Saturday, February 13, 2010

Today -100: February 13, 1910: Of Lincoln, boy highwaymen, aeroplanes and dirigibles, and the physical condition of women

In 1910, Lincoln was still a living memory. At the Graduates’ Club of the City of New York, Lincoln Day speeches were given by people who knew him personally. And the principal speaker at a Springfield, Illinois banquet at which the governor was toastmaster was Booker T. Washington, who recounted that his first knowledge of Lincoln was in a slave cabin, hearing his mother pray that Lincoln might succeed. NYT headline: “Negro at Lincoln’s Home.” Sigh.

A better headline, to a story about a “boy highwayman” who robbed a bank in Highland, CA, then escaped arrest by joining the posse looking for him: “Robber Pursues Himself.”

Airplane factories are having trouble keeping up with demand, with 600 expected to be delivered for the spring season. People wanting immediate delivery are having to pay as much as $8,200. The cheapest, the Demoiselle, is only $1,000.

France has many more planes flying about than the US does, and manufactures more of them.

The British Army has developed a military dirigible.

William Jennings Bryan declares war on liquor. He castigates the shift from locally owned saloons, which the community could pressure, to branch saloons owned by liquor producers, which “adds the evils of the trust system to the evils of the saloon itself. The saloon is constantly used to debauch politics, and to prevent the intelligent consideration of public questions.”

Dr. D.A. Sargent, Direct of Physical Training at Harvard, says that the physical condition of woman has been improving rapidly, but it would be “absurd” to say that she will ever be the physical equal of man. Nor is it desirable, because that would “interfere with her physiological functions”. By “physiological functions,” he of course does not mean respiration, digestion, etc, but rather pumping out babies. However, he does say that women are now far improved from the “weak, hysterical little thing” of a few years ago.

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