May 25, 1908 (Monday)
NEW YORK-TO-PARIS AUTOMOBILE RACERS GET BOGGED DOWN IN SIBERIA: I've been remiss in not keeping readers up to date with the progress of the spectacular auto race from New York to Paris. The remaining autos are having a rugged time trying to make some headway in the muddy roads of Siberia. After being shipped from Japan to Vladivostock, the cars -- the American Thomas auto and the German Protos (shown above) -- headed west across Asia. There's a report from the American car in today's New York Times (a sponsor of the race). Here's a great paragraph that describes the sportsmanship exhibited on the road:
When we had proceeded three miles from Vladivostock we discovered the track of an automobile in the mud before us that set us wondering which of our competitors had stolen a march on us. For thirteen miles more we followed the track in a frenzy of eagerness to overtake the machine. Then we came upon the German Protos car hopelessly stuck in a mudhole.
The Thomas, picking its way, plunged in and through the pool and attained the other side in safety. Then we stopped and passed a rope to our German friends and hauled them out of its predicament. Lieut. Koeppen acknowledged our courtesy by hauling out of a hamper in his tonneau a bottle of wine, and we drank to a successful arrival in Paris, while the Lieutenant pledged the health of the American crew.
SENATOR DEPEW UNCORKS A FLOOD OF ABUSE FOR A STATEMENT HE MADE ABOUT DRINKING IN THE NEWSPAPER: Sen. Chauncey Depew (right) had a quiet day yesterday in his Washington, D.C., home -- after he put his telephone off the hook. Otherwise, he was hounded most of the day because of a statement he made that was quoted in a morning newspaper, according to today's New York Times. What he said was that
"more people die from overeating than from overdrinking."
That uncorked a massive amount of criticism from the anti-alcohol crowd. The Times noted that the senator had calls during breakfast from the WCTU, the Daughters of the Rechabites, the Secretary of the Young Women's Christian Association, a member of the King's Daughters and a local leader of the Prohibition Party.
None were apparently willing to give the great orator a chance to explain himself. They merely bemoaned that Depew had apparently become the latest champion of Demon Rum.
After the meal, he "carefully removed the telephone receiver from its hook," the paper says.
I bet he wished he was safely out of contact -- like in Siberia, where it was safe for the racing automobilists to share some wine.
[NOTE: When Depew died in 1928, Time printed a charming obituary.]