A 1930s party-planning manual for members of the American Communist Party, downloadable as a PDF here
. Let's just say, those guys knew how to throw a cheap party.
More info from a 2003 article in the NY Times
Published in the late 1930s by the party's New York state branch and recently rediscovered by a Brandeis University historian, it's a 15-page illustrated tutorial in the art of ideologically correct fraternizing. Among the suggested high jinks: cutting editorials from The Daily Worker into pieces and having guests see who can put them back together fastest, or holding a mock convention on, say, nonintervention in Spain. "One guest is made chairman. Another is Chamberlain, another Leon Blum, a third Mussolini," the pamphlet cheerfully explains. Or why not try a round of anti-Fascist darts? "Draw a picture of Hitler, Mussolini, Hague or another Girdleresque pest. Put it on a piece of soft board with thumbtacks. Six throws for a nickel, and a prize if you paste Hague in the pants, or Trotsky in the eye," the pamphlet instructs.
Also, advertise "All the free beer you can drink!" but charge expensive admission at the door ("Yes, people will pay!"). And then:
Pour your beer in the center of the glass not down the inside. POURING IN THE MIDDLE GIVES MORE FOAM AND LESS LIQUID — STRETCHES EACH BARREL FURTHER.
Once upon a time, some crooks thought it would be a good idea to rob the grave of Abe Lincoln and hold the corpse for ransom.
One account here.
More detailed account here.
...The more they stay the same. A sinkhole developed on a city street in Dublin. The reason being there was a 19th
century tunnel running between what was then the building housing Parliament and a brothel. Politicians and sex scandals are timeless.
[Click caption for readability]
No escape from the media, even in 1915, as President Wilson courts Edith Galt
Original photo here.
Alison Casey, who serves on the city council in Plymouth, Devon, feels that she's being treated like the "black sheep" of the council by her fellow councillors. To protest this, she's decided to tour her ward dressed in a sheep onesie. At least she's treating politics with the dignity it deserves.
More info here
. Also check out her Twitter feed
, which features more pics of her in the onesie.
Back in 1956, there was a lot of harrumphing in political circles
after Virginia Grant was elected Democratic national committeewoman from Oregon, beating her rival Gladys Last. The complaints centered on the fact that 33-year-old Grant was pretty much an unknown with no political experience (she was a waitress at the Aloha Room bar in Portland) who didn't bother to campaign much at all, whereas 46-year-old Last was an old-hand at politics and had campaigned actively.
But what really scandalized people was that in the voters' pamphlet mailed to all registered Democrats, Grant included a "glamour shot" of herself, while Last just used a "regular photo." And it seems to have been the photo that tipped the election in Grant's favor. She won by an 18,000 vote margin over Last.
Their photos are below. (I could only find a watermarked photo of Last's). Which one would you have voted for?
November 12, 1951: As British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden was delivering an address at a meeting of the General Assembly of the U.N. in Paris, urging calm in Europe, a black cat suddenly got up on the stage and strolled across it, without a care in the world. This prompted discussion in the media as to whether the cat was a sign of good or bad luck. It was finally agreed to be a sign of good luck since a black cat in France is apparently a good omen (which I didn't know).
I think most political speeches would be greatly improved if cats randomly wandered across the stage during them.
Iowa City Press-Citizen - Nov 12, 1951
The Kokomo Tribune - Nov 20, 1951
Mars needs petroleum byproducts!
As intermittent mayor, he ran Newburyport, MA, from his gas station, and when out of office was not averse to punching the current mayor in the face.
There's a good summary of his antics here.
The kind of authentic politician so lacking today. The article from 1937
below gives some of his flavor.
Congratulations to Asad Asif on his recent election to the Middlesex County Republican Committee. What makes this unusual is that he was elected with only a single vote — his own. During the primary election, he was the only person who bothered to cast a vote for that position, and he wrote in his own name, thereby securing the position.
Of course, what makes this a lot less remarkable is that it's a meaningless position that no one else wants. So the Republicans basically have to beg people to do it. And a lot of the time it's unfilled. [newbrunswicktoday.com