All up, Ribbentrop

The May 29 1945 edition of the Toronto Daily Star included this brief article on Joachim von Ribbentrop, the German ambassador to the United Kingdom between 1936 and 1938 and the Foreign Minister of Germany between 1938 and 1945:


Ribbentrop managed to evade his pursuers until June 14, when he was captured near Hamburg. He was tried at Nuremberg, and was executed on October 16, 1946 – the first Nazi to be executed. YouTube has footage of Ribbentrop’s trial and verdict.

As for the other men mentioned here:

  • I could find nothing on Philip Dehlen.
  • Ernst Wilhelm Bohle (1903-1960) was put on trial in 1947 and was sentenced to five years in prison in 1949 but was pardoned. After his pardon, he worked as a merchant in Hamburg.
  • Rudolf Blohm (1885-1979) has a Wikipedia page in German only. He was sentenced to prison for refusing to decommission his shipyards when the Allies demanded that he do so. After serving his sentence, he began expanding his business again in 1954, and retired in 1966.

The Spanish flu

The October 17 1918 edition of the Toronto Daily Star was published during the peak of the Spanish flu epidemic, which killed 50 to 100 million people worldwide.

Naturally, the Daily Star had several articles and ads related to the flu. In Toronto, fifteen people passed away that morning, and 530 patients were in hospital with the disease:


An additional 28 people had passed away from influenza or flu-related pneumonia the previous day:


Over 50,000 cases had been reported in New York City, with a total of 5000 dead:


The Ontario government had put out a call for volunteer day or night nurses to help tend to influenza victims, which would have been quite hazardous duty indeed:


An insurance company offered influenza coverage as part of its Special Sickness policy:


Massey Hall was closed for the epidemic, but the Alexandra theatre contended the play The Kiss Burglar provided enough joy to kill the flu:


The Kiss Burglar had opened on Broadway on May 9, 1918 and closed on August 3 after exactly 100 performances.

Last but not least, the makers of C.C.M. bicycles seized the opportunity to point out that a bicycle was a good way to avoid crowded and potentially contagious streetcars:


The First World War, and especially 1918, was one of the most difficult times in modern history. I wonder whether a future blogger, writing in 2118 or 2218, will look back on the era coming up as being equally difficult, given the impending climate change crisis.


Guns, guns, guns

I was looking through the September 5 1947 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, and I’ve come to the conclusion that there were more guns around in Canada in those days than there are now.

For example, you could buy guns at Simpson’s back then:


And the same paper had an ad for a gun seller on York Street:


And here’s a report of a bank robbery in Caledon East. Naturally, the robbers had guns – that was to be expected. What was noteworthy about this was that the postmaster had a gun (shown), the proprietors of the store opposite the robbed bank had a gun, and the accountant at the bank had a gun:


That’s a lot of guns. My theory is that lots of people went away to war and needed to learn to fire a gun, so everybody was used to guns.


Foot wired by Nazis as booby-trap

Here’s a depressing article from the February 8 1945 edition of the Toronto Daily Star. War is hell, the Nazis were evil (a word I don’t use lightly), and remind me never to complain about anything about my life.


Glad to hear that he made it out alive.

A Google search for William H. Edwards turned up nothing about this unfortunate private. He shares the same name and middle initial as William Henry Edwards, a 19th-century businessman and entomologist, but that’s not really useful.


Probably not a good idea

From the February 8 1945 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


Perhaps the prisoner wanted to create a tunnel in which to hide the $60 watch.


Let’s not rush into things

From the February 8 1945 Toronto Daily Star:


You can’t criticize Paraguay for being too hasty about these things, but they were a bit late to do much to help the Allies against the Axis. Admittedly, news probably took a long time to reach parts of South America in those days.


Chloe Davis

Not everything in old newspapers is fun reading – some items are horrible, sad, or both. For example, here’s a news article from the April 8 1940 Toronto Daily Star:


This was a report of an unimaginably horrible crime, described in more detail here. Chloe Davis, an 11-year-old girl living in Los Angeles, woke up one day to discover that her mother had gone insane and was in the process of killing Chloe’s three younger siblings before eventually killing herself.

The girl apparently was unemotional by temperament, which made the LAPD suspicious of her. As a result, she was arrested for murder before forensic evidence (and evidence of her mother’s blooming insanity) cleared her.

One site I found on the Internet claimed that Ms. Davis died in 1987 in Indiana. There are other sites devoted to her case (including one with crime scene photos), but they make for depressing reading.



Here’s an article from the November 2 1966 Toronto Daily Star that made my jaw drop:


I had no idea that they used to number the indigenous Canadians who lived in the north – how demeaning is that? Did they actually ever address him as “E7-55”?

I’m not sure when the word “Eskimo” stopped being used officially. Wikipedia informs me that the term was originally used by the Algonquin tribes to refer to their northern neighbours, and that the Inuit never referred to themselves this way.


Structured strangely, headline

Here’s the headline from the November 21 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


Why does this not just say “Sinn Fein Vow To ‘Break England’s Back'”? Did somebody decide that the Break England’s Back part was most important, so it should go first? I’m confused.


Girl elopes with car thief

Sometimes, I find something that is just jaw-dropping. Here’s an entry from the November 21 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


According to this article, every poor immigrant girl’s dream is marriage to a prosperous Anglo-Saxon. Ugh.

The Mann Act was enacted in 1910, and its intended purpose was to prosecute people who transported a woman across state or foreign boundaries for the purposes of prostitution. In practice, it was often used to prosecute premarital, extramarital, and interracial relationships.