Sausalito in the News: Jan. 26, 1957

By Billie Anderson

Alcatraz Birdman starts 41st year

Famed Alcatraz convict Robert Stroud will be 67 years old next Monday and start serving his 41st year in solitary confinement – longer than any known prisoner alive in the world. Eligible for parole in 1936, he has never achieved release.

The oldest federal prisoner today, Stroud was sentenced at 19 years on a manslaughter charge in frontier Alaska in 1909, and was placed in solitary. President Wilson commuted his death sentence to life imprisonment.

The lonely convict tamed sparrows, bred canaries and studied bird diseases under a microscope. He became world-renowned as a bird doctor and authored two books on avian disease. After an altercation with prison authorities in 1942, Stroud was separated from his laboratory and birds and placed in Alcatraz.

His book, “The Birdman of Alcatraz,” published by Random House, has recently been released in England and in Braille. Dutch and Japanese publications will be out this spring. He has not seen his recently published book.

A movie about Stroud’s life will be produced by Joshua Logan this year.

Don’t put that gun away

The news has never been a house organ for hunters because we like our birds on the wing. However, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Fish and Game and ranchers, whose fields are taking a beating from thousands of mud hens, are imploring sportsmen to take a bead on the coots – otherwise known as mudhens, tulehens and whitebills.

The federal agency has raised the bag limit to 25 birds per day for coots and has permitted California to extend the season beyond the regular water fowl hunting period to March 1.

Christmas wreath sale a success

James Muldoon reports that Sausalito Cub Pack 8 sold a total of 480 Christmas wreaths within 24 hours.

Water plans to be discussed

California’s water resources will be discussed at the League of Women Voters general meeting and tea on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 1:30 p.m. Mrs. Charles Cross is the new president of the Sausalito League of Women Voters.

March on Polio

About 75 mothers will participate.

Snow trip

Boy Scout Troop 44, sponsored by the First Presbyterian Church of Sausalito, is getting a touch of snow at Chubb Lake this weekend.

At a glance

Yearly inflation rate: 3.3 percent

Average cost of new home: $12,220

Average monthly rent: $90.00

Average yearly wages: $4,550.00

Gallon of gas price: 24 cents