Thursday, May 31, 2012

Today -100: May 31, 1912: Get him a nurse and a perambulator

Wilbur Wright dies of typhoid fever at 45.

There’s some nonsense about a memo from then-President Roosevelt about some architectural alterations to the White House being “permanent during my lifetime,” which some people are claiming means he envisioned making himself president-for-life, or something. TR says this can only be “heeded by men with brains of about three guinea-pig power.” He’s not wrong.

Headline of the Day -100: “Talk of Imperialism Annoys Roosevelt.” At Gettysburg for a Memorial Day speech, TR says that just like the talk by “foolish people” after the Civil War about the North establishing a dictatorship, so too if any man talks about Roosevelt making himself a dictator, “get him a nurse and a perambulator.”

Possibly needing an especially sturdy perambulator, Taft, making his Memorial Day speech at Arlington, says the Civil War was all about preserving the limitations of the Constitution and popular representative institutions, by which I assume he means no one serving a third presidential term.

US Marines will guard mines in Cuba.

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