|THE STANFORD DAILY||MONDAY, APRIL 7, 1930||VOLUME 77, NUMBER 32|
"California has stolen the axe!"
The news spread like wildfire over the Stanford campus April 15, 1899. Four days later, on April 19, the fact was casually mentioned in the editorial columns of the Daily Palo Alto.
This handling of the momentous event stands in direct contrast with the appearance of an extra edition of the Daily on April 4, 1930, less than two and one-half hours after the axe was stolen from California.
The Daily Palo Alto was in 1899 edited by Everett W. Smith, present professor of journalism at Stanford.
On April 14, 1899, the Daily Palo Alto printed a story about a rally the previous night, in which the Stanford Axe had played an important part.
The next day, Saturday, April 15, California defeated the Cardinal baseball team at Sixteenth and Folsom streets in San Francisco. What was more important was that California rooters at the game seized the opportunity to take possession of the Stanford Axe.
In Monday's paper, April 17, there was a story on "Stanford Loses the Series" which surprisingly made no mention of the theft of the axe. Editorials in the issue were devoted to a sophomore-freshman debate, the musical clubs, and a Stanford alumni paper.
The next day the editorial column was given over to a discussion of campus dramatics and musical activities, and still there was no mention of the axe. In the "Special Notices" column was the following item: "Lost-at the baseball rally, a gold watch chain. Finder please return to Ed Gilman, Delta Upsilon house."
Finally on April 19 the editorial high moguls seem to have received a rumor of the axe controversy and given it a slight mention in the editorial column. "From the San Francisco morning papers it is learned that Track Manager Franklin received word that if the axe which we 'gave them' on last Saturday and failed to take from them on Monday is displayed at Field-day next Saturday said Field-day will be promptly called off. We do not know yet whether they intend to display the axe or not. . . . . We do not know what the present possessors of the axe intend to do with it..."
Then the following day the axe question was discussed for the first time in the news columns, five days after the story really "broke."