The Daily Agenda for Tuesday, January 7
January 7th, 2014
Merry Christmas! Yes, today is Christmas day for Orthodox Christians who follow the Julian calendar. That would include churches in Ethiopia, Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Moldova. (Greek, Bulgarian, Romanian, Antiochian and others celebrates Christmas on December 25). Christmas day formally ends the 40-day Nativity Fast. In Ethiopia, where tradition has it that one of the wise men came from there, Christmas is called Ganna, people dress in white in a garment called and go to church, which often starts at 4:00 a.m. Some wear traditional shamma — a thin, white cotton wrap worn like a toga, with brightly colored stripes across the ends. Russians celebrate mainly on Christmas Eve, after the family returns home from services for the traditional “Holy Supper” consisting of 12 dishes, one for each of the apostles. Georgians dress up and go an an “Alilo walk,” wishing each other Christmas greetings handing out sweets to children. Serbs spread their Christmas celebrations out over three days with numerous feasts, gatherings and traditional activities for each day.
TODAY’S AGENDA is brought to you by:
TODAY IN HISTORY:
A Sure-Fire Cure for Masturbation: 1899. Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth century, non-procreative sexual activity was thought to be the root of all sorts of diseases, both mental and physical. As early as 1725, it was thought that semen was a product of the blood, and that wasting it for purely recreational purposes (or, in the case of nocturnal emissions, no purpose at all), were believed to be debilitating, particularly for young men and women (see Sep 16). That debilitation was confirmed, so they thought, by the fact that people were inordinately exhausted after so much excitation and expenditure. And it was during that momentary “weakening” following the deed which was believed to be the very opportunity which diseases seized upon to enter the body and take root. The reasoning went this way: since weak people got sick, and sex made people weak, it’s only logical that sex, especially lots of sex, makes people sick.
Those beliefs were beginning to break down as the nineteenth century was drawing to a close, but not all medical practitioners were coming to their senses. On January 7, 1899, the Maryland Medical Journal reprinted part of a lecture by Dr. Jackson Piper in which he reflected on “gleanings in the course of a long practice.” The topics he touched on included the case of malarial fever, a strangulated hernia, chronic pneumonia, and his invention for preventing masturbation:
A Pad for the Treatment of Seminal Weakness.– For many years I have been using a contrivance for the cure of seminal emissions caused by masturbation. The success obtained has been so marked that I desire to call the attention of this association to it. It consists of a padded leather belt, which is fastened around the waist and held in position by a buckle in front. The padded side is, of course, next to the body, and the padding extends from either side of the spine to a short distance beyond the ossa ilii (the hips). From this waistband at the spine falls a perpendicular strap, which strap is made to move freely on the band by a loop made by the strap being doubled on itself. This strap, which I will call the perineal strap, is divided into two parts after it passes the perineum, which parts meet the waistband on either side of the abdomen, and each end is fastened to it by a buckle. These buckles are attached to loops which move easily over the waistband in front. The center or perineal strap is supplied with a pad to which is attached a loop on its back, so as to move easily over the perineal strap. The waistband should be’ two inches wide. The perineal band, one and one-half inches wide and its divisions after it leaves the perineum, would, of course, be
three-quarters of an inch each in width. The pad should be two inches wide by one and one-half inches long. Its upper or perineal surface must be padded firm and hard and made slightly concave. The length of the waistband and the perineal strap must be determined by actual measurement for the patient for whom it is made.
When in position the pad must fit over the perineum, just at the commencement of the scrotum and between this and the anus. The appliance must be worn continuously and well tightened to keep up a firm pressure by the pad on the perineum. Wherever the appliance hurts the patient the pressure must be eased by wads of raw cotton.
The object of this pressure is to cut off the blood supply to the penis, which supply is often of itself the incentive to self-indulgence, or, if the patient is asleep. this pressure prevents an involuntary emission. The pad also acts, by pressure, as a tonic on the already weakened vesiculae seminalis and the vas deferens, which together constitute the ejaculatory duct. This apparatus, simple in construction, simple in application and simple in action, does away with other treatment, save, possibly, the use of tonics and nervines, for a constitution already impaired. It absolutely destroys the consummation of erotic desires and tones up the parts and also imparts hope and will power to the patient. I have used it in many cases with perfect success. The apparatus should be worn for months — in fact, until the patient is cured and feels able to trust himself. I claim no originality here, having seen the invention in an ancient number of Braithwait’s “Retrospect.”
[Source: Jackson Piper. "Gleanings in the course of a long medical practice." Maryland Medical Journal 41, no. 1 (January 7, 1899): 6-9. Available online via Google Books here.]
Four Men Plead Guilty to Homosexual Offenses: 1949. According to the Associated Press:
Columbia, Mo., Jan 7. (AP). Four men pleaded guilty yesterday to statutory charges and were placed on probation four years. They were Warren W. Heathman, itinerant agriculture instruction for the Veterans Administration at Rolla; Harry J. Sohn Jr., of Hannibal, former University of Missouri student; Willie D. Coots of Columbia, former clerk in a novelty shop, and Joe Byers, local grocer.
E.K. Johnston, former journalism professor at the university pleaded guilty Nov. 17 to a similar charge and was placed on four-year probation. Yesterday’s action closed the cases resulting from an investigation last spring of homosexual activities at the university and elsewhere.
The prior spring, newspapers reported on a “homosexual ring” with “mad homosexual parties” taking place near the University of Missouri campus (see May 27). Professor E.K. Johnston’s 24-year teaching career was ruined when he and several others were arrested. Coots may have been Johnston’s partner at the time of the arrests, as reports at the time indicate that they had shared an apartment in Rolla “for the last 15 or 16 years.” Reports indicate that “at least of score” of other students and residents were “implicated in the ring,” but as far as I’ve been able to determine, no others were arrested.
114 Arrested in Miami Gay Club Raid: 1951. Numerous BTB Agendas have detailed a long-running anti-gay witch hunt that took place in Miami in 1954 through 1955, but in fact there is considerable evidence that police raids were a long-established practice throughout much of the decade. In 1951, for example, the Miami News reported on a massive police raid of the Latin American Center club at 228 NE 3rd street early Sunday morning:
An assortment of blonde wigs and women’s hats were discarded when the deputies moved in. There were indications that it was a gathering place for sex perverts.
None of those arrested will go to trial and they did not post bond. Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Frank Jackson, who ordered the raid, said that the “nuisance value alone of a raid of this kind gives places of bad repute in Miami fair warning that we are after them from now on.”
He termed the club the “most notorious in Miami.” It was the largest single raid in Miami’s history. The patrons and operator Edward Kawas, 36, of 836 Wallace St., Coconut Grove, were taken over to county jail in the paddy wagon, which shuttled back and forth to accommodate the crowd.
The paper went on to report that the “young and well-dressed” patrons were “photographed, fingerprinted and interrogated.” It took deputies twelve hours to process everyone. The State Beverage District Supervisor said that an investigation would be launched to deprive the club of its liquor license. Jose Marela, identified as the “dean of the Miami consular corps,” reportedly complained about the club’s name because, as he said, there were no Latin American members.
Jann Wenner: 1946. He founded Rolling Stone in 1967 when he was just 21, after borrowing $7,500 from family members. In 1977 he founded Outside magazine, and in 1985 he bought a share of US. In 1995, he separated from his wife, Jane Wenner, to live with Matt Nye, a former model and fashion designer. Jann and Jane
have never divorced finally divorced in 2011. Jane is still vice president of Wenner Media. In addition to the three sons he had with Jane, Jann and Matt also have three children.
If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).
And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?