Newspaper Page Text
Entered at the postoffice at Stillwater, Minne sota, as second-class mail matter. The Mirror is issued every Thursday at the following rates: One Year SI.OO Six Months .50 Three Months .25 To inmates of penal instituions per yr. .50 Address all communications to The Mirror, Stillwater, Minn. The Mirror is a weekly paper published in the Minnesota State Prison. It was founded in 1887 by the prisoners and is edited and managed by them. It aims to be a home news paper; to encourage moral and intellectual im provement among the prisoners; to acquaint the public with the true status of the prisoner to disseminate penological information and to aid in dispelling that prejudice which has ever been the bar sinister to a fallen man’s self redemption. NOTICE TO INMAIES Each inmate is accorded the privilege of sending one paper home, or to friends free of charge. To do this you should write your own name and register number and the name and address of the person you wish to send the paper to, and hand same to your officer. If you desire to send more than one paper, each additional copy will bo charged for at the rate of 50 cents a year. The paper delivered to your cell each week must be kept clean, and should be folded in the same manner as you receive it, placing it at the foot of your bed on the morning fol lowing the day on which it is delivered to your cell. CHURCH NOTICE Services in the Prison Chapel at nine o’clock every Sunday morning, Protestant and Catho lic service every alternate Sunday. Rev. C. E. Benson and Rev. Fr. Corcoran, Chaplains. NOTICE —Contributions submitted to The Mirror for publication must be absolutely original; if not original, proper credit must be given, if known; if writer’s name is not known, it should be so specified by said con tributor. Should contributor fail to comply with this request he will henceforth be dropped from The Mirror’s contributing staff. Approved by Warden. —Editor. By the streets of “by and by," one ar rives at the house of “never" — Cervantes. A wise man knows his own ignorance; a fool thinks he knows everything.— C. Simmons. “Give us not men like weathercocks that change with every wind, but, men like mountains, who change the wind them selves.” There is no day born but comes like a stroke of music into the world, and sings itself all the way through. We need not join in the music, and help it along, un less we choose. We can make discords and strike all sorts of jarring notes instead. But the day-music is there; and it is our own fault if we miss it. —Great Thoughts. THIRTY-FIVE YEARS OLD With this issue The Mirror enters its thirty-fifth year. Its start, back in 1887, was an event in prison history, being the second adventure of the kind in the world. A paper was issued at the Wis consin State Prison sometime before • the birth of our publication but was not con tinued for any length of time. The ap pearance of a prison published paper caused much comment throughout the United States and, we are sorry to say, some adverse criticism by Minnesota pub lishers, and at one time it looked as though our paper wopld be discontinued, but it lived through the attack of the per vert and misguided, and is now known by many people throughout the world, as each week papers are sent to Canada, Norway, Honolulu, Finland and China, as well as a large mailing list in the states. In looking over the issues of the past year we find that the population on August Ist, 1920, was 804. The largest number of inmates during the twelve months just passed was 849, and the lowest was 743. On October 25th, 1920, all the women prisoners were transferred from the prison to the Women’s Reformatory at Shakopee, also during this month two electrically heated pancake griddles were installed in the inmate’s kitchen. Deputy Warden Backland’s death occurred on November 21st, 1920. The last 1920 ball game was October 23rd, the season’s per centage being .458. There were three fires during the past year, one in the hospital basement, and two in the twine factory, both of these starting in one of the carding machines on the third floor. Slight damage resulted from these fires. On April 20th, 1921 by action of the State Legislature, the Board of Control was increased to five members, two of whom are to be women. Caroline M. Crosby of Minneapolis is now a member of the board. In looking over the issue of February 18th, 1909 we find quoted for the 1910 season, the following twine prices: Stand ard, 6}i cents; sisal, 6J4 cents; manila, 600-foot, B>4 cents; pure manila, 9)4 cents. Our present Warden’s name first ap pears in the issue of September 9th, 1906, and first appeared in the list of resident officials on March 25th, 1909. Two em ployees who are still with us are listed in the guard’s register in Volume 1, No. 1; they are T. W. Alexander and O. B. Johnson. The total population shown in the first issue was 412. The following is taken from the issue of August 20th, 1908: “Minnesota has concluded the first chapter in what promises to be a most important state in dustry. ' Tuesday (August 18th) the State Board of Control went to Lake Elmo, near Stillwater, and witnessed an ex periment of the first self-binder made by the state prison at Stillwater. The ex periment was a complete success and showed that the prison has turned out a first-class machine.” The Mirror thanks its many friends and well wishers for their support and though we should like to cover a broader field, it is well to bear in mind that a pri son published paper must always keep the following in mind —cave quid diets, quando, et cut. TEMPLE STONES THAT MAY BE COME HEARTH STONES Cable reports recently stated that Liar borough Rocks, one of the best-known of the so-called “Druid Circles” of England, would be- broken up and used by a com pany for building homes. The reports bring to mind what might be termed the “fight for survival” of* the monuments and works of art of past ages against the activities of later generations. During the dark ages priceless marble statues by Praxiteles and other Greek masters of sculpture were burned to make lime. In northern Africa and Asia Minor, in numerous places where classical ruins are found, beautifully chiseled stones — physical symbols of “the glory that was Greece an<j the grandeur that was Rome” —have been built into the uncouth huts of the natives. The smaller stones from “Druid Circles” and “avenues,” lying on the surface of the ground, ready quarried, have long fallen prey to nearby peasants in all the countries in which they occur. Even the Stonehenge, on Salisbury Plain, England, famous as the greatest of the supposed Druid temples and one of the most striking of the uninscribed monu ments of the world, has not entirely escaped the hand of the vandal. The larger monoliths are too massive for easy removal, but some of the smaller stones have disappeared and are reported to have been built into bridges and mill dams of the adjacent countryside. Relatively small stone circles and parallel rows of monoliths known as “avenues,” are numerous in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. They also are found in numbers in western Europe, especially in France, and to a lesser degree in northern Africa, and in southern Asia as far east as India. Among them, however, the comparatively few great groups stand out prominently. Stonehenge differs from most of the other circles in the great size of the upright stones, and in the fact that massive lintels are placed from upright to upright, form ing trilithons. The placing of the con centric circles and outlying marker stones of Stonehenge in such a way that its axis points practically to the rising sun on the longest day of the year—the summer solstice —has led to general acceptance of • the theory that this was a temple for sun worship. Because of an astronomical change which slowly shifts the apparent point of sunrise at successive summer solstices, it has been possible to compute the date of the biulding of Stonehenge as approxi mately 1680 B. C. It is believed that the smaller circles and the avenues and other monuments of great stones belong to ap proximately the same period, which is the late Neolithic age. While the larger cir cles like the Stonehenge and Harborough R6cks doubtless are temples for sun wor ship and human sacrifice, it is believed that the smaller groups of stones mark burial places.— Ex. TWENTY-ONE GUNS AND OUR PRESIDENT Why does the President of the United States receive a salute of twenty-one guns when he goes aboard a war vessel? Probably very few people of the United States could give the real reason why the salute consists of twenty-one guns instead of more or less. Always the number is twenty-one, and it is worth while to know the why and wherefore of all this. The practice of firing salutes of all kinds does not obtain as it once did. We are told that in the early part of the seventeenth century there were so many salutes fired on British vessels that complaint was made because of the ammunition wasted in this way. Salutes were fired when the wives of officers came on board and when they left the vessel. Many salutes were fired when vessels passed each other and on all sorts of occasions. We are told that at a banquet on board a ship so many rounds were fired when toasts to the king were drunk that a change of weather was ef fected. At another time, in 1675, there were “three cheers, seven guns and trum pets sounding” when some women visitors left the ship. The most distinguished ladies receive no such salutes today. The practice of firing salutes made such ser ious inroads on the country’s ammunition that the Duke of York prepared a table of the number of salutes that should be fired, and for whom they should be fired. I'he royal salute was limited to twenty one guns, and it is this precedent that today gives the President of the United States a salute of twenty-one guns when he goes aboard a naval vessel. The King of England receives the same salute. In fact, the salutes to rulers are now gov erned by international regulation, which is strictly observed. While, however, it is the royal salute to the King of Eng land in Great Britain, the royal salute to the King-Emperor in India is 101 guns. How did the salute originate? We are told that it had its origin in a wish to show a certain friendliness to the vessels of a foreign power. In the olden days it required several minutes to load a gun, and when the guns of a vessel were fired it was momentarily disarmed. In this way its friendly trust in the strange ves sel was-manifested. Of the exact manner of saluting, one writer says: “Between the rounds, before the days of rapid-fire guns, the old chief gunners used to walk up and down, pausing be tween ordering the fire. It was general ly supposed that they regulated their orders so as to give the men exactly enough time to reload by muttering to themselves: ‘Fire one!’ “ ‘lf I wasn’t a gunner I wouldn’t be here.’ “‘Fire two!’ “ ‘lf I w asn’t a gunner I wouldn’t be here.’ “‘Fire three’!” and so on until the re quired number of guns had been fired. Saluting between different powers is not by any means a mere matter of courtesy, and on more than one occasion interna tional difficulties of a most serious order have been precipitated by the failure of one power to salute another. Our country w-ould regard it an insult if a foreign vessel failed to give the salute it ought to give when it meets one of our vessels. There is no mere “matter of form” in the salutes. The number of guns to be fired for various persons is regulated and graduated in this most careful way. A Consul has but seven guns fired for him, and no salute to an individual is allow-able in the presence of the President. It is of in terest to know that on the Fourth of July at every military post in the United States there is a national salute fired. This con sists of one gun for each State in the Union. At no other time is this national salute fired.— Selected. QUERIES NOTICE TO INMATES For the benefit of any inmates who appre ciate and see the opportunity that their spare hours give toward a means of self education through correspondent school courses, study of good literature, acquiring an education in our Night Schools, or, who need helpful informa tion in connection with their work in our var ious departments, will herewith be privileged to use the “Query” column. You are wel come to send in any queries of serious interest to yourself, The Mirror with the kind col laboration of Miss Miriam E. Cary, Super visor of Institutional Libraries, will gladly endeavor to supply the requested information. NOTICE—In order to regulate the conduct of this column inmates must sign their name, register number and lock number to all queries submitted for publication. Inmates names, of course, will not be published, only the initials of each querist being used. —Editor. Q: —Why do many persons, half in jest and half in earnest, knock on wood as a preventive of misfortune?—S. D. A:—Because there was at one time a general belief that trees and humanity were allied in close bonds of union, and that certain trees had healing qualities. It was customary for a person afflicted with disease to take a woolen string of three colors, and with his right hand tie his left loosely to the limb of a tree, then slip it out and hasten homeward without casting a glance back, the belief being that the disease was transferred to the tree by touching it. Thus from a tree it has be come common practice to touch any article made of wood to ward off misfortune. Q: —Why is the 16th century sometimes referred to as the most tragic century in history?—O. F. A:—This century is called “Tragic Century” on account of great number of deaths occurring in it. Whole world was swept by plagues throughout the hundred years. Pestilence nearly depopulated China and raged throughout Germany, Holland, Italy, Spain, England, France and Russia. The “sweating sickness” which broke out in England in 1506 caused the death of nearly one-half the population of the large cities of that coun try. Century was also noted for its many wars. Q: —Is it true that a toad can live for months without air?—F. G. 'A:—Biological survey says that, during the winter season when it is in state of hibernation, a toad may live for hours, perhaps days, without air. In summer when its system is active it will die in a few minutes if deprived of air. Q: —What countries have taken over the German colonies in Africa?—F. M. A:—Former German colonies in Afri ca were conquered by allies and are now controlled chiefly by Great Brifain, France, Belgium and South Africa. NOTICE—AII inmattes using tlie Querv Col umn and desiring more detailed information to their queries are invited to use the splendid reference books in our library to be bad on request. The International Text Books are especially complete in their information on techinnl subjects. Consult the Reference, Use ful Arts, Literature, Chemistry, Biography and Science divisions of our library catalogue for y.- diversified subjects.