Nineteen days until Christmas? It hardly seems possible! Procrastination has taken hold of me when it comes to presents. All the ideas are there, just the effort to get them done is still on Thanksgiving break. Feels like finals week all over again. To aid in whatever you are procrastinating, we have another edition of Headlines in History.
Scott County Kicker (Benton, MO):
In one of the most articulate newspaper articles I have read from this time period, the author of this article makes a sweeping condemnation of modern Christianity. Namely, it is a political critique, where the basic tenements of Jesus’s teachings, in this author’s opinion, have been pushed aside for capitalist gain. The only people who the author seems to think follow the example of Jesus are the socialists, a group believed by many as without religion. It is shocking how little people in America know about political ideologies. Even today, government officials are branded as socialists and Pope Francis is labeled a Marxist. Get your ideologies right, people! And remember, Jesus only asked that we love our neighbors, rich or poor.
The Labor World (Duluth, MN):
Though I would expect nothing less from a newspaper with this title, it seems there was one Christian who did keep true to teachings. Samuel Shank was elected mayor of Indianapolis in 1910, after a career as an actor, director of a comedy troupe, yeast salesman, and auctioneer. In 1913, labor disputes erupted in the city, with workers demanding higher pay and better working conditions. As was common at this time, local and federal troops were sent in to clear out the workers and allow for scabs to keep the factory running. Shank disagreed with this tactic, reasoning that the companies in his city refused to negotiate, so it shouldn’t be the government’s role to punish the workers. He ended up resigning rather than be forced to use the police in a way he felt was inappropriate. Good guy, Shank.
The Washington Times:
How to get politicians to listen to your demands? Head down to the sleazy part of the city where they go for “drinks” after work. For those of you interested, the term “red-light district” has its origins around this time period. Many theories have been put forward as to the exact etymology of the word, but my favorite one is that railroad workers brought red lanterns to brothels with them so their companions could find them in case of a railroad emergency.
The Tacoma Times:
Times haven’t changed much. Even in 1913, hazing was front page news.
The Evening World (NY, NY):
In a move that the music world might celebrate today, Oscar Hammerstein was prevented from establishing a competing opera house in New York after complaints by the Metropolitan Opera. Oscar died a year later, but his son, Oscar Hammerstein II wasn’t demoralized by the loss of this endeavor. In fact, he became one of the most famous theatrical producers of all time, with titles such as The Sound of Music, The King And I, and South Pacific under his belt.