. It’s a bit unsettling to note the ad appears in an issue containing an article on Lizzie Borden.
Full Disclosure: My wife and I are blessed to have 5 daughters with whom we never need to fight this battle. Thank you!