This Week in 1908 (November 3–November 9)

    By Rick Kaempfer
    In This Week in 1908
    Nov 3rd, 2017
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    How Long Ago was 1908?

    Republican William Howard Taft is elected President of the United States (Nov 3); winning all of the states in the North and losing every single state south of the Mason Dixon line.

    The electoral map of 1908 looks very similar to the electoral map of today, except that the parties are reversed. Also, there were only 46 states in 1908, but even if you added electoral votes from New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska and Hawaii to William Jennings Bryan’s total, he still would have lost to Taft. It was a pretty convincing victory.

    Sadly for Taft, he will be a one-termer.

    Birthdays

    *James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, is still a professor and basketball coach at the University of Kansas (He is 47 on Nov 6). He turns the job over to fellow Hall of Famer Forest “Phog” Allen next season.

    *“Gone with the Wind” author Margaret Mitchell turns 9 (Nov 8) in Atlanta, Georgia. She won’t write her classic novel for another twenty one years. It will become one of the biggest selling novels in history.

    *29-year-old Will Rodgers (Nov 4) is working in Vaudeville performing rope tricks.

    *The first female Nobel Prize winner, Marie Curie, celebrates her 41st birthday on November 7th. She will win a second Nobel Prize in three years…and there is no sign that she is glowing yet.

    *John Phillip Sousa turns 54 (Nov 6). He is well-known throughout America; widely respected as one of the first great American composers. “Stars & Stripes Forever” was written in 1896, and the Marine Corp Hymn (“Semper Fideles”) in 1888.

    *Leon Trotsky turns 29 (Nov 7). He is considered an enemy of the Czar because of his rabble-rousing activities. The Czar has tried to banish Trotsky twice in the past few years, but each time he escaped. Just a few weeks ago he started a bi-weekly Russian language Social Democratic paper aimed at Russian workers called “Pravda.” Trotsky and Vladimir Lenin will lead the Bolshevik Revolution in nine years.

    Elsewhere this week…

    *Notorious outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid are shot in Bolivia after being tracked down by the Federales (November 7th). As you can tell by this picture, Butch Cassidy looked nothing like Paul Newman.

    Price check: Rubber coated silk diaper drawers, “absolutely odorless,” and trimmed in lace, are 48 cents.

    If you go back in time and want to rebuild your kitchen, you’ll be doing it without Formica. It won’t exist until 1938.

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