March 15, 1908 (Sunday)
CHANGE IS IN THE WIND IN NEWPORT: Today's New York Times devotes some prime real estate for news coverage (right-hand column on the front page) to a story that proclaims "Newport Reforms, No More Freak Fetes" (right). Evidently, the "older set" intends to "plan a season of dignity." That means "quiet luncheons, dinner dances and old-fashioned picnics" will hold sway. That menas there will likely be no repeat of the famous "monkey dinner" put on by Mrs. Stuyvesant Fish at Crossways (above), in which a circus monkey named Consul was the guest of honor. The Times reminds readers of the "rag doll" episode, which "lingers in the minds of the Newport Summer colony. This refers to the time that Mrs. Fish, a Mrs. Oelrichs and the prankster Harry Lehr visited the Casino one day carrying an "old-fashioned rag doll." This was supposedly a minor little private joke among friends. However, a photographer "happened" to be nearby. The Times says the photographer "with a camera concealed in his pocket and with the lens exposed through a hole caught the 'rag doll' trio. This photograph was reproduced far and wide." Truly scandalous.
PRIEST-KILLER TRIES TO ESCAPE DENVER JAIL: Giuseppe Alia, the man accused of shooting to death Father Leo Heinrichs at the communion rail in a Denver church, slashed a fellow prisoner's throat with a razor yesterday and tried to escape his cell on death row. Alia was convicted of the killing Thursday. His act, noted here, has been remembered in writing by the Archdiocese of Denver -- or rather, the priest is remembered.
TIMES NOTES THE EFFICIENCY OF THE WIRELESS TRANSMISSION OF NEWS: Inventor Guglielmo Marconi spoke March 13 to the Royal Institution in London and pointed out that the wireless communication across the Atlantic has been almost uninterrupted since the commercial connection was established last Oct. 17. He said land wires were responsible for many of the delays. The speed and efficiency will likely grow, he added. As part of his address, Marconi read a wireless dispatch he had received on March 13 from The New York Times -- with the greeting of "To William Marconi." The newspaper told the inventor that since the October launch, "The Times has received from its correspondents in England and on the Continent news dispatches toalling 68,404 words promptly and efficiently transmitted by your system."
Marconi noted that there are some time periods during which transmission is particularly difficult -- in the morning and evening.
JUDGE WHO FINED STANDARD OIL FOR $29 MILLION GOES IN THE OTHER DIRECTION BY LEVYING A ONE-CENT FINE ON A LABORER: In Chicago, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis -- known for imposing a whopping fine of $29 million on the Standard Oil Company -- showed that he can be quite flexible in his fining yesterday. He levied a ONE CENT fine on a laborer named George Miller.
Evidently Miller had tried to collect a $2 debt from Dr. D.Wilkins. After numerous attempts, he decidced to write a post card to Wilkins. According to the Times, Miller was "not choice in the words he used." Wilkins was offended, so he had him arrested. But things didn't turn out as Wilkins might have wished. The Times says Wilkins "had an unpleasant quarter of an hour before Judge Landis. Here's how the verdict went, according to the Times:
"The maximum penalty in this case," said Judge Landis, "is five years impresonment." Then, as Miller trembled, the Judge added, "but I will fine you 1 cent and you need not pay the costs."
NEW YORK TIMES TIPS ITS HAT TO LONDON -- BUT NOT TO ITS PUBLIC STATUES: Today's Times notes that there's a certain amount of controversy brewing over plans for a "world tribute" to William Shakespeare to be erected on the north end of Portland Place. The Times is not a fan of a plan to do a statue and thinks the tribute should "take some other form." Its reasoning follows:
A sightly statue in a London street is generally an accident.
But buried in the editorial is this sentence, which refers to London:
It is still the FIRST CITY OF THE WORLD, as Shakespeare is the first poet of the world, and it is his city, the scene of his trials and triumphs.