Bluestocking Journal

Real history, through the eyes of a fictional person

Tag: dance

Wednesday, December 18, 1912

A polite, well-dressed highwayman held up Miss Fannie Redding last evening on West Elm street, within half a block of the Race street business district. He said, “Excuse me, lady,” and relieved her of her purse, which contained only a small sum of money but was itself valuable.

In Belleville, Illinois, a riot was caused when two young women danced the forbidden steps of the “turkey trot” and the “bunny hug” at the assembly of the Modern Woodmen. They refused to stop, a policeman was called, and both were arrested. “The riot followed and more than a dozen men were injured.”


Monday, November 25, 1912

This news from Harrisburg, Illinois, struck me as somewhat odd: “In a duel with Andrew Johnson, a negro porter, and Night Patrolman Bud Tavender, the negro was shot three times and killed by the officer. Tavender suffered a scalp wound, inflicted by a slungshot, and Mary Baker, a negress, was shot in the abdomen and may die. The trouble started at a negro dance, where Johnson created several disturbances. Tavender was called in to quiet Johnson, who cursed the officer. Tavender arrested Johnson and started to jail with the prisoner, followed by many dancers. When near the public square someone struck at Tavender with a knife and Johnson felled the officer with a blow on the head with the slungshot. Tavender began firing at the fleeing negro, three shots taking effect in the breast and stomach. A stray bullet struck the Baker woman.”

Now, what I want to know is this: how can bullets strike a fleeing man “in the breast and stomach”?

Friday, October 11, 1912

On Wednesday, T. F. McCaferty ran his automobile through the plate glass window of the Kelley shoe store at Main and Neil streets in Champaign, but he “evidently was not content with so mild a form of excitement” and last evening drove his machine in front of a street car at State and Church streets. “The auto was smashed up, but McCaferty escaped with a severe shaking up.” Perhaps Mr. McCaferty should abandon the idea of motorcars altogether and get himself a nice horse and carriage.

The University senate may very well forbid the giving of the agricultural dance this year. “The chief objection against the dance is the large number that attend. The members of the senate committee are convinced that on this account the control of the dancers is well nigh impossible.” If you lose control of dancers, what happens? Do they careen into walls?

The Texas Tommy

Here is the infamous lewd dance that was banned at the University of Illinois in 1911.

Tuesday, October 1, 1912

Milton Bass, the soap-eating horse thief of whom I wrote earlier, has died in the penitentiary, as he predicted. He died of consumption and not soap, however.

The “Grapevine Twist” has been banned at all University of Illinois dances. They say it is even worse than the “Texas Tommy,” which was banned last year.