Friday, June 27, 2014

1886 - LIBERTY'S LIGHT. The Great Torch of the Goddess We Love. Imposing Ceremonies Attending the Unveiling of the Bartholdi Statue on Liberty Island.

The Colossal Gift of a Sister Republic Gracefully Accepted by an Appreciative People.

The Metropolis of the Nation Overwhelmed by Throngs of Visitors.

A Mammoth Parade Reviewed by the President and His Cabinet and Our French Guests.

The Grand Naval Procession - Ceremonies at the Statue - Liberty Unveiled - Grand Pyrotechnic Display

NEW YORK, Oct. 28., - The rain, which fell almost continuously for thirty-six hours, did not cease until about daylight this morning. The sky did not clear, however, and the thousands of anxious sightseers who began to pour into the streets at an early hour met a damp, foggy atmosphere, which threatened a renewal of rain at any moment. Between eight and nine o'clock all thoroughfares showed signs of unusual activity. All trains were crowded to their utmost capacity with people trying to view the grand procession.

French and American flags are flying from house tops and windows in every direction and a general holiday appearance is presented by moving bodies of soldiers, militia, civic organizations, and by the collection on the sidewalks of great crowds of people. Business during the day will be almost entirely suspended, the public schools will be closed and all New York will join in the celebration. Visitors from all sections of the country have been coming into the city for two days past, and this morning thousands more were added to the great throng, the prospects of unpleasant weather in no way deterring them.

After passing through Madison Square the column moved on down Fifth Avenue to Washington Square, where it turned into Broadway, thence down Broadway to the open space behind the post-office, called Mall street, into Park Row under the triumphal arch in front of the WORLD office, and back into Broadway. This detour was more in order to pay a compliment to the enterprise of the WORLD, in raising the sum necessary for raising Barhtoldi's great work.

From Park Row the route was again down Broadway to Courtlandt street and Maiden Lane, where most of the military, turning to right or left, made their way to the river.

The storm greatly interfered with the work on Bedloe's Island yesterday, but as little was left to do, it did not matter very much whether it rained or not. The workmen tore down the old, narrow steps that led up the embankment and replaced them with a wider and mores substantial stairway. They also laid a broad wooden walk leading to the ground entrance to the front of the fort. The platform that has stood in one of the northwestern angles of the inclosure was removed and the platform for the speakers made ready for their reception. A handsome silk French flag will be placed of the face of the statue. At a word from President Cleveland it will be drawn, unveiling the head of the goddess.

In the vicinity of Fifth avenue and Fifty-seventh street, the point at which the procession was to form, all was bustls and commotion as early as eight o'clock. Civic and military companies arrived faster than they could be assigned to their proper places.

A few minutes past ten o'clock the head of the column began to move down Fifth avenue, led by the Fifth United States Artillery and Military Band. Then followed the United States Naval brigade, United States Army brigade, Second regiment New Jersey National Guard and a detachment of Massachusetts volunteer militia. These composed the first division.

The second division was led by Gilmore's famous band. Then followed the First Brigade, N.G.S. N.Y., acting as escort to the French column. The French column contained the Societe Colmarienne; Union Alsacienne; Societe Alsace-Loraine; Mardi Gras Association; Societe De Philanthropic; Union Chorale De Newarks; Union Francaise, of Elizabeth; Le Prevyame, of Boston; L'Anutie, of New York; Le Societe Culinaire Cosmopolite; L'Helvetienne; L'Alliance and L'Union Fraternelle.

Then came another fine band of music, which was followed by nearly a dozen more French societies. Behind the Frenchmen came United States Judges and other high officials of the United States in carriages, and Governors of States and Territories and other high dignitaries, also in carriages, who brought up the rear of the second division.

The third division was headed by Sheriff Grant as marshal, and was comprise of mayors of cities; a battalion of Philadelphia police; Brooklyn police; veterans of the war of 1812; veterans of the Mexican war, and the military order of the Loyal Legion.

The fourth, fifth and sixth divisions were composed of military organizations. Then came the educational division; then more military;  Washington's carriage, drawn by nine horses, escorted by the Continental Guard of Washington, and the old Washington Continental Guard, mounted. Firemen, Knights of Pythias and other organizations helped to make up the other four divisions.

As this brilliant column passed down Fifth avenue it was received by the enormous crowds, which flanked it on either side with mighty cheers.

As the procession approached the reviewing stand at Madison Square, where President Cleveland and members of his Cabinet were waiting, a slight drizzle of rain began falling, not enough, however, to disturb the crowd or spoil the spectacle.

The head of the procession reached the City Hall at noon. At the same time, whenever the music of bands ceased, the chimes of Trinity Church could be heard playing National airs of France and America.

President Cleveland, accompanied by Secretary Bayard, drove to the reviewing stand at Madison square. He was fellowed by Secretaries Whitene, Vilas and Lamar and Colonel Lamont.

Considering the festive nature of the day, the decorations upon houses along the line of march were very meager. This lack of display, however, can be accounted for by the inclemency of the weather for the past two days. The only really handsomely decorated building is the City Hall.

After leaving Broadway at Cortlandt street and Maiden Lane, nearly all the military and civic companies made their way homeward.

At this hour (1:16 p.m.), the procession is still wending its way past  the United Press office, 187 Broadway, having been over an hour in progress.

All the vessels in North river are gaily decorated with flags, the Great Atlantic liners being particularly noticeable as they lay at their docks, one mass of color aloft.

The naval parade, which forms another marked feature of the day, was set for one o'clock. The sound of the preparatory gun, which should have been fired at 12:45 p.m., was not heard until one o'clock as there was considerable delay in getting the vessels which were to take part into line. Twenty minutes later the signal for the start was given, and the vessels moved slowly in double line from Forty-fifth street down North river, past a fleet of war vessels, toward Liberty Island. This procession was in charge of Lieutenant-Commander Rich, and consisted of two divisions. The first division was headed by the United States coast survey steamer Gedney, and consisted of all the larger vessels. The second divisions consisted of tugs and miscellaneous craft of all descriptions. The vessels presented a beautiful sight as they steamed down the Hudson. On reaching Liberty Island, they passed astern of the man-of-war anchored below the island then up between them and the island, till they came abreast of the statue head on tide, where they remained at anchor until the end of the ceremonies at that point.

The crowd in Madison Square when the President reached the reviewing stand was vast; the streets were choked up and Broadway was clogged with vehicles and cars above and below the intersection of the line of march. When Governor Hill mounted the platform he was cheered, but when Bartholdi, the sculptor, appeared and was easily recognized by the mass, who had seen his portrait on programmes and in the illustrated papers, a shout went up from those nearest the stand. The cry of "Bartholdi" was then caught up by both the reviewing an grand stands. The crowds on the avenue curbings up and won heard the name and passed it to the people in the park and side streets until the heavy air was shaken with a roar of cheering that must have gladdened the heart of the Alsatian, who bowed his acknowledgements. And then, in carriages driven to the rear of the stand, came Mr. Cleveland and his party. Instantly he was recognized, and again the crowds shook the welkin with their shouts, and from the housetops and windows of hotels came shouts and sounds of clapping hands to swell the sound that like a wave broke over the park and flowed down the streets and along the avenue, where, in the misty distance, the trappings and pomp of the head of the column was seen moving. The Signal Service operator at the Twenty-eighth Street station made known the fact to the throngs by waving a flag, and the pressure increased toward the avenue and the people became packed more closely if it were possible.

On the reviewing stand President Cleveland was presented with three handsome baskets of flowers, the gifts of young ladies in the city. As the various military and civic organizations passed they saluted by presenting their colors, and the President responded by lifting his hat. Nearly every band in passing played the "Marseillaise," the French national hymn. As soon as the procession had passed President Cleveland and party were driven to the North river, and were taken on board of the United States steamer Dispatch.

A grand stand was erected in front of the pedestal of the statue, which with the surrounding ramparts, was crowded with invited guests. The speakers stood on a raised platform facing the statue. The oration was delivered by Mr. Chauncey, M. Depew, and the address of the presentation of the statue on behalf of the American committee was made by Wm. M. Evarts, president of the committee. President Cleveland then responded, officially receiving the completed statue, after which speeches were made by M. Bartholdi and delegates from the French Republic. As Mr. Evarts concluded his address the flag enshrouding the great statue was drawn aside; a salute was fired from the fleet of war vessels. The entire statue, the pedestal and the fortifications of the island were elaborately decorated and draped with French and American flags.

At the conclusion of the ceremonies of unveiling at the base of the statue, a National salute was fired from the men-of-war and from all the forts in the harbor. A battery of six guns was fired from the ramparts in front of the pedestal, and the whole harbor resounded with reports of cannon. During the firing the guests embarked and the flotilla again formed in line and returned in double column to the city, headed by the United States steamer Dispatch.

The closing ceremonies in the evening were a magnificent display of fireworks by James Payn, given on Liberty and Governor's islands, together with a grand illumination of French and American men-of-war. The pyrotechnic displays were the most wonderful and elaborate that have ever been witnessed in this country. The funds for the fireworks had been generously provided through the patriotic efforts of Mr. Henry Clews and E. B. Harper, Roswell P. Flower, Cooper & Hewitt, D. Willis, James Cash, Levi P. Morton, W. E. Conner & Co., S. V. White, Cyrus W. Field, Tiffany & Co., Joseph W. Drexel, C.N. Bliss, Wm. Rockefeller, Wm. H. Webb and Thurber, Whyland & Co. The failure of Congress to provide money for a fitting display of fireworks on the occasion of the unveiling of the great statue led Mr. Clews and the other gentlemen named to agree to furnish the necessary money provided the displays be given by James Pain, of Manhattan Beach, under the direction of the New York World. When Mr. Pain was spoken to in regard to the matter he generously offered to double whatever sum was raised by the patriotic friends of the statue and give a programme that would fully realize their expectations. The ground had been gone over by an agent of Mr. Pain and no trouble or expense was spared to make the displays the grandest ever witnessed in this country. The vast materials for the fireworks had been specially prepared for this occasion by Mr. Pain, and several new effects in pyrotechnics were introduced. The displays were begun with the lighting of the great torch for the first time, and were given simultaneously on Liberty and Governor's islands, including some sixty separate pyrotechnic pieces. With slight variations the fireworks were the same on Liberty island and in front of old Castle William, on Governor's island, and were set off by maroon signals from the statue. The displays were largely aerial and were visible from all parts of the harbor, although the best positions were the Battery and Brooklyn Bridge, or from the decks of excursion steamers midway between the two islands. The war ships were anchored about Liberty Island, the French men-of-war on the north and the American squadron on the south side, toward Staten Island. The yards and rigging were manned by sailors, and the marines were drawn up on the decks along the bulwarks. Brilliant calcium lights burned from the extremities of the yards and fore and aft on deck, while the men stationed in the rigging and along the decks were supplied with colored [illegible]. The displays on the men-of-war took place at intervals.

General Schofield had given orders for a file of one hundred soldiers to be drawn up at intervals of a few yards along the water front facing the Battery. They were supplied with torches filled with colored lights, and at a signal from the statue on Liberty Island they were all lighted. The torches were so arranged that the French colors were given first, followed by the red, white and blue of the American ensign. This charged of national colors was repeated several times and ended up a variegated display of colored fires.

After this the salute given by the Board of Aldermen was fired at the Battery.

The famous statue, by Bartholdi, of "Liberty Enlightening the World" was received at New York, June 29, 1885.

The French vessel Isere, with the statue on board, was escorted up the bay to Bedloe's Island by a number of United States men-of-war and other vessels. The statue stands on Bedloe's Island - hereafter to be known as Liberty Island. At the entrance to New York harbor. Bartholdi, it is said, conceived the idea of creating a colossal statue to symbolize American's message of liberty to the world while sailing up New York bay on his visit to this country in 1871, with heart depressed at the ruin and wretchedness in his native land after her defeat by Germany. On his return to France he suggested to his friends his idea of such a statue to be presented by the French nation to the United States. The idea was received with great favor, and so rapidly did subscriptions come in that in 1876, the sculptor began work on his great statue. M. Bartholdi supervised every step of the work which was not only a labor of many years, but one full of difficulty and detail. The first steps toward its construction were made in 1874, when the French-American union was established, a banquet given and an appeal made to the people of France. In 1876 the sculptor began actual work. First the artist made his model in clay, and when this was approved a plaster statue was made; in dimensions it was one-sixteenth the size of the intended statue. Another plaster statue four times as large as the first, and a third one, of the full dimensions of the finished work were made. The last model had to be made in sections, and a wooden frame-work was constructed on which the plaster was spread. When these sections were completed, wooden models were used, exact copies of the plaster in size and modeling. These were carefully cut out by hand, and in them were shaped the hammered brass work which forms the outside of the statue. Eighty-eight tons of brass were used in the statues, and the entire weight of the statues is 450,000 pounds.

In 1876 M. Bartholdi, with the extended right arm of the statue - the first part that was completed - came to America and placed the arm and torch in the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia, whence it was subsequently removed to Madison Square, New York. In February, 1877, Congress set apart Liberty Island for the statue, and a committee was chosen with William M. Evarts at its head. The face and head of the statue was completed in 1878, when it was placed in the French Exposition, and on July 7, 1880, the great figure was completed in Paris where it was temporarily put together the following year in the presence of the United States Minister and a gathering of prominent French people. This statue is a free gift of respect and good will from the people of France to those of America. On the tablet is the inscription, "4th of July, 1776." It may well rand with the wonders of the world, for in design and achievement it is a model of sublime conception notably wrought out. The pedestal on which the statue stands was built with funds raised in this country by private subscription...

The statue weights 450,060 pounds or 225 tons.

The bronze alone weighs 200,000 pounds.

Forty persons can stand comfortably in the head, and the torch will hold twelve people.

The total number of steps in the temporary staircase, which leads from the base of the foundation to the top of the torch is 402. From the ground to the top of the pedestal 195 steps. The number of steps in the statue from the pedestal to the head is 154, and the ladder leading up though the extended right arm has 51 rounds.

The Herald-Dispatch
Decatur, Illinois

1893 - The United States Supreme Court legally declares the tomato to be a vegetable.

The question whether a tomato is a fruit or vegetable has finally been decided by the Supreme Court of the United States. Several years ago some imported tomatoes came through New York City, when the Collector classified them as vegetables and collected duty accordingly. The importers disputed this point and claimed tomatoes to be a fruit and entitled to come in free. The matter was taken into court, which decided in favor of the Collector's claim that the tomato is a vegetable.

The Charlotte Democrat
Charlotte, North Carolina

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

1913 - CHILD RISES FROM COFFIN. Shock of Temporary Resuscitation Kills Aged Grandmother.

Butte, Ca.,  April 25. - While members of the family and relatives were grouped about the open coffin of Mrs. J. R. Burney's 3-year-old son yesterday listening to the funeral service, the body moved and presently the child, clad in its shroud, sat up and gazed about the room. His eyes caught those of his grandmother, Mrs. L. P. Smith, 81 years old. The aged woman stared at the child as if hypnotized. Then she sank into a chair dead.

As she fell the child dropped back into its coffin, from which it was quickly snatched by the mother.

A physician said there was no hope for the little boy, and death came a few hours later.

Today there were two coffins in the Burney home. Double services were held, and the child and its grandmother were buried side by side.

The Washington Post
Washington, District of Columbia

1860 - Hanging of Horse Thieves in Arkansas

FORT SMITH, Ark., Oct. 4.
This afternoon a man named Martin H. Gilliam, alias Wm. Owen, formerly of Johnstown, Bates county, Missouri, was hung for horse stealing in the presence of a large concourse of citizens. - He was arrested some weeks since, and an effort made to hang him, during which he broke away from the rope, and was shot down while in the act of escaping. He escaped from jail, last night, and to facilitate his flight, stole another horse but was retaken this morning at Van Buren and returned to this place.

Shortly after his execution, another prisoner was brought into town, charged with the same offense. He was examined on the street, confessed the crime, and was soon swung up alongside of his brother in crime. The second victim was a Choctaw half-breed, named Shoat. The citizens have become greatly incensed against horse thieves, as their offenses of late have been bold and numerous.

The Tiffin Tribune
Tiffin, Ohio


Fayetteville, Ark., Feb. 5 - Mrs. Mary E. Wellman and her daughter have accomplished, a ride on horseback which makes the 90 mile ride required of the army officers look small in comparison. They rode alone from El Paso, Texas, to Fayetteville, Ark., a distance of 1,500 miles and undertook the hard journey for the sake of education. The daughter is now in college and doing well. Mrs. Wellman tells the experiences of her trip in the following graphic words:

"Necessity, and a desire to keep our horses, which to us are members of the family, compelled us to undertake the ride. Our collie dog Flossie, came with us. Climate and educational advantages attracted us to Fayetteville, Ark. My daughter Marguerite has been a rider for six years and is just 16. Almost daily, in New Mexico, her rides were from eight to ten miles, but I was no rider and avoided learning, so I had reason to dread the undertaking, especially at 53 years of age.

"Our first day's ride was 30 miles and from that on, except in deep sand and when our horses got sick in North Texas, we rode from 20 to 30 miles a day.

"When we left El Paso, Tex., on horse back, we had $12.50. At Pecos, Tex., we received money from my son, and after horseshoeing and other expenses were paid, left there with $20 in pocket. Ten cents was all we had when we reached McAlester, in Oklahoma, and were disappointed in not finding money awaiting us, so we left there without a cent, and were forced to beg our way to Fort Smith, Ark. There again was money from my son. So much for the financial side of the trip and that we got through safely and with so little is due to the big-hearted Christian spirit of the western people.

"We were 73 days on our journey. Yes, we were armed, and twice had need of them, but contrary to report it was the white toughs who gave us trouble and we went to Indians for protection.

"We traveled some scarey country alone, not seeing a human being from half to a whole day at a time, and I tell you we felt safer on horseback than in a wagon. We could run.

"In crossing the dangerous San Bois creek in Oklahoma, both horses got off the levee which was covered deep with swiftly running water, and old Daisy had to swim out of water up to her back. Even the dog found it difficult to swim. There is much in our experience of interest, but  it would take too much space to tell. We drew our courage from a consciousness of Divine Protection."

The Chanute Daily Tribune
Chanute, Kansas

Monday, June 16, 2014



PROVIDENCE, R. I., Dec. 4. - The worst wreck ever experienced by the New-York and New-England Railroad occurred at East Thompson, Conn., at 6:30 o'clock this morning. Four trains collided with each other, killing three men and injuring four others.

The trains in collision were the Long Island and Eastern States Line limited express from Brooklyn to Boston; the boat train from Norwich, bound for Boston; the regular freight going east from Putnam to Boston, and the Southbridge freight from East Thompson, bound west. The scene of the accident is about ten miles from the Rhode Island line, and the nearest station of importance in Woonsocket, sixteen miles away.

The two freight trains were on the north track and the two passenger trains on the south track when the accident occurred. There were in reality two collisions, the first occurring on a spur track to the north of the two main lines which run through East Putnam.

At the hour named on the spur track, having the right of way on the west-bound track, it was a foggy morning, and without warning the east-bound freight from Putnam suddenly rushed down upon the Southbridge freight. Both engines were demolished and the freight cars on the spur track were forced back with terrific force.

A flat car and two long freight cars were pushed over the bank running along the track. Cars were also thrown over on the main line, and before any one could think, down dashed the Long Island and Eastern States Line Limited Express from Brooklyn. A second later the engine of this train had turned completely around, and lay on the bank below the tracks, a wreck. Near by lay the headless body of the engineer, Harry W. Taber, and the mangled remains of the fireman, Gerald Fitzgerald.

The express consisted of two passengers cars, Nos. 171 and 172, and the two Pullman vestibule sleeping cars Cato and Midland. There were twelve passengers, nine of them in the sleepers. One passenger was killed. he was in the Pullman car Midland.

The fourth train struck this particular car. This was the boat train from Norwich, bound east. There had not been sufficient time for any person to go up the track to warn this train before it turned the curve leading into East Thompson. The curve hid the scene from the engineer of the boat train. The result was that it crashed into the rear end of the Long Island train.

Immediately the cars took fire, and the Midland burned. A young man in the rear end of it lost his life. The only remains found were a watch and a few charred bones.

The conductors on this train, on which all the loss of life occurred, escaped uninjured. They were George H. Cross of Boston and Frank E. Jennison of 212 East Thirtieth Street, New York. Michael J. Flynn was the regular fireman on the limited, but he was taking a day off and was on the train bound for Boston. He was uninjured, but his substitute was killed. Two years ago a similar accident occurred, and Flynn's substitute was killed in a wreck.

Of the passengers in the "Midland," W. T. Colburn of 120 West Forty-seventh Street, New York, was bruised, and Frank Barber and John Chandler of Boston had flesh cuts in the leg. Their car, it is stated, was lighted by kerosene.

The second Pullman, "Cato," was a solid vestibuled car lighted by gas, which the conductor turned out as he escaped.

The other passengers on the train were: Mrs. G. Christine, 584 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn; B. L. Kilgour, Boston; J. G. Piodela, Hempstead, L. I.; J. N. Flanders, Boston; George W. Dalton, Brooklyn. They were not injured.

Of the cars of the limited train nearest the engine one was but little damaged The others had the windows and frames torn out on one side for half its length. The tender of the Long Island engine was knocked to pieces.

The boat train was in charge of Conductor C. H. Ingalls of Dorchester, who had only his thumb hurt. Edward Hurley of South Boston, engineer, and William M. Londe of Dedham, fireman, were thrown down the embankment and rendered insensible for a time. They were not seriously hurt, but their engine caught fire from the blazing Pullman car. The express car was burned. The smoker and a regular coach were pulled out of danger. There were over thirty persons on the train and they were thrown violently forward by the shock of the collision, many of them sustaining severe bruises.

No one was reported as seriously injured on the two freight trains.

It was late to-night before the work of clearing this part of the wreck was half done. The station is in an out-of-the way place, the telegraphic facilities amount to almost nothing, and information of the affair was not received until the morning was well advanced.

One of the station officials gave as the cause of the accident the statement that East Thompson was not notified that the freight was coming down from Putnam. The Southbridge freight he considers was in its proper place. The reason that the two trains which follow each other going to Boston were wrecked was because there was no one in a position to warn them in time, The fog and the curve in the road prevented the engineers of the fated trains from seeing the obstruction until it was too late.

The Fire Department from Webster, Mass., was summoned to extinguish the fire, but the "Midland" was completely destroyed. The bodies of Fitzgerald and Taber were removed to Webster, and after being prepared for burial were forwarded to Boston, where the men reside.

The damage to the railroad company will exceed $300,000.

Superintendent Lovering of the Adams Express says that his company is a sufferer by the smash-up, but to what extent he is unable to state.

Superintendent Grant of the New-York and New-England Railroad attributed the accident to the dense fog, which he said obscured the vision of the engineers and prevented them from seeing each other's trains. At midnight the main tracks were cleared and the work was still in progress at the spur track.

The New York Times
New York, New York
December 5, 1891

Friday, June 13, 2014

1871 - Mary's Little Lamb

The Worcester Gazette has become nauseated by the many recent effusions concerning "Mary's Little Lamb," and disposes of the animal in this way:

"Mary had a little lamb,"
We've heard it o'er and o'er,
Until that little lamb's become
A perfect little bore!

So I propose there shall be dug
A grave both deep and wide,
In which that lamb and all its bards
Be buried side by side.

St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
March 4, 1871

1871 - Express Delivery

At Denver, Col., a few days ago, a man tried to have himself sent by express to Newtown Corners, Mass.,  by securing himself in a box expressly manufactured by himself for that purpose. The box was five feet long, three feet high, and furnished with provisions and all necessary articles pertaining to a bed chamber. The express company refused to receive the box, which was valued at $300, on account of its insecurity. The box was left standing on an end, with the man in it, at the express office, for two hours, the man standing on his head all that time, as was afterward discovered. As the box was being removed, the man stirred while endeavoring to remain perpendicular, which led to his detection. The box was addressed to himself, and was so artfully arranged that he could have escaped at pleasure before reaching his destination.

St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
March 4, 1871

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

1918 - One bolt of Lightning, 504 Sheep Dead!

July 22, 1918 - A single bolt of lightning struck 504 sheep dead in their tracks at the Wasatch National Forest in Utah. Sheep often herd together in storms, and as a result the shock from the lightning bolt was passed from one animal to another.

Monday, June 2, 2014

1899 - Tornado Ride

April 24, 1899 - Two women and one son lived to tell the story of being picked up by a tornado and carried more than a fourth of a mile, flying far above the church steeples, before being gently set down again. The young boy and one of the ladies said they had the pleasure of flying alongside a horse. The horse "kicked and struggled" as it flew high above, and was set down unharmed about a mile away.

The Weather Channel