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Vol. IV. No. 15
The Weekly News-Magazine
THE PRESIDENCY Mr. Coolidge's Week
Mr. and Mrs. Coolidge, with Mr. and Mrs. Charles Evans Hughes, attended the funeral of Vice Consul Robert W. Imbrie, killed at Teheran, Persia, in July. The body was brought to the U. S. on the cruiser Trenton; services were held at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church and burial took place at Arlington. The Persian chargé d'affaires was present and the Persian legation flew its flag at half mast (See PERSIA, Page 11).
The President wrote a letter to a convention of the American Mining Congress at Sacramento. He affirmed that: "When all is said and done, the development of our great resources must in a large sense rest upon the courage and energy of our individual citizens. Ours is not a country of paternalism...
All Washington was mad. The whole town turned out in a great parade --such a demonstration as war and peace and conferences and statesmen seldom evoke from the Capital City. The parade was in honor of the return of the Washington Baseball Club with its first American League pennant. First came the inevitable police, then a U. S. Cavalry band mounted on black chargers, then red-coated, white-breeched fox hunters, then black and white female fox hunters, then the Commissioners of the District of Columbia in luxurious limousines, then the triumphant players, in even more luxurious automobiles provided by the foremost citizens. Up Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the ellipse below the White House, the procession wended its way and ended at a flag-draped platform, burdened with Cabinet officers and crushed between surges of fan thousands. The President's speech was interrupted, although it could hardly be said that he was heckled, by calls from the crowd: "Attaboy Bucky!" "Oh, you Bucky!" Between these interruptions, Mr. Coolidge delivered himself in masterly language:
"As the head of an enterprise which transacts some business and maintains a
October 13, 1924
considerable staff in this town, I have a double satisfaction in welcoming home the victorious Washington Washington baseball team.
"First, you bring home the laurels from one of the hardest-fought contests in all the history of the national game.
"Second, I feel hopeful that, with this happy result now assured, it will be possible for the people of Washington gradually to resume interest in the ordinary concerns of life.
"So long as we could be satisfied with a prompt report of the score by innings, a reasonable attention to business was still possible. But when the entire population reached the point of requiring the game to be. described play by play, I began to doubt whether the highest efficiency was being promoted. I contemplated action of a vigorously disciplinary character, but the outcome makes it impossible.
"Tuesday morning, when I had finished reading details of the decisive battle at Boston and turned to the affairs of government, I found on top of everything else on my desk a telegram which I shall read to you.
"Whether or not I shall be able to
act on its advice, many will agree that it presents a correct, constructive and statesmanlike program for dealing with the present emergency. I have received worse suggestions on more important affairs. It is from a true and thoughtful friend of the people, Congressman John F. Miller of Seattle. He wires:
RESPECTFULLY SUGGEST IT IS YOUR PATRIOTIC DUTY TO CALL SPECIAL SESSION OF CONGRESS BEGINNING SATURDAY, OCT. 4, SO THE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS MAY HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO SNEAK OUT ΤΟ SEE WALTER JOHNSON MAKE BASEBALL HISTORY. CANNOT SPEAK FOR NEW YORK DELEGATION, BUT HEREBY PLEDGE ALL OTHERS TO ROOT FOR WASHINGTON AND SERVE WITHOUT PAY OR TRAVELING EXPENSES.
"Mr. Miller has such judgment and his sense of public psychology is so accurate that I do not need to say what party he represents.
"Manager Harris, I am directed by a group of your Washington fellowcitizens to present to you for the club this loving cup. It is a symbol of deep and genuine sentiment. It is committed to you and your team mates in testimony of the feeling that all Washington has for you."
Afterwards, the principals were cinematized, and the President of the Board of District Commissioners gave Mr. Harris the golden key of the Capital in a plush case.
A few days later, on their wedding anniversary, at a few minutes before 2 p. m., Mr. and Mrs. Coolidge, with Mr. and Mrs. Frederick H. Gillett, Mr. and Mrs. Frank W. Stearns, C. Bascom Slemp, marched into the President's box at the ball park. The President smoked a cigar. Babe Ruth came to shake hands. The President threw out a ball and the game was on. Mrs. Coolidge kept a box score and yelled lustily; the
President, not so lusty at first, perked up as the game went to an exciting finish. He was the first man to rise in the lucky seventh inning. When the score was tied in the ninth, the President autographed a ball brought him by the Washington mascot, a blooming little boy. When the home team lost, the President went off for a week-end on the Mayflower.
Mr. Coolidge dedicated a monument to the dead of the First Division.
At the annual meeting of the Red Cross, of which he is president, Mr. Coolidge spoke these imaginative words: "The Red Cross believes that food is more helpful to hungry people than advice; has found that hunger affects people very much the same in all countries, and that the method of coping with it is by feeding its victims. It is absolutely the only organization I have known that does any good by 'looking for trouble.'"
The "Coolidge Myth"-on which the political intelligenzia have been wasting much breath*-was summed up magnificently by a Manhattan Colyumnist, one F. P. A.:
"Mrs. Coolidge heard the news over the White House radio of the Washington team's victory. She carried the tidings to the President, who was at work in his office. What we -and thousands of other voterswould like to know is the conversation that took place. How did she phrase it and what did the President say? Did it go like this?
"Pardon me, Calvin, I hope I am not disturbing you. I know how busy you are. And I should not think of interrupting your work, possibly of tremendous importance to the entire Nation, were it not that what I have to say I feel certain would be of interest to you.'
"In Boston, the home of the Cradle of Liberty, this afternoon the Washington Baseball Team, by a score of 4 to 2, has just succeded in defeating the Boston team, thereby winning the pennant.' "Thank you.'"
The Womb of Tragedy
The Searchlight on Congress, K. K. K. journal, last week beamed editorially:
"Misfortune-to others-has been largely the foundation of the Coolidge career. Each of his greatest advance
Every national figure is necessarily a myth to those who do not know him.
ments came directly from the womb of tragedy:
"A predecessor's defeat gave him his chance to become President of the Massachusetts Senate with the inevitable, machine-controlled sequence of Lieutenant Governor and Governor.
"Next came the Boston police strike, which left easily avoidable death and devastation in its wake-that gave him the Vice Presidency.
"Then Harding died; and he thus became President.
"The Boston calamity was his political chariot. The Harding hearse carried him into the White House.
"These are harsh facts, you may say. They are."
At the Game
At the opening of the World's Series at Washington, Mr. Coolidge observed Andrew W. Mellon peering at the play with great diligence. The President leaned over to the Speaker of the House and remarked:
"I never knew Secretary Mellon enjoyed baseball."
Mr. Gillett looked up quizzically: "What makes you think he does?"
THE CAMPAIGN Alarums and Excursions
The progress of a week's campaigning found the combatants seven days nearer to the election.
Calvin Coolidge sat tight and held his peace.
Charles G. Dawes invaded the great, open, Brookhart spaces of the Middle West, spoke at Davenport (Iowa), Muscatine (Iowa), Trenton (Mo.), Kansas City (Mo.), Duluth (Minn.). Some of his more pointed castigations:
"I am not descending to personalities in this campaign, but I fired into a flock of political pewits out here; and some of the wounded birds are fluttering. Perhaps you can identify them. don't know. . . .
"There is one thing I have noticed about this campaign. It is not exactly what you would call a political petting party. . . .
"Now you have got one side in earnest out here and have had for a long while. I respect the courage of these fellows; but the trouble is, a lot of those on my side have been lying down, trying to preach something to please everybody. . . .
"Now you have got a fight; stand up and fight.
"We may stand for jazz music, but we will never stand for jazz politics in America."
John W. Davis carried his standard into Maryland, speaking at Frederick (home of the Frietchie family) and Baltimore; then dodged back to Manhattan for jollification with Governor Smith and his Democratic friends there; then turned to New Jersey to make six speeches in one day at Princeton, Trenton, Elizabeth, Newark; then rushed to Rhode Island for a speech at Providence on the following day; then, two days later, turned up at Albany. His "points":
"No one can deny that the chief characteristic of the present Administration is silence. If scandals break out in the Government, the way to treat them is-silence.
"If petted industries make exorbitant profits under an extortionate tariff, the answer is-silence.
"If the League of Nations or Foreign Powers invite us into conference on questions of world-wide importance, again the answer is-silence.
"If race and religious prejudices threaten our domestic harmony, the answer is-silence.
"If a wandering Secretary of the Navy plans a speaking trip in the West, as soon as the fact is discovered he is brought back to Washington and reduced to-silence.
"If a Congressional committee wishes to investigate the Treasury, the answer is-silence.
"An invitation to attend the present conference at Geneva was extended to our Government and was refused.
"Had I been President of the United States I would not only have accepted the invitation to attend the present conference, but I should have insisted upon the right of the United States to be present and take a leading part when matters so vital to ourselves were being dealt with. If I become President I shall favor sending a representative to attend the disarmament conference next June."
Charles W. Bryan made a trip to Chicago to visit Democratic headquarters. A report had got aboutassiduously repeated by Republicans. -that Democratic headquarters had thought that Governor Bryan was lying down on the job. Discounting the partisan nature of this report, the fact remains that the younger Bryan has made but two appearances outside of his Nebraska habitat, has not made himself a very vociferous seconder of Mr. Davis' campaign. The report continued: "Does Bryan want to help Davis? Wouldn't he prefer to have the election thrown into Congress and take a chance on becoming President himself?"
At Chicago, he looked over the
headquarters and chatted a bit with reporters. The La Follette movement? No, he did not consider it opposition to the Democrats. Radicalism? "We are conservatives in Nebraska when it comes to stealing." Later he would probably make a swing through the East before Nov. 4.
Shortly afterward, a speech-making itinerary was announced for him through Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, South Dakota.
Robert M. La Follette tarried in Washingon, delaying the opening of his campaign. Meanwhile, the Attorney General of Louisiana, following the lead of the Supreme Court of California, barred the LaFollette electors from the ballot for technical reasons. Bob once more awoke to battle:
"The refusal of the Attorney General of Louisiana to place the names of the LaFollette-Wheeler electors on the ballot in that state, and the definite report that comes from Michigan that legal technicalities are to be used there by the two political machines to accomplish the same purpose, show how desperate the reactionaries in both of the old parties consider their cause."
Finally, his plans completed for opening his active campaign in the East, Mr. La Follette took train for Rochester, N. Y., his first stop on an itinerary which will take him through New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri-and farther if funds are available. His two sons, Bob Jr. and Philip are accompanying him to make rear platform speeches, since the Senator must save his voice. It was said that the LaFollette treasury disgorged its last cash to start the trip and hopes to gather more to provide the finish.
His speech at Rochester was largely devoted to an explanation of what he would do "if elected": 1) call a special session of Congress; 2) secure emergency relief for agriculture; 3) repeal the Esch-Cummins Railway Law; 4) revise the Fordney-McCumber tariff; 5) repeal the soldier's bonus and substitute a cash payment bonus; 6) enact the Howell-Barclay bill abolishing the railroad labor board; 7) increase pay of postal employes; 8) increase pensions of Spanish and Civil War veterans; 9) reconstruct the Federal Reserve and Farm Loan systems; 10) create a national superpower system, etc.
Burton K. Wheeler took his way into the West. He visited among other places Denver, Cheyenne, Billings, Spokane, Seattle. In Wyoming, he said of Senator Warren (Rep.):
"In your State you have a rep
resentative in Senator Warren who in every instance has aligned himself with the reactionary Republicans and a few reactionary Democrats in defeating almost every piece of legislation which was in the inter
IDA M. TARBELL Heroically she sat
ests of the farmers or laborers of this country."
In Montana, he said of Senator Thomas J. Walsh (Dem.):
"I am under obligations to Mr. Anderson, who is running on the Independent ticket. I believe him to be honest, sincere and capable. I have a personal affection for him and perhaps I am doing him an injustice when I ask you to support Senator Walsh. But the defeat of Senator Walsh in this campaign would be looked upon by the country at large as a repudiation of the magnificent fight against corruption in the Capitol at Washington.
I should be an ingrate if I did not stand by him and I am here to do it. I ask you to vote for him because he deserves your support."
Ida M. Tarbell, erstwhile Carrie Nation of petroleum, announced that she would vote for Coolidge. Almost immediately twelve ladies (Harriet Stanton Blatch, Rita Lydig, etc.) asked her by letter to recant and vote for LaFollette.
Miss Tarbell received this note with a broken left arm. She had broken it when she tripped over a curbstone two
days before on her way to hear John W. Davis speak in Manhattan. Heroically she sat through the speech without medical attention. But when the letter arrived, she had the arm in a sling, She sent a reply:
"I read between its courteous lines your feeling that I have recanted my former progressive notions, am a turncoat and a renegade. . . .
"Your letter says in substance-and I agree that the first step to cleaner government and to economic emancipation is beating down special privileges. But what are special privileges? One must know one when he sees it. I have sometimes doubted whether your great leader, Mr. LaFollette, does. . .
"It isn't the honesty of Mr. LaFollette and these workers and farmers that I question. It is their thinking...
Brookhart's Bolt. For some days, Republicans in Iowa heard sappers. They sat tight in their trenches and waited for the explosion of the mine. They knew that part of the earth under their feet was unsteady. Last week, the explosion came-and the Republicans counterattacked to make the best of what was for them a bad business.
The Republicans knew that Senator Brookhart of Iowa was one of them in name only. He was thoroughly in sympathy with most of the LaFollette policies. But so far in the campaign he had elected to sit on the fence. They waited for him to come out for LaFollette. Instead, he came out against Dawes and then Coolidge.
The Event. He indicted the former in a letter to Chairman Butler of the Republican National Committee:
"Charles G. Dawes has wrecked the Republican campaign, and especially in the Northwest. He started out like a bold-faced 'plutogog'; but his discourtesy and ungentlemanly language quickly reduced him, in his own vocabulary, to a mere 'pewit plutogog"."
He went on to refer to Mr. Dawes' "sulphurated hydrogen bank record," to his "secret purpose of destroying the constitutional rights of labor," to his "sinister designs." He said that Mr. Dawes was "an insult to the whole laboring world," "the emphatic representative of the profiteering class." He added that Mr. Dawes' "advertised financial ability is only a bluff" and that his "most dangerous and offensive act in this campaign is his insult to the coöperative movement in agriculture." He ended:
"For these reasons, I desire to request that the National Republican Committee take steps to secure the resignation of Mr. Dawes as Republican candidate
for Vice President. In his stead, there should be elected a farm bloc candidate -not an imitation farm bloc-er, but one of the fighting type, like Senator Norris of Nebraska, in whom the farmers have the utmost confidence.
(Signed) "SMITH W. BROOK HART."
Three days later, Senator Brookhart delivered a speech at Emmetsburg, Iowa, in which the President was the target:
"I have never had a thought of leaving the Party. My whole soul is wrapped up in the principles of Lincoln, Roosevelt and Kenyon.* On the other hand, I will fight with all my strength that false and corrupt conception that crept into the Party under the leadership of Hanna, Penrose and Newberry.
"I, therefore, desire to review my record and my relation to the President, who is the machine Republican candidate for reëlection.
"I was against Newberryism the President was for it.
"I was against the ship subsidy; the President supported it.
"I belong to the farm bloc. The President belongs to the Wall Street bloc" . . . etc., etc.
The same day, the Republican State Committee, in session all day, issued a formal statement:
"The Republican Party in Iowa, without a dissenting vote, instructed its delegates to the National Convention to vote for Calvin Coolidge and made his instruction a part of their platform.
"Every candidate for office on the Republican ticket entered into the primary campaign and filed as a Republican after the Iowa convention had been instructed for President Coolidge.
"We, as the representatives of the Republican Party in Iowa elected through the medium of the primary, submit to the Republican voters of the State that the repudiation of the Republican nominees by Senator Brookhart is a repudiation of and a bolt from the Republican Party. . . .
"On any issue of honesty, integrity and interest in the welfare of all the people, we are proud to stand on the life and record of Calvin Coolidge against the attacks of any man."
The Significance. Senator Brookhart's personal strength in Iowa is well known. He carried, late last Spring. the Republican primary for renomination to the Senate by a large majority.
*William S. Kenyon is a onetime U. S. Senator from Iowa, now a Judge of the U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
He is expected to be reëlected by a large majority. His friction with the regular Republicans is expected to hurt the Republican chances in Iowa. It seems strange, therefore, that he was read out of the Party; while Senator La Follette, an open revolter for many years, still remains a nominal Republican. The answer to this apparently illogical situation is that Senator LaFollette long ago captured the Republican organization in Wisconsin. Naturally, the state organization would not then break with him; and the National organization could not turn out LaFollette without practically giving up its entire organization in the state. The situation in Iowa has been different. Mr. Brookhart has always been more or less of an outsider to the state organization. It countenanced him, but never stomached him. Now it need no longer do either.
Belle Case LaFollette, wife of the Senator, having made two campaign speeches for her husband, one at Montain Lake Park, Md., the other at Manhattan, was in a fair way to blossom into a full-fledged campaigning orator. It was decided that she should not accompany the Senator on his tour, and the party managers were reported as offering her employment during his absence.
Wrigley building, look like an ordinary business office.
"Republican headquarters fairly busy but not rushed. are not the clubby places national headquarters usually are. The boys don't drop in in large numbers. "Mr. Butler is caviare to the politician.
"Those of the Democrats are up one flight in the front of the Auditorium hotel. Four years ago, the Western headquarters of the Republicans were in this place. Hiram Johnson had the same rooms at the time of the 1920 convention.
"Of course, these are not the main headquarters of the party, but correspondents traveling through here make no allowance for this fact.
"I am sure those headquarters will cost the Democrats many votes. The great empty ante-room, about 75 ft. long by 25 ft. wide, with only one lone boy at the entrance, one telephone operator and never more than one visitor waiting on a sofa, has the same moral effect as staging a mass meeting of six persons in Madison Square Garden."
"The Progressives are on the fourth floor of the Morrison Hotel. For some reason, radicals always hold their gatherings at this hotel. The Farmer-Labor party got its start in this hotel.
"The La Follette headquarters are all rush and enthusiasm. They extend through many rooms on one floor in the Morrison. Typewriters click furiously. women
Mrs. William McMillen Adams, née Davis, has taken her place in her father's battle line. Thousands of letters have been sent out over her signature, it is reported. She was told that 3,700,000 young would cast their first ballot this fall, and she murmured:
"Any urging I would do in favor of the Davis-Bryan ticket, of course, would be based upon my own recollections and my knowledge of my father. I can't imagine that the opinions of myself-once the quiet, awkward small girl who received a salary of 25 cents a month to make his bed every morning-have any real bearing on the present political events. My father was then to me the same omnipotent authority, the final court of justice, that he remains in my mind today. I believe he would make a good President, because I have never had occasion to question his decisions or to doubt his wisdom and justice.",
Clinton W. Gilbert, famed correspondent, wrote a comparison of party headquarters in Chicago:
"Those of the Republican party, scattered over three floors of the
"Most of the workers are probably volunteers. They are as busy and as serious as the dollar-a-year boys used to be when they were running the War from Washington."
Charles E. Hughes, campaign speaker, cut loose at Cincinnati on behalf of the Republicans:
"Whatever may be the subject of campaign speeches, there is really only one issue in this campaign and that is, 'Shall the administration of Calvin Coolidge be continued?'
"There are no dividends for honest men in sweeping denunciations. This lesson should be taken to heart by our Democratic friends."
William J. Bryan, campaigning for his brother and Mr. Davis, issued through the Democratic National Committee a comparison of candidates:
"Progressives are not lacking in
common sense; they are quite as intelligent as the reactionaries. In fact, the presumption of intelligence is on their side, because a man must be informed before he can protest against an existing wrong and propose a remedy. Anyone can submit to injustice without having any information on the subject at all; in fact, the less information he has, the less liable he is to protest.
"The Democratic Party, under the leadership of John W. Davis, burns the bridges behind it; while the Republican Party, under the leadership of President Coolidge, burns the bridges before it. The Democrats will not turn backward; the Coolidge Republicans will not go forward."
Not even Wall Street claims that it is infallible, yet the bets on the election, registered with betting brokers there, have their effect upon business confidence and are usually right in the odds prevailing shortly before the presidential contest. In 1908, odds were between 3 to 1 and 5 to 1 on Taft; his popular vote was 7,679,006 to Bryan's 6,409,106. In 1912, odds ranged between 8 to 5 and 5 to 1 on Wilson; his vote was 6,286,214 compared with 4,126,020 for Roosevelt, and 3,483,922 for Taft.
In the exceedingly close election of 1916, odds were between 9 to 5 and 6 to 5 on Hughes, shifting between 6 to 5 and 2 to 1 on Wilson on the day after election. Yet in this case, the trend of betting was generally incorrect-Wilson receiving 9,129,606 votes and Hughes, 8,538,221.
In 1920, however, the odds on Harding ran between 10 to 1 and 22 to 1; Harding received 16,152,200 votes against 9,147,353 for Cox. All this summer, odds have been keenly in favor of Coolidge for reëlection and, thus far during the fall, they have grown heavier upon him as election day nears.
Oh Yes, Oh Yes, Oh Yes
Into the onetime Senate chamber in the north wing of the Capitol came nine men, just back from their summer vacations. They were the Chief Justice and the Associate Justices of the U. S. Supreme Court. They looked at the docket and their faces fell.
Yes, there were 644 cases on the docket, including 25 cases under advisement and awaiting decision. This was about 50 more cases than awaited the Court when it assembled a year ago.
But the Chief Justice's smile could not be dimmed for long. Year by year, the docket grows longer. But it also grows interesting. This fall, the Court will treat itself to hearings on the Pennsylvania Anthracite Coal Tax, the Kansas Industrial Law and the case of Mal Daugherty, who denied the right of a Senate Committee to examine the books of his National Bank.
A NEW BOOK Gubernatorial Spoon River*
The popular way to look at politicians is as the knaves of the human deck. But Frederick L. Collins, veteran journalist, has gone out and captured 14 of them in the gubernatorial stage and labeled them Our American Kings. Mr. Collins isn't a Lytton Strachey, but he doesn't aim to be. He went to take notes on the personalities and home life of Governors in their official habitats and he did so with good-natured appreciation:
Alfred E. Smith of New York. "After dinner, in the study with the men, Al Smith was at his best. He is a great actor; not a heel comedian like Willie Collier, who stands in one spot and gets his effect, but an all-over-thelot acrobatic performer like Douglas Fairbanks. He gets out on the floor and acts out his scenes, puts his hands on the arms of your chair, shakes his fist at an imaginary enemy, and sinks into exhausted laughter at the end of his own story. His best ones were about prohibition and the Ku Klux Klan."
E. F. Morgan of West Virginia. "The big man laughed all over, dislodging two heavy wisps of white hair,
hich he kept pushing straight back from his round young face. During the days I spent with Governor Morgan at Charlestown, in his office and in his home, he never got those two wisps to stay where he put them. They represent, I should say, the two most worrisome problems of his otherwise unruffled life."
Ragnvald A. Nestos of North Dakota. "When he sits on a chair he obliterates it; he throws back his great shoulders, spreads his elbows and knees, settles and solidifies as if he were a statue in the park. He looks like Henry Ward Beecher with a touch of Barnum and a clout or two of John L. Sullivan. He is Paul Whiteman with a Babe Ruth punch. He is an American viking."
Albert C. Ritchie of Maryland. "He was tall, straight, vigorously impressive; a gray-haired John Barrymore with eye-glasses; or rather John Barrymore as he might have looked if he had gone in for real estate or automobiles instead of for Shakespeare. He moved quickly and spoke brightly, as if he were in the advertising business. A little too handsome, a little too slim-waisted -and much too busy."
A. Victor Donahey of Ohio. "He wanted me to come to breakfast.. I wasn't sure, then, that I liked Dona
* OUR AMERICAN KINGS Frederick L.