Saturday, July 30, 2016

100 Years Ago: The Black Tom Bomb

Morgan, in Philadelphia Inquirer
"Under the Stars and Stripes"
On a quiet morning in 1916, hours before dawn, New Yorkers woke to an explosion that shattered windows in Manhattan, could be heard as far away as Philadelphia and southern Connecticut, and measured 5.5 on the Richter scale. In fact, the reason you can't go into the torch of the Statue of Liberty today is owing to damage from shrapnel from this very explosion. The source was a tiny island  with a name that could have come right out of a pulp magazine. Black Tom Island was a munitions dump and shipping facility from which ammunition was shipped to the allies in Europe to support their efforts in World War I. At 2:08 AM on Sunday, July 30th, German agents detonated over 2 million pounds of ammo.

Initially, theories about the cause of the explosion abounded, but it didn't take long for the press to latch onto the idea of German sabotage. Kaiser Wilhelm and his government's denied any involvement, but there was no turning American sentiment. Within a a year the U.S. would enter the war on the side of the Allies and the die would be cast.

It would be 1939 before a joint German-American commission, analyzing the evidence, would come to the conclusion that Germany had actually supported the attack. Of course, by that time a certain Adolf Hitler was in charge of the Fatherland and he wasn't exactly inclined to pay reparations to Germany's old enemy. Reparations wouldn't come until 1953 when World War II had ended and the German economy had been taped back together. The final payment arrived in 1979 and the first "worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil" was brought to a close.

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Funnies - Casting a Line (1920)

"Any luck, Miss?"
"Oh yes! Three proposals yesterday, one this morning, and I think I'll have another this afternoon!"
The Judge Magazine, July 1920

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Funnies Special Edition: A True Patriot (1920)

A True Patriot
The Judge Magazine, July 1920

On a day when we'll start seeing a lot of people waving the red, white, and blue for personal gain, I thought I'd air a little comic that speaks to what I think of as true patriotism.

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Funnies - A Distinction (1920)

A Distinction
"Do you dance - or jazz."
Pan, July 1920

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Malt and Barley

Few know Thurston J. Howell was a tennis star before the SS Minnow incident. Yes, he'd play a set or two at the club in the afternoon and then the servants would serve up the beverage that connected him with his homies back in the hood - malt liquor. One for the homies, Lovie, one for the homies...

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July!

The Campbell's Soup kids are armed to the teeth and ready to celebrate! Happy 4th everyone!

The Funnies - Fourth of July Special (1898)

Before and after taking.
July 7, 1898, Life Magazine