Bluestocking Journal

Real history, through the eyes of a fictional person

Tag: sports

Football, Educated Bears, and a Magical Chink

at least it doesn't say "chink" in the ad

This ad appeared in the Urbana Courier-Herald on December 14, 1912. Here is the full text of the review in the same paper:

Mlle. Spellman and her educated bears will be the Waker [sic] feature for Monday—this is some act for it has played before the crowds at the New York Hippodrome. Big bears and little bears, but all of them trained marvelously are put through difficult and amusing paces. The intelligent bears head a bill which includes Nadell and Kane, comedians; Nealis and Hopkins, “The Postman and the Maid,” and Ah Ling Foo, the Chink magician. Final performances tonight of Nan Halperin and her “Suffragettes,” an amusing musical show featured by Nan herself—she is a comedienne of originality and her imitations of “vodvil” are worth a trip to the Walker.


Thursday, November 21, 1912

W. C. Woodward, University of Illinois class of 1911, broke the world record for working the way around the globe. He completed his tour of the world in 245 days. “In Paris he sang American ragtime songs to amuse frequenters of the cafes.” Woodward, a crack swimmer, now resides in Chicago but is back in Champaign for the time being.

The United States government launched a sudden crusade against “physicians and manufacturers who exploit for profit the demand for methods conducive to race suicide.” Postal inspectors in all parts of the country conducted raids simultaneously. A total of 173 persons were brought in, charged with using the mails to promote criminal medical practices or the sale of materials for illegal purposes. Most of those arrested are “pill doctors” who operate using the mail. I am still trying to figure out what exactly is meant by “race suicide,” but it must be very important, since “BLOW TO RACE SUICIDE” is one of the headlines.

Sunday, November 17, 1912

A representative of the Pathe-Freres Company of Chicago attended yesterday’s game and took two hundred and thirty feet of film. “The pictures will in all probablility be released about four weeks from now, when they will be shown in the Lyric Theater along with the Pathe Weekly.”

And there is an announcement of a new campus restaurant:

Wednesday, November 13, 1912

Am I the only one who finds typographical errors amusing? I was amazed to see that in this Kaufman & Company advertisement, they managed to spell “chrysanthemums” correctly but failed utterly at “Illinoisans,” “Champaign’s,” and “loyalty.” I don’t even know what to say about “There are FREE.”

A man in Benton, Illinois, purchased a revolver and vowed to kill all the “Bull Moosers” with whom he came in contact. First he entered a grocery store, but the weapon failed to discharge, and he was arrested and later adjudged insane and taken to the asylum.

In New York, the notorious suffragist Maud Malone was found guilty of wilfully disturbing a public meeting. When Woodrow Wilson spoke in the Brooklyn academy of Music on October 20, Miss Malone insisted on knowing his views on woman suffrage. “Since Mr. Wilson has never committed himself on that subject he evaded her question. Miss Malone insisted, and was arrested.”

Monday, November 11, 1912

The unsuccessful grocery-store burglar from Friday night returned during the day Sunday and stole about $2 from the cash register. The Danville bloodhounds failed to arrive Friday, but last evening dogs arrived from Paxton and followed a trail to the vicinity of the Champaign gas house, where they lost the scent.

Five hold-ups occurred in Champaign Saturday evening, with particularly bad results for a wealthy retired farmer, who was knocked unconscious and sustained severe scalp wounds. The perpetrators are believed to be two well-dressed white men. The robberies occurred on North Walnut street, on East Main street, and in the Washington street subway.

A motorcyclist drove his machine through the ranks of the Odd Fellows attending the funeral of Andrew J. Dunlap at the First Christian church yesterday, as they prepared to leave for the Mount Hope cemetery. The man was recognized, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

I had no idea that the Urbana youth football team was called the Microbes. They were beaten 44 to 0 yesterday by the Champaign Stars on the Lynn street gridiron. Perhaps they ought to change their name to something larger.

Friday, October 25, 1912

“President Taft will speak on national political issues at the court house in Urbana tonight. His address will be given in conjunction with that of Hon. John J. Brown of Vandalia. The latter will be here in person, but the president will not. His speech will be communicated by means of phonographic records, received today by the local republican committee.” Three colored women, sent by the National Progressive Bureau, will speak and sing at progressive headquarters in Champaign on Saturday night.

A mass meeting of university students will be held in the auditorium tonight to attempt to save football. It has been arranged by students, and every student will be asked to pledge not to riot. “It is believed that the orgie at the Walker opera house, Saturday night, struck the game a death blow and that nothing but an heroic effort will revive it.”

Thursday, October 24, 1912

This Peoria Herald-Transcript editorial by George Fitch, a well-known author, pokes fun at the U. of I. over its recent student rioting problem:

Dispatches we may expect from Illinois University during the coming winter.

Champaign, Oct. 30.—During a quiet little celebration over the defeat of Depauw on the gridiron seven hundred U. of I. students made a bonfire of the First Congregational church last night. All books in the public library were thrown on the blaze and the students marched round the burning structure singing, “What the Hell Do We Care?”

Champaign, Nov. 13.—During a class fight at Illinois University last night students blew up three of the University buildings with nitroglycerine. The trouble started when a gang of seniors compelled two freshmen to jump off the top of the water tower.

Champaign, Nov. 30.—The end of the football season was hilariously celebrated by University students last night. Seven policemen were lynched and hung at various points in the chapel and the legs were sawed off thirteen professors. This has been the most successful season in the University’s history, and the state will be asked to double its appropriation next year.

Monday, October 21, 1912

Following the Illinois football victory over Indiana, over five hundred university students stormed the Walker opera house on Saturday night, bombarding the building with bricks, breaking windows and battering down doors. A chorus girl fainted onstage. Another chorus girl was struck by a brick in the dressing room. Another on fell down the dressing-room stairs after fainting. A stage hand was struck on the head by a brick, and a Champaign High school student was knocked unconscious by a blow from a club.

The side door went down, and the crowd rushed in “but was halted by a line of determined stage hands, armed with clubs, hatchets and revolvers.” George Huff, the director of athletics at the university, mounted the fire escape and told the rioters, “Murder will inevitably result if this is not stopped. I certainly would not blame the theatre management if its men shot you. This is a disgrace to the university. If you want to kill football, you are taking the best way. These disturbances have been argued as a reason football should be abolished.”

His speech quelled the riot, but the mob soon reorganized and broke up Speaker Charles Adkins’ political meeting for the second time that evening. Earlier, the students had gathered around the automobile where Adkins, of the Illinois House of Representatives, was making a speech in the interests of President Taft and Congressman McKinley. “By hooting and firing revolvers, the gang forced Mr. Adkins to desist.”

Sunday, October 20, 1912

The new comic act at the Walker Theater is a “militant English suffragette” armed with a huge mallet, who sings a song and makes a speech. Also at the Walker is “The Village Lockup” (a sketch of rural life), the minstrels Moore and Browning, and the Kuma Japs.

Apparently there was a student riot at the opera house following the Illini football win, but the front page of Papa’s Daily Illini is missing today. I imagine there will be something in the Courier-Herald tomorrow about the riot.

Saturday, October 19, 1912

Eight students were injured and a female spectator fainted at the annual pushball contest between the sophomores and freshman of the university yesterday. Some players were trampled, one student was rendered delirious by head injuries, and one was kicked on the head and rendered unconscious until late last night. “The Iron ticket cage in front of the Co-op was utilized to good advantage when forty sophomores locked in two of the freshmen and then dragged the cage around to the Sigma Nu house where the hose was turned on the two prisoners, who were then left to their fate.” (The sophomores won by a score of 5 to 3.)

I did not write earlier about the crippled newsboy in Gary, Indiana, who gave his leg for amputation to save the life of a young woman who was badly burned in a motorcycle accident and needed skin grafts. I am saddened to report that the newsboy has died from pneumonia that developed because of the anesthetic he was given before the operation. “As death stiffened his fingers a rose, given to him by the girl for whom he was sacrificing his life, fell from his hand upon the coverlet of the hospital cot.”