Thursday, October 14, 2010

Today -100: October 14, 1910: Of road trips and scandal and sensation

Taft will make a quick trip to Panama next month, to make some decisions about construction, fortifications, toll rates, etc. Don’t quote me, but this may be only the 2nd time a sitting president left the country, the first having been Roosevelt 4 years earlier, also making a trip to the Canal Zone.

NYC Mayor Gaynor is now at odds with President of the Board of Alderman John Purroy Mitchel, who, when serving as acting mayor while Gaynor was in the hospital, directed the police to investigate various suspected disorderly houses and gambling establishments (leading, as we saw, to a raid on the US Army Building, but mostly to letters to property owners). Gaynor says the list was “made up in a wholly untrustworthy newspaper office for scandal and sensation,” which I’m guessing means Hearst’s paper, and orders the police commissioner to apologize to the property owners. Mitchel insists the list was derived from perfectly legitimate, um, anonymous letters.

Francisco Madero, who ran against Porfirio Díaz for the presidency of Mexico in April and was subsequently arrested, has fled the country, disguised as a peon, emerging in San Antonio. This actually happened more than a week ago, but the NYT seems not to have reported it. Instead, we now get a rather sarcastic editorial, which suggests Madero should stay in San Antonio: “As a revolutionary his doings from first to last have savored of opera bouffe. There are good openings in that part of Texas for every live man. One thing is certain, Señor Madero is no longer to be enrolled, seriously, among the ‘men who may succeed Diaz.’” That’s true: there was actually a six-month interim president before Madero became president in November 1911.

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