Friday, March 21, 2008


1908. President Roosevelt adheres to the tradition against a third term. Republicans nominate Roosevelt's secretary of war William Howard Taft who easily defeats his Democratic rival William Jennings Bryan.

1908. The Danbury Hatters' Case (Loewe v. Lawlor) brings a Supreme Court ruling that the Sherman Act of 1890 applies to combinations of labor as well as management. The court rules that a nationwide secondary boycott against D.E. Loewe & Co. by the United Hatters of North America in support of a striking Danbury, Conn., local is a conspiracy in restraint of trade.

1908. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) established as a division of the Department of Justice will be used in many cases against labor organizers.

1908. Thomas J. Watson makes a presentation to National Cash Register salesmen and writes the word "THINK" at the head of every sheet of paper. NCR president J.H. Patterson sees the presentation and orders that "THINK" signs be made up for every NCR office.

1908. The Model T Ford introduced August 12 will soon out sell all other motorcars. Cost: $850.

1908. General Motors is created September 16 by W.C. Durant who brings other auto makers together into a holding company. His bankers tell him that Henry Ford's company is not worth the $8 million in cash that Ford demands, so Ford does not join.

1908. There are 200,000 cars on the road up from 8,000 in 1900.

1908. A New York-to-Paris motorcar race sponsored by the New York Times and Le Matin begins February 12 at Times Square.

1908. Wilbur Wright completes a flying machine for the War Department. It crashes September 17, killing Lieut. Thomas A. Selfridge. But Wright will repair the plane, it will pass U.S. Army tests in June of next year and the Wright brothers will obtain the first government contract by producing a plane that can carry two men, fly for 60 minutes, and reach a speed of 40 miles per hour.

1908. Wilbur Wright wins the Michelin Cup in France by completing a 77-mile flight December 21 in 2 hours, 20 minutes.

1908. Swiss-born French chemist Jacques Brandenberger patents cellophane, a transparent wrapping material.

1908. The Geiger Counter developed by German physicist Hans Geiger and New Zealand-born British physicist Ernest Rutherford at Manchester University detects radioactive radiation.

1908. Ex-Lax Co. is founded by Hungarian-American pharmacist Max Kiss. It contains phenolphthalein.

1908. The first professional school of journalism opens at the University of Missouri.

1908. "Mutt and Jeff" in William Randolph Hearst's San Francisco Examiner is the first comic strip to appear daily with the same cartoon figures.

1908. Popular songs: 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game"; "It's a Long Way to Tipperary."

1908. Columbia Phonograph Co. introduces the first two-sided disks.

1908. The Boy Scouts of Britain is founded under the leadership of Boer War hero Robert Stephenson Smyth, Baron Baden-Powell.

1908. Mother's Day is observed for the first time at Philadelphia.

1908. Grand Canyon National Monument is created by President Roosevelt who acts under provisions of the 1906 Antiquities Act to protect Arizona's spectacular canyon from private land speculators.

1908. President Roosevelt calls a White House Conference on Conservation to publicize the cause.

1908. An earthquake rocks Sicily, December 28, killing some 75,000 in and about Messina in the worst quake ever recorded in Europe.

1908. Half of all Americans live on farms or in towns of less than 2,500, and the country has 6 million farms.

The Man Who Was Thursday. G.K. Chesterton. British. 1908. Novel. Allegory of anarchists, spies and detectives. Theme: the primacy and sanctity of order.

The Old Wives' Tale. Arnold Bennett. British. 1908. Novel. Two sisters go separate ways; reunited in old age; sense of passing time. Sympathetic picture of ordinary women's lives.

Penguin Island. Anatole France. French. 1908. Novel. Satire on French history; semi-blind monk baptizes penguins thinking they are people.

A Room with a View. E.M. Forster. British. 1908. Novel. Italy represents forces of true passion. Love between upper and lower classes.

The Wind in the Willows. Kenneth Grahame. British. 1908. Fantasy. Characters are Mole, Water Rat, Mr. Toad; portrait of English countryside.

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