As just another way to break up the constant deluge of updates and changes in our life situations these days, we thought we would offer you a light-hearted look at some of the goings on in our nation’s capital in 1926.
My dad was born on February 6, 1926. This was three years before the beginning of the Great Depression. He was the seventh son in his family. He was born in Hollis, Oklahoma.
Several years ago, for his birthday, I ordered him a newspaper from the day he was born. He was always a hard man to buy for. He loved everything, but didn’t necessarily use everything we got him. He was famous for pouring all his cologne together into a big empty Listerine bottle. None of this did anything to change the fragrance, I am sure! It just made it lots more convenient for him to use! And wasn’t that the purpose of gift giving anyway? To give people something they would use?
Anyway, back to the newspaper. The company sent me a February 6, 1926 copy of the Washington, D.C. Evening Star. It is quite yellowed and fragile, but very interesting to look at. The front page headlines are many. Lots of little short newsbriefs. For instance:
“Fire Captain held in 38-cent theft” It seems that Captain Charles E. Gibson, commander of Number 4 Engine Company was arrested for the theft of 38 cents worth of relish from the A and P Tea Company at Center Market. He paid a $10 collateral fee while they sorted out the details of this heinous crime.
“Burbank claims power to heal dying through psychic powers” Luther Burbank, plant wizard, made this recent announcement which stirred up religious folks in the area. Burbank stated that he had held 200 – 300 people in a manner which would “make your hair stand on end.” He claims his powers are not supernatural and he will not allow the sick or infirm to be brought to his door. “I cannot have my door thronged with patients. I am far too busy for that. I have more sick than I can handle right now.”
“Lt. Col. Bourbon kills his wife in Madrid” The story states, “Lt. Col. Jose Bourbon de la Torre shot and killed his wife after a violent argument. Both bullets took effect.” (You just have to love the wording of this tragic story!)
“Dynamite thrown into fire to see effect, seven hurt” Edgar McKenzie, 12, a stick of dynamite in hand, walked up to the fireside in John Thomas’ home where he announced he was “going to throw it in to the fire to see what it would do.” Seven persons are being treated for serious burns as a result of the explosion of the stick, which unknown to any of the party, also contained a cartridge. The boy procured the stick explosive from workmen who were blasting stumps in the Piney Woods.
But, my favorite front page, above the fold offering is that of the Stillman saga.
“Stillmans start marriage anew” Mr. and Mrs. James Stillman set sail for Europe in a trial reconciliation after a sensational five year long litigation of divorce. The banker and his wife stated they are happy to be starting a “trial honeymoon after cleaning the slate of their marital difficulties.” Six weeks ago, Stillman pressed an emerald ring into his wife’s hand saying, “I love you. I have always loved you. Will you come back to me?” No word on what caused the difficulties, however Stillman did agree to recognize little seven year old Guy Stillman as his son and withdraw his allegations that the boy was the son of a local Indian Guide.
So, there you go. Life in D.C. in the roaring 1920s was anything but dull!
What was the top story the day you were born? You can google it to find out. Inquiring minds want to know!