Wednesday, November 30, 2016

History: The Year is 1907

I've uploaded year 1907 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Brownsville Incident -- Teddy Roosevelt dishonorably discharges 167 black soldiers.

Marconi Opens for Business -- It's wireless all the way.

Notable 'Pop-Culture' Births -- Lots of folks.

The Brownsville Incident

Racial tensions are running high in Brownsville, Texas. Recently, soldiers of the 25th Infantry were stationed at Fort Brown. Brownsville has separate-but-equal laws, so the black soldiers are allowed only in certain establishments, and they are to defer to all white people. IT'S THE LAW! The Supreme Court says so. Then the bartender is shot dead. With no firm suspects, spent cartridges are presented by the citizens as "proof" that the soldiers did it. The Army officers are white and they attest that the soldiers were in their barracks at the time of the murder. With these facts in hand, President Theodore "TR" Roosevelt dishonorably discharges 167 black soldiers for their "conspiracy of silence." No trial. No appeal. No white people are discharged. (I know what you are thinking. I wish I knew what the President was thinking.) In the midst of the controversy, Roosevelt attends the Gridiron Dinner. As he is sipping his turtle soup, he browses through the commemorative booklet of comical cartoon portraits. Suddenly, he realizes that there is a racist remark included. He takes it's inclusion in the booklet as a criticism of his Brownsville decision. (I won't repeat the remark here, but the chance of a fight breaking out in the modern day would be middle-to-low. In 1907, the probability approaches certainty.) Roosevelt leaps to his feet, and the dinner stops right in the middle of the shad. (That's a fish.) TR takes half an hour criticizing the people who have opposed his actions. It gets personal. The turtle soup congeals. No one moves. The Senate conducts an investigation of the Brownsville Incident and will find that the President acted appropriately. TR softens a little and offers to reinstate those who can prove they were not involved in the cover-up. (Yes. I know. You cannot prove a negative.) The case will be revisited and the soldiers exonerated in 1972. Meanwhile, TR calls a halt to all Japanese immigration. [1] [2]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I am reminded of the black college professor who came home late from a conference. He didn't have his key. He broke into his own house, and apparently, someone called the cops. The police showed up and asked for some identification... while he was in his own home. OK. He was upset. I understand. My son often gets stopped by the cops for "jogging while not white." He has a Phd. Getting hassled for being the wrong color pisses him off. We have to work this out somehow, but not at the Federal level. President Obama said, "The police acted stupidly." Maybe they did. Maybe they didn't. BUT HOW WOULD HE KNOW? He assumed. The President's assumption resulted in the cops being tried in the media and found guilty. Eventually the President called a "Beer Summit" so that the story could have a happy ending. That solved the President's media problem, but we cannot solve the problem that comes from making the wrong assumption because making assumptions protects us most of the time. If I see a man running at me, I can assume he is a jogger or a mugger. If I assume that he is a mugger and I run away, I am safe even if he is not a mugger. However, if I assume he is a jogger, and I do not run away, I am not as safe because he might be a mugger. What is the answer? Jog with a policeman. [3] [4] [5]

Marconi Opens for Business

Marconi is credited with the invention of the wireless telegraph and radio in general although his transmissions were not continuous wave transmissions as one would expect from AM and FM radio waves. In other words, he was not set for sound. Certainly he has tied together the major elements of a wireless telegraph and this year he is open for business. He has built two large transmitters on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. No more wires along the sea bottom. Along with transmitting messages back and forth, he also provides a news service for ships. He provides the equipment and operator who takes down the information on shipboard. Then the news is included in the ship newspaper for their passengers. Marconi is also peddling his wireless as a safety device. When ships are in trouble, they can send an S-O-S. This new emergency signal been adopted recently and will remain the universal distress signal until 1999 when it will be replaced by the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System. Yeah. I have no idea either. I'm sticking with SOS. [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
As an interesting side note, Marconi was a slow-and-steady-wins-the-race kind of guy. As a consequence, he didn't win many races. He stuck with old systems that were more reliable when better systems were being developed by others. He did save some ships with his wireless telegraph and as a consequence he was offered a free ride on the Titanic! What a treat! Unfortunately, he took another ship because he needed to get some work done and he liked the stenographer on the other ship. He missed out on that adventure, but the wireless allowed many passengers to be rescued because the wireless allowed near-by ships to be notified after the Titanic hit that iceberg. [8]

Notable 'Pop-Culture' Births

  • Cesar Romero (Will play "The Joker" in the 1960s Batman TV series.) [9]
  • Burgess Meredith (Will play "The Penguin" in the 1960s Batman TV series, and "Mick," the trainer in the movie "Rocky".) [10]
  • Fay Wray (Will scream all the way through the 1933 movie, "King Kong".) [11]
  • Orville Redenbacher (Will sell popcorn out of the back of his car at first.) [12]
  • Robert A. Heinlein (Sci-Fi author of "Star Ship Troopers", "Stranger in a Strange Land" and many others.) [13] [14]
  • Cab Calloway (Early bandleader, but best known as the musical mentor to the Blues Brothers in the movie.) [15]
  • Rosalind Russell (An amazing actress, but I loved her as Mother Superior of a Catholic all-girls school in "The Trouble with Angels".) [20]
  • Katharine Hepburn (Another amazing actress in films like "The African Queen" and "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?") [21]
  • Ray Milland (An amazing actor, but I remember him best in the cult classic "The Man with the X-Ray Eyes") [22]
  • John Wayne (The action-film actor... NOT the airport, NOT the serial killer, and DEFINITELY NOT the guy who had his manhood chopped off by Lorena Bobbitt.) [23] [24]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1907, Wikipedia.

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