Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Esperanto at the League of Nations

We know how this ended.
The Taiban Valley News of Taiban, New Mexico had in its October 7, 1921 edition two columns of content that were almost identical to two columns which appeared later in the St. Johns Herald of St. Johns, Arizona on October 20, 1921. Certainly, by the end of October 1921, this news was a bit stale, and news items were probably provided as part of a packing with the surrounding (identical) advertisements.

The article mentioning Esperanto at the League of Nations is tucked in between articles on the attempts of a woman, “Mrs. Emma C. Bergdoll, mother of the notorious draft evader, Grover C. Bergdoll,”[1] to recover some property valued at $1 million, and the story of two young Nebraskans who determined that the best way to raise funds for a wireless set was death threats and extortion.
May Indorse Universal Language
New York.—Esperanto, international language, has been brought before the League of Nations assembly in a resolution introduced by thirteen delegates urging its consideration. In making this announcement, the League of Nations news bureau expressed belief that the resolution would be adopted.
The news article seems to either attracted scant attention, or was hopelessly stale news, since none of the other newspapers repeat or expand upon this piece of news. In the end, of course, the resolution wasn’t adopted, and Esperanto did not not become the official language of the League of Nations.
There doesn’t seem to be more on the two Nebraska extortionists, but it’s certain they didn’t get their wireless set either.

  1. I just don’t think of draft dodgers in relationship to WWI, yet here we are. A quick check shows that the Bergdolls (Grover and Erwin) were a hot news item in the 1920. Wikipedia notes that there was even a book on him.  ↩

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