Alexander Graham Bell

Photo of the Day

The suspects in the murder of Joseph Kahahwai Jr., aboard the U.S.S. Alton where they
were confined during their murder trial: L to R, Edward Lord, Albert “Deacon” Jones, Grace Fortescue (Thalia Massie’s mother), Thalia Massie and her husband, Lt. Tommie Massie. / SFgate.com

Thalia Lied and Joe Died

In 1931, having taken up residence in Hawaii was a 20-year-old  nasty spoiled socialite named Thalia Massie. Thalia considered herself superior to even her equally aristocratic friends… and was a trendy socialite on the islands

She was married to 22- year-old Kentucky-bred Tommie Massie, a recent Naval Academy graduate, she had recently moved with him to his new assignment in Pearl Harbour. Her rocky marriage, fuelled by drunkenness and pettiness, suffered. That she often openly flirted further angered her volatile husband. But it was an innocent bystander who ultimately paid the price.

A decade before Pearl Harbour, the Massie affair shook the Hawaiian Island like no other catastrophe. The reverberations were felt all the way to Washington. That lies and racism played a key role was of no moment. And at the centre of the hailstorm sat Thalia Massie, the malevolent 20-year-old, malicious housewife from a wealthy and connected family.

Americans had been on the Big Island for a long while and the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875 ceded Pearl Harbour and its shore for about five miles back to the United States. Construction of the base brought thousands of military men, both enlisted and commissioned officers, to the Island.

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Photo Of The Day

July 7, 1908 Alexander Graham Bell (right) and his assistants observe the flight of a circular tetrahedral kite. IMAGE: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

July 7, 1908
Alexander Graham Bell (right) and his assistants observe the flight of a circular tetrahedral kite.
IMAGE: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

Bells Flights of Fancy

While working on the telephone, Bell mentioned to Watson that their next project would be a flying machine. On his honeymoon, he told his wife Mabel that he dreamed of flying machines with telephones attached.

Alexander Graham Bell or Aleck, as he was called as a boy, would lie atop a favourite hill in Edinburgh, Scotland (where he was born in 1847) so he could be close to the sky and watched with envy and wonder as the birds flew above him.

To the end of his life Bell maintained the pure delight of a child exploring the world. Those who knew and loved him worried about his lack of concentration. Bell was a great generalist during the birth of the specialist. Bell’s future father-in-law chided him once about his inclination “to undertake every new thing that interests you & accomplish nothing of value to any one”. That was five months before the telephone was patented. It still holds the record for the most financially profitable patent ever issued. Bell was 29 years of age and the year was 1885. He was reported to have answered the phone saying, “Hoy, hoy” – never hello; and that he told his grandchildren, “It’s for calling out, not for calling in.” And that was all!

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