What's New In Old News? July 2021 -- Vol. 1, no. 1.

What's New in Old News?

@RJGoodrichWrite

Welcome to the inaugural edition of What’s New In Old News, my monthly newsletter. Here I will keep you updated with the best of old, quirky news stories, free links to new stories, and an insider’s peek at what I am working on. If that’s not enough, we also have a forum for questions, so don’t hesitate to ask anything on your mind.

Hope you enjoy the newsletter,

Richard

This Month's Old News

Nude Selfies In the Garden of Eden

In 1920, an unusual motion for divorce was heard in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The complainant, Mrs. Esther Hart asked the court to end her marriage of twenty years with the Reverend Frederick W. Hart. The defendant, a Methodist Episcopal minister, who had once overseen a parish in Bellaire, Ohio, was evidently involved with a church deaconess.

Mrs. Hart stumbled across evidence of the alleged affair while searching her husband’s papers. Buried in his desk was a sequence of photographs that featured her husband and the deaconess, apparently recreating the Genesis story of Adam and Eve. The amateur models were, in the words of the Detroit Free Press, “clothed only in an air of innocence.” The photos had been staged in the pastor’s study; after arranging the tableau, Pastor Hart tripped the camera’s shutter with a long piece of string.

Despite protestations of innocence, this may not have been Reverend Hart’s first dalliance with biblical re-enactments. The plaintiff presented the court with photos and a collection of letters, written by former models. Not only did the reverend have difficulty keeping his clothes on, but at one point he appears to have threatened to kill his wife, a fact that disturbed one of his paramours, who wrote: “Don’t shoot anyone, for you will be arrested. Please don’t shoot anyone for my sake—please don’t.”

Upon learning of this scandal, denominational leaders reassigned Rev. Hart to a church in Akron, Ohio. Although he had vowed to defend his good name in Pittsburgh, he was not present when the case was called. After listening to the uncontested evidence against the minister, Judge Francis Harbison declared himself convinced and granted a divorce to the plaintiff. “The pictures,” noted Harbison, were “of a character rarely permitted to be created, much less to be preserved.” They substantiated “the grossly immoral course of conduct in which the respondent became involved.”

The moral of the story? There was a reason that Adam and Eve didn’t have cellphones in Eden.

Source: Detroit Free Press, August 28, 1920.

Stories You Might Have Missed

Murderer Revealed in a Dream. Ida Anderson’s vision leads the police… | by Richard J. Goodrich | Jun, 2021 | History of Yesterday

For Ida Anderson, the decision to move into Mark Wilkins’ Elmhurst home made complete sense. Wilkins’ wife was away, gone to the East coast to have her baby; Wilkins had plenty of room in the house…

historyofyesterday.com

Why Did the Romans Persecute Christians? | by Richard J. Goodrich | Jun, 2021 | History of Yesterday

The early history of Christianity is hedged by a number of enduring myths. One common claim asserts that from the beginning of the Christian movement, Roman officials hunted members of the new faith…

historyofyesterday.com

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Philosopher | by Richard J. Goodrich | ILLUMINATION | Jun, 2021 | Medium

Recently, while pondering the pros and cons of a life-changing decision, I found the tide of remembrance dragging my mind back to the fabulous martial arts movie, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon…

medium.com

Where Martians Roam. Why did early-twentieth-century… | by Richard J. Goodrich | Jun, 2021 | History of Yesterday

The recent landings of two Martian rovers — the Perseverance (US) and Zhurong (China) — have turned the earth’s attention back to our celestial neighbor. Although we would be amazed if one of these…

historyofyesterday.com

Ask the Author

Mrs. G. from Coupeville, WA asks: “What is your spirit animal?”

Although many readers would guess that I would be drawn to one of the marine mammals, in fact I have a deep affinity for the raven. He is a crafty bird, assertive, loud, and a little tricky–qualities I would like to possess.

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