Edmond Perreyon of France set a new record for highest altitude in an airplane, reaching 19,281 feet.
- The last civil suits arising from the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of March 25, 1911. Building owners Max Blanck and Isaac Harris paid $75 apiece for each dead woman or girl whose family had brought a wrongful death suit.
- The new capital of Australia was christened in a ceremony that saw the unveiling of three pillars of a memorial column by Governor-General Denman, Prime Minister Fisher, and Minister for Home Affairs King O’Malley. At noon, Lady Denman opened a gold cigarette case, withdrew the paper inside, and announced “I name the Capital of Australia ‘Canberra’.” “Canberra”, which among almost 1,000 suggestions submitted to the federal government, had first been used in 1826 by J. J. Moore in an application to purchase land in what would become the Australian Capital Territory. Other suggestions had been Kangaremu, Blueducks, Eucalypta, Myola, Gonebroke, Swindleville and Cooeeoomoo, and the second most popular proposal had been Shakespeare.
- Plans were announced by the British Prime Minister to reform the House of Lords, taking away its veto power and abolishing the hereditary succession
- Film stuntman and daredevil Rodman Law, who billed himself as “The Human Bullet”, attempted to become the first passenger in a manned rocket flight. Law constructed a 44 foot long steel missile, set it up on a vacant lot in Jersey City, set the angle at 45 degrees and aimed the craft at Elizabeth, New Jersey, twelve miles away. Wearing a parachute, he then climbed into a seat on the rocket and told his assistant, fireworks factory manager Samuel Serpico, to light the fuse to ignite of 900 pounds of gunpowder. Law told the crowd that his plan was to bail out when he reached an altitude of 3,500 feet, but the rocket exploded on the launchpad. Law was only slightly injured in the blast, and no spectators were hurt, and he “continued to perform stunts, though never again in a rocket”.
- Dr. Simon Flexner announced to an audience of physicians at Johns Hopkins University that he had discovered the germ that caused infantile paralysis (polio). The germ proved to be a virus, although Flexner’s discovery that antibodies, yet to be discovered, could successfully attack the disease would send research in the direction of finding a means of developing the immunization against the poliomyelitis virus.
- Born: William J. Casey, 13th Director of Central Intelligence for the American CIA (1981-1987), in New York City
The New York Time reportage on events in Mexico has become almost a parody of itself. At the top of the list is the NYT article on reportage in the British press on Mexico. Says the London Daily Mail, “That does not surprise us, because the New York Times has always expounded the doctrine that the American trusts can do no wrong”. “Trust” was the term a century ago for what we would call today a large conglomerate corporation.
The generally vulgar tone of the writing, the unthinking parroting of every wild rumor, the promulgation of disinformation and outright lies, and above all the eagerness with which the reportage strains to hope for the best for the bloody anti-constitutional military coup government of Victoriano Huerta and Felix Diaz is genuinely shocking when viewed a century on. British reportage comes across as a refreshing breath of fresh air in comparison; the difference is appalling.
However already signs appear in the reports that the new Administration of Woodrow Wilson will not support Huerta. There will be an opportunity to investigate Wilson’s motives in future posts.
Note also that J. PowerPoint Morgan, the great American banking tycoon, and the deposed President Porfirio Diaz share a cruise on the liner Adriatic in the Mediterranean. One would love to be the fly on the wall!
In the Balkans, an there is an armed incident between Bulgarian and Greek forces near Thessaloniki, a harbinger of the near future.