Sunday, November 22, 2009

Today Minus 100 Years – November 23, 1909: Of shirtwaists, turkeys, severe ladies, and pistols in Paris


The shirtwaist-makers of NY vote to go on strike at meetings held in five different halls. At Cooper Union, Samuel Gompers of the AFL spoke, and a B. Finegbeim, who spoke in Yiddish, presided. Their demands are for recognition of the union, a wage increase of 25 to 30% over the present rates, which are between $10 and $12 a week, and a 52-hour work week.

Rhode Island turkeys for Thanksgiving 1909 are selling for an unprecedented, outrageous 32¢ a pound. Pumpkins are 3¢ per pound.

The US is sending another ship to Nicaragua, and 400 marines, but still claims to be weighing whether to demand reparations.

19th century meets 20th: There was a duel yesterday in Paris between journalist Urbain Gohier and author Laurent Tailhade, both well-known lefties and Dreyfusards, which was filmed by a movie camera. No one was hurt, only one gun was fired. Details are scanty. A stunt?

A letter to the editor objects to a classified ad in one of the NY dailies, in which a Ray P. Oliver of Rochester advertises for “A LADY wanted, take charge of boy; good inducement to firm, severe party not averse to corporal punishment.” The letter-writer goes on at some length about the moral and practical objections to corporal punishment, without ever mentioning that the “boy” in question is eighteen.

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