Historical Events (June 12–June 18)
June 18, 1912
During the 1912 Republican convention in Chicago at the Chicago Coliseum (1513 S. Wabash Ave.), Theodore Roosevelt’s supporters in the gallery tooted horns and rubbed sandpaper together to imitate the sounds of the “Taft steamroller” which was running them over without considering their wishes.
They decided they couldn’t take it any longer, and they marched out of the Coliseum en masse to protest the convention. They moved to the Auditorium Theatre, where, led by Roosevelt himself, they created the Progressive Party. It was popularly known as the “Bull Moose Party,” which got its name after Roosevelt told reporters, “I’m as fit as a bull moose.”
The Bull Moose party platform – “New Nationalism” – included direct election of U.S. Senators, women’s suffrage, child labor laws, old-age pensions, and other social reforms.
While all the excitement was going on, the Cubs were playing a few miles away in West Side Grounds with quite a few players that won the series in ’07 and ’08. Frank Chance was still the manager, though he had played his last game as a player in April. Tinker and Evers were still manning their positions and were still not speaking to each other because of a long rift. Jimmy Sheckard and Wildfire Schulte were still in the outfield. Three Finger Brown and Ed Reulbach still anchored the rotation.
The Bull Moose party returned to Chicago in August to stage their own convention in the Chicago Coliseum. While Teddy Roosevelt was giving his speech, Johnny Evers was playing his first game back since being suspended for punching an umpire. It was a good time to come back, because the Giants were in town. 30,000 fans came out to West Side Grounds to see these arch enemies go at it. The Cubs won the game 6-5, thanks to two doubles from Evers.
The Cubs had a good year in 1912, but it wasn’t good enough. They ended the season with a record of 90-59, but finished 11 ½ games behind the Giants. The Giants went on to lose the World Series to the Boston Red Sox. Many Giants fans blamed the loss of the series to an error committed by their first baseman…Fred Merkle.
A few weeks after the World Series ended, America went to the polls, and Woodrow Wilson was elected President of the United States. Roosevelt split the Republican vote with Taft. He did, however, receive 88 electoral votes and more than four million popular votes. No third party candidate has since come close to that kind of success.
Roosevelt’s Bull Moose party existed until 1916, the year the Cubs first started playing in what is now known as Wrigley Field. When Roosevelt turned down the party’s nomination, and someone with a similar platform ran as a Republican (Charles Evans Hughes), the party disbanded.
The Bull Moose was put out to pasture, never to return.
June 12, 1924. Future president George Herbert Walker Bush is born in Milton Massachusetts. Cubs catcher Gabby Hartnett knocks in a couple of runs to lead the Cubs to a 9-5 victory over the Boston Braves at Braves Field.
June 13, 1966. The Miranda Rights are established by the United States Supreme Court. Gaylord Perry and the Giants shut out Ernie Broglio and the Cubs, 8-0. Willie McCovey hits a homer in the second inning to kick off the scoring.
June 14, 1922. President Warren G. Harding becomes the first president to have his voice transmitted by radio, during a ceremony dedicating a memorial for Francis Scott Key. The Cubs lose to the Giants in the 10th inning at Cubs Park, 5-4. Grover Cleveland Alexander takes the loss.
June 15, 1904. More than a thousand people die in New York City’s East River, after a riverboat catches on fire. The Cubs consider themselves lucky, as they had just left town the day before. They lose to the Braves in Boston 4-3.
June 16, 1884. The first roller coaster in America opens on Coney Island. The Cubs (known then as the White Stockings) are in Buffalo playing the Bisons. They lose 20-9, and fall into fifth place ahead of only the Cleveland Blues, the Philadelphia Quakers, and the Detroit Wolverines.
June 17, 1994. O.J. Simpson leads the LA Police on a slow speed chase. The Cubs are in San Francisco, losing 6-1 to the Giants at Candlestick Park. Mark Grace drives in the only run for the Cubs.
June 18, 1967. The Monterey Pop Festival ends, kicking off the infamous Summer of Love. The Cubs are on the other coast, splitting a double header with the New York Mets at Shea Stadium. Future Phillies GM Lee Thomas knocks in the winning run against Tom Seaver to claim the victory for the Cubs in game 2.