It Happened in 1925...

It Happened in 1925 . . .

satchmomae marshHoward Johnson borrowed $500 and turned a patent-medicine store in Wollaston, Massachusetts into a restaurant. It was the start of a chain that grew and grew . . . Robert F. Kennedy was born . . . After seven years on Broadway in the Ziegfeld Follies, W.C. Fields went to Hollywood to star in Sally of the Sawdust for D.W. Griffith . . . Mae Marsh, who started with Griffith at $35-per-week and got up to $250,000-a-year with Samuel Goldwyn, quit the movies and didn't come back until the remake of Over the Hill in 1931. She would be forever remembered for Birth of a Nation (1915) and Intolerance (1916) . . . Louis (later "Satchmo") Armstrong switched from the clarinet to the trumpet . . . Houdini, the magician, was celebrating his twentieth year as a vaudeville headliner . . . In Since Lenin Died, author Max Eastman said that the Father of the Russian Revolution once had warned that Stalin would take too much power for himself if he were made his successor . . . miller hugginsA Grand Jury in Philadelphia refused to vote any more indictments in liquor cases. The court denounced the jurors and sent them home . . . Miller Huggins suspended Babe Ruth for misconduct, fined him $5,000 and sent him home from St. Louis in the middle of a road trip . . . The Methodist Board of Temperance, Prohibition and Public Morals charged that vaudeville acts and comic strips were being used to dispense wet propaganda in New York "a foreign city, run by foreigners for foreigners and according to foreign ideas" . . . President Coolidge dreisergot himself a mechanical hobby horse to take exercise in the White House . . . The first volume of Mein Kampf (My Struggle), dictated to cellmate Rudolf Hess by Adolf Hitler, came out in the fall.

The estate of Charles F. Murphy, departed leader of New York's Tammany Hall, came to $2,170,761 . . . The Internal Revenue Bureau revoked all permits allowing people to make two hundred gallons of tax-free wines in their homes . . . Senator Robert M. LaFollette died . . . Theodore ford roadsterDreiser's An American Tragedy and John Dos Passos' Manhattan Transfer came out but neither made No. 1 on the best-seller lists . . . The Ford roadster sold for $260 . . . Bryn Mawr canceled a twenty-eight-year-old ban and let its students smoke on the college grounds . . . Bernarr Macfadden's True Story, two years old, achieved a sale of 1,500,000 a month. A new Macfadden magazine, True Experiences, carried "The adventures of a man who was caught, unwillingly, in the boisterous whirl of the younger fast set a crowd that went in for sin and jollity at the pace that sometimes kills!" . . . Tommy Manville, dreiserheir to an asbestos fortune, took a second wife, Lois McCoin, his father's secretary. Tommy would marry nine more women after that and the pace wouldn't kill him until 1967.

geneveseBenjamin (Benny Leonard) Leiner of New York's East Side, possibly the greatest lightweight of all time, always called himself "the original Mama's boy." In 1925 his mother asked him to quit the ring before he got hurt, so he retired the undefeated champion. He lost $800,000 in the Wall Street crash in 1929 and put the gloves on again, as a welterweight, but was knocked out by Jimmy McLarnin. He died in a ring in 1947 while refereeing a fight . . . A reporter named John O'Hara kept getting fired off assorted newspapers and magazines around New York but he had his mind on writing books, anyway . . . John Steinbeck quit Stanford University and went to work on Hearst's New York American; he would write some books too . . . George Bernard Shaw won the Nobel Prize for Literature (in 1962 it was Steinbeck) . . . The New Yorker bought a cartoon from an artist named Peter Arno for $25 . . . Marian Anderson, a seventeen-year-old from South Philadelphia's Negro slums, won a singing contest over three hundred other entrants . . . Finland's Paavo Nurmi broke the world's indoor record for the mile: 4 minutes and 13:6 seconds . . . Tim Mara, a bookmaker, bought the New York Football Giants' franchise for $2,500 . . . A twenty-seven-year-old hoodlum was arrested on a gun charge in Manhattan and fined $250; in time, this man, Vito Genovese, would become the Boss of All Bosses in the town's Cosa Nostra.

The Phantom of the Operathe gold rushOn Broadway, you could see Josephine Hull in Craig's Wife, Lunt and Fontanne in Arms and the Man, Fay Bainter in The Enemy, George Jessel in The Jazz Singer, Jane Cowl in Easy Virtue, Peggy Wood in Candida, Lionel Barrymore in The Piker, Basil Rathbone in The Duchess and the Waiter, Marilyn Miller in Sunny, Al Jolson in Puzzles of 1925, Dennis King in The Vagabond King, and Ethel Barrymore and Walter Hampden in The Merchant of Venice. Humphrey Bogart had a part in The Cradle Snatchers with Raymond Hackett, Mary Boland and Edna May Oliver . . . At the movies, you could see Lon Chaney in The Phantom of the Opera and Charlie Chaplin in The Gold Rush.

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