Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Today -100: October 31, 1912: Of dead veeps, free postage, strange noises, hatpins, and drag-hunts

Vice President James Schoolcraft Sherman has died at 57. Sherman was the mayor of Utica, NY in his 20s, a Congressman for many years, and a very sick vice president for nearly four years.

Taft was at dinner when he heard the news, because of course he was.

Congress granted Frances Cleveland, Grover’s widow, free mail for life shortly after his death in 1908, along with Benjamin Harrison’s widow. It is thought her upcoming re-marriage will not affect that. Congress has several times considering granting pensions to the two former first ladies, but never has, although Garfield’s widow gets $5,000 a year and McKinley’s did until her death. But I’m sure Mrs. Cleveland and Mrs. Harrison are quite happy with their stamps.

Supposedly, the Ottoman Army executed 300 soldiers who fled the battle at Kirk-Kilesseh.

Theodore Roosevelt gives a speech at Madison Square Garden, very much against doctor’s advice. Well, he tried to give a speech, but first he had to wait for the crowd for 45 minutes: “They began with cheering, and from that they went on to inventing strange noises. When the possibilities of strange noises were exhausted they would go back to cheering, and after that they would go back again to strange noises, and so it went on until it seemed as if noisemaking possibilities had been tested to the limit.” Nothing increases your popularity like getting shot in the chest.

Anyway, then he gave his speech, which frankly does not read as the most exciting speech ever. And he was only able to make his usual wild arm gestures with his left arm.

In Sydney, Australia, 60 women go to jail to protest “iniquitous and unnecessary legislation” against hatpins that stick out too far. They threaten a hunger strike if there are more arrests.

Politically Correct Headline of the Day -100: “Big Negroes in Ring.”

German Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm is injured when he falls off his horse during a drag-hunt. Which probably isn’t what it sounds like.

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