Monday, September 30, 2013

Oliver's Turbulent Twenties

A 1924 photo of a hippo cart. This hippo belonged to a circus and apparently enjoyed pulling a cart. How do you tell? 

This is a 'knocker-upper'. Before the days of alarm clocks, people like Mary Smith would earn a wage shooting dry peas at the windows of sleeping workers. This photo was taken in Limehouse Fields, England.
Louis Armstrong plays for his wife. The couple is in front of the Sphinx at the pyramids in Giza in 1961.

A 1923 wedding in Egypt.

When I left off Friday, John Oliver and his government had just held an election on December 1, 1920. The Liberals barely survived that election, winning 25 seats out of 47. Bowser, leader of the Conservatives, ran an aggressive campaign, winning 15 seats. The remaining seven seats went to Independents and Labour members.

The Liberals support came from urban centres primarily. Oliver himself won seats in Delta and Victoria. This election was won by Oliver largely due to a fragmented opposition and it signified a shift in the Liberal government. Oliver entered the new decade facing dissent and opposition in his own party. Other ministers considered him "bossy" and the younger, more urbane members of parliament were tired of the grandfatherly farmer-premier.
8-year-old Samuel Reshevsky defeats several chess masters in France in this 1920 photo.

This 1868 photo was taken in Nevada and shows a Native American looking down at the newly-completed section of the Trans-Continental rail road.
This March 1955 photo is the last known one taken of Albert Einstein.

May 6, 1937, the Hindenberg flies over Manhattan hours before it crashed.

Perhaps due to this hostile environment, Oliver turned to a careful, almost tentative form of governing. The vibrant, reform motivated government associated with the Brewster-Oliver administration was gone. The 1920s became a decade of economical uncertainty.

Oliver became even more cautious when it was obvious that the province's coffers could not rely on revenue from resource-based industries such as forestry to support the expensive initiatives of social reform. The external pressure exerted by the opposition and business also dampened the premier's enthusiasm for social reform. When a new political party, led by Vancouver millionaire Major-General Alexander Duncan McRae and Sir Charles Hibbert Tupper, was formed in 1923, they called for an end to waste in government and the termination of the party system. 

This party's interest was in big business not the disadvantaged of society. The business community also expressed his dissatisfaction with Oliver's government. The forestry industry fought a public battle with the government though the years of 1923 and 1924 because the government proposed to raise royalties charged to forest companies. 

I love this photo. It was taken in 1929 in NYC Grand Central Station. Now, tall buildings block the sunlight from shining through like this. However, can you imagine how glorious it must have been?
1937, the Nazis hold a rally in the Cathedral of Light.

Marilyn Monroe in Korea, performing for the troops in 1954.
In 1913, these two Civil War veterans shake hands at Gettysburg. Neither man looks happy to be doing so!

Numerous issues plagued Oliver and one of them was Prohibition. On March 20, 1920, the province had voted against Prohibition in favour of government-controlled alcohol sales. This solution was controversial, even within the Liberal party. In 1921, MLA, Henry George Thomas Perry, objected to the government profiting from the sale of alcohol. He warned that "British Columbia should not become a second Monte Carlo, or the Premier of the province another Prince of Monaco." 

The Government Liquor Act was introduced and it provided for the sale of alcohol in government stores - known as John Oliver's drug stores - but said nothing of the sale in bars and saloons.

A lifeguard in 1920.
A fashion show at the beach in 1928.

In 1901, Annie Edson Taylor became the first person to survive going over Niagara Falls in a barrel. She did it for the money and advised others not to do it. 
This Austrian boy has just received new shoes during World War II.

John Oliver faced many disappointments and hardships in his life. Now, it looked like his second term as premier was going to be one of turmoil and strife. I will tell you more on Wednesday.

Once again, I have to thank the Dictionary of Canadian Biography website for the information above and to my mother and her high school friend for the photos.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

Parents living in an apartment need not worry any longer. If you want your baby to get fresh air, sunshine and be totally safe then just get a 1937 baby cage!

In 1911, Niagara Falls froze!
In the 1920s, ladies' swimsuits were measured. If the garment was too short, the women would be fined.

In 1907, Annette Kellerman promoted a woman's right to wear a one piece bathing suit. She was arrested for indecency.

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