Between April 13 and 14th, 1925, it seems that of the New York metropolitan area just had a bad day. It wasn’t one thing in particular, but whole host of petty annoyances.
Professor Shaw vented spleen at New York’s men, “Man is becoming effeminate,” he claimed. “There are now flappers in both sexes…the haberdasher sells the man lilac pajamas, embroidered bathrobes, silk slippers and cosmetics. He goes home with them, the women see them and get jealous, so they invent a new style, going the man one better.”
Shaw predicted a dismal future. “Women now does man’s work and gets man’s pay….Hence she is easing up on her man’s purse. That makes him ease up on his efforts. Men used to pay the car fare and the restaurant check. But girls now have their own nickels and dollars. Marriage is becoming just a way station where the train stops. It is less like the Grand Central Terminal of the old-fashioned women’s ambition.” Shaw attributed it all to the decline of the stiff collars that had rubbed men’s necks raw for 100 years, “[w]hen man changed his stiff collar and starched shirt for a soft collar and silk shirt, it was too attractive and women copied it.”
Edwin H. Anderson, director of the New York Public Library, felt the NYPL was under siege. Said Anderson “The latest craze to strike libraries is the cross word puzzle. There is much to be said for such puzzles as recreation, in the hospital, on an ocean voyage or a railway journey, or as a cure for insomnia, but when prizes are offered for solutions, and the puzzle fans swarm to the dictionaries and encyclopedias so as to drive away readers and students who need these books in their daily work, can there be any doubt of the library’s duty to protect its legitimate readers.” Henceforth, Anderson assured the public, dictionaries and encyclopedias will only be issued to those who would assure the librarians that they “were not wanted for puzzle purposes.”
Up in the Central Park Zoo, “Duke,” a five year old baboon in tore the door from his cage and after tearing the head from a ring tailed monkey, declared his sovereignty over the Monkey House. Crowds fled screaming for the exits, as Duke bombarded them with ring tailed monkey parts. Five hours later, after police surrounded the building, three revolver shots brought Duke to the ground, dead.
On Staten Island, residents read in their papers that Governor Al Smith had yet to sign Staten Island Tunnel Bill, which promised to bring passenger rail access directly to the Island. Subscribers complained grumpily that it seemed as if they’d never get rail access to Manhattan and Brooklyn.
At No. 8 Stagg Street, in Brooklyn, little John Wojdag, age 4, went missing. He’d been at the supper table, but as children are want to do, had wandered off. His father, Victor, heard a scream and went dashing outside, only to be told by another small boy that little John had fallen down the sewer on Union Avenue. The elder Woljdag went down the sewer, followed by teams of firemen to search the sewers for the missing boy. The child could not be found, and Victor wrung his hands in despair. Only then did little John appear from behind a nearby house, nonchalantly sucking a lollipop and wondering what the commotion was about.
A mile or so away, near the Manhattan Bridge, cab driver James A. Carroll was having quite a time. The high voltage trolley power wire, which supplied electricity to the trolleys heading over the Manhattan Bridge’s 3 cent streetcar line, had snapped the windshield of his cab, and coiled around the metal radiator. His passengers, two women, screamed and became hysterical. Not hysterical enough, it seems, to jump into another cab, presumably after paying the fare, once the electricity had been shut off. Carroll was treated at the Cumberland Street Hospital.
Frederick Selfort, twenty-five, of No. 124 94th Street in Astoria, was shot in the arm at 45th and Broadway. No one heard the shot fired, and Selfort had no enemies. He hailed a cab (presumably not James A. Carroll’s) and was driven to the hospital, were his condition was not serious.
Theresa McCormack, forty-five, of Portland, Oregon, was sentenced to forty-five days in prison for unlawfully soliciting alms in the guise of a Benedictine nun. It seems she’d had a habit of doing so, having been the subject of numerous complaints. McCormack made no confession.
Even Babe Ruth could have a bad day. It was Opening Day, and everyone who was anyone was out to see the game.
The Yankees played the Senators, Wally Pipp played well at first, and Everett Scott held his own at shortstop, playing in his record 1,291 straight game, a streak fans were pretty sure would never be surpassed. Scott had shown up, but the Babe hadn’t. Ruth was in the hospital with a high fever, complaining that they were feeding him broth and hominy when all he wanted was some red meat.
Even without the Babe, things weren’t all bad. Urban Shocker, one of the last pitchers who could legally throw a spitball, gave up one run on seven scattered hits as the Yankees won 5-1.