Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Today -100: October 27, 1910: Of messing with Texas, literacy tests, and repeating Dix


The New Mexico Constitutional Convention increases the amount of land it wants from Texas to 600,000 acres.

The Taft administration, under criticism for not having given a fraction the patronage to blacks that Roosevelt did, has been looking around rather explicitly for a token to promote. It now announces that it will appoint William H. Lewis assistant attorney general, the highest post a negro has ever held in the federal government. Wikipedia informs us that Lewis (1868-1949) was also the first black man ever to play college football, for Amherst and Harvard, where he coached for 11 years (which seems an odd use to make of a degree from Harvard Law School), and the first black member of the American Bar Association, where there was a strong move to expel him when his race was discovered. Southern senators will delay his confirmation until next June.

The NYT continues its laser-like focus on negro voting rights, giving an astonishing 90 words (many of them inaccurate or misleading) to the story that the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled constitutional both the “grandfather clause” for the new literacy test and the special voting procedure adopted for the referendum in which all votes not cast against the measure were counted as being for it (voters had to scratch out the words “for the amendment” with a pencil, which was not provided in every polling station).

TR says that Dix is being supported by men who “wish to employ children in their business for unlimited hours.”

A Henry L. Stimson campaign rally in Rochester is marred by “continuous interruption by eight or ten indignant and somewhat intoxicated men, who kept repeating the name of Dix.” Er, are you sure it was a name they were repeating?

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