H.L. Mencken was the original denier of popular superstitions. He offered, the story goes, a $10,000 reward for any proof that the Bible ever said that slavery was wrong. In “The American Credo,” Mencken and Jean Nathan made a list of popular fantasies, including some that had gained circulation in the war that had just ended. A most notable example was: (link)
230: That many soldiers’ lives have been saved in battle by bullets lodging in Bibles which they carried in their breast pockets.
This miracle, originally manifested in the sparing of Theodore Roosevelt’s life from a bullet fired in 1912 by German malcontent and saloonkeeper John Flammang Schrank in Milwaukee. The former president arrived for a speech plugging himself as as an anti-Libertarian third-party candidate when Schrank drew and fired. The bullet went through the 90-minute speech (about 12 thousand words), then TR’s glasses case, before lodging within him. The politician refused medical assistance until after finishing the speech under circumstances that absolutely kept listeners from dying of boredom.(link) Schrank had penned a message to posterity in the event of his death. It began: “Never let a third term party emblem appear on an official ballot.”(link)
Schrank’s advice was not obeyed. Schrank’s fellow saloon owners stampeded to the polls in November of 1940 to vote Franklin Delano Roosevelt in for a third term as Republicans gasped in disbelief. Republicans had muzzled their Prohibition stalwarts, promised government by “men of good faith,” scolded FDR for offending Hitler and endorsed Hitler’s own “extension of necessary old age benefits.” Then, long before anyone ever heard of the Libertarian Party, Roe v Wade or Phyllis Schlafly, desperate Republicans promised:
“We favor submission by Congress to the States of an amendment to the Constitution providing for equal rights for men and women.“
More recently, French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo ran a piece intended to demonstrate the uselessness of the Koran as protection against gunfire.
Oddly enough, Christian activists have not exploited this Pepsi Challenge demonstration of the superiority of their own product.
Find out the juicy details behind the mother of all economic collapses. Prohibition and The Crash–Cause and Effect in 1929 is available in two languages on Amazon Kindle, each at the cost of a pint of craft beer.
Brazilian Sci-fi from 1926 featuring the usual beautiful daughter of a scientist touting prohibition and racial collectivism in America’s Black President 2228 by Monteiro Lobato, translated by J Henry Phillips (link)