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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk


The New York Times
January 1, 1900

Omaha Student's Strange Bombardment and Ideas Cause His Arrest.

George L. Burgess, thirty years old, a student, of 2,227 Dodge Street, Omaha, Neb., living for a week past at the Manhattan Hotel, Madison Avenue and Forty-second street, was taken to the insane pavilion Bellevue Hospital last night and held for examination as to his medical condition.

Bicycle Policeman Timothy Sullivan found Burgess at Fifth Avenue and Forty-sixth Street with an armful of beer glasses, which he took delight in hurling at every automobile that rolled by.  He narrowly missed hitting one woman in the head.  When the policeman arrested him he protested that he was violating no law.  He said that he had a right to throw beer glasses.

"Who has the right of way?" he demanded.  "Who was here first?  Men or automobiles?"

The policeman, when he questioned Burgess at length, concluded he had a madman to deal with.

He sent a call for an ambulance to Flower Hospital, and Dr. Daniels answered it.  He agreed with the policeman that Burgess was demented.  He took him directly to Bellevue.

On the way to the hospital Burgess said he knew William Jennings Bryan very well and had written several letters to him since coming to town.

A letter was found in one pocket of the man's coat on which was written, "I walked up Fifth Avenue, but did not notice a bridge until I got to Sixty-seventh Street."  Burgess was well dressed and had over $40 in his pockets.  Burgess says he is a law student.

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