Melville Elijah Stone, Sr.
|Born||August 22, 1848|
|Died||February 15, 1929 (aged 80)|
|Employer||Chicago Daily News|
|Spouse(s)||Martha Jameson McFarland|
|Children||Melville Elijah Stone, Jr.|
Herbert Stuart Stone
Elizabeth Creighton Stone
|Relatives||Ormond Stone, brother|
Stone's parents were Reverend Elijah Stone, a Methodist minister, and Sophia Creighton. In 1876, Stone, who started out as a reporter, founded the first Chicago penny paper, the Chicago Daily News. In 1881 he established the Chicago Morning News (renamed the Chicago Record). Stone became general manager of the reorganized Associated Press in 1893, and under his direction it became one of the great news agencies. He retired in 1921. Stone died of hardening of the arteries in 1929.
Stone's son, Herbert Stone, married Mary Grigsby McCormick in 1900 and perished in the sinking of the luxury liner RMS Lusitania in 1915. His wife was daughter of William Grigsby McCormick of the McCormick family which included her uncle Robert Sanderson McCormick who married the daughter of the founder of the rival newspaper Chicago Tribune. Another son, Melville Elijah Stone, Jr., also predeceased him but he was survived by his wife, the former Martha McFarland of Chicago, whom he married on November 25, 1869, and his daughter Elizabeth Creighton Stone. Stone's brother was the astronomer Ormond Stone. A Liberty ship is named in his honor.
On the March 3, 2008 edition of The Rest of the Story, Paul Harvey, Jr. (substituting for his more famous father) related the story of Stone being responsible for the common use of pennies. The Chicago Daily News was not an initial success, as pennies were not widely used in 1876. According to Harvey, Stone convinced local merchants that employee theft could be reduced if the price of item was sold for 99¢ instead of $1.00 etc., forcing employee to make change for sales and less likely to steal money since it required further calculation. Merchants began experimenting with a penny price drop in their goods, meeting with success among their patrons. An increase in pennies, thought Stone, would help the circulation of his penny paper. When merchants began running low on pennies, Stone purchased several barrels of pennies from the Mint, further increasing their use within the Chicago area.
This story is also related in Scot Morris' The Book of Strange Facts and Useless Information, though there is some doubt as to its veracity.
Melville E. Stone, founder of newspapers, one of the organizers of The Associated Press, and a leading figure in American journalism for half a century, died last night at his home, 120 East Seventy-fifth Street, in his eighty-first year.
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The SS Melville E. Stone was a Liberty ship built in the United States during World War II. She was named after Melville Elijah Stone (August 22, 1848 – February 15, 1929), a newspaper publisher, founder of the Chicago Daily News, and one time general manager of the reorganized Associated Press.Sinking of the RMS Lusitania
The sinking of the Cunard ocean liner RMS Lusitania occurred on Friday, 7 May 1915 during the First World War, as Germany waged submarine warfare against the United Kingdom which had implemented a naval blockade of Germany. The ship was identified and torpedoed by the German U-boat U-20 and sank in 18 minutes. The vessel went down 11 miles (18 km) off the Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland, killing 1,198 and leaving 761 survivors. The sinking turned public opinion in many countries against Germany, contributed to the American entry into World War I and became an iconic symbol in military recruiting campaigns of why the war was being fought.Lusitania fell victim to torpedo attack relatively early in the First World War, before tactics for evading submarines were properly implemented or understood. The contemporary investigations in both the United Kingdom and the United States into the precise causes of the ship's loss were obstructed by the needs of wartime secrecy and a propaganda campaign to ensure all blame fell upon Germany. Argument over whether the ship was a legitimate military target raged back and forth throughout the war as both sides made misleading claims about the ship. At the time she was sunk, she was carrying over 4 million rounds of small-arms ammunition (.303 caliber), almost 5,000 shrapnel shell casings (for a total of some 50 tons), and 3,240 brass percussion fuses, in addition to 1,266 passengers and a crew of 696. Several attempts have been made over the years since the sinking to dive to the wreck seeking information about precisely how the ship sank, and argument continues to the present day.United States Senate inquiry into the sinking of the RMS Titanic
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