Today I traveled to Springfield, Massachusetts, by way of The Springfield Union dated October 21, 1964. There the front page had the headline of “World Mourns Death of Herbert Hoover”, “President Orders 30-Day Observance; Leaders of Both Parties Join in Eulogies”. “Herbert Clark Hoover, the son of a blacksmith who rose to serve his nation as president and the world as one of history’s great humanitarians, died Tuesday. He was 90…”. This includes a small photo of President Hoover as well as a photo of the flag being lowered to half staff over the White House. Inside the issue is a photo of the home where Hoover was born, where he would also be buried on a hillside nearby.
At first blush, this issue appears to be exactly what one might expect from a Government sponsored publication. However, upon closer inspection of the lower right corner, we soon realize… this is exactly what one might expect from a government sponsored publication. Somewhere, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are smiling. Please enjoy the cover of the April, 1944 issue of the U.S. Army-Navy Journal:
Today I journeyed to New York City by the way of The New York Times dated September 1, 1864. There I found the rebel account on the surrender of Fort Morgan, Mobile, Alabama. “The flag of truce boat returned last evening. The Yankees say Fort Morgan capitulated at 2 o’clock last Tuesday. On Monday afternoon they concentrated their fire on the fort, when the bombardment was renewed spiritedly… The fort did not fire Tuesday. Gen. Paige destroyed everything in the fort, and spiked his guns. He and the garrison, numbering 581 men, were sent to New-Orleans… The enemy have a strong force of 4,000 on the mainland at Grant’s Pass.”
Also in the issue was the coverage of the Democratic Convention being held in Chicago. “…The president then stated the question before the convention to be on ordering the previous question, (nomination a candidate for the Presidency,) and it was ordered without dissent. The vote was then taken by States… the vote stood as follows: For (Gen.) McClellan – 162, Scattering – 64… The President then announced the vote, which was received with deafening cheers, the delegates and the vast audience rising, the band playing, and the cheering lasting for several minutes… The question was then taken on making the nomination unanimous, and it was declared carried. The shout that responded was deafening…”
“The Merrick County Item” newspaper of Central City, Nebraska, has a very inconspicuous & brief page 2 report in its December 1, 1880 issue announcing, almost casually, “Gov. Robinson, of Colorado, was on last Monday morning accidentally shot and killed.” This placement did rank above: “The National Grange will again convene in Washington, Nov. 1, 1881.” but below: “Trickett beat Ross in the sculling match on the Thames, last Monday, by about four lengths.” (see below)
“The New York Times” of February 6, 1858 reports a brawl on the floor of the House of Representatives the day before. Although perhaps not as infamous as the Charles Sumner/Preston Brooks attack, this one between Lawrence Keitt and Galusha Grow was more raucous.
The photo below reports some of the exchange of words between the two, but the better report is found in the Wikipedia account of the affair: “A large brawl involving approximately 50 representatives erupted on the House floor, ending only when a missed punch from Rep. Cadwallader Washburn of Wisconsin upended the hairpiece of Rep. William Barksdale of Mississippi. The embarrassed Barksdale accidentally replaced the wig backwards, causing both sides to erupt in spontaneous laughter.” The entire NY Times coverage may be viewed at: “The New York Times” of February 6, 1858
Today I journeyed through Omaha, Nebraska, via The Omaha Daily Bee of January 6, 1914. The issue had the report of the oil tanker Steamer Oklahoma splitting in two and sinking south of Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Several of the crew had perished in this disaster while others were rescued by other ships.
Another article is one of the Supreme Court handing down a decision permitting Miss Florence Schenck, who had died just a few hours earlier, to prosecute a suit against Charles H. Wilson to vindicate her good name. Mr. Wilson had induced her years earlier to marry him in a ceremony in England. She later found that he already had a wife living in England as well and was suing for damages.
Today I traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah, by the way of the Deseret Semi-Weekly News, February 3, 1913. There I found that on this very same date, the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution had just been ratified by the voted received from the Wyoming legislature. This amendment now established Income Tax as a provision of the Constitution.
This passing, which required a three-quarter of the Union approval, took a long time to occur as Alabama was the first state to ratify the amendment and that was on August 10, 1909!
Now with this information, enjoy your remaining seventy (70) days of the tax season. April 15th will be here before we all know it!
“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy…”
– Alexander Tytler 1787 (disputed origin)
Today I traveled to San Francisco, California, by way of The Call dated December 17, 1912. There I found that the Federal Supreme Court had ruled to destroy the monopoly that was created by six railroad owned coal companies in the Pennsylvania anthracite fields which had purchased the output for all time of “independent” mines. They were shown to be in “undisputed control”. This was the first time the Supreme Court successfully used the “Essential Facility Doctrine”, and resulted in significant restraint on monopolies.
The sports page had boxer Frank Moran preparing for upcoming matches, against Gunboat Smith, Luther McCarty and Al Palzer. Frank Moran retired ten years later after 66 bouts and then entered the career of acting in which he played many roles of gangsters, bartenders, guards, cops, bouncers, etc.. He retired from that in 1957 at the age of 70 and died ten years later from a heart attack.
Did you ever read a novel about all the mysterious and unusual murders on a ship at sea? This issue has a report of “Death Stalks On The Korea’s Trip” which would read right out of a novel. This would be one cruise that this traveler would not wish to participate in! Check it out!! (see report)
Today I traveled to Farmington, Maine by way of The Franklin Journal (August 6, 1912). There I found that “President Taft was formally notified Thursday of his nomination by the National Republican convention at Chicago.” This would be a year in which a four-way presidential election occurred — Republican, Democratic, Progressive and Socialist.
In part of the acceptance speech, “…the president launches into a bitter attack upon ‘those responsible for the popular unrest’ of the present day… Votes are not bread, constitutional amendments are not work, referendums do not pay rent or furnish houses, recalls do not furnish clothing, initiatives do not supply employment or relieve inequalities of condition or of opportunity…” (see below). Here we are in another election year, 100 years later, with what sounds like the exact same issues…
Today I traveled to January 9, 1912. While reading The Christian Science Monitor, Boston, Massachusetts I discovered that not unlike many in 2012, scores of citizens were also looking for the right man to run in opposition of the President in the upcoming presidential election. The headline read “Democrats Turn To Gov. Wilson As Man to Defeat Mr. Taft”, with the subheads, “Decide They Must Nominate Radical to Oppose president, as Conservative, and Thus Avert a Third Party”, “Find Him Popular” and “National Committeemen Surprised to Discover Sentiment Among Rank and File for New Jersey Candidate”. It is interesting to see history playing out many of the same themes over time.
I realize that Christmas has passed, but a small article on “Presents Given To Cats and Dogs” caught my eye. I know that pampering of four-legged friends is very trendy now, but I did not know that it was “cats meow” then as well!