On This Date in History: The presidential election of 1872 was rather odd and somewhat brutal. It was between President Ulysses S. Grant and New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley. The first term of Grant had been clouded by some questionable moves and charges of corruption. When Grant was renominated, the Liberal Republicans split off and nominated Horace Greeley, who never saw a social reform he didn’t like. As an editor, he was brilliant. As a candidate, he was sorely lacking. The Democrats surprisingly nominated Greeley, who had once said, “all Democrats may not be rascals but all of the rascals are Democrats.” I guess the Democrats figured that they could get the split Republican vote as well as Southern Democrats who would vote for anyone who was for amnesty of Confederates and the withdrawal of federal troops from the South.
While Grant spent his summer at the seashore, the newspapers went wild with negative press on their former rival, Greeley. They made sport of his favoring prohibition, vegetarianism and living on communes. The Phrenological Journal even measured his cranium and came out with a detailed analysis of why he was unfit for office. Greeley grew despondent and was sent into a deeper depression as he sat at his wife’s bedside where she died on October 30, 1872. A week later he got swamped at the polls winning 6 states to Grant’s 30.
If this weren’t enough, suffragette Susan B. Anthony carried through on her scheme to force the issue of women’s voting. On November 1, 1872 Anthony and a group of other women went to register to vote. They were rebuffed but Anthony threatened to sue and quoted the 14th Amendment and New York law that was silent on the subject of sex. The men who were responsible for registration allowed them to register out of fear and also because they figured that if anything went wrong, it would fall on the heads of the ladies. They were right. Anthony and a few other women voted on November 5, 1872 but later a Democrat poll watcher complained that Anthony had cast an illegal ballot. Susan B. Anthony was arrested on this date in 1872 for voting. The trial of Susan B Anthony began on June 17, 1873 and ultimately, she was found guilty and fined $100 plus court costs but she openly defied the judge saying that she would never pay up. She was right…she never paid. The 19th Amendment was passed four years after Anthony’s death. Here is a complete detail of the events surrounding the arrest of Susan B. Anthony.
It’s About Time: It used to be that each town in the nation could set its own time. In New York it was noon while in Philadelphia it was 11:55 AM. Towns would go by “God’s Time” or “Sun Time”. I have no idea what the former was but the latter was probably derived by local noon i.e. when the sun was at its highest, which seems difficult since that would be different every day. Wisconsin had 38 different local times. That was no way to run a railroad. The railroads were the first mode of transportation that went rapidly over long distances. Scheduling depended on time, not just for passengers but also for the safety of the system. There were numerous train collisions because of confusion of time. So, in on this date in 1883, the railroads had the entire nation synchronize the time by using time zones, theoretically 24 that would circle the earth based on the prime meridian at Greenwich, England. Of course, some towns in true American style resisted. Bath, Maine rang its town square bell 20 minutes before noon every day and Augusta, Georgia insisted on pushing its clock ahead at noon to maintain sun time. But, corporate America eventually won out with the passage of the Standard Time Act in 1918. So, all of you who think that corporate America produces nothing but evil, take a look at your watch.
Weather Bottom Line: From MIC John Gordon at the Louisville National Weather Service…this is GIS DAY! They’re breaking out the party hats at the local weather office. And let me tell you. When you get a bunch of meteorologists together, they know how to party. But, its been tough for them to come up with good party favors ever since the slide rule went out of favor.
As for the weather story, it remains the same. We have the occluded front and the dying cut off low meandering slowly to the north and so the showers will stick around for the next day or so. I would say “off and on” but the definition of showers is rain that is intermittent. So, if you hear someone on TV say “off and on showers” or “intermittent showers” they are being redundant. The thing is, they probably don’t even know that they are being redundant. But, then again, I got nailed a few times for a grammatical faux paux so perhaps I should keep my rocks in the bag as I live in a glass house. Anyway, call it cloudy and damp through Wednesday with perhap a few lingering light showers for the first part of Thursday. Bottom line is the weekend looks good. Pretty fair amount of sunshine but temperatures will be more seasonal than we’ve seen with highs in the 50′s and lows in the 30′s and 40′s.
Just a side note: if the GFS is correct, then next Tuesday we may have something interesting to talk about with a strong front. But, its a week away. Let’s get through these crappy days and then enjoy the weekend before we worry about that.