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Archive for Tuesday, July 24, 2012

100 years ago: William Jennings Bryan draws huge crowd for Lawrence speech

July 24, 2012

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for July 24, 1912:

  • "After sixteen years of leadership William Jennings Bryan has surrendered the standard of the Democratic party to the new leader, Woodrow Wilson. He told the people of Lawrence yesterday afternoon that he was out of politics now and that he would turn his attention to other subjects to show the people that he could do other things than politics. Mr. Bryan stated that he commended Mr. Wilson to the American people as the kind of a man they want to handle their affairs.... Mr. Bryan appeared on the program at the Chautauqua yesterday afternoon making a forty minute address on the subject of 'The Two Conventions and the Signs of the Times.' The park theater was filled with persons who waited from one to four hours to hear the Great Commoner when he arrived, but they did not seem to grow weary of waiting and there were none who left the park before Mr. Bryan had concluded his address.... Mr. Bryan's address was purely political, but that was what the people wanted and they were greatly pleased. Mr. Bryan has been here three times now but it seems that each time he makes a greater hit than ever before."
  • "Motorcycle owners of Lawrence are not taking kindly to the legislation that is being proposed by the City Council and will appear in full force at the Council Chamber this evening to make a remonstrance. The ordinance has been slow in getting before the city fathers, but it is understood that it will be put to a vote tonight.... The ordinance if passed will make it unlawful for a rider to carry a passenger on his machine, unless the latter be under 6 years of age. It has been the custom for driver to carry passengers on the cross bars of their machine and the ordinance aims to abolish this. This is the particular clause that does not meet with the approval of the pop-pop riders.They are willing to abide by the speed laws, carry lights, numbers and pay licenses, but they do not want to be forbidden to carry their friends on their machines. Louis R. Wilhelm is one of the leaders of the motor-cycle forces and will appear before the council whenever the ordinance is brought up. 'It is not right, just or reasonable for the council to attempt to curtail our natural right,' said Mr. Wilhelm to a reporter. 'The motorcycle is a safe form of private conveyance for anywhere from 1 to 5 persons at one time. This has been repeatedly shown. If it is not I would not risk my mother, sisters or father on my machine. The big cities all about us do not attempt to restrict the number of passengers nor the manner in which these passengers may be carried.... If Kansas City, Topeka, Denver, and Chicago, with thousands of motorcycles, can get along safely and conveniently without such restrictions and still be happy, surely Lawrence, with less than 100 motorcycles can safely follow their examples and let well enough alone.'"

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