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The Colt M1911 Wins!

The competition has been fierce between the Colt M1911 designed by John Browning and the "Ten Shots Quick!" Savage 1907. The US military has set it's heart on a .45 caliber side arm. Six manufacturers submitted their designs for testing, but that was soon reduced to three. The Luger was dropped after the DWM Company refused to accommodate the changes the US government asked for. (Frankly, DWM thought they were being jerked around, and maybe that was true.) That left Colt and Savage. In the end, the 1911 came through the testing with fewer faults. The Savage pistols were returned, and the Colt became the service pistol for the US military until the 1970s when the military judged the 1911 to be getting a little long in the tooth. The Colt M1911 is still used by some forces today, and has fostered many clones in the civilian market, some better than others. The 1911 is favored by the survivalist for its reliability, availability of parts, and the use of the popular .45 ACP round. It also looks wicked cool. [1] [2] [3]

Colt 1911.jpg

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Less than 200 of the Savage 1907s in .45 caliber were made for the trial. The 1907 was redesigned for .32 caliber (ACP) and advertised as a weapon for women to hold off burglars and tramps. Regarding the popular 1911 in the present day, I have no problem wading into religious or political subjects, but when it comes to firearms, I sit at the feet of my elders and listen carefully. Some 1911 owners speak like it's a religious experience. Others throw up their hands, and shout an impious word that rhymes with clock. I'm staying neutral. My wife loves the compact .45 that Smith and Wesson puts out. Looks like a 1911, but it isn't. She shoots like Annie Oakley though... better than I do.

The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

They scream and scream, but nothing can be done. If they can get out in the first 5 minutes, they are saved. Within 10 minutes, maybe or maybe not. Thereafter, they are dead. You must have heard what happened. Young teenage girls working feverishly to get their quota of sewing done before the workday ended. They are locked into the loft from the outside, presumably to keep union organizers out. Certainly it keeps the girls inside and working. 15 minutes before the end of the work day, someone accidentally drops a cigarette. The remnants of cloth and thread are spread all across the floor. Before they know it, the flames are upon them. The girls on the 8th floor try to put out the fire. They really try, but soon the water is gone. Some run to the fire escape, but it gives way under their weight. They plunge to their deaths. Others run to the doors that PULL open. They are crushed by the girls behind them PUSHING to get out. Bodies pile up by the doors as the girls are overcome with smoke. All in all, 146 die, half of them teenagers. Workplace safety becomes a subject of grave national interest. [4] [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Just for context, at the same time union thugs blew up the LA Times building, killing several people, so the fear of worker reprisal was reasonable. Even if the employers gave in to the union's demands, union violence was still a possibility. Public opinion went back and forth regarding unions, sympathizing with the plight of the workers, but fearing the violence that sometimes erupted from unions. Violence was defined in those days as shootings, and letter bombs sent to your home.... you know... like Ted Kaczynski Una-bomber stuff. In the early 1900s some union members were little better than terrorists... or communists. Unions have improved since then. [6] [7]

The Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax

You've heard about the many Eskimo words for "snow". It's a hoax. Professor Boas, anthropologist at Columbia University, has mentioned casually that the Inuit Eskimos have four root words for snow and it gets blown out of proportion. English has more than 4 words for snow, yet, with all the other strange rumors about the Inuits, such as wife sharing or abandoning grandpa on an ice flow to be eaten by polar bears, the legend grows about the number of words Inuits have for snow. Soon it is 7 words. Maybe 100 words. These so-called facts make it into articles of Amazing Stuff, and it becomes an urban legend. Professor Boas is really sorry. There is no stopping it. [8] [9]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
One of Professor Boa's students was the famous anthropologist, Margaret Mead. I read one of her books because of an on-going controversy over whether men and women are different other than physically. Dr. Mead had studied a primitive society that had a gender-bender mentality. The women were aggressive, and did all the hunting while the men walked with a mincing step and stayed home with the children. HOWEVER... the men dominated the social order. Hunting was not considered important, so that task was assigned to the women while the men concerned themselves with weightier matters. I told my psychiatrist friend about this male-dominance issue, and she laughed. If a man thinks that changing a diaper is the most important thing in the world, you can bet that he also thinks that a woman could not possibly do it correctly. There are always exceptions, but generally speaking, men do what men do, and when women encroach on manly things, the men find something else to dominate. [10]

Notable Births

  • L. Ron Hubbard (Author and founder of Scientology) [11]
  • Ronald Reagan (Actor, union leader, Governor of California, and President of the United States.) [12]
  • Lucille Ball (Star of "I Love Lucy" and producer of "Mission:Impossible" and "Star Trek".) [13]
  • And don't forget: Vincent Price, Danny Kaye, Ginger Rogers, Spike Jones, Roy Rogers, and freakin' Bill Monroe! [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19]

In Other News

  • Glenn Curtiss builds the 1st sea plane, and Eugene Ely lands a Curtiss plane on the afterdeck of the USS Pennsylvania. The US military buys a Curtiss... naturally. [20] [21] [22] [23]
  • The Italians perform the 1st aerial reconnaissance, and airstrike. Grenades are dropped on Turkish troops in Libya. The Turks establish a 'no fly zone' by shooting down the 1st airplane. [24] [25] [26]
  • The richest black man in the USA passes away. John Trower started with zip and leaves almost $28 million in 2015 dollars in trust for his family. He ran a catering business, invested in real estate and opened a vocational school. (He was not alone.) [27] [28]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1911, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. M1911 pistol - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 6 December 2016. “This led to the 1906 trials of pistols from six firearms manufacturing companies (namely, Colt, Bergmann, Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken (DWM), Savage Arms Company, Knoble, Webley, and White-Merril).”
  2. Luger pistol - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 6 December 2016.
  3. Savage Model 1907 - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 6 December 2016. “Although smaller in size, it is derived from the .45 semi-automatic pistol Savage submitted to the 1906-1911 US Army trials to choose a new semi-automatic sidearm. After several years of testing the Savage pistol was one of two finalists but ultimately lost to the Colt entry, which became famous as the Colt Model 1911. 181 of these .45 ACP pistols were returned to Savage after the testing and sold on the civilian market.”
  4. THE TRIANGLE SHIRTWAIST FACTORY FIRE. OSHA.gov (GOVERNMENT SITE) (2011). Retrieved on 6 December 2016. “The building had only one fire escape, which collapsed during the rescue effort. Long tables and bulky machines trapped many of the victims. Panicked workers were crushed as they struggled with doors that were locked by managers to prevent theft, or doors that opened the wrong way. Only a few buckets of water were on hand to douse the flames. Outside, firefighters' ladders were too short to reach the top floors and ineffective safety nets ripped like paper.”
  5. Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire 1911 - YouTube (2016). Retrieved on 6 December 2016. “The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire: It was the worst factory fire in the history of New York City. Late in the afternoon of Saturday, 25 March 1911, fire broke out at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company, located on the 8th, 9th, and 10th floors of the Asch Building. In less than five minutes fire snuffed out the lives of 146 workers.”
  6. Introduction . Triangle Fire . American Experience . WGBH - PBS. pbs.org (2016). Retrieved on 6 December 2016. “After the strike had continued for 11 weeks, the Triangle owners finally agreed to higher wages and shorter hours. But they drew the line at a union. Back on the job, the Triangle workers still lacked real power to improve the worst conditions of the factory floor: inadequate ventilation, lack of safety precautions and fire drills -- and locked doors.”
  7. Los Angeles Times bombing - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 6 December 2016. “At 1:07 a.m. on October 1, 1910, a bomb went off in an alley outside the three-story Los Angeles Times building located at First Street and Broadway in Los Angeles. The bomb was supposed to go off at 4:00 a.m. when the building would have been empty, but the clock timing mechanism was faulty. The 16 sticks of dynamite in the suitcase bomb were not enough to destroy the whole building, but the bombers were not aware of the presence of natural gas main lines under the building.[11] The bombers were also unaware that a number of Times employees were working overnight to produce an extra edition the next afternoon which would carry the results of the Vanderbilt Cup auto race.[12] The bomb collapsed the side of the building, and the ensuing fire destroyed the Times building and a second structure next door that housed the paper's printing press. Of the 115 people still in the building, 21 died (most of them in the fire).”
  8. Pinker, Steven. Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language, The. HarperPerennial. ISBN 0060976519. “In 1911 Boas casually mentioned that Eskimos used four unrelated word roots for snow. Whorf embellished the count to seven and implied that there were more. His article was widely reprinted, then cited in textbooks and popular books on language, which led to successively inflated estimates in other textbooks, articles, and newspaper columns of Amazing Facts.” 
  9. Franz Boas - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 6 December 2016. “Studying in Germany, Boas was awarded a doctorate in 1881 in physics while also studying geography. He then participated in a geographical expedition to northern Canada where he became fascinated with the culture and language of the Baffin Island Inuit. He went on to do field work with the indigenous cultures and languages of the Pacific Northwest. In 1887 he emigrated to the United States where he first worked as a museum curator at the Smithsonian, and in 1899 became professor of anthropology at Columbia University where he remained for the rest of his career. Through his students, many of whom went on to found anthropology departments and research programmes inspired by their mentor, Boas profoundly influenced the development of American anthropology. Among his most significant students were Manuel Gamio, A. L. Kroeber, Ruth Benedict, Edward Sapir, Margaret Mead, Melville Herskovits, and Zora Neale Hurston.”
  10. Mead, Margaret. Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies. Morrow. ISBN 0688060161. 
  11. L. Ron Hubbard - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 6 December 2016. “Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (March 13, 1911 – January 24, 1986), better known as L. Ron Hubbard (/ɛl rɒn ˈhʌˌbərd/, ELL-ron-HUB-ərd[2]) and often referred to by his initials, LRH, was an American author and the founder of the Church of Scientology. In 2014, Hubbard was cited by the Smithsonian magazine as one of the 100 most significant Americans of all time, as one of the eleven religious figures on that list.”
  12. Ronald Reagan - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 6 December 2016. “Ronald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was an American politician and actor who was the 40th President of the United States, from 1981 to 1989. Before his presidency, he was the 33rd Governor of California, from 1967 to 1975, after a career as a Hollywood actor and union leader.”
  13. Lucille Ball - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 6 December 2016. “Lucille Désirée Ball (August 6, 1911 – April 26, 1989) was an American actress, comedienne, model, film-studio executive, and producer. She was best known as the star of the self-produced sitcoms I Love Lucy, The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show, Here's Lucy, and Life with Lucy.[1]”
  14. Lucille Ball - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 6 December 2016. “In 1962, Ball became the first woman to run a major television studio, Desilu Productions, which produced many popular television series, including Mission: Impossible and Star Trek.”
  15. Ginger Rogers - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 6 December 2016. “She is known for her performances in films and RKO's musical films in which she was partnered with Fred Astaire.”
  16. Danny Kaye - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 6 December 2016. “Kaye starred in 17 movies, notably Wonder Man (1945), The Kid from Brooklyn (1946), The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947), The Inspector General (1949), Hans Christian Andersen (1952), White Christmas (1954), and The Court Jester (1956). His films were popular, especially his performances of patter songs and favorites such as 'Inchworm' and 'The Ugly Duckling'.”
  17. Roy Rogers - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 6 December 2016. “Roy Rogers (born Leonard Franklin Slye, November 5, 1911 – July 6, 1998) was an American singer and actor who was one of the most popular Western stars of his era. Known as the 'King of the Cowboys', he appeared in over 100 films and numerous radio and television episodes of The Roy Rogers Show.”
  18. Vincent Price - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 6 December 2016. “He appeared on stage, television, radio, and in over one hundred films. He has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: one for motion pictures, and one for television.”
  19. Bill Monroe - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 6 December 2016. “William Smith Monroe (/mənˈroʊ/; September 13, 1911 – September 9, 1996) was an American mandolinist, singer, and songwriter who created the style of music known as bluegrass. The genre takes its name from his band, the Blue Grass Boys, named for Monroe's home state of Kentucky. Monroe's performing career spanned 69 years as a singer, instrumentalist, composer and bandleader. He is often referred to as the Father of Bluegrass.”
  20. Curtiss Model E (Sea Plane) - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 6 December 2016.
  21. Glenn Curtiss - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 6 December 2016. “Through the course of that winter, Curtiss was able to develop a float (pontoon) design that would enable him to take off and land on water. On January 26, 1911, he flew the first seaplane from the water in the United States.[19] Demonstrations of this advanced design were of great interest to the Navy, but more significant, as far as the Navy was concerned, was Eugene Ely successfully landing his Curtiss pusher (the same aircraft used to take off from the Birmingham) on a makeshift platform mounted on the rear deck of the battleship USS Pennsylvania. This was the first arrester-cable landing on a ship and the precursor of modern-day carrier operations. On January 28, 1911, Ellyson took off in a Curtiss 'grass cutter' to become the first Naval aviator.”
  22. USS Pennsylvania (ACR-4) - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 6 December 2016. “On 18 January 1911, a plane flown by Eugene Ely from the Tanforan airfield in San Bruno, California landed on a platform constructed on her afterdeck. This was the first successful aircraft landing on a ship, and the first using a tailhook apparatus, thus opening the era of naval aviation and aircraft carriers.”
  23. Signal Corps (United States Army) - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 6 December 2016. “On 1 August 1907, an Aeronautical Division was established within the Office of the Chief Signal Officer (OCSO). In 1908, on Fort Myer, Virginia, the Wright brothers made test flights of the Army's first airplane built to Signal Corps' specifications. Reflecting the need for an official pilot rating, War Department Bulletin No. 2, released on 24 February 1911, established a 'Military Aviator' rating. Army aviation remained within the Signal Corps until 1918, when it became the Army Air Service.”
  24. Grun, Bernard. org/books/OL1756160M/The_timetables_of_history The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 464-465. 
  25. Italo-Turkish War - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 6 December 2016.
  26. Italo-Turkish War - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 6 December 2016. “The Italo-Turkish War saw numerous technological changes, including the airplane. On October 23, 1911, an Italian pilot, Captain Carlo Piazza, flew over Turkish lines on the world's first aerial reconnaissance mission,[9] and on November 1, the first ever aerial bomb was dropped by Sottotenente Giulio Gavotti, on Turkish troops in Libya, from an early model of Etrich Taube aircraft.”
  27. John Trower of Philadelphia Dies - Crisis Magazine, April … - Flickr (2016). Retrieved on 6 December 2016.
  28. John S. Trower - Historic Germantown (February 10, 2011). Retrieved on 6 December 2016. “He worked on a farm in Eastville until he was able, at age twenty-one, to accrue enough money to present his mother with the deed to the farm. Trower then traveled to Baltimore, attaining a job as an oyster-opener in a restaurant. It was during this time that Trower learned the majority of the skills he would later apply to his future catering business in Germantown, Philadelphia.”

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