April 7 1906 (Saturday)
A PAPER TRAIL TO RICHES: For years, Benjamin F. Ellis of Peoria, Ill., put his return address (400 North Avenue) on envelopes before sending a letter in the mail. That simple act has helped authorities settle the estate of Miss Susan Ellis Murdock of Carver, Mass. Miss Murdock died at 90 without a will. A search of her belongings turned up an old envelope with Ellis' name in the return address. That's how authorities tracked him down. It turns out that he is a first cousin of the dead woman. The estate was in dispute in the courts for more than three years, and about 100 distant relatives had come forth as claimants. Ellis and another first cousin have been recently declared by the Supreme Court of Massachusetts the lawful heirs to Miss Murdock's estate. They will split $600,000. That's an incredible amount of money.
A PREDICTION WORTH BALKING AT: American League president Ban Johnson (right) is putting a good spin on the upcoming season. In a story with a New York dateline, he claims the league has never been so well balanced. Furthermore, he says he makes the claim without "any desire to introduce a little press agent tonic into winter baseball gossip." He says "I believe the eight clubs in the league are so near together from a championship standpoint that the race among them will be one of the best contested in the history of baseball." That sounds impressive, but when it comes to the American League, the word "history" barely applies. Its first season was 1900. Anyway, Johnson qualifies his prediction a bit: "And yet, you can never tell." Wouldn't it be great to know the final standings for 1906 now, so we could see if it was as close as he thought? Or maybe we could tell if someone had spiked his "press agent tonic."
BY DAWN'S EARLY LIGHT, THE ANTHEM'S STILL THERE: The Washington Post comes down hard on "The Star Spangled Banner," saying it is "perhaps the most lugubrious, dismal, and unlovely tune that was ever wrung from the quivering bowels of a horn." Audiences try to look enthusiastic when singing it, The Post declares. Singers can't hide their true feelings, the paper says, adding, "the fact that they were bored has always been the one dominant and unmistakable feature of the occasion." The Post offers no suggestion. Surprisingly, the paper doesn't mention John P. Sousa's The Washington Post march (above).