BLOOD FLOWS IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
Shortly after the distinguished House of Representatives adjourned its meeting yesterday, two members -- John Sharp Williams (right)
of Mississippi and David A. DeArmond
of Missouri -- got into a major fistfight. Each was bleeding when startled onlookers pulled them apart. Today's Boston Globe notes that more than 100 members of Congress were in the room at the time and as many were in the galleries -- among them "a SCORE OF WOMEN" (horrors!), who were observing at the Capitol (shown above in 1906)
Basically, here's what happened:
As members milled about, DeArmond approached Williams' seat on the Democratic side of the chamber.
The two men began to argue. Then DeArmond hit a nerve. He said to Williams, "Then you are a LIAR."
The story in today's Boston Globe describes what happened next:The words were like a spark to a mine. Quick as a flash Williams half rose and his arm shot out. His fist landed squarely on DeArmond's nose. The two men were so close that the full force of the blow was lost. DeArmond staggered, but quickly rallied and planted a stinging blow on Williams' right cheek that drew blood, and the latter came back at his adversary. The blows rained thick and fast, perhaps a DOZEN in all being struck.
Today's New York Times describes the fight in this manner:Williams struck him then in the nose and DeArmond struck back. Porter, the pair clerk, who happened to be near, grabbed Williams around the body, so that his arms were held down, but before any one could hold DeArmond he succeeded in pounding Williams several time sin the face, finally scratching him under the eye, bringing blood. A big Kentuckian, Representative Kimball, rushed between the two, and it was all over.
The Times says the fight was part of "the annual protest against the House committee appointments." The Times also said that the fight, while violent, "was quite parliamentary, as fights in Congress go."
A comparison of the coverage in the Times and the Globe reveals a difference in the QUOTATION that sparked the fight.
As noted above, the Globe's report says that DeArmond said, "Then you are a liar."
The Times quotes DeArmond this way: "But my belief is that you are a DAMNED
To set the stage and giving a nod to the rabid interest in prizefighting, the Globe mentions, "Both are small men, with the advantage of weight perhaps a few pounds in favor of the Mississippian." (NOTE: Not sure if Williams was "small." A check of his passport
at ancestry.com reveals he was 5 feet 9.75 inches tall at the age of 19.)
Williams explained later that it's not a good idea to MESS with a MISSISSIPPIAN. Today's Globe quotes him thusly, "I regret very much the affair and tried to avoid it, but when Mr. DeArmond called me a LIAR there was NOTHING for me to do but to resent it. I AM A MISSISSIPPIAN."
(NOTE: The pugnacious DeArmond will die a horrible death in 1909, while trying to save the life of his grandson
.)INVENTOR IS CERTAIN THAT PEOPLE WILL SOMEDAY BE ABLE TO USE A WIRELESS 'PHONE' TO TALK ACROSS THE OCEAN:
Today's Times has a handful of articles dealing with word out of Europe that Valdemar Poulsen (right)
is now confident that he can develop an "oversea 'phone." Twice, messages have been exchanged between a suburb of Copenhagen and a suburb of Berlin -- covering a distance of 250 miles. (NOTE: The Times has a problem with the spelling of the inventor's name. One article in today's paper spells it Waldemar Poulson; another spells it Valdimar Poulson.)
Poulsen has quite a track record in the field of recordings and transmission. He made a recording of Emperor Franz Joseph in 1900, which can be heard here
.ACADEMIC SAYS IT SIMPLY CANT BE DONE; INVENTOR SAYS IT CAN:
Columbia University's Professor Pupin doesn't sound too smart in 2007, but he was evidently worth listening to in 1907. The Times printed his reaction to Poulsen's efforts to create a transatlantic wireless telephone service:"[T]he distance over which communication can be established will always be limited and he will never be able to telephone across the Atlantic or over any other area of the same size.
Meanwhile, inventor Nikola Tesla offered plenty of theoretical support -- mostly because he thinks Poulsen is using equipment based on Tesla's own work. In a letter to the Times, he says, "My own wireless plant will transmit speech across the Pacific with the same precision and accuracy as across a table."
Labels: communication, inventions, journalism, politics