Politics, 100 Years Ago

One of my favorite new RSS feeds or email subscriptions from the Library is put out by the folks who bring us “Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.” (RSS here, email sign-up here.)

The feed gives a daily look at what was going on in the news 100 years ago — something I tried a couple of times on my own (here and here).

Apropos of the current election season, I recently received this link to a page from June 19, 1908, in the Washington Herald, which proclaims the nomination of William Howard Taft for president.

There is plenty to note on the front page alone, such as Theodore Roosevelt’s peculiar use of the word “peculiar” in his congratulatory statement. There is also this little un-PC observation from a raucous GOP convention in Chicago: “That great audience, numbering to-day nearly 20,000 persons, was in a grand swelter. The lean people liked it–rather enjoyed it–and the fat folks swore under their breath.”

Maybe our modern-day conventions are cheerier affairs because of something as simple as air conditioning?

“Chronicling America” is a terrific resource, and it’s wonderful to have gems like that coming daily (oops, I meant “weekly”) via email.

8 Comments

  1. Website Design
    June 24, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    lol @ the un-PC comment about the GOP convention. That would totally never fly in 2008 haha… actually, I’m quite confident that the official would be forced to resign after the ensuing scandal. lol, I love america! Its amazing how times do change though.

  2. Mary J. Johnson
    June 25, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    Speaking of 100 years ago, it was in 1908 that the last Democratic National Convention took place in Denver, and now, 100 years later, it is again happening in Denver. We have some exciting things happening for educators and students, as you can see if you go to the “When History Happens” Web site: http://www.whenhistoryhappens.org/. If you click on Resources, you can view lots of primary sources related to 1908, including a few newspaper articles. Several organizations have helped put together the When History Happens program, including Teaching with Primary Sources–Colorado (an educational outreach program of the Library of Congress) and the Denver Newspaper Agency, among others.

  3. top_headlines
    June 28, 2008 at 9:01 am

    excellent post – I will be sharing this with my readers today!

    Get your Top News Headlines Here!

  4. Chris
    July 4, 2008 at 8:32 am

    A fantastic post, thanks for sharing it with us.

  5. Sharma nani
    July 17, 2008 at 6:50 am

    100 years ago also politics as politics..

  6. Chip
    July 17, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    Oh, that is so cool. I’m actually afraid that the Dow Jones Average might be the same as today.

  7. Pete
    July 21, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    Very interesting. It’s good to gain a different perspective on politics 100 years ago

  8. Anton Hagen
    August 15, 2008 at 7:29 am

    lol @ the un-PC comment about the GOP convention. That would totally never fly in 2008 haha… actually, I’m quite confident that the official would be forced to resign after the ensuing scandal. lol, I love america! Its amazing how times do change though.

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