Today in History

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by KittyT, May 15, 2007.

  1. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Small Town Ohio, USA
    I love this thread.

    I wonder how Chamberlain is being treated by historians these days? Will he forever be the appeaser of Hitler? Or will he get some small credit for trying to find a third way? The best summation I've read was that he kept the seat warm and bought time until Churchill the warrior could take the reigns.
  2. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    There's a lot to be said for that argument -- but I think the most important fact to bear in mind is that Britain was in no way ready to fight a war in 1938 -- not militarily, and more importantly, not psychologically. It's hard for people today to understand just how deeply anti-war sentiment ran in the thirties, both in Britain and the US: the British, especially, had seen almost an entire generation of its young men cut down like cordwood during the 1914-18war, and they were in no state of mind to go thru that again. Seen against that mindset, Chamberlain's anything-but-war attitude made sense. It took the Polish crisis of 1939 to really hammer home the inevitability of war -- and by then, the world in general was much more prepared.
  3. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    September 22, 1933


    Cops Dash To 'Lake Refuge'

    A letter to a member of the family of Harry Cahill, wanted for the murder of 10-year-old Peggy McCarthy, which was intercepted last evening by federal postal authorities, started police on a mad dash in the direction of Silver Lake, Wilmington, where the missing man's car was found abandoned several weeks ago.

    Police refused to divulge the contents of the letter or to comment on the incident, but it's believed the latter gave a clue to the hideout of the missing man.

    Ever since Cahill has been suspected of the murder, letters addressed to members of his family in Somerville have undergone the scrutiny of the authorities, who have been searching for an envelope addressed in Cahill's handwriting, which is well known to the police. Up until last evening this angle of the investigation produced no results, but at 6:30 last evening a hurry call was sent out from Somerville police headquarters for Federal postal inspectors, who would have the authority to open a letter in transit.

    The postal angle followed close on the heels of a sensational development in the afternoon, the story of a Reading policeman to the effect that barely an hour before Peggy McCarthy met her death, the policeman stopped Cahill's car for a traffic violation and wrote out a ticket for him. In the car with Cahill, according to the policeman, was a weeping 10-year-old girl who police are certain was Peggy McCarthy.

    Also in the news --


    The last tie binding the beautiful Kiki Roberts, Hub showgirl, to the memory of the notorious human target Legs Diamond, who was slain by gangsters, was severed yesterday by Justice Ellis J. Staley in Supreme Court, Catskill N. Y. with quashing of two indictments against the girl.

    The indictments, charging her with being implicated in the kidnapping and torturing of Grover Parks, a Catskill truckman, is more than two years old. Legs Diamond and his henchmen tortured the farmer in a bootleg war and as the girl was with Diamond in a country retreat at the time, they included her in the charges.

    With the dismissal of the indictments yesterday Kiki was absolved on any connection with the kidnaping. Diamond was slain the night a jury acquitted him of it. The court returned $1500 bail to Kiki.
  4. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Small Town Ohio, USA
    "Legs Diamond."

  5. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

    Da Bronx, NY, USA
    re: Chamberlain

    Stanley Baldwin deserves a lot more blame for Britain's plight than he gets. He adamently refused to beef up the military during the mid 30's when Hitler was rearming like crazy. He was much more interested in pushing poor old Edward VIII off the throne.
    Chamberlain's great fault was in not consulting anyone other than the infamous "civil servant" Horace Wilson about his foreign policy. He undercut the Foreign Minister to the point where Eden had to resign.
  6. carter

    carter I'll Lock Up

    Corsicana, TX
    I need my daily dose

    Cahill is still on the run. Will they ever catch the guy?

    Kiki Roberts was cleared of all charges. Well, based on her newsreel interview, she isn't the brightest bulb in the candelabra. Maybe she'll take her own advice and listen to her dear mother.

    Now back to the world news.
  7. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Around the middle of November we'll have a very interesting story from the London Daily Mirror about Mr. Baldwin and his duplicitousness on this very point. Stay tuned.
  8. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    September 23, 1933



    Swooping down on the North Andover cottage of Mrs. Tessie Walsh, 38-year-old widow and cousin of Mrs. Eva Walsh, reputed girl friend of Harry Cahill, wanted for the slaying of Peggy McCarthy, 10, a squad of Lawrence police raided the premises and ransacked the house from cellar to roof yesterday. Acting on direct orders from Dist. Atty. Warren L. Bishop, the raiding squad led by Inspector Patrick J. Morrisey and Special Officer Joseph Casey, questioned the woman at length, made a minute examination of every room and closet in the house, and scoured the entire neighborhood for clues of the wanted man.

    At the same time an intensive search began for the fugitive in Northern New England, along the Canadian border, and even north of the international boundary. State police and motor vehicle inspectors in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire, were requested to concentrate on a hunt for Cahill in their respective districts by Chief of Police Thomas Danery of Somerville.

    It was learned that this move was made because of evidence unearthed by federal agents which indicate that Cahill was directly involved with smuggling Canadian sweepstakes tickets into this country.

    Also in the news...


    When her husband wanted to write a novel, that was all right with Mrs. Alfreda V. Pedrick, wife of Laurence D. Pedrick, North Shore drug store chain head. And when he wanted to read the manuscript to her thru the long winter's evening, she could stand that too.

    But when he informed her that the heroine of his novel, which is still unpublished and unfinished, was an old sweetheart and boasted of her cgharm and personality, that was too much, she testified in her action for divorce at Salem probate court yesterday.

    She could not recall the plot of the drug store man's literary efforts, as she testified before Judge Harry R. Dow. But she remembered well that Pedrick went to Bermuda to commune with his muse. Mrs. Pedrick said she thought she was going on the Bermuda trip, but found out later the novel's heroine went instead.

    Five years later, in 1938 --

    "Things have changed in London in the past twenty four hours. Increasing bitterness is reflected in the correspondence in today's papers. Men who are normally quiet and soft-spoken are using strong language. Remember that a certain section of the press for days has been telling Englishmen that they have been humiliated, that their courage has been called into question, that their government has lost prestige thruout the democratic world. They don't like it, and tonight for the first time you can sense the swelling tide of resentment.

    "The initiation of direct conversations between British and Soviet representatives is another item indicating the growing belief that force may decide the issue. One thing can be said with certainty -- if Mr. Chamberlain returns from Germany tomorrow and tells this country that his efforts to produce a peaceful and orderly settlement have failed, and that he proposes to support France in any action she may take, this country will stand behind him. On that men of all parties seem to agree tonight. It's often said that things never happen very fast in England, but the change in public opinion has been fast and unmistakable here today."

    -- Edward R. Murrow, CBS Radio, 7:15pm.
  9. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    September 24, 1938

    "Tonight as seen from Berlin it seems clear that the position is this: Herr Hitler has demanded that Czechoslovakia, not later than next Saturday, agree to the handing over of the Sudeten territory to Germany. Mr. Chamberlain has agreed to convey this demand to the Czechoslovak government. The very fact that he, with all the authority of a man who is a political leader of the British empire, has taken upon himself the job of communicating Herr Hitler's demands to the Prague government is accepted here, and I believe elsewhere too, as meaning Mr. Chamberlain backs them up.

    "That's why the German people I talked with in the streets of Cologne at dawn this morning, waiting for my plane, and in Berlin this evening, still seemed to believe that there would be peace, and that Germany would acquire 3,500,000 Sudeten Germans and that beautiful and rich territory without bloodshed. As a matter of fact, what do you think the new slogan is in Berlin tonight? It's in all the evening papers -- "WITH HITLER AND CHAMBERLAIN FOR PEACE."

    -- William L. Shirer, CBS Radio, Berlin

    "Paris awoke this morning to the grimmest news since 1914. Silently and mysteriously, during the hours just before dawn this morning, were pasted up the white posters which called part of the nation to arms. Men coming to work gathered in silent groups around these notices. Those who saw they were called immediately hurried homeward to pack their suitcases.

    "Almost every family in France has been affected by this order, yet there has been the greatest calm. I stood in the drizzling rain this morning, around the bulletins alongside the famous Paris Opera, and I saw not one single show of emotion. The French seemed completely contained, but from a restrained and silent anger...."

    -- Kenneth Downs, CBS Radio, Paris
  10. Story

    Story I'll Lock Up


    The Astonishing Storm of September 25th, 1941

    Earlier, I mentioned "one storm that screams for attention", but maybe "howls" would be more appropriate. Before researching this project, I expected to find the above case scenarios, but not the following...

    A tropical storm formed in mid September over the eastern Gulf of Mexico (off the coast of Florida) on September 17th, 1941. It pushed west across the Gulf, stopping only to make a loop in its track, well south of New Orleans. By this time it was a hurricane, intensifying briefly to a category #3 storm (111-130 mph wind) offshore as it took aim on eastern Texas. The hurricane made landfall on the 23rd near Freeport, Texas with an estimated wind of 110 mph, extremely high tides of nearly 11 feet and a barometer reading of 28.31 inches (959 MB). Further to the northeast, a ship just offshore of Texas City recorded a lowest pressure of 28.66 inches and winds of 83 mph. Other wind gusts were estimated near 100 mph at several locations near the hurricane's center along the Texas Gulf Coast. The hurricane quickly weakened to a category #1 (74-95 mph) as it made landfall and by the time the storm pushed on north to Houston, wind gusts had already dropped to 75 mph. Four lives were lost from the storm in Texas and property damage was estimated at $6.5 million (1941 dollars).


    By the time hurricanes make it this far north, they usually have blown themselves out, at least to the extent that surface winds are only gusting to, at best, 30 or 40 mph. Note the following, taken from the Detroit weather records on September 25th, 1941:

    Windstorm: An intense tropical cyclone moving up from the Gulf thru eastern Texas (causing great damage in Texas), along the Missip. Valley and thence Newd across Ill & Mich, passing W & NW of Detroit with gale force winds and gusts to 65 mph from 10:18 AM - 2:30 PM & gusts to 75 mph 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM (see envelope back of book for newspaper clippings).

    Most of the above noted news clippings show widespread wind damage to trees and power lines that would be commonplace in severe thunderstorms or a derecho. A derecho is a widespread windstorm consisting of a complex of thunderstorms that develop into a long-lived squall line. But there also were some unusual or freakish happenings (as the Detroit Free Press deemed them) as well. The following is taken September 26th, 1941, the day after, from the Detroit Free Press about the storm:

    "River goes dry"

    There were many freakish effects of the wind, including baring of the Detroit River "middle grounds" off Belle Isle when water was backed into Lake St. Clair. The southwest gale literally blew the water out of The Detroit River, reducing its level by three feet, and leaving hundreds of pleasure craft high and dry on the muddy bottom. Several yachts broke their mooring or were heeled over at the Detroit Yacht Club. Another odd effect was the noticeable swaying of Downtown skyscrapers as the full force of the gale struck. Office employees who left tall downtown skyscrapers, were later reassured by engineers.
  11. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    September 26, 1933



    Mexico, D. F. (AP) -- First unofficial estimates from Tampico tonight reported 5000 persons killed in the hurricane which struck there last night and devastated three-fourths of the city.

    No official estimates were available, but all reports agreed there was a tremendous loss of life.

    These estimates of the dead were made at the Department of the Interior, whose secretary, Eduardo Varconcelos, was ordered by President Rodriguez to proceed immediately to the stricken city with several stationary brigades, food, and medical supplies.

    The only direct official report from Tampico was from Gen. Anselmo Macias, military chief of the district, who said the storm had caused a "tremendous catastrophe" and that martial law had been declared.

    Also in the news --


    While search for Harry P. Cahill continued as busily and as fruitlessly yesterday as it has for the past two weeks, authorities of Middlesex and Essex counties launched a controversy over where he will be prosecuted for the strangle murder of little Peggy McCarthy, 10, of Somerville, if he is ever captured or surrenders.

    While Dist. Atty. Warren L. Bishop of Middlesex continued negotiations with the missing man's family which he hopes will lead to Cahill's surrender, Dist. Atty. Hugh A. Cregg was announcing he had assumed charge of the investigation.


    Although Bishop declared he welcomed Cregg's assistance in the case, he pointed out that since the little girl's body was found in Cambridge, in Middlesex county, prosecution of the slayer, if found, will be in his hands. On the other hand, Cregg, declaring that the crime apparently occured in South Lawrence, in his county, said "You can rest assured I'll take charge of the case."

    Chief George Dane of Andover lined up with the Essex county authorites when he protested to Dist. Atty. Cregg that Middlesex detectives have been "running wild in his town" without announcing their presence to him.

    While the authorities of the two counties wrangled over their rights to proceed in the investigation, there was a definite movement among Somerville residents to take the whole case away from them and put it in the hands of Brig. Gen. Daniel Needham, commissioner of public safety, and the state police for investigation.


    There is strong reason to believe, Somerville citizens said, that the slayer of little Peggy McCarthy is still lurking about Somerville. Mothers in that city are alarmed. There was equal certainty on the part of many persons and some officials that Cahill, who began yesterday his third week of disappearance, is about Lawrence, hiding either in some house in the city or in a shack in the wooded sections in the outskirts of the city.

    And in other news --


    Declaring that the licensing of 3.2 beer establishments has resulted in the creation of an entirely new crop of dives in which "shocking conditions" exist, with drunken women staggering about and the sexes mingling indiscriminately in darkened booths, Rev. Roland D. Sawyer of Ware yesterday demanded a cleanup of conditions.

    Sawyer, a member of the Legislature, and of the special recess commission which was created to draft proposed hard liquor legislation, said that the hearings of his commission have brought out these facts. He addressed open letters to the Alcoholic Beverages Control Board, the licensing boards of Boston, Worcester, and Springfield, where he said conditions were the worst, and to the heads of police departments in those cities.


    This committee found, he said, that in places that were licensed to sell legal beer, the proprietors were not satisfied with the beer sales and soon began selling hard liquors of all kinds varying from 35 to 75 cents per drink. Some of the patrons, he said, were girls as young as 14 years of age. In many of the places visited, according to the committee, they were admitted only after the scrutiny of villainous-looking bouncers, but they failed to state how they were able to pass this inspection.

    "Within some of these beer gardens," according to Mr. Sawyer's letter, "were stalls completely shielded from observation, unlighted, and in which there were persons of both sexes. In one place they caught glimpses of men and women in a hilarious condition, and in another place there was a drunken woman running about to get her shoes shined. In practically all places they saw drunken girls as young as 14 years of age. These same joints had regular licenses to sell beer. The situation demands correcting forthwith."

    The recess commission of which Rev. Mr. Sawyer is a member has completed its public hearings and is now in executive session, drafting laws for the control of liquor sales after the repeal of Prohibition.
  12. LondonLuke

    LondonLuke One of the Regulars


    In his defence, Chamberlain, like most other people at the time, still had memories of the horrors of the First World War fresh in his mind, and so the majority of people were very much against another war, and hoped to use diplomacy to alleviate crises. Hindsight is always 20/20, but it must be remembered that most people in Western Europe in the 1930s wanted all other possiblities expended before military action would be used
  13. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    September 28, 1933



    Memphis, Tenn. (AP)-- George "Machine Gun" Kelly was quoted by W. A. Rorer of the Department of Justice tonight as admitting the kidnaping of Charles F. Urschel of Oklahoma City. "You got me right on Urschel, but not on the Chicago robbery or the Kansas City Union Station job," Rorer said Kelly told him.

    Rorer was the Department of Justice agent who led the raid on the house where the notorious Kelly and his auburn-haired wife were captured yesterday. He and another agent flew to Memphis to make the raid. The confession was made while the agents were talking to Kelly in his cell. Kelly would add no more to the statement than the brief quotation.

    Meanwhile ---


    Definite information from Albany that Harry P. Cahgill, sought in the strangling of little Peggy McCarthy, 10 year old Somerville murder victim, was seen to arrive there from Vermont led Dist. Atty. Warren L. Bishop to order State Detective Edward P. O'Neill to stand ready to fly there last night.

    The Middlesex prosecutor conferred at length and considered the clue from the New York capital important. He recalled O'Neill from Cape Cod, where he had gone with the other investigators to raid camps where Cahill has been "seen." There was also another search in progress in the Indian Ridge reservation in Andover, for a strange man said to resemble Cahill who was seen there early yesterday.

    There was one arrest of a suspect yesterday, a man picked up in a Back Bay lodging house by police of Station 16, after a suspicious landlady had reported to police she believed Cahill was hiding in her house. He proved to be Philip Brown of no address, who had registered at the lodging house as William Harrison of Wells River Junction, Vt. Although Somerville police quickly eliminated him he was held for violation of the True Name law.

    Other clues, none of which amounted to anything, were run down in various sections of the state and several points in New England.

    (The above is the final dispatch on the Cahill mystery. Harry P. Cahill was never found, and no suspect was ever convicted. After 75 years, the murder of Peggy McCarthy officially remains an unsolved case.)
  14. donCarlos

    donCarlos Practically Family

    Prague, CZ
    One not vintage, more like ancient, but still important:
    935 - Saint Wenceslas is murdered by his brother, Boleslaus I of Bohemia.

    Which means it´s a state holiday today :)
  15. carter

    carter I'll Lock Up

    Corsicana, TX

    1978: Death of Pope John Paul I shocks the world
    Pope John Paul I died of a heart attack today, just 33 days after he was elected pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. Soon after the Vatican officially announced the pope's death on September 29, thousands of mourners rushed to St. Peter's Square.

    "The world today registered shock, surprise and sorrow that it had not gotten to better know the smiling little man from the Italian mountains who became Pope John Paul I," reported The Chronicle Telegram on September 29, 1978.
  16. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    September 29, 1938

    "It took the Big Four just five hours and twenty-five minutes here in Munich today to dispel the clouds of war and come to an agreement over the partition of Czechoslovakia. There is to be no European war after all. There is to be peace, and the price of that peace is, roughly, the ceding by Czechoslovakia of the Sudeten territory to Herr Hitler's Germany. The German Fuehrer gets what he wanted, only he has to wait a little longer for it. Not much longer though -- only ten days.

    "His waiting ten short days has saved Europe from a World War. To Americans it must seem a strange thing, but there it is. And however strange it may be, most of the peoples of Europe are happy that they wont have to be marching off to war on Saturday. Probably only the Czechs -- for they too, as I know very well, did not want war -- are not too happy. But there seems to be very little that they can do about it in face of all the might and power represented here in Munich tonight by the team of Hitler, Mussolini, Deladier, and Mr. Chamberlain.

    "The Czechs have not accepted their doom yet, but no one here, even in the British and French delegations, doubts that they will. In fact, the Czech minister to London, Jan Masaryk, and the Czech minister to Berlin are now in conference at the Fuherer's house with the Big Four, learning the details of the bad news. Someone who was in the meeting reported that the great statesmen are poring over large maps of Czechoslovakia and explaining it all to the Czechs...."

    -- William L. Shirer, CBS radio, 6:30pm
  17. PADDY

    PADDY I'll Lock Up Bartender

    October 2nd 1942...

    ***NEWS FLASH***1942 "Queen Mary" slices cruiser "Curacao" in half, killing 338 ***NEWS FLASH***
  18. Fletch

    Fletch I'll Lock Up

    Born this day

    Julius Henry "Groucho" Marx, third of five Marx Brothers and ringleader of their immortal comedy team.
    Born October 2, 1890, in the Yorkville neighborhood of New York City.
    "You gotta get up pretty early in the morning if you wanna get out of bed."
  19. Prairie Dog

    Prairie Dog A-List Customer

    Gallup, NM
    October 3, 1986 - "Tough Guys" was released featuring Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas. It was their seventh and final movie together.


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