Thursday, September 09, 2010

Today -100: September 9, 1910: Of bribery, imperialism, the negro franchise, and perpetual motion


Teddy Roosevelt bans Sen. William Lorimer, whose seat was purchased by bribery, from a banquet in his honor at the (Republican) Hamilton Club in Chicago. In his speech TR accuses the Illinois Legislature of “the foulest and basest corruption, and, therefore, of the most infamous treason to American institutions.” It’s funny because it’s true.

The US chargĂ© d’affaires in Panama, Richard Marsh, threatens the Panama Assembly and government that if they “persistently refuse to accede to the clear wishes of the American Government” by, for example, the Assembly electing the candidate of its own choosing and not that of the United States to fill the remainder of the term of the late president, then the US “can only adopt such means to prevent such opposition in the future as occupation and annexation.” The NYT says this statement has “created a sensation” in Panama.

Since the NYT devotes only 55 words to this story, I might as well give it verbatim: “The lower House of the Texas Legislature to-day, by a vote of 51 to 34, instructed Senators and Congressmen to work for the repeal of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Federation Constitution, conferring franchise upon negroes.” Presumably they mean the 15th Amendment.

David Hacker, a NYC tailor, is building a dirigible which will run by perpetual motion. And a bicycle. A combination of bicycle and perpetual motion. The article’s end is priceless:
“I’m going to Washington first to call on President Taft, and any twenty persons [the airship’s capacity] who want to go with me will be welcome. After that I’m going to establish a transoceanic service with other ships like this first one.”

Hacker’s friends say he is a good tailor.


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