Bluestocking Journal

Real history, through the eyes of a fictional person

Tag: war

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:

What If Roosevelt Had Won in 1912?

Adolf Hitler might never have come into power, among other things.

Teddy Roosevelt And World War I: An Alternative History (Saturday Evening Post)

Monday, November 4, 1912

The Twin City Ministerial association has decided to set apart December 8 as a “white plague day” in the churches of Champaign and Urbana. At least 129 people in the county are afflicted with tuberculosis. The Champaign County Anti-Tuberculosis Health league is seeking more funds in order to open a free dispensary to the poor in the Twin Cities.

A woman telephoned police headquarters and said, “A man at 803 East California street is beating his wife something awful,” but the police declined to interfere without a warrant.

The Twin City Equal Suffrage league will bring the noted author and lecturer Charlotte Perkins Gilman to speak in town on December 5. It is likely that the Illinois theater will be the location.

A motorman was severely injured and two horses killed when a street car struck a dairy wagon on West Oregon street yesterday. The wagon driver, by a miracle, escaped injury. Witnesses say that he drove onto the track in front of the car while the gong was ringing.

Finally, James S. McCullough, a candidate for state auditor and an Urbana man, is “the only soldier of the Civil War on the Republican State Ticket. He lost an arm in battle for his country,” says his rather large campaign advertisement.

U.S. Occupation of Nicaragua Begins

This cartoon, entitled “Gettin’ Took,” appeared in the Urbana Courier-Herald on September 16, 1912.

The United States occupied Nicaragua from the summer of 1912 until 1933, when the Great Depression made the occupation too costly to maintain.

From 1909 to 1912, U.S. Marine Smedley Butler served in Nicaragua to enforce U.S. policy as part of the Banana Wars. Many years later, the highly decorated retired serviceman would write War Is a Racket.

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.”