Monday, March 29, 2010

Today -100: March 29, 1910: Of patience, apoplexy, and rolling eggs

Teddy Roosevelt addressed the University of Egypt, praising British colonial rule in the Sudan and saying that “the training of a nation to fit it successfully to fulfill the duties of self-government is not a matter of a decade or two, but of generations.” He quoted “the old Arab proverb, ‘God is with the patient if they know how to wait.’” Roosevelt of course was renowned for his... patience. He also came out against assassination (Egypt’s Premier Boutrous Pasha Ghali, grandfather of the UN secretary-general, was assassinated by a nationalist in February). And he opposed the nationalists’ demand for a constitution: “Some foolish persons believe that the granting of a paper Constitution, prefaced by some high-sounding declarations, in itself confers the power of self-government.”

Supreme Court Justice David Brewer dies of apoplexy.

Easter egg-rolling at the White House. Here’s a surprise: “Children of the rich and the poor, white and colored, all were admitted and had the run of the place for their games and their picnics.” An inter-racial event at the White House – however did the Republic survive? No adults were admitted unless accompanied by children, but some small boys hired themselves out to successive adults who wanted to see the custom.

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