Thursday, August 04, 2005
The following is some historical resistance to schooling I was unaware of. Not mentioned in any of MY history books!
The most notable aspect of this rioting was its source in what today would be the bottom of the bell-curve masses...and they were complaining that school was too easy! What could have possessed recently arrived immigrants to defy their betters? Whatever it was, it poisoned the promising political career of mayoral incumbent, John Purroy Mitchel, a well-connected, aristocratic young progressive who had been seriously mentioned as presidential timber. Although Teddy Roosevelt personally campaigned for him, Mitchel lost by a two-to-one margin when election day arrived shortly after the riots were over, the disruptions widely credited with bringing Mitchel down. In all, three hundred students were arrested, almost all Jewish. I identify their ethnicity because today we don’t usually expect Jewish kids to get arrested in bulk.