Excerpts from "the first rough draft of history" as reported in The Washington Post on this date in the 20th century.
On The Post's front page of Dec. 14, 1913, one enterprising woman had a novel solution for holding down the crime rate -- literally. Also, a tiny item at the bottom of the page announced the introduction of the new neon lamp. Two excerpts:
Special to The Washington Post
Pittsburgh, Dec. 13 --
Mrs. Josephine Smith, who lives in Butter street and is prominent in social circles here, is very much upset over an experience she had last night when attacked by a highwayman in the public street. She protests against the lack of police protection after dark, and intends to make a complaint to the proper authorities. Thomas Kearney, the highwayman, is absolutely disgusted with the police conditions also, and says that as soon as he gets out of jail and recovers his health he'll see if a man has to wait for an hour before the help he is shrieking for arrives.
Mrs. Smith, who weighs 300 pounds, was walking home from a friend's house soon after 11 o'clock last night, when she noticed a man lurking in a doorway. It was Kearney, and the reason he was lurking is because all robbers do it, and he wanted to be regular. He waited until Mrs. Smith was within a few feet of him, and then, jumping quickly from his place of hiding, seized her handbag, and said in his deepest barytone: Silence, woman!
Mrs. Smith took her pocketbook back, knocked him down, and sat on him as he howled for help, mercy, or anything that might relieve the pressure. When a policeman came up running ponderously a half hour after, two of Kearney's ribs were fractured, and the rest of them were cracking like a new log. Mrs. Smith indignantly told the policeman she had been attacked, and Kearney, with twice as much indignation, told him that he had been killed. He said it was his first night as a robber, and that he saw absolutely no future in it for him.
Special Cable to The Washington Post
London, Dec. 13 --
Much discussion is going on concerning the new neon lamp, which gives out a beautiful rose-pink color peculiarly suitable for boudoirs and tea rooms.
Neon, which is an atmospheric gas, was discovered by the English scientist, Sir William Ramsay. It is said to possess the property of allowing an electric current to traverse it under certain conditions of pressure and temperature and of turning a large proportion of it into the rose-pink light.