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APATHY

~Voting Power Of Saloon Keepers

 A survey of voting habits in an area of Chicago some two decades ago showed:

 99 percent of the tavern keepers voted.

 97.5 percent of the gamblers and their employees voted.

 16 percent of the housewives voted.

 17 percent of the Protestant ministers voted.

 29 percent of the Protestant laymen voted.

~Blank Pages For Non-Involvement

 The Broadside, a college publication, came out in its first issue a few years ago with most of the pages blank. The few columns that were printed included an editorial denouncing student apathy and an item calling a meeting for “those who can possibly force themselves to display interest in their school paper.”

~ Niagara—So Near Yet So Far

 A gentleman relates how, in his boyhood days, he walked nearly seven hundred miles to see Niagara Falls. When he was about seven miles from the spot he thought he had heard what might be the thunder of the great cataract, and inquired of a man who was working on the roof if it were so. The man replied that it might be, but he could not say since he had never been there.

—Al Bryant

~Wright Brothers’ Hometown

 Orville and Wilbur Wright had tried repeatedly to fly a heavier-than-air craft. Finally one December day, off the sand dunes of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, they did what man had never done before. They actually flew! Elated, they wired their sister Katherine, “We have actually flown 120 feet. Will be home for Christmas.”

 Hastily she ran down the street, shoved the telegram—the news scoop of the century—at the city editor of the local paper. He read it carefully and smiled, “Well, well! How nice the boys will be home for Christmas!”

—Maxwell Droke

~“Another Fact” About Titian

 A group of distinguished thinkers and writers had gathered in the Royal Academy for a discussion. The talk turned to Titian, the painter. One member of the company pointed out Titian’s sense of form; another spoke of his artistic feeling for color. Among those present was Thomas Carlyle. He was bored with the discussion so he blurted out: “And here sits a man made in the image of God, who knows nothing about Titian, and cares nothing about Titian, and that is another fact about Titian.”

~ What On Earth’s The Matter?

 Young Mrs. Scott, attending her first ball game, listened patiently to her husband’s brief explanations. But when he sprang from his seat and waved his hat madly, Mrs. Scott exclaimed: “What on earth’s the matter, John?”

 “Why,” he answered, “didn’t you see the fielder catch the ball?”

 “Of course,” said Mrs. Scott quietly. “I thought that was what he was out there for.”

—Daily News, Ontario

~So What!

 A teacher gave a subject for composition class. The subject given was “WHAT?” For an hour, the whole class busily elucidated, expanded, and defined this word and related concepts in pages of paper. A mischievous boy submitted his paper in 1 minute and left the class. On his sheet, he had written: “SO WHAT?”

~Truth Outraged By Silence

 Dr. John A. Howard, president of Rockford College, said: “I invite you to take a little card and put it on your mirror or display it in some prominent place where it can serve as a daily reminder. I suggest that you inscribe on that card that phrase, ’Truth is outraged by silence. ’

~ Pearl Harbor’s “What If”

 Pearl Harbor! The morning of December 7, 1941, found 353 Japanese airplanes swarming all around the Harbor site. Within a couple of hours, America lost 8 big battleships, 6 major airfields, almost all planes, and 2,400 men. That happened at 7:50 AM in what was supposedly a surprised attack. But these are the startling facts:

 That morning at 7 AM, while the Japanese warplanes were 137 miles (50 minutes) away, two US soldiers on a small radar station in the Pacific scanned the screen and saw dots and dots appearing, until the whole screen was filled. These soldiers notified their youthful supervisor, a lieutenant. No other officer was around, that being a Sunday.

 The lieutenant thought these must be planes from California, and without another thought, said these crucial words: “Don’t worry about it.” There would have been time to scramble the planes at Pearl Harbor, prepare the battleships and shelter the men, but this lieutenant, at the most responsible moment of his career, failed the nation.

—Selected

~ Of Mules And Wooden Indians

 According to Robert Ripley, a mule named Boston Curtis was elected Republican committeeman from Wilton, Washington, by a 51-vote plurality in 1938. The mule was sponsored by the Democratic mayor of the town—to prove a theory that many voters are careless. The filing notice was signed with the candidate’s hoofprints and his sponsor signed as a witness.

 And again: A cigar store Indian was elected Justice of the Peace in Allentown, New Jersey, in 1883. The statue clothed with the fictitious name of Abner Robbins was duly placed on the ballot and elected with a plurality of seven votes over the incumbent Sam Davis. Judge Davis, who held office many years, resigned in indignation when he learned his successful opponent was a wooden Indian.

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