The late, great prestidigitator Harry Houdini, famed foe of phony mediums, and his wife Beatrice agreed before his death to try to get in touch with each other afterwards. Gravely ill last week in Hollywood, his widow announced that she had not only given up trying but had her doubts about the existence of a hereafter. She had held seances every year for ten years, unsuccessfully. "Ten years," observed patient Mrs. Houdini last week, "is long enough to wait for any man."
Said 75-year-old Secretary of War Henry L Stimson of an untruthful report that Cinemactresses Kay Francis and Martha Raye had been interned in Africa:* "I regret to say that I am not an expert on the movements of movie actresses."
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's editorial writer Ralph Coghlan and two friends were found innocent by a Jefferson City jury of conspiring last December to steal a cannon from the grounds of Missouri's capitol. Coghlan had wanted the cannon thrown on the war scrap pile, had been balked by Governor Forrest C. Donnell. "As I was saying last December when interrupted by the Governor's silly grand larceny charge," said Editor Coghlan: "I still think the old cannon, symbol of Mr. Donnell's hair-splitting incompetency, belongs on the nation's scrap pile."
Fortunes of War
Awarded a Distinguished Service Cross in London for "extraordinary heroism" on a bombing mission over France: Major Al Key, famed endurance flyer of 1935. (He and Brother Fred flew the "Ole Miss" for a record 653 hr. 34 min.) The Major flew his Flying Fortress straight at two enemy fighters, completed his mission, returned safely with a cannon-blasted ship.
Before the Army's physical examiners in Manhattan young Dan Lurie unveiled the flabbergasting body that had won him the title of "Most Muscular Man in America" in 1942. Despite the fact that he could do 1,625 pushups, back to body building went Lurie, rejected for a slight heart murmur.
From the Army came news that Ferry Pilot Douglas Corrigan, famed wrong-way flyer of 1938, had boarded a plane as a passenger, shortly discovered he was on the wrong plane, headed in the wrong direction.
Henry Wilfred ("Bunny") Austin, Davis Cup tennist turned Buchmanite, was one of 15 Moral Rearmorers who lost appeals from 1-A classifications in Manhattan. They had argued that their moral rearming was more important to the war than military service.
The (acquitted hero, having shaken hands with his twelve saviors, turned to the world at large and cleared his throat. "My confidence now has been justified in essential American justice," announced Enrol Flynn, "I really mean it. . . ." The jury had just acquitted him on three counts of statutory rape. He added: "I've got to get my health back. [He is 4-F in the draft.] Then I've got a military mission in Europe. Nope, I just can't tell what it is all about."
Said the judge to the jurors: "Thank you. ... I have enjoyed the case and I think you have."