the best of the world’s classics: in ten volumes, by henry cabot-lodge, 1909.

i found nine of the set at a used book shop last summer, but left them on the shelf, because of the missing volume. later, as i was leaving, i spied the tenth book on a table by the exit! i grabbed it, ran back to the classics room (this was a large, shop), all the while repeating, please still be there, please still be there. 

they were, i was thrilled, & i love them so.


Among the many notable persons buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Mass. are: psychologist B.F. Skinner, sportscaster Curt Gowdy, Civil War nurse Dorothea Dix, stage actor Edwin Booth, cookbook author Fannie Farmer, artist Winslow Homer, author and social reformer Julia Ward Howe, politician and diplomat Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and author and physician Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge, 1898

The public voice of the Immigration Restriction League, Lodge argued on behalf of literacy tests for incoming immigrants, appealing to fears that unskilled foreign labor was undermining the standard of living for American workers and that a mass influx of uneducated immigrants would result in social conflict and national decline. Lodge was alarmed that large numbers of immigrants, primarily from Eastern and Southern Europe, were flooding into industrial centers, where the poverty of their home countries was being perpetuated and crime rates were rapidly rising. Lodge observed that these immigrants were “people whom it is very difficult to assimilate and do not promise well for the standard of civilization in the United States.” He felt that the United States should temporarily shut out all further entries, particularly persons of low education or skill, in order to more efficiently assimilate the millions who had come. From 1907 to 1911, he served on the Dillingham Commission, a joint congressional committee established to study the era’s immigration patterns and make recommendations to Congress based on its findings. The Commission’s recommendations led to the Immigration Act of 1917. It should be remembered, however, that Lodge was no rampant xenophobe, remarking once that “It [the U.S. flag] is the flag just as much of the man who was naturalized yesterday as of the man whose people have been here many generations.”  In an address to The New England Society of Brooklyn:

“Let every man honor and love the land of his birth and the race from which he springs and keep their memory green. It is a pious and honorable duty. But let us have done with British-Americans and Irish-Americans and German-Americans, and so on, and all be Americans…If a man is going to be an American at all let him be so without any qualifying adjectives; and if he is going to be something else, let him drop the word American from his personal description.”

Non-Candidate Henry Cabot Lodge Wins the New Hampshire GOP Primary in 1964

A small group of supporters mounted an impressive write-in campaign for then-U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam, Henry Cabot Lodge, in the New Hampshire Republican Primary of 1964.

With 36 percent of the vote, Lodge, a former Senator from Massachusetts and Richard Nixon’s 1960 presidential campaign running mate, defeated frontrunner Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater (22 percent) and New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller (21 percent) – both of whom spent a good deal of time and money campaigning up and down the state – without ever setting foot in New Hampshire. He learned of his win while on a flight to Saigon.

Though Lodge never declared his candidacy, he won two more primaries: Massachusetts and New Jersey. But Goldwater would go on to win the GOP nomination, only to lose in a landslide to incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Saturday, April 23, 1966

  • American Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, in a taped interview in Saigon, admits uneasiness over plans for an election in South Viet Nam. While he does not blame Communists for the recent political unrest led by Buddhists that forced the military government to agree to the elections, he implies that communist infiltration of the demonstrations has made the outcome more uncertain and has hindered prosecution of the war against the Communists. 
  • President Johnson says supply problems in South Viet Nam may become increasingly difficult, but he insists there are no shortages affecting the military operations or the health and welfare of American troops there. In other remarks, he says he regrets last month’s increase in the cost of living but the time is not yet approaching when he must decide on any major anti-inflationary moves.
  • The House appropriations committee refuses to go along with President Johnson’s proposal to reduce funds for school milk programs, claiming that Johnson would put on some the stigma of admitting they are too poor to qualify for the milk.
  • At suit by three Chicagoans challenging the constitutionality of the House committee on un-American activities is dismissed by Judge Julius J. Hoffman in federal District court. The suit had been filed by Dr. Jeremiah Stamler and Mrs. Yolanda Hall, board of health employees, and Milton M. Cohen, who had defied subpoenas of the House committee to testify. Judge Hoffman grants the government’s motion to dismiss the suit because the House committee has taken no punitive action against the three and that their plea is therefore hypothetical.
  • For the first time since its January 18, 1964 issue, the Billboard Hot 100 chart fails to have an artist from the UK with a Top 10 single, ending a streak of 117 consecutive weeks.

On This Day in History January 10, 1920: The League of Nations was established as the Treaty of Versailles went into effect. The Treaty of Versailles was ratified by the league’s 42-member nations in 1919. 

Conspicuous by their absence in the League of Nations was the United States of America. After World War I ended, many politicians in the United States wanted the country to return to their isolation ways. This was seen in particular with the opposition to the Treaty of Versailles and subsequently the League of Nations in the United States Senate with Senator Henry Cabot Lodge (R-MA) at the forefront. Article 10 of the Treaty of Versailles was the lynchpin to Senatorial opposition. What did Article 10 of the Treaty of Versailles mandate? Here is the text of Article 10 of the Treaty of Versailles courtesy of the Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy:


The Members of the League undertake to respect and preserve as against external aggression the territorial integrity and existing political independence of all Members of the League. In case of any such aggression or in case of any threat or danger of such aggression the Council shall advise upon the means by which this obligation shall be fulfilled.

Harking back to the country’s isolationist past, the possibility of being dragged into another armed conflict to help end an overseas conflict was something that many politicians in the United States wanted to avoid. Things came to a head on March 19, 1920 when the Treaty of Versailles was voted against by the United States Senate by a vote of 49 to 35 falling seven votes short of ratification. This would be seen as a major political defeat for President Woodrow Wilson whose idea for a League of Nations was rejected by his own government. 

Many point to the lack of an American presence in the League, coupled with an the draconian measures of the Treaty of Versailles and the inefficient manner to punish transgressions between member nations that led to the downfall of the League of Nations. The League of Nations would be officially dissolved in April of 1946, replaced by the United Nations.  

For Further Reading:

How The GOP Gave Way To The Kennedy Political Dynasty

If one is of a certain conservative Republican political bent, the name Kennedy evokes the same kind of emotional response that Boston sports fans usually reserve for the likes of Lebron James and Alex Rodriquez: intense hostility and irrational hatred. Yet, 60 years ago, Republican Party conservatives played a decisive role in creating the very thing they have since come to gnash their teeth over, the Kennedy family political dynasty.