Crime, Art and War

The Cello PlayerWhen it comes to the first of February, Philadelphia has never been able to claim much good fortune, or reasonable judgement:

2007 – The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts sells a whole Eakins, The Cello Player, to help pay for its half of The Gross Clinic. The 1896 portrait of Philadelphia musician Ruldoph Hennig, acquired directly from the artist, had been a gallery highlight at the Academy for the last 110 years.

1973 – Bandits cut phone cables in front of the Tredyffrin Township Police Station, setting off all the burglar alarms in the police communications center while a nearby bank branch is held up for $58,000.

1971 – Samson L. Freedman is the first teacher to be murdered by a pupil. The ceramics teacher at Leeds Junior High School in West Oak Lane was shot to death by Kevin Simmons, 14, as he left the school building.

1945 – Wartime fears of possible bombings lead to a city-wide “brownout.” All electric signs and store window lights are extinguished.

1939 – A coroner’s inquest discloses first inklings of a massive arsenic insurance scam, to become known as the Philadelphia Poison Ring, a murder-for-hire gang responsible for 70 deaths.

1918 – To keep hospitals heated, officials commandeer 125 tons of coal.

1870 – Police crack down on small-time casinos, seizing tables and paraphernalia in the city’s illegal gambling establishments.

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One Comment on “Crime, Art and War”

  1. RMUTT Says:

    Shame on PAFA.
    Everything else I can forgive.


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