Republicans: “Ma, Ma, where’s my Pa?. Washington Sept. 15, 1884.
As the race for president continues to heat up, Republicans have coined a new campaign slogan: ”Ma, Ma, where’s my Pa?“ It is designed to remind voters that the Democrat Grover Cleveland, a 47-year-old bachelor, allegedly fathered an illegitimate child, something that he has not denied.
Cleveland, the Governor of New York, will be opposed in the election by James Blane of Maine, formerly Speaker of the House of Representatives and later a senator.
Sargent causes a scandal with “Mme. X”. Paris, June 1884.
“Detestable! Boring! Curious! Monstrous! These are some of the reactions provoked by John Singer Sergeant’s scandalous ”Portrait de Mme. ****“, unveiled here last month. Sergeant, the young ex-pat painter born in Florence of American parents, departs in this work from the decorous mien usually preferred by his aristocratic patrons in favour of the brash sensuality of this newcomer to the European social scene. The subject of the painting is the wife of an eminent Parisian banker, Madame Gatreau. She is in fact an American whose rumoured liaisons include Dr. Samuel Pozzi, one of the artists closest friends and the subject of one of his portraits.
Attacks on Chinese soar. Wyoming Territory Sept. 30, 1885.
It has not been a good year for those Americans worried about the fate of the nation’s minorities. Anti-Chinese sentiment appears to be running high everywhere.
Unfortunately, more than just ill-will is being vented against the Chinese. Riots, beatings destruction of property and killings are the order of the day. This anti-Chinese sentiment culminated in one of the most savage demonstrations of violence in Wyoming’s history here today.
Resentment is running high even though many of them have lived in Red Rock Springs for a decade, they have not organised into a co-hesive body. What’s more, they are willing to accept lower pay than white miners doing the same job. British and Swedish miners took exception to the Chinese attitude and a fearsome riot broke out . Before the smoke settled, 28 Chinese were dead and at least 15 wounded. Several hundred others were chased out of town.
Memoirs finished General Grant dies at 63. New York July 1885.
One of America’s heroes President Ulysess S. Grant, died here today at the age of 63, his lustre tarnished only a little by the financial scandals that plagued his administration. Large crowds of well-wishers had been strolling past Grant’s quaint cabin of late in hope of catching a glimpse of the ailing former Union general. Grant, who had been at work completing his memoirs, died penniless.
100,000 Workers join national strike. Chicago May 1, 1886
In an impressive display of solidarity, more than 100,000 left jobs across the country today under the rallying cry “Eight-hour day with no cut in pay.” The Federation of Organised Trades and Labour unions, which led the call for a general strike says more than 240,000 will show their support with strikes or slowdowns. Chicago, with 40,000 out and marching in the streets, is the centre of the disruption. But across the country, enclaves of industrialism have exploded like a steam boiler Though often disagreeing the Trades Unions share a distaste for confrontation. After repeated failure of repeated efforts, the federation resolved in December that“ Working men, in their endeavour to reform the prevailing economic conditions, must rely upon themselves and their own power exclusively”.
Bomb shatters Haymarket labour rally. Chicago May 5, 1886.
A bomb exploded in Haymarket Square yesterday, killing one policeman, wounding many and perhaps shattering at its peak the national labour movement for shorter hours. The attack appears to be the work of the Black International, an anarchist offshoot of Karl Marx’s Socialist International. It came as 190,000, workers across the country were ending the fourth day of a vastly successful general strike. As the labour journalist, John Swinton reported two days ago : “it is n eight-hour boom, and we are scoring victory after victory”.
Giant Statue of Liberty dedicated. New York Oct. 1886
From 305 feet above the ground, sculptor Auguste Bartholdi gazed out upon New York harbour. Hundreds of vessels scudded about, their passengers eagerly awaiting the unveiling of Bartholdi’s statue, Liberty enlightening the World, a gift from France to the United States. Within the base of the figures crown, Bartholdi as waiting to pull a cord that would show the world his creation.
Americans in love with magnitude. New York Nov. 19, 1886.
Big things are for men who occupy big countries and big offices Chester Arthur, who died yesterday, once mused after he left the White House, “there does not seem anything else for an ex-president to do but go into the country and raise big pumpkins.” Says Teddy Roosevelt, whose only office is his North Dakota ranch after losing a mayoral bid in New York City, “Like all Americans, I like big things, big prairies big forests big mountains and big everything else.
With the National League 11 years old, baseball is thriving. Batters get four strikes this year and will be allowed to take first base when hit by a pitch. In New Orleans, manager Abner Powell now offers “Ladies Day” to fans.
Annie Oakley, 27, in Wild West Show. London June 20, 1887.
“What a wonderful little girl” pronounced Queen Victoria today as she accepted a handshake from Annie Oakley. Annie’s sharp shooting tricks have made her the star attraction of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and the darling of America. At 30 paces they say, Little Sure Shot’ can slice a playing card sideways.
Harrison wins despite loss in popular vote. Washington Nov. 6, 1888.
Benjamin Harrison, grandson of a former president , won his own key to the White House today by defeating the current Chief-of-State Grover Cleveland. Harrison lost to Cleveland in the popular vote, 5,444,000 to 5,540,000, in an eight man race. However he won 233 of the electoral votes, far more than needed for election. Cleveland as next with 168 electoral votes. Levi Morton of New York won the Vice-Presidency. The Harrison victory was viewed as something of a surprise, for just last year he lost his bid for re-election to the Senate.
Jacob Riis shows America “How the Other Half Lives” in squalor. New York, December 1889
“The power of the fact is the mightiest lever of this or any other day” says journalist Jacob Riss, who is using his trade to highlight the plight of the poor on New York’s lower East Side. His illustrated article, How the Other Half Lives is published this month and paints a grim picture of the American slum. “In the tenements,” Riis laments, “all influences make for evil.” “Hotbeds of epidemics” and “nurseries of pauperism and crime, they breed ”40,000 human wrecks“ each year.
Riis, a Danish immigrant with a profound faith in American individualism, has harsh words for the lazy and the deceitful, but offers more than just homilies on the work ethic. He wants to see better enforcement of housing laws; public funding for parks, flower gardens and children’s camps
Women unite to seek national sufferage. Washington Feb. 18, 1890.
Casting aside past differences to seek a common goal, the National Women Suffrage Association and the American Woman Suffrage Association merged today to form the National American Woman’s Suffrage Association. Mrs Elizabeth Cady Stanton, aged 73, was elected president. The new association acknowledges that progress has been achieved on the municipal and the state level towards gaining woman’‘s suffrage, but national voting rights have yet to be realised.
New York institutes use of electric chair. New York Aug. 6, 1890
New York state officials threw a switch and instituted a new type of capital punishment today - electrocution. After his lawyer failed to win an appeal against this unusual punishment, convicted axe murderer William Kemmler was strapped to an electric chair and hundreds of volts were sent surging through his body. Electrocution is intended to be a humane alternative to hanging.
Sioux slaughtered at Wounded Knee. South Dakota Dec. 29, 1890.
Those fallen braves, whom the Sioux in their Ghost Dance have urged to rise again, have only been joined by more dead. A terrible massacre is reported at Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The United States Seventh Cavalry has killed 153 Minneconjou Sioux, half of them women and children. The great leader Big Foot is among the slain.
Louisiana mob kills 11 reputed Mafiosi. Rome, Italy Mar. 1891
The Italian government recalled its minister to the United States today to protest the murder of 11 Italian-American citizens in Louisiana. A mob broke into the New Orleans prison March 14, and executed 11 reputed Mafia members suspected of killing the city’s police chief David C. Hennessey. The mob hunted down 11 of 19 prisoners allegedly involved. Nine were shot and two were hanged. Hennessey was investigating Mafia links when he was assassinated last October.
Gold Rush at Cripple Creek; miners pour in. Colorado, 1891.
State officials say they cannot determine the exact number of gold seekers who have inundated the little settlements of Crede and Cripple Creek during the past year, but they must number in the thousands. While gold and silver miners have worked this state for years, renewed interest was sparked earlier this year when a cowboy, Bob Womack, accidentally discovered what appears to be a mammoth new gold field near ‘Cripple Creek. With the government expected to retain the gold standard, experts predicting that even more fortune hunters will be heading this way.
State Troopers crush Homestead strike. Pennsylvania Nov. 20, 1892
With nine in their ranks dead and their union broke from fighting legal battles, 3,000 workers voted today to end a five- month strike at the Carnegie steel works. Despite vanquishing a 300 man Pinkerton force in July, they return defeated, as non-union men. Strike leaders, many of whom have faced exhausting trials for murder and treason, will find themselves black-listed.
Trouble began in January when Andrew Carnegie’s deputy Henry Clay Frick, a union buster known as the “Coke King,” demanded an 18 to 26% cut in wages. After finding himself hung in effigy, Frick shut the works in June. Some 3,000 unskilled workers joined the 800 Amalgamated mn in a highly organised strike. Early on the morning of July 6, Pinkerton men tried to debark from the barges bringing them to the scene but shots split the air. All day, strikers took pot shots, lobbed dynamite at barges, spread oil in the water and launched a flaming raft towards the intruders. Finally with 20 hit and seven dead, the Pinkertons yielded. Six days later, an efficient state militia opened the plant to strike breakers.
Chicago fair marks 1492 discovery. Oct. 23, 1892
When Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492, he neglected to drop anchor in Lake Michigan. That fact has not deterred Chicago from making itself the site of the World Colombian Exposition, a celebration of the discovery of the New World 400 years ago. At this afternoon’s dedication ceremony, Vice President Levi Morton announced to the 100,000 onlookers at Jackson Park, “I dedicate these buildings to a humanity.” And what buildings they are!
Pristine white edifices of a classical design, they surround a beautiful man-made lake and fountain. From the Palace of Fine Art to the Fisheries Building, they represent a triumph in unified design Humankind showed less accord today: after the speech by the Vice President, free refreshments were served, and some people in the crowd resorted to fisticuffs to grab the limited number of sandwiches.
Dalton Boys killed while robbing a bank. Kansas Oct. 5, 1892
The tow Dalton brothers Bob and Emmett, were shot dead today when they attempted to rob both the First National and the Condon Banks here. They were well known in the area, having helped themselves to money in several banks and trains. At the time of his death, Bob Dalton had a price of $6,000 on his head, put up by the Southern Pacific Railroad Company. Neighbours say that the brothers came from a respectable family. Bob was said t have been both a chief of police and a marshal, but to have swopped his honour for a life of crime.
112 m.p.h. Train is world’s fastest. New York, May 10, 1893.
Although some question remains about the exact speed, it can certainly be said that the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad locomotive N. 999 is the fastest vehicle on land or sea. Travelling down a slight grade, the locomotive, which pulled four cars and a tender, was clocked by the conductor at 112.5 mph. This figure has been disputed by those who, working mathematically, say the engine is too small to attain such a speed.
Dvorak: New World. New York Dec. 16, 1893.
To many Americans the New World may no longer seem all that new, but it has inspired in visiting Czech composer Antonin Dvorak a work of exceptional beauty, his Symphony No.9, From the New World. Dvorak, invited to be the director of a conservatory of music, completed the symphony several months after he arrived last year. In that short time he has come under the sway of native American melodies and rhythms. Many listeners ere struck by how the New World seems to allude to Negro spirituals and Indian dances.
Market panic leaves nation in panic. New York City, June 27, 1893.
Stock market weakened by monetary uncertainty, dwindled gold stocks and business failures suffered additional setbacks today in the wake of the abandonment by India of silver coinage. The sudden switch to gold by the government that was the idol of free-silver men the world over promptly sent Western mining stocks and silver itself to new low price levels. With the legal ratio of silver to gold in the United States at 15.98 to 1, the silver dollar is now worth only 60 to 61 cents, and it continues to drop.
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