The world’s most murderous country

Clippings from the newspapers of February 26, 1929.

London Free Press. “The United States is, among all the civilized nations of the world, the country in which the crime of murder is most frequently committed and least frequently punished,” former Cornell University president Andrew D. White tells Cornell students in a speech at Ithaca, New York. Five hundred murders are said to be committed each year. White condemned “over-wrought sentimentality in favour of the criminals. Germs of maudlin sentimentality are widespread. On every hand we hear of sympathy; the criminal called ‘plucky,’ ‘nervy,’ ‘fighting against fearful odds for his life.’.. I have no sympathy for the criminal.”

Violent Chicago
Halifax Herald. Chicago voters are to elect aldermen today and violence has marked the campaign, reports the Herald. “Candidate in “Bloody Twentieth’ ward threatened with death unless he quits race. Bullet, stray or deliberate, cuts neat hole in windshield of automobile carrying campaign captain of candidate in fourth ward. Voters living within the range of the University of Chicago campus receive warnings they will be ‘taken for a ride’ if they show up at the polls.” A later Canadian Press report says all available police officers have been called out with orders to “Smash the butt of your gun over the heads of hoodlums as soon as you see them.” Half a dozen of the “hoodlums” have already been arrested, including Abe (Humpy) Klass, brother of Martin Klass, a candidate in the Bloody Twentieth ward whose opponent has been threatened with death. Others arrested include George Barker and Michael Reilly, acquitted of murder a week ago.

Ice freeze
Peterborough Examiner. “The ice harvest is practically over” and some of the largest users will have to go without this summer, says the Examiner. The price has about doubled because of difficult harvesting conditions. Thinking that “more sleighing” would reduce prices, some big users delayed signing supply contract. But “recent mild weather… has played havoc with the ice in Little Lake, and it is now so thin that it is impossible to drive a team over it.”

Alcoholic dog
Lindsay Post. “The liquor store remained open later than usual last evening because a dog, with foam or froth on its lips, refused to get out of the doorway. After some discussion the dog catcher was called in and he removed the animal in a bag. If the dog had been outside the brewery warehouse the froth could possibly have been explained; if it had come from a bootlegger’s one could imagine why it was mad; but standing in the liquor store doorway—it has probably developed bad habits. Chief Lawier thought that it had been poisoned, however, as it seemed partly paralyzed.”

Vanity Fair, cited in Montreal Star, reveals its misogyny, or at least male chauvinism. “The individual woman, taken separately, may be a capable and useful members of society; but to find seven or eight who will act intelligently in concert seems well-nigh impossible, and the masculine verdict that a ladies’ committee generally resolves itself into talk, temper, tears and tea, though brutal, is not, after all, so very wide of the mark.”

CPR stock
Edmonton Bulletin. An offering by the CPR to sell to its shareholders stock in the company at par value of $40 million but worth $60 million on the open market might be good news for the shareholders but not so good for the country, claims the Bulletin. The country needs more railways and $40 million will build only two-thirds as much as $60 million. “Were the CPR a private enterprise built up by the unaided efforts of its shareholders,” there could be no complaint, but since it has been built with the support of the people of Canada in the form of land and financial grants, “The only remedy for the people of Canada lies in doing to the CPR as the CPR has done to the people.”

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