U.S. Wars on Loafers and “Sports” [May 23, 1918]

U.S. Wars on Loafers and “Sports” [May 23, 1918]

This item appeared in the May 23, 1918 issue of the Lake County Times, in Hammond, Indiana.

Prowlers Must Fight, Says U.S.

Slickers and Slackers, Night Owls, Gamblers and Idlers Will get Shock After July lst.

It is estimated that in Hammond, Gary, East Chicago, and Whiting there are 1,000 idlers affected by the U. 8. war department’s new ruling. Many of these men sleep by day and prowl by night. Some of them are gunmen. They are draft dodgers. News that Uncle Sam is after them is glad news to the police departments of the Calumet region cities. (more…)

The Decay of American Manhood (1917)

The Decay of American Manhood (1917)

This essay by John Harvey Kellogg appeared in Association Men, the official publication for Y.M.C.A. leaders during World War I. The piece caught my eye because so many people I encounter have an almost unreasonably nostalgic view of the past that does not make sense when looking at the world through the words of people living at the time. “People are people” and that has always been true.

The Decay of American Manhood

By J.H. Kellogg, M.D.,
Battle Creek, Michigan

History records nothing so wonderful as the development and progress of this great nation in the last hundred years.

But a blight has struck us.

American manhood is decaying.

We are going morally at a terrifying rate.

We have foes at home more deadly and destructive than our European enemies.

Davenport has shown that one in every hundred men is mentally defective, insane, epileptic, habitually criminal, or feeble-minded.

Recent military examinations have brought out most appalling facts.

Major Orr, a medical officer of the regular army, tells us that two to three out of every four applicants for the army are rejected as physically unfit.

Draft examinations show more than half our young men unfit for military training.

The examinations of the Life Extension Institute show only one man in a hundred wholly free from disease and physically fit. (more…)

Fairies on Bullets Save Lives

Fairies on Bullets Save Lives

This rather sweet letter was reproduced in the Richmond Times-Dispatch on Sunday, May 14 in 1916 on the front page.

Fairies on Bullets Save Lives of Many

British Soldier, in letter to his little niece, describes how they do it.

Sing as they Ride Along

Missiles get so hot sometimes that the little guardians have to jump off,
says writer in concluding epistle from battlefield.

Special Cable to The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

LONDON. May 13. – In a letter to his six-year-old niece, a British soldier describes the fairies who ride on the bullets and direct them so as to save the lives of many:

“You know ‘or’nery’ people who don’t know nuffin’, and who think reason explains everything. would just tell you the reason why most bullets don’t hit anybody is just that they miss ’em.

“But people who really understand – I mean people who have enough imagination to get up in their dreams and go out and see the fairies dancing on the dewy sward when the sunbeams twinkle on the crystal globules – these people know better. And I can tell you just how it is.

“You see. the fairies have eyes like marigolds and as keen as eagles. They see 10,000 times as quick as mortals do, and they move just as speedily as thoughts do.

“They see the bullets coming out of the rifles, and as it comes each bullet is bestridden by a fairy, who tweaks its nose and guides it harmless along, and the fairy sings sweetly all the time.

“That is why when a bullet whizzes past your head you hear it humming like a bee, or droning like a bumble bee, or maybe whistling or whining or singing.

“But sometimes yon don’t even hear that, and yet the bullet doesn’t hit you. You just hear it pass with a breathing whisper or a gusty noise. That is when no fairy has seen it in time to get astride and guide it, but all the fairies near a soldier just gather round and blow it past.

“Sometimes the bullet gets so white hot on its way that the fairy has to jump off, and then perhaps somebody sets hurt, so now all the fairies are getting asbestos pants for their spring
costumes. Don’t you think that is jolly?”

Top illustration by Arthur Rackham.

Pajamas for Zeppelins

Pajamas for Zeppelins

LONDON SEES NEW STYLES IN PAJAMAS:
ZEPPELIN SCARES ARE THE REASON

The Zeppelin scares in London have produced new and interesting styles in slumber wear. Londoners, knowing that they may be called forth into the street at any time of night, are now going to bed properly prepared. Pajamas are having a greater vogue for both men and women, probably because the design of the garment permits a measure of modesty in rapid flight

The old-fashioned “nighty” has been almost altogether abandoned.

Source: Bismarck Daily Tribune, November 16, 1915

Click to Enlarge

(more…)

Reading Jeanette Rankin’s Head

Reading Jeanette Rankin’s Head

Jeannette Pickering Rankin was the first woman to hold high government office in the United States when she won a seat in the United States Congress in 1916.

Rankin, born 1880, was the eldest daughter of a rancher and a schoolteacher near Missoula, Montana, on June 11, 1880. She graduated from Montana State University in 1902 and moved on to the New York School of Philanthropy (later the Columbia University School of Social Work). After working briefly as a social worker in Spokane, Washington, she entered the University of Washington in Seattle.

Rep. Jeanette Rankin of Montana, right with muff, reading The Suffragist (1917)

Rep. Jeanette Rankin of Montana, right with muff, reading The Suffragist (1917)

It was there that Rankin joined the local woman suffrage movement that achieved its goal in Washington State in 1910. She eventually became a professional lobbyist for the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Her speaking and organizing efforts helped Montana women gain the vote in 1914.

Rankin decided in 1916 to run for a House seat from Montana. Some woman suffrage leaders feared she would lose the race and hurt the cause nationally, but Rankin secures a GOP nomination for one of Montana’s two At-Large House seats on August 29, 1916.

She campaigned as a progressive, pledging to work for a woman suffrage amendment and emphasizing social welfare issues. A long time pacifist, Miss Rankin did not shy away from letting voters know how she felt about U.S. participation in the European war that had, by then, been raging for two years: “If they are going to have war, they ought to take the old men and leave the young to propagate the race.”

Rankin came in second place statewide so won one of Montana’s seats.

(more…)