Who would have thought back on March 10, 1876, that in a hundred or so years practically every other human on the face of the earth would have a phone pressed against the side of his or her head at any given moment. Certainly not Alexander Graham Bell as he was in the process of making the very first phone call. It wasn’t much of a call, certainly not long distance. Bell called his assistant Thomas A. Watson who was in the next room. The phones they used weren’t much to behold; they looked more like tin cans connected by a long string than today’s sleek models. But nevertheless they made history.
The moment of truth in Bell’s own words: “I then shouted . . . the following sentence: Mr. Watson come here — I want to see you. To my delight he came and declared that he had heard and understood what I said.”
Enter the quibblers. Why didn’t Watson answer Bell using that brand new telephone, they ask. And if Bell shouted his words and Watson were in the very next room, he’d very likely hear them without the phone, they suggest.
Watson’s diary says Bell’s words were actually “Mr. Watson, come here, I want you. ” a minor difference but just chock full of innuendo, they say, eyebrows raised. And some even suggest that the incident is all fabrication, that Bell actually stole the idea for the telephone from another inventor, Elisha Gray.
History does not record Bell’s disappointment when he tried to duplicate the experiment and was put on hold.
March 10, 1893: Cum Laude, Cum Very Laude
New Mexico State University’s first ever graduation was to have taken place on this date in 1893 but was abruptly canceled when Sam Steel, the lone graduating senior, was shot and killed while delivering milk the day before graduation.
Said the local paper: “The hearts of the whole community were stricken with sadness when it was learned that Samuel Steel, the most brilliant student of our College, had been foully and wil(l)fully murdered on Thursday evening, March 9th. We do not consider it in place to refer to the details of this ghastly deed, which are known to most of our readers; we only feel assured that it was perpetrated in sheer cold-bloodedness, and, knowing the victim as well as we have done, without the slightest provocation.”
Knowing what we do today about the reputation of milkmen, one might speculate that there could have been a slight provocation.
I will make you shorter by a head. — Queen Elizabeth I