United States and American History: 1907

About the history of the United States in 1907, Roosevelt's commitment to enviornment, Salome on Broadway, Oklahoma becomes a state, the Navy fleet tours the world.


--In his 7th annual message to Congress, President Theodore Roosevelt said:

We are prone to speak of the resources of this country as inexhaustible; this is not so. The mineral wealth of the country, the coal, iron, oil, gas and the like, does not reproduce itself, and therefore is certain to be exhausted ultimately; and wastefulness in dealing with it today means that our descendants will feel the exhaustion a generation or 2 before they otherwise would.

During his Presidency 148 million acres were set aside as national forest lands and more than 80 million acres of mineral lands were withdrawn from public sale.

--The San Francisco Chronicle printed the 1st daily comic strip, H.C. (Bud) Fisher's "Mr. Mutt, " later called "Mutt and Jeff."

Jan. 22 The debut of Salome, the controversial opera by Richard Strauss taken from the play by Oscar Wilde, aroused a storm of protest at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. Citing the perverse passion of Salome for the head of John the Baptist, critics labeled the opera "morbid" and "immoral." The reviewer for the New York Tribune wrote, "Many voices were hushed as the crowd passed out into the night, many faces were white...many women were silent and men spoke as if a bad dream were upon them." It was 21 years before the opera was performed again at the Metropolitan.

Mar. 21 U.S. Marines landed in Honduras to protect American lives-and capital investments in banana plantations-from the dangers of revolution.

Nov. 16 Oklahoma was admitted to the U.S. as the 46th State. It was formerly 2 separate Territories-the Territory of Oklahoma, and Indian Territory, the land given to the 5 Civilized Tribes. The Indians and some non-Indians voted to have the Indian Territory admitted as the separate State of Sequoyah, but President Roosevelt and Congress recommended joint statehood. The population was 1,414,000. The State constitution included prohibition of liquor.

Dec. 16 Sixteen battleships ("The Great White Fleet") set sail for an around-the-world cruise. President Roosevelt wanted to impress the Japanese, as well as display American Naval strength. The Rev. Robert MacArthur of Calvary Baptist Church, New York, expressed the feeling of many Americans:

The departure of the fleet was momentus. It drove me to prayer. I could see in it America's assertion of her right to control the Pacific in the interest of civilization and humanity.

The fleet returned one year and 68 days later.

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