Officially, Summer will arrive this afternoon. Today is also the longest day of the year, and, coincidentally, it’s my Father’s birthday. He was born 110 years ago today in Newcastle, UK. More than a century ago. I find it had to believe. If my Mother was alive, she’d be 108. Wow!
My Father’s family arrived in the US via Ellis Island in 1904. At that time, Dad was the youngest of the six children. A younger brother would arrive in 1912 but he wouldn’t survive his teens.
Look how much has happened in that time. In 1904 when my Father arrived in the US there was only 45 states in the Union. Oklahoma, Arizona and New Mexico, along with Alaska and Hawaii, were still Territories. Teddy Roosevelt would win a full term as President. Just take a look at this snapshot of the US in 1904.
- Average life expectancy was 47.
- Only 14 percent of homes had a bathtub.
- Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
- There were 8,000 cars and just 144 miles of paved roads.
- Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California. With a mere 1.4 million residents, California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.
- More than 95% of all births took place at home.
- 90% of all physicians had no college education.
- Most women only washed their hair once a month and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
- The five leading causes of death were: 1. Pneumonia & influenza 2. Tuberculosis 3. Diarrhea 4. Heart disease 5. Stroke
- The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was 30.
Let’s add a couple of more. The Income Tax didn’t exist. That wouldn’t arrive until 1912. Senators were appointed by the State Legislatures, not elected. Senators depended on the Legislature for their office. That meant Senators followed the instructions from their state or they would be recalled by the state. It was a prime factor that sustained State’s Rights.
Here’s a few more facts.
- One in ten US adults couldn’t read or write.
- Only 6% of all Americans had graduated from HIGH SCHOOL.
- Coca Cola contained cocaine.
- 18% of households in the US had at least one full-time SERVANT or domestic.
- There were only about 230 reported MURDERS in the entire US.
What a difference a century makes. It really makes you consider what our nation will look like in another century. Will it exist? Will it divide into multiple countries like the breakup of Yugoslavia after the death of Tito? Will it split along Red vs. Blue states, the welfare states of the Northeast and West Coast against the producing states of the South, Midwest, West and Southwest? Will the Constitution still be the supreme law of the land? Will the UN and NATO still exist? Russian and China in their current forms?
So many questions and no one has answers. I would say that most of us would want the US to continue but with a streamlined, more efficient and effective government. Unfortunately, there are so many who oppose our view. Frankly, I foresee some form of civil war, to one degree or another, as being inevitable.
As Lord Acton wrote in 1887, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The statists have a taste of power. They will not release their hold on that power easily nor willingly. To that end, I’d suggest we take heed of the Coast Guard’s motto, Semper Paratus or Be Prepared.