Sunday, October 26, 2008


I just spent the last couple of hours listening to Teddy Roosevelt speeches. I use them in class to allow the students to hear the voices of the people we are studying. We are currently in the Progressive Era and TR is a driving force of the movement. The use of Progressive in this context seems so innocent compared to the hijacking of the term by the likes of the lefties who proclaim it now.

TR was concerned about working conditions for laborers. It is instructive that his concern for workers followed an absolutely horrible fire that occurred in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory on March 25, 1911 that claimed the lives of over 145 young women and men who were working in the sweatshop. The owner had locked most of the doors of the factory out of a fear that the workers would steal from him and leave through the doors. We listened to a recording of a woman who had survived the fire. The recording was made by her family in 1986, 75 years after the fire. You could've heard a pin drop in class as the students heard this 94 year old woman relive her nightmare.

Most of TR's speeches that are available were recorded during the 1912 campaign. As usual the students look forward to their guest teacher. Tomorrow it's TR.

I posted this song from The Band to provide some entertainment. It's the best version of this song and simply no one else who recorded this song can come close. Joan Who?


Average American said...

I haven't heard that song in a long long time. Thanks.

Z said...

I swear, there are just no words.
Please see my site. I'm going to try to embed it there and I'll write there what this engenders in me.

I swear, this might be my favorite song ever. and THAT is saying a LOT.

Did I read you like Wagner on your profile? We went to Vienna and saw a 3 hour RIENZI, which has THE best male aria in OPERADOM..BAR NONE. Oh, my GOD, was that fantastic.

If I haven't blogrolled you already, you're on it now. I am SO enjoying your blog.

your T Roosevelt speeches blurb is exquisite. I swear I wish every high school student in this country could hear his speeches, the survivor from the Flatiron Building, this quintessential American song, and you. Not to get TOO corny, but YOU are an American treasure.

Don't argue with me!!! :*-)

Z said...

I thought that fire was in the Flatiron Building, but it wasn't, right?

Pasadena Closet Conservative said...

We could use TR's true grit about now.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Here is the site I used with the interview and pictures.

Listen to Paulene Pepe, March, 1986. It is a gem. My students were mesmerized listening to her relate her memories from 75 years ago as she survived the fire. The photos will also shock you. The building was the Asch Building. I understand it was put in the possession of NYU in the 20s and is still in use today. Touching stuff indeed.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Some of the url got cut off, but you can reach the site and click your way to the information. I do love Wagner and any other Saxon composers. I envy you your trips to Germany. I would like to go someday.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Thanks for the visit. How's it going. I am having trouble with your site. Everytime I go on it it freezes me up. I have tried as I visit you everyday. Talk to you later. Peace, brother.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Thanks for your visit, I am honored. Today is TR's birthday and my students were treated to a speech from him about the Progressive's pact with the American People, 1912. They liked it because TR fascinates them, as he does me. Thanks again.

Z said...

WOW...I didn't realize 134 young people died. Young kids with their whole lives ahead of them.

I listened to Paulene and I'm listening to Francis Perkins...she's very interesting, too. And very well spoken.

To think of people having to walk down the rows of dead at the morgue, identifying your daughter or fiancee..what a horrid tragedy.

The silver lining is how much better the laws became after that...

thanks, Teach........quite something. And you brought history to your kids. a real voice from the past.

Law and Order Teacher said...

BTW, Frances Perkins became the Secretary of Labor under FDR.