Saturday, May 05, 2012

Today -100: May 5, 1912: Even a rat in a corner will fight

Taft on Roosevelt: “He thinks the job is more than running the government. The job, he thinks, is to introduce social revolution.” He added, in a campaign speech in Maryland: “I am a man of peace, and I don’t want to fight. But when I do fight I want to hit hard. Even a rat in a corner will fight.”

Roosevelt, also scheduled to give a campaign speech in Maryland, had to wait for a fight between two dogs to end.

Half of the Mississippi delegates to the Republican National Convention are black, sounds like by quota. Booker T. Washington is lobbying the black delegates to switch from Taft to Roosevelt.

A big women’s suffrage parade in New York City. 10,000 people (1,000 of them male)(Teddy Roosevelt was invited, but didn’t come), 2 hours. The women wore white. Watched by huge crowds, including some hecklers: “They were for the most part the young men with their hats on the sides of their heads – of the same class that make nuisances of themselves at Coney Island in the Summer.” Banners read Votes for Women and “All this is the natural consequence of teaching girls to read.”

The NYT news coverage of the parade is surprisingly uncondescending, its editorial not so much. It calls the women marchers “obviously healthy and presumably intelligent” (which is restrained when compared to the way the London Times throws around the word “hysteria” when discussing British suffragists), but declares that women’s suffrage would play havoc with society and that men need to be “firm and wise enough and, it may as well be said, masculine enough to prevent them.” The editorial does the slippery slope thing: “Granted the suffrage, they would demand all that the right implies. It is not possible to think of women as soldiers and sailors, police patrolmen, or firemen, although voters ought to fight if need be”.

French Army Lt. Col. Gombault has an article bringing to France’s attention the fact that the army has only 21 dirigibles, while the Germans have 29.

The Italian navy occupies Rhodes.

The Mexican rebels appoint a pretender to the presidency, Emilio Vasquez Gomez.

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