Today is election day. Since the 2016 election has already had enough attention from the press and social media, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the election from 100 years ago.

A Century Ago

One hundred years ago things were much different in almost every way and it’s hard to imagine life then. Here are some events that took place in 1916 to help gain perspective.

  • Mexican Revolution
  • The U.S. was neutral and had not yet entered World War I
  • The U.S. invaded Cuba for the 3rd time
  • Women are allowed to attend a boxing match
  • German parliament approves unrestricted submarine warfare
  • The Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA) is founded in New York City
  • Weeghman Park (Wrigley Field) in Chicago opens, Cubs beat Cincinnati Reds 7-6 (Seems fitting in a way that 100 years ago Wrigley Field opened and the Cubs are now World Series Champs.)
  • US marines invade Dominican Republic, stay until 1924
  • Boys Scouts of America forms
  • Cleveland Indians experiment with numbers on their jerseys (one game)
  • Boeing Company (Pacific Aero) formed by William Boeing in Seattle Wash
  • National Park Service is formed
  • US President Wilson signs the Emergency Revenue Act, doubling the rate of income tax and adding inheritance and munitions profits tax
  • San Diego Zoo is founded
  • Addressing the Chamber of Commerce in Cincinnati, US President Wilson declares that ‘The business of neutrality is over. The nature of modern war leaves no state untouched’
  • First German air attack on London

Things were not calm throughout the world. Mexico was in the midst of the Mexican Revolution and Europe was engulfed in what would become the first World War.

In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson (Democrat) was running for a second term against the Republican candidate, Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans Hughes. This was to be the last election before the 19th amendment to the Constitution was passed which gave women the right to vote. Wilson won the popular vote by around 600,000 votes and narrowly scored victory in the Electoral College.The election was very close and the outcome was in doubt for several days waiting on results from California.

A century ago the world was a much different place but our system of governing remains the same. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “…of the people, by the people and for the people…”.