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The Lampooning of Picasso (Literary Digest, 1913)

"A child could do that" has been one of the most common utterances in response to the avant-garde movements of modern art. This short article reflects that view and was written in response to the New York Armory Show, which at that time, was attracting a good deal of attention in the press. The Armory Show is well-remembered today as the first art exhibition to introduce European-style modernism to the people (and artists) of that city. Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973), as the co-creator of Cubism, is among those lampooned, as is Marcel Duchamp (1887 - 1968) for his painting, "A Nude Descending the Staircase".

Another Picasso article can be read here...


Iceberg Warnings as Early as January (Popular Mechanics, 1912)

The attached two paragraphs appeared in POPULAR MECHANICS MAGAZINE some six weeks prior to the maiden voyage of TITANIC:

"As many as 4,500 different bergs have been actually counted in a run of 2,000 miles; estimated heights of from 800 to 1,700 feet are not uncommon, and bergs with lengths of from 6 to 82 miles are numerous."

The notice indicated that if the Indian Ocean is suffering such a large number then certainly it can be surmised that the North Atlantic will be plagued doubly. It stands to reason that if the editors of this magazine were aware of the heavy presence of South-bound icebergs, then the naval community must also have been in the know.




Henry Travers as 'Clarence the Guardian Angel' (Stage Magazine, 1937)

Ten years prior to being cast in the roll as George Baily's guardian angel, "Clarence", the actor Henry Travers (1874 1965) appeared in the Broadway play "You Can't Take it With You". Playing the part of "Grandpa Sycamore", he was singled out for praise by the editors of "Stage Magazine"; the review is attached herein.


Lenin, Rockefeller and Diego Rivera (The Literay Digest, 1933)

When it was made known to Nelson Rockefeller that the muralist he retained to decorate the lobby of his New York Building (Rockefeller Plaza) had taken the liberty of painting the likeness of Lenin in the work, letters were exchanged between the two men. The attached column is an excerpt from a longer piece that pertains to the dust-up.


PR from the Jungles of Cuba... (Coronet Magazine, 1958)

The last thing the aspiring Communist dictator Fidel Castro needed in the Fall of 1958 was to have the dreaded "Yanquees" breathing down his neck; and so to buy some time, he penned this seven page article for the easily-bamboozled editors of CORONET magazine and packed it full of hooey, with lines like: "A million unemployed bespeaks a terrible economic sickness which must be cured... lest it fester into communism." It was this article, among other deceptions, that made President Eisenhower believe that the new government of Cuba was deserving of diplomatic recognition in February of 1959. Less than two years later the Kennedy administration severed ties with the Cuban regime and shortly after launched an ill-fated attack on the island cleptocracy.


The Power of the African-American Press (Pageant Magazine, 1952)

"President Truman was re-elected in 1948 by a slender margin of 52,000 votes in the circulation area of the CHICAGO DEFENDER, which almost alone of all the newspapers of all kinds in that area, supported Truman. After the election it published a boastful full-page advertisement - "

"What is the Negro press? Primarily it is a protest press demanding the correction of injustice to colored people. 'We are organs of protest,' explains Thomas W. Young, publisher of the NORFOLK JOURNAL AND GUIDE, 'born more than a hundred years ago in righteous indignation over the institution of slavery


The Increased Suicide Rate (Literary Digest, 1933)

With the arrival of the Great Depression came a remarkable increase in the American suicide rate that surged from 18 in 100,000 up to 22 in 100,000. When this article appeared on the newsstands the Depression was just three and a half years old - with six and a half more years yet to come. As the Americans saw 1932 come to a close, the records showed that 3,088 more acts of self-immolation had taken place than had been recorded the year before.

This article devoted very little column space to the growing number of global suicides, as the title indicates, but primarily concerns U.S. statistics, breaking down the figures by listing the cities with the higher suicide rates and what manner of adult was most likely to indulge.

Another article on this topic can be read here...




''I'm Homosexual'' (Pageant Magazine, 1953)

This memoir is interesting on a number of levels, but it stands out for having the earliest printed use of the word "gay" - when used in the same sense it is used today:

"The homosexuals have a slang of their own; to cite one of the better known words, they refer to themselves as 'gay'".


Forty Years of Women Voting (Pageant Magazine, 1960)

In the fourth decade of women's suffrage, researchers had discovered that there were more women than men listed on the voting registries. Republican Party executive Clare Williams noted:

"Women now hold the balance of power."


Replacing American Combat Uniforms (The Official Record, 1922)

The World War I American uniform data attached herein answers the question as to how often Doughboy uniforms would wear out and need replacing. This information was all transcribed by U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps and published in a book titled THE OFFICIAL RECORD OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE WORLD WAR (1922).


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