Wednesday, December 21, 2016

History: The Year is 1920

I've uploaded year 1920 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Your Government at Work... Trying to Poison You -- It's Prohibition, and the government adds poison to the booze but doesn't tell anyone.

KDKA Is On the Air! But Is Anyone Listening? -- Westinghouse is looking for a way to beat RCA in the radio business. Offering entertaining radio programming is the answer.

Notable Births -- James Doohan, DeForest Kelley, Ricardo Montalbán, Eddie Slovik, and An Wang of Wang Laboratories.

In Other News -- Kingsford Charcoal, the HIV virus, and "Shoeless" Joe Jackson.

Your Government at Work... Trying to Poison You

"...practically all the liquor that is sold in New York today is toxic..."
--A warning issued by the New York medical examiner.
Prohibition is now the law. Selling or transporting booze is against the Constitution of the United States of America! (I think I hear America the Beautiful playing softly in the background.) Of course, many religious groups like the ban on alcohol. Socialists believe that alcohol has stupefied the common man into accepting his chains of oppression. Employers believe that workers are losing productivity due to hangovers after boozy weekends. Police departments are tired of rounding up drunks. With all this support, alcohol consumption should be dropping. In reality, drinking simply changes. Now you drink illegal booze fast, going for the effect, not the taste. Private clubs called "speakeasies" are for social interaction, but people are drinking something there. Hotels install bottle openers to reduce damage to furniture as guests knock off bottle-caps along the edges. Bay rum is an aftershave "for external use only". It says so on the label. Bootleggers add coloring to commercial ethyl alcohol and sell it. Although individuals are drinking less, more individuals are drinking. To help folks comply with Prohibition, the government provides an incentive. They add poison to some of the booze, and don't tell anyone. Have a nice day. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The logic goes like this: Prohibition is part of the US Constitution, so if you buy booze from a bootlegger, that's like treason. Right? Since the penalty for treason is death, it all makes sense now. (IN WHAT UNIVERSE???!!!) You will have to trust me. It made sense to them. Part of it was due to the growing eugenics movement. Drunks had to be cut out of the herd, so-to-speak. By the end of Prohibition more than 10,000 people had been killed by their own government. Maybe over 50,000. But you say, "Alex... that was almost 100 years ago. They would never do anything like that today. Would they?" Yes they would. During the 1970s the government sprayed marijuana fields with a deadly herbicide. It turned "weed" into a "killer". The CDC issued a warning, but that was next to useless. President Obama's Science Adviser, John Holdren, once advocated forced abortions and mass sterilization, but rest assured. The government does not want to kill off it's own citizens... unless it absolutely has to. Feel better? Me neither. [6] [7] [8]

KDKA Is On the Air! But Is Anyone Listening?

Westinghouse has been using a vacuum-tube wireless for simple communication and experimentation, but when their lead engineer, Frank Conrad, offers a 2 hour concert, playing records over the airwaves, the amateur radio community is delighted. This experiment in entertainment makes the newspapers, and the Vice-President of Westinghouse, Harry Davis, sees the article. He also sees an ad for a $10 wireless receiver that can pick up Conrad's signal. 10 dollars is around 284 dollars in 2015 money which is in range for the average household. Davis hits on the idea of Westinghouse building radio receivers and offering entertainment programming from their local transmitter. By November, radio station KDKA is ready to broadcast the election results. (Warren G. Harding, Republican, is elected the next President of the United States.) They continue a bi-weekly broadcast until near the end of December when they embark on a schedule of daily broadcasts. They are really cooking with gas now! [9] [10] [11]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Westinghouse was about to get their backsides kicked by their radio competitor, RCA. Westinghouse had been looking for an angle to boost their sales which was how the idea of using the radio waves for entertainment came into being. Regarding cooking with gas, the gas stove was just starting to replace the wood stove by 1915, so I was a little ahead of myself there. The phrase "Now you're cooking with gas" came from Bob Hope's radio show sometime in the 1940's. Someone from the American Gas Association slipped the line to Hope's writers and they inserted it into the show. Later Bob Hope started using it himself, and it soon became a well-worn phrase. [12]

Notable Births

  • From Star Trek (James Doohan as "Scotty", DeForest Kelley as "Bones", and Ricardo Montalb├ín as "Kahn") [13] [14] [15]
  • Eddie Slovik. (The only US soldier to be executed for desertion during World War 2. He seemed to think he would only get prison time.) [16]
  • An Wang (Co-creator of Wang Word Processors. "Success is more a function of consistent common sense than it is of genius.") [17] [18]

In Other News

  • Henry Ford founds Kingsford Charcoal. Waste lumber and sawdust from building Model Ts are made into charcoal briquets. [19] [20] [21]
  • The HIV virus emerges from the Belgian Congo. It will reach New York 51 years later. The CDC will declare it an epidemic 10 years after that. [22] [23]
  • "Shoeless" Joe Jackson is banned from Major League Baseball. He was part of the conspiracy to fix the 1919 World Series. Rumors that he is really Ray Liotta from the movie "Field of Dreams" are false. [24]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1920, Wikipedia.

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