Bluestocking Journal

Real history, through the eyes of a fictional person

Tag: Taft

Friday, December 20, 1912

The first trip over the new electric line between Kankakee and Urbana was a rousing success. Congressman William B. McKinley, the president of the ITS, bought ticket No. 1 with a bid of $100, and F. K. Robeson secured No. 2 for $50. Children at schools along the track were dismissed to see the car go by, and one lucky class was invited aboard the second car for the remainder of the trip. At Thomasboro, the passengers were greeted by the village brass band at the gaily decorated new station. Everyone expected the trip to end there, as the trolley wire is only up as far as Thomasboro, but instead they were taken to the end of the new track, just south of Rantoul; this was accomplished by coupling a steam locomotive to the electric cars.

President Taft is very cross with the president of Mexico, and the United States is on the verge of occupying that country. Four warships are at the ready in Mexican waters.

Wednesday, November 27, 1912

There is a turkey famine in Centralia, Illinois! “Most of the housewives will have to serve the Thanksgiving spread minus this luxury.”

In Philadelphia, the National American Woman Suffrage association convention closed after adopting resolutions praising President Taft for appointing a woman as head of the national children’s bureau, commending the crusade against the traffic in women, and indorsing arbitration to prevent wars.

And speaking of woman suffrage, here is an advertisement for the talk that will be given here by Charlotte Perkins Gilman next month:

Friday, November 8, 1912

Today is a day for terse, single-sentence reports.

A street car was derailed at the sharp turn at Lincoln and Oregon streets, knocking down a telephone pole and giving the passengers a bad fright.

President Taft has issued a proclamation declaring the last Thursday of November to be an annual holiday of Thanksgiving.

The famous tragedienne Sarah Bernhardt was attacked by a bear in a London museum.

1912 Election Resources

The Library of Congress has an extensive collection of materials relating to the presidential election of 1912, and its resource guide also provides links to external websites. Listen to sound recordings of Taft, Wilson, and Roosevelt giving campaign speeches. Check out some sheet music from the election. You’ve already made up your mind about the 2012 candidates anyway.

Also I am linking the full text of the Republican campaign text-book (1912) here because I don’t know where else to put it, but I don’t want to lose it.

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.”

Aunt Jemima at the White House

This alarming ad appeared in the Urbana Courier-Herald on October 15, 1912.

The 1912 Presidential Election

The presidential election of 1912 was significant because it included a viable third party. Professor Sidney Milkis, author of Theodore Roosevelt, the Progressive Party, and the Transformation of American Democracy, joins NPR host Robert Siegel for a discussion on this important centennial. Highlights include recorded snippets of speeches from Taft, Wilson, and Roosevelt. (A transcript is available.)

Presidential Election Of 1912 Saw Viable Third Party (NPR)

A lot of people were beginning to look at the socialist party, which was developing into a very important reform party with a very popular candidate in Debs as the alternative to the Republican Party.

And I’ve argued that had T.R. not, so to speak, preempted the socialist party, short-circuited it and stolen its thunder by proposing a more moderate form of reform, then the socialist party might have gotten many more votes than it did get in 1912.

Saturday, September 28, 1912

Here is the only local news that I found interesting today:

[On the back of this photograph is written “Illinois Theatre behind Flat Iron Building.” The photograph is from the website of the Champaign County Genealogical Society; go and check out their other historical photos, courtesy of the Champaign County Historical Archives. —Ed.]

Police say that a man who suicided in Pittsburgh was a member of a band of anarchists who meet each Sunday at a cobbler’s shop. He was, they say, assigned to kill President Taft, but he lost his nerve and threw himself in front of a train.

Friday, September 27, 1912

An Urbana man was injured slightly when he exited a street car. “Thinking that the car would stop, Mr. McLean jumped off while it was in motion. He fell heavily, painfully abrasing one knee and suffering a severe jolting. His trousers were torn, a fact lamented because he was on his way to a social gathering given by his daughter.”

Hundreds of farmers, despite searching all night using bloodhounds specially brought in via automobile, failed to locate the fiend who threw carbolic acid in Mrs. Jenks’s face north of Danville. She will be disfigured for life.

Governor Wilson called upon President Taft in Boston, and they had a pleasant five-minute meeting. Considering all the vitriol one reads from their respective parties, it is good to hear that the two candidates respect one another.

Saturday, September 21, 1912

A dairyman fell asleep in his wagon and was struck by an Oregon street car last night at California and Broad streets. Neighbors arriving on the scene found the wagon quite damaged and the team down, but “Bud” Smith was still snoozing on the seat. He said over and over, “Them ___ ____ fellers run too fast.” Worried that his arm was “busted,” he asked bystanders to “feel that lump.” The “lump” was his elbow. The motorman and conductor of the car stated in their official report that Smith was very much intoxicated.

Gordon Pettigrew, who is charged with implication in the death of Edna Vice as the result of an effort to produce an abortion, was brought up from Albion by Sheriff Davis last night. He only learned this morning that the girl was dead. Pettigrew, an eighteen-year-old member of a well-to-do family in Southern Illinois, would only say, “I’ve only been with that girl three times.” Before her death, Miss Vice confided to relatives that a Champaign physician, to whom Pettigrew had taken her a week ago, had performed a criminal operation on her.

The Bull Moose crowd in Urbana are very excited because Teddy Roosevelt may be here Monday. Roosevelt is to make a trip of three days on a special car through Illinois towns. An itinerary is given in the article.

Eugene V. Debs, the presidential nominee of the Socialist party, invited President Taft to enter into debate, but the president declined.