January 13 - 1876: Cape women proclaimed feminine ideal

1834: Horatio Alger born, preached in Brewster. 2002: NY Times reports on Christa Worthington's murder. 2007: State rep bagged for eating on Cape Cod
The Truro home of fashion writer Christa Worthington in 2002, the scene of her brutal murder. Evidence photo.

New York Times reports on Christa Worthington's murder

2002: A Murder In Cape Cod jolts the Fashion World
Fear of the unknown killer in their midst closes a small town down

On January 13, 2002, the murder of Christa Worthington made the front pages of the New York Times. That day's story began:

In January, the streets are quiet in this village clinging to the end of the horned tip of Cape Cod, the ghosts of the summer people have evaporated and the noises of their laughter and money are a distant memory. Coconut Sunglasses in nearby Provincetown is closed for the season; so are the taffy shop and the T-shirt emporiums.

It appears lonely, until closer observation reveals that everyone is shuttered in their homes, spending lives not in the anonymous blur of a big city but in the distinct, daily outlines of a family-centered community.

It is here that Christa Worthington came four years ago to start over, to remove herself from a worldly life that others might envy, but to her had become deeply unsatisfying. Ms. Worthington, who had worked for Elle and Women's Wear Daily and who was a freelance writer for Harper's Bazaar, The Independent of London and The New York Times, wanted to have a baby.

And it was here, one week ago today, that Ms. Worthington, 46, was found murdered, the police said, in the house she had inherited from her mother, with her 2 1/2-year-old daughter crying beside her.

She had lived in Paris and London, chronicling the tides of popular culture and fashion. She had no husband and left a series of turbulent relationships behind her. The circumstances that had brought her home to the state of her youth were not happy ones either: she had come to nurse her mother, Gloria S. Worthington, who was dying of cancer...

Read the rest here.

1876: "No more beautiful women or worthier wives" than on Cape Cod

A front page article on this day in 1876 in the Warren (Pa.) Ledger opined:

Cape Cod girls are as distinct a specter of femininity as they would be if they were mermaids, or say syrens (sic) ... as many of them are.

The late Pierre Blot, the gastronomist, used to say that while he sometimes doubted the Agassizian theory of  the brain benefit to be derived from fish phosphorus, he was certain, from observation, that where fish is the principal food, families are wonderfully numerous, and singular to say, female children preponderate.

The apparent preponderance of girls on Cape Cod, and we must include that favorite isle of the sea, 'Nantucket, and along shore generally, is not because brothers John, Tom and Bill  are away mackereling or codfishing, or are around the Horn on a three years' voyage, while the lovers, to whom the girls have been engaged ever since the days, nights rather, of the singing school, are on the third return voyage from Calcutta. 

The fathers have finally settled down in cottages on the cape, but they divest themselves, on terribly stormy days, when no other outdoor work can be done, by sloshing 'round in sail boats.

But the Cape Cod girl - of course, she is a good girl; there are none better; she is never the 'good little girl' of Sunday school fiction, nor the bad grown up girl of every day fact, but a genuinely good girl, fit for any station, even to become the mother of Boston belles of the very best of society, as so many of them have become.

She is generally a beauty of the blonde type, but tanned by the sea air. There is next to no snow on the cape, or it snows in horizontal lines literally 'clean' across the cape, and so no sleigh ridings and little skating.

But she has plenty of outdoor exercise, which gives her both bloom and beauty. In winter she walks far to the singing school.

In the summer, from the age of six almost to sixteen, she slides down the sand knolls.

Her schooling is in the winter only, while haply some Harvard charity student comes down to the 'deestrict' and unhappily falls in love with Capt. Coddle's daughter, who is going to marry the captain of an Indiaman, at the least, and so laughs at the Harvardite.  

Her book knowledge eventually includes Emerson, Lowell, Hawthorne, Holmes, Whittier, and Longfellow; but she never heard of Shakespeare or Sylvanus Cobb. She adores the Waverly Mainline, she has been to Boston (once) and has heard of the Big Organ and a public lecture by Professor Pumpkindoodle on 'The Incompatibility of Incongruities.'

Thereafter she is somewhat aesthetically inclined, and calls the vast village she has visited 'Busting.' Sometimes her language, like that of her revered father's, savors of the salt sea.

Thus it is on record that a beautiful young bride of sweet seventeen, decked out in her bridal dress, burst into tears and burst out with the exclamation: 'Confound, that sea cook of a Busting dressmaker, if she hasn't staged me out with a double spanker that makes me look like a Dutch lugger.'

The beautiful little bride is still a belle of Beacon street, Boston. So are many of her sisters and cousins belles in the same city. As for Nantucket, it has long been known for its favored femininity.

No more beautiful women or worthier wives come anywhere in the world than from there, from Cape Cod, and from along the shore of Massachusetts Bay generally.

1834: Horatio Alger born today

Preached in Brewster

On this day in 1834, Horatio Alger was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts. The author of the rags-to-riches stories that captured the imagination of generations of American boys, Alger was always more interested in literature than in the ministry, the profession his father had chosen for him. At the age of thirty in 1864 he was hired as the preacher at the First Parish Church in Brewster.

Alger wrote over 120 books for young working class males, a well-known early example of which is Ragged Dick, which was published in 1867. His books have been described as rags to riches stories, although often 'rags to middle class respectability' might be more accurate.

2007: Cape Cod eating cost Webster rep $16,782

Campaign $$ errors cost Paul Kujawski for second time in six years

On this day in 2007 for the second time in six years State State Rep. Paul Kujawski (on right), D-Webster, admitted violating state campaign finance laws, and has agreed to pay $16,782 and change his record-keeping and spending practices to avoid future violations, according to the state attorney general and campaign finance officials

Among other alleged infractions, Mr. Kujawski, 53, in 2003 improperly used campaign funds for a trip to Texas, where he attended two football games with a Massachusetts political consultant and fundraiser, in-laws of his brother.

He also paid for his and his wife’s personal use of their car; dined at restaurants on Cape Cod and in Westport, improperly reporting the meals as business meetings; and bought business suits and had them dry-cleaned at his campaign fund’s expense... Mr. Kujawski, who admitted to sufficient facts for a guilty finding on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol after a 2004 traffic stop on Route 20 in Sturbridge, said much has changed in his life since then.

CapeCodToday.com welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on CapeCodToday.com.