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Tag: Warren G. Harding

Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Introductory Comments:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumbThis day, March 14th, has seen some important events in the history of our country. During this primary season of the Presidential Election campaign, we hear a lot about Town Hall Meetings and Caucuses; it was on this day that the first town hall meeting was held in Boston. This day witnessed George Washington side-tracking a potential officer coup d’étate by Continental Army officers with his "Newburgh Address." It was also the day that witnessed UN forces retake Seoul during the Korean War. Eli Whitney was granted a patent for his "Cotton Engine" that made the growing of cotton profitable and ultimately triggered the Civil War to maintain access to slave labor. The FBI issued its first "10 Most Wanted" list on this day and Jack Ruby was sentenced to death for the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald. So, let’s take a closer look at some of these events…

faneuil_hall

This day witnessed several major milestones in the history of our American democracy. In 1743, the first recorded town meeting occurred at Faneuil Hall in Boston. Interestingly, this original meeting became the opportunity for the community to become informed about issues rather than to allow the people to vote on issues of current importance as is done with the caucuses being held during this election season, especially in the Republican Party’s primary landscape. On this day, in 1783, just after the signing of the Treaty of Paris, officers of the Continental Army were ready to rebel and take over the fledgling American government over a pension dispute. As they met in Newburgh, they were ready to march on the Congress when George Washington delivered an unscheduled speech that became known as the "Newburgh Declaration." Both of these events would allow our experiment in representative government, unique in the world at that time, that would culminate in the ratification of the strong United States Constitution in 1789. There, again, Washington arose over the populace zeitgeist to insist on a democratic presidency rather than the monarchy that the colonists were used to from their European heritage.

BE030041 (RM) TMH 03/14/2011At the time that the patent for the "Cotton Engine" (Cotton Gin) was issued to Eli Whitney in 1794, the slave-based economy of the southern states was not well understood. Processing cotton, once grown and harvested, was an intensive, difficult job because of all the seeds in the cotton bolls. This was hard, handwork; not the type of work that non-slaves would do! The cotton gin enabled large amounts of cotton to be process, the seeds removed (and themselves processed into oil) and the cotton ready to spin. This made the planting of large fields of cotton economically attractive, but required slave labor to tend, given all the weeding and harvesting required. This made a slave-based economic system emerge as the key factor in the southern states. As the abolition movement in the north gained momentum, the southern states feared the spread of this non-slave economy into the south, destroying their agrarian way of life. The roots of the civil war might actually be traced back to this invention!

In 1951, the Korean War was the major event on most people’s minds. This was the first "hot" conflict in the Cold War between the democratic Western Powers and the communistic Soviet Union. Each of these major powers had their proxy states: the UN and the United States defended South Korea while the communist People’s Republic of China (PRC) supported North Korea; Korea had been partitioned at the 38th parallel after World War II. This conflict seemed to carry on interminably. On this day, the US Forces, under the UN umbrella, launched Operation  Ripper in 1951. This operation would recapture the South Korean capital of Seoul for the second time. The Korean War would continue until 1953 when two major events occurred: Joseph Stalin, the hard-core dictator of the Soviet Union and developer of the communist expansion scheme, died. The second event that brought this war to a armistice was the election, in 1952, of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, leader of the Allies in Europe during World War II, was elected President. The Korean peninsula remains a hotspot in today’s world.

fbi-most-wanted-fbi_gov_1

Two major law enforcement events also occurred on this day. In 1950, J. Edgar Hoover issued the FBI’s first "10 Most Wanted" list. This list identified those fugitives from justice that were considered the greatest threat to society at any moment. It would help promote capture of the FBI’s "toughest guys" by eliciting info from the American people. The second legal event on this day occurred in 1964 when Jack Ruby was sentenced to death for the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, the suspected assassin of President John F. Kennedy. A Texas Court of Appeal would overturn the verdict and ordered a new trial. Ruby would die of lung cancer in 1967 while awaiting his new trial.

And now a piece of trivia for the day. Who was the first president to file an income tax return? The answer is Warren G. Harding, president from 1921 to 1923. He was associated with cronies from Ohio who were corrupt; they were convicted and sent to prison! The "Teapot Dome" scandal occurred during his administration and he was known to have at least four affairs during his time in office; Clinton’s indiscretions may not be all that bad! Overall, Harding is considered to be one of the worse presidents that we have had in this country.

We now will proceed to examine some of the events that are associated with day in history... GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1745 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Jack Ruby:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/jack_ruby.html ]

    

“Maybe something can be saved, something can be done.”
— Jack Ruby

“Someone had to do it. That son of a bitch killed my President.”
— Jack Ruby

“I am as innocent regarding any conspiracy as any of you gentlemen in the room.”
— Jack Ruby

“It may not be too late, whatever happens, if our President, Lyndon Johnson, knew the truth from me. But if I am eliminated, there won’t be any way of knowing.”
— Jack Ruby

“Jackie Kennedy was magnificent in the days and weeks immediately following her husband’s assassination. She was especially wonderful to me.”
— Pierre Salinger

“I have been used for a purpose, and there will be a certain tragic occurrence happening if you don’t take my testimony and somehow vindicate me so my people don’t suffer because of what I have done.”
— Jack Ruby

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary:

JerryPhotoDuring the first vote on the ratification of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles that included the League of Nations, a coalition of Republicans lead by Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge and Democrats almost gathered the two-thirds vote to successfully ratify the treaty. This ratification would have been with the modification to Article X which related to the deployment of League of Nations peacekeeping forces without Senate confirmation. The failure to ratify left the end of World War I “hanging”.

President Wilson’s campaign for popular support for the League of Nations was cut short by a stroke. When Harding won the presidency in 1920, his isolationist stand bode poorly for another chance for ratification; the previous coalition was no longer intact. The Knox-Porter Resolution was passed the accept the terms of the armistice to formerly end our involvement in World War I. We had reentered our national cocoon!

Mass_demonstration_in_front_of_the_Reichstag_against_the_Treaty_of_Versailles

The Treaty of Versailles was ratified by the other allies. And almost more important than the treaty was the creation of the League of Nations. Even though the latter was limited by the absence of the United States, the mandates included the protection of the French and British empires an the division of the German colonies between the two victors.

The hard lesson to learn from this experience still haunts us. We are a world power, but are somewhat capricious our exercise of that power. We have been involved in regional undeclared wars that drain our resources but don’t necessarily enhance our standing in the international community. Someday we will perhaps learn our lesson.

So, let’s start our exploration of the role of Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge in the ratification of the Treaty of Versailles…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 3109 Words ]
    

   

Quotations Related to HENRY CABOT LODGE:

    

“I would rather see the United States respected than loved by other nations.”
— Henry Cabot Lodge

“Recognition of belligerency as an expression of sympathy is all very well.”
— Henry Cabot Lodge

“We should never suffer Cuba to pass from the hands of Spain to any other European power.”
— Henry Cabot Lodge

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