Friday, October 28, 2011

Today -100: October 28, 1911: Of presidential hands, the comic opera of South Carolina politics, and bricks

In a speech in Chicago, President Taft implicitly denies that he has any political motive in going after US Steel: “I would rather cut off my right hand than to do anything to disturb the business of this country, especially with a motive of cultivating political success.” And you know he’s serious, because his right hand is his eatin’ hand.

South Carolina Gov. Coleman Blease, while waiting at a hotel with friends to see if the editor of the Spartansburg Journal will take up Blease’s challenge to show up and repeat his remarks that Blease was “the villain in the comic opera of South Carolina politics” (the editor did not show), is overheard saying “If I were not in politics I would whip the newspaper editor who lied about me. If I were not man enough to do it, I would get a double-barreled shotgun and kill him,” adding “Pistol manufacturers make all men the same size.” Not such idle words in South Carolina, where the lieutenant governor shot and killed the editor of The State in 1903.

Headline of the Day -100: “BRICKMAKERS WIN FIGHT.” Presumably with bricks. Brickmakers have succeeded in blocking plans to build new firehouses in New York state out of concrete. Key to winning the argument: the destruction of Austin, Pennsylvania a month ago when the dam broke. The only buildings that survived were made of brick.

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