August 19, 1909 (Thursday)
IN WAR GAMES, THINGS LOOK BLEAK FOR BOSTON'S DEFENDERS: The front page headline (above) looks alarming.... but it's just dealing with the war games being conducted south of Boston. The Globe appears to be having some fun with this one. I mean, how often do you get to write a headline like that, and not be worried about being blown out of your desk chair? The cartoon at the right is one of a number of comical illustrations dealing with the situation. The characterization of Boston as an older woman seems apt. Her hat is fabulous -- drawn from the dome of the Capitol building that adorns Beacon Hill. The caption at the top reads, "It begins to look as though the old lady will have to fight." It does not indicate what she has used for ammunition. The projectiles do, however, resemble baked beans.
Not surprisingly, Boston is designated as home to the BLUE army, which is under the command of Gen. William A. Pew Jr.
Gen. Tasker Bliss commands the Red army. In one of yesterday's biggest developments, the left flank of the defending Blue army was driven back five miles to South Hanson "in a running fight."
One group that was surprised in an ambush was [in the Globe's words] "the colored heroes of the 10th U.S. cavalry." They were beaten back by the 8th Massachusetts infantry. The Globe quoted one of the "fine, upstanding warriors in bronze." They did it in the journalistic equivalent of blackface (bearing in mind that I have yet to see a quote of a Massachusetts speaker that tries to capture the distinctive Boston accent). Here's how this quotation appears in print:
"Ah tell yo' for a fac' we all nevah got mo' of a suhprize in all ouah lives, even in the islands from the gugus [a nickname used by U.S. troops for Filipino rebels], tha yo' soldiahs gave us yesteda. Three troops of us walk right intuh it and everything's lookin' nice and easy and alto once--o-o-o-mph, o-o-o-o-oop--the unduhbrush jes' break right out with mahchine guns, and the umpiahs says we are all killed or wounded. We wan't nevah a-lookin' for no such trap, but you-ah men are cuhtinly all right."
THE ROCK STARS OF THE DAY: NEWSPAPERS KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON THE FINANCIERS, SUCH AS THE AILING E.H.HARRIMAN: Today's Globe has an update on Page 9 on the health of railroad tycoon E.H. Harriman (right). He's on his way back from Europe, weeks ahead of his scheduled Sept. 4 east-to-west trip on board the Mauretania. Instead, he and his entourage left Cherbourg yesterday on the Kaiser Wilhelm II. Before boarding the tender that was to take him to the liner, he said, "Now I am better. My cure is finishing, and I am very glad I am going to see the soil of America again. My only hope is that the voyage back will be as good as that coming over." All eyes were on the financier as he left the train from Paris and headed for the tender. The Globe story says, "Dr. Lyle offered the financier his arm, but although he was pale and appeared feeble he declined assistance and slowly descended to the platform. He also declined to use the rolling chair and walked without assistance aboard the tender."
Before leaving Paris, Harriman's secretary told representatives of the press that Harriman was going to go to his family's summer home at Arden "to rest and complete the cure begun in Europe."
A little foreknowledge indicates that Mr. Harriman has little time left. He will die on Sept. 9, 1909. But the public utterances don't let on how serious his health is.
RIVER INDUS IS READY TO SWEEP AWAY A CITY: The city of Dera Ghazi Khan, on the banks of the Indus River, is about to be abandoned. Today's Globe reports, in a story with a Bombay dateline, that the Punjabi city has for months been slipping into the river. It says, "The process of erosion is going on very rapidly. From 50 to 100 feet of the river front is being swept away every day, and one by one mosques, mansions and hovels are disappearing in the swift stream. Every effort of competent engineers to devise a way to protect the city has been futile." [It will be replaced by a new Dera Ghazi Khan, about 10 miles away.]