Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 355

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Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.


Page 355

Washington, the secretary said: “I can assure you that you don’t have to say very much. Your case has already been pleaded for you by, I should say at the most conservative estimate, at least one hundred thousand women. Why, I have had letters from even my wife and my mother.”

Secretary Taft adhered to his conservative policy, Sir Wilfred Laurier, premier of Canada, met the overtures of Secretary of State Root, a new international document was drawn up, and Niagara Falls had been saved to the American people.

In 1905 and in previous years the casualties resulting from fireworks on the Fourth of July averaged from five to six thousand each year. The humorous weekly Life and The Chicago Tribune had been for some time agitating a restricted use of fireworks on the national fête day, but nevertheless the list of casualties kept creeping to higher figures. Bok decided to help by arousing the parents of America, in whose hands, after all, lay the remedy. He began a series of articles in the magazine, showing what had happened over a period of years, the criminality of allowing so many young lives to be snuffed out, and suggested how parents could help by prohibiting the deadly firecrackers and cannon, and how organizations could assist by influencing the passing of city ordinances. Each recurring January, The Journal returned to the subject, looking forward to the coming Fourth. It was a deep-rooted custom to eradicate, and powerful influences, in the form of thousands of small storekeepers, were at work upon local officials to pay no heed to the agitation. Gradually public opinion changed.

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