Here are some one liners...
Talking a Wilde Leap Off Your Own Pedestal -- Oscar Wilde makes a bad decision. I talk about my friend, Charlie, who blew his brains out.
A Compromise on Civil Rights -- Booker T. Washington goes for the possible now rather than what is impossible... now.
Limits on the Right to Strike -- The Pullman union president is going to jail. I talk about the air traffic controllers strike in 1981.
Notable Births -- Gracie Allen, J. Edgar Hoover and Buckminster Fuller.
In Other News -- X-Rays, the space elevator and Volleyball.
Talking a Wilde Leap Off Your Own PedestalWhen you are at the height of your career, try not to stumble over your own feet because it can be a very quick "trip" to the bottom. Oscar Wilde has reached his pinnacle. He is the author of "The Picture of Dorian Gray" which almost got him arrested on morals charges. Yet, he remains the favorite of the "Bohemia in tiaras" crowd. His play, "The Importance of Being Earnest," premieres in London this year. It is a satire on the trivial restrictions of Victorian society like fidelity, honesty, the pursuit of love and marriage. The Marquis of Queensberry is sick of Oscar, so he leaves a note, labeling him a "posing somdomite'. (Apparently, the Marquis can't spell, but you get the idea.) Since sodomy is a crime in England, Wilde has the Marquis arrested for libel. This is a mistake because even in London, the truth is a very powerful defense. As the trial unfolds, Oscar Wilde's sexual antics are revealed. In Victorian society, people will look the other way as long as one doesn't make a spectacle out of ones self, but Oscar is making a spectacle. Wilde is arrested for "gross indecency". Bail is posted by Reverend Stewart Headlam on principle. (Good man.) Wilde will be found guilty and sentenced to two years hard labor. ("Hard labor" in Victorian times is VERY hard.) After his release he will leave for France, never to return. His health and his finances will dwindle away. He is done.       
A Compromise on Civil RightsBooker T. Washington is the founder of Tuskegee Institute, a teacher's college in Alabama. (It is more like a vocational school for Black people at this point, but it will eventually grow into a university.) Booker T. knows fundraising and he knows politics. He is the master of the possible. That is why he has announced a compromise between white and black people of the South. At the first, many freed slaves sought positions of leadership, starting at the top, so to speak, but with the return of sovereignty to the Southern states, the white legislatures have been passing laws to crush the political power of black people. Aside from the ugly aspects of racism, stifling the efforts of one third of the South's population is ultimately self-defeating for the South. Since Booker T. realizes that he cannot stop the destructive legislation coming down the pipeline, he proposes a compromise. Black people will stop their call for political equality, and concentrate on education... starting at the bottom and working their way up, so to speak. What is needed are teachers, nurses, and skilled laborers. He is working on what can be done right now. At first many black leaders support his compromise, but as it becomes clear that no compromise is possible. Black leaders will form a new political organization, the NAACP (the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) in 1909.
Limits on the Right to StrikeEugene V. Debs is president of the American Railway Union. He and others have joined with the factory workers of the Pullman Palace Car Company in a general strike. The purpose is to shut down all railroad traffic in and out of Chicago, but in doing so, interstate commerce and US mail delivery have been interrupted and by every indication they will continue to be interrupted. The railroads are a common carrier, and they have contracts with the US government to carry the US mail and transport troops. Thus, the Federal government has a duty to keep the railroads running. But the union strike has gone beyond a mere work-stoppage or boycott of certain services. Engines have been derailed, traffic signals have been disabled and signalmen assaulted. The American Railway Union has defied a court order to cease and desist the blocking of the railroads. After careful consideration, the Supreme Court blesses the power of the Federal government to enforce the Interstate Commerce Act, and to remove all obstructions to interstate commerce. It can also use its constitutional powers to keep the US mails operating. In other words, Eugene V. Debs and the others named in the court order are going to jail. Unions have only a limited ability to strike when employed by a common carrier such as an interstate railroad company. 
- Gracie Allen (Comedian and wife of George Burns. "Say goodnight, Gracie.") 
In Other News
- X-Rays are discovered. Wilhelm Röntgen (RONT-gen) will win the Nobel prize for this discovery. 
- The space elevator is first conceived. The Russian pioneer of rocket science, Tsiolkovsky (sol-KOFF-ski), suggests that a tower into space might be constructed. 
- Volleyball is invented at the YMCA because basketball is just too violent.