Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
Did not THEIR government inspect
ALL passenger steamers?
Was not THEIR government on
the job federal inspectors as well as
city policemen right at the dock
seeing that laws for .the protection of
the lives of passengenTand crew were
Well, the people took it for granted
as they take much for granted con
cerning the law and its enforcement
And the inspection, the law and
the entire governmental machinery
wasn't worth a tinker's dam until the
Eastland had turned turtle and
dumped her precious, trusting hu
man freight into the Chicago river,
and down, down to death with scarce
ly a fighting chance for their lives.
THEN organized Government rose
to its grandest Officialdom became
human and went the full limit of hu
man endeavor to save life, rescue
dead bodies and start on a man-hunt
for somebody to punish.
There can be no criticism of Offi
cialdom when the raw human being
bursts through uniforms. A grafting
policeman may risk his life to stop a
runaway horse, or plunge into the
lake or river to save human lives.
The best part of him is MAN, not
And now horror arouses all the
best there is in all of us. Newspapers
that never called attention to danger
ous steamers are in keen competition
to raise funds for the relief of strick
en families for men, their manhood
stirred up until it rises above their
.greed, will generously da for the dead
what they won't do fpr the living.
Let a girl attempt suicide in the
lake because of "poverty, and kind
people will rush to her assistance, al
though they paid little or no attention
to her before she was looking for
i Only a few weeks ago we read of
big steamship owners denouncing the
seamen's bill and protesting loudly
that if government heeded the de
mands of the seamen for more pre-
oitions for safety at sea our mer
chant marine would be ruined. And
they denounced the seamen's union
for demanding, and getting, more
protection for themselves and pas
sengers. Some of these same seamen had
protested to YOUR government
agamst the Eastland. Had their pro
tests been heeded then there would Q)
probably be no Eastland horror now.
Oh, yes, Officialdom is busy NOW
that it has happened. The LAW Is
on the rampage with blood in Its
blind eye. Arrests have been made.
More may be made. There will be in
vestigations, indictments, trials, and
possibly convictions, sentences, pun-'
And while remorse is on the Job
there may be rigid inspection. The
searchlight may be turned on other
steamers, and faults found that Of
ficialdom couldn't see until this awful
It took the Iroquois theater horror
to bring about real inspection of the
aters until people had time to
It took the sinking of the Titanic
to make Officialdom see merit in the
seamen's bill and yet the sinking of
the Titanic wasn't lasting eaough in '
its effect to force Officialdom to pay
heed to the solemn warning of the
lake seamen's union about the excur
sion boats of Chicago.
If we all of us were one-tenth
part as effective in protecting life as
we are in sorrowing over death there
would be- less occasion for sorrow. ,
We are all-fired stingy with our ounce '
of prevention and lavishly generous
with our pound of cure.
In this particular case somebody raj
wiu vc tjLtuuiiuy uHimieu, ueuause uui
of the guilt of its own conscience Of-,
ficialdom will damn -and denounce '
and go man-hunting for a goat In
time we will probably build a monu
ment to ease our conscience, and the
SYSTEM and its Officialdom will go
on pretty much the same as before,
until some other heart-stirring crime
on humanity will again temporarily -