J. P. Morgan

(2)  Economic Turmoil, 1907-1908


==Jan.01 > Theodore Roosevelt shakes a record 8,513 hands in one day

Drugs and Alcohol.Law.
==Jan.01 > The Pure Food and Drug Act becomes law

==Jan.08 > Sam Rayburn is sworn into the Texas House, beginning one of the longest unbroken legislative careers in American history

==Jan.26 > Congress prohibits corporations from contributing to Federal election campaigns

==Jan.--- > John D. Rockefeller predicts that Roosevelt’s policies will result in depression - ~stock prices begin to fall   (see Mar.04)

==Jan.--- > Congress finally approves funding for the USS Delaware, the first American dreadnought-battleship

==Feb.06 > Congress authorizes old age pensions for war veterans

East Asian Relations.Immigration.
==Feb.20 > The Immigration Act of 1907 is signed - Roosevelt is authorized to restrict the entry of Japanese laborers
==Feb.24-early.Mar > Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi sends a note which forms the basis of the informal Japanese-American ‘Gentlemen’s Agreement’ to restrict Japanese emigration into America - the agreement is strengthened Feb.1908
==Mar.14 > Roosevelt excludes the entry of Japanese laborers

==Feb.26 > Congress appoints the Dillingham Commission to look into the immigration situation

==Feb.26 > Government pay increases: the Speaker, the Vice-President, and Cabinet members make $12,000/year; Senators and Representatives make $7,500

==Mar.02 > Roosevelt proclaims the creation of 21 new forest reserves in the west, four days before signing a Senate bill to restrict new reserves - angry western response

Early signs of weakness in the Stock Market:
==Mar.04 > A sharp break occurs in the Stock Market
==Mar.13 > New York Stock Exchange prices suddenly collapse in a ‘silent panic’ - ~a modest recession commences
==Mar.25 > More panic selling on Wall Street - Frick, Rockefeller, Harriman, and Schiff briefly consider pooling $25 million to steady the market
==late.Mar > The government attempts to bolster the banking system by announcing that it will maintain its funds in New York banks    (see Oct)

==Mar.09 > Indiana becomes the first state to authorize forced sterilization of “confirmed criminals, idiots, rapists, and imbeciles.” - about half the states follow in the next generation

Pacific Coast.Ethnic.
==Mar.13 > Roosevelt persuades the Mayor of San Francisco to rescind his Asian segregation order

==Apr.02 > The New York World reveals that rail magnate E. H. Harriman raised $250,000 for Roosevelt’s 1904 campaign - Roosevelt hotly denies it

The Moyer-Haywood case comes to trial:
==Apr.02 > Roosevelt publicly refers to Debs, Moyer, and Haywood as undesirable citizens
==May.04 > 20,000 demonstrate in New York against the trial of Haywood and Moyer
==May.09-Jul.27 > Big Bill Haywood’s highly dramatic trial for the murder of Governor Steunenberg, with Clarence Darrow as the defense attorney and William E. Borah as the prosecutor    (see Jul.28)

Pacific Coast.Labor.
==May.05-Nov. > A violent San Francisco streetcar strike is crushed while the company’s management is being tried for corruption

Pacific Coast.Politics.
The Ruef political machine in San Francisco is broken:
==May.15 > San Francisco political boss Ruef confesses to charges of corruption, in an investigation that has been underway since Oct.20.1906
==Jun.13 > San Francisco Mayor Schmitz - who had performed his duties admirably after the 1906 earthquake - is convicted of extortion (later overturned) and driven from office
==Nov.13 > The special prosecutor for the San Francisco graft trials is shot while in the courtroom; future governor Hiram Johnson soon takes over the prosecution
==Dec.10 > Ruef is convicted of bribery and sentenced to 14 years
==Nov.--- > An anti-reform slate is elected in San Francisco - ~the graft prosecution begins to wind down

East Asian Relations.Military.
Renewed Japanese American war scare:
==May.20-21 > Anti-Japanese riots in San Francisco re-ignite a crisis with Japan
==Jun.12 > The US War College issues plans for a war with Japan - it predicts that Japan can gain control of the western Pacific and foresees the loss of America’s Pacific garrisons - ~serious Japanese-American war scare to Sep.
==Jun.16 > The US Joint Board issues a pessimistic defense strategy for the western Pacific and orders that all major warships withdraw to California in the event of war with Japan
==Jul.23 > Roosevelt writes to Root that opinion in Europe “...is that we shall have war with Japan and that we shall be beaten.”
==Sep.28 > Taft arrives in Tokyo in an attempt to defuse the crisis
==Oct.18 > Taft reports from Tokyo that the Japanese government is anxious to avoid war with the United States - the American-Japanese crisis eases

==May.22 > New York state establishes a Public Utilities Commission

==May.31 > Motorized taxicabs appear in New York City, imported from Paris

==May.--- > The Commissioner of Corporations publishes a detailed, scathing report on Standard Oil

==Jun.21 > UPI news service is established by Scripps

==late.Jun > Massachusetts signs into law Brandeis’ savings bank insurance plan - ~life insurance becomes available to workers with modest incomes

==Jun.27 > Roosevelt decides to transfer the American battleship fleet to the Pacific - the origins of the idea for a circumnavigation by the ‘Great White Fleet’  (see Dec.16)

==Jun.--- > Roosevelt urges the adoption of income and inheritance taxes

==Jun.--- > Critics of Roosevelt’s western conservation policies call a Public Lands Convention in Denver, but they are publicly faced down by Forestry Service chief Pinchot

Popular Culture.
==Jul.08 > The first of the Ziegfeld Follies opens on Broadway: his slender chorus girls begin the trend toward the thinner Twentieth Century ideal of beauty - the Follies continue until 1956

Big Bill Haywood

==Jul.28 > Big Bill Haywood is found not guilty of murder by a jury of Idaho farmers - the government’s case against the union leaders collapses  (see Jan.1908)

==Aug.01 > The US Signal Corps establishes an Aeronautical Division, with one officer and two enlisted men - the first permanent American military air service

==Aug.03 > Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis fines Standard Oil $29,240,000 - when John D. Rockefeller learns of it, he doesn’t bother to interrupt his golf game   (see Jul.22.1908)

==Aug.20 > Roosevelt publicly denounces “malefactors of great wealth”

Drugs and Alcohol.Law.
==Sep.17 > Oklahoma adopts a constitution with prohibition provisions - the start of the third wave of state prohibition laws, to 1917

==Sep.24 > Roosevelt orders the Justice Department not to pursue anti-trust action against International Harvester, on the basis of informal agreements - ~confused federal anti-trust policies

Crisis in American financial markets:
==Aug.--- > Financial markets are showing signs of strain - ~slides in commodity prices
==Sep.--- > Industrial production is beginning to slump
==Oct.06-13 > The New York Stock Exchange drops
==Oct.14-19 > Stock speculation further destabilizes the New York banking system
==Oct.20 > J. P. Morgan begins directing the response to the financial crisis
==Oct.22 > An frantic bank run brings down Knickerbocker Trust [900.AM-1230.PM] - the Panic of 1907 begins: the last financial crisis in which bankers play a larger role than government regulators - depression to 1908
==Oct.22-23 [night] > The US Treasury pledges to support Morgan’s efforts
==Oct.23 > Morgan saves the Trust Company of America and compels trust companies to form an association
==Oct.24-25 > Waves of bank runs in New York - Morgan staves off closure of the plummeting stock exchange
==Oct.28-29 > Morgan financially props up the municipal government of New York City
==Oct.31 > California declares a bank holiday, as panic spreads to west coast  (see Nov.02)

Popular Culture.
==Oct.22 > Ringling Brothers buys out the Barnum & Bailey Circus

==Oct.--- > The net worth of the Ford Motor Company exceeds $1 million, having increased tenfold in four years - ~Henry Ford gains full control of Ford Motor, and begins planning mass production of the inexpensive Model T

==Oct.--- > The Mellons complete a pipeline from Tulsa to their refinery at Port Arthur, Texas, beating out Standard Oil for dominance of the Oklahoma oil fields - ~Standard Oil’s total dominance of the American oil business is slipping - ~the Mellons organize Gulf Oil in Texas, the first truly integrated oil company with full control of production

Pacific Possessions.Military.
==Oct.--- > Roosevelt orders a defense study of the Philippines, which eventually shifts the main focus of American naval defense in the Pacific from Subic Bay eastwards to seemingly more secure Pearl Harbor

The Panic of 1907 crests:
==Nov.02-03 > In an all-night session, J. P. Morgan compels bankers to guarantee the Trust Company of America - he lays plans for his US Steel to support the tottering Schley firm - Morgan consolidates his financial dominance
==Nov.04 > In a dramatic White House meeting [morning], Roosevelt permits US Steel to buy Tennessee Coal & Iron, purportedly to stave off a banking collapse, though the purchase is highly profitable to US Steel - the panic of 1907 eases

==Nov.12-fall 1910 > Young Fiorello La Guardia, the future mayor of New York City, works as an interpreter on Ellis Island

==Nov.16 > Oklahoma is admitted as the 46th state - most Indian tribal governments are abolished

Roosevelt refuses to seek reelection:
==Nov.19 > In a letter to his Cabinet, Roosevelt blocks any attempt at his renomination
==Dec.12 > Roosevelt publicly reaffirms that he won’t run for president and implies that he supports Taft’s candidacy

==Dec.03 > Roosevelt urges Congress to fund four new dreadnought battleships, setting off a bitter debate

==Dec.06 > The worst mining disaster in American history: a coal mine explosion kills 361 in Monongah, West Virginia, - there are 702 fatalities from American coal mine accidents in Dec.1907 alone; from 1906-1910 there are 84 mining disasters that claim 2,494 lives

The Great White Fleet’s world cruise:
==Dec.16 > The ‘Great White Fleet’ of 16 battleships departs from Hampton Roads - ~America briefly has the world’s second largest fleet
==Jan.13-21 > The Great White Fleet visits Rio de Janeiro
==Feb.01 > The fleet begins passage through the Straits of Magellan
==Feb.20-29 > The fleet visits Callao, Peru
==Mar.13 > The US announces that the Great White Fleet, currently in Peru, will circumnavigate the world
==Apr.14 > The fleet arrives in San Diego from Latin America
==Jul.07 > The fleet sets out across the Pacific from the American west coast
==Aug.09 > The fleet visits Auckland - in a tribal ceremony, a Maori warrior grins at Admiral Sperry and shouts “Bully!”
==Aug.20-28 > The fleet visits Sydney, to popular enthusiasm - feeling welcome, over 200 sailors desert in Australia before the fleet sails for Japan
==Oct.18-24  > The Great White Fleet successfully visits Tokyo
==Feb.22 > The Great White Fleet returns to Hampton Roads from its round-the-world voyage, greeted by Roosevelt - from this day on, US naval vessels are to be painted gray

==Dec.17 > A Western Federation of Miners report records the onset of the depression: “...the weary tramp of the vast armies of the unemployed, the alarming increase in crime, the enormous increase in the number of suicides... The wails of the hungry, destitute, and miserable assail our ears on every hand, all combining to make up an earthly hell such as only the pen of a Dante or a Milton could fitly describe.”

==Dec.21 > An article in McClure’s, ghosted by the ardent naval reformer William Sims, criticizes the Navy’s hierarchy and the technical flaws in its ships - ~rising controversy over naval reform

Northeast.Popular Culture.
==Dec.31 > The first dropping of a ball in Times Square to signal the new year

==Dec.--- > Idaho progressive Republican William E. Borah enters the US Senate

==1907 > Federal spending has doubled in a decade to $1 billion/year

==1907 > J. Allen Smith’s The Spirit of American Government sees American history as a struggle between progressive good and plutocratic evil

==1907 > 39 states pass over 300 acts regulating railroads - bitter regulatory battles in North Carolina and Alabama

==1907 > The US Army has only 62,398 men, including 16,000 in the Philippines and 4,000 in Cuba - it suffers from low morale, with privates being paid only a small fraction of the wages of unskilled laborers

==1907 > Congress revives the military administrative office of the Adjutant General - the ambitious Adjutant General Fred C. Ainsworth dominates the Army to 1912, slowing effective reform

==1907 > The Navy consolidates its squadrons into the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets, under a tightened central command - the first two American dreadnoughts are laid down - the US Navy starts to seriously develop submarines, subsidizing manufacturers

==1907 > Hap Arnold is commissioned into the US Army

==1907 > The highest number of immigrants to enter the US in one year: 1,285,349

==1907 > The term ‘conservation’ is coined by Gifford Pinchot, head of the Forestry Service

==1907 > New Haven, Connecticut, establishes the first American urban planning department

==1907 > The first modern residential suburb is built south of Kansas City

==1907 > The Pentecostal movement, with talking in tongues, begins to penetrate the south

Popular Culture.
==1907 > Rube Goldberg begins his career as a cartoonist


The Supreme Court and labor:
==Jan.06 > The Supreme Court strikes down the Employers’ Liability Act of 1906
==Jan.27 > In Adair v. United States, the Court upholds ‘yellow dog’ labor contracts, ruling that employees can be fired for being members of a union
==Feb.03 > The Court rules that secondary union boycotts are a restraint of trade and that anti-trust laws can be used against unions (the Danbury Hatters Case, or Loewe v. Lawlor) - the growth of unions is slowed
==Feb.24 > Muller v. Oregon: the Supreme Court sustains Oregon’s ten hour/day law for women in industry - the brilliant ‘Brandeis brief’ persuades the Court to accept regulation of work conditions for health reasons
==Mar.23 > The Court sustains an injunction against the AFL since it is engaged in a boycott of a business - on Dec.03, Samuel Gompers and other AFL union officials are sentenced to prison terms for violating the injunction   (see May.15.1911)

==Jan.31 > In a message to Congress, Roosevelt calls for sweeping reforms and angrily attacks big business, the courts, and other critics - Congress and conservatives are annoyed

==Jan.--- > The nation-wide financial panic is under control   (see Oct-Nov.1907)

==Jan.--- > Defended by Clarence Darrow, George Pettibone is acquitted for the Steunenberg murder - the government drops its charges against Charles Moyer and ends its legal assault on the Western Federation of Miners

==Feb.10 > America signs a general arbitration treaty with France, the first of twenty such pacts over the next two years

East Asian Relations.Immigration.
==Feb.18 > The Japanese-American ‘Gentleman’s Agreement’ of 1907 is tightened up - Japan effectively restricts emigration to America

==Mar.09 > The Mayor of Cincinnati states “No woman is physically fit to run an automobile.”

==Feb.29 > Western lawman Pat Garrett, the man who killed Billy the Kid, is shot in the back of the head while urinating in the road near Las Cruces, New Mexico - the circumstances of the murder remain mysterious

==Mar.23 > The Hepburn Bill is introduced, calling for strengthened federal regulation of corporations - it soon stalls despite Roosevelt’s strong support

==Mar.--- > Secretary Root establishes the Far Eastern Division - the start of the State Department’s regional desks

==Apr.02-03 > The final convention of the dying Populist Party nominates demagogue Tom Watson on an openly racist platform

Far Left.Press.
==Apr.09 > Roosevelt unsuccessfully asks Congress for laws to suppress anarchist publications

==Apr.24 > The first coast to coast journey by car: Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Murdock travel from Los Angeles to New York City in a little over 32 days

==Apr.27 > The Senate approves funding for two battleships a year after a tough struggle in Congress; Roosevelt had asked for four

Islamic Relations. Business.
==spring > The first American activity in Mid-East oil

Politics.Far Left.
==May.10-17 > The Socialist Party Convention again nominates Debs for President

==May.13-15 > White House Conservation Conference: the first conference of state governors - it produces little effect on Congress

==May.27 > Congress shuts down the Secret Service’s investigative functions  (see Jul.26)

==May.30 > The Aldrich-Vreeland Act is passed after tough fights in both Houses - it levies a tax on securities and establishes the National Monetary Commission (headed by the highly conservative Senator Nelson Aldrich) to review America’s financial structure

==May.30 > The first federal workmen's compensation law is approved

Pacific Coast.Government.
==Jun.01 > Oregon adopts recall of elected officials

==Jun.08 > The energetic Gifford Pinchot heads the National Conservation Commission

==Jun.16-20 > Republican Party Convention: Roosevelt supports Taft as his successor - Republican progressives are disgruntled

East Asian Relations.Education.
==Jun.23 > In a generous gesture, the US Congress remits half of its indemnity from the Boxer Rebellion, applying the balance to establish Tsing Hua University in Peking and to endow a scholarship allowing Chinese students to study in America

==Jun.24 > The US Army abolishes its Military Information Division, and redesignates the War College as G2 - the Army strips itself of its intelligence capability

==Jul.07-10 > The Democratic Party Convention nominates William Jennings Bryan - Bryan pledges not to run again if he is defeated

==Jul.08 > Nelson Rockefeller is born, named after conservative Senator Nelson Aldrich

==Jul.22 > Judge Landis’ $29 million fine on Standard Oil is overturned on appeal

==Jul.26 > An unnamed investigative arm of Justice Department is established by Attorney General Bonaparte and staffed by unemployed former Secret Service detectives - the origins of the FBI - on Mar.16.1909, the agency is officially named the Bureau of Investigation

==Aug.10 > The President’s Commission on Country Life formed to investigate rural living conditions

==Aug.14-15 > A severe race riot explodes in Springfield, Illinois

==Aug.27 > LBJ is born near Stonewall, Texas

==Sep.03-17 > Orville Wright conducts highly successful flight trials at Fort Myer, Virginia

==Sep.09 > The Motion Picture Patents Company is formed by the nine largest film companies in an attempt to monopolize production in the infant film industry

==Sep.13 > Raymond Spruance is commissioned in the US Navy

==Sep.16 > General Motors is incorporated by William C. Durant

==Sep.17 > Publicly quoting stolen letters, Hearst exposes secret ties between Congressmen and Standard Oil - ~Roosevelt sees to it that his rival Senator Foraker is politically ruined

Labor.Far Left.
==Sep.24 > The IWW purges the doctrinaire Marxist DeLeon ‘Detroit Group’ at its Chicago Congress - ~the reconstituted IWW begins to revive

Henry Ford

==Oct.01 > The Model T Ford is introduced

Theodore Roosevelt takes on Joseph Pulitzer:
==Oct.03 > An article in Pulitzer’s New York World hints at Roosevelt’s and Taft’s possible involvement in shady financing of the Panama Canal
==Dec.08 > In a rash editorial, the New York World calls for an investigation of the financing of the Panama Canal, openly calling Roosevelt a liar
==Dec.15 > In a message to Congress, Roosevelt threatens libel action against the World, threatening freedom of the press - ~World publisher Pulitzer responds strongly
==Mar.04 > On shakey grounds, Henry Stimson secures a Federal libel indictment against the New York World (also indicted in Washington, on Feb.17.1909)
==Jan.03 > The US Supreme Court unanimously throws out Roosevelt’s libel case against Pulitzer’s New York World

==Oct.30 > The death in New York City of Caroline Astor - the last unquestioned queen of American high society

==Nov.03 > Taft defeats Bryan in the presidential election after a dull campaign - Republicans retain strong majorities in both houses - liberal Nebraska Republican George W. Norris is first elected to the House

==Nov.07 > Taft offends Roosevelt by offering him only weak thanks for his assistance in the presidential campaign - their relationship begins to deteriorate

==Nov.12 > Roosevelt removes the Marines from shipboard duty, perhaps in preparation for the abolition of the Corps - after a prolonged squabble in Congress, the Marines are again stationed on ships by Mar.1909

Politics.Far Right.
==Nov.14 > Joe McCarthy is born in Wisconsin to an Irish immigrant farmer

==Nov.21 > The advance text of the Root-Takahira agreement is sent to the powers: Germany and China are annoyed - ~the failure to reach an accord on the Far East effectively ends Germany’s attempts at alignment with America

==late.Nov > In the Century Magazine, steel magnate Andrew Carnegie forcefully denies the need for American protective tariffs - on Dec.21, he repeats these views in testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee

==Nov.29 > Future Congressman Adam Clayton Powell is born to a Harlem Minister

East Asian Relations.
==Nov.30 > The Root-Takahira Agreement: the US and Japan support an independent China and the status quo in the Pacific - implied American acceptance of the Japanese control of Korea and Manchuria

==Nov.--- > Taft is actively plotting to overthrow Speaker Joe Cannon, and is encouraging House insurgents

==late.1908 > An associate of the newly elected conservative Tennessee Governor Patterson murders reform leader Carmack within sight of the state capitol - ~severe political unrest in Tennessee

Latin American Relations.
==late.1908 > US relations with Nicaragua are growing seriously strained

==Dec.08 > Roosevelt’s last annual message accuses Congress of restricting the Secret Service because of the lawmakers’ fear of being investigated, provoking an angry response from Congress - ~controversy over the Federal government’s power to investigate crime

==Dec.26 > Jack Johnson becomes the first black man to win the world’s heavyweight title, defeating Burns in Sydney, Australia

==1908 > The Militia Act: the National Guard’s administration is centralized and Guard troops are liable to be posted overseas, but Guard units are to be preserved in wartime - the Act is declared unconstitutional by the Attorney General in 1912

==1908 > West Point broadens and improves its curriculum, offering literature and advanced history courses

==1908 > George Marshall graduates with honors from the US Army Staff College

==1908 > Staunton, Virginia devises the city manager system of municipal government

==1908 > Half of all Americans live on farms or in towns with populations under 2500

==1908 > At the encouragement of Governor Hoke Smith and demagogue Tom Watson, Georgia adopts a literacy test and a grandfather clause to disenfranchise blacks

==1908 > The American Bar Association adopts its first ethics code

Photo of Big Bill Haywood from
Famous Trials

Portrait of Henry Ford from
Edison/Ford Winter Estates

 United States, 1904-1914: Introduction   ///   (1)  The Height of the Roosevelt Era, 1904-1906

(3)  The Fall of the Old Guard, 1909-1910   ///   (4)  The High Tide of the Progressive Era, 1911-1912

(5)  The Beginning of Wilson's Presidency, 1913-1914   ///   Biographies & Glossary