Bluestocking Journal

Real history, through the eyes of a fictional person

Tag: school

Wednesday, November 6, 1912

Woodrow Wilson will be our next president, and it looks as though the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives will go from 64 to 100; the Senate will probably go from a Republican majority of seven to a Democratic majority of one. Theodore Roosevelt said, “The American people by a great plurality have decided in favor of Mr. Wilson and the Democratic party. Like all other good citizens I accept the result with entire good humor and contentment.” The progressives did far better than the republicans overall. Governor Wilson said a great many things, but the odd bit that struck me was this: “I got up on a chair so that you could not see the patch upon my head.”

The democratic landslide was felt here as well. Congressman McKinley’s re-election bid was defeated by 800. “Boyd Blain, republican candidate for circuit clerk, alone survives the slaughter.” The unofficial chart of local district votes shows the progressives to be very strong. Roosevelt won in Illinois by over 85,000 votes. A straw vote at my school and and Leal School likewise went badly for Taft, although McKinley did far better.

An intoxicated man fired a shotgun at another man at the polling booth at the Collins store on Hill street. His first shot missed, but his sister managed to disarm him before he could get off another shot.

And to wrap up today’s election journal entry, I feel I must paste in this clothing shop advertisement:

Monday, September 9, 1912

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.”

Wednesday, September 4, 1912

“The Urbana city council has a baseball team that is not to be sneezed at, contrary to reports circulated by envy-green Champaign that it is composed of an awkward squad, better adapted to playing horseshoes.” These are our elected officials.

Suffragists will maintain a booth at the Minnesota state fair “where every man, whether married or single,” may have his socks darned. Here is their slogan:

     Darn the government; darn the socks,
     That’s the way to the ballot box.
     Patch the holes in hubby’s hose,
     March to the polls and voice our woes.

Out of forty-two proposed amendments to the Ohio constitution, all look to have been carried except the Equal Franchise Amendment to give the vote to women. The men must be terribly frightened of us. Perhaps they are worried that with all that voting and such, women won’t find the time anymore to darn their socks.

Mrs. Georgia McIntyre Weaver graduated from law school in Atlanta, but unfortunately women are barred from the practice of law in Georgia. I suppose she will have her diploma framed and displayed in the sewing-room.

In St. Louis, Dr. Sarah F. Wells has died of scalds received from falling into a tub of hot water. She was the proprietress of a “queer little apothecary shop,” had fifteen cats, and was reputed to be both wealthy and a witch. She was also a “graduate of Oberlin university, founder of medical colleges, author, lecturer, traveler, adventuress and charlatan,” and her late husband was an eccentric aeronaut and poet. They sound so very interesting!

A monkey escaped from the circus in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and raided a grocery store. It clawed a college student, charged the police—who fled in response—and tore a cat to pieces. A small boy finally managed to coax the monkey into a chicken pen.

The Illinois state fair (in Springfield, October 4 to 12) promises a fleet of airships, and all are to be in the air at one time! Said Secretary Dickinson, “Madame De Vonda will fly in a hot-air balloon—I believe she is to go up about half a mile and then come down in a parachute.”

School starts Monday in Urbana, and the list of required texts for each grade is in today’s paper. There is a piano sale at Lloyde’s! I wonder if I can convince Papa to buy us one.