This is “Last Week, Last Century,” where I’ll take a look at some of the wacky stuff that happened over the past seven days… and the same seven days 100 years ago.
Sunday, March 30th, 1913 – First-grade teacher Laura Knaggs is approached by one of her students, Paul Chuchu. Earlier in the week, Knaggs had rewarded one student’s exceptional cleanliness with the prize of a red necktie. Envious of the tie, Paul threatened to punch its recipient if his teacher refused to give him a bath. Further investigation revealed that Paul’s family had never owned a bathtub.
Sunday, March 31st, 2013 – 12,000 teachers in the UK respond to a union questionnaire that reveals 15% of them have been physically assaulted by students and 80% have been verbally abused. Some educators say they are too scared of their students to use their “red card” disciplinary system. Has anyone suggested a red necktie system? Just as long as there are enough to go around.
Monday, March 31st, 1913 – The New York State Senate passes the Foley bill, which would make it easier for handgun owners to legally carry a revolver. Existing legislation leaves the distribution of handgun permits to the discretion of the local Police Magistrate, but the Foley bill requires only a ‘certificate of good moral character’ for the guarantee of a permit.
Monday, April 1st, 2013 – James Meyer of Wisconsin is detained at a motel in Stillwater, MN for disorderly conduct. The Stillwater Police notice two firearms, a revolver and a rifle, in plain sight inside his car. Meyer shows his permit to carry in Wisconsin, before saying, “Oops, I’m in Minnesota, aren’t I?” Police find and confiscate eight firearms and give Meyer a map to study in case he gets bored in jail.
Tuesday, April 1st, 1913 – At 12:50AM, the owner of the Garden Resort in Manhattan informs diners that they will have to leave shortly in accordance with the 1:00AM curfew. They ignore him, and even laugh at the two policemen who arrive to usher them out. The police inspector is called, and he personally throws several of the diners into the street.
Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013 – At 2:30AM, a Charleston police officer observes a man bleeding heavily from his face in the parking lot of a Waffle House. This leads to the arrest of Garett Rosecrans, a college lacrosse coach. The victim claims he was beaten after confronting Rosecrans for being rude to the staff, but one waitress says that the accuser was the one who instigated the fight. Perhaps if we could instate a curfew that only applies at the Waffle House…
Wednesday, April 2nd, 1913 – While ransacking a California home, a burglar discovers a child’s coin bank containing $30 in dimes ($700 in 2013) engraved with the motto “In God we trust.” Despite finding little else to steal in the house, the burglar opts not to make off with the child’s savings, instead leaving behind a note reading “So did I – once.”
Wednesday April 3rd, 2013 – One young Detroit Tigers fan is saddened to find that his Tigers Kids Club membership package was delivered with several items removed, including a Miguel Cabrera drawstring backpack and a Tigers coloring and activity book. The cost of a Kids Club membership is $15 ($0.64 in 1913). See, the thieves of the 21st century aren’t after money either, but they will happily take your faith in humanity.
Thursday, April 3rd, 1913 – Gensabura Fujiwara, a Japanese man living in Washington D.C., seeks to marry a Spanish woman, and after much difficulty procures a marriage license from City Hall. However, his hopes are dashed when Father William Ketcham refuses to perform the ceremony. He claims that his refusal is due to the fact that Fujiwara is not a Catholic, however, he ignores Fujiwara’s many attempts to join the church.
Thursday, April 4th, 2013 – Tea Party activist Doug Mainwaring writes of the “implausibility” of same-sex marriage, because since no marriage license application considers whether the applicants love each other, love should not be a factor in the creation of marriage laws. It’s worth noting that Doug is an openly gay man who claims the current “tsunami of support” for marriage equality will “soon subside.” The tsunami of Doug’s denial shows no signs of subsiding anytime soon.
Friday, April 4th, 1913 – Dr. John Quackenbos declares that his patient, 10-year-old Beulah Miller, possesses psychic powers and “X-ray vision.” James L. Kellogg, president of the Metropolitan Psychical Society, offers a prize of $300 if Beulah can reproduce the phenomena before a committee of his choosing. Dr. Quackenbos refuses on her behalf, saying he has no intention of “associating with such people.”
Friday, April 5th, 2013 – A press release from PsychicsComparison.com acknowledges the ubiquity of dishonest psychics who use shady techniques to take advantage of honest, hardworking individuals. The website seeks to separate the good psychics from the bad through unbiased reviews. Interestingly, the same press agent released a near-identical announcement in May ‘12 for the now-defunct Psychic-review.com. I’d make a prediction about the fate of PsychicsComparison, but I’ve misplaced my crystal ball.
Saturday, April 5th, 1913 – A group of Americans meet at the Astor House Hotel in New York and formally create the United States of America Foot Ball Association, the first member organization of FIFA from North America. In 1974, the organization would be renamed The United States Soccer Federation, and remain the official governing body of the sport in the US.
Saturday, April 6th, 2013 – Despite being an older organization than the NBA, NFL, and NHL, soccer still trails its fellow sports in popularity in the United States. On the 100th anniversary of the USSF, national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann admits that he needs “players who are more ambitious.” He promised Hi-C Flashin’ Fruit Punch and unlimited orange slices to anyone willing to come try out at the rec center next week.