PODCAST NEWS: Henry and I are having so much fun making this show. Our third episode is a deep dive into the 1974 disaster epic Earthquake, an unhinged movie that starts with the line, “God DAMMIT!”, includes a truck full of cows falling off the highway, and fully forgets about one of its three storylines. No need to watch Earthquake before listening—we give a plot rundown and clips so you can get a sense of just how weird this movie is. Get it on Apple Podcasts or click here for other podcatchers. Subscribe, review it, and tell your friends to do the same.
Today we have home invaders, legionnaires, and princes. Marry for love, god DAMMIT, on…
July 7, 1921
A German inventor employed by the Dutch government claims to have created a helicopter that can travel 312 miles per hour, declaring he “could fly to New York in one day.”
Captain Giles of the steamship Munalbro describes an encounter with a mysterious ship that cruised past him in the night, bearing only two running lights and refusing to respond to hails.
Stubby, the Boston bull terrier who survived 17 battles as the mascot of the American Expeditionary Force, is honored by General Pershing with a gold medal.
Landru, the French serial killer who will one day inspire Charlie Chaplin, is irritated by the amount of mail he’s receiving while awaiting execution. He declares: “What a lot of imbeciles there must be on this earth!”
Destruction of the caribou population in Alberta has lead to famine among the indigenous people, who are rumored to have resorted to cannibalism in a desperate bid to stay alive.
The Weather: Fair and warmer today; Friday, fair; moderate to fresh south and southwest winds.
This is a run of the mill story about a convict who kidnaps an entire family before being shot down by a posse—until you get to the penultimate paragraph. The phrase “certain recommendations of the State Eugenics Board” is positively chilling. The Wikipedia article on eugenics in Oregon is really good—it talks about its roots in homophobia and has an amazing picture of a newspaper spread boasting of babies scoring well on eugenics tests. This stuff was everywhere.
HOOD RIVER, Ore., July 6.—Luther Fagan, who shot T.J. MIller here today and kidnapped Miller’s wife, son and daughter, was shot and killed early tonighht by a member of a posse which had surrounded him in a thicket. His prisoners were uninjured.
Fagan, sentenced two years ago to ten years’ imprisonment for an attack upon Miss Louise Watkins, her stepfather, and, after an altercation, shot Miller and then abducted Mrs. Miller, her twenty-year-old daughter and a ten-year-old boy.
He drove off with his captives toward Mount Hood. Amred posses were sent in pursuit with orders to shoot Fagan on sight.
Fagan escaped from the penitentiary last year, but was recaptured. He was parolled early this year on condition that he return to Oklahoma after certain recommendations of the State Eugenics Board had been carried out.
Miller is not seriously wounded. He said Fagan had asked for Miss Watkins and had grown abrasive when told that the girl was out of the city.
This is cute and weird! I was wondering if “Hello, Al!” stuck and it appears it did not—a (poorly formatted) 1930 transcript of a Legion meeting includes a member asking, “What has become of the greeting ‘Hello, Al’ upon meeting another Legionnaire?”
BOSTON, July 6.—“Hello, Al!” will be the accepted form of greeting for Massacusetts members of the American Legion if a resolution prepared today by officers of the State department is adopted at the convention to be held in September at North Adams.
“Al” represents the initial letters of the organization’s name, and also, it is explained, is a reminder of a familiar French greeting: “Al-lo.”
This story of an ailing prince, the last of his line, falling in love with his Scottish nurse is so cliched as to be unbelievable, and yet here we are! Wikipedia informs us that the (extremely handsome) prince was a known anti-Fascist who was elected Mayor of Rome after the Nazis abandoned it in 1944. He and his wife, Gesine Mary Dykes, had a daughter who became the actual last holder of the title Prince of Melfi—she inherited it from him and bore it until her death in 2000.
ROME, July 6.—Prince Doria Pamphili, descendant of Popes, warriors and diplomats, and sole heir of all the wealth and historic possessions of the Doria family, which dates as far back as 1335, is obliged to marry in London instead of celebrating his union in the private Doria chapel in Rome because of the opposition of his relations to his choice of a bride.
Since his youth the Prince has been suffering from tuberculosis of the spine. At one time his condition was so serious that his family despaired of saving him. It was in a sanatorium in Switzerland that the young man first met the girl he has now asked to become his wife. She was an English nurse, who surrounded him with such loving attention and care that the Prince fell in love and would have married her several years ago had it not been that his mother, Princess Doria, who was then alive, was opposed to the union.
The prince will never be well, and it is asserted that the family have declared that if he dies and bequeaths to his wife the immense wealth of the Dorias they will fight the validity of the union and seek to have the marriage annulled.
The Prince is owner of the most magnificent palace in Rome, the Palazzo Doria, containing hundreds of rooms with frescoed ceilings, filled with precious masterpieces and priceless tapestries and damask. But the couple have decided to reside in the Villa Doria Pamphili, situated on one of the seven hills of Rome and surrounded by a magnificent park, where a profusion of flowers, waterfalls, a small lake and century-old trees combine to make the spot a wonder and enchantment.
This villa used to be open twice a week to visitors, but since the Prince is expected back with his bride it has been closed to all strangers except by permission from the Prince’s administrator. The Prince intends to lead a secluded life, receiving only very intimate friends.