Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Today -100: December 6, 1911: Of lynchings, blasphemy, good government and women voters, and the State of the Union

NYT Index Typo of the Day: “ENGAGED WOMEN MOB TRIANGLE WAIST MEN.” Enraged, of course.

A mob at the ironically named Valliant, Oklahoma, lynches a black man, hanging him at the fairgrounds.

And in Washington, Georgia, a T. B. Walker evidently murdered a white guy, then escaped from a lynch mob, was captured and sentenced to hanging, escaped, was recaptured, then was shot in the face by the brother of his victim (the brother will not be tried for this attempted murder) as he was standing in court being re-sentenced, and was executed just three hours later (so quickly because they were afraid he’d manage to escape again).

The London Times reports that Thomas William Steward, president of Free Thought Socialist League and of the British Secular League, has been convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to 3 months for saying “God is not a fit companion for a respectable man like me.”

Los Angeles Mayor George Alexander (Good Government Party) is re-elected, soundly defeating Socialist candidate Job Harriman, who can’t have been helped by being one of the lawyers for the McNamara brothers, who confessed to that little dynamiting job just last week. Even Alexander is at least a little socialist, supporting municipalization of telephones and utilities, including bakeries. A prohibition proposition for the city fails, badly. Women, voting for the first time, had a turn-out of over 90% and more women voted than men.

Taft issues his third State of the Union address, or at least the first part of it, dealing with corporation law. He calls again for provision for corporations to be (voluntarily) incorporated at the national rather than state level. That got nowhere after his SOTU two years ago, so he uses... the exact same words. He also insists that the Sherman Anti-Trust Act not be amended to reverse the Supreme Court’s ruling that it applied only to “unreasonable” restraint of trade. He thinks that as the Act becomes “better understood” over time, judges and juries will become more willing to imprison people who violate it than they have been up until now.

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