Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mussolini and Vanderbilt

Time magazine, Feb. 23, 1931:
Cornelius ("Neely") Vanderbilt Jr. … stated that it was he who had supplied the rambunctious General with the anecdote of Il Duce's alleged hit & run motor drive, for relating which the General was reprimanded by the Navy Department (TIME, Feb. 9; 16). But the imaginative young publicist was very wroth because General Butler "took a story of mine, twisted it around to score a point for himself, and made me the goat." Mr. Vanderbilt then gave newsmen the "real truth": "I was riding with Mussolini, who drove. A small child ran in front of the machine … and was hit. I looked back to see if the child was hurt. Mussolini placed his hand on my knee and said: 'Never look back, Vanderbilt, always look ahead in life.' "

As "twisted" by the General, the child was killed, and Il Duce's comment was: "What is one life in the affairs of a state?"

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