At Least We’ll Avoid Black Tuesday


December 29, 1927

Over there in Paris, noted astrologer and seer Professor Pav has pronounced that as years go, 1927 will pretty much be our last.  Pav’s millenarianistic prognostication has it all:  Biblical foretelling, global warming (in this case, cooling), even the sky falling.  I don’t want to spoil the ending, but we may just come out of this all kinder and gentler.  Uh-huh.  

“The end of the world is imminent, but the globe will not be totally destroyed,” said Pav the Prof.  “The constellation Lion, from the effect of some unknown force, will explode.  A tremendous noise will be heard all over the world.  Multitudes of stars composing the Fubulae will smash and a rain of falling stars will be visible in the sky.
“An immense block, like a gigantic meteorite, will fall on the earth.  The rupture of the planetary equilibrium will not cause disaster to the entire system, but the same night a bitter cold wave will be felt, and in the morning there will be ice and snow, although the catastrophe is due to occur in summer.
“A large number of people will die in all corners of the globe, crops will be frozen and famine will conclude the hecatomb.
“The most terrible part will be the falling on the earth of a colossal meteorite.  The earth itself will be jolted from its orbit by the shock, but a magnetic force will prevent it falling and colliding with another planet.  Large areas of land will disappear and new continents will appear.
“At the end of the cataclysm only a relatively few people will survive.
“Afterward nature will resume her task and man will become wiser and more tender.  The bases of the present civilization will not be destroyed entirely.  The survivors will create a new social system, based on the respect of human life and confraternity.
“All holy scriptures and writings point to the year 1928 as being marked with the year 1928 as being marked with a special sign.  It is possible that, owing to changes in the calendars during the centuries, there is a discrepancy, but the catastrophe will certainly happen during a summer night.
“Savants will be able to warn us in advance of the approach of the bolide.”

(Speaking of savants, interestingly, 1920s Scottish pyramidologist and BI posterboy David Davidson posited the Beginning Of The End would commence in 1928; he then foresaw the Great Depression, and World War II, and a “union of Britain and America” in 1947-8 [must’ve had something to do with the Arab-Israeli Conflict].  Oh yeah, and he predicted that the “millennial reign of righteousness” would begin on September 17, 2001.  Well, close enough.)

Stay Away from the City Hall in 1967

fortyyearsNew York
December 8, 1927 

From the Great Men Saying Great Things file…none other than the esteemed Sir Edwin Lutyens, Greatest of British Architects, has asserted that our sky-scrapers will, with certainty, in forty years, tumble.  According to Lutyens, the methods employed in structural steel construction of giving the steel only a “coating of paint or one of mud and water” allows our edifices scant protection from atmospheric penetration.

And boy, was he right.  Who can forget the terrible collapsings of Berg & Clark’s Gillender Building, or Burnham & Root’s Ashland Block or Masonic Temple, or Flagg’s Singer Building, et al?  Damn that atmospheric penetration!  (For more on victims of atmospheric penetration, go here.)

Here in Los Angeles of the future, of course, the atmosphere laughs as it burns paint and mud and water right off our tall buildings.  But stand tall and proud still, they do!

The Night Signal


August 29, 1907

An augur came to Mrs. John George last night as she meandered through the traumwelt, delivering the most terrible of presage: murder! The prognostication was that of her husband, Mr. George, standing over the bed. Choking her.

But Mr. George, long locked up in the secure confines of the State Hospital for the Insane at Patton, was certainly no threat. Or was he? On the strength of this omen, she fled her home.

Mr. George had in fact escaped. Not finding her at their San Bernadino home, he went late in the night to the home of her parents, and then to Colton, where one of his little boys was staying with an aunt. Before he could gain ingress, the bulls caught up to the fugitive, and threw him in prison.

This morning, Mr. George, having torn off his clothes and soaked them in water, and having ripped apart the mattress and bed quilts, fought violently the attempts of the attendants whose job it was to pack him up and ship him back to Patton.

That Mrs. George will sleep soundly tonight is of course a matter of conjecture, but we hope she does, lest she miss another harbinger from the other side.