10 July 2008
I can’t believe I stopped doing these for over two months. I’m going to make sure I do one 1908 “above the fold” each week until the end of the year. Here’s today’s:
- William Howard Taft is getting ready to write his speech accepting the Republican nomination. He’ll be working with Republican National Committee chairman, Frank H. Hitchcock.
- Venezuela has recalled its Chargé d’Affaires from Washington in response to Washington having pulled its Chargé from Caracas.
- That’s William Jennings Bryan in the photograph. The stories below the picture:
a. The President denies having told Congressman Richmond Pearson Hobson (D-AL) that the US “would be in the midst of war with Japan within a year”*
b. The Lusitania is on pace to set a speed record for crossing the ocean. (Note: I’m confused by the end of this article, which seems to say that the ship has finished its voyage – was that information added later but the opening paragraphs were not altered or is there something I’m missing?)
- William Jennings Bryan has been nominated at the Democratic convention. It looks like it’s not quite official, but that he’s pretty much assured. The paper went to press before everything could be settled, so no word yet on who will be the Vice Presidential nominee. The longer article directly below looks like it was filed even earlier.
*Check out the denial from Roosevelt’s executive secretary:
In reference to the speech of Congressman Hobson, Secretary Loeb stated that the Congressman must, of course, have been misquoted. The President not only never made such a remark, but never made any remark even remotely resembling it. All the President has ever said is that if there was a sufficient navy there would never be any possibility of this country getting into a foreign war.
10 July 2008
Until reading the McClatchy blog post linked below, I’d never paid much attention to the phrase “etaoin shrdlu.” For more background, see here and here. Just for fun, I searched the New York Times historical archive: turns out it shows up 34 times between 1851 and 1980. I’m not sure what to make of the fact that 31 of those instances are behind the paywall, which implies that the mistake was more common more recently (not all of those instances are necessarily mistakes, but I suspect most are).
Of the three free instances, my favorite is
It’s a collection of excerpts from various papers, just as the subheadline says. Kind of like news aggregation today – and not only that, it’s “by Wireless*”! Comments are closed, though.
*”Wireless” meant something else back then? I don’t believe you.
10 July 2008
I wasn’t expecting when I started this blog to spend a lot of time writing about journalism, but then I never really thought of giving this blog any particular topic. Anyway, there’s actually one more Howells post coming – I still need to track down the passages for it – and I’m sure I’ll keep writing about media stuff, probably for the most part in a historiclish way: there’s a couple of books on the Washington Press Corps I’ve been meaning to read, more I want to say about Lincoln Steffens, another book I have lying around on newspapers during Reconstruction, etc.
Meanwhile, in the contemporary world, if you’re a fan of McClatchy’s reporting – if not, you really should be – things like this probably worry you. For more, see this post and its follow-ups on a McClatchy editorial blog (via Andrew, who notes: “If you want to know how angry and confused newspaper folk are about what’s happening to them, read the comments” to that post).