While searching period records including newspaper articles, it's beginning to seem as though "recorded history" only gets it right some of the time.
I came across the following clip while searching Michigan race records in the "Detroit Free Press" newspaper archives. It says Massachusetts adopted a drunk driver law "revoking their licenses" (drunk drivers). The account says "This measure, while drastic, is none too strong....." The article appeared in the Free Press on September 22, 1907:
The only problem is, when I checked story against "current history", this is what the "History Channel" and "Wikipedia" websites said:
History Channel webpage:
While not a "big deal", the difference of three years (1907 article vs. "accepted history" that the first drunk driving law was enacted in 1910) is somewhat significant. The number of vehicles on the road changed dramatically between 1907 and 1910, and this shows at least one state perceived a problem existed much sooner than "history" tells us.
Rob,Has the history channel ever been wrong?Bud.
Bud, maybe the "Detroit Free Press" was, in 1907
My attitude toward recorded history has become "never say never."
Rob Did you forward the article to the history channel and if so what was their response? My Dad was a state trooper in Florida, And when I turned 16 I was allowed to ride along as long as it wasn't Friday or Saturday night, but I still saw plenty!
The first person ever arrested for intoxicated driving was George Smith, London in Sept. 1897.
Unless there's more to that Detroit Free Press article, nowhere in there does it say they adopted a law against driving while intoxicated. It says they have "taken the initiative against". We don't know what the initiative might be: law, statement, local statutes.
I don't know for sure the Massachusetts state legislature (assembly?) passed an anti drunk driving bill. We do know, based on this account, they somehow authorized preventing someone from driving, as the article says, "by revoking their license". The article also says "He rightly should be prevented by law against risking the lives of others". I'm not an attorney, nor do I have any other information, but I think a reasonable person would take this to mean a law was passed.
That's all I know. I wasn't looking for this, just thought it interesting.
By the way, did they pass an "anti drunk driving law" in London (first drunk driving arrest in the world) or arrest the driver based on an existing law, such as reckless endangerment?
He paid a fine of 25 shillings.
Wikipedia is not a valid source for anything. Their standards are zero, there is no peer review. Same as newspapers.
So Royce, where do you find the vast amount of information you pass along on this forum?
I can tell you one ting about Wikipedia - go pick an article about anything. Make some changes; changes other than simple grammar errors. Make changes you know to be true.
Within a day or two your changes will be gone. I will almost guarantee it. I have tested this theory many times over the years in many unrelated articles.
There is plenty of review going on on Wiki. Good or bad, it's happening aplenty.
Most interesting detective work there, btw, Rob. Just curious, did you notify the other sources of your find?
In fact, I'll test my own statement above. I am going to insert the information Rob has posted into the Wikipedia article tonight along with the pic of the article.
I will Take a screen shot of my deed to prove that I inserted it.
Tomorrow it will be gone. If not before I go to bed tonight.
Any takers on that bet?
Ok here's the screen shot of my dastardly deed:
(You may need to use your CTRL and "+" keys to zoom in...
Dang it...just saw a type..I'm going to fix it at Wiki but wont reshoot the page.
Rob, I would trust a period news story before books written by people 50+ years later with bad memories!!
Good experiment, it will be interesting to find out how it goes.
One must start somewhere (finding information). As far as I''m concerned, an independent source, written "in the day", is a pretty reliable resource. A newspaper such as the Detroit Free Press had no reason to fabricate or slant the story above. It involved another state, and reported, probably what was picked up off the "wires" (I know there were a few services out there then, maybe Hearst Newspapers).
The other reason I find newspaper and journal accounts from "the day" interesting is, they were the only way of transmitting information to the general public. No internet, TV, radio, or other widely used media, newspapers and journals were it. So using those sources gives a window into what people read and thought at the time these events were occurring.
Henry Ford repeatedly told intentionally misleading, inaccurate, and false stories to the news media. We know this, it is not a question. This is why the newspapers are very poor sources of information particularly when it comes to Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Company history.
Big whoppers from Henry include his "plans" to retire from Ford Motor Company and build a new car to replace the Model T - he did this to deflate the stock price in order to owe less to his stock holders. This was a complete lie, outright fraud, and the news media reported it just as Henry said it. Henry should have gone to jail.
The same thing persists to this day. Look at the news media reporting on the White House bungling of the Benghazi attack where our embassy was under siege for most of a day while Obama golfed and Hillary couldn't be bothered. Again outright lies from public figures, who ought to be jailed, yet the newspaper reporters ignore the real story.
"This was a complete lie, outright fraud, and the news media reported it just as Henry said it. Henry should have gone to jail."
Henry Ford did say this (as you wrote, "just as Henry said it"). The report wasn't "inaccurate." And you've assigned your interpretation of what Henry Ford meant by saying this to the media.
So, which is more misleading (in determining fact), the media reporting what Henry Ford said (at the time he said it), that he intended to build a car costing less than the Model T, or your assigning an interpretation of what he said, as though it were fact, in 2013?
Yes, we all have "motives" when we say or do anything (such as your posts). In my business I use advertising and news/media interviews to try to persuade readers toward my product (crop insurance). However, what I say and do, as reported now, will undoubtedly be more accurate than someone relaying what they thought my motives and intentions were 50 years from now.
Once again, you are on a thread I began. There seems to be a trend here. Do you use the "tree view" just to see what I've posted to, and then jump in? Or do you really have time to read every thread,many just happen to find my threads so interesting your compelled to post (usually adversarial) to every one of them?
Finally, do you really think Henry Ford should have "gone to jail" for the segment you paraphrased about him? Sometimes I'm not sure why you are a Ford enthusiast. Or, do you simply throw any aspect of Ford history, even Henry Ford the man, "under the bus" to make your points?
And don't use my thread to make this a political thread. START YOUR OWN THREAD TO MAKE THOSE STATEMENTS.
Wikipedia is an open forum of material that can freely be altered by posters to say anything. Original research isn't permitted. I've come across several items over the years to be blatantly false, but when you try to put the real facts in, they like Danial said, are removed.
Heck, so far the changes have stood.They might make a liar out of me on this one.
(Never fails - as soon as one makes a declaratory statement, leave it to the cosmos to come along and shatter said declarations.)
I'll check again tomorrow morning.
Do you have a link, I couldn't find "your" page?
Here it is Fred. It's not quite half way down the page.
Great experiment! And thanks for sending the info in, we'll see how long it lasts. If you noticed, both the History Channel and Wiki had essentially the same information. I wonder who copied from whom?
If someone becomes interested, it would be revealing (as William pointed out) to determine if there was a 1907 law passed in MA regarding drunk/impaired driving. I would, but I'm working on a few other things at the moment.
Thanks again for following up,