Our Civic History

Our Civic History

DM3194
Joined: 07 Feb 2008, 22:54

10 Nov 2017, 20:02 #1

Inauguration Day!

Is it time to move on to Inauguration Day, and the 
intrigue of Council and Committee appointments?
..........................



Image
Mayor Percy W. Wheeler

Looking back, it looks like the Inauguration of January, 1922 was a hum-dinger!
Mayor Percy Wheeler really upset the local fishing community with his remarks.

The item below was on the national news wire services, and this particular
bit is from the Norwich Bulletin of January 4, 1922


//////////
GLOUCESTER MAYOR EXPOSES
TRICKS OF TRADE IN FISH

Norwich Bulletin
Gloucester, Massachusetts  Jan. 3, 1922

Tricks of the trade were alleged and criticized by Mayor Percy W. Wheeler in his inaugural address yesterday.
"I have seen harbor pollock split across the back and branded and shipped as mackeral," he said.
"I have seen hake salted and branded as sea trout. I have seen skinny New England shore herring
salted and sold as fine, fat labradors.  I have seen large pollock salted and dyed pink and sold as ocean salmon.
I have seen kits of mackeral each with a bottle of whiskey in the center, shipped to Maine. You can't build up the
City on a platform of smuggled booze and rotten fish."
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Cathy (Admin)
Joined: 13 Aug 2005, 09:30

10 Nov 2017, 21:08 #2

What a hoot!  I found the entire inaugural address - Mayor Wheeler was an interesting character, indeed:

https://books.google.com/books?id=XiJEA ... er&f=false


Some highlights:


We have come here today to take up the duties of the oflices that have been entrusted to our care. One year ago, in my Inaugural, I said the people had spoken in no uncertain voice that they wanted a change in the conduct of their city business and had elected me and the aldermen to carry out their wishes. I warned the aldermen that if any three of them stood in the way of the will of the people, they would have to answer to the people who put them in office. There were three who did not heed that warning, and those three have retired to private life. Again today, gentlemen, I warn you the people have not only spoken, they have shouted their instructions. Will you heed them, or are there three who this year think the people are to be foiled? I am free to say I do not think there are. I feel sure you gentlemen are Wise to your instructions. No other interpretation can be put upon that great majority I got than that they endorse my administration.

I am proud of the record of 1921. In spite of continued opposition of a certain element in City Hall and the underhanded actions of them and a certain element outside of City Hall who have stopped the growth of our city, and a determination on their part that I should not make a reduction in the tax rate, I was re-elected by the largest vote and the largest majority ever given a mayor, and our city has made the best showing of any city in the state, with only one dollar increase in the tax rate, while most cities have from $3.00 to $7.50 increase.

Our Police Department is not eflicient. We have a splendid force of men now, all dead wood having been removed, and with a new, fair-minded head, law enforcement will be improved. Bootlegging must be stopped. A curfew law must be enforced. No such conditions as existed last summer will for a moment be tolerated. Girls too young to be loose on the streets half the night, yes, even all night in our parks, must be sent home or taken to the police station. Sailors are only human and girls still foolish when very young. Thank God, warships, I hope, will soon be old-fashioned and the blue uniform on our streets a thing of the past. I ask the co-operation of all mothers of this city in this clean-up, and I know I will get it, for women have assured it, and if necessary, I will appoint policewomen to bring about this change, for women too I must to a great extent thank for my splendid, record-breaking vote.

Two departments have illegally spent money—the School and Park Departments—both composed of big business men and lawyers. The Auditing Department has wrongfully audited these bills. Now, I do not blame Mr. Marshall so much, for custom is strong, but this must stop with 1921. Each department will be held strictly to the laws of this city and state this year. Then if the laws are wrong, we will change the laws. Our City ordinances are far from right, having been written contrary to state law in many instances.

And now just a word to our Chamber of Commerce. When they get through organizing and get down to work for the advancement of our city, the mayor and municipal council will assist them in every way in our power, but as the elected representative of a great majority of the voters of the city, I will not for one moment allow them to interfere with any of the functions of city government. We are doing the people’s business, not the Chamber of Commerce. We are ready for co-operation, but not dictation or interference. We will meet them half way, but they must show more respect to the representatives of the people than they have so far. For when they call a meeting to listen to a speaker on city management form of government and do not even extend an invitation to the Municipal Council to be present, and call that meeting a forum, why, I, as a representative of about 3,600 of the voters, look upon this move with suspicion. They went out and got a man and paid him seven or eight thousand dollars to reorganize the Board of Trade and then sent out of town and got a man to manage that at four thousand. Now what do they propose to do? Send out and import a mayor to manage the city? For of course, if there is no one in Gloucester capable of managing this little Chamber of Commerce, there is no one who is fit to manage this great corporation, the city. So I think it is fair to suppose they would want to pay at least ten thousand for a mayor from some town like Norwood, which I understand has a tax rate of $24.50. Well, I think the voters of Gloucester will think several times before they surrender their powers of government into any one man’s hands. No little king for us. Norwood’s tax rate has advanced 100 per cent. or from 1,270 to 2,480 since adopting Monage System six years ago.
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DM3194
Joined: 07 Feb 2008, 22:54

10 Nov 2017, 21:12 #3

Yes!

Annual Reports and speeches from Gloucester, circa '22 .....great reading on a blustery day.
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Leland33
Joined: 02 Apr 2011, 03:07

10 Nov 2017, 23:04 #4

DM3194 wrote: Yes!

Annual Reports and speeches from Gloucester, circa '22 .....great reading on a blustery day.
The inaugural speech was a bit long - don't you think????

I wonder if they had a break to water their horses and feed the meters?
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DM3194
Joined: 07 Feb 2008, 22:54

10 Nov 2017, 23:35 #5

I don't think Mayor Wheeler's address was too long, Leland...
because it was so action packed!

Quite an inaugural address in all sorts of ways...

Two weeks after Mayor Wheeler's inauguration, he was sued for
for remarks he made in his speech (not the fishing remarks).

The American Race Committee (sailing) sued Mayor Wheeler 
for slander because he said that cheating had been allowed in
an important international sailing event held the previous Fall.

He stood trial later in the year.
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Leland33
Joined: 02 Apr 2011, 03:07

11 Nov 2017, 00:20 #6

But to a horse freezing outside might have thought it too long!

Perhaps they allowed the horses to stand in the back of the auditorium as long as they didn't drop a knee during the playing of the SSB?
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Fortune Cookie
Joined: 13 Nov 2010, 17:37

11 Nov 2017, 00:22 #7

Leland33 wrote: But to a horse freezing outside might have thought it too long!  

Perhaps they allowed the horses to stand in the back of the auditorium as long as they didn't drop a knee during the playing of the SSB?
I think there's something else a horse might drop that they'd be more concerned about 
₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪

Fortune Cookie

₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪
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Dun Fudgin
Joined: 21 Jun 2007, 03:54

11 Nov 2017, 01:51 #8

DM3194 wrote: I don't think Mayor Wheeler's address was too long, Leland...
because it was so action packed!

Quite an inaugural address in all sorts of ways...

Two weeks after Mayor Wheeler's inauguration, he was sued for
for remarks he made in his speech (not the fishing remarks).

The American Race Committee (sailing) sued Mayor Wheeler 
for slander because he said that cheating had been allowed in
an important international sailing event held the previous Fall.

He stood trial later in the year.
I guess the American Race Committee didn't like Wheeler's Point!
Reply

DM3194
Joined: 07 Feb 2008, 22:54

11 Nov 2017, 09:56 #9

Anyway, we can let go of the 1920's for now.

But in his next campaign, Mayor Wheeler may have suffered for his bold remarks:

"Gloucester elected William MacInnis, Chairman of the American Race Committee,
who defeated Percy Wheeler by 372 votes. Mayor Wheeler's defeat was contributed
to remarks he had made in his inaugural address which antagonized Gloucester
fish merchants as well as followers of the International Fishermans Race."

                                                               -- News Wire Service
Last edited by DM3194 on 11 Nov 2017, 12:55, edited 1 time in total.
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DM3194
Joined: 07 Feb 2008, 22:54

11 Nov 2017, 18:04 #10

Mayor Percy Wheeler inspired me to keep looking into Gloucester's
incredible civic history. Any given year is just full of interesting stuff.
Maybe worthy of its own thread.

Anybody recognize this fellow?
Image
I sure wouldn't have.

A former Gloucester City Manager
and winner of an Olympic Medal!
Reply

Cathy (Admin)
Joined: 13 Aug 2005, 09:30

11 Nov 2017, 19:00 #11

Cool stuff - definitely worthy of its own thread.  I moved relevant posts from the Election thread.
Reply

Matisse
Joined: 21 Aug 2007, 02:17

11 Nov 2017, 21:14 #12

DM3194 wrote: Mayor Percy Wheeler inspired me to keep looking into Gloucester's
incredible civic history. Any given year is just full of interesting stuff.
Maybe worthy of its own thread.

Anybody recognize this fellow?
Image
I sure wouldn't have.

A former Gloucester City Manager
and winner of an Olympic Medal!
Richard Walden Mayo (June 12, 1902 – November 10, 1996) was an American general, athlete, and city manager. He was an officer in the United States Army from 1926 to 1956, saw combat in World War II and the Korean War, and was commander of the 17th Field Artillery Group, the 5th Field Artillery Group, and Fort Stewart. He retired with the rank of brigadier general.[2] While in the Army he competed in modern pentathlon at the 1928 and 1932 Summer Olympics, winning the bronze medal in 1932.[3][4] After retiring from the Army, Mayo was a city manager in three municipalities and a community leader in Boca Raton, Florida.[2]
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Fortune Cookie
Joined: 13 Nov 2010, 17:37

11 Nov 2017, 21:52 #13

Is he the guy my favorite condiment is named for? 
₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪

Fortune Cookie

₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪
Reply

DM3194
Joined: 07 Feb 2008, 22:54

11 Nov 2017, 23:03 #14

To wrap it up with Mayor Wheeler...

"A verdict in favor for the American Fisherman's Race Committee in the $12,000 slander
suit against Mayor Percy Wheeler of Gloucester was returned by Judge Edward R. O'Brien
in Eastern District Court. He ordered the Mayor pay damages of one dollar each to the 12
members of he Committee. The suit had been for $1,000 for each Committee member."

                                                          -- Newport Mercury, May 22, 1922
.................................................................................................................................................................

note:
(in his Inaugural address, Wheeler said that "The Elsie" had used
illegal equipment...  a mast was too long, or something like that.
Reply

Damon
Joined: 25 Jun 2007, 22:00

12 Nov 2017, 01:42 #15

In the absence of the original schooner race committee it is suggested that the dollar be paid  to the present Sail GHS race committee.
Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?...   ..........
 George Orwell , 1984
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Cathy (Admin)
Joined: 13 Aug 2005, 09:30

12 Nov 2017, 02:15 #16

Apparently, Gloucester has a long history of scandalous events that make national news:

Mayor_wheeler-page-001.jpg


http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.h ... egacy=true
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sugarmagnolia
Joined: 02 Jan 2008, 06:30

12 Nov 2017, 04:21 #17

Politics has always been a nasty business.
Reply

Leland33
Joined: 02 Apr 2011, 03:07

12 Nov 2017, 07:46 #18

Who is this about?

Popular Science 2011:
He explained that a gravity harness would most likely take the form of a metal alloy which would act as a "partial insulator." The eventual discovery of that alloy, he wrote, would be "a great blessing to mankind."

Hint - BOULDER DASH !



https://www.popsci.com/science/article/ ... foundation
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DM3194
Joined: 07 Feb 2008, 22:54

12 Nov 2017, 09:50 #19

Administrator Cathy said:  "Apparently, Gloucester has a long history of scandalous events that make national news."

And good news too.


I think that Mayor Wheeler's Inaugural remarks were pretty special, and mention of them appeared in a couple hundred
newspapers in the United States and Canada, and abroad as well. Old newspapers are such fun to read because of their
layout, and certain pages being dedicated to news from all over the country. You can find a page in the Chicago Tribune,
for example (circa 1900), that has about a hundred little tidbits from all over the nation.
Not just bad news, either. Just interesting stories.  I was looking at Stage Fort Park for example, and the dedication of the brass plaque
on the big rock over there made the wire services all over the place. "Largest Brass Plaque in the Nation"...or something like that. 

Another interesting feature from the old papers... The Social Pages.  You can look at most major newspapers and read about
how were very rich are spending their vacations. "Yachting off the quaint fishing village of Gloucester, and staying at the exquisite
Hawthorne Inn."  Or the ritzy Magnolia Shore. The Vanderbilts hanging out in E. Gloucester.

Reading the old pages is addictive. I need to do less of it.  Any month of any year, the stories of Gloucester (or anywhere).
are just hard to stop reading.

But I'm pretty sure that if someone put President Harding's name on a toy gravestone at Halloween Time, the wire services
would not have found it of interest!
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DM3194
Joined: 07 Feb 2008, 22:54

15 Nov 2017, 19:08 #20

This is an interesting little blurb that doesn't need much explanation. 
Down south.... timeless suspicion of fancy-pants Yankees (especially the Massachusetts kind).

///////

From The Progress-Index     Petersburg, Virginia     Sunday September 16, 1956

How They Do It In Holier Land

The National flow of news will continue to be preoccupied with segregation-versus-integration in the southern states, but briefly
the news took  account of an incident which occurred in Gloucester, Massachusetts. It is an area normally not classified as
border state or deep south.

A 34-year-old Negro man from Oregon was employed to teach the sixth grade in a Gloucuester school. Massachusetts anti-discrimination
laws prevent inquiring into race. When the teacher arrived, the school authorities bargained with him to accept $1,000 for termination of
this contract and transportation back home.

No school official would say that color had anything to do with it, although the Superintendent said he did not know the man was a
Negro until he arrived.

Then, invoking a species of hypocrisy which is certainly nothing new in Massachusetts, the superintendent explained: "It was mutually
agreed that McClure's special training and experience could be of greater benefit to another community which might have vacancies
in his field". Evidently this impression had not developed from the application or previous correspondence.

Such a story speaks to well for itself to require wrapping it up in a lot of words, but the light it throws upon a state of mind which is familiar 
in the holier region of the land does enter into southern resentment of attempted desegregation by law and force.

                    --88--
Last edited by DM3194 on 15 Nov 2017, 22:17, edited 1 time in total.
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