Railroad Rebates: Exposé of illegal railway rebates in the early 1900s

Ray Stannard Baker, Railroad RebatesMcClure’s, December 1905, second of a five-part series. “One of the chief purposes of taxation is to build and maintain roads…. The railroad, by all the laws of the nation, is quite as much a highway as is a wagon road. But instead of levying direct taxes for keeping up the rail-highways…we Americans ‘farm out’ the power of taxation to private individuals organized as a railroad corporation….  The instrument tat conveys this power upon a railroad company is a ‘charter.’ It gives the railroad company the right to operate the rail-highways and to charge a freight-rate (a tax) for doing it.” [Read more…]

Football Year’s Death Harvest: Record Shows That Nineteen Football Players Have been Killed in 1905

Football Year’s Death Harvest. Chicago Daily Tribune, 26 November 1905. “Record shows that nineteen [football] players have been killed; one hundred thirty-seven hurt…. Chancellor MacCracken of New York [University] calls for the reform or abolition of the game. Urges Harvard to lead the way. Telegraphs President Eliot [of Harvard University] asking him to call a conference of College Presidents to act.”

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The Treasures of the Yosemite

John Muir, The Treasures of the Yosemite. Century, August 1890. From Tony Perrottet, John Muir’s Yosemite, Smithsonian, July 2008: “In 1889, in his early 50s, Muir camped with Robert Underwood Johnson, an editor of Century magazine, in Tuolumne Meadows, where he had worked as a shepherd in 1869. Together they devised a plan to create a 1,200-square-mile Yosemite National Park, a proposal Congress passed the following year. In 1903, the 65-year-old Muir and President Theodore Roosevelt were able to give Secret Service agents the slip and disappear for three days, camping in the wild. It was during this excursion, historians believe, that Muir persuaded the president to expand the national park system and to combine, under federal authority, both Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove, which had remained under California jurisdiction as authorized by Lincoln decades before. Unification of the park came in 1906.”

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