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I Washington News j
FUGUE WOUNDED AND COMPANION IS CAPTURED IN CHASE Shooting of Colored Man by Precinct Detective Lang* don Under Inquiry. VICTIM IN SERIOUS CONDITION IN HOSPITAL Liquor and Speeding Charge Placed Against Man Taken to Station. A colored man was shot by a police man and seriously Injured and his com panion was placed under arrest when they tried to escape on foot from two fifth precinct detectives today after a wild automobile chase through South east Washington. Capt. William E. Sanford of the fifth precinct and Police Inspector Albert J. Headley started an investigation imme diately on learning of the affair to de termine whether the shooting was justified. Louis Burton. 29. of the 900 block of 1 street southwest, is in Casualty Hospi tal in a serious condition. A bullet from Precinct Detective Robert F. Lang don’s pistol entered the left side of hi? back, just below the shoulder blade, ac cording to Dr. M. F. Ottman. Hospital officials said the wounded man was brought there by a man who [ drove away without identifying himself, after he had placed the colored man on a porch in the rear of the hospital. Driven to Hospital. Langford said that he drove Burton to the hospital in a small roadster be longing to the latter. He did not stop, he said, because he was in a hurry to return to the scene of the shooting. Langdon. accompanied by Fifth Pre cinct Detective F. L. Arrington, was riding in the latter’s automobile at New Jersey avenue and M street about 9 o'clock this morning, the former said. They saw a small roadster, occupied by two colored men. moving down the avenue at a high rate of speed. The officers gave chase, and after a thrilling pursuit through alleys and side streets. Anally crowded the smaller vehicle to the curb at South Capitol street. The colored men jumped out and ran north on South Capitol street. Two shots were fired by the officers as they took up the chase on foot. At I street the pursued men turned to the east and ran to One-half street southeast, where Langdon took aim and fired at Burton. The colored man dropped in his tracks and his compan ion was captured by Arrington. The other colored man. Charles Feels, 25, i of the 1200 block of First street south west. was charged with speeding, illegal j transportation and possession of whis- . ky. As yet no charges have been placed , against Burton. i Fired at His Feet. < “When Burton turned the corner and started to run down I street.” Langdon said, "I raised my pistol, took deliberate 1 aim and fired at his feet. The bullet struck the pavement just behind him . and ricocheted into his body.” Langdon said he fired because he be- : lieved Burton was trying to take a pis tol from his pocket. After Burton had : been taken into custody. Langdon said, he found a .38-caliber pistol of Spanish , make in his pocket. The officers said they found 88 quarts of com whisky in the rear compartment of the roadster. „ ... i A somewhat different account of the shooting was given by Bernard J. Coyle, ! superintendent of the warehouse of the Standard Oil Co., located at South Cap itol and I streets. Coyle said that six shots were fired instead of three, as claimed by the officers. About 50 em ployes of his company and bystanders scattered and ran when the firing began, "The colored man was about 30 feet in front of Langdon. and running away,” Coyle said. Langdon picked the colored man up after the shooting and tried to make him walk, but when he could not. he said, he put him in an automobile | and drove to South Capitol street. He \ then put the colored man in his own 1 roadster and started to the hospital. “I then walked up to the other col ored man. who was being held by Ar rington, and asked him why he had been arrested.” According to Coyle. Feels answered, “they thought we had . liquor in the car, but we didn't have any this time.” FALSEARRESTSUIT ASKS $50,000 DAMAGE Howe Totten, Attorney. Brings Ac tion Against Charles X. Moser. A damage suit for $50,000 on charges I of false arrest was filed in the District j Supreme Court yesterday by Howe Tot- I ten, attorney and owner of the Le Para - j dis Building, Charles K. Moser of 4514 Connecticut avenue. Totten was driving an automobile which struck the defendant on August 30, 1928, at Sixteenth and M streets. As a result, Totten charges, he was ar j rested on complaint of Moser and held ' two hours in a police station before bond of SSOO was posted. In Police Court he was charged with driving while under the influence of liquor, the suit declared, and after hearing all facts in the case. Assistant Corporation Coun sel Chester H. Gray entered a nolle prosse of the charge on October 23. According to Totten's suit. Moser swore to another complaint against him on October 16. charging reckless driv ing The rase was tried and the charge dismissed on December 12. the suit declared. As a result of the humiliation caused him in these two trials, Totten asked damages of $25,000 each for the accusations that were dismissed against him. The suit was filed through Attorney Levi David. TRUCK CAPSIZES. Machine Rolls Over Attempting to Avert Crash With Car. A freak accident delayed traffic at fthio avenue and Thirteenth street shortly after noon today, when a light track operated by L. O. Gold of Mar shall. Va„ swerved suddenly to avoid a collision with a machine driven by Michael Fox. 1314 Twelfth street, and rolled over. The top of the truck was crushed down over the driver's seat and the windshield crumpled, but the glass held •nd Gold escaped injury’. TODAY’S COMPETING ORATORS ■ JLa \ . u Upper, left to right: James Leonard Butch of St. John's College, and Miss Nellie McCormick of St. Patrick’s High School. Lower: Miss Louise Waters of Holy Trinity High School.—Star Staff Photo. ARMY PLANE LINKS TEXAS WITH CAPITAL Craft Flies From Galveston to Washington in 13 Hours, 45 Minutes. For the second time in two weeks an Army pilot has made the trip to this city from Texas within a day. Lieut. John E. Upston of the Air Corps’ in formation section, with Hans Adamson, secretary to F. Trubee Davison, As sistant Secretary of War for Aeronau tics, landed at Bolling Field at 10:15 o’clock last night after a 13-hour flight from Fort Crockett, Galveston, Tex., in an Army Curtiss Falcon observation plane. Lieut. Upston took off from Galveston at 5:50 a.m. yesterday, stopping at Max well Field, Montgomery. Ala., and Augusta, Ga.. for fuel. He landed at Montgomery at 11:50, and left at 1:05, landing at Augusta at 3:35, and leaving at 4 o’clock, central time. No advance preparations were made for the flight and there was no attempt to make a record. Lieut. Upston said. The trip, during which 1,400 miles were flown in 13 hours and 45 minutes, is one of the fastest ever flown over this distance with an obervation plane and is one of the few one-day flights in history between Texas and this city. Lieut. Upston and Mr. Adamson left Washington last month to make prepa rations for the flight, of Capt. Ira C. Eaker from Brownsville, Tex., to Pana ma and return. They were in chargi of the arrangements at Tampico and Minatitlan. Mexico. The last one-day flight between Tex as and this city was made about 10 days ago by Capt, Ross G. Hoyt in an Army pursuit plane. Capt. Hoyt, made the trip from Washington to Kelly j Field. San Antonio, Tex., in one day and returned the next day. TWO ARMED YOUTHS ROB GAS STATION MAN S6O Overlooked When $87.27 Is; i Taken From B. B. Weaver, Man ager, at 1410 H Northeast. Two white youths,/waving guns, last night held up B. B. Weaver, manager of a filling station at 1410 H street northeast, and escaped in a touring car with • $87.27 in Standard Oil Co. receipts, but overlooked S6O of his own that Weaver had in another pocket. Weaver told Detectives E. E. Thomp i son and Thomas Nnlly that the youths j made their appearance with drawn ! guns, took the wallet in his right hand ! pocket, some change from a hip ! pocket, and left without completing the job. Their automobile, a Breen touring car. was parked two blocks from the scene, and several people in the vicinity saw them speed away In it. A general search for the car was ordered at head quarters. Cardinal Galli Improves. VATICAN CITY, March 21 (A>).— Cardinal Galli, who was stricken by serious illness while visiting the convent of the Dorothean Sisters, had con siderably improved in health this morn ing. Doctors think he will soon be com pletely restored. Gliders to Be Targets for Coast Artillery Anti'Aircraft Guns in Spring Training Motorless airplanes, to be launched from Regular Army airplanes, will be used for the first time as targets for Coast Artillery batteries during the Spring training of the 61st and 62d Coast Artillery, anti-aircraft, at Fort Story, Cape Henry, Va„ beginning April 1. The regiments will conduct their An nual target practice by firing at tow targets and the gliders. Both 3-lnch anti-aircraft guns and machine guns will be used and searchlights will be employed for night operations. The 62d Coast Artillery is en route from Fort Totten. N. Y.. to Fort Story by road, more than 12ft trucks forming the column i The glider tercets which will be used are small motorless airplanes, equipped §J)e §tening Jsfar IPI TO |||Hl ' * *** . W ■■■ DRIVER IS CLEARED IN DEATH OF GIRL Child Struck and Killed While t Running Across Six teenth Street. A verdict of accidental death was j returned today at an Inquest into the death yesterday afternoon of 12-year old Mary Bertha Armstrong of 2503 Fourteenth street, shortly after she was struck while crossing Sixteenth street at Euclid street by an automobile driven by George D. Steadman of 110 Elm ave nue. Takoma Park, Md. Steadman was arrested last night by eighth precinct police when they re ceived word from Garfield Hospital that the child had died. He was released In the custody of his attorney shortly afterw’ard. and under order of the coroner to appear at the District morgue today for the inquest, which : automatically exonerated him. The child had been playing in Meri. dian Park and was hit as she was running across Sixteenth street between Euclid street and Crescent place. The automobile was proceeding south. Steadman took her to the hospital in his car. Returning home earlier in the after noon from the Henry D. Cooke School. i which she attends. Mary found no one 1 there, so she left a note informing her 1 mother, Mrs. Virginia Armstrong, that 1 she had gone out to play with another * girl and would return at 5:30 o’clock, i Ten minutes before that time she was 1 dead. i Mary is survived by her father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. G. Homer Arm strong, and a younger sister, Louise. I Five other persons were injured In 1 traffic accidents yesterday afternoon • and last night. One, a boy, may be hurt seriously. 1 He is Robert Damato. 5 years old, of ; 209 Pennsvlvania avenue. He was j struck in i;ont of 106 Second street, J police say. by an automobile which was J going backward trying to turn around. I The driver was Edward Brown of 1511 , Fourth street. Brown took tha boy to Emergency Hospital, where he was treated by Dr. Emij Grlebowsky of the j staff for a fractured right wrist and , Injuries to his head. His condition is J undetermined. ( Those slightly injured include: Ralph j W. Myers. 23 years old. of Cherrydale. , Va.; Charles R. Ward, 48 years old. of j 219 Twelfth street northeast; Mrs. Anita E. McKay. 63 years old. of 2135 K street, and Carrie Tyler, colored. 9 years old, of 1219 Duncan street north east. STICKPTNrRECOVERED FOR BAKER; TWO HELD Colored Man and Woman Facing Charges of Grand . Larceny. Three valuable stickpins stolen from the apartment of Raymond T. Baker, former director of the mint, in Ward man Park Hotel last week, had been re covered today following the arrest yes terday of a colored man and woman on charges of grand larceny. The jewelry was valued at $5,000. Those under arrest are Charlotte and Julian Patterson. They were taken ! into custody by Headquarters Detec ; tives Dennis Cullinane and Lawrence O’Dea. A gold cigarette case and a gold matchbox also stolen last week have not been located. The woman is said to have been employed as a maid in the hotel. One 1 of the stickpins was recovered in a house where police say the woman lived and the other two from second- , hand dealers. EARNED INCOME TAX REDUCTION IS URGED Federal Bar Association Asks Cut When Government Financial Condition Warrants. Reduction of the Income tax on all earned incomes, such as salaries, fees or commissions for personal services, when the financial condition of the Govern ment warrants such action, was urged in a resolution adopted at the meeting of . the Federal Bar Association, com posed of lawyers in the Government service, held in the Interior Depart ment Building last night. The association also voted to stand | behind the Hoover administration on enforcement of all laws, and deplored any action by groups of members of the bar who advise or assist the criminal classes In violating any laws or evading J penalties. with special controls, which can be set | so the glider will reproduce the move ments of an airplane as they descend. They will be launched at heights of from 8,000 to 10,000 feet. Ordinarily the gliders will descend in circles of vary ing diameters, their actual course de pending upon the wind. Speed boats will be used to recover them after they fall in the water. During the concentration, joint train ing with the Air Corps will be carried out. About May 1 part of the two anti aircraft regiments will be sent to Lang ley Field. Va„ where they will engage in co-operation with the Air Corps in defense of the field. They will be called upon to repel simulated attacks by air corps units, which will be based in the vicinity. WASHINGTON, IX C., THURSDAY, MARCH 21, 1929. * JUDGES TO SELECT ORATORY FINALIST IN CONTEST TODAY Three School Representa tives Compete for Star Area Honors at Gaston Hall. PHILODEMIC SOCIETY MEMBERS MAKE CHOICE Winner Will Compete April 15 With Two Others for Dis trict Championship. The third and final contender for the championship of the private and parochial school district in The Star’s Sixth National Oratorical Contest area is being: chosen at Gaston Hall, on the Georgetown University campus, this afternoon, where three school repre sentatives are delivering their orations for the judgment of a board of uni versity student judges. James Leonard Butch, representing St.. John's College, was scheduled to speak first, with his oration on ‘‘The Constitution and the Individual." He was to be followed by Miss Nellie McCormick of St. Patrick's High School, whose oration is on "The Citi zen: His Privileges, His Duties Under the Constitution.” and Miss Louise Waters of Holy Trinity High School, with a speech on “The Constitution of the United States: Its Origin." Music Augments Program. The judges of this-afternoon's con test are members of Georgetown Uni versity’s Philodemic Society, the oldest college debate organization in the United States, while the chairman of the meeting is Rev. John J. Toohey, S. J., faculty adviser of the Philodemic Society. Students of Holy Trinity High School were augmenting the program of ora tory with music, and the players in cluded Robert Sehortibert, pianist: Prank Warner, violinist; Catherine Gartland. pianist, and Elizabeth O'Con ner, violinist. Father Toohe is to announce the win ner of the contest following the com pilation of the judges' ballots by con test officials. He has presided at the Gaston Hall group meeting for the past two years and his remarks to the losers in the contests always have been in spiring and conducive to further effort rather than to discouragement. Winner Competes April 15. The winner of this afternoon's com petition will compete April 15 with Jerome J. Downey, Gonzaga High School boy, who won the group meeting at McMahon Hall of Catholic Univer sity last Monday afternoon, and with Lawrence W. Gunther. Devitt Prepara tory School student, who won the de cision in the scheduled second group meet for the championship of the pri vate and parochial school district and the accompanying prize of SIOO. This contest meet will be held in St. Paul’s Academy auditorium, V street between Fourteenth and Fifteenth streets. The private and parochial district champion will compete in The Star finals with the winners of the 10 other “district” finals for the three-month South Ameri can tour and an additional award of *2OO. MANOR HOUSE IS KEPT IN CATOCTIN DEAL 1,500-Acre Purchase Does Not In clude Residence Used by Mary land's First Governor. The 1.500 acres purchased several days ago by Lawrence H. Ritchie, one of President Hoover's secretaries, in the Catoctin Manor tract, in Frederick County. Md., do not include the old manor house built by Henry Johnson, the first Governor of Maryland, which is now the property of Lancelot Jacques. The purchase made by Mr. Ritchie through the local real estate firm of Schwab. Valk & Canby, was intended solely for fishing purposes and in reality was a purchase of Hunting Creek, which is recognized in that section as being one of the best trout streams in Eastern United States. Therefore, when President Hoover goes to this fishing haven to indulge in his favorite sport he will not live in the manor house, but in a cabin which is to be built in a picturesque spot along the stream. Mr. Hoover prefers "roughing it” and being away from the conventions of the White House when he goes for recreation. Mr. Hoover has been acquainted with the fishing possibilities in that section and the snort motor ride required and it is expected that he will frequently take advantage of the opportunity of fered by the fishing on Mr. Ritchie’s property. The President, also expects to try the fishing in the headquarters of the Rapidan River in the Shennandoah Na tional Park. TUBERCULOSIS GROUP DISCUSSES CAMPAIGN A general committee to conduct in April the second annual campaign of education for the early diagnosis of tuberculosis, under auspices of the Washington Tuberculosis Association, was organized at a meeting of health agency representatives at the Y. W. C. A. yesterday. Dr. J. Winthrop, superintendent of the Tuberculosis Hospital, was elected chairman of the committee and Edwin S. Potter, secretary. Dr. Winthrop was authorized to name a smaller executive committee, the names of which he said would be announced after consultation with members. Dr. George M. Kober, president of the Tuberculosis Association, spoke of the good results of a similar campaign for early diagnosis which was carried on last year throughout the Nation under the direction of the National Tubercu losis Association. Many children were found to be in fected. and on this account Dr. Kober said that the association this year is laying special stress on the early diag nosis of children and their care and treatment. Addresses were made also by Dr. Har vey W. Wilev, vice president of the local Tuberculosis Association; Dr. Edith Se ville Coale; the director of public wel fare, George S. Wilson: the assistant superintended of schools, Stephen E. Kramer; Mrs. Joseph Sanders of the Parent-Teachers’ Association and Dr. C. A. Tignor. STEEL WORK STARTS ON HUGE U. S. BUILDING PROJECT I HIM'. - '■t 1 t <j,. j Ww J ’ i '4^lP C aßßWgßSgajwg, sBWMBHBW *"* ■'■^■'j"f'"' ; ,'~*^v#i i ——*♦ 1 "" 1 Above: Derricks erected on the new , Internal Revenue Building site, where the erection of steel was started this morning:. Below: Workman putting the first upright into place. T. W. McKnew, vice president James Baird Co.; Dennis Southern, structural iron worker, and Neal A. Melick, engineer of the super vising architect's office. Treasury De partment. —-Star Staff Photo. ROADHOUSE FIGHT CLUES ARE LACKING : Probers Agree First Explana tion of Shooting Is False. t Sullen silence was encountered at 1 almost every turn by Washington and ' Maryland police investigating today the I ’ shooting early yesterday morning in ' ■ Green Gables, a nearby Maryland road- | house, of Wesley Charles Poutra and I ' Joe Houser, still in a critical condition [ in Emergency Hospital. • Hampered by the stubborn , refusal 1 to talk or apparent evasion of all those intimately connected with the shooting, j ! investigators are no nearer a solution of the mystery of what lies behind the \ \ shooting than they were when it oc- ; curred. Out of » maze of conflicting details. I but one thing is agreed upon by every one working on she case and that ;s 1 that the first explanation offered i.: ’ false either wholly or in part. Visit Wounded Men. Mrs. Louis P. Behrens, wife of the , principal witness, and Mrs. Poutra vis ited the wounded men at the hospital today. Ruth Bradley, whose driving permit was found in the roadhouse, has not been located by the police. Mrs. Behrens said she was not at Green Gables and knew nothing of what took place there as her husband had been too ill to talk to her. She i was Miss Belle Calhoun before her mar- | rlage to Behrens, she declared. County Policeman F. T. Prince said | this morning he will interview some time today the proprietor of a Ninth street : case, thought to have been present at 1 the roadhouse. The man could not be located this morning. According to the theory held by the Maryland author- j itles, the case proprietor and the man I who did the shooting came to Green j Gables together. They had one or more women with them, police think. The shooting occurred about 3:30 o'clock yesterday morning. Poutra and Houser were wounded during a general flght. Behrens, who with John Law . rence Brenner of the 1200 block of Twenty-first street, was arrested at Emergency Hospital by Headquarters Detectives R. H. Mansfleld and Curtis , Trammell, was struck on the head with a blunt weapon and his scalp split. . Thirteen stitches were taken. Brenner brought Houser to the hospital. Both men were held under bond yesterday as material witnesses. Behrens’ Story to Official. In his statement to States Attorney J. Prank Parraris, Behrens said he and Poutra, a friend, were riding along Ninth street between midnight and 1 o'clock, when Poutra recognized s gin at the corner of E street. They stopped, her companion was introduced as '‘Joe’’ and they were invited to accompany a party to Green Gables. “We were kind of lonesome and look ing for excitement, so we drove along behind them.” Behrens stated. After he had danced with three girls, Behrends declared, he was sum moned outside to the porch by “Joe” and another man. accusing him of "try ing to steal his girl.” The matter was , amicably settled and they all- went in . side and sat down together at a table. A few minutes later the man got up 1 and slapped Behrens in the mouth. During the scuffle which ensued Beh rens was struck on the head and the shots were fired, how many is not known. The man who fired the shots was said 1 by witnesses to have left the scene in a car bearing Pennsylvania tags. Police were told he is a Philadelphian. They 1 were also given his name, but he has not I been apprehended. 1 At the hospital today both victims of the shooting were reported to be con ' siderably Improved, although Poutra is ‘ not conceded more than an even chance ' to recover. ■ CALLED SUICIDE. • Gallaudet College Waitress Case Decided by Coroner. 1 A certificate of suicide in the death of Miss Hazel Shifflette, 21-year-old ■ waitress at Gallaudet College, who died I last night at Sibley Hospital, a day ■ after she took poison in her room at the college, was issued this morning by : J. Ramsay Nevitt. District coroner. A brother-ln-lsw of Miss Shifflette, ■ F. J. Pagan, 3R Sixteenth street north . east, could ascribe no motive for her act. —J. ; s HESSE RETIREMENT I COMES UP TODAY : 1— Board to Report Decision to Commissioners Monday j or Tuesday. The application of Maj. Edwin B.! Hesse for retirement as superintendent of the Police Department on,account of physical disability will be taken up by: ; the Police and Firemen’s Retiring and ! Relief Board at its meeting this after* ' noon. There are several cases on the j docket ahead of Maj. Hesse's, and it is j not expected that his care will be t reached until late. The board meets at ! 2 p.m. Dr. James J. Kilroy of the Board of Police and Fire Surgeons will testify i that Maj. Hesse has suffered a complete physical breakdown. Dr. Kilroy's testi mony will be supported by a report of five of the six members of the Board of Surgeons, who recently examined Maj. Hesse. The board’s decision will be re ported to the Board of Commissioners Monday or Tuesday. It is expected that the report will favor granting Maj. Hesse's request. Assistant Corporation Counsel Francis H. Stephens is chairman of the re tiring board. Other members are Bat talion Chief C. E. Schrom of the Fire Department and Inspector E. W. Brown of the Police Department. Candidates Listed. The retiring board's report will serve to bring officially before the Com missioners at their semi-weekly meet ing Tuesday a problem which has been occupying them this month, that of selecting Maj. Hesse's successor. The names of 20 candidates for the job have been placed before them. Os these 10 are members of the Police Department. The candidates are: Inspectors Henry G. Pratt. William S. Shelby. Albert J. Headley and W. H. Harrison. Capts. Robert E. Doyle. C. L. Clemmons, William G. Stott, Fred Cornwell and W. E. Sanford, Detective Sergt. Lawrence A. O’Dea. Candidates not members of the department are Gen. Mark L. Hersey, Miles McCahill and Walker G. Ferguson of the Secret Service, Henry E. Solomon of the Coast Guard, Gen. Smedley D. Butler, Maj. Bruce R. Campbell. W. E. Sellers, H. H. Hayden. Merritt Chance and Michael Klacho. Many Believed Eliminated. The list above includes all whose names have been brought before the commission by members of Congress, citizens' associations and other inter ested parties, but it is believed that the list under consideration is considerably smaller, as several of the men men tioned would not be likely to accept the job if offered. The morning mail today brought in half a dozen letters of recommendation for several of the candidates from Rep resentatives and Senators. Some of the t letters had been addressed to President Hoover and were forwarded to the Com missioners by the White House staff. Women to Sign for Hoover. Executive orders just issued desig nate Mrs. Viola B. Pugh, and in case of her absence Mrs. Helen V. McLeod of the General Land Office, Interior Department, to sign the name of Presi dent Hoover to land patents regularly issued. Mrs. Pugh was appointed by the Secretary of the Interior in Au gust, 1921, "to the position of clerk to sign land patents.” and has signed the name of the President to such docu- since that date. , Society and General j REVENUE BUILDING SKELETON IS BEGUN! ! I First Steel Column Is Raised. Work to Be Rushed to Completion. | The first steel column of the Internal Revenue Building was raised today on j foundations facing Tenth street near ! Louisiana avenue. It marked the rearing of the first superstructure of the building and the beginning of a period of Intense activity on the site bounded by B and C, Tenth ! and Twelfth streets. With 37 oarloads of steel already here i and more arriving at the rate of 7 i carloads a day. the erection of the steel j skeleton of the building will be rushed to completion and is to be finished bv i July 1. There are now ISO men at work on the job for the James Baird Co., Inc., which has the contract for completion of the building. While the steel skele ton is to be done by July 1. the con tractors have until January 1, 1»31, to finish the entire building. The first column, set in place under supervision of officials of the company and the Government’s construction en gineer, Neal A. Melick, weighs about a ton and a half an<J is 30 feet high. There are 575 bases on the foundation, upon which' will be raised an equal number of columns for the great build ing. All the columns are in the city and are being trucked to the site. Six steel derricks are in the big hole in the ground and the place hums with activ- I ity as one of the speediest parts of the j entire construction job gets under full swing. Representing the contractors when the first column was put in place were T. W. McKnew. vice president of the James Baird Co.. Inc.; Frank Dunlap, construction manager, and Joseph B. Bowling. Jr., superintendent of con struction. Altogether there will be 3.500 tons of steel structure in the building. INTERIOR EMPLOYES ELECT GEORGE WARREN Member of Secretary's Force Presi dent and Albert M. Reising Secretary-Treasurer. George Warren of the Secretary’s Of fice was yesterday elected president of the Interior Department Branch of the Federal employes Union No. 3. at the annual meeting in the Union Bank Building. Fourteenth near G street. Albert M. Reising. also of the Secre tary’s Office, was elected secretary treasurer. The following were elected as repre sentatives to Local, No. 3: U. J. Biller, R. E. Lowe, George M. Beckett, W. B. Uppercue and W. F. Geyer, from the Bureau of Pensions; Walter B. Fry and Mrs. Lucy Shaw, from the Indian Office; N. J. Tubbs, from the Geological Sur vey; Mrs. R. C. Pierce, from the General Land Office; George A. Warren, from the Secretary Office, and Miss Ena Beth Paris, from the Radio Commission. Past Day at the Zoo. All carnivorous animals kept in cap tivity. such as lions and tigers, must fast one day out of seven If they are to remain in good health. PAGE 17 AM OF SPRING IS COMPLEX EVENT TO ASTRONOMERS Naval Observatory Experts Seek to Redetermine Vernal Equinox. PLANT LIFE DIFFERS WITH STELLAR TIME Flowering of Shrubs Taken in Eu rope as Chart to Guide Agriculturists. BT THOMAS K. HENRY. Winter Is over and gone. Crocus-tressed Spring reached Wash ington officially at 9:35 last evening. At least, within a few hundredths of a see ona of that time occurred the vernal equinox, according to the calculations of the Naval Observatory. Spring’s annual return to the North ern Hemisphere is really quite a com plicated procedure as the astronomers look at it even if it is the simplest thing for flowers and lovers. The earth makes its annual journey around the sun in a great circle known ; as the elliptic. For the purpose of pic turing the event, it is just as well to as sume that the earth is stationary and that it really is the sun which is mov ing around the earth in this great cir cle, just as it appears to an observer on earth. The earth also is turning on its axis every .24 hours, moving in the plane of the Equator. Now these two paths do not coincide. If they did there would be no seasons. The path of the earth around the sun varies approximately 23 degrees from the Equator. Twice a year the two cir cles intersect, once when the earth is swinging northward on its annual jour ney and once when it is speeding south ward. At those instants the sun is di rectly over the Equator. Night and day are of equal length. The Instant the sun has gone north of the Equator cir cle it. is Spring and the instant it has gone south it is Autumn. Exact Instant Undetermined. Naval Observatory astronomers are not quite sure of the exact instant when Spring arrives and now are engaged in a long series of observations, one of the objects of which Is to redetermine the vernal equinox. This involves triangula tion of the exact position of the sun i with the Equator and various planets I and fixed stars. The coming of Spring. Naval Ob ; servatory astronomers point out, has nothing to do with the distance of the sun from the earth. It is the nearest during the Wniter months In the North ern Hemisphere, and now the earth is moving farther away. The differ ence in distance, however, is so slight, comparatively, that the effect is not noticeable. Brilliant Stellar Parade. 1 Astronomically.'‘Spring comes this 1 year attended by a brilliant stellar procession. Venus, appropriate har i binger of the season of lovers, is at her period of greatest brilliancy in the evening sky—so brilliant that she can I be seen in broad daylight during the ; late afternoon. The morning star ia 1 Saturn, now slightly brighter than a ! star of the first magnitude. Far away, jbut still of first, magnitude. Is the i giant star Aldebarton, at one end of the | Hyades. This year. It is pointed out at the Weather Bureau, the mathematical beginning of Spring and the actual start of the season of flowers and green lawns In Washington coincide rather closely, but some years there Is little actual relation. For many yean there was a forsythia bush in the front yard of the Weather Bureau which was considered a more reliable announcer than the progress of the stars, for all practical purposes. When the first bell-shaped yellow flowers ap peared on its leafless branches Spring ; was said to have arrived. Braeseming Date Discasard. "Spring,” as the meteorologist* look 1 at, it. is the time when vegetation I springs into renewed life after the ' dormant period of Winter. The process i occurs earlier in some places than ' others and the time of its start varies. ' Among European students of the sub- I ject it has become customary to re ! gard as the beginning of Spring the mean blossoming date of several com mon Spring-flowering plants. In Ger many 13 species Os shrubs and trees are included in this group. Several European countries have pub lished elaborate charts showing the nor mal date of the beginning of Spring In this sense, showing the variations due to latitude, altitude, distance from the ocean, etc. These have proved fairly reliable guAdce hi agricultural operations. Little scientific study has been given the problem in the United States. Settler* Used Plan. According to Andrew D. Hopkins, en tomologist of the Department of Agri culture. who is one of the few Ameri can scientists to have studied the prob lem. it was early recognized by the white 1 settlers in the East that it was the time I to plant corn when the white oak or maple leaves were the sise of squirrels’ feet or when dogwood began to show white in the woods. The appearance of the robin, bluebird, swallow, ground hog and other animals indicated various stages in the advent ahd progress of Spring. After a long study of seasonal progress he arrived at the conclusion- that, other conditions being equal, "the occurrences of a given periodic event in life activity in tem perate North America is at the general average rate of four days to each 1 degree of latitude, 5 degrees of lon gitude and 400 feet of altitude! later northward, eastward and upward in the Spring and the reverse in Autumn." American scientists, however, never have agreed upon any definite biological event whose occurrence in a certain place should denote the coming of Spring. Following two weeks of balmy weather, the astronomical advent of Spring this year finds the actual Spring well under way here, with crocuses blossoming on banks with southern exposures all over the city, the white blossoms of mag nolias beginning to open, forsythias m good locations already transformed Into fountains of gold and the pink buds of Japanese quince bushes bursting open. FILIPINO TO BE PILOT.. L. Laconico Seeks First License of His Race in Islands. Determined to be the first member of his race to engage in commercial flying in the Philippine Islands, L. Laconico of the Portner apartments, a Plllpino, has enrolled for a flying course at Hoover Field. > He is to take a course of ground In struction. flying training and sufficient flying time to qualify for a commercial i pilot’s license.