Monday, January 5, 2009


Time Capsule Year: 1909

February 12 - The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is founded, commemorating the 100th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's birth. Its mission is "to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination."

March 4 - William Howard Taft succeeds Theodore Roosevelt as President of the United States. The popular president Teddy Roosevelt opted not to seek another term in the 1908 elections. Instead he promoted the candidacy of his Secretary of War, William Taft.

March 18 - Einar Dessau uses a short-wave radio transmitter, becoming the first radio broadcaster.

March 24 - In his first Post-Presidential excursion, Teddy Roosevelt embarks on an African Safari sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and National Geographic Society. The trip is a popular sensation.

August 10 - Alice Huyler Ramsey drives into San Francisco amid great fanfare after leaving Manhattan 59 days earlier and becomes the first woman to drive across the country.

Auguste Marie Fran├žois Beernaert and Paul Henri d'Estournelles de Constant are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work in promoting international arbitration in foreign affairs.

Orville and Wilbur Wright spent the year demonstrating their flying machines and setting several aviation speed and distance milestones. One passenger in a demonstration in Italy in April was a cameraman who filmed the first motion picture from an airplane. That summer, they were invited to the White House to receive awards from President Taft. In October, Wilbur flew for over 30 minutes up and down the Hudson river and circling the Statue of Liberty in front of a million spectators at Manhattan's Hudson-Fulton celebrations.

1909 in Popular Music

"Take Me Up With You, Dearie" by Billy Murray

"Down in Jungle Town (Parody Version)" by Nat M. Wills

"Let's Go Into A Picture Show" by Byron G. Harlan

The above tracks come from the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project. The phonograph cylinder was the most popular format for recorded music from the turn of the century until the disc format became more popular in the 1910s.

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