Monday, September 9, 1912

by Elizabeth

Today was the first day of school in Urbana. That horrid Nellie person was in my class, and I don’t want to say any more about that. On to the paper!

A local woman, Mrs. Mary Frame, explains that she did not attempt suicide. She drank ice water and was seized with cramps, so she took a spoonful of laudanum. She claims she was “overcome by the heat and the effects of the ice water rather than by the drug.”

Whoever set the type for this article about an Urbana man getting a contract with a big orchestra must have been overcome with excitement, because part of the headline reads, “WILL PLAY FIRST VIOLIN WITH CINCINCINATTI SYMPHONY.” (Maybe he considers Cincinnati particularly sinful?) In any case, the orchestra’s board of directors includes President Taft’s wife, so it is particularly prestigious. Mr. Sol Cohen the violinist abandoned his plans for individual concert work because the New York managers wanted “from $3,000 to $5,000 to book him and from 5 to 10 per cent of his earnings. Mr. Cohen learned that, no matter how skilled an artist, they bleed him to the finish as long as he remains in their hands.”

I don’t really understand what is going on at the Mexican border, but apparently the situation is very grave, and senators have charged that President Taft might send the army into Mexico, make himself a “war president,” and “rely upon that to bring victory to himself and the Republican party in November.” The president declared that it would be “hard to conceive of a president who would use his office to throw the country into a way that experts have predicted could not end in less than two years, that would cost millions, that would mean the sacrifice of thousands of lives and ruin for years to come the basis of the nation’s friendship with the Central and South American republics.”

And even farther away from both my town and my understanding, rebels have taken over Yunan, a walled city of 100,000 inhabitants. The governor general was driven out by the town’s own army. “Yunan province is one of the most prosperous districts of China,” the article says, “inhabited by an intelligent class of people.”

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