Monday, January 09, 2012

Today -100: January 9, 1912: Of electric chairs, cocked hats, native reverence & complete submission, and Blease

NY County Sheriff Harburger has seen that execution and is now convinced that the electric chair is completely humane. So that settles that. One detail: they took the guy’s temperature after the execution, and it was 128 .

A letter Woodrow Wilson wrote in 1907 (before he entered politics) has come to light, and is being pushed by the Hearst papers, expressing the wish that Democrats could “do something, at once dignified and effective, to knock Mr. Bryan once and for all into a cocked hat.”

An article in the NYT
on King George’s visit to India, objectively written by a British colonial administrator and headlined “India Reconciled By King’s Visit,” says that this alleged reconciliation with imperial rule is “the natural expression of native reverence and complete submission.”

South Carolina Gov. Coleman Blease issues his second State of the State address. He wants negro lodges (that is, the equivalent of Shriners, Rotary, that sort of thing) banned because they help members charged with crimes pay for lawyers. He wants white teachers barred from teaching black students. “We boast of the fact that we have no social equality in South Carolina, yet white people are teaching in negro schools, who are associating with the pupils and teaching them that they are as good as white people and are instilling into their heads ideas of social equality. Not long since a white woman (and a good looking one) was seen walking on a negro school ground with one arm around a negro boy and the other around a negro girl. What do you expect to be the outcome of this kind of conduct? Stop it, and stop it now.” He wants the state to buy an electric chair. He boasts that the state’s murder rate is down and that there was only one lynching last year, but he warns that lynchings are inevitable: “When a negro puts his hands on a white woman, he knows what is coming”.

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