Current Events: March 16, 1911

15-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Thursday, March 16, 1911: It has been so biting cold today. We all crowded around the stove at school this morning, and about all I did was to shiver for I couldn’t study. Well I am shivering now, this room is rather cold. I must hurry off to bed. 

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later: 

I’ve seen several lists of events that occurred during 1911. Two things of note happened exactly 100 years ago today:

(1) Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele was born in Bavaria (Germany) on March 16, 1911. He was the physician responsible for many deaths at the Auschwitz-Birkenau prison camp during World War II, and is sometimes called the “Angel of Death”. World War II seems like it happened very, very long ago. It’s kind of amazing that an infamous figure in that war was just an infant a 100 years ago. Mengele would have only been in his early 30s during the war—I don’t think that I ever thought about his age before, but I had pictured him being older.

Las Vegas a Hundred Years Later

(2) The city of Las Vegas was incorporated on March 16, 1911. It is the largest city founded during the 20th century in the U.S. It’s hard to imagine how parts of the west were still the “wild west” a hundred years ago–though I guess in a different way, today Las Vegas still is the wild west.

Neither of these events would have been news outside of their local community in 1911. Only subsequent events many years later made them become history timeline material.

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