Aug. 10, 1909
PRESIDENT SETTLES IN AT SUMMER WHITE HOUSE ON BOSTON'S NORTH SHORE; AMONG THE WEIGHTY ISSUES HE TACKLES IS GOLF: Today's Globe reports that Taft, who just arrived in Beverly for a vacation, will be spending much of his time on the golf course (He's pictured above in 1908 at Hot Springs.) The Globe unabashedly refers to Taft's girth and weight. Some examples, in the first four paragraphs of the front-page story:
One of the President's chief sources of worry is his avoirdupois. To keep down his weight he denies himself many things he likes in the food line. Liquors are also debarred by him because they have a tendency to put on flesh....
The President says that playing golf does not reduce one's weight, but that it helps keep one down to normal condition.....
The secret of keeping down one's flesh, he says, is to know what to eat and when to stop eating. The President's friends here say that he has mastered all the details and knows all the secrets of the art of reducing flesh.
One odd sequence in the article demonstrates the reluctance of news reporters to QUOTE the PRESIDENT DIRECTLY. The section is sub-titled "Talked with Reporters". It goes in this way:
The President sent word through Sec. Carpenter that he would see the newspaper men at his cottage at 3 p.m. Promptly at that hour the President was on hand to keep his appointment, having returned from the golf links a few minutes before. He shook hands with the score or more reporters who are assigned to "cover" him while he is here.
He hadn't any news, but he chatted pleasantly for 15 minutes with them, called those whom he knew personally by their first names, patted on the back others who sought to get him to talk politics and laughed off their questions and "jollied" one of the Washington correspondents about the lack of harmony between the shade of his hosiery and necktie.
Fifteen minutes of conversation... and... no direct quotation.
GLOBE DESIGNATES CROOK AS WORLD'S MEANEST MAN: The back page of today's Globe has a stunning headline. It reads:
MEANEST MAN ON
EARTH, THIS THIEF
That's making quite a claim. The label is NOT attached to a named person. Instead, it goes to the unknown thief who yesterday stole the clothing of David Faye Whitcomb, who had drowned in Brookside Pond, which is in or near Great Barrington, Mass.
Whitcomb's clothes and effects had been taken to the home of Frank Eisner, who lives near the pond. The dead man's belongings -- and about $250 worth of jewelry belonging to the Eisners -- were taken from the home. For this act, the perpetrator "has earned for himself the distinction of the meanest man on earth."
Not surprisingly, the article says, "a clew [sic] points to the perpetrator having been with a circus." What did he leave behind? A clown's wig?
But the MEANEST MAN????? What about King Leopold?
TARBELL'S OIL FIGHT PAYS OFF: I thought one of the brief editorial statements in the Globe was pretty clever. It reads, "Miss Ida M. Tarbell has been made a doctor of literature, an honor which is thoroughly deserved. It pays to burn the midnight oil." [Emphasis added.]
Her "The History of the Standard Oil Company" (published in McClure's Magazine in 1902-1904) is considered by many to be among the top five works of journalism in the 20th Century.