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THE EVENING STAR
With Snuday Mamina Edition '
THEODORE W. NOYES, Editor
WASHINGTON, D. C.
TUESDAY..March «, 1939
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Paper %nc* BlE0 the local news published Herein.
All rights of publication oi special dispatchea
herein also are reserved.
Report It Out!
The crime situation in the District of
Columbia, according to The Star’s re
iterated quotation from the Attorney
General, is a national disgrace and will
remain so as long as the public is in
different.
The crime situation in the District of
Columbia may be all the Attorney Gen
eral says it is, but The Star does not
believe the fault can be laid to public
Indifference. Congress, under the Con
stitution, is exclusively responsible for
legislation in the District. Congres
sional indifference, not public indiffer
ence, is at least partly to blame.
Tomorrow a hearing has been prom
ised by Chairman Palmisano of the
House District Committee on an amend
ment to the gambling laws, twice ap
proved by the Senate but locked up for
two sessions in the House District Com
mittee.
The Star expresses the hope that
members of the District Committee will
find the time to attend this hearing
and, after amending the bill as they see
fit, report it to the House and work for
its passage.
The argument that the bill is designed
to end the numbers racket is partly
true. The bill does give the authorities
power, for which they have asked re
peatedly, to deal with a sinister racket
which was unknown when the present
gambling statutes were put on the books.
Without this power the authorities are
handicapped.
The argument that the bill selects
the numbers racket for the sort of em
phasis that would leave unenforced the
laws against other forms of gambling—
bookmaking, for instance—is a lot of
poppycock advanced by those who know
no better or who are deliberately aiding
the numbers racket by suppressing this
bill.
If the authorities do half as well
against the numbers racket as they have
done against bookmaking,* Important
progress will have been made. Sev
eral “big shot” bookmakers are In Jail
now, the result of effective activity by
police and prosecutors. But the num
bers racket is practically out of reach.
And the racketeers are making hay
while the law that would hit them hard
est is kept securely pigeonholed in the
District Committee.
Two inquiries are suggested at the
hearing tomorrow.
One relates to the bill in question.
The other should determine who Is
responsible for suppressing this measure.
And why?
When Charles Hoyt wrote farces, the
role of Maverick Brander was one of
colossal Par Western comedy. Mr.
Maury Maverick should be entitled to a
special performance in case he should
present a request.
In some respects the most compre
hensive date line, covering news of every
description, is Los Angeles, Calif. There
is a tendency to overwork even a date
line.
Bank Liability.
The decision of Court of Appeals hold
ing directors of the defunct Park Sav
ing^Bank personally liable for deposits
in the institution as of August 30, 1929,
imposes a seemingly severe degree of re
sponsibility on the directors, but at the
same time it represents an equitable
adjudication of the conflicting interests
of the officials and the bank’s depositors.
The Park Savings Bank was chartered
in the State of Alabama, whose laws pro
vided that upon the expiration of the
charter on the date in question the di
rectors automatically became liquidat
ing trustees, and, as such, were person
ally liable for the funds that came into
their hands through the bank at that
time. This finding of liability, estimated
at approximately $1,000,000, reverses the
ruling of the lower court that the de
positors and other creditors were
estopped to assert the liability of the
directors since they left their funds in
the bank after the expiration of the
charter, thereby recognizing it as a con
tinuing institution.
In essence, the appellate court held
that the directors, as paid officials of the
bank, were charged with the primary
responsibility of knowing the provisions
of the charter under which they operated
and the laws of the State in which it
was granted, and that they could not
escape this responsibility, even though
they acted in good faith, by setting up
the failure of the depositors to acquaint
themselves with the facts. Hie ruling
should be welcomed by both bankers
and depositors, for it would be an in
tolerable state of affairs if every de
positor should be held legally bound to
Investigate the charter and the laws of
Incorporation affecting the bank with
which he does business on pain of for
feiting the protection of the law.
At the same time, it is reasonable to
suppose that the decision will contribute
in the future to greater sealousness on
the part of all directors of institutions
whose relations with the public call for
a high degree of care in the conduct of
their affairs. Entirely aside from the
Park Savings Bank case, there has been
too much willingness on the part of
some prominent men to permit the use
of their names on boards of directors
| for “window dressing” purposes without
a concurrent willingness to assume the
responsibilities that go with a director
ship. A policy by the courts of holding
directors strictly to their responsibilities
under the law would discourage such a
tendency.
Personalities in T. V. A.
From a narrow political viewpoint the
intensely bitter clash of policies and
personalities in the Tennessee Valley
Authority must be a source of satisfac
tion to administration foes. But from
a standpoint of national economy it is a
circumstance of utmost regret.
The whole Tennessee Valley develop
ment represents one of the New Deal's
earliest sdcial experiments. That its
completion would be of both local and
national value is a fact to be tempered
only by eventual determination of the
cost. Looming large in such cost factors
is the disposition of private utility sys
tems falling into competition with the
great public development.
A review of the prolonged controversy
which has raged over the several con
trasting opinions as to how the public
and private systems might resolve their
differences is not essential here beyond
stating the reminder that the cheapest
purchase price of the private system
might not be the most economical in the
long run. Apparently, it was on this
fundamental point that Chairman Mor
gan and his two colleagues on the board
launched into the bitter phase of their
disagreement.
That their differences have reached the
point of personalities rather than prin
ciples is obvious from the recent public
exchange of statements. And so acid
have been these exchanges, and so re
vealing in their disclosures of complete
lack of co-ordinated administration, that
the necessity of a final showdown seems
obvious.
With the board members subject to
removal only by congressional action, it
would seem advisable that Congress, par
ticularly administration leaders, face the
unpleasant situation promptly and in
itiate action directed at obtaining the
true story of what is happening in the
T. V. A. And when this story is spread
upon the records, then the cure should
be prescribed without fear or favor.
The public stake is too large to do
otherwise.
Meanwhile, if the disputants are hon
est in their convictions and are con
vinced of their own inability to settle
their differences they should lend their
aid to a fair and speedy determination
by an outside party. Until such determi
nation is made, it is the duty of hon
estly motivated disputants to retain
their offices and protect the public good
as it appears to them.
Corals of Defense.
Far "down under,” in the remote
8outh Seas, at a spot where "Mutiny
on the Bounty” might well have had its
romantic mise en scene, the United 8tates
plans to hoist the Stars and 8tripes.
In equatorial mid-Paclflc lie two tiny
atolls called Canton and Enderbury Is
lands. Their size is insignificant and
their economic importance nil, but
their strategic importance is great. In
the event we suddenly found ourselves
at war for control of the Central Pacific,
their coral reefs might well prove price
less possessions as fuel, supply and wire
less bases for both warships and aircraft.
In other days Uncle 8am might have
been suspected of sheer land-grabbing,
but the location of Canton and Ender
bury is of such obvious value, particularly
because they bestride the aerial route
from San Francisco to Sydney, past
Hawaii and Samoa, that our purpose to
assert American sovereignty over them
is unchallengeable, at least from the
standpoint of our tactical necessities.
This plan, according to report, may
not materialize without some delicate
negotiations with Great Britain, which
also claims the atolls. Our London
cousins, of course, have interests to safe
guard, in the sea lanes leading to
Australia and New Zealand, no less vital
than those we seek to protect. Japan’s
mandated islands, the Caroline and
Marshall groups, are in the same gen
eral neighborhood. Though Tokio has
vehemently denied their fortification, it
is inconceivable that the Japanese Navy
has not taken that territory conspicu
ously into consideration, in contemplat
ing eventual rivalries in the 8outh Pa
cific.
As practical evidence of the United
8tates' intention to affirm our rights
in Canton and Enderbury, the Interior
Department has promulgated an order
placing the islands under - the same
jurisdiction Mr. Ickes wields over our
other Insular possessions. The British
recently "colonized” Canton with New
Zealanders. Now the United States
proposes to land groups of Hawaiians on
both islands as tangible outposts of
American sovereignty. Perhaps, under
the circumstances, it is just as well that
it was "Honest Harold” who was chosen
to broadcast to the British Empire on
democracy a couple of weeks ago.
Arlington Power Plans.
Evidence tbat Arlington County means
business in its fight for lover electric
rates is apparent from the fact that it has
spent $4,000 for a report on the feasi
bility of establishing a municipal power
plant. The report predicts that such a
plant can be operated at a profit although
its estimated cost may exceed $3,000,000.
As an alternative it notes that consider
able capital outlay could be saved by pur
chasing power "from a tollable source”
and supplying it over a county-owned
distributing system. In fact, this would
be the "simplest and probably moat de
sirable plan," according to the report.
The conventional cause for municipal
power plant agitation is back of the move
in Arlington. For years many county
residents have been dissatisfied with the
rates they have had to pay. The dis
satisfaction was heightened by the fact
that Washingtonians and residents of a
small portion of Arlington County in the
Rosslyn area enjoyed comparatively
cheap rates. Had the company which
serves Washington and the small county
sector been encouraged to include all
of Arlington in its territory there prob
ably would be little if any sentiment for.
a municipal plant now.
But most county residents are, by
necessity, customers of a Virginia con
cern which also serves a wide, sparsely
settled rural territory. Its set-up is such
that it cannot sell power as cheaply
as a company operating in a small,
built-up district. Logical as the ex
planation of the Virginia concern’s
higher rates may be, it can hardly satisfy
customers who want cheap power, not
logic. With the air filled with talk of
the success of municipal power plants,
and a concrete example at hand in
nearby Culpeper, it is only natural
that Arlington would want to explore
that field.
V
The County Board showed sound judg
ment ( in assembling all possible data,
and may be expected to study its $4,000
report thoroughly before acting. Having
gone thus far it can hardly drop the
matter, especially in view of the nature
of the report. Perhaps it will be re
lieved of the need of deciding, whether
to spend large sums of money to bring
a municipal power plant to the doors of
the Nation’s Capital. The Virginia con
cern may conclude that, after all, it
can lower its rates. Such things have
been known to happen.
For awhile It was feared that Mr.
Gamer would be persuaded to talk but
little. As he goes on in the course of
duty, he apparently finds it easy to say
quite as much as the Nation has a right
to expect from its Vice President.
A ship sunk 73 years ago off the
Florida coast with a cargo of whisky
estimated at $3,000 in value now has its
cargo valued at $300,000. Morals may
protest, but the alert arithmetician will
figure.
-g. -a- --
By taking all the profits out of war,
Representative Patman may help to
explain why the thrifty promotors along
the Asiatic Coast have been so careful
to omit the word "war’* from their
descriptions.
Japanese authorities say these U. S. A.
are not aware of the dangers of com
munism. Not duly aware, perhaps, but
it must be admitted that we are becom
ing suspicious.
It has been shown that the capital of a
great nation is a most desirable place in
which to live, but the police officials must
be candid in estimating the new
responsibilities.
After President Roosevelt has written
his series of magazine and book articles
It may be felt that Bernard Baruch owes
the public a criticism of them.
The term “purge” is freely used in
European politics. It has a significance
which is entirely local in spite of its
seemingly comprehensive sound.
Shooting Stars.
BT PHILANDER JOHNSON.
Above Politico.
“There be murders and hold-ups and
robberies,”
8aid Shanahan, heavin’ a sigh.
“There be factions and ructions and rob
beries,
Today, as in ages gone by.
There is always some effort delirious
Designed for to muss up the game.
We find, when we take it all serious,
A friend is a friend. Just the same.
“When I'm through with them problems
political
And seeking an hour of repose,
I sidestep the talk analytical
And ask how the family goes.
In spite of dispute international
With autocrats rising to fame,
One fact remains simple and rational:
A friend is a friend. Just the same.”
Spelling Reform.
“There used to be considerable graft in
the old days,” remarked the observant
citizen.
“Yes,” answered Senator Sorghum.
“Nowadays we spell it ‘Halls of Legis
lation’ Instead of ‘Hauls of Legislation.’ ”
Jud Tuukins says many a spotlight
grabber merely succeeds in calling at
tention to the fact that he has a hare
lip.
The Veiled Rex. •
The hen’s a hearty feminist,
And so with praise we boost ’er.
In laying eggs she will persist;
We therefore eat the rooster.
"The wisdom of my ancestors,” said
Hi Ho, the sage of Chinatown, “is not
unlike the wisdom of today; voluminous
ly written, eloquently spoken, but put
into practice with great difficulty.”
Wards.
"Words,” poor Hamlet said,
“Are all I read!”
The life that Hamlet led
Was sad, indeed.
“Words." Each page they’ll dot
In vast array,
And are the most of what
We get today.
"Reform,” said Uncle Iben, -“is whut
somebody else needs so bad dat you is
almost willin’ to overlook yoh own claims
to such-like benefits.” <_i
THE POLITICAL
MILL
BY G. GOULD LINCOLN.
Whatever the condition- of the ship
of atate, to which President Roosevelt
referred in his statement to the press
last Friday, it seems perfectly clear that
the New Deal ship is to pursue “the
same old course.” For the President,
in his fifth anniversary discussion of
affairs, announced himself flatly for the
so-called "penalty tax” In the new reve
nue bill to be laid on closely held and
family owned corporations. Further
more, the President announced his hos
tility to a repeal of the publicity clause
of the Revenue Act for salaries of corpo
ration officials who receive over $15,000
a year. The House Ways and Means
Committee, in reporting the new bill,
provided for the repeal. In addition, the
President asserted that the objectives
of the New Deal were to be pursued un
relentingly.
* * * *
The opening of the week sees two ad
ministration measures violently assaulted
by Democrats—the tax bill and its “pen
alty clause" in the House, and the re
organization bill in the Senate. Under
whip and spur, the administration
leaders hope to force these measures
through to final enactment, without
much change. The "penalty clause.”
aimed at closely held corporations, has
been characterized as an attempt on the
part of the administration to punish
certain of its opponents—as Henry Ford,
for example. It has been called entirely
unfair in principle and in operation.
But the President insists that it is in
tended to reach unfair practices—par
ticularly to reach the case of the owners
of corporations who pay themselves big
salaries and show only a small, if any,
gain as a corporation. The administra
tion leaders have also been able to re
tain, so far, in the revenue bill the prin
ciple of the undistributed profits tax—
although it has exempted all corporations
having a net income of $25,000 or less
from its operation.
The President still continues to ap
peal to the great mass of voters through
efforts to hit those with large incomes,
through the taxing powers of the Gov
ernment. When there are no mtore
rich, the poor will be poorer. That has
been the experience in the past. In his
comments to the press, the President
said that the warfare against "special
privilege” would go on. There is still
far too much special privilege, in his
opinion.
* * * *
Meanwhile the political “purge” shows
signs of increasing through the efforts
of the administration. Officially the
President and Chairman Farley of the
Democratic National Committee insist
that they are doing nothing to inter
fere in Democratic primaries, for the
nomination of Governors, Senators,
Representatives, etc. Nevertheless, it
looks as though the Indian sign had been
painted on Senator Gillette of Iowa, one
of those Democrats who were unwilling
to go all the way with the President in
the court bill fight last year. For his
opponent for the senatorial nomination,
Representative Otto D. Wearin. has said
that he was led to enter the race by a
series of conferences at the White House
and with administration leaders.
Time is slipping by and the Democrat*
in Pennsylvania seem little nearer patch
ing up their differences over the guber
natorial nomination. Charles Alvin
Jones of Pittsburgh, the selection of the
majority of the party leaders, is out
campaigning already. David Stem,
Philadelphia publisher, is still railing
at the selection of the Democratic State
Committee for the gubernatorial nomi
nation. The Republicans might have a
chance to win in the Keystone State this
year if they produced some candidates
satisfactory to labor. The Earle ad
ministration has been none too popular,
and the Governor, who is now a candi
date for the Senate seat held by Senator
James J. Davis, Republican, could easily
have his troubles in the election next
fall.
* * * *
While James Roosevelt, son of the
President, is out at sea with the ma
rines—he is a lieutenant colonel in the
reserve list—a more or less mysterious
drive is under way in Massachusetts to
nominate him for Lieutenant Governor
of the Commonwealth. Two members
of the Democratic State Committee are
directing the flood of petitions, signed
by thousands of persons, urging Mr.
Roosevelt to become a candidate. James
M. Deely is conducting the campaign m
the Western part of the State, and
Charles Mallotis of Boston has estab
lished headquarters in that city. They
are the State Committee members who
have interested themselves in this af
**ir- ^ Roosevelt may return to
Washington and blow the whole busi
ness out of water.
Mr. Deely, discussing his part in the
effort to draft Mr. Roosevelt for Lieu
tenant Governor in Massachusetts, said:
‘I have known him for years and I
have been impressed with the efficient
manner in which he has handled difficult
and important problems in Washington
m a member of his father’s secretariat.
He is more than a secretary. He is
really Assistant President and has dem
onstrated that he is an able executive.
His father has every reason to feel proud
of him.
“With him as Lieutenant Governor,
the people of Massachusetts would have
an able man in that Important office and
the State would be fortunate in obtain
ing the services of a man who has shown
a flair for public service.
"I have no authority to use his name
for Lieutenant Governor or any other
office. My only desire is to obtain for
Massachusetts a man for that office who
would be a credit to his party and serve
the Commonwealth ably and efficiently
and restore to that honorable office its
old-time dignity. We up here in the
four western counties are enthusiastical
ly for him. He is popular in this section
of the State and we have not experienced
any difficulty in getting support for
him.”
* 4 * *
The T. V. A. “yardstick” looks very
much as though It may go far beyond
Its originally announced purpose. If it
purchases for many millions of dollars
the properties of the Commonwealth <i
Southern system, it will project the Gov
ernment into the utility business in a
big way—If it is not already projected.
Meanwhile, the rumpus in the Board of
Trustees of the T. V. A. refuses to down.
Its chairman, Dr. Arthur E. Morgan,
Instead of resigning as suggested by his
two colleagues, Harcourt A. Morgan and
David E. Lilienthal, in their letter to
President Roosevelt, declares he intends
to stay right on the job until some com
petent Government agency has investi
gated the goings on in the T. V. A. ad
ministration. He has issued another
blast, charging some very strange do
ings by his colleagues.
Whether the administration will find a
Way to soft pedal this blow-up over the
T. V, A. and to ease Chairman Morgan
out Of office remains to be seer. The
wide publicity given the charges made
by the chairman, however, would seem
to Indicate an Investigation. If a con
gressional committee is turned loose to
work on the puzzle, that will suit Chair
man Morgan. Senator Norris, regarded
i af the author of the T. V. A. legislation.
~ THIS AND THAT 1
BY CHARLES B. TRACBWBLL.
———J
That first robin has been hopping
around Washington at an amazing rate,
evidently.
According to a letter printed here re
cently, he was seen oh Euclid street.
A neighbor called up and said he had
been spotted in Dupont Circle.
A letter a few days later:
“I saw it first—that portly robin that
was skipping about the lawn of Meridian
Park this morning.
“I am sure he didn’t find a worm,
what with the temperature in the low
twenties. But I have never seen as
plump a robin.
“Just what had this early bird been
eating to put on so much weight?"
* * * *
Worms, of course.
That bird had been flying leisurely
along through the Southern Btates,
putting on weight as he came.
Robins, however, are usually chesty.
One simply forgets, in their absence,
how portly they are.
The robin’s figure ought to be excuse
enough for all persons who put on
weight with the advancing years.
The amazing thing about the robin
is the way he hops around on the lawn
each spring as if he had never been
away.
It is impossible for the average friend
of birds to get over the annual feeling
of surprise at seeing him there.
He looks so perfectly at home, Just
as if he had never been away.
* * * *
Now here is an interesting letter from
another bird lover. Any letter is in
teresting, we hold, which attributes
tolerance to a human.
“Dear Sir:
“Your articles are always interesting
and instructive, and I am lost in sin
cere admiration of your splendid han
dling of such a variety of subjects, but
what is simply beyond my comprehen
sion is the amazing degree of charity
and tolerance which you seem to have
attained in your outlook on life.
“For Instance, in referring to the
three letters in last evening’s column,
you simply say:
’“Three pictures in three letters: A
picture of a robin on a limb, a picture of
starlings bathing, and a picture of
slaughter.
“ 'Take your choice. We take the
first two, and believe the writer of the
third will, once he has read them.’
“This most charitable summary is
amazing after reading the letter from
the gentleman with the strikingly ap
propriate initials B. C., in which he
says, among other equally absurd things:
*“I could, without compunction, re
move every starling and sparrow in the
city in order to have the songsters, the
interesting birds, here in town.
'“An analagous position to that of
the starlings and sparrows might be
that of the nations the President thinks
should be quarantined. If the starlings
and sparrows can overrun this country,
driving out the native birds, so can Ja
pan overrun China and drive out the
Chinese. * * * Why should we hesi
tate to slay the starlings?’
"These remarks plainly show this
writer knows nothing whatever about
starlings and sparrows for they most
certainly do not drive other birds away.
"Not only have I been told by a
prominent ornithologist that they are
totally innocent of this accusation, but
I know it is not true after four years’
close observation and feeding of these
most Interesting and lovable little crea
tures.
"Mr. B. C. Is like the man who said,
"This Is my answer and I’m going to
stick to it.’
"He has simply made up his mind,
probably from hearsay, that starlings
and sparrows are pests, and when you
charitably believe that he will change
his attitude toward them, you are ab
solutely mistaken, for the prejudice and
unreasonableness In every line of his
letter show him to be hopelessly ‘sot’ In
his opinion.
"Fortunately, however, it makes no dif
ference, for the real observers of birds
will continue to admire and love these
little creatures and really prefer them
to all others.
‘‘Respectfully,
"A. H. C.”
* * * *
Such tolerance as any one Is able to
achieve Is based solidly on an attempt
to be fair.
The way to begin to build up just a
little tolerance in everyday life is to
start watching how others are unfair.
One of the first observations any one
is likely to make is this:
How often the wrong construction,
rather than the right one, is placed on
the words and actions of others.
The saddest part of such unfairness
is that too often It Is really not meant
at all. but results from a desire to say
something funny.
Something of the trouble In America
today undoubtedly arises from this at
tempt to “wisecrack,” to say something
which will get a laugh from others.
* * * * »
An example of this occurred at a mag
azine stand the other day.
Looking at the magazines was «, fel
low who had, for many years, spent
much money at this counter. He was
not of the type to look without ulti
mately buying.
Yet a bright young lady passing,
merely to secure a laugh from some one
with her, cried out cheerily, “Well, why
don't you buy it?” This cute remark
got the laugh, all right, because it im
plied that the looker was in the habit
of not purchasing, and that she, bright
lady, had checked up on him at last.
* * * ■*.
Of such is the kingdom of the laugh,
all too often.
That such laughs are often gained at
the expense of fairness and truth makes
very little difference.
The point is simply this, that before
saying anything, one should attempt to
put the best light, not the worst, on
other people’s thoughts, deeds and words.
It is not easy. It requires much time
and work, and even then the honest en
deavor most often fails.
It is helpfuh to try, and the fine thing
is that any one can try it, if he will.
When a suspicion of motive enters the
mind, it should be reprimanded at once
with the counter-thought, "Let me see—
isn’t there some good reason which might
make a person say that, or do that, or
think that?”
Let us always be suspicious of the first
thought that pops into the mind—
It is too easy. Most of us have to
think hard, to get at the truth, and
we may always doubt our first impres
sions.
If we do. we may feel, without undue
pride, that we at least are on the way
to some charity and tolerance in a curi
ous world.
STARS, MEN AND ATOMS
Notebook of Science Progress in Field,
Laboratory and Study.
BY THOMAS R. HENRY.
Few of the meteorites—stones hitting i
the earth from outer space—ever are
recovered.
Hundreds — perhaps thousands — of
them probably are scattered over the
surface of the United States unnoticed
and unknown, says Dr. E. P. Henderson,
associate custodian of mineralogy of
the Smithsonian Institution.
He would like to add any of them
which happen to be picked up to the
national collection. Millions hit the
upper atmosphere of the earth every
day. Most of them are entirely con
sumed by the friction of the air. but an
unknown number actually hit the sur
face.
Yet, says Dr. Henderson, the total
number known in the world, to date,
is less than 1,200, of which the Smith
sonian has specimens of 670. The trou
ble is that one whose fall is not actually
observed can be stumbled upon only
by pure accident. An expert might
hunt for months with very little pros
pect of finding one. Yet any farmer
walking across the pasture might kick
one up at any time, or any little boy
picking up a stone to throw at a tree
might'be hurling a fragment from the
immensities of outer space.
Scores of supposed meteorites are sent
to the Smithsonian experts for identifi
i cation. Usually they are almost exactly
the opposite of what a meteor should
be due to a popular misconception of
what such an object should be. Folks
see a shooting star—a blaze of fire in
the sky. They assume from this that
the stone itself should be burned to a
crisp when it hits the earth. As a re
sult. the most frequent specimen sent
in for identification is a chunk of slag
from a furnace. At one time a lump
of chewing gum discarded on a city
street was received.
Actually, says Mr. Henderson, if you
pick up a stone that seems exceptionally
heavy for its size it is well to make
inquiries. Meteorites are about the
heaviest of rocks. Some of them are
pure iron and nickel. Even in an
iron-producing district lumps of natural
pure iron are very rare and if you
find one anywhere else the chances are
greatly in favor of its origin in outer
space.
Even the so-called “stony meteorites’*
contain a good deal of iron and are
heavy enough, compared with ordinary
stones, to arouse suspicion. A good way
to get corroborative evidence is to take
such a stone to the grindstone and
grind away a small bit of surface. If
you find the area thus exposed speckled
with iron particles the chances are that
you have a meteorite.
Another bit of corroborative evidence
is the frequent, but not invariable,
“stream-lining** of s ich a stone. The
surface may be covered with very fine
lines or furrows, all curving in one
direction. These lines are “etched” by
the air on the surface of the stone
during its terrifically rapid fall.
The discovery of a meteor. Dr. Hen
derson points out, is always worth
while to the finder, although the value
does not, apparently, wish a congres
sional inquiry. He prefers to have the
Investigation, if there is one, made by
the Federal Trade Commission. But
that is not satisfactory to critics of the
T. V. A, not because they distrust the
Federal Trade Commission, but because
they feel that a congressional Inquiry
would bo man affoottn.
is not so great as' is often believed, j
These visitors from the skies contain
minerals unknown on earth, especially
curious compounds of nickel and iron.
These minerals, however, have no value
except for scientific study. They prob
ably represent conditions at the nucleus
of seme planet which long ago was in
volved in some shattering catastrophe.
Very much the same sort of structures
might be found at the center of the
earth. The finding of a meteorite ydll
not make anybody rich, but it will bring
a very good return for a day's work.
Locating a meteor from the trail of
fire it leaves in its descent, Mr. Hender
son stresses, is usually a matter for
experts—unless, of course, it is seen a
few hundred feet above the surface.
Most “shooting stars” are miles high
and the blazing trail you see may be
miles away from the actual falling
stone.
* The meteorite enters the earth's at
mosphere from the absolute cold of
outer space—273 degrees below zero cen
tigrade. That is approximately the
temperature of the rock fragment itself.
Prom the friction of the atmosphere
its outer surface is heated to red or
white heat. This, however, is not what
is seen. It is altogether too small and
too distant. But from time to time this
hot outer crust is peeled off and
dispersed through the tenuous atmos
phere as fine dust. It takes the form
of a luminous cloud, perhaps several
miles long and a mile or more thick. This
is what is seen. But meanwhile the
stone itself has continued to fall at a
faster rate, invisible for a few seconds
until the friction of the increasingly
thicker atmosphere has caused another
white-hot coating. This, in turn, may
be peeled off. When the rock hits the
ground there may, or may not, be a
fused surface a few millimeters thick
which is the result of its last coat of
fire.
It Is sometimes wondered why a
meteorite can strike the earth with
out setting everything on fire if it
lands in combustible material, such
as a forest in autumn. Strangely
enough, says Dr. Henderson, such an
object probably would not be very hot.
Remember, it entered the earth’s atmos
phere far colder than anything could
possibly get on earth. It made its
whole journey to earth in a few sec
onds. Only an extremely thin layer on
the outer surface was heated and this
heat did not have time to penetrate the
interior.
So, If you should happen to see one
of these balls of fire strike the earth,
don’t rush to pick it up. You might
get your fingers burned. There is at
least an equal chance (hat the meteorite
would be covered with frost.
■ And do not spend too much time
searching where it looked as if the
meteorite might have hit the earth.
The chances are that it is miles away.
But don’t toss away a suspiciously
heavy stone which you come across while
spading your garden. You may have
made a find significant to science. If
you are in doubt the Smithsonian In
stitution will be glad to examine it for
you.
Easy Saying, Hard Doing.
From th, XndUmpollf New*. ,
In connection with Herr Hitler’s
speech, it is to be remembered that some
things are a good deal most easily said
done.
ANSWERS TO
QUESTIONS
BY FREDERIC J. HASKIN.
A reader can get the answer to any
question of fact by uniting The Evening
Star Information Bureau, Frederic J.
Haskin, Director, Washington, D. C.
Please inclose stamp for reply.
Q. How many people are Incapacitated
through illness or accident on a typical
winter day In the United States?—F. W.
A. On an average there are 6,000.000
persons In the United States In Winter
who are too 111 to work, attend school,
or pursue other normal activities. Of
these, 1,500,000 are the victims of colds,
Influenza, pneumonia and kindred dis
eases.
Q. Who was premier of Northern Ire
land before Viscount Cralgavon?—R.
O. M.
A. He is the first prime minister. He
has held the post for 17 years.
Q. When and where did National
Negro Health Week originate?—L. T.
A. It started in Virginia In 1913, but
was shortly after made a national move
ment through the interest of Booker T.
Washington and the National Negro
Business League.
Q. How large is the peninsula on
which Italy is situated?—W. H,
A. The length of the peninsula com
prising the Kingdom of Italy is 760
( miles, while its breadth nowhere exceeds
! 150 miles and does not generally measure
more than 100 miles. Italy is slightly
larger than New England and New York
together.
Q. When did Japan take Manchuria
from China?—EW.
A. Japan wrested Manchuria from
China in 1931, occupying Mukden on
September 18 of that year. On Febru
ary 18, 1932. the three northeastern
provinces of China, together with Jehoi,
were, with the assistance of the Japa
nese Army, proclaimed an independent
state, to be known as Manchukuo.
Q. What is the plant that is most
abundant in New Zealand?—C. H.
A. The most characteristic plant of
New Zealand is the fern, which flourishes
in great variety everywhere. The so
called tree fern often reaches a height
of 40 feet.
Q. What was Oscar Wilde’s last play?
—J. W.
A. “The Importance of Being Earnest"
was written in 1895, shortly before the
author's trial and imprisonment, and
was the last play that he wrote.
Q. At what period were corner cup
boards introduced?—E. T.
A. They appeared about 1710 and were
finished to match the paneling of the
room.
Q. What is Paul McNutt's religion?
—T. C.
A. He is a Methodist.
Q. How much money Is spent in the
printing industry?—H. P. W.
A. In a survey of world markets eon
ducted by the United States Department
of Commerce, it is found that $5,000.
000,000 annually is spent for printing
machinery, equipment and supplies.
Q. How many post offices are there of
the different classes?—B. H.
A. There are 1,136 first-class post of
fices, 3,404 second class, 10,008 third
class and 30.329 fourth-class post offices
making a total of 44,877.
Q. Who said “The way to resumption
is to resume”?—C. J. L.
A. The expression was used In a let
ter written by Salmon P. Chase to Ho
race Greeley, May 17, 1866.
Q. When was "Die Wacht am Rhein”
written?—J. T.
A. It was written in 1840, but was
especially popular with German soldierr
during the war with Prance in 1870.
Q. Are there any women in the Texas
Rangers?—H. L.
A. Mrs. Frances Haskell Edmonson,
deputy sheriff of Bexar County, is a
member of the Texas Rangers.
Q. When was the first electric locomo
tive used on a railroad?—M. R.
A. The first electric locomotives to be
put in service on railroads were on the
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in 1895, for
use in their Baltimore tunnels, and were
built by the General Electric Co.
Q. What are the ingredients in In
dian pudding?—F. M.
A. Com meal, milk, eggs, spice, and
usually molasses. This pudding can be
boiled or baked. American pioneers
used it, and it is still a popular dessert.
Q. What was the first motion picture
in which Nazimova played?—C. K.
A. Her first motion picture was “War
Brides,” made in 1916.
Q. When and where did the D. A. R.
place a monument on the line between
Nebraska and Wyoming?—B. J.
A. The D. A. R. dedicated what is
called the State Line Monument in April,
1913. It is situated just where the Ore
gon Trail crosses the boundary lines be
tween Nebraska and Wyoming. Accord
ing to the atlas the nearest town is
named Henry.
Fish and Sea Foods
For Lent.
During Lent housewives are especially
Interested in flsh *and other sea foods
which are served so constantly at this
season. How to select flsh, how to cook
flsh, how to serve flsh in many appetiz
ing and savory dishes—practically all of
the methods of cooking flsh known to
the epicure, are contained in the 24-page
booklet, PISH AND SEA POODS. This
compact kitchen aid will be an invalu
able addition to any cook-book shelf. To
obtain y«ur copy All in and mall the
coupon below, enclosing 10 cents to cover
cost and handling.
Use This Order Blank.
The Washington Evening Star
Information Bureau,
Frederic J. Haskln, Director,
Washington, D. C.
I enclose herewith TEN CENTS in
coin (carefully wrapped) for a copy
of the booklet PISH AND SEA
FOODS.
Name
Street or Rural Route
city .
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(Please Order by MaB Only.)

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