Record Heat Wave.
An unprecedented wave of heat rolled over the greater part of the United States dur-
ing the first five days of July, causing hundreds of deaths, and loss to the growing crops running up into the mil- lions. The mortality in the larger cities was greater than that of the entire Mexi-
can revolutionary war. At least 750 deaths are to be directly attributable to the heat wave, according to the reports telegraphed from the cities affected. This total does not include all the mortality among very young children. In Chicago, which seems to have been a special vic- tim of the visitation, it was stated that "in the ghetto and other congested dis- tricts babies died like flies." Some 201 deaths in Chicago were attributed to the excessive heat during the five days the spell covered. But during during the fol- lowing cooler days persons whose
strength had been broken down by the unusual length of the wave, succumbed in large numbers. There were 68 additional deaths on the two days after the great
heat had abated. The area affected consisted of the east- ern and New England States and the middle western States almost as far west as the Rocky Mountains. In fact, all America felt the heat spell except the Pa- cific Coast States and Southern States.
In New York City the suffering was only second to that of Chicago. Twenty-six deaths occurred there one day, 36 another, and 25 on the third. Philadelphia, Cin- cinatti, Boston, Pittsburg, St. Louis were amongst other big cities that suffered heavily. At the apex of the wave the offi- cial temperature in Chicago reached 102 in the shade, which is within one point of the highest mark reached in that city since the observatory was opened in 1877. The official thermometer is in a cool place, and in the streets the mercury rose much higher. In the slums the afflicted dwellers were in pitiable plight. Residents of the tenement districts of Chicago slept on roofs, side walks, and alleyways. Every street stairway was occupied, with adults stripped to the limits of seemli- ness and all but naked babies wailing or silent from illness. On July 4, the na- tional holiday, the country reported more than fifty drownings, which properly be- longed to heat casualties, as the victims were slain while trying to escape from the torridity. Morgues in the large cities were swamped beyond their capacity, and in Chicago the coroner stated he was un- able to keep pace with the demand for inquests on unexplained deaths. Some very excited reports were sent out from afflicted cities during the height of the visitation. Rockford, Ill., announced that its cement sidewalks grew so hot that they exploded. The same day, July 8, a news- paper telegram from Chicago asserted :— "Deaths, suicides, insanity, and deeds of violence to-day followed in the wake of one of the most terrific heat blasts ex- perienced in a generation."
The disastrous wave of heat subsided on July 6, cooling rains falling throughout a considerable portion of the country.
This saved the corn crop from utter an- nihilation. As it was, very serious dam- age was caused on the farms, products of
all kinds suffering. The Illinois State Board of Agriculture, in a special report, savs the heat spell has badly damaged all the crops in that State, some of them irreparably. Official reports show that the fruit crop of Iowa fell off 10 per cent in five days.
A Chicago theorist has advanced the
idea that the heat generated by the great cities at the present day is changing their climates to a marked degree. Obser- vations covering many years, he says, demonstrate that the climate of New York has become both warmer and drier with
the growth of the city. The rainfall has dropped in recent years from an average of 45in. to 40in.
While the rest of the country was suffer-
ing from unprecedented heat, the Pacific Coast on July 1 experienced a sharp shock of earthquake. It effected some little damage, but, no buildings were wrecked. In San Francisco people left the theatres. The shock was generally re- garded as the most severe since the disas- trous quake of April 18, 1906, which was
followed by the destruction of San Fran- cisco by fire.
V'Mr, ;fluorgo Alexander possesses ii keen sonso of .humour, uivil lately was Immense- ly tickled over the remark of un American to whom hu was ?Introduced. .'"rhlH IH Mr. George,' 'Alexunder, ono of tho munt, tlislln gtllshedlitictors," said tho mutual friend whom'Introducing them. Mr. Alexander bowed and smiled 'graciously. ''Hluiko I" said-thu..Yankee. "Charmed to mool yetti. ¡I was once In tho circus business myself."
. Pollco Constnblo Beesley, of London, who has Just received -the first modal prosont 0(1 ita MI constable by Our TJuuib Friends', Luiiffiit1, lins been tho "hero" of -moro than 1000 cases of cruelty to horses, . -.*?.,-.