Sunday, October 23, 2016

History: The Year is 1890

I've uploaded year 1890 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Wounded Knee Massacre -- It is a massacre in every sense of the word. Unarmed women and babies slaughtered by US troops and they get 20 Medals of Honor for it and a promotion.

Chicago Wins the World's Fair -- They have no clue how they are going to put together a World's Fair. I also recommend a novel, "Timebound" where a time traveler goes back to the Fair to stop a murder.

The Sherman Anti-Trust Act -- This is government protecting us from the bad guys, and taking years and years to do so.

Notable Births -- Fokker, Ho Chi Min and Eisenhower.

In Other News -- Chicago World's Fair, Psychology and Rubber gloves to protect the surgeon... not the patient.

The Wounded Knee Massacre

Men, women and little children are going to die today who shouldn't have died and US soldiers will die mostly in "friendly fire" incidents and receive medals that they should have returned. Different people tell different stories about what happened, so if you have heard a different story, then it is different. Here is one account. The Ghost Dance Movement is popular amongst the Indians. It is based on Christian ideals of faith in God, honesty, good works, and hope for Heaven. It also predicts the return of Jesus very soon. The Ghost Dance itself is a circle dance familiar to all Indians. However, warriors now wear Ghost Dancer shirts in the belief that they will block bullets. The new regional commander of US forces thinks that the Ghost Dance stands in the way of Indian assimilation into civilized society. The general policy of the US government is to turn the Indians into farmers whether they like it or not. The warriors don't like it, so... in the process of rounding up resisters, the Lakota Indians are funneled toward Wounded Knee Creek. Exactly what happened next is unclear, but either a deaf Indian didn't understand that he was supposed to disarm, or someone tripped over his own feet, but a shot rings out. Then more shots are fired. US reinforcements show up and chaos reigns. There is no plan. Just shoot men, shoot women, shoot babies. Shoot anything that moves including your own men. There is a word for this type of fighting. Actually, I can think of several words, but children under 40 might be listening. There is a body count.... minimums. At least 18 little children dead. 44 women. The rest is a mix of boys and men. Maybe 300 in total for both sides. The regional commander, General Miles rips into the Colonel James Forsyth and immediately relives him of command. In the end, the Indians will bury their dead at Wounded Knee. Colonel Forsyth will be promoted to Major General and 20 (count them) 20 Medals of Honor will be awarded for conspicuous bravery, and distinguished gallantry while gunning down little children. I don't know what to say. Most Americans at the time were OK with the massacre. I think I'm going to throw up. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
Perhaps it was the following morning when the saying went out:
"Those who were wounded at Wounded Knee have been brought here, and they are lying right now in the church, filling it up,"
so my mother and I hurried to the church.
People kept going there to look on, but as for me, I only went that once; I didn't like them, so I didn't go again. Smelling of blood, looking so dirty, they were spoiling our church; they were yelling so hard now, when really it was their own fault for being intractable.
--A mixed-blood woman and informant named Emmy Valandry.[6]

Chicago Wins the World's Fair

The World's Fair in Paris was marked by the construction of the Eiffel Tower last year. To many artists the tower is a wrought iron atrocity, but to the people of Chicago, it represents a challenge. Competition for the 1893 World's Fair has been fierce. New York is the natural choice and it is backed by New York financiers, but Chicago wants it bad. Chicago is the largest city in the United States, although they won't know it until the Hollerith tabulating machines process the US census. Chicago has built its first steel-framed skyscraper... the tallest in the United States... ten stories tall! (I get dizzy just thinking about it.) Yet the city is considered unsophisticated by New York standards, and perhaps it is. Yet when the voting comes in, Chicago wins! The citizens are ecstatic, but the organizers are worried. They have NO EARTHLY IDEA how they will make it happen. It is supposed to be a celebration of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the New World by Columbus. (One year off. Close enough.) At its center will be the world's first Ferris Wheel. They will also introduce the belly dancer to America, moving pictures, and Krupps' artillery exposition featuring "The Thunderer" which can hurl a projectile 15 miles. They call it a peacemaker. The buildings will be stuccoed and painted white. With electric lights keeping it lit at night the buildings will gleam, so they will call it "The White City". [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK. That all sounds very happy, but by July they still hadn't picked out the exact site. (They finally selected Jackson Park.) It was a miracle they got it built at all, and they made an impact. I have mentioned before that a serial killer was preying on young women who came to Chicago. As early as 1890 the Chicago Tribune was printing a warning to women that REAL classified ads for stenographers DO NOT include phrases like "must be blonde" or "please transmit a photograph". I'm drawing most of my information on the serial killer from Erik Larson's book "The Devil in the White City," but if you like romance mixed with time travel, check out the novel "Timebound" by Rysa Walker. A teenage girl must go back in time to the Chicago World's Fair to prevent a murder and fix the time line. As one might guess, she runs into the Chicago killer, Dr. H. H. Holmes, who had already murdered around 200 women and burned their bodies into ash in his basement. [12] [13]

The Sherman Anti-Trust Act

This law should be named "The Sherman Lack-of-Trust Act", but you can usually trust businessmen to look after their own best interests. Specifically, US Senator John Sherman of Ohio has been worried that Standard Oil is killing competition and circumventing state law. Ohio state law prohibits corporations from owning stock in other corporations, so Standard Oil set up an umbrella organization that holds several corporations in trust. In other words, the Standard Oil Trust manages multiple corporations... sort of like a real estate management service that keeps an eye on your apartments, collects rents, mows the lawns and calls a plumber when needed. But the Standard Oil Trust is seen as a legal dodge. They have been lowering prices to the consumer, and killing competition. (Are they really? Who knows?) The Sherman Anti-trust Act makes monopolies, and conspiracies between corporations illegal. Senator Sherman assures the public that the Act, "...applies old and well recognised principles of common law." Of course, one wonders why one needs a new law if it is simply a restatement of old laws. In two years Ohio will break up the Standard Oil Trust and Standard Oil will become a holding company based in New Jersey. 21 years from now it will finally be broken up into multiple companies. That will be a long wait. [14]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
This is a tricky subject. If I open a business and offer a product that is better and costs less than my competitors, am I bad? Should the government do something? In the 1980s the Japanese were accused of dumping below-cost computer memory onto the American market. Certainly the memory chips cost less than what American companies could produce them for. America was once home to several major electronics firms, but a slump in the market caused American companies to put their efforts into more complex semiconductor chips with a larger profit margin. When the memory market became profitable again, Japan and Korea were well positioned to take advantage, but the American companies needed to retool to become competitive. This is an old story. Large, well-established companies don't want to retool, so they demand that government do something. President Reagan imposed an 100% tariff on the Japanese televisions, computers, and other items in retaliation. It was a bold stroke that came too late. So what should have happened? Nothing. No help. My sense is that American companies were expecting the US government to protect them from foreign competition. Because of that expectation, they got lazy, killed their own innovation and locked themselves out of their own market. Passing yet another law won't protect a business from the big bad guys. All a law can do is to punish them after the fact... long after you are out of business. [15] [16] [17]

Notable Births

  • Anthony Fokker: He will design the Red Baron's Fokker Triplane in World War 1. (Those Fokkers were amazing.) [18] [19] [20]
  • Ho Chi Min: He will become the 1st President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and a major thorn in the side of the USA during the Vietnam War. [18]
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower: He will become the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War 2 and a very effective (if somewhat quiet) President of the United States. [18] [21]

In Other News

  • William James publishes "The Principles of Psychology". He is considered the first American psychologist. He prefers an introspective approach instead of the behavioral conditioning of his day. [18] [22]
  • Rubber gloves are used for the first time in surgery. Dr. Halsted of John Hopkins Hospital wants to avoid dermatitis. In other words... the gloves are there to protect HIM! [18] [23]
  • West Point hosts the first Army-Navy football game. Navy wins, 24–0, but Army will make a comeback next year, 32–16. [24]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1890, Wikipedia.

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