Marriages and divorces are in the news every year, the biggest story involving the split between "America's Sweetheart" Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. Here's a sampling of other couples making headlines in 1933.
Lovers become friends
Syracuse Journal, July 31
RENO, Nevada (INS) — Her desire to continue her film career was given today by Carole Lombard, blonde actress, as the reason she came to Reno to divorce William Powell, also a screen player.

Miss Lombard denied rumors that had linked her name with those of Gary Cooper, George Raft and Gene Raymond. She and Powell were married in June, 1931.

Oddly, one of Lombard's best films was made three years later — "My Man Godfrey" — when her leading man was none other than her ex-husband, with whom she remained a close friend.

Powell would later become deeply involved with the ill-fated Jean Harlow, while Lombard would become the love of Clark Gable's life.

In 1939 she married Gable, and it appeared she would have a long and successful career as an actress at home in drama, but especially entertaining in comedies.

It's strange that people, even those in show business, claim you didn't see beautiful women being funny, but Lombard was both beautiful and very funny. (So were Rosalind Russell, Jean Arthur, Joan Blondell, Ginger Rogers and Ann Sothern, to mention a few.)

Tragically, Carole Lombard was killed on January 16, 1942, in a plane crash on Mount Potosi, Nevada, while returning from a promotional tour to help sell World War 2 bonds. She was only 33.

He's not the boss of her
Philadelphia Inquirer, December 16
NEW YORK, December 15 (AP) — Gary Cooper, big, handsome, hero of many a screen romance, was married under the crystal candelabra of a Park Avenue apartment today to Veronica Balfe, slender, gray-eyed New York debutante.

As the boarded a train for the West shortly afterward Cooper acknowledged he had been “a little nervous” during the ceremony.

His bride, chic in gray corduroy coat and sable furs, said she would give up her film career, which she began “as a lark” last year under the name of Sandra Shaw.

The ceremony was performed in the apartment of the bride’s mother, the socially prominent Mrs. Paul Shields. Rev. George A. Trowbridge omitted the word “obey” in reading the ceremony. Asked later whose idea that was, Cooper grinned.

“I don’t remember,” he said.

Only the bride’s mother, stepfather and stepsister, Miss Barbara Shields, witnessed the ceremony. Mrs. Shields gave her daughter in marriage.

The couple will stop at Phoenix, Arizona, for several days on their way back to Hollywood to see Cooper’s parents, Judge Charles H. Cooper and Mrs. Cooper, formerly of Helena, Montana.

Cooper is 32, his bride 20. It is the first marriage for both.

Veronica Balfe Cooper was nicknamed "Rocky," which also could have described their marriage, since her husband went on to have affairs with some of his leading ladies — Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly, and especially Patricia Neal, the relationship that prompted the Coopers to separate in 1951.

They reconciled three years later and remained married until Cooper died in 1961. She married John Converse in 1964; he died in 1981. She died in 2000. Veronica and Gary Cooper had one child, Maria, who was born in 1937.

Burden of the first born
Syracuse Journal, July 13
NEW YORK (INS) — Their wedding held up until a court decided custody of the bride’s young son, Eliphalet N. Potter IV, Fred Astaire, musical comedy dancer, and the socially prominent Phyllis Livingston Potter, today were en route to Hollywood after being married in the library of the Brooklyn supreme court last night.

Mrs. Astaire, former wife of E. N. Potter III, sought an arrangement by which she could have custody of her son for a longer time. Under an arrangement reached after several court hearings, the boy’s father will have him only six weeks this summer instead of ten.

The couple will spend the summer in California while Astaire makes a movie and in November will go to London where he will appear on the stage and visit his sister, Adele, now Lady Cavendish.

It's no wonder Fred and Phyllis Astaire took to calling her son "Peter," a much better nickname than, say, "Elephant." The Astaires had a child of their own in 1936, and, like the Potter family, handed down the father's name, calling their son Fred Jr. In 1942 they had a daughter and named her Ava.

What is it about boxers?

Two of the world's most famous fighters were married in 1933, both of them to entertainers. At the time, boxers were the most popular athletes in this country, after baseball players, and had groupies the way pro football and basketball players do today.

On July 6, in Germany, Max Schmeling, former world’s heavyweight boxing champion, wed Anny Ondra, European screen star at the Charlottenburg city hall.

Schmeling is best remembered for his two fights against Joe Louis. In 1936 Schmeling handed Louis his first defeat, setting up the much-ballyhooed 1938 rematch in which Louis put the German away in the first round, thus delivering a major blow to Adolf Hitler's proclamation of Aryan supremacy.

Because he was German, Schmeling was for years regarded in this country as a villain. Only later would be be recognized as a good and honorable man, something Louis knew long before. The out-of-ring relationship between Louis and Schmeling was dramatized in two films, "Joe and Max" (2002) and "Ring of Passion" (1978). Another interesting film, "Max Schmeling," was released in 2010.

As for his marriage to Anny Ondra, unlike most of them on this page, this one was for keeps. Mrs. Schmeling died in 1987; her husband passed away in 2005, at the age of 99.

On July 18, 1933, Jack Dempsey, another former heavyweight boxing champion and one of the most popular fighters of all-time, married Hannah Williams, Broadway musical comedy star, in Elko, Nevada. Like the Gary Cooper wedding (above), the ceremony for this one omitted the word "obey."

It was Dempsey's third marriage. In 1916, when he was 21, Dempsey married Maxine Gates, described as "a saloon piano player." They divorced in 1919, and six years later he married Estelle Taylor, a silent screen movie star whose career faded when talkies arrived. She divorced Dempsey in 1930. (She would date another heavyweight champion, Max Baer, in 1933, but said she'd never again marry a boxer.)

Dempsey's marriage to Hannah Williams ended in a divorce in 1943, on grounds of her infidelity. (The two men named as co-respondents, were Benny Woodall, a former fighter, and former lightweight champion Lew Jenkins.) She counter-sued, charging Dempsey with cruelty and threats to her life.

Fifteen years later, the 63-year-old Dempsey married Deanna Piatelli, and they remained married until he died in 1983.

Back door wedding
Syracuse Journal, April 18
CANNES, France (INS) — Embarking on a life he said would be “a bed of roses,” former New York City Mayor James J. Walker was married here today to Betty Compton of England and Broadway.

In a simple, but colorful ceremony, the picturesque ex-mayor and the former musical comedy actress were joined in matrimony by Dr. Gazagnaire, chief executive of the city of Cannes in the local city hall.

Walker, personable, but corrupt, resigned as mayor of New York in 1932, under pressure from then-Governor Franklin Roosevelt. Walker then went to Europe as a sort of self-imposed (and temporary) exile, perhaps thinking absence would make the hearts of his former constituents grow fonder.

As for his marriage to Compton, he must have known every bed of roses comes complete with a lot of thorns. He and Compton divorced in 1941.

Walker's life was turned into a hokey film, "Beau James," with Bob Hope in the starring role. Vera Miles played Betty Compton. The project was partly intended to show the motion picture academy that Hope could deliver a solid dramatic performance, albeit with a light touch, since Walker was a fast man with a quip. But, alas, there was no Academy Award waiting for Hope, who would joke about being ignored by the Oscars almost every time he hosted the awards show.

The gorgeous enigma
Syracuse Journal, October 10, 1933
CHICAGO (INS) — Louise Brooks, motion picture actress, and Deering Davis, polo enthusiast and prominent in Chicago society, plan to be married in the city hall here.

Miss Brooks came here from New York for the ceremony. The actress formerly was the wife of
Eddie Sutherland, film director. Davis was divorced three years ago from Peggy McNeal, Philadelphia society leader.

Louise Brooks may still be considered the most stunningly attractive woman to step in front of a camera. Maybe it was that hairdo, one that was tried for awhile by Clara Bow ("The It Girl'). But no one pulled it off as well as Brooks. Many photographs of her look as though they could have been taken yesterday.

It's no surprise that as a film actress she was more successful in silents than talkies. She was rather unconvincing when you could hear what she was saying. Not that she minded. She never liked Hollywood.

She was 20 when she married Sutherland in 1926. They divorced two years later. As for Deering Davis (notice he is described as a polo player), she left him in 1934, though the divorce didn't become final until 1938.

The love of her life, apparently, was George Preston Marshall, the man best-remembered as the owner of the Washington Redskins. They had a longtime, on-and-off relationship.

Her women friends, for the most part, were lesbians, and she admitted having a one-night stand with Greta Garbo, but claimed this, and other sexual experiments with women, did not do much for her.

There was much fuss made about her a few years ago, a sort of Louise Brooks revival, started, not surprisingly, in France. (If only she and Jerry Lewis could have made a film together.)

Highlight of her film career was "Pandora's Box," playing a character named Lulu, which figured in the title of her memoirs, titled "Lulu in Hollywood," published in 1982. She rarely gave interviews, but wrote several articles and could intellectualize with the best of them.

In truth, she wasn't much of an actress, and, unfortunately, some of her work, when viewed today, is downright embarrassing, such as two Westerns she made in the 1930s — "Empty Saddles" with Buck Jones and "Overland Stage Raiders" with John Wayne.

But, then, she didn't really want to be a good actress.

Removed: One millstone
Syracuse Journal, February 3, 1933
HOLLYWOOD (INS) — Lola Lane, film actress, was scheduled to appear in court today for a hearing in her suit to divorce Lew Ayres, also a film player.

Miss Lane charged that Ayres had told her she was “a millstone around his neck.” The couple were married September 15, 1931.

The divorce was granted. Ayres went on to marry Ginger Rogers in 1934. (They would divorce in 1940.)

Lola Lane was one of four performing sisters, though Leota, the eldest, left the act in 1931. Lola and sisters Rosemary and Priscilla sometimes appeared together in movies, though each tried to carve out solo careers, with Priscilla the most successful.

Ayres was Lola Lane's second husband. She would marry three more times, starting with Alexander Hall in May, 1934.

Another fine mess
Corning (NY) Evening Leader, June 21, 1933
HOLLYWOOD (AP) — Less than a month ago Stan Laurel of the movie comedy team, Laurel and Hardy, was sued for divorce on grounds of mental cruelty by his wife, Lois. Yesterday Oliver Hardy, moon-faced and ponderous, filed suit against his wife, Myrtle, on the same grounds.
Two down, three to go

Gloversville & Johnstown Morning Herald, July 18
MINDEN, Nevada, July 17 (AP) — The brief marriage of Elliott Roosevelt, second son of the President, and the former Elizabeth Donner, Philadelphia society girl, ended in a speedy divorce here today.

The hearing in the district court lasted only eight minutes. When it was over, young Roosevelt hurried to Reno and tonight embarked on a flight to Chicago.

In the World’s Fair city tomorrow may occur a meeting with Miss Ruth Googins, the Fort Worth, Texas, girl with whom he has been linked in a new romance.

Elliott said he and Miss Donner were married at Villanova, near Philadelphia, on January 16, 1932, and lived together until their separation early this year.

He presented no evidence in support of his complaint charging extreme cruelty, and was content to let Mrs. Roosevelt take the decree on a cross-complaint. Details of her testimony were not divulged.

Syracuse American, July 23

BURLINGTON, Iowa, July 22 (INS) — Elliott Roosevelt, 22-year-old son of the President, and Miss Ruth Googins, pretty Fort Worth, Texas, socialite, were married at the home of the bride’s uncle, George C. Swiler, at 6 o’clock this evening.

Elliott Roosevelt was re-married more times than his father was re-elected President. He and his first wife, Elizabeth Browning Donner, had a son, William Donner Roosevelt.

His marriage to Ruth Googins produced three children — Ruth Chandler Roosevelt, Elliott Roosevelt Jr. and David Boynton Roosevelt — before they divorced in March, 1944.

She married Harry T. Eidson three months later; in December he married actress Faye Emerson. They were divorced in 1950.

In 1951 he married Minnewa Bell Ross; they were divorced in 1960.

Finally, also in 1960, Roosevelt married Patricia Peabody Whitehead, and adopted her four children.

Double-barreled divorce
Syracuse Journal, January 12
PARIS (INS) — Its dreams of the “perfect love” of its idol shattered, the Paris music hall clique speculated tensely today on the outcome of the double-barreled divorce action brought by Maurice Chevalier, film star, and
Yvonne Vallee, dancer. The court is expected to return its decision in eight days.

Chevalier denied rumors he was in love with Jeanette MacDonald, his co-star in two Hollywood films, "One Hour With You" and "Love Me Tonight." He didn't remarry until 1937; the second Mrs. Chevalier was dancer Nita Raya.

Good singer, bad at math
Gloversville & Johnstown Morning Herald, July 18
NEW CASTLE, Pennsylvania, July 17 (AP) — Helen Morgan, piano-sitting blues singer of New York, and Maurice Maschke Jr., son of Cleveland’s Republican leader, were married in New Castle on July 15, it was revealed through official records today.

Miss Morgan, who won fame through her appearance in musical shows, gave her age as 28; Maschke, an attorney, listed his age as 25.

Helen Morgan was best known in her lifetime for performances on Broadway in "Showboat," and several years later for the movie version, which marked a comeback for the singer, who was an alcoholic.

Various sources say Morgan, who was born in 1900, was married three times, mentioning a man named Lowell Army as husband number one, but elsewhere Maschke turns up as her first spouse. She lied about her age, shaving it by five years. The marriage lasted two years.

On July 27, 1941, she married Los Angeles automobile dealer Lloyd Johnson, but ten weeks later the singer died of cirrhosis of the liver, attributed to her years of heavy drinking.

In 1957 there were two version of her life story produced, the first for television, starring Polly Bergen, who did her own singing, later recording an album of Helen Morgan songs, and the second a movie starring Ann Blyth and Paul Newman.

It was one of those times — and this happens more often than movie people like to admit — the television version was better, though the big screen production had one plus. Gogi Grant did the singing for Miss Blyth.

There was nothing wrong with Polly Bergen's vocal performance, but Gogi Grant was an unusually talented singer, with an outstanding voice, though she is remembered for only one hit, "The Wayward Wind."

Grant died in 2016 at the age of 91, but she performed until 2013.

And so they were wed
Buffalo Courier-Express, October 6]
PARIS, October 5 — Wanda Toscanini, daughter of the world’s most famous conductor [Arturo Toscanini] who is severely boycotting Hitlerite Germany for its persecution of Jews, hopes to become the wife of Vladimir Horowitz, brilliant young Russian pianist of Jewish descent.

Wanda and Horowitz both are in Paris at present. The young man is awaiting the arrival of his girl’s father, who is scheduled to arrive October 12 for a series of concerts, in order to formally ask for Wanda’s hand.

If the temperamental conductor practices what he preaches — he broke his contract to conduct the Wagner festival at Bayreuth in protest against Hitler anti-Semitism as practiced against Jewish musician — the couple will marry next January.

In the meantime, Wanda is revealing apparent confidence in her father’s reply by buying copiously from world famed Paris dressmakers, the purchases being characterized in couturiere circles as a “trousseau.”

Wanda Toscanini, 25, and Vladimir Horowitz, 27, did not wait until January. They were married in Milan, Italy, on December 21.

Will number four be lucky?
Syracuse Journal, July 15
Universal Service
Nina Wilcox Putnam, famous novelist, writer of innumerable short stories, and many times headlined for her matrimonial adventures, is about to marry a fourth time. The new husband, Christian Eliot, will place a ring on Mrs. Putnam’s third finger one day next week.

The divorce she is seeking from
Arthur James Ogle is due to be granted today in Juarez, Mexico. She will immediately married Eliot, a young Englishman.

The romance between the blonde fiction writer and Eliot started in England eight years ago. At that time she felt he was too young to marry, so she said no to his persistent wooing. After her separation from Mr. Ogle, real estate broker and third husband of Mrs Putnam, Mr. Eliot renewed his campaign for her hand.

Number four, Mrs. Putnam believes, will be her lucky number. Her previous matrimonial experiences have been much publicized and unfortunate in their endings. Her first husband was
Robert Faulkner, her second Robert J. Sanderson, and now Arthur Ogle. All marriages ended in divorce.
He was in no hurry
Syracuse American, August 20
NEW YORK, August 19 (INS) — Harold S. Vanderbilt, one of America’s wealthiest bachelors and defender of America’s yachting trophy against Great Britain, was married today to Miss Gertrude L. Conway of Philadelphia.

The wedding took place in Vanderbilt’s apartment in the Hotel Barclay. Vanderbilt gave his age as 49. Miss Conway is 32.

Vanderbilt is the son of William K. Vanderbilt, and the great-grandson of the first Cornelius Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt also was regarded as one of the world's best contract bridge players, helping make it the card game incredibly popular in the 1930s. He died in 1970, at age 85 and still married to the former Gertrude Conway.

If at first you don't succeed
Syracuse Journal, September 12, 1933
LONDON (INS) — The former Eugenia Bankhead announced today she will shortly marry Kennedy McConnell, 28, son of James Irvine McConnell, former Scottish colliery owner, in England. It will be her seventh marriage.

She and her husband-to-be arrived in London after a yacht cruise in the Mediterranean.

Ah, Evelyn Eugenia Bankhead, the oft-married, slightly older sister of actress Tallulah Bankhead, whose best work was done on the Broadway stage, but who is recalled today mostly for her role in Alfred Hitchcock's 1944 movie, "Lifeboat."

While Tallulah only married once — in 1937 to actor John Emery — she was notorious for her sexual appetite and described herself as "ambisextrous," though she talked publicly only about her affairs with men.

Eugenia, on the other hand, had this thing about marriage, saying "I do" for the first time when she was 17 to Michael Morton Hoyt, who was 19. This made both of them underage for matrimony without parental consent, so the wedding was annulled.

Three years later they got married again, and remained that way for eight years. In 1928, while she was in England to watch her sister perform in London, Hoyt went to Reno, Nevada, established residence, and divorced her.

However, before the year was over, they reconciled and married for a third time. The problem: Hoyt sold her on the idea of living in Reno. He discovered he liked it there. She didn't. So within months they were divorced again.

While in Nevada, she met Wilfred Lawson Butt, a football hero at Nevada University. And so they got married soon after her divorce began final. Trouble was, Butt was still legally married to someone else. And when Eugenia found out, she had her fourth marriage annulled.

No matter. A month later she was married again, to Howard Lee, who had two credentials that really impressed women in the early '30s. He was an aviator and a polo player. But on their wedding day, Lee became so ill that the reception was called off. He also had misrepresented himself as being very influential in the field of aeronautics. Somehow this was important to Eugenia Bankhead, who had this marriage annulled six weeks after the wedding.

This time she waited almost a year before getting married again. Edward Ennis White passed himself off as a New York business man. So why did he want to live in California?

Because he also was known as Graham Devine, who was wanted in New York on four counts of forgery and for passing bad checks, among them the one he had given the justice of the peace when he and Eugenia were married. Another annulment loomed.

She turned again to Michael Morton Hoyt, but this time there was no wedding, at least not in 1932 or 1933. As for Kennedy McConnell, well, despite Eugenia's announcement that she'd marry him, a wedding never took place.

Hoyt, who'd never married anyone else, was back in the picture in 1934, but, again, there was no wedding for Eugenia until she became Mrs. William D. Sprouse, at which point interest in her love life slipped below the radar, until she popped up as a house mate of Louisa Carpenter, duPont heiress and lesbian pal of Eugenia's sister, Tallulah, and singer Libby Holman.

She'll take the green Jello
Buffalo Courier-Express, February 28
Chicago Tribune Leased Wire
RENO, Nevada — Neatly garnished with a divorce decree, a nice large helping of the Jello fortune of
Donald Woodward was sliced off in the divorce courts here yesterday and presented to Mrs. Anne Murray Woodward.

The attractive young wife of the gelatin magnate received the market value of 5,000 shares of General Food Corporation, 1,000 shares of Electric Bond & Share, and 1,000 shares of Pennsylvania Railroad.

It was explained that this tidy little fortune had been set aside in a trust agreement by Woodward last year.

Woodward, who lives in LeRoy, New York, and Washington, D.C., was one time owner of the world’s largest private airport. He married Anne Murray Woodward, daughter of Roland B. Woodward of Rochester, a neighbor, but not a relative, in April, 1929. She was awarded custody of their two-year-old daughter, Susanne.

Donald Woodward, called "The Jello King" in a newspaper headline, wasted little time getting back in the game. The day after his divorce to wife number two became final, he married again, to Mrs. Adelaide Jennings, head of the Rochester branch of the Jennings-Foley Detective Agency. The wedding took place in Rochester.

Double wedding? Not this time
Philadelphia Inquirer, October 7, 1933
NEW YORK, October 6 (AP) — The Aquitania came in from England today, bringing Violet and Daisy Hilton, Siamese twins, who said they will figure in a double wedding within a year. Daisy said she was engaged to orchestra leader Jack Lewis, now in Chicago. Violet reported that her fiance is “a prominent English boxer,” whom she met abroad. She declined to divulge his name.

The parentage of the conjoined Hilton twins remains unknown. Their mother likely was single and died when Daisy and Violet were infants, and it is believed their father died in World War I. The girls were joined at the base of the spine and were raised by the midwife who delivered them, Mary Hilton, who brought them to the United States in 1916 and exploited the girls through circus troupes and vaudeville houses.

The twins finally broke free of Mary Hilton in 1929, but remained on the vaudeville circuit. The appeared in two movies, Tod Browning's famous "Freaks" (1932) and "Chained for Life" (1952).

They were not identical twins —Daisy was a natural blonde and Violet a brunette. Despite their announcement in the news item above, Daisy Hilton did not marry Jack Lewis, Violet did not marry an English boxer. Most states would not issue marriage licenses to them.

However, in 1936 Violet Hilton married James Moore, a dancer, but this short-lived marriage was annulled. In 1941 Daisy wed an actor,, Harold Estep (aka Buddy Sawyer), by that marriage ended ten days later.

After 1952's "Chained for Life" failed to revive their careers, the Hilton twins move to Florida and operated a fruit stand. In 1960 they settled in Charlotte, North Carolina, and worked in a supermarket. They died in 1969.

Her nickname well deserved

Syracuse Journal, March 28
CHICAGO (INS) — Jesse L. Livermore, 58, today announced that he and Mrs. Harriet Metz Nobel, 38, prominent society woman of Omaha, Nebraska, had been married last Thursday at Geneva, Illinois.

Livermore, known as the “boy plunger” and who is reported to have amassed millions as a “bear” both in Wall Street and on the Chicago Grain Exchange, said he and Mrs. Livermore would make their future home in Chicago.

It was Livermore's third marriage, her fifth. Her first four husbands had all committed suicide. She was nicknamed "The Black Widow."

In October Livermore was sued for $250,000 in a breach of promise by Nadia (or Naida) Krasnova, variously referred to as "beautiful," "an actress," and a one-time employee at Livermore's Chicago office.

Later in 1933, the Livermores moved to New York City, and in December he went missing, causing his latest wife to believe he had been kidnapped. But 26 hours later he was back; his doctor said Livermore had had an attack of amnesia.

Livermore declared bankruptcy in March, 1934. The breach of promise suit was still pending and he owed more than $500,000 in state and federal taxes. Time Magazine (March 19, 1934) also reported that Livermore had promised a dancer named Lucille Ballantine $150 a month for five years for keeping him "cheered and amused" while he was getting his second divorce.

Livermore obviously was depressed, but held on until 1940 when he kept intact the perfect marital record of Harriet Nobel — he shot and killed himself.

The "boy plunger" lived like a king in the 1920s and had a Long Island mansion that was the scene of an interesting jewel robbery in 1927.

Honeymoon as a career move
Syracuse Journal, August 19
LAGUNA BEACH, California (INS) — A honeymoon in a 16-foot canoe around Cape Horn to New York was started today by Dana Lamb, 32, experienced seaman, and his bride, Virginia, 20. They plan to go ashore each night to hunt, fish and obtain water. A watch and compass are the sole navigating instruments. Their luggage weighs 600 pounds.

This item seemed to have all the makings of a fiasco or a disaster ... but Mr. and Mrs. Lamb — she was better known Ginger — defied the odds, though taking a lot longer than they originally intended, returning to California in the fall of 1936. Their 18,000 mile voyage was the basis for their first book, "Enchanted Vagabonds" in 1938, which launched their careers as travel writers.

In April, 1936, they were marooned on Cocos Island, off the coast of Central America, and weren't rescued until August 22. They still had their 16-foot canoe, but on their trip back to California, they brought the canoe aboard the liner that gave them the smoothest ride they had had in three years.

Once, in the canoe, they were blown 80 miles out to sea in a gale. They stopped several times during their prolonged honeymoon to look for gold in Mexico, and said they found enough to pay for the cost of their trip.

Who ya' gonna call?
Binghamton Press, July 15, 1933
CHICAGO (AP) — Mrs. Ethel S. Bulmash told Superior Judge Joseph Sabath that her husband, Nathan, insisted upon keep the lights burning all night because he was afraid of ghosts. She accused him of leaving her and asked for a divorce. The court will decide later.
Talk about fatal attraction

I can't help but wonder whatever happened to Jewell Hasty Bell of Kennett, Missouri. In 1933 she was just 19-years-old, but already had earned a place in the femme fatale Hall of Fame.

That's because by then she had already been married three times, and two of her husbands had committed suicide, while the third was shot and killed by husband number two, before he took his own life.

Jewell Hasty Bell was pretty, but no raving beauty, attracting men to whom she could not say "No" — until after she'd said "I do."

Married the first time at age 14, to Robert Wright, she immediately realized her mistake, him and went home to her mother. Wright asked her to come back, she refused, and he killed himself.

Next she married a much older man, Arthur Pruett, 44, because he seemed prosperous and attentive. But he was a criminal who had gotten away with murder at least twice. He also was married to someone else.

That marriage was annulled, then she found a nice young man, Harry Bell, 24, but before they could have a honeymoon, Pruett showed up to make trouble. Days later Pruett kidnapped his ex-wife, who managed, five days later, to convince him to turn her loose.

But there would be no peace for the newlyweds. On July 21, Pruett showed up looking for Jewell at her mother's house, making several wild demands. Bell, husband number three, went outside to talk to Pruett, but quickly realized talking would do no good.

Long story short, Bell went back to the house, got a pistol, and confronted Pruett, who was charging toward the house, rifle in hand. Bell managed to wound Pruett in a shoulder, but the older man fired a fatal shot with his rifle and continued into the house and tried to reach his ex-wife, who was locked in a back bedroom with her mother and other members of her family.

Pruett busted the door open, but Mrs. Hasty slammed it shut and the mother, determined to protect her family, stood against the door, even as Pruett fired a few shots through it, one of those shots striking the woman in the left hand.

Abruptly, Pruett went back to the dying Bell, shot him point blank two more times, then turned the gun on himself.

Incredibly, Bell outlived his killer, but only by a few hours, dying at a hospital in Poplar Bluff, Missouri.

At that point Jewell Hasty Bell disappeared from the news.

Whatever you say, honey
Binghamton Press, August 2
MEDINA, New York (AP) — Because the wife of John Krupa, Medina storekeeper, told him to “jump in the lake” during an argument, he drove the new family sedan into Greenwood Lake. He landed in 15 feet of water, but changed his mind when the water closed about him and crawled from the car. When he reached home, Mrs. Krupa had him arrested.
The reasons were different, but here's how others attracted attention during an unusually eventful year:
Queen Mary Quite Contrary

That was the headline that accompanied this Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA) photo of England's Queen Mary published in several newspapers in late July. Turns out the 66-year-old wife of King George V (and grandmother of Queen Elizabeth, below) was a fashion trend-setter. The photo caption read as follows:

A mild sensation was stirred in London when Queen Mary, whose dresses always have been down to her shoes, arrived at a London exhibit in a gown seven inches above ground. All other women present wore skirts sweeping the grass.

Some like it cold

Syracuse Journal, October 5
WILMINGTON, North Carolina (INS) — Battered by heavy seas, with engines crippled, Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s South Polar ship, The Bear of Oakland, was snatched from the threat of imminent disaster on treacherous Frying Pan shoals today after an SOS message sent the Coast Guard scurrying to its aid. The ship is being towed into port there by a commercial tug.

Syracuse American, October 8
WILMINGTON, North Carolina (INS) — The Bear of Oakland, supply ship of the second Byrd Antarctic expedition, yesterday was enjoined from leaving port in a maritime libel filed by the Stone Towing Company, which seeks $5,000 for towing the Bear when she developed engine trouble off Frying Pan Shoals Thursday.

Richard Evelyn Byrd (1888-1957) was a United States naval officer and early aviator best known for exploring Antarctica, though earlier he also had explored the Arctic.

As the items above indicate, Byrd's 1933 expedition got off to a rough start, an omen of things to come. Byrd almost died after he attempted to spend the winter by himself in Antarctica's interior. He would return to the Antarctic three more times, though his exploring was interrupted by service in World War 2.

He was a swell guy, all right

The early 1930s was an era of good feeling in America toward Italy and its leader, Benito Mussolini. Not only was 1933 the year Italy's air minister, General Italo Balbo, led a squadron of 24 seaplane to visit the Chicago's World Fair, but on July 4, in Rome, Mussolini became an honorary member of the American Legion when Colonel William E. Easterwood of Dallas, national vice commander, pinned a legion button on Il Duce's lapel.

And in October, William Cardinal O'Connell, archbishop of Boston, visited Italy, and when he returned on the Italian liner Volcania, he proclaimed that under the dictatorship of Mussolini, the Italians had become "a new people."

“What Mussolini has accomplished is almost miraculous,” he added. “There is a great improvement in the general order of things. He has transformed Italy in 10 years, not only the land but the people as well.”

Oh, yes, and he made the trains run on time. Too bad he didn't quit while he was ahead.

A one-man freak show

Syracuse Journal, August 30
NEW YORK (INS) — Declaring the U. S. senator from Louisiana “the most picturesque man in America,” the management of Coney Island’s Luna Park today sent a telegram to Huey Long offering him $1,000 nightly “to appear as a freak attraction at Luna Park.”

Bert Nevins, spokesman for the park management, declared the offer was made in good faith.

Said Nevin, “We believe, as business men concerned with profitable exploitation, that Huey Long, if exhibited, would more than pay any compensation that we would hand him.”

Huey Long may have been a hero and a legend in Louisiana, but the bombastic politician, after he became a United States senator in 1932, became a laughing stock to many people elsewhere. Others may have thought he was a joke, but they weren't laughing.

However, he was building what he thought was a large following, and in 1935 would announce his intention to run for President Shortly thereafter he was assassinated by Dr. Carl Weiss, the son of one of his political enemies.

Robert Penn Warren's fictionalized novel, "All the King's Men," was based on Long, but called the protagonist Willie Stark. It has been filmed twice, in 1949, with Broderick Crawford delivering an Oscar-winning performance, and in 2006, with Sean Penn.

Battling down the stretch

The Kentucky Derby is America's most famous horse race, but the 1933 edition turned into a fight between jockeys
Herb Fisher (on Head Play, left) and Don Meade (on Broker's Tip). The pushing and shoving between the two men might today have gotten both their horses disqualified, but there was no punishment dished out in 1933. Broker's Tip, the inside horse, was declared the winner, though Fisher claimed Head Play was the first to cross the finish line. He may have been correct about that. In any event, Broker's Tip never won another race.
Ahead of her time

Syracuse Journal, July 5
NAPLES, Italy (INS) — The name of Rosa Ponselle, Metropolitan Opera Company soprano, was on the lips of all Naples today because Crown Prince Umberto of Italy stopped smoking when she asked him to.

The incident occurred during a command performance at the royal gardens here. Miss Ponselle was in the midst of an aria and stopped suddenly when she detected the odor of smoke. Prince Umberto was revealed as the offender.

He asked Miss Ponselle if she objected.

“My one obsession,” she said, “is against anyone smoking while I am singing.”

The prince promptly crushed his cigarette with the heel of his boot and later described the incident in an amusing manner at a state banquet given in the singer’s honor.

One wonders how Miss Ponselle would have reacted today to an interruption by the jarring ring-tone of an audience member's cellphone.

How not to commit suicide

Syracuse Journal, February 23
CHICAGO (INS) — Miss Augusta Lenska, 51, once widely known in Europe and America as an opera contralto, was in Billings Hospital today suffering from severe bruises received when she was pinned beneath a street car. Witnesses said the contralto leaped in front of the moving car.

Although the wheels did not pass over her, Miss Lenska could not be extricated until fire equipment raised the car.

Miss Lenska had lost her life savings by investing with a man who was very much in the news in 1933 — Samuel Insull, who had been the chief financial backer of the Chicago opera.

Insull, former Chicago utilities magnate, was hiding in Greece in an attempt to escape punishment on a federal charge here that he had violated the bankruptcy act. He wasn't brought back to the United States until 1934. After a trial he was found not guilty.

While generally unknown, Insull was a target in "Citizen Kane," the classic Orson Welles film. While most of the movie was inspired by the life of William Randolph Hearst, it was Insull and his wife, Gladys Wallis, who were subjects of the ridicule screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz directed at Charles Foster Kane and his second wife, an opera singer.

However, Wallis was an actress, apparently a good one when she and Insull married in 1899. But when she briefly came out of retirement in 1925, at the age of 56, she played the part of an 18-year-old in "School for Scandal." Mankiewicz, then a sometime theater critic for the New York Times, was assigned to cover the production, and he referred to Miss Wallis as "an aging, hopelessly incompetent amateur," though he was drunk at the time and never finished his review.

This experience was recalled for "Citizen Kane," which also borrowed from the life of Chicago industrialist Harold F. McCormick Sr., who mounted a production for his opera-singer wife, Ganna Walska, known for her off-key performances.

As for Hearst, he remained married to Millicent Wilson, but maintained an affair with Marion Davies, a successful screen actress. Hearst wanted Davies to take on more serious roles, when, in fact, she was recognized as one of Hollywood's best comedic performers.

She's safe, he's sorry

Syracuse Journal, September 30
CHICAGO (INS) — Mrs. Thelma Cox, young wife of George M. Cox, wealthy ship owner, and their two-year-old son, are being held by kidnappers, it was revealed today.

The matron and her child were kidnapped Wednesday, police were told, and Cox at his home in New Orleans believes that some of the members of the crew of one of his lake boats participated in the kidnapping.

Cox, seriously ill, revealed over the telephone that his wife and child had been in Chicago on Wednesday and that they had dropped out of sight that day. He said Mrs. Cox had about $3,000 in cash and some valuable jewelry in her possession.

Cox named the men he believed responsible for the kidnapping, and police began a search for men. All the men named by Cox are former members of the crew of the lake passenger steamer, Isle Royale, which has been involved inn a suit in federal court. Members of the crew contend they have $14,000 in wages coming to them.

Meanwhile, in Mainstee, Michigan, it was reported that the crew of the Isle Royale was paid the $14,000 in back wages on September 19. Officials of the Isle Royal Line said the money constituted full payment, denying the crew had threatened to mutiny or blow up the ship.

A day later the story was quite different, as Mrs. Cox explained her "disappearance."

Buffalo Courier-Express, October 1
CHICAGO, September 30 (AP) — Detective Chief William Schoemaker late today said he had contacted the missing wife of George M. Cox, believed by her husband to have been kidnapped, and quoted her as saying she left her New Orleans home with other members of her family of her own volition.

Schoemaker refused to divulge the whereabouts of Mrs. Cox, but said she told him she had left her husband with intention of filing for divorce.

As a consequence, all police investigation of the case was dropped here, and four men, detained for questioning, were released.

Pecora vs. Morgan

Syracuse American, May 28
WASHINGTON (INS) — The Senate’s sensational inquiry into the affairs of the House of Morgan had the hearty support of President Roosevelt today even as secret foes started an attack on the character of Ferdinand Pecora, the dynamic New Yorker in charge of the investigation.

Lawyer Ferdinand Pecora became a household name through an investigation by the United States Senate Committee on Banking and Currency. Pecora was the committee's chief counsel, and there was much press interest when Pecora led the inquiry into the business practices of J. P. Morgan, one of the country's wealthiest men.

Morgan's bank was just one of the targets as the committee attempted to determine the causes of the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and what steps were required to prevent a recurrence.

Not surprisingly, the investigation found evidence of how financial institutions played — and paid — favorites. And as if Americans needed reminding, the investigation also spotlighted how the rich and the poor play by different rules. Morgan, for instance, paid no income tax in 1931 and 1932.

When his committee work was done, Pecora was appointed a commissioner of the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission, created as a result of the investigation. However, he resigned a few months later to become a judge of the New York State Supreme Court.

Setback only temporary
Syracuse Journal, June 22, 1933
Charles E. Mitchell, whom they called “Sunshine Charlie” when he was the dynamic chieftain of the National City Bank, today regained his smile.

He walked out to freedom and an opportunity to remake his fortune after a federal jury acquitted him of the charge of income tax evasions for 1929 and 1930.
Two plus two
Buffalo Courier-Express, June 4, 1933
HOLLIS, Oklahoma (AP) — Four sisters will celebrate their 18th birthday here tomorrow — surrounded by stacks of fan mail and gifts.

The sisters are the famous Keys quadruplets — Roberta, Mona, Mary and Leota — the only girl quadruplets on record who have lived to maturity.

The four girls graduated from school here in May with unusually good records at students.

Identifying them involved an educated guess because what I've done doesn't agree with the caption of one photo I found online. My uncertainly involved only Roberta and Mona, who were identical — except for a slight difference in their mouths, especially when they smiled.

A 1944 article in The American Weekly, written by John K. Winkler, said what I thought when I looked at photos of the quads — that Mona was, "admittedly the comeliest of the sisters," though I would have phrased it differently. She also was the first to get married.

They all led full, apparently happy lives. Leota was the first to die, in 1970, but it was 27 years before Mona passed away, at age 82. Mary and Roberta both died in 2011, in their 96th year.

One thing I really liked about the Keys sisters  — their father was a Flake. Really, that was his first name. Mother of the quads was Alma Keys. The four sisters had four older siblings — Rex, Jacqueline, Marjorie and Charles.

The Keys sisters were probably the most famous multiple births until 1934 when the Dionne quintuplets were born in Canada.

By the time the Keys quads were in college, having been given full scholarships to Baylor University, where, sixty years later, another set of quadruplets, Alma, Brook, Claire and Darcy Hansen would also graduate. The Hansen sisters, however, were all identical.

As for the Keys, their parents resisted offers to cash in on the quadruplets. They gave into public curiosity only to the extent of permitting the girls to be exhibited every year at the Oklahoma State Fair until they were nine years old.

All four sang and played musical instruments; they were members of the Baylor band. After their junior years they made one attempt to exploit their fame, with the purpose of repaying their parents. But by then the Dionne quints had come along and there wasn't much interest in the Musical Keys Quads, and their summer tour was not successful.

A tale of two fasts

Buffalo Courier-Express, August 2
POONA, India, August 1 (AP) — The Mahatma Gandi, arrested early today with his wife and 33 followers, will be brought to Yeroda prison here from Ahmedabad, and subsequently will be released.

The group was lodged in Sabarmati jail at Ahmedabad shortly before they planned to launch a new civil disobedience campaign for Indian independence.

The Mahatma will be released under an order prohibiting him from leaving this district or engaging in any activity in connection with the disobedience campaign. He will face a possible prison sentence of two years and a public trial if he violates the order.

His return to Yeroda prison will take him to familiar surroundings, for he was released from that jail only last May after being held there sixteen months because of his refusal to call off a previous disobedience campaign. Under an indefinite sentence, he was freed when he began a three weeks’ fast against untouchability.

Syracuse Journal, August 23
POONA, India (INS) — Mahatma M. K. Gandhi scored another victory in his unceasing battle for liberation of India’s untouchables today when the British Indian government released him unconditionally from jail as he entered the eighth day of his second “fast unto death.”

The mahatma previously had refused a conditional offer of release, announcing he would fast until the government allowed him to continue his campaign unmolested.

Syracuse Journal, August 24
POONA, India (INS) — Mahatma Gandhi, released from custody and his second “fast unto death” broken, breakfasted on orange juice today without ill effects. He was to be examined by an Indian medical board to determine his exact condition after abstaining from food nearly eight days. Gandhi rested comfortably on the veranda of Lady Vitall Das Thackersey’s palatial home.

Great man that he was, Mahatma Gandhi probably never worried that the British would allow him to make good on a "fast unto death."

This was not the case in one of the 1933's strangest stories involving a 36-year-old woman born in Germany, who moved to the United States and settled in Texas.

Buffalo Courier-Express,August 25
LaGRANGE, Texas August 24 (AP) Self-imposed starvation brought death to Mrs. Maria Dach, 36-year old German farm woman, and saved her from going to the electric chair for the slaying of Henry Stoever, her 58-year-old helper.

Mrs. Dach died in her jail cell last night while awaiting action on an appeal from the death sentence.

She had eatem only three meals in 37 days.

For days she was unconscious on the cot in her cell. A physician watched her closely and began to treat her for a stomach ailment. Occasionally she broke her fast to nibble at the food the jailer brought her, but she lost weight and her 100 pounds when she died offered a sharp contrast to the 200 pounds of three months ago.

"The food makes me sick, " she would say at meal time.

The first thirteen days after she was convicted last May 25, Mrs. Dach refused food altogether. Finally she was pursuaded to eat a few vegetables, but she quickly began fasting again.

Mrs. Dach accepted her death sentence without show of emotion, but clung to her claim that she shot Stoever in defense of herself and her children. She insisted that she lived in fear of him as he helped about the farm after he attacked her last December.

Stoever was shot and killed as he slept. His body was dug up from a seven-foot pit on the woman's farm several months later after officers began an investigation at the request of two of Stoever's brothers. Over the pit a chicken house had been erected.

Until the body was found, badly burned, Mrs. Dach declared that Stoever had burned a calf in the pit. Later she was quoted as saying she burned the body “because I didn’t want my children to see it.”

When a deputy read the indictment at the trial, Mrs. Dach replied in German:

“I am guilty; I did it.”

Mrs. Dach’s three children were present at the time of their mother’s death.

The ghost of Mommy past
Gloversville and Johnstown Morning Herald,
November 10, 1933

JACKSONVILLE, Florida, November 9 (AP) — Lieutenant Governor Albert B. Chandler of Kentucky came here today to find his mother’s grave, but discovered instead that she was alive — and had watched him from afar since the night 31 years ago she told his father “goodbye.”

He found not only a mother, but two half brothers and a sister, of whom he had never known.

The mother is Mrs. A. W. Chamberlain, for more than 20 years a resident of Jacksonville. The brothers are Lawrence Fortune, a constable here, and William Fortune now ill in a Savannah, Georgia, hospital. The sister is Miss Mary Ellen Fortune.

“I’ve always thought of you and prayed to God that you were a good boy,” Mrs. Chamberlain told her son — now a man of 35 — whom she had last seen when he was a lad of four.

She had followed his progress through the years, breaking the silence only once when his brother fell to his death from a cherry tree in 1912. Then she addressed a postcard to Albert, signed it simply: “Mother.”

One of his mother’s brothers had told him his mother had died in Jacksonville.

That is why he took the opportunity to visit Jacksonville when a group of associated had business there. Tonight Chandler and his mother pieced their lives together. She told how, after leaving Chandler’s father and the boys at Corydon, Kentucky, she had gone to Evansville, Indiana, later moving to Florida.

Her second husband died after the family had been here some time, and she married again.

Tonight she was anxious to see a daughter-in-law and four grandchildren — two boys and two girls — who today learned for the first time they have a paternal grandmother.

Albert Benjamin “Happy” Chandler apparently received his nickname at an early age because of his cheerful disposition. He is best remembered today not as a governor or a United States senator, as the commissioner of major league baseball for six years, starting in 1945 when he succeeded Kennesaw Mountain Landis, the first man to hold that position.

Two years later Chandler supported Branch Rickey, owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, over the signing of Jackie Robinson, which ended the whites-only policy held by major league baseball since the 1880s. Chandler is in the baseball hall of fame.

Revenge of the lobster
New York Post, December 4, 1933
PARIS (AP) — Alice Cocea, a noted French actress whose life has been dogged by tragedy, lay gravely ill today with blood poisoning, the result of pricking her finger on a lobster claw.

Cocea played in the first underground theater during the World War and was starred in shows that had long runs in Paris.

Recently she tried a comeback in the face of unpopularity resulting from the suicide in August, 1932, of Lieutenant Victor Point, a French naval officer, after he and the actress had quarreled.

Cocea was divorced in 1931 from the Count Stanislas de la Rochefoucauld.

Ms. Cocea recovered, but her real problems were yet to come. The native Romanian already was out of favor in France, despite her earlier success on stage and screen. Lieutenant Victor Point was a French hero, and he killed himself after finding Cocea with another man. Her subsequent "comeback" was a stage appearance that found the audience booing her when she made her entrance.

But, like I said, that was the past, and her problems were in the future after she hooked up with Roger Capgras, whose personal alliance with the Nazis landed him a cushy job as director of a newspaper after the Germans occupied Paris. She wound up arrested as a Nazi collaborator.

She was eventually released, without being tried, and in 1962 briefly resumed her film career. She died in 1970.


Mrs. Erich von Stroheim, wife of the noted motion picture director, was critically burned September 3 when a dry shampoo machine in a Sunset Boulevard beauty shop ignited and set her hair and clothing aflame.

The beauty operator, Miss Betty Schweitzer, 34, was badly burned about the hands and lower arms. Her injuries were described as serious, but not critical. Both victims were rushed to Hollywood Receiving Hospital, where it was stated Mrs. von Stroheim’s injuries might prove fatal. However, she fully recovered.


Buffalo Courier Express, July 11
LONDON — The “elevator boy baronet,” Sir Reginald Beatty Wolseley — known as “Dick” to the folks back in Waterloo, Iowa — is dead, it was announced today. He was 61 years old.

Sir Reginald, the son of Dr. Cadwallader Brooke Wolesley of Dublin, and a cousin of Admiral Earl Beatty, lived a fantastic life. In 1897, at the age of 25, he left England for the United States, and wound up in Waterloo as an elevator boy in a hotel.

He acquired his title in 1923 on the death of his cousin, Sir Capel Charles Wolesley, but liked his job in Iowa so well that he stayed there and kept his title a secret.

In May, 1930, Miss Marion Elizabeth Baker, a Devon girl, went to Waterloo as a messenger from Sir Reginald’s mother, who had just died. Miss Baker revealed she was fulfilling a deathbed wish made by his mother to bring Sir Reginald back to England. The day after her arrival she married Sir Reginald. He was 58, she was 40.

However, the bride found that getting back to England was no easy task. She left the day after the marriage with the understanding Sir Reginald would soon follow. The baronet, though, was attached to his lift. He refused to budge.

That fall he obtained a divorce, saying his wife harassed him by sending so many cablegrams coaxing him to come home.

Undaunted, Lady Wolseley that December once again traveled all the way to Waterloo and used all her powers of persuasion, finally winning her point. The divorce was set aside in January, 1932, and Sir Reginald and his wife sailed for England.

“This business of running an elevator is a fine occupation,” Sir Reginald said as he left America. “It paid well, too. I earned $20 a week.”

Sir Reginald’s widow survives him.

Arpad Santok: An inmate in a Budapest (Hungary) prison, Santok fancied himself a sculptor. Employed in the prison bakery, Arpad made a bust of himself out of dough and bread crumbs and placed the bust in his bed as part of an escape plan. He made a rope out of sheets and blankets and climbed out of his cell. However, he made his rope too short and broke both ankles when he dropped to the ground outside of prison. He was found the next morning, in much pain and unable to move from where he had landed.
— Syracuse Journal, January 9

Hyman Goldschmidt: A delay over a bond approval in the controller's office kept Goldchmiidt from doing his job. This inconvenienced many people in New York City because it was Goldschmidt's job to wind the city's 325 clocks, include two four-faced timepieces atop Jefferson Market and the Harlem Courthouse.
— Syracuse Journal, January 10


Roland Wright: A fight during which the 21-year-old Washington, D. C., resident was hit on the jaw restored the man's speech and hearing. He had been deaf and dumb from a similar blow seven years earlier. During an altercation with O’Ryan Whiting, Wright was hit. When he recovered, he shouted “I can hear; oh, I can speak!”
— Syracuse Journal, February 25


Anita Woods: The Los Angeles woman won a $2,001 judgment in Superior Court when she proved her claim that an automobile accident caused her nose to turn blue.
Syracuse American, July 9
Edward P. Mulrooney: As chairman of the New York State alcoholic beverage control board, Mulrooney was at least a minor celebrity already, since there was a great deal of interest in how the state would handle the sale and taxation of liquor when prohibition ended, which was a virtual certainty by August. However, his brief notoriety came from his recommendation that the state restore the whipping post for punishing those convicted for crimes of violence. Mulrooney claimed the mail he received as a result of his recommendation was overwhelming supportive of the idea.
— Syracuse Journal, August 29


Eugene S. Daniell: The 32-year-old Boston lawyer, a Harvard graduate, staged a protest against the imbalance of wealth between those on Broadway and the rest of the country. He did so by placing a tear gas bomb in one of the pipes of the cooling system of the New York Stock Exchange on August 4. His stunt forced adjournment of the stock exchange shortly after noon. He was quickly identified and arrested and served a 30-day jail sentence. Later he was a state representative in New Hampshire and also a one-term mayor of the small-city of Franklin.
— Syracuse Journal, August 7
Clarence Guy Gordon Haddon grew up believing something his mother had told him about the father her never knew. Trouble was, his mother had told him a fairy tale about being related to the British royal family. In 1933 Haddon attempted to get money from King George V and was arrested and charged with blackmail. Then he learned the truth — he was an illegitimate child fathered by a Lieutenant Rogers. Haddon was found guilty, but was spared spending any time in prison.

Buffalo Courier-Express, December 26
LOS ANGELES, California (AP) — Playing St. Nicholas to nine children and their widowed mother, pilots of a huge mail-passenger plane circled above their humble home in the Escalante Desert of Southern Utah on Christmas Eve and dropped gifts at their doorsteps.

One of the two packages containing $100 worth of food, clothing and toys felt right at the doorstep. The other hit the ground 100 yards away — and the children of Alta Bonner, keeper of a remote government emergency landing field, ran out of the house and waved their arms in gratitude and greeting.

The packages were dropped by pilots George Sherwood and Clarence Robey of a Salt Lake City-bound tri-motored plane, of the Western Air Express, whose pilots for three years have been the only Santa Claus the Bonner family has known.

The gifts were provided by sixteen pilots of the airline, and Sherwood and Robert were elected this year to do the flying St. Nicholas act. Besides the gift packages, they had aboard six passengers, 500 pounds of mail and 200 pounds of air express.

Mrs. Bonner has kept the landing field for several years since the death of her husband and gets $20 a month, her only income.

She and the children, ranging in age from three to seventeen years, became acquainted with the mail pilots by long range — through papers and notes dropped from planes and waves of greeting from the ground.

In New England Captain Bill Wincapaw, widely known New England aviator, and four others, flew six hours and hundreds of miles in a big seaplane through frigid, howling winds on Christmas Day to deliver newspapers, magazines and a pound of fresh coffee — gift of Adriel Bird, Boston business executive — to each of 70 lonely lighthousesand Coast Guard stations strung along the New England coast from Boston to northeastern Maine.

The flights have been an annual event for Wincapaw for four years in order to do a good turn for those who have aided him as an aviator. He said there were many times the gleam of a lighthouse through the night and sometimes through fog has spelled safety to him and other aviators flying off the coast.

He had intended to fly on Christmas Eve, but was prevented from completing his trip by fog that blanketed the coast and ice that coated his plane’s wings and forced him to turn back.


Niagara Falls Gazette, December 22
STONY CREEK, New York (AP) — There is joy today in the hearts of the needy in the snow-covered mountainous settlements of New York State’s north country. The Santa Claus of the Adirondacks is preparing for his annual distribution of Yule cheer.

There were no jingle of sleigh bells or clatter of reindeer hoofs, but the man who has played Santa Claus to the Adirondack folk for a quarter of a century — Samuel M. Coplon of Brooklyn — moved quietly into this Warren County village yesterday to arrange every little detail of the distribution of his many toys, clothing and food on Christmas Eve.

A trim little business man is this Santa Claus, dressed in the clothes in which he travels up and down the Atlantic seaboard throughout the year when he is a toy salesman.

Surrounded by thousands of toys and much clothing and food stuffs in the cheery town hall, the genial Brooklyn salesmann worked feverishly today distributing his gifts to the many “Brownies” who will aid him in spreading cheer to the less fortunate in six counties — Saratoga, Essex, Warren, Washington, Franklin and St. Lawrence.

On Christmas Eve his aides will make their rounds through the bleak regions and fill the stockings the children of the needy have hung in their drab homes.

Nearly 30,000 toys in addition to clothing and food will find their way into the many homes, more than ever before.

“Santa Claus” himself will take no active part in the distribution, save for a community gathering here tomorrow night when he will don white whiskers and red costume to give out what may be left when his aides have departed.

It all began 25 years ago when Coplon, seeking to regain his health after the Spanish-American War, came to North Creek.

He distributed just a few gifts here and there that first year. Gradually his activities extended to various parts of Warren County, and then to other counties. The toy manufacturers here represented were more than glad to aid him. This year, for the first time, he changed his center of activity to this hamlet farther south.

For 25 years he has spent Christmas in the Adirondacks. His wife, Rebecca, and his children, Bertram and Julia, know that he will leave them every year during the holidays.

But take it from Coplon, there is a great kick in seeing that Johnny has his toy train and Mary her dolly.

“It’s a kind of pasttime,” he says. “I like to do it. You see, I love to sell toys, but I’d much rather give them away.”