Monday, January 30, 2017

Today -100: January 30, 1917: It is not a test of character, of quality, or of personal fitness


Woodrow Wilson vetoes the immigration bill over its literacy test. Congress had altered it since the last time Wilson vetoed it, exempting those fleeing religious persecution. Wilson really hates this, because it requires immigration officials to decide which countries are persecuting people. He says of the literacy test: “It is not a test of character, of quality, or of personal fitness, but would operate in most cases merely as a penalty for lack of opportunity in the country from which the alien seeking admission came.”

The Earl of Cromer, who ran Egypt on behalf of the British both before and after it became a formal colony – or as the NYT puts it


and then came home to write books about Egypt and fight against women’s suffrage, dies at 75.

Alfredo Gonz├ílez Flores, the Costa Rican president who was just deposed in a coup, asks the US to intervene to restore him to power. Won’t happen.

Margaret Sanger’s trial for a speech about birth control is continued so that one of the justices can read her book “What Every Girl Should Know,” so she’s available to attend a meeting at Carnegie Hall after leaving the court, or the “vortex of persecution” as she refers to it. She notes that Theodore Roosevelt keeps telling people to have large families “and he is neither arrested nor molested” while in a single week she received 63 letters from poor women in Oyster Bay (where TR lives) asking for birth control information.


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