Abilene Reporter News (Newspaper) - October 31, 1938, Abilene, Texas
Dies Charges New Deal Intimidation of Radio Station over Which He’s to Speak Tonight-See Page IO
NEWSPAPER®fje Abilene Sporter"WITHOUT, OR WITH OFFENSE TO FRIENDS OR FOES WE SKE! CH YOUR WORLD EXACTLY AS -Byron_
VOL. LYM I, NO. 153.
Catted Press (UPI
ABILENE, TEXAS, MONDAY EVENING, OCTOBER 31, 1938—TEN PAGES.
Associated Press (AP)
PRICE FIVE CENTS
CAUSING INVESTIGATION—Too-Real Radio Drama of Mars
JURORS STAMPEDE TO SEE SALLY BUBBLE DANCE
HOLLYWOOD. Oct. 31—(UP) —There was a rush of patriots who wanted to be jurors when word got around that Sally Rand, in her trial todav on charges of biting two customers. might perform her bubble dance in court.
Never has anyone seen Miss Rand in her gown of talcum powder except under the Hue
glow of a muted spotlight. And never before in history of Southern California Jurisprudence have so many good men and true showed willingness—nay, anxiety—to serve as jurymen at $3 per day, plus food. plus whatever entertainment. Judge Harold B. Landreth wouldn’t discuss the bubble evidence.
Miss Rand is charged with
ruining the suspenders, clawing the neck and mauling the person of C. R. Stanford, a farmer, who sat in the front row at the Paramount theater and snapped her picture while she danced. Sh i. accused also of sinking her teeth into the left arm of Hazel Drain, Stanford s girl friend.
Firing Squad Kills Slayer
Heart Action Record KeptHoldup Murderer Calm to Last as Scientific Subject
SALT LAKE CITY, Oct. 31. — (AP)—A firing squad executed John W. Deering at dawn today in state prison while an electro-cardiograph recorded probably for the first time the action of the human heart pierced by bullets.
Deering, who had sought in every way to speed hts death and who participated willingly in the scientific experiment to determine how long his heart would beat after being struck, was calm to the end. FINDINGS NOT REVEALED The five-man firing squad was given the order to fire at 7:46 a rn. (Abilene time) and at 7:48 1-2 a rn. Deering wa* pronounced dead in expiation for the May 9 holdup murder of Oliver R Meredith, Salt Lake City businessman.
TTiere were ominous clouds gainst the pale sky over the mountains as Deering was led quickly from hts cell block and strapped in his chair against a prison wall. Electric wires were attached to his wrists and carried to a delicate machine his last heart beats. Scientists began an immediate study of the reeord but said it would be a number of hours before they could announce any findings.
Utah is the only state in the union now using a firing squad. Convicted men are given the alternative of this or hanging. One of the five rifles used is loaded with a blank.
The five marksmen who acted as executioners were recruited by Sheriff S. Grant Young of Salt Lake county, their names kept a secret. They were taken to the prison in a closed car. given rifles and assigned positions behind a curtain. As soon as they fired, they left as unobtrusively as they had come. THANKS WARDEN Deering's final words as he was seated blindfolded in his chair facing his executioners less than 30 feet away were:
“I want to thank the warden' for being so damn good to me.
I appreciate it. Goodbye and good luck to all of you.”
Then the guards and ministers stepped back, there was an unseen
See EXECUTION, Pg. 9, Col. f
BABY THRUST INTO STOVE
COLUMBUS. Ga., Oct. 31—(AP)—Burial was arranged today for three-months-old Priscilla Ann Turner, who Police Capt. J. T. Spence said was burned to death when placed In a coal heater.
Spencer said Mrs. Lucite M. Adams, middle-aged widow, placed the baby In the heater at her home where the Infant's mother, Mrs. T. E. Turner, rented living quarters.
Mrs. Turner told officers she left the baby with Mrs. Adams Saturday at the latter’s request, and left the room. Hearing screams, she rushed back and dragged the child from the fire, but it died later.
Police Chief J. W. Satterfield said Mrs. Adams probably would be given a lunacy hearing. He said she was being held on a charge of murder.
Crash Near Here Fatal to Oil Man
Floyd G. Williams of Breckenridge Crushed
Between Tools, Motor os Auto Leaps Ditch
Floyd O. Williams, about 42. transportation foreman for tnt Sinclair Oil company with headquarters in Breckenridge, was killed almost Instantly about 5 o'clock this morning in an automobile accident two miles south of Lake Kirby. Williams was driving north, toward Abilene.
Hi* automobile struck the left rear hub cap of an automobile owned bv H. A. Jamar, Coleman, which
was parked off the highway. Williams' car skidded IOO yards, jumped a ditch and plowed into an embankment.
When found. Williams was pinned between the motor and several hundred pounds of tools in the back of the car.
Jamar was sleeping with his head j near the rear of his car. The impact moved the car about a foot. If it had moved slightly more, Jamar might have been seriously injured or killed, Capt. Harry Hutchison of the state highway patrol, said this morning.
Justice of the Peace Theo Ash re- | turned a verdict of accidental death.
Williams’ body was taken to Laughter Funeral home here. Relatives from Breckenridge were to arrive this morning.Haste Makes Traffic Waste
French General Dies
LYON, France, Oct. 31.—OP)— Gen. Joseph Degoutte, former commander of the allied armies in the Rhineland, died today at the age of 72. Death came to the aged general at his home In the little village of Charnay near here. Despite his long retirement from active service he was a member of the general staff until his death.
Abilenians who were in a
hurry going to and from the Eagle-Mustang football game in Sweetwater Friday night found out that haste makes tickets—the traffic kind.
State highway patrolmen passed out eight of them for speeding, and the returns were being turned in to Justice of the Peace J. D. Perry’ Jr., today. Two were fined $18 each and the other six w’ere to report.
Justice of the Peace Theo Ash meted out two $1 fines for Saturday speeders in court this morning also.
BELLEFONTE, Pa , Oct. 31 —lP) —With a prayer on his lips, Antonio Peronace. 36-year-old coal miner, paid w’ith his life in the electric chair at Rock view penitentiary early today in expiation for the "wedding gift” slayings of his wife and father-in-law.Vivid Bulletins Tell Fictitious Invasion YarnHorrifying Radio Description Gives Picture at 'Front'
NEW YORK, Oct. 31—(UP) —The dramatization proper of “War of the Worlds” opened with dance music supposedly coming from the “Park-Astoria hotel.” A languid Spanish number was broken by a “news flash” reporting the observation by a university professor in the Southwest of a series of "explosions” on the planet Mars.
The music resumed, but shortly afterward another "bulletin'’ reported that a strange object was approaching the earth from Mars. A subsequent ‘’flash” said a meteorite had struck at Grovers'Mills, near Princeton, N. J.
SPACE SHIP OPENS
The broadcast scene shifted to New Jersey, and the commentator reported that the ‘ meteorite’’ had turned out to be a giant tube of a metal unknown on earth. Partial quotes from the commentator follow.*
“Just a minute. Something’s happening. Ladles and gentlemen, this la terrific. The end of this thing is beginning to come off. The top is beginning to rotate like a screw. The thing must be hollow.”
Voices of spectators, charged with rising excitement, were brought to the microphone while the ‘ space ship” opened and monster* began crawling out.
The monsters were described as possessing strange firearms which turned out to be death rays. They turned the weapons on the crowd and 200 persons “died” instantly.
The announcer said that martial law was declared in New Jersey, the state militia issued bulletins from the scenes of the spreading ’ invasion’’ and army pilots in airplanes kept up a running report to their headquarters.
MACHINES ATTACK ‘‘One machine partially crippled,” a pilot reported over the air: "Be-lived hit by shell from army gun in watching mountains. Guns now appear silent. A heavy black fog hanging over the earth ... of extreme density, nature unknown . . .
“Eenemy now turns east, crossing Passaic river into Jersey marshes. One of the gigantic creatures is straddling the Pulaski skyway. Evident objective is New York City. They're pushing down a high tension power station . . .
“The machines are close together now and we’re ready to attack . . . There they go. A giant arm la raised . . . There’s a green flash . . . They’re
spraying us with flame. Two thousand feet. Engines are giving out. No chance to release bomb. Only one thing left to do . . . drop on them, plane and all. We’re diving on the first one . . . now the en-
See BULLETINS, Pg. 9. Col. 3'News' Broadcast Terrifies Nation
Adaptation of H. G. Wells' Imaginative 'War of Worlds' Cause of Hysteria Wave
WASHINGTON, Oct. 31—(AP)—The Federal Communcations commission began an Investigation today of a dramatic radio broadcast which led some people to believe last night that men from Mars had attacked the United States.
Chairman Frank P. McNinch asked the Columbia Broadcasting system to furnish the commission with an electrical transcription of the broadcast, a dramatised version of H. G. Wells’ Imaginative story “War of the Worlds.” McNinch said:
“Any broadcast that creates such general panic and fear as this one is reported to have done is, to say the least, regrettable.”
McNinch told reporters he had received many telephone calls last night about I"ut broadcast, but that the commission had received only IO telegrams, all protesting it, this forenoon.
NEW YORK, Oct. 31.—(AP)—Thousands of terror-stricken radio listeners throughout the country fled from their homes last night when they tuned in on a series of synthetic news broadcasts which depicted the beginning of an interplanetary war.
The simulated news bulletins, which accompanied a CBS dramatization of H. 0. Wells’ fantasy “The War of the Worlds,” became so realistic that they sent a wave of mass hysteria across the continent. The broadcast was intended only as fiction.
Explanatory announcements during the program, between 8 and 9 o’clock, were overlooked by thousands who were led to believe that a poison gas expedition had arrived from Mars and was spreading death and destruction over the New York metropolitan area.
Demands for an investigation multiplied in the wake of the broadcast.
Jacques Chambrun, literary representative for H. G. Wells, said the famous British author was “deeply concerned” that the radio dramatisation of his book should have spread alarm In this country.
Chambrun said Wells cabled him from London this morning, declaring that “the Columbia Broadcasting system and Mr. Orson Welles have far overstepped their rights In the matter xxx and should make a full retraction.”
He said Wells cabled that the radio dramatisation was made “with a liberty that amounts to a complete rewriting” and made
NEW YORK, Get. 31.-*-(UP)—Columbia Broadcasting system officials here said today that, requests or no requests, the “"War of the Worlds’’ program would not be repeated.
Twelve Good Men and Heavy—
PORTLIEST PANEL IN HISTORY WEIGHS IN FOR GRAND JURY SERVICE
* * *
Carrying more weight than any grand jury in Taylor county« history are the 12 men empaneled tor duty this morning in 104th distr ct com*.
They weighed in at \ ton and a half, plus—-3,020 pounds.
Judge W. R. Chapman read a routine charge this morning to grand jurors for the opening of the 104th district court term here.
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The 104th district grand jurors who Upped the scales at 3.029 pounds are shown in this Repot ter-News photo as they weighed in this morning on cotton scales. They are left to right: J. A. Mealors Ovalo; O. O. Graham, Guion; Herman Brewster. Abilene; F. W. Foster, Wingate, foreman; G. L. Quattiebaym, Trent; Bates Thatch
er (just top of his head showing) Abilene; Sheriff Bid McAdams, receiving the weight receipt; J. A. Paterson, Merkel; Bill Ward (in white shirt), Abilene; C. D. Echols. Abilene: Elmo Higginbotham, Abilene, Tom W. Williamson, Trent; and Jack Shackelford, Abilene.
Average weight per man is 252 pounds, and at that (here la one “runt” in the group. He's a. L. Quattlebaum of Trent, at 185 pounds.
Largest grand juror is Bill Ward of Abilene, who tipped the scales this morning at 371 pounds, and admits he is 50 pounds off now’.
Herman Brewster, route 5, gives his weight at 280 pounds. He's the second largest man on the grand jury.
J. A. Patterson of Merkel is practically a light weight in the group—only 225 pounds. Then were are Elmo Higginbotham of Abilene, 220 pounds; O. O. Graham of Guion. 230 pounds; T. W. Williams of Trent. 222 pounds; Bates That-
8ee HEAVY DUTY, Pg. 9, CoLI
Wells’ novel into "an entirely different story.”
Chambrun said the author considered It a “totally unwarranted
Sen. Clyde L. Herring (D-Ia) said he planned to introduce in congress a bill "controlling Just such abuses as was heard over the radio last night, xxx Radio has no more right to present programs like that than someone has in knocking on your door and screaming,” he added.
City Manager Paul Morton of Trenton, N. J., near the locale of the fictional invasion, said he would demand an investigation by the Federal Communications commission "with the view of preventing recurrence of what happened.”
• • •
Some apartment houses in New’ York were empted hurriedy by frantic listeners to the program-and by second and third hand accounts that multiplied the Impending peril.
A woman in Pittsburgh tried suicide saying “Id rather die this way than like that.”
At a high point in the program the electric power failed at Concrete. Wash., a town of 1,090, and the lights went out in most of the homes. Many thought the Invasion had reached the west coast. Women fainted and men prepared to take their families to the mountains.
Switchboards in newspaper offices and police stations everywhere were swamped with calls from terrified people, many of them weeping.
Some reported they could smell the gas and see the Barnes started by the attackers.
People gathered in groups to pray for salvation.
All over the metropolitan area, panicky persons jumped into their automobiles and headed for the open spaces to scape the hypothetical bombing of New York.
• * *
Church services here and elsewhere were broken up by intruders who screamed the world was coming to an end. . .
“Is it true? Were 40 killed in New Jersey? Or 7,909 in New York? Are men from Mars attacking New York with deadly other-worldly weapons and gas? Was the world coming to an end?”
There wasn't a Martian in sight and the hysteria subsided almost
Abilenians cither are not in the habit of listening to Columbia broadcasts or live in such an isolated spot that they were not extremely stirred up over the Martian "invasion” of the earth last night.
Since the Reporter-News publishes no Monday morning paper, there was no one to answer what calls might have been received in the office Sunday night.
But its radio station, KRBC, reported four local and one long distance telephone Inquiries
Doug Doan, KRBC program director, said his first call came from a woman who wanted to know whether It was true that a "space ship” had landed in New Jersey and had brought an army to war on the earth.
He assured her that it was j'ist a radio drama—without knowing definitely that it was—because he had received no notice of such an incident.
Doan said that he received a call from an elderly woman in Wichita Falls, who telephoned to talk with a member of the KRBC staff whom she knew’, asking confirmation of the reports
The police station reported no calls, Desk Sgt. L. D. Irvine
as quickly as it started. But listeners viewed the broadcast with mixed
feelings principally that they had been untowardly frightened and duped
• • •
The broadcast was an adaptation of H. G. Wells’ imaginative "War of the Worlds.” further dramatized and enacted by Orson Welles, the 23-year-old Broadway theatrical prodigy. Welles Americanized the locale
Four times during the program. CBS pointed out, the announcer stressed that the story was nothing but ficion.
This comforting reiteration either escaped many of those who tuned in for the full pogram or was lost entirely to part-time listeners or late tuners-in, for it failed to prevent a hysteria Many of those who were blissfully listening to Charlie McCarthy's
unkown to the United States since the World .war.
foolishness on the NBC network doubtless were caught up in the furor of neighbors dashing out of their homes, some with personal belongings, and heading for havens against invasion from an unknown foe armed with strange death-dealing implements from another and presumably hostile planet.
Welles who startled the theater ocularly last season by portraying a Caesar in modern dress with fascist leanings, was overcome by the unbell amable reaction to his presentation of the Wells thriller- turned -horrifier.
In a statement expressing "deep regret” over apprehension the broadcast caused among ralio listeners. Welles said:
“Far from expecting the radio audience to take the program as fact rather than a fictional presentation, we feared that the dassie H. G. Wells story, which has served as Inspiration for ro many moving pictures, radio serials and even comic strips, might,
fee NEWS’ BROADCAST, Pf. 9, Col. 4FDR Seeking Peace in Rail Wage DisputeU. S. Railroad Association Head Called to Parley
WASHINGTON, Oct. 31 — (UP)—President John J. Pel-ley of the Association of American Railroads today conferred with President Roosevelt on the carriers’ wage controversy and said the president seeks settlement of the dispute “without trouble on a peaceful basis.”
Pelley was called to the White House as Mr. Roosevelt intervened to prevent development of the controversy which f greatened a strike of 1,000,000 rail workers.
TO MEET IN CHICAGO
A few minutes before the conference , Chairman H. A. Enochs of the carriers’ joint conference announced that representatives of the carriers would meet in Chicago within two weeks to decide whether to withdraw their demands for a 15 per cent wage cut.
Pelley said Mr. Roosevelt assured him the administration would support a constructive rail rehabilitation program in the next congress. He said the president was hopeful that the recently appointed “informal” committee of three rail management leaders and three labor leaders would produce s ra!l prognm which the administration could support.
President Roosevelt, in separata conferences, reviewed both sides of the wage controversy. Pelley was followed to the White House by Chairman George M. Harrison of the Railway Labor Executives association.
Leaving the White House, Harri-! son said, “The president wants railroad labor and management immediately to take up the problem of developing a program of legisla- j Hon for general rehabilitation of the railroad industry.”
TO COOPERATE "Labor assured the president,” he said, “that it would be happy to cooperate with the railroads and the government In fulfilling his request in that direction.''
• Harrison indicated that the special committee of railroad labor and management named some time ago by the president would be ready to meet in a week or IO days.
Pelley said that Mr. Roosevelt asked him to determine the railroads' attitude regarding compliance
See RAIL PEACE, Pg. 9, CoL I
CITY'S GUESTThe Weather
ABILENE and vicinity: Pirtly cloudy tonight and Tu**d»y.
Wnt Tcxa* Partly cloudy tonight and Tueiday; cooler In extrema north portion Tuesday
Kaat Texas: Partly cloudy tonight and Tuesday.
Highest temperer ire yesterday ... M Lowest temperature this morning . 59
Dry thermometer ‘.Vet thermometer Relative humidityHines Discusses Highway NeedsCommissioner Is Abilene's Guest At Breakfast
Plans of the Texas highway*com-mission for new construction projects, closing of gaps in major trunk lines, elimination of dangerous curves and narrow bridges, for building of railroad overpasses and underpasses, and farm to market roads in the Abilene area were disclosed to a group of county, city and chamber of commerce officials by Harry Hines, highway commissioner, this morning at an informal breakfast at Hotel Wooten.
Of major importance, according to Hines, to Abilene and Taylor county Is the renewal by the Broadway of America association of its campaign In behalf of old Highway No. I, now U. S 80. "This highway carries as much traffic as any highway in the state and in reality should be an east-west boulevard. Abilene should renew its fight for improvements on this great trunk line and the Broadway of America association should advertise throughout the nation advantages of crossing the nation by the southern route.
“At the present time the commission has under way nine projects on old No. I between El Paso and the state line, Marshall to Shreveport. We are spending $2,000,000 on these projects which include widening of bridges, culverts, and straightening out of curves. Within 14 to 18 months we hope to have the entire route in first class condition,” Mr. Hines states. Improvements east of Abilene, in the Baird, Putnam and Cisco areas, are anticipated at an early date, he said. The commissioner also told of work being done on Highway 36 from Abilene to the Gulf coast, stating that the commission is fully aware of the importance of this route. "It is a direct highway that will serve traffic from the north and northeast to the state capital and the Gulf coast, also provides a coast route east to Florida," Hines added.
The Abilenians were told that today the commission is spending $1,600,000 on seven projects on No. 36 and that the commission hones to have it completed from Abilene, via Cross Plains. Comanche, Gatesville and Temple, to the Gulf within the next two and a half years. Commissioner Hines also outlined
See BREAKFAST, Pg. 9, Col. 2
DEAF AND BLIND FOUNDLING USES 'MECHANICAL THROAT'
CHICAGO. Oct. 31.— (UP)-Six-year-old Joan Higgins, deaf and blind since birth, who was left on the doorstep of the county hospital when only five days old. is nearly ready to take her place in the world — a triumph of moderr science.
Until a year ago she had lived in a world of darkness and fear. Her clothing used to frighten her and she would tear it off, even destroy objects that came under hand.
Then Robert H. Gault, Northwestern university psychology professor, became interested in her case. He studied for many months, then developed the phonotactor, a mechanical "throat.”
It is made of a conglomeration of wires and amplifying tubes and a loudspeaker,”
which Joan transmits sounds from a microphone to a vibrating sound-box. Joan “hears” by placing either her fare or her fingers against the machine, and then attempts to imitate the vibrations with her own voice.
Months ago Gault succeeded in teaching Joan to pronounce the vowels, then words. Today her meagre vocabulary consists of nearly 80 words.
Last week she spoke a sentence. repeating syllables sent via the transmitter and sound box to her finger-tips.
“Give-me-the-ap-ple,” Joan said.
Gault said he hoped to be able to teach her soon to pick up the same vibrations by placing her fingers on the speaker's throat.