Saturday, July 22, 2006

Real Estate

Note: $90 a month is $1,847.12 USD 2005

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Friday, July 21, 2006

What the President Is Reading

July 21, 1907
Los Angeles

President Theodore Roosevelt suggests “reading of certain books of pure fiction that have the prime quality of being interesting.”

The Times quotes Roosevelt: “You will learn the root principles of self-help and helpfulness toward others from ‘Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch’ just as much as from the formal treatise on charity, you will learn as much sound social and industrial doctrine from Octave Thanet’s stories of farmers and wageworkers as from avowed sociological and economic studies and I cordially recommend the first chapter of ‘Aunt Jane of Kentucky’ for use as a tract in all families where the men folks tend to selfish or thoughtless or overbearing disregard of the rights of their womenkind.”

More about Octave Thanet (Alice French) here. Was the U.S. president actually recommending that Americans read the works of a lesbian writer? Sure looks that way, doesn’t it?

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Our Annoying Civic Duty

July 20, 1907
Los Angeles

The court summoned 80 prospective jurors to decide the case of Dr. Chan, who was accused of practicing medicine without a license, but more than half asked Judge Rose to be excused from service.

“An officer was sent out with the summonses yesterday morning. He had not been at work more than an hour when the first indignant citizen appeared in court and demanded to be released from jury duty on the ground that his wife was ill and he had to go home several times a day,” The Times said.

“Another businessman said that he hated the whole Chinese race and that he wouldn’t give any of them a fair trial.”

Although the court agreed to excuse the head of a local bank, many other people were told they had to serve.

On July 26, The Times reported that the court was still trying to seat a jury in the Chan case, having called 620 prospective jurors, a Police Court record. By July 30, 780 people had been called before a 12th juror was selected.

Chan was convicted and fined $250. The Times said: “Other Chinese cases now pending may require the next two years in trial since it is almost impossible to secure and unprejudiced jury.”

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Vegans Avert Your Eyes

July 19, 1907

Lavish preparations are underway for an enormous, free picnic to celebrate the opening of a Pacific Electric streetcar line to Los Angeles. “Covina had long awaited the approach of those shining iron bands that connect the pretty little valley town with the metropolis of the West, and is very happy,” The Times said.

E.H. Fabrick has created a gigantic coffeepot for the occasion, holding 250 gallons. “A large man looks like a pigmy beside this immense urn, fashioned for a race of giants,” The Times said. It’s accompanied by an equally enormous, 300-gallon bean pot patterned after an original (presumably normal size) pot in a Boston museum.

A 45-foot trench has been dug to barbecue 10 steers and a dozen sheep and pigs and a quarter-mile of picnic tables has been constructed. Events for the grand celebration include sack races, climbing a greased pole, catching a shaved pig and band concerts.

As a special treat, Ellen Beach Yaw, “The California Nightingale,” will give a vocal recital.

Bonus factoid: Ellen Beach Yaw, who founded the Lark Ellen Home for Boys, died in Covina on Sept. 9, 1947.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Eternal Problem

July 18, 1907
Santa Monica

Officials of Santa Monica and Ocean Park are fighting a lawsuit that seeks to block the discharge of raw sewage into the ocean. According to testimony, the outfall pipe sags so badly that it isn’t always cleared and as a result, sewage molders in the pipeline, a problem aggravated by warm summer temperatures.

Judge Bordwell, however, ruled that he was unable to render a specific decision because the case was improperly presented. Bordwell ordered Santa Monica and Ocean Park to find a way to ease the situation within 15 days.

“It is, and has been for a long time, a miserable mess, but the court will render judgment which will probably very speedily overcome the difficulties. It will be necessary for the officials of Santa Monica and Ocean Park to take such steps as are necessary to abate the nuisance or they may find themselves under judgment of contempt for failure to do so,” Bordwell said.

In September, residents of Ocean Park and Santa Monica approved a $150,000 ($3,078,535.54 USD 2005) bond issue to build a septic tank and wharf at the foot of Colorado Boulevard for disposal of sewage.

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Fanning the Flames of Suspicion

July 17, 1907
Los Angeles

A serial arsonist has been at work in Hollywood, setting six fires in the last three weeks. The community’s small volunteer fire department has been overwhelmed by the crimes.

“The entire neighborhood rushed to the scene,” The Times said of one blaze in June. “The volunteer fire department hurried out their hose cart and laid a long line of hose, but the water pressure was not sufficient to send a stream that would reach the burning dwellings.”

“With hand extinguishers and pails of water, adjoining houses and stables were saturated and men were stationed at nearby residences putting out tiny fires that started from wind-driven embers.”

Although the neighborhood was on alert for suspicious behavior, fires and mysterious vandalism continued, The Times said: “Someone, many consider it an insane person, has been ransacking the homes near [a burned-out house on Harold Way], going from room to room, leaving burned matches here and there and carrying away anything which seemed convenient.

“Clothes have been cut to pieces on clotheslines and the burning of one barn at least has been traced to this terrifying unknown.”

A few days later, former Los Angeles Mayor J.R. Toberman, a Hollywood resident, received a letter threatening to burn down his house unless he paid $2,000 ($41,047.14 USD 2005).

On July 17, another home burned, and residents called a meeting on improving the firefighting in Hollywood. A reward of $1,000 was offered for information about the crimes and several residents said they would shoot the arsonist on sight. The Times noted: “The temper of the people is such that the capture of the incendiary might result in a lynching.”

Hollywood was divided into sections patrolled by members of the vigilance committee, but apparently the arsonist was never captured. Judging by the lack of further stories through the rest of 1907, the fires stopped as mysteriously as they began.

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

What Prudes!

July 16, 1907
Los Angeles

Under continued lobbying from the Church Federation, the city attorney is preparing new restrictions on prizefighting that local promoters say will kill the sport.

“The new ordinance hedges the boxing game about with sufficient restrictions to make the bouts uninteresting to the average gallery fiend who cares only for the bouts that furnish a few buckets of blood with each round,” The Times said.

Most specifics have not been released, but The Times gives a few details:

  • Matches cannot be more than 10 rounds.

  • No gloves less than 8 ounces.

  • No decision rendered by the referee as to who won—in other words, one fighter must knock out the other.

Current World Boxing Assn. Regulations

  • 12 rounds

  • Minimum, up to Welterweight, 8-ounce gloves; Super Welterweight to Heavyweight, 10 ounces.
  • The judges shall keep score and shall decide on the result of the bout using the score system known as the "Ten-Point Score System."

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