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Saturday, January 29, 2011

January 29, 1931- News of the Day

History can be interesting and it can be very dull-- well, actually that determination of 'dullness' is usually dependent on how open or limited a person's mind is to learning of the past.   Of course, today's present is tomorrow's history and anything we care about to read in the news occurring now, will become distant memory soon after.  Back on January 29, 1931, to a couple billion people living then, that specific day was their "present"- and here was a slice of life back then- the news of that day...

All articles from New York Times front page- January 29, 1931

$25,000,000 Drought Fund Declined by Red Cross

"Controversy over the appropriation by the government of $25,000,000 to be administered by the Red Cross in providing food for sufferers in the drought and other distressed areas burst out with new vigor today in both Senate and House, after Chairman Payne of the Red Cross declared before a House committee that his organization would refuse to handle such a fund. Democratic Senators promptly asserted that Congress, in that event, would set up its own relief agency...

Senator (Joseph) Robinson was on the Senate floor when word of Chairman Payne's testimony reached him. He was on his feet instantly:

"If the Red Cross refuses to respond to the ordinary impulses which move the human heart, if it refuses for any reason to carry on, the Congress will find Its own agencies for distribution of such funds as the Congress finds should be appropriated...  Do you know what the policy of the Red Cross and President Hoover implies? It implies that there shall be no general measure of relief for the unemployed in the great centers of this country, no matter how long the present' condition continues or how great the distress may become... the Red Cross for refusing to respond to the requirements of the situation... has done more to discredit that great organization than anything that has happened or can happen" "

Finland Moves for Revision of Dry Law After Giving It Trial of 12 Years

"The prohibition situation in Finland is rapidly approaching a crisis which will probably lead to thorough revision or abolition of the 12-year-old prohibition law. The government has appointed a committee of experts to investigate thoroughly the social conditions created by prohibition and suggest necessary amendments... the government, which all along has taken a critical view of prohibition, has now decided to challenge the drys' opposition.  The time for the decisive move is well chosen, as the economic depression
demands increased State revenues and popular opinion is growing more hostile to prohibition, which, many hold, has by no means decreased drinking, as the law is Impossible to enforce."

~ This article is interesting because the US was still in the midst of Prohibition and it shows via the editorializing at the end, that Americans were getting fed up with the law too.

21 Italian Soldiers Killed by Avalanches; Starving Survivors Reach Base In Blizzard

"Three officers, two non-commissioned officers and sixteen soldiers were killed yesterday and Monday under avalanches in the mountains above Bardoneeehia during Winter manoeuvres in the worst Alpine tragedy in recent years... They were caught by a blizzard on their return from a difficult ascent to the summit of Galambra... The weather was so bad they decided to take shelter. On Monday the blizzard showed no signs of abating and the officers decided to reach their base at all costs, because they were without food or wood for making fires.

They had not gone many miles when an avalanche buried several of their number. The survivors saved most of those buried by the snow, only one man being killed and one injured. The march proceeded, but soon another avalanche of greater proportions fell upon them. It was then decided to return to the hut from which they had started and spend another night there. Yesterday hunger again drove them out and they made a desperate attempt to reach their base. Another avalanche fell upon them, killing all but nine"

~  Very sad story.. notice the Italian soldiers survived two avalanches before eventually succumbing to the third one

Lowman Opposes Soviet Goods Ban

"The State Department has advised the Treasury Department against sending investigators to Russia, as they might be lined against a wall and shot, thus causing an international crisis, Seymour Lowman, Assistant Secretary of State, told the House Way and Means Committee today in its hearing on the Kendall bill which would exclude convict-made goods.

"The government of the United States would not allow pirates to bring goods into this country," Representative (George) Brumm said in urging protection for the anthracite industry, "but it will allow an outlaw nation, outlawed by the government itself, to ship commodities in competition with that made by honest labor in this nation."

Secretary Lowman said that exports to Russia from this country for the calendar year 1930 were valued at $150,000,000 and the imports from Russia at $30,000,000."

~ What makes this article interesting is back then people in Congress actually Fought to preserve US jobs. The issue is whether convict made goods i.e. cheap labor was going to replace US labor.  Also interesting that unlike presently, three years into the Great Depression, we had trade surpluses.  We exported 5x more to the Soviet Union than we imported.

The Tiny Planet Eros Will Visit Us Tonight; Sky Vagabond Only 16,000,000 Miles Away

"There will be much excitement in many astronomical observatories throughout the world tonight, for the earth will be able to view an unusual traveler of the skies. The eagerly awaited minor planet Eros will come within about 16,000,000 miles of our globe, closer than at any period since its discovery in 1898 and nearer than any other heavenly body has ever come to us with the exception of the earth's satellite, the moon.  After saying its brief "Hello" the diminutive fragment of a lost world, which is about seventeen miles in diameter, will speed away on its erratic path through the heavens, not to appear so close to earth again until 1975."

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