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LONDON, ENGLAND: DEC. 17, 1912 – After days of militant protest, English suffragists took their battle against the government first to the post boxes by damaging the mail with ink and other liquids, then switched their attacks to a fire alarm box. The damaged box initiated a false alarm that sent responding brigade members directly into the throng of women and their supporters. One person was arrested for setting a fire in a nearby train station. The suffragist protests were spreading and gaining supporters, but equal voting rights for women would not be fully realized in theUnited Kingdomuntil 1928. (The United States granted equal voting rights in 1920.)
BROOKLYN, NY: DEC. 23, 1912 – Chief Lally and a large portion of the Brooklyn Fire Department spent a busy two hours battling three separate fires within a short distance of one another in the Williamsburg section. Firefighting was helped by the unusually calm, still weather. The first fire was in the basement of a four-story tenement on Siegel Streetand firemen knocked it down before it could extend upward. The next blaze was around the corner in a three-story frame factory on Broadway. The flames were already extending as firemen went to work. The fire reached five other buildings and required four alarms before being brought under control. The last fire was discovered in six-story tenement on Humboldt Streetwhere firemen rescued a woman. Chief Fire Marshal Brophy was quickly on scene to investigate what he termed “suspicious fires.”
TUXEDO PARK, NY: DEC. 23, 1912 – Volunteer firefighters were called out to a fire in the Wyckes Mansionon top of Pine Hill. Flames that apparently were ignited by faulty wiring were confined to the upper story. Only a caretaker was in the large house at the time of the fire. There was several thousand dollars in damage, but no injuries.
AMESBURY, MA: DEC. 25, 1912 – Relics of the famed American poet and editor John Greenleaf Whittier, including autographed letters to the poet from notables all over the world and manuscripts, were burned or seriously damaged by smoke and water by a fire in the Whittier House Association building. The fire appeared to have started in the furnace and had greatly spread by the time it was noticed. Only a small amount of the collection was saved.
PLAINFIELD, NJ: DEC. 28, 1912 – During services at the Holy Cross Episcopal Church, the reverend discovered a small blaze among the holiday decorations. Hearing the crackling within the tree, he told the congregation there was no danger as he took water from the altar and doused the flames. Together, the reverend and the sextant extinguished the fire and removed the tree. The reverend returned, knelt before the altar and offered a prayer of thanks that the fire was not worse.